Computing Gestational Age in Pregnancy (as a Feminist Issue)

It may come as a surprise to many people that (among healthcare providers) length of pregnancy is not dated in terms of months, but rather in terms of weeks.  Even more unusual to a casual observer is the fact that the first week of pregnancy is defined as beginning at the first day of the menstrual cycle and NOT the day on which the sperm was deposited in the vagina. 

The convention for defining the length of a pregnancy starting from the beginning of the menstrual cycle makes sense for a number of reasons.  The aspect that I would consider all reproductive right advocates to consider is this:

Dating pregnancy by the start of the menstrual cycle correctly reflects that pregnancy is, first and foremost, a process of a woman’s body and not something that is caused by sperm magic.  The presence of sperm is necessary for pregnancy, but the uterine enviromnent has to be right for conception to happen, and that is a function of the woman’s menstrual cycle.  The contents of the uterus at the time of conception will continue to be there for the remainder of the pregnancy and will continue to be important throughout the pregnancy process.  Just because it isn’t part of the zygote/embryo/fetus, doesn’t meant it isn’t part of the pregnancy.  The arrival of sperm is not the absolute ground zero of gestation.

When abortion rights are discussed in terms of weeks of gestational age, I am surprised to see reproductive rights advocates choosing to talk about pregnancy in terms of weeks since the arrival of sperm rather than the woman-centric (and medically standard) weeks since the start of the menstrual cycle. The fact that even many feminists think of pregnancy as the result of a man’s ejaculation rather than a result of any of the equally necessary processes of the woman’s body is a result of patriarchy being so pervasive in our cultural understanding of pregnancy that we will defend it just because no different thought has ever occurred to us.  So… let’s stop that, shall we?

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Things So Funny They Make Me Pee a Little

Countdown of Funny Things:

#3:

“What’s up with all these girls makin’ a duck face and chuckin’ up deuces everywhere?”

#2:

“We should all do gangster things together, like roll into our housecribs and disregard women” (Click the link to see the whole thing)

And the #1 Funniest Thing I Know Of:

“Well bi… i have more things to do right now then remember YOU”

Men Who (REALLY) Hate Women

It is hard to imagine that there are men out there whose hatred of women is so intense that even Rick Santorum and Rush Limbaugh would have to pause to say “hey now, that’s uncalled-for.”  Unfortunately, such men exist, and a heroic male feminist chronicles the worst woman-hating he can find on the internet at his blog, Manboobz.

Some highlights for me include:  a guy who calls stay-at-home moms “economically inactive gold-digger housewhores,” and says “there is no word in the English language for a woman who is not a whore”… But wait! He later adds “For the record, I would never claim all women are whores. I’d put it at around the 97% mark in my estimation – so back off, haters”  Ohhh… no hard feelings then, I guess!

Another says: “Even dung beetles are higher than women and feminists” and suggests a number of vagina-related insults for regular use in daily encounters with women, but “at the end of the day, given that women are devoid of logic and wit, using such choice insults is a wanton waste.”  Choice insults, indeed, sir!

And finally: “You see, I find you, as a feminist, to be a loathsome, vile piece of human garbage. I find you so pernicious and repugnant that the idea of fucking your shit up gives me an erection.

There are many more where that came from, and if you’re like me, you’ll want to LOL til’ you sob at the fact that men like this exist.

Poor People Who Work Harder Than Rich People

*Hard Work Face-Off #1: Social Worker ($30,000/yr) vs. MN Vikings Running Back, Adrian Perterson ($17,000,000/yr)

Being a Social Worker requires an advanced education and requires doing some of the hardest, most emotionally taxing, most necessary work out there.  Yet a Social Worker who devotes her life to saving children from abusive homes barely takes home enough pay in a year to cover what Adrian Peterson stuffs in his baby’s diaper in a single month.

Now, there are a number or reasonable opinions about the value of the work of athletes, and personally, I’d let Adrian Peterson stuff hundred dollar bills in my diaper all day, if he had an interest in doing such a thing.  I’m not saying he’s a bad guy, I’m not saying he’s not as beautiful and mouthwatering as a chocolate statue carved by the hands of the gods themselves, I’m not even saying that his salary is unjustified.  What I’m saying is that he doesn’t work harder than every single person who makes less money than him.  He MIGHT be more awesome than 1 Social Worker, but he’s certainly NOT not more awesome than 566.66 Social Workers combined.  Just sayin’.

*Hard Work Face-Off #2: Myself (5 figures per year) vs. An African Grandmother Carrying a Giant Bag of Onions (3 figures per year)

Let’s start with me, and a week in my exciting life.  Most of the people who know me would say I work pretty hard.  I have two jobs and I go to school part-time.  On weekdays, I earn my keep by listening to people’s complaints about their vaginal discharge and their broken condoms, and delivering unwelcome news like “we don’t have any appointments today,” and “your nearest abortion provider is 6 hours away,” and “healthcare costs money.”  On weekends, I mostly listen to complaints about the fact that the hotel rooms don’t have refrigerators, and deliver bad news like, “the airport shuttle is made of matter, and therefore the laws of physics prevent it from being everywhere at all times.”

My opponent in this match-up is no invention of my addled mind, but rather is drawn from a scene from my life: I was riding on a bus through the countryside outside of Nairobi, Kenya, and across the aisle from me was an elderly woman travelling with a sack of onions that was at least the size of her entire tiny body.  When she signaled the bus to stop, I got up and attempted to help her with the onion bag.  Well, my plump, desk job, First World arms failed me, and I found that the bag was too large and too cumbersome for me to move.  She thanked me for trying, waved me off, hoisted the onions on her back, climbed off the bus, and headed away on foot.  This woman makes her living growing goods, transporting those goods through unnatural feats of strength, selling the goods herself, and then undoubtedly returns home to duties like cooking, cleaning, and childcare.

At the end of MY week, my reward is a living wage, a warm bed, and a quarter (ok, maybe a half) of a box of wine.  At the end of HER week, her biggest reward is that she didn’t die of starvation or exposure, and if she’s lucky, none of her dependents did either. When you lay your eyes upon unfairness like that, you can never forget that it exists, or ever fully tame the instinct to HULK SMASH when people insist that material wealth correlates perfectly with hard work.

(t.l, d.r.: Social Workers are underpaid, I’d wear a diaper for Adrian Peterson, and everyone should quit saying that rich people work harder than non-rich people)

Grammar

There is a difference between “your” and “you’re.”  There is also a difference between “there,” “their,” and “they’re.”  These are language skills you learned in elementary school and I PERSONALLY know two dozen African children with less education than you who manage to use these words correctly.

If you are an adult and you write sentences like “It sucks when your on a computer and someone else is signed into there Facebook,” then you should be struck by lightning and all your worldly goods should go to a disadvantaged child who knows better.