Monday, September 17, 2012

Words and Their Legitimate Meanings

Dear Lulli Akin,

Does anybody in your family have even the simplest of basic understandings about rape?

Today you said that the GOP’s decision to distance itself from your husband’s campaign for Senate was just like rape. Of course, the organization took a step back after your husband decided, science be dammed, that every woman has magic sperm-ninjas in her vagina that can mystically comprehend the intent with which the sperm was placed in the cavern of dark magic and thus prevent pregnancy if the rape was “legitimate.” Which leads me to believe that a) not one single person in your family knows what the word rape means and b) not one single person in your family owns a dictionary. (see? You don’t even have to own a dictionary. It’s all right there, free, on the interwebs) defines rape as “the unlawful compelling of a person through physical force or duress to have sexual intercourse… any act of sexual intercourse that is forced upon a person.” Very rarely do you ever hear a rape victim on the stand saying, “He was really supportive at first. And then I said something monumentally stupid and he never called again.” Because that is not rape. That is the abandonment. And I’m willing to bet 10 out of 10 rape victims wish their assailant took the GOP’s course of action.

In the end, I think it is you and your husband that are more attacker than victim in this instance. Because every time somebody in your family opens their mouth and says something that trivializes the horrific act of one person forcing themselves upon another and violating them in a brutal attack that takes away choice, dignity and any semblance of a sense of security, you are victimizing them yet again. By telling 5% of rape victims that, if their rape was “real”, they wouldn’t have gotten pregnant, you are assaulting them all over again. By saying that your husband’s campaign not getting as much money as it used to is the same thing as being held down on the ground while somebody penetrates you under threat of violence, you are diminishing the horror they were forced to experience. Because, remember, nobody’s holding a gun to your head, forcing you to stay in the race. Unlike a legitimate rape victim, you can walk away whenever the horror gets to be too much.

Hugs and Kisses,

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Open Letter to America from the GOP

Dear America, 

I know we've had our differences. I know you've moved on. But, America, I just can't get you out of my head. I know this is the wrong time and that you've been in a stable relationship for the past four years. I just need to let you know I've changed, Baby. I'm a better GOP now. I'm stronger, I'm more conservative (remember how you always talked about starting a family? Well, now I'm anti-abortion in all cases and I'm not a big fan of insurance companies paying for birth control, so chances are, we'll be starting one real soon if we get back together). No more long vacations in the middle of nowhere Texas. No more looking to my daddy for advice. I'm a real political party now and I'm ready to commit to you for the next four to eight years. Maybe more. We'll see how you like my VP candidate. Did I tell you I have a VP candidate now? He's so handsome. You're going to really love him. You guys can jog together. You should see him run a marathon. 

America, I know in the past, we fought a lot. Mostly in a country that had nothing to do with the attacks of September 11th. But that's over now. And I'm working on the situation in Afghanistan, even if I never mention it. I know I blew all our money and nearly pushed you into a Great Depression. But I hear you're happy now. You're working again, almost 20 hours in a retail job your PhD leaves you grossly over-qualified for. I'm sure you're going to be moving out of your mom's basement soon, America. Maybe we can rent a house together. Something White and ornate with a huge lawn and a rose garden. But I don't want to rush things, so I'll just move in there first, America. I'll get everything set up real nice and we can take our time, see how things go. 

I know this guy had to really work hard to repair a lot of the mistakes I made in the past. And it's not that I'm not grateful for it. I know I hurt you and he has helped heal you, probably more than you'll ever know. But you don't seem as happy as you were four years ago. I know that has a lot to do with me, but can't we also acknowledge that some of that is because you guys just don't have the same chemistry? For all my faults, America, I did make you laugh. Remember that time Cheney almost got to be president because I nearly choked to death on a pretzel? Or the time I got stuck on stage because I couldn't figure out how the door worked? Or what about the time I talked about OB/GYNs not being able to practice their love? I know that was your favorite. It could be just like that again, America. The jokes will be a little more high-brow this time around. Less choking on pretzels, more choking on fois gras or falling off my wife's Olympic horse. But there will be jokes! We'll laugh together, America. And everybody knows laughter is the best medicine. Which is good, because if we get into power, we're going to scrap Obamacare and you're probably not getting health insurance at your minimum wage retail job. So we will just laugh until you feel healthy again. 

Bottom line: I love you, America. And it doesn't feel like this guy really does. So just give me another chance.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Servicing the President's Men

Dear Secret Service,
Wow. Just Wow.
You guys have always been the strong, silent types in the background. Which, I always kind of gathered, was your job description. Wear dark suit and darker sunglasses. Blend into the background and be alert. Above, all, protect the leader of the free world, giving your life to save his if it came to that.
I’m fairly certain buying Colombian hookers wasn’t in there at all.
Usually, the only time you guys make the news is when the code names you call the first family come out. You know, First Lady Barbara Bush was “Steel Battleship” and President Clinton was, “Sir, you have lipstick on your mouth.” But you guys have made a splash and in a big way, with the hookers and the presidents itinerary in the room with the hookers.
Couple of things:
First up: even if the local government is cool with it, chances are THIS government, the United States government, the one that signs your paycheck, they’re probably not cool with prostitution. Hence the reason why it’s pretty much illegal here. And I don’t care if everybody’s doing it anyway. Sometimes your bosses can get away with stuff that you can’t. It’s like that time I was working at a Mexican restaurant for the summer and the boss would openly down a couple of bottles of wine during his dinner shift Saturday nights. I didn’t think I could do the same as the hostess. And not just because I was under-aged. He was the manager, I was the underling. If I wanted to drink on the job, I was going to have to do it one tequila shot at a time back behind the chips station. That’s how these things work. It’s nearly the same thing, except you’re tasked with the security of the president and I was the lynchpin in making sure everybody found a seat.
Secondly: when you’re on a business trip, even when you’re not on the clock, you’re still kind of on the clock. Act accordingly. You can’ t act like you’re at your Buddy’s Vegas bachelor party after 5pm. If somebody is paying your hotel bill, they own your free time, too. That means a quiet dinner with a glass of wine with your co-workers. Not a Bacchanal in the clubs of South America. Because guess what? You have work to do in the morning. And it’s pretty important work, too. It’s not like you’re dicking around writing a travel blog for a college semester abroad. You’re securing the President of the United States, for Christ’s sake. It’s a big deal. And you should treat it as such.
I know this advice is kind of pointless now, seeing as you’re all on your way to the unemployment line (remember: that’s also a government-signed paycheck, so no hookers this time, either). But I hope that maybe you can read this letter and learn something from it that will help you grow in the fine service-industry careers I’m sure you have in front of you.
Good luck. It’s hard out there for a pimp – but you probably know that already.

Hugs and Kisses,
PS – One more thing: don’t cheat the hookers. That’s just bad form. A girl just gave up her body and her dignity, the least you could do is not stiff her on the bill.

Lady's Right

Dear Democratic Party,

Jesus Christ.
You had the women voters delivered to you by the Republicans on a silver platter made from the foil backs of birth control pills and you’re now managing to alienate them swiftly and surely.
Why do you do this to yourselves? Why? This election should be a gimme, why make it an uphill battle?
After waging a war on women’s reproductive rights to protect religion’s rights by taking away a woman’s right to choose how many kids she has, thus extending the role of the government while claiming to be the party of small government (Irony was last seen downing a scotch), the female vote was yours for the taking, Democratic Party.
And then here comes your Strategist and CNN Political Contributor Hilary Rosen.
Rosen made what is, admittedly, a rather dumb comment about how Ann Romney, a stay-at-home mom, has never worked a day in her life and thus shouldn’t be who Mitt Romney consults on economic issues facing women. It’s a dumb comment, a low-hanging-fruit jab that’s neither particularly  inflammatory nor helpful to your cause. Just because they’re stay-at-home moms doesn’t mean that they don’t have an understanding of what’s going on in the world, economically and otherwise. Plus, one could argue (and that’s exactly what I’m doing here), that stay-at-home moms, often tasked with maintaining the family budget, probably have a pretty good sense of how economically tough things are in the world right now.
It could have ended there, if there was not the 24-hour news cycle beast to feed. But media outlets love making mountains out of stupid comments caught on tape (and I say this from nearly a decade of experience feeding the beast in 10 hour shifts).  So now it’s a controversy. And, as such, Rosen has written an editorial on CNN’s webpage trying to explain herself.
And this is where the Democrats need to learn how to shut the hell up. Because instead of making it better, Rosen’s put her foot so far in her mouth it’s coming out of her ass.
There’s something of a custom among us simple stay-at-home moms that you never return a plate empty, meaning that if somebody brings a dish to your house, when you return the dish, you should return it full of cookies or muffins or something to say thank you.
Maybe that’s why she’s serving up platitudes on the same silver platter Republicans sent the women voters over on.
“I admire women who can stay home and raise their kids full time. I even envy them sometimes. It is a wonderful luxury (emphasis mine) to have the choice.”
Aside from the condescending tone, these comments are frustrating because she seems to think that all stay-at-home moms are ladies who lunch wherever it is that the 1% eats these days. And, as a stay-at-home mom that has had vegetarianism forced upon her as a result of her economic condition, I have to call challenge.
Look, I know I have a biased here. But I also have a point. Most of the stay-at-home moms I know (and the partners that support them) have made tremendous changes in their own lives so that they can have one parent stay at home and raise the kids. It’s a personal choice that’s very rarely a luxury but a sacrifice. And who better to understand what’s going on in the world of economics than families who have suddenly taken a 50% pay cut? Don’t think that stay-at-home moms understand the economic climate? I have a much better understanding of inflation now that I have to watch my pennies at the grocery store. Talk to a mom who goes in to buy eggs, milk and bananas and spends $40 to get a real understanding of how hard it is out there economically. Drive around all day with a mom of 2 who tries to balance taking their kids to play dates and soccer practice with the rising cost of a gallon of gas. Make no mistake Democrats, stay-at-home moms understand today’s economic climate.
But it’s more than that. I am a strong liberal who would no more think of voting for Romney than going to the moon. But there are a lot of people out there who sit on the fence. And you know what? I may not agree with a damn thing that’s ever come out of Sarah Palin’s mouth, but she’s never made me feel like a simpleton for giving up my career and staying home with my kids.  And if you Democrats start alienating women for the choices they make, you’re no better than the Republicans who just alienated women for the choices they make.
Listen Democrats: your strategy for this election is so simple it’s been made into an internet meme. President Obama killed Bin Laden. He saved us from economic depression. He didn’t screw up the recovery effort from a natural disaster. And he brought us motherf*ckers doughnuts. Don’t stray from the message and let’s wrap this shit up in November. ‘Kay?
Hugs and Kisses,