Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pissed Off

I'm kinda pissed off about the new TSA security procedures. It's true that scanners detect things metal detectors can't but they can't detect everything. According to the Wall Street Journal, they can't detect items stored inside the body so cavity searches probably will be next..

I'm not super cool with naked images being taken either. Sure, they're viewed in separate room and TSA says images can't be stored. What they mean is they're not SUPPOSED to be stored. U.S. Marshals in a Florida Federal courthouse saved 35,000 images on their scanner So it is possible, and all it takes is one dumb agent who decides to save, store and distribute images of "hot chicks" or god forbid kids.

Speaking of kids, I think the argument can be made taking naked pictures regardless of whether the face is blurred amounts to child pornography.

The new "enhanced" patdown is even worse in my opinion. I couldn't find any official TSA guidelines to the enhanced patdown procedures but according to Time Magazine and the LA Times, agents can now use their fingers and palms to feel breasts, genitals and buttocks.

In the past, TSA screening officers used the back of their hands to brush past sensitive body parts, including the breasts, genitals and buttocks. Under the new technique begun a week ago, screening officers at airports across the country can use their fingers and palms to probe and feel around such areas for weapons and contraband hidden under clothing.

Due to complaints about children being groped by strangers (imagine that!) children 12 and under are now exempt from this, but 13-17 year olds are not. I don't have kids, but I can tell you right now there's no way in hell I'd let my teenage daughter or son for that matter be touched like that. I'm actually pretty nervous about flying for Christmas now because I'M not comfortable being touched like that. It's not just that I'm "uncomfortable" with it, I generally just don't feel like that's ok or acceptable. I don't feel like it's ok for ANYONE to touch me in those areas except for my husband or my doctor, and in the privacy of my own home or my doctor's office.

Speaking of my doctor's office... on to rant #2...

Why the hell can I not obtain birth control pills unless I have a pap smear?! Testing for cervical cancer is completely unrelated as to whether or not someone is a good candidate for birth control. Also the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has made formal recommendations that a pap smear is recommended every 2 to 3 years if you've had 3 normal ones in a row. I explained to my doctor that I've had SIX normal ones in a row and that I've read the recommendations, but nope, she wouldn't refill my prescription without it.

It's like their holding the pills hostage, and you know what... it's pretty damn patronizing if you ask me. This article in RH Reality makes some really good points about why this is ridiculous and why birth control should be made available over the counter for women 18 and up. Some highlights (all direct quotes):

Hormonal contraception meets the Federal Food & Drug Administration (FDA) standards for non-prescription status; consumers can easily identify contraindications, directions for use are uncomplicated, the benefits outweigh risks, and health providers are not necessarily required.

Though we often hear of a possible association between BCPs and strokes or heart attacks, those risks are much lower than the risk of suffering liver damage from over-the-counter acetaminophen. Aspirin and ibuprofen have even more safety risks, such as ulcers, bleeding, high blood pressure, and kidney disease.[3] Hormonal contraception has been proven safe—pregnancy is seven times more dangerous than pills, smoking is 50 times more dangerous than pills, driving is 12 times more dangerous than pills[4]—according to numerous respected medical organizations, including the World Health Organization, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Medical Association.

Daniel Grossman, Senior Associate Assistant Clinical Professor of Ibis Reproductive Health, cites a 2004 US national survey of women that reported 41 percent of women not using contraception said they would begin using the pill, patch, or vaginal ring if it were available without a prescription in a pharmacy. Another similar study found that travel away from home and running out of pill packs were common reasons women missed pills—a frequent cause of contraceptive failure.

Given the state of our current economy, many women are already struggling financially and medical procedures compound expenses. For others, time is an issue. Some women find themselves in need of a prescription refill and unable to visit a clinic or get an appointment with a doctor in time. For some women, the intrusiveness of the exams and test is enough to prevent them from seeking them

According to this logic, no one should be allowed any medications unless they have all recommended physical exams. Over 55 and haven’t had a colonoscopy? Sorry, no flu shot for you...How many men actually go for their annual prostrate exam? Let’s allow women, like all mentally competent adults, to make their own decisions regarding their bodies.

UGH!! Good thing I'm going on vacation soon... I need to de-stress :)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Theory, Yes; Practice, No

To me, this 7 page NYT article on evangelical women can be summarized like so: Conservative evangelical women often believe in submitting to male authority and leadership in theory, but not in practice.

I don't mean to sound smug or sarcastic; that's honestly what I got out of it.

I find it interesting that the woman they profile (Priscilla Shirer) and her family practice the very feminist idea of sharing child rearing responsibilities and career responsibilities somewhat equally and in a non traditional way. She is a speaker/author, and her husband works by maintaining her schedule, taking calls etc. He often acts as primary caregiver when she's traveling.

Yet, Shirer is insistent that she's "not a feminist" or even a "career woman" but makes her living (presumably a pretty lucrative one) by advocating for the idea of biblical (male) headship. The article states:

Shirer and many conservative Christians believe that the Bible defines gender as a divinely ordained set of desires and duties inherent in each man and woman since the Garden of Eden.

I'm not clear, and neither is the article (IMO) as to what these "divinely ordained" set of desires and duties that are supposedly inherent in men and women actually ARE.

I also find it rather disappointing that she's quoted as describing feminist activists as people who tell women to “do your own thing, make your own decisions and never let a man slow you down" when in reality feminism and feminist activism is not about elevating women to a higher status than men or disregarding men or meaningful relationships with men, but rather making sure that women have an equal voice and equal opportunities in all areas of life. Like in ministry, for example. In fact, I'd argue that it's feminism and the progress that feminism has made over the last several decades that allows not only Priscilla Shirer to step outside the boundaries of what women were "supposed" to do, but also allows her husband to step outside of the traditional male roles and expectations.

It's kind of humorous to me that she is quoted as saying she defers to her husband when it comes to the BIG DECISIONS (emphasis mine)and then the example she gives is that her husband chose the name of their kid. I'm not saying a baby's name isn't important... but I'm pretty sure where the family lives and works, and how the family unit operates as a whole is more important, and in their case that's obviously guided by Priscilla's career as a speaker and author.

I honestly find the whole idea of "Biblical womanhood" kind of fascinating because it always seems to change or have caveats depending on who you ask. And it's not that I like to see infighting between churches or denominations, but it's so interesting to me that people whose mission it is to impact the Kingdom for Christ would spend a significant amount of time debating the role of women in leadership. I've read essays and excerpts from both sides of the egalitarian and complementarian views. More and more schools are allowing women into their pastoral programs, but there are still some holdouts. And of course the holdouts claim they are being true to the Bible, but then the other school ardently defend that THEY are being true to the Bible also.

When I was younger, I was taught to seek out answers by respected authorities when I had questions regarding theology. And I've tried to do that, not just recently but for quite some time now. I've come to realize though that I'm not really going to get answers, but rather more questions every time I try to seek out answers. And I honestly just don't know if any one person, or school, or church, or denomination, or even religion in general can claim to have THE TRUTH.

I didn't really mean to get off on that tangent; I had originally thought about just posting the link and maybe a sentence or two about it, but I think it's good to think these thing through and actually post something of substance (maybe...hopefully?) once in awhile.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Greg: Is my bag still in your car?
Me: All the stuff from Ren Fest is in my trunk.
Greg: I had to use your toothbrush today
Me: ugh, gross. Wait, we've been home for 3 days. What did you do on Monday
Greg: Used your toothbrush
Me: And Sunday...
Greg: And Sunday.
Me: Gross!
Greg: What's the difference? You kiss me with your tongue.
Me: It's just different!
Greg: I also used your deodorant.
Me: What?! Are you out of deodorant?
Greg: No, it was in the bag.

You Will Never Replace Me; I Know Microsoft Excel

Is it sad that the highlight of my day so far has been that I figured out how to put a list of emails into Excel using Text to Columns and THEN transposed the row of emails into a column? That's some mad skills.

Also, I emailed my mom.