The Prodigal Uterus

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.

Leaked Supreme Court Opinion Shows They Plan to overturn Roe V Wade: So We Will Protest Nationwide

(I rewrote this post to clarify that they are planning on overturning Roe v Wade, not making abortion illegal across the country. This decision would make it legal to make abortion illegal in states where local legislatures would like to do so, effectively making abortion illegal for millions of people.)

The news first broke with Politico, the evening of May 2nd, 2022 and was quickly shared by other news outlets

News of protests spread rapidly too. The Women’s March posted this ^ to their social media at 11pm, May 2nd 2022
The Denver branch of the Party for Socialism and Liberation posted this to their page

We’ve got to show up and protest!

Forced pregnancies and forcing people to procreate affects millions and devastates the planet. Extreme conservative politicians and Supreme Court members like this with uninformed opinions who don’t even represent the people, should not be allowed to serve our country and effect millions of people.

Sister Song shared the immediate impact this would have

Biden needs to sign an executive order codifying Roe V Wade into national and untouchable law. Or, just like Bernie mentioned in his post, democrats must act fast to pass legislation codifying Roe v Wade into law now! They must fight with everything they’ve got! And we must hold them accountable to do so!

Earth Day and the Climate Crisis are not a “Cute” Thing

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.

Instagram’s Earth Day Image 2022

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.

Singlehood is Nice

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.