Hate abortions? Then why are you doing everything so bassackwards and wrong?

Conservatives have whined that comparing Republican Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” remarks to the GOP’s party platform as a whole is “intellectually vacant”. How intellectually vacant is it when the current Vice Presidential candidate, Paul Ryan, authored ignorant rape-related bills with Akin, and when the GOP party platform echoes exactly what Akin said? Have these disgruntled conservatives failed, somehow, to notice that Republicans have at least several dozen ignorant politicians and pundits constantly spouting ignorant non-scientific fairy tales about biology and rape in addition to Akin? So. You explain that to me, because I don’t know how someone can claim it is “intellectually vacant” to make the connection when the connection is right fucking there.

Let’s be clear. This “rape” business is just the right’s way to pretend they are making policy to overturn Roe v. Wade based on secular arguments and not extremist far-right evangelical beliefs. Because not everyone believes that a clump of cells is a person, and because they can’t argue that it has “a soul” and be taken seriously outside their evangelical hug-boxes, they are determined to grant it “personhood”, thereby making miscarriages murder and some forms of contraception illegal. (‘Fun’ fact: Paul Ryan’s stance is so extreme, it would outlaw in-vitro fertilization. Irony alert: Some of Mitt Romney’s grandchildren were conceived thanks to IVF.) They cling to junk science not, I suspect, because most of them actually believe it (though some undoubtedly do), but because it allows them to pretend they are not trying to legislate religion-based morality. They want to re-frame the discussion to distract us all from the fact that they are making a 100% legal procedure more difficult to access. They want to force women to be incubators, because they value clumps of cells, zygotes and fetuses far more than the women who will incubating them. They don’t give a shit about women at all, ever, and only care about clumps of cells, zygotes and fetuses until they are born, at which point they don’t give a shit anymore. It is about control, and establishing their religious beliefs as law that everyone else will then be forced to abide by. It completely ignores the Separation of Church and State and they don’t care, because it is THEIR flavor of Tealibangelical Shari’a Law, so it is OK.

Let’s get real about something else. If you overturn Roe v. Wade, here’s some of what will happen:

1. Abortions won’t magically go away. Instead, you have more illegal abortions. Roe didn’t make abortions suddenly pop into existence, women were getting them long before the early 1970s. Women frequently died or were rendered sterile from illegal abortions. Make abortion illegal again, and women will be dying or suffering preventable injuries and sterility again.

2. If abortions are made illegal, then who will go to jail? We have nutters willing to murder doctors already, so I am guessing that doctors will go to jail. Medical professionals are already terrorized by radical anti-choice activists and worried that they may be the next Dr. George Tiller, who was murdered simply for providing a legal and patient-requested medical procedure. And, guess what, if miscarriages are illegal, then women will be going to jail, too. Yes, even women who may have dearly wanted that child. Fabulous.

3. People who are completely ignorant about how contraception works are going to be legislating birth control. Rush Limbaugh doesn’t understand birth control pills, for instance, thinking you somehow take “more” if you are more sexually active (much like Viagra). That is not how it works. Further, contraception literally means it is “against conceiving”. You aren’t “aborting” anything; you are preventing conception from occurring at all. Sperm and egg never even say “howdy”.

4. Dead babies. You do know we already have panicked mothers disposing of infants they can’t or won’t care for, right? Then there are poor mothers who can barely financially support themselves who won’t be able to feed or get appropriate medical care for their babies, and those babies will suffer for it, some of them dying of starvation or preventable diseases and illnesses. Wouldn’t it be preferable that every child be a wanted and cherished child?

Question: why would you think someone is responsible enough and suitable for parenthood if you can’t trust them to make their own personal reproductive and/or healthcare decisions? If you think adoption is the solution, then you are demonstrating that you know NOTHING about how adoption works, and I don’t see swarms of anti-choice people lining up to adopt a non-white, non-infant, non-“cute” American child who may come with some emotional, mental, or medical problems. Most adopted children are fantastic, I know some personally, BUT there are far fewer suitable parents who are willing to adopt and who are also actually capable and available to care for these parentless children than you fantasize there are.

It is past time for this shit to be shut down. If you do not want an abortion, do not get one.  Deal with your own personal unwanted pregnancy in whatever way you see fit. You do not have the right to dictate what medical decisions other human beings make. It is none of your business whatsoever. It doesn’t matter what “kind” of rape it was, either. Rape is rape, and it is not up to you to determine if you think that it is OK or not OK to abort an unwanted pregnancy.

Here is how to work to reduce abortions, if they offend you:

1. Sex ed. Comprehensive, clear, detailed, thorough, ACCURATE and science-based sex ed that explains How Babby Is Formed and How Gril Get Pragnat. But seriously, abstinence doesn’t work, and some evangelicals are even starting to clue into this. Teach more than “don’t do it”. Teach about STDs, and contraception, and the whole shebang. Educate people. Debunk stupidity like “falling down stairs causes miscarriages” or “Coca-cola mixed with aspirin makes an abortion-inducing or contraceptive douche” or “Pulling out is 100% safe” or “vaginas are sentient rape-sperm-destroying creatures which prevent rape victims from getting pregnant”. Allow kids to ask questions about the human body and sexuality and menstruation and conception and contraception or whatever and let them do it 100% anonymously, and then answer every single question you receive, no matter how silly you think those questions might be, because if they are asking, then they do not know the answer. Abolish ignorance about sexuality and basic human biology.

2. Realize that the human sex drive can’t be prayed or scolded away, and offer contraception options. Lots of them. With clear instructions on how to use them. Stop trying to defund groups who offer contraception. Learn how contraception WORKS so you don’t say something mentally deficient and stupid such as implying that more sexual activity requires more birth control pills. Learn that no method is 100% fool-proof except sterilization or, yes, abstinence. That is an appropriate time to mention that no sex = no pregnancy. But it can’t be the only option. You are allowed to preach whatever moral “dos and don’ts” you like, but not in public schools that are funded with taxpayer money, nor are you allowed to prohibit other people who do not share your faith from teaching factual information.

3. Expose Rape Culture and break it down. Teach young men not to rape. Stop interrogating rape victims as if they are the criminals. Jail some rapist sons of bitches until they are old and gray. STFU about “forcible” or “legitimate” or “real” rape. Rape is rape. You can be raped no matter what your sex or age or race or piety or modesty or behavior or location or time of day or how you are dressed or what you do or do not drink and so on. Rape is rape. You don’t ask someone who has been mugged what they were wearing or how they were behaving or if they were drinking, or imply that they were “asking for it” or “deserved it,” and rape is a far worse crime than simply having some asshole steal your wallet. And if someone CHOOSES to bear a child conceived during a rape, fine, but if she does not, it is none of your fucking business why she has made that decision and you don’t get to waste time arguing over the definition of her rape, and whether you think it is “forcible” or “legitimate” or “real” or what the fuck ever, all of which is just a sneaky way to delay until it is too late for her to legally abort anyway. We are onto you assholes, and you aren’t going to get your way on this.

4. Strengthen social safety nets. Funny how the most vociferous anti-choice people are also against any and all types of welfare and aid. Here’s a free clue: If someone can’t afford to clothe, feed, house, offer medical care to, school and care for a child, she may choose to abort that clump of cells. If, on the other hand, the woman wants a child and thinks she might be able to afford to care properly for it, she is more likely to have it. It is that simple. So get cracking on creating jobs, making it easier for low-income families to acquire shelter, make it easier for people to get decent health care (including dental, and vision, and preventive), make it easier for people to afford medications, make it easier for low-income families to get food assistance, improve public transportation so poorer people can access a wider variety of job opportunities, improve public schools (including sex ed classes that don’t suck), support libraries and museums and the arts to supplement public school educations, and don’t pretend that churches are going to fill in the gaps when society as a whole won’t, or that everyone is religious.

You know what happens when people know how their sex organs work, and how to prevent pregnancy, and that rape will be prosecuted vigorously and strictly with fucking JAIL TIME and naming and shaming of the rapist(s), and when people feel they can afford to have more kids? The number of abortions go way, way down. It is like magic how that works.

You know what happens when you preach abstinence-only by saying “just don’t do it,” and keep contraceptives hard to get, and quibble over definitions of rape and publicize victims’ names and situations, inviting everyone to judge what the victim did to “deserve” being raped, all while insisting that rapists deserve privacy protections, and make being poor as close to a death sentence as possible? People abort more often, either because they didn’t know how pregnancy happens and/or couldn’t help prevent contraception, or there are more rape victims and more of those victims getting pregnant and not wanting to be forced to care for their rapist’s child forever and ever, or you get a lot of impoverished people who can NOT afford to have a(nother) child, even if they might really want one. You wind up with more women getting abortions. DO THE MATH.

I don’t know how to dumb it down more than that.

If you’re so all-fired concerned about fetuses, then you need to get to work promoting things that will actually result in fewer unwanted fetuses. Trying to force pregnant women to deal with unnecessary waiting periods, shutting down as many abortion-providing clinics as you can, forcing women to endure guilt-and-shame-inducing “counseling” (typically from religious types), mandating unnecessary additional ultrasound procedures with vaginal probes and forcing women to view ultrasound images of their cellular or fetal blobs? That is not the right way to decrease abortions, and you fucking know it.

But we suspect–nay, we KNOW–that you’re really into imposing your Christian beliefs and morality on strangers and being punitive if they don’t comply. You’re really into controlling women and making decisions for them, and punishing sexual activity, while reserving the right to be smug and nasty about the poor. At least be honest about it. It’s not about fetuses. It’s about having your personal religious beliefs made into law in order to control other people.

And that is wrong.

 

Want more links? An updated version of this article has been posted at Addicting Info.

Grammar Cats Offer Assistance to the Grammatically Oppressed and Confused

Irritable Grammar Cat challenges the premise that all cats are incapable of using proper grammar. (Even LOLchat a.k.a. Catois has its own grammatical rules based on CORRECT English grammar. You have to know the rules to break them properly for the LULZ.)

GRAMMA–Your mother or father’s maternal parent
GRAMMAR–Proper use of your native language
GRAMMER–Kelsey Grammer was an actor on “Cheers” and “Frasier”.

YOUR–Possessive. Something you own. “Is that your book?”
YOURS–Note that this does not have an apostrophe. “No, that book is yours.”
YOU’RE–Contraction. Shortened form of YOU ARE. “You’re not into grammar?”
YORE–Time long past. “Back in the days of yore, King Arthur spoke with pond-dwelling watery tarts.”

LOSER–Not a winner.
LOOSER–Less tight than before.
LUSER–Internet slang for someone who cannot properly use a computer.
LOSE–“Lose” is pronounced “looze.” It means “to misplace,” as in “I always lose my car keys,” or “to be defeated,” as in “We will lose the game without Bob.”
LOOSE–“Loose” means “not tight” (“This shirt is too loose on me”), or “not confined” (“The ferret got loose when the door on his kennel broke”).

BARE: Naked. “Please bare with me, we need more naked people for our streaking prank.”
BEAR: Either a large, carnivorous furry mammal known to defecate in woods (if a noun) or a verb with a similar meaning as “endure.” “I don’t know how much longer I can bear this bear gnawing my face off.”

Apostrophe Cat is never used to make plural Apostrophe Cats. Apostrophe Cat also deplores the use of “greengrocer’s quotes” for emphasis.

ITS–Possessive. “The tree shed its leaves.”
IT’S–Contraction. Shortened form of IT IS. “It’s a shame about Ray.”

See, the word “it” is not a noun. It’s a pronoun! Pronouns never, ever, ever get an apostrophe to indicate possession. Think about it: You don’t say “mi’ne” or “hi’s”, so you DO NOT say “your’s” or “it’s” or “her’s” to indicate possession. If you get confused, take out the apostrophe in “it’s” and put in the letter or letters the apostrophe is replacing, e.g., “it is.” If the sentence makes no sense, don’t use the apostrophe.

THERE–Location. “It’s not here, it’s there.”
THEY’RE–Contraction. Shortened form of THEY ARE. “They’re driving me crazy with the bad grammar.”
THEIR–Possessive. “Their inability to use simple words properly is annoying.”

DIABEETUS Grammar Cat points out that your snarky comment is not nearly as clever if it is ungrammatical.

When to use LESS: When you can’t precisely count the amount. “He has less courage than she does.”
When to use FEWER: When you can. It should be “10 items or FEWER” at your grocery store. “She has fewer demerits than I do.”

When to use “I” or “Me”:
* If the sentence makes sense when you omit everyone else, e.g., “Bob and I enjoy reading books”, then you use “I”. If the sentence still makes sense after removing “Bob and”, then you did it right. “Me enjoy reading books” is only right if you are Cookie Monster.
* If the sentence makes sense when you omit everyone else, e.g., “Susan gave books to Bob and me,” then you use “me.” If the sentence still makes sense after removing “Bob and”, then you did
it right. “Susan gave books to I” is incorrect.

When to use “We” or “Us”:
* If the sentence makes sense when you omit the noun following the “we”, e.g., “We teachers enjoy reading books” vs. “We enjoy reading books”, then you use “we”. The sentence still makes sense after removing “teachers”, so you did it right. “Us enjoy reading books” is incorrect.
* If the sentence makes sense when you omit everyone else, e.g., “Susan gave books to the teachers and us,” then you use “us.” If the sentence still makes sense after removing “the teachers and”, then you did it right. “Susan gave books to we” is incorrect.

THEN: Then is used either as a time marker (“Back then we knew what was expected of us.”) or with a sequence of events (“If you misuse these words, then you look unintelligent.”)
THAN: Unlike then, than is not related to time. Than is used in comparative statements. “He is taller than I am.”

AFFECT: Affect with an a means “to influence,” as in, “The rain affected Amy’s hairdo.” Affect can also mean, roughly, “to act in a way that you don’t feel,” as in, “She affected an air of superiority.”
EFFECT: Effect with an e has a lot of subtle meanings as a noun, but to me the meaning “a result” seems to be at the core of all the definitions. For example, you can say, “The effect was eye-popping,” or “The sound effects were amazing,” or “The rain had no effect on Amy’s hairdo.”

Generally speaking, affect is a verb and effect is a noun. When you affect something, you produce an effect on it. Even in the passive voice, something would be affected, not effected. (The exceptions to the rule: As a verb, effect means to execute, produce, or accomplish something; as a noun, affect is used primarily by psychologists to refer to feelings and desires as factors in thought or conduct.)

ACCEPT: Accept is a verb meaning to receive.
EXCEPT: Except is usually a preposition meaning excluding. “I will accept all the packages except that one.” Except is also a verb meaning to exclude. “Please except that item from the list.”

ALLUSION: An Allusion is an indirect reference. “Did you catch my allusion to Shakespeare?”
ILLUSION: An illusion is a misconception or false impression. “Mirrors give the room an illusion of depth.”

On the Internet, no one knows you’re a cat…especially if you are a Grammar Cat.

WHOM: Use whom when you are referring to the object of a sentence. For example, it is “Whom did you step on?” if you are trying to figure out that I had squished Squiggly the caterpillar. Similarly, it would be “Whom do I love?” because you are asking about the object — the target of my love. I know, it’s shocking, but the Rolling Stones were being grammatically incorrect when they belted out the song “Who Do You Love?”
THE WHO: A great band.
WHO: Two correct sentences are “Who loves you?” and “Who stepped on the caterpillar?” In both these cases the one you are asking about is the subject — the one taking action, not the one being acted upon.

More on WHO vs. WHOM: My friend Regina has an even easier PROTIP. “If you can use him/her, use whom. If you can use he/she, use who. IOW, reconfigure the sentence into a statement. “Whom did you step on?” becomes “I stepped on him,” NOT “I stepped on he.” So, whom is correct in the sentence. (This is how I remember it! I know you said the same thing, but the grammar-challenged may not understand tricky phrases like “subject” and “object” in regard to sentence structure.)”

FARTHER: Use “farther” for physical distance. It’s easy to remember because “farther” has the word “far” in it, and“far” obviously relates to physical distance.
FATHER: Dear old Dad.
FURTHER: Use “further” for metaphorical, or figurative, distance.
FURTHERMORE: Use “furthermore” when you mean “in addition.”

TO: To is a preposition. “I am going to work.”
TOO: Too is an adverb. Try substituting “also” and see if it still makes sense. “She is going to work, too.”
TWO: Two is a number. “Two of us are going to work today.”

BREAK: You use this when you take a break at work or when you break something.
BRAKE: The pedal in your car that makes the car stop.

PEAK: A peak is a summit.
PEEK: A peek is a glimpse.
PIQUE: This s a French word meaning “prick,” in the sense of “stimulate.” Therefore the expression is “my curiosity was piqued.” If someone reacts badly because their pride is hurt, this is a “fit of pique”.

VILA: Bob Vila will help you with your home repairs.
VILLA: A fancy home.
VIOLA: Tiny violin-like instrument.
VOILA: French for “Here it is!” This is probably the word you want.
WA LA or WAH LAH: Just…no. No. WRONG. Stop that.
WALLA: A Hindi word used in UK slang as a suffix to mean “takes care of”: i.e., a dishwalla is a person who washes the dishes.
WALLA WALLA: A town in the state of Washington.

THE REASON WHY: Just flat wrong, It does NOT mean “That is why.” Redundant.
HENCE WHY: Just flat WRONG. It does NOT mean “That is why.” Redundant.
HENSE: Graffiti artist based in Atlanta.
HENCE: Hence is used in a couple of ways. First, it can mean away from this place or away from this time: “Get thee hence,” or “We’ll meet again two weeks hence.” It can also mean “therefore” or “as a result”. So you could say “It was raining, which is why I got wet,” OR “It was raining; hence, I got wet.”

Grammar Nazi Cat has been forced to retaliate by taking an authoritarian stance after years of frustration spawned by scores of Internet users’ illiteracy.

MORE PROTIPS:

Confused about LAY vs. LIE? Lie is an intransitive verb meaning “to recline or rest on a surface”. Its principal parts are “lie, lay, lain”. Lay is a transitive verb meaning “to put or place”. Its principal parts are “lay, laid”. Hint: “Chickens lay eggs”. “I lie down when I am tired.” Still confused? You need advanced help: http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/lay-versus-lie.aspx

SET, SIT: “Set” is a transitive verb meaning “to put or to place”. Its principal parts are “set, set, set”. “Sit” is an intransitive verb meaning “to be seated”. Its principal parts are “sit, sat, sat”. “She set the dough in a warm corner of the kitchen.” “The cat sat in the warmest part of the room.”

WHO, WHICH, THAT: Do not use “which” to refer to persons. Use “who” instead. “That”, though generally used to refer to things, may be used to refer to a group or class of people. “I just saw a boy who was wearing a yellow banana costume.” “I have to go to math next, which is my hardest class.” “Where is the book that I was reading?”

WHO’s: Means “who is.”
WHOSE: Possessive. “Whose shoes are these?” means “To whom do these shoes belong?” or “Who owns these shoes?”

SEGUE: It is pronounced “seg-way.”

COULD HAVE / COULD’VE: Not “could of.” “Could’ve” is risky, use it carefully.
SHOULD HAVE / SHOULD’VE: Not “should of.” “Should’ve” is risky, use it carefully.
WOULD HAVE / WOULD’VE: Not “would of.” “Would’ve” is risky, use it carefully.

SUPPOSED TO: Do not omit the “d”. “Suppose to” is incorrect.
USED TO: Same as above. Do not write “use to”.

IN REGARD TO / WITH REGARD TO: Please note that there is no “s” in “regard”.
REGARDS: A nice way to sign off a letter. (Please observe that the “T” is close to the “G” on your keyboard: proofread before you send your note.)

TOWARD: There is no “s” at the end of the word.
ANYWAY: Also has no ending “s”. “Anyways” is nonstandard.

COULDN’T CARE LESS: Be sure to make it negative. (Not “I could care less”.)

ALL WALKS OF LIFE: Not “woks of life”. This phrase does not apply to Asian cuisine.

ORIENTAL: Refers to things from Asia, like rugs, not people.
ASIAN: People from Asia.

CHEST OF DRAWERS: Not “chester drawers”.

PEDESTAL: Not “petal stool” or “pedal stool”.
PEDAL: The little doohickeys you press with your feet in your car.
PETAL: Part of a flower.

LADDER: A thing you climb. It has rungs.
LATTER: When referring to two things, one is the former (or first), and one is the latter (or last).

SHUTTER: A hinged wooden window covering.
SHUDDER: To briefly shake oneself violently. “I shudder to think.”

FAUX PAS: Means “false step,” and you make a faux pas when you spell it incorrectly. Just sayin’.

FOR ALL INTENTS AND PURPOSES: Not “intensive purposes”.

PER SE: It is not “per say.” (Don’t use “per se” if you can’t define or spell it properly.)

Hope this helps.

High Five Grammar Cat offers congratulations.