This is ground breaking! SJ Howell will now represent District 95 and Zooey Zephr will represent District 100 in Montana! I met SJ Howell a handful of times when I lived in Montana. SJ Howell has done amazing work: They’ve worked on a successful campaign expanding Medicaid and worked on increasing civic engagement for low income women. They always were badass and so kind. It means a lot to have someone like that elected to represent the people.
And Zooey Zephr: I can’t wait to see what she does!
Tomorrow is a VERY important midterm. It’s Roevember. And people are on ballots across the country who are election deniers. This midterm is crucial to democracy. Vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote vote
We need to win these elections to try to protect abortion access. Speak up! Have your voice heard! Fight to have your state retain the right to an abortion! It’s not just for you or me, but all people across the country.
My home state of New Mexico has been on fire. Evacuations took place. Some of the fires are getting contained but this should remind us how hard we need to fight the climate crisis.
Fires of this tremendous magnitude will become more and more common as the climate crisis rages on.
We’ve got to wake up to this reality and start fighting the climate crisis like our lives depend on it. And indeed they do.
One step I am working on to reduce my own carbon footprint is to divest from Wells Fargo bank. I’m planning on taking my money out of Wells Fargo because they continue to fund fossil fuel projects. I plan to instead put my money into a credit union that funds our community. I’ve opened up an account at one, now I just need to move my money into it. It’s a work in progress.
As mentioned in an article titled “The long-shot campaign to get big banks out of fossil fuels” by Vox written in April of 2022, “Big banks are indeed continuing to fund fossil fuel expansion: Last year alone, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, and Bank of America spent a combined $137 billion on fossil fuel projects, according to a report from a coalition of environmental advocacy groups..”
We need to put pressure on companies such as big banks to stop investing in fossil fuels and instead invest in wind and solar energy.
I’m also looking into how to make my energy come strictly from solar and wind resources. I’m a renter, so I can’t put solar panels on my roof. But I get energy from Xcel, and they appear to have an opt-in program where you can request energy from just solar and wind. I’m looking into this, as this is also a work in progress…
These, of course are small steps. What we truly need is a Green New Deal, to immediately get off fossil fuels and demand corporations pay for the damage they’ve done and change their ways.
Another important aspect of reducing the climate crisis, and one that is not talked about a lot, but which is one of the most important aspects, is allowing people to control their own bodies. Comprehensive sex education and access to contraception is vital to a healthy planet. And when accidents happen and pregnancy somehow happens, it is important to allow people the right to choose whether or not to carry that pregnancy to term. Overpopulation is arguably the largest component fueling the climate crisis. If forced birthers get their way, abortion will become illegal in many states. Forcing people to carry pregnancies to term and to procreate, when they don’t want to, fuels overpopulation. If people want to bring life into the world, that is beautiful and that is their human right. But if they choose not to do so, that is also valid and also their human right. It is important to allow people to make the choice to avoid creating life if they want to, which in turn helps reduce the amount of people on the planet consuming fossil fuels and environmental resources. Forcing more people onto the planet through women and men who don’t want to be parents is morally wrong.
All in all, I do believe we have the power to sustain a healthy planet and to curb the crisis. But time is running out. We have to fight and push corporations and politicians to do the right thing. Or else fires, hurricanes, and other man-made natural disasters will continue to decimate our people, our wildlife and our planet. We are already on track to making the planet uninhabitable: We must fight hard to make sure we do what we can.
When I was a teacher in a new classroom, I remember one day I was moving things out of the cupboards in my room. I came across a bucket and some cat litter and thought that was strange until a coworker of mine asked if I’d found the cat litter yet, to which I replied, “Yes, what’s it doing there?” She said, “It’s in case there’s a mass shooter and kids are locked in your classroom so long they need to use the bathroom in the corner.”
I remember the feeling that day and the understanding that I as a teacher had an enormous responsibility, much more than teachers in other countries do, because they don’t have mass shootings like we do. I understood from day 1 that I would potentially have to risk my life for my students. And that was just a given. Reports say that police officers didn’t enter the school for a full hour after a shooter entered the school in Uvalde, supposedly because “they could get shot.” But teachers risked their lives to save the students
Mass shootings at schools are now so common, this is what it’s come to: We’ve taken the steps enough to supply classrooms with cat litter, but we haven’t been able to enact adequate gun laws to prevent these things from happening in the first place. And it’s thanks to the NRA and Republican law makers. It makes me sick.
Dr. Jackson Katz, anti-sexist educator and author, has been speaking on the issue of gun violence for years and points out an important piece about mass shooters. “How are we defining manhood in such a way, that so many boys and men feel like they need to use violence to either gain power and control, to establish themselves in a status hierarchy, [or] to redeem their manhood, something that has been taken from them…”
In this video clip, he discusses how gender plays a role in young men acting out by committing mass shootings
Our men deserve better and our society deserves better.
Dr. Caroline Heldman poses the question: How do we prevent mass shootings from happening?
Katz’s response is two fold: Number 1: We create gender equity. Number 2: We enact important gun control legislation. To see the full interview go to YouTube and search Jackson Katz Caroline Heldman or go to Missrepresentation’s Instagram page.
Here is a list of legislators who are accepting money from the National Rifle Association. They are the ones we need to vote out of office.
Marco Rubio, Mitt Romney, Roy Blunt, Todd C Young, Thom Tillis, Jon Ernst, Tom Cotton, Bill Cassidy, Rob Portman and Richard Burr. (Source: The Brady Campaign.)
With the amount of misinformation that is spread about the female body and with forced birthers in the Supreme Court gearing up to get rid of Roe v Wade, I’d like to share some excerpts from the book “Woman: An Intimate Geography.” By Natalie Angier the Pulitzer Prize winning writer and science journalist.
For centuries, the female body has been (often intentionally) clouded in mystery. Hippocrates’ fundamental mistakes in understanding of the female body dictated scientific and medical (mis)understanding of it for years and years. But now, much more is understood. Just for the sake of it, let’s delve into some fun facts and explorations of the female body’s unique internal features, particularly the uterus.
The non-pregnant uterus is about the size of a child’s fist. The ovaries are the size of a strawberry. The clitoris is a complex network, and is like an iceberg in the sense that there is much more below the surface than you can see. (The full anatomy of the clitoris was only “discovered” in 1998.)
In her chapter titled “the Prodigal Uterus” Angier writes, “The war of the womb continues to this day. One of our most bellicose and indefatigable of issues, the abortion debate, distilled to a question of who owns the uterus, woman or fetus (or fetal proxy such as the church or state.)”
“The womb does not define a woman, philosophically, biologically, or even etymologically. A woman does not need to be born with a uterus to be a woman, nor does she have to keep her uterus to remain a woman. We don’t want to fall into the trap of womb-worship, or hope that men suffer from womb envy…Having said all of that, I argue that the uterus was and is a magnificent invention, a revolution in physiology…”
“More recently, the uterus has emerged as a maker as well as a taker. Yes, it responds to steroid hormones from ovaries and other organs, but it also expresses hormones and releases them into the global marketplace of the body. It makes proteins, sugars, and fats… the uterus also fabricates drugs that in other contexts would be illegal. It synthesizes and secretes beta-endorphins and dynorphins, two of the body’s natural opiates and chemical cousins to morphine and heroin.”
“[The uterus] makes anandamide, a molecule almost identical to the active ingredients in marijuana. Until recently, these compounds were thought to be exclusive property of the central nervous system- the brain and spinal cord…The uterus produces at least as much opiate material as neural tissue does, and makes ten times more of the cannabis equivalent than any other organ of the body does.”
In other words, the uterus secretes feel good chemicals and hormones, just like the brain does. How amazing is that?
I haven’t entirely decided what my purpose or my argument in this blog post is other than to exemplify the incredible nature of the female body and to state unequivocally that woman/person with the womb, owns the womb. There is still so much that is unknown about the female body, but at its very simplistic form, woman/ person with the womb, owns the womb. The uterus serves a purpose beyond growing life. It secretes chemicals that are necessary to the well-being of the woman/person with it. We own our wombs. We own our reproduction AND our decision to avoid it. It is a nature-given gift and burden. Let it continue to be our decision to make.
One thing I hate about the way Earth Day is framed is as though it’s a childish issue. Like, it’s “cute” to care about the planet. Have you noticed this? Little heart shaped cartoon earths smiling. (Instagram’s Earth Day image 2022.) Or in the video Vice President Kamala Harris posted with cutesy music in the background talking to kids about not throwing trash on the ground. This isn’t a new thing: Anecdotally, it appears it’s been framed as a childish thing for a long time and it takes away from the severity of the issue.
Our world is burning. We need systemic change and we need corporations, the fossil fuel industry and billionaires to pay up for the damage they’ve caused. We need politicians to actually create real change. The things VP Harris mentions in her caption from her video are something, (electrify school buses, remove lead pipes and improve air quality) but it’s not enough. It’s more lip service than anything.
Politicians need to implement emergency, long lasting POLICY. We need to phase out the fossil fuel industry completely as fast as possible and replace it with renewable energy sources.
We the people need to get angry. We need to fight for a livable planet. Now. We need to support scientists and activists like Peter Kalmus, who went viral recently (on Instagram he goes by climate human.) We need to demand passage of the Green New Deal and we need to protest in the streets.
As I say this, hot wind is raging around my apartment at 7:45pm and fires are raging near my hometown. There is literally no time to waste. The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a report saying it’s now or never if we are going to stave off disaster. The UN states we are “firmly on track toward an unlivable world.” This isn’t a joke and it certainly isn’t a cute issue. But by all means, bring on the cute heart shaped earths and let just buy more t-shirts that say earthy things.
Its already too late. But we still must take action now. Because it’s a question of not if, but how fast and just how bad we’ll allow it to get.
If you know of protests going on around where you live, message me.
I am happy being single. Read that sentence again. There is often a stereotype and assumption that people, especially women, who are single are automatically unhappy. So as we approach Valentines Day, here’s your friendly reminder that not all single people are sad.
Singlehood is nice. For me, it’s been a literal privilege to have had this time alone. I have found my authentic self. Some people can do that while having a partner, but I have needed, and enjoyed, my time being just mine. It doesn’t mean I don’t look forward to finding a special someone again, (I do) but I am quite happy being solo too, and have been for quite some time. I’m proud to be alone.
Paired-up people have certain things easier in our society. Therefore things are harder when you’re single. And people put more pressure on women for being single than they do on men. But doing it all on your own, whether you’re a guy or a gal, is badass. You overcome additional obstacles than paired-up people do, and you’re stronger for it. I would argue, it helps you develop you’re stronger sense of self.
There’s nothing wrong with being in a pair-that’s a beautiful thing too. And of course paired-ups have problems too. I’m just saying it’s good to acknowledge that being single is awesome.
Some people are so SCARED to be alone. That’s partly why people have a negative stigma or stereotype of singlehood-because they assume they would be so sad and unhappy if THEY were in a single persons shoes. (Those of you reading this not believing that someone can be happy while single most likely fall into that category.) I understand. But also, don’t freak out. Being single means you don’t have to constantly acquiesce to someone else’s needs. You can take care of yourself! Singlehood connects you to who you are, as you are, by yourself. There is so much power and beauty in that.
I say-Enjoy being single. You might never have the chance again and it is a privilege to be able to find yourself, by yourself.