A little foreknowledge can save you a lot of heartache…

I’d rather know as early as possible someone’s political or religious beliefs — because they could negatively affect my life.

This prompt comes from the ebook of 365 prompts put out by the Daily Post blog.

“It’s never a good idea to discuss religion or politics with people you don’t really know.” Agree or disagree?

Disagree, very much.

In my experience, it’s better to discuss religion or politics with people you don’t know very well. By the time you’re already friends with someone, if they’re a good friend (or if they’re family), if you have severe disagreements with them on the subjects of religion or politics what good comes from discussing them? Unless you really are the rare pair who can discuss it without wanting to murder each other.

Most of my politics are tied up in my life or death. That’s how it is when you’re a member of an oppressed class in an oppressive society. Abortion rights aren’t a quaint mental exercise for me; they’re a matter of whether I live or die. Fat acceptance isn’t me whining because I don’t want to lose weight; fatphobia has very real consequences for the health of fat people, and I deserve to be treated with respect no matter my size. Equal rights and protections for trans* folks aren’t just some abstract thing I can talk about with buddies over a beer; they affect my friends, they affect me — they affect our lives and safety. If I decide to present as male and I get into a situation where the cops need to see my ID, guess what? My life is at risk, because if they see “F” under sex and I don’t match what they expect in their brains, there is no telling what they’ll do.  If I go to a doctor who decides that all my problems are because I’m fat and they misdiagnose me, that could have real, life-or-death consequences for me — and I’m not even getting into the mental health issues that come from living in a society that’s geared towards hating fat people.

For these things that are life or death for me, there’s no room for disagreement. Because disagreeing that I deserve the right to terminate a pregnancy without legal interference is saying that I don’t deserve to have agency over my own body. Disagreeing that I have the right to present as male without fear is saying I’m not a person to you. Disagreeing that I have the right to respect no matter what my size because you’re “so concerned for my health” is saying that what really matters is not my health, but your comfort — because if you knew anything about my health, you wouldn’t say a damn thing about my needing to lose weight.

As for religion, it’s not a life or death situation for me, at least not here in Canada — but it does have a lot to do with my mental health, my happiness, my life going smoothly. If I’m making friends with someone, I’d rather know early on if they’re going to try to convert me to something else every chance they get, or if they’re going to call CPS to protect my (future) kids from my “devil worship”. That’s an actual worry for someone who IDs as a witch, by the way. Don’t kid yourself that it’s not.

I want to know if someone is the type of person who believes, truly believes, that they cannot be moral without religion to guide them. Because I don’t want to know those people. If religion is the only thing stopping them from hurting other people, then I don’t want to be around if they have a crisis of faith.

I’d rather discuss politics and religion early on in a relationship. That way, if they’re a transphobic misogynist who doesn’t really believe I’m a person with rights and freedoms, I know to not let them any further into my life. That way, if they’re not bigoted, but just very uneducated, I know exactly what I’m getting into and can decide if I want to spend the spoons on educating this person. That way, if they’re the proselytizing type, they know early on there’s no point to try with me — I’m not open to conversion tactics — I know early on that I may need to be prepared to kick them out of my life, if they don’t stop trying. That way, if they believe that religion is the only way to have a moral compass, I can say goodbye early on. I prefer my friends to be able to steer their ships with their own moral compass regardless whatever god or gods may be in their lives.

I try to keep the peace with people I still want to be friends with, even if they disagree with me on politics or religion. (There are not many people like this in my life, for the record, and those that are disagree with me on portions of politics that aren’t life or death for me.) Discussing these things only comes up if I think we might actually make progress, instead of talking past each other and getting angry.

And as for talking religion or politics with random people on the internet…. Well, what do you think my blogs are for?

In which I yell into a microphone and shake like a leaf.

This is me at the VanSlam on Monday night. I haven’t watched the video and probably won’t. I have issues with watching myself on video and am not in the right headspace to do so today or maybe ever.

But, you know, if you wanted to see me perform “Blood Candle”…there you go.

Now, back to work, from which I am totally letting myself get distracted.

Texas GOP, STAHP. You are not Time Lords. You don’t even have ONE heart.

That joke may be lost on you if you don’t follow Doctor Who, or what happened in Texas on Tuesday the 25th (yesterday/today). I can help you with the second bit! What follows is my Storify compilation of tweets (some by me; most by others) telling the story of Wendy Davis’ heroism and her 13+ hours filibustering a bill that would have severely restricted abortion access in Texas.

Yes, in Texas everything IS bigger — including the Feminist Army (which is basically Dumbledore’s Army) and their enemy, the audacity of the GOP/Voldemort. And it was a mighty battle indeed.

But we (feminists and uterus-bearers) prevailed. Even when the GOP tried to use time travel against us, we prevailed.

(And now, in my head, River Song has become the General of the Feminist Army. This could work.)

http://storify.com/katjevanloon/texas-filibuster-on-sb5-bill-to-reduce-abortion-ac

[View the story “Texas Filibuster on SB5, bill to reduce abortion access” on Storify]So. There you have it. The full story as witnessed by me.

Meanwhile, the media covers baked goods.

Oh, and just in case you’re wondering…

…why this matters to me, as a non-Texan, Canadian genderqueer person?

Two reasons.

1. I have a uterus, so anything that affects reproductive justice, anywhere, matters to me.

2. I HAVE A BRAIN and I can see that Canada likes, of late, following in the footsteps of its southern neighbor. So US politics? Matter very much to Canadians.

3. Ok, I lied, more than 2 reasons: FEMINISM IS NOT LIMITED TO ONE NATION.

Let me repeat that, in the affirmative.

FEMINISM IS GLOBAL.

And frankly, I’m kind of baffled that I have to explain these things at all but then again we just had the Texas Senate debate a woman’s right to speak, let alone make her own decisions over her body, while CNN discussed muffins.

So. There’s that.

-Kat, who feels like zie is taking crazy pills

Canada, your outrage is severely misplaced

Liberal swearing ahead. Moreso than usual.

Recently our esteemed government saw fit to reward Justin Bieber with a Diamond Jubilee Medal. Canada is outraged at this.

The outrage seems to be of two camps: one, that Bieber received such an important medal. The medal is actually a large joke, but hey, Canadians are nothing if not uninformed. Two, what Bieber chose to wear when he met the Prime Minister. It seems many Canadians feel that Bieber should have respected the PM more when he met him.

Dear fellow Canadians, I would like to share two pieces of information with you. Bear with me; they may be revelatory and shocking.

1. Our PM doesn’t deserve any respect, because he’s a fucking asshole, so who the hell cares what the fuck Bieber wore? Shit, if I had to meet the PM I’d probably…ok, I’d probably refuse, because I hate him that much and am not actually sure that I’d be able to contain my hate and not beat him with a rotten salmon, or something, but if I were to meet the PM and couldn’t avoid it, I would not give two shits about my appearance. You’d see me in a bathrobe and curlers. I don’t even own curlers. I’d go and buy them just to show Harper how little respect I have for him.

and

2. If you’re going to be outraged about the “wrong people” receiving the QDJM, THIS IS THE WRONG STORY BY WHICH TO SET YOUR SIGHTS.

I have heard more outrage over Bieber getting a QDJM than over the anti-abortion fucknozzles receiving QDJMs. There are so many things wrong with that, I don’t even know where to fucking begin.

Canada, you are still drunk. Goddammit give me your keys.

Weekly Round-up, November 16th: Bellica, SFFSat, Savita, and mom’s book

The title of this post makes it seem like the “weekly round-up” is an actual thing here at Bacon and Whiskey, but this is probably the first time I’ve ever done it. Also, not sure if it’ll happen again; there are just several short things this week that I want to cover in one post.

~*~

Science-Fiction Fantasy Saturday

If you read my blog at all you know that I try to do this weekly. I hate taking hiatuses from it, but I’m going to have to this week at least, and probably next week as well. Life is just getting so eating-of-my-face-y that I just don’t have the time to go and comment on everyone else’s contributions, which means I don’t feel right contributing myself and soaking up all the delicious comment glory when I can’t give back the same way.

I’m hoping to be back in the saddle by the end of the month. Regardless, you should go to the SFFSat blog and read everyone else’s amazing contributions. I’m going to continue to read this week and next, even if I won’t have time to comment. You should too.

~*~

Savita Halappanavar

You may have heard about this. Savita deserves more than a spot in a weekly round-up, but I only had enough spoons to blog about it once, over at Innocence and Immanence. I still wanted to mention it here.

Savita was denied a pregnancy termination during a miscarriage because “Ireland is a Catholic country”. She died, after three days of suffering.

The one thing I’m going to say about this is that if you’re not pro-choice, you’re an accomplice to murder. Full stop, and no, I don’t apologize for that stance, and I don’t care if it hurts your feelings. Either you’re pro-choice — which means you respect someone’s legal right to choose abortion, no matter their reason, regardless your own personal beliefs — or you’re as culpable in Savita’s murder as is the hospital that denied the procedure, or the government of Ireland that has refused to change the law for two decades.

~*~

Bellica

Yeah, more news about my book. SO BORING I KNOW.

In honor of the one year anniversary of the publication of Bellica’s first edition, I’ve come to a decision. I’m going to start publishing it serially online. Again.

I won’t be doing it via the site I currently have up for Bellica, however. I’ll be doing it via Wattpad.

If this upsets you because you were reading the serial posts of Bellica before I published it and then had to buy a copy from me to read the whole thing…I’m sorry. I’m an asshole.

On the plus side, you get to read more fantastic writing from this asshole for free, because Bellica‘s not the only thing I’ll be publishing via Wattpad. Not only do I plan on putting up both The Jade Star of Athering and Stranger Skies, once they’re finished and edited and such, but I’m also toying with the idea of doing an actual web serial. (As opposed to just publishing full novels serially.) More news on that as it develops.

Regarding Bellica: chapters are going up starting today, November 16th, and will continue to be posted three times a week (Monday/Wednesday/Friday). I’ve divided up the book into three parts, so once I finish putting up all of Heavens, there will probably be a brief hiatus and then I’ll start with Earth.

That’s probably way too much info for a short bit in the weekly round-up, but watch me not give a fuck.

~*~

Speaking of Wattpad, and my mom

My mom Kaimana Wolff is also on Wattpad now, and so is her book of short stories, How to Keep a Human. For free. It’s also available via Smashwords, for free, and I’m currently in the process of arranging a blog tour for her to advertise that fact. You know, if she ever gets some blog posts put together for it. *snaps fingers* Come on, mom! Get on it!

How to Keep a Human is set in the True Woods universe, as is Stranger Skies. How to Keep a Human is excellent, and I say that because I’ve read it a million times and I never get bored.

Also, it’s all true, and I love reading about my mom’s exploits with her best friend Amaruq. My favourite story? When she beats the living hell out of a guy who not only assaults her, but Amaruq too.

Pure unfiltered badassery runs in my veins, in case you were wondering.

Anyway, if you like dog stories — go check out How to Keep a Human. Mom’s busy writing the next book in Amaruq’s series of stories (Must Love Humans), and you can see an excerpt from it over at Lobos Locos, where Amaruq and the rest of the furry Pack members blog about all sorts of things.

~*~

I think that’s it for this post. See you tomorrow, when I swear copiously while ranting. (Because that’s new.)

Canada, you are drunk. Give me your keys.

From the “Oh Gods, Canada, Stop Failing At Everything” files.

The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, or the QDJM, has been given to women who are in jail for injunctions at abortion clinics. These people are anti-choicers, and they get a medal.

From the article (bolding mine):

“Unlike the justice minister, Vellacott was unable to award these medals to the victims of crime, because these baby victims are dead, so instead the award to those ‘heroines of humanity’ Mary Wagner and Linda Gibbons who are trying to protect defenceless, voiceless human beings in the womb from butchery and death, and trying to let vulnerable women know that there are other options and support and adoption possibilities,” Vellacott said in his statement. “It’s what you would expect in a caring compassionate society.”

Vellacott continued, “It’s a pretty upside down world when we honour abortionists like Henry Morgentaler for killing over 5,000 babies and imprison precious women, like Mary Wagner and Linda Gibbons, who try to save babies from such savagery. They are the real heroes of humanity!”

Excuse me while I vomit. Caring and compassion are, apparently, not for the uterus-bearing people who have to deal with the business of getting pregnant. Caring and compassion are reserved for collections of cells living parasitically in our bodies. Or for people who believe we shouldn’t be given a choice.

Of course, the QDJM is largely a joke anyway. The people who get it don’t deserve it, and the people who deserve it are turned down. All in the name of honoring the Queen — well, tell me, Your Majesty, how do you feel about your medal being given to people who don’t believe you should have control over your own body? I think, were I in your position, I’d be pretty mad.

At this point I think the Conservative Party should win Canada’s Worst Driver. Forever. They are driving drunk and running this country into the ground and various trees.

M312 Defeated; Canadian Uterus-Bearers Breathe Sigh of Relief and Release Death-Grip on Pitchforks

Well, I’m sure many did. I personally never release my death-grip on my pitchfork — I am always ready to storm the establishment or run anti-choice assholes through in a manner similar to Vlad the Impaler’s.

Yes, Motion 312 was defeated in Parliament on Wednesday. M312, for you United Statesians who have no idea what I’m talking about, was a motion that wanted to redefine fetuses as people. In layman’s terms, it would have criminalized abortion. It was brought forth by the Conservative Stephen Woodworth. Yay! Yet another old white cis man telling women and genderqueer uterus-bearers what they can do with their bodies! This never gets old.

203 people voted nay on M312 and 91 voted yea — four of them Liberals, and the rest Conservative (we are not surprised there). I’m happy to report that the MP for my riding voted against it, even though he’s Conservative and historically known to be anti-choice. Still, I find it upsetting that almost a hundred of our elected officials think voting for such a motion is acceptable. I find it a disgrace that it was even brought forth in the first place.

Worst of all? Rona Ambrose voted yea on M312.

Rona Ambrose is the Minister of State for the Status of Women.

Continue reading “M312 Defeated; Canadian Uterus-Bearers Breathe Sigh of Relief and Release Death-Grip on Pitchforks”

For Mother’s Day I am Pro Abortion: on demand, no questions asked, no compromises given.

Every part of you belongs to you.

ILU-486, by Amanda Ching

It’s Mother’s Day. And while I’d love to just post a happy one to all the mothers out there, whether to children of their own womb, adopted, fur-babies, or creative projects, and be done with it, I cannot.

For there is a war on parents.

Greek Goddess Demeter
Greek Goddess Demeter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We are all parents. Whether child-free or child-abundant, we all nurture something, we all help something grow. I’m as much a parent to my books as I am to my dog, Tyee, and as much as I will be when my partner and I finally decide to get down to some egg-fertilizing. My mother is not only parent to me, but to her own creative projects, to her garden, to Tyee, to my partner though we’ve not gotten hitched. We are also parents to ourselves, once we leave the nest: setting bedtimes, setting chores, comforting ourselves when we’re down, rewarding good behaviour. We have to be, because such a relationship with friends or partners can be dangerous.

This is a lesson I learned from Demeter when I went to Spring Mysteries. I saw Her in Her shrine, and She told me this. I wanted to know how I could be a better daughter to my mom, and She told me that we are all parents — and to speak to Her daughter.

Something I’ve learned on my own time is that while we are all parents to something, what we are parents to is a choice. And it should be. We should be able to choose who or what we will nurture.

If you choose not to have children so you can instead direct your energy to nurturing your own life, your garden, your cooking skills, your hiking time, your skee ball skills…whatever you choose to nurture, that’s what you’re parenting. And it’s all good. No one should ever have the power to control this choice for you.

If you choose to have children, you get to choose when. This is a human right given to us by the gods Themselves — or the Universe, or Chance, or whatever you ascribe to (let’s not forget the Abrahamic God isn’t even pro-life) — for even before we had doctors giving us birth control, there were herbal options to reduce fertility or produce a miscarriage.

Female demonstrator wearing a hat in Madrid. I...
Female demonstrator wearing a hat in Madrid. It says “Abortion is my freedom, my choice.” She protested against Pope visit to Spain. Español: Chica manifestante con un sombrero en Madrid. Protesta contra la visita del papa a España. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That right has only ever been taken away by people who are convinced the gods (or “God”) is talking to them. Controlling a person’s right to choose to have children or not is a human ill.

Continue reading “For Mother’s Day I am Pro Abortion: on demand, no questions asked, no compromises given.”

Why I’m pro-life.

Fetus at 8 weeks after fertilization 3D Pregna...
This is not a person. Got it?

You’re probably reading this post because you think I’m going to blog about how immoral it is for uterus-bearing people to have any sort of determination over their own lives, because I think that a fetus’ life matters more than a grown person’s.

I’m not. That’s not what pro-life means. That’s what people in the anti-choice movement, who have co-opted the term pro-life, mean when they rant about abortion being “murder” and hold up their signs with the pictures of the dead fetuses in an effort to scare people to their way of thinking.

I’m pro-life because I believe that every person has the right to a healthy life. I believe that having a right to a healthy life includes the right to determine one’s own reproductive health.

This doesn’t just mean that I believe that abortions should be offered free and on demand without apology. I do believe that abortions should be offered free and on demand, without apology. But that’s not all I believe.

The “right to choose” isn’t much of a right if you don’t have the ability. It’s very easy to talk about it as “pro-choice” if you’re middle-class, white, or Canadian (with all the free health care, I mean). But, you know, the legal right to get an abortion isn’t going to stop a 13 year old from stabbing herself in the uterus with a pencil if she doesn’t know abortions are available, or if they indeed, are not available anywhere near her.

I see this argument a lot. “Feminists shouldn’t complain because abortion is a legal right, and that has nothing to do with this 13 year old’s choice to stab herself with a pencil!”

This argument is fucking bullshit.

Fetus in utero, between fifth and sixth months.
Still not a person.

The right to choose doesn’t just stop at the legislation that allows abortion. It includes the amount of abortion clinics in a given area, the coverage of abortion costs by insurance providers, availability of aftercare services for people who have just had an abortion, and availability of information regarding abortion services to people who might not know otherwise (poor people, teenagers, etc). The right to choose includes pre- and post-natal care for mothers* of all income and age brackets, information on the risks of both carrying a child to term and abortion, funding for pregnancy and childcare medical services, daycare, and a comprehensive system for adoption that doesn’t let kids fall through the cracks. The legal right to choose means precisely jack and shit if abortion options and abortion funding are not in place across the board. The legal right to choose means precisely jack and shit if pregnancy and childcare services and funding are not in place across the board.

And they’re not.

Continue reading “Why I’m pro-life.”

I am a terrorist.

September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City: V...
The Twin Towers falling: as bad as abortion. (Image via Wikipedia)

Or I would be, if I had ever had an abortion.

Perhaps that’s not what Matt Emerson meant when he compared a woman’s right to choose to the events of 9/11, 2001, but that’s certainly how it read (and remember kiddies, intent is not magic).

Emerson is talking specifically about abortions that remove one twin, or one or two triplets, and leave one fetus intact. He says that such abortions mean we’re in the future hypothesized in Brave New World, because human life has no value.

Apparently the only human life that should have value is life that hasn’t even been born yet, life that hasn’t taken breath, life that hasn’t experienced what the world is like, life that hasn’t lived. Certainly more value should be applied to a fetus than the living, breathing, thinking woman* carrying that fetus. Obviously she’s as bad as a terrorist if she aborts one fetus out of two because she can’t give the same standard of care to each child. How selfish. Destroying our American values.

Continue reading “I am a terrorist.”