“Are My Cramps God’s Way of Punishing Me For Not Procreating?” and Other Questions for Mike Pence

I originally wrote this last year before the election, but never published it. I thought it might still be relevant now. 

“I am a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican,” Mike Pence announced last July at the RNC. Funny — at the time, I thought he was also the de facto OBGYN for every single woman in Indiana. Maybe he was just trying to not brag about his qualifications? Maybe he was hoping we’d forget?

And forget we did. In all the talk about Trump, Sessions, Flynn, Spicer, and the rest of the merry band of idiots in the administration, it seems Forgettable Pence remains, well, forgettable.

Mike Pence has been a bane of my existence ever since he signed HB 1337, which would have made Indiana home to the most restrictive abortion laws on the books if a judge hadn’t struck it down. When Trump picked Pence for his running mate, I was not one of the many asking “Who is Mike Pence?” And as people have called for the impeachment of Trump, I have been the one saying, “but only if it’s a two for one!” But that doesn’t mean I don’t have plenty of questions for Mike Pence. Because oh Lord, do I ever.

Continue reading “Are My Cramps God’s Way of Punishing Me For Not Procreating?” and Other Questions for Mike Pence

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A Collection of My Favorite Reactions to the Removal of Confederate Monuments

They took down all the Confederate statues in Baltimore, and according to some people, it’s like they’ve totally re-written history! Without being able to see monuments to the Confederacy, I’ve already started to forget what the Civil War was…and it’s only been 10 hours! A true Soros funded conspiracy.

Anyway. Let’s dive in. .

LOL is this account really just Stephen Miller??

Ah, yes. It’s like how we will never forget the Holocaust because of all the statues of Hitler in Germany, or how we’ll never forget 9/11 since they erected a giant Bin Laden statue over the Pentagon.

I’m so confused. Does removing the statues cause everyone to forget history or not??

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Bonnie. Seriously. What the fuck are you saying? Are you angry that us libtards did not, as kindergartners, demand the removal of these statues? Or are you saying that when you learned about slavery as a child, you thought it was okay? I think marching around in the dead of night (or anytime!) chanting “Jews will not replace us” is rude and disrespectful to our nation. Also, this comment was posted on an article about Baltimore removing their monuments — so is that last line a threat to the mayor?? Tsk, tsk.

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Y’all, I swear I made that Soros joke before I found Rhonda. Honestly, I’m writing this in real time as I find unhinged comments. Do you guys think Rhonda would be willing to relocate to Charleston, South Carolina? She could date the guy who threatened to kill me!

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TARE IT DOWN!

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Augustine, my man. I will personally pay for your transportation for you to come to MLK in DC and start ripping down the street signs — especially if you can get Malcolm X Blvd, too. You’re gonna fucking love Barry Farm, and I’m sure everyone living there will love you too — promise.

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“I have already stopped going to Baltimore, but now that these statues are gone, I will no longer be going to Baltimore.” Karol, I think the black people are why you stopped going to Baltimore years ago.

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This one is a real wild ride, but it does explain the mindset. See, unless you’re there, then you can’t know what happened! Having statues makes you feel like you are there! So that is how we can learn history. Obviously.

Ugh, right? How can you remove our heritage of racism?! Unbelievable.

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I wish like hell Obama was really running our government.

You Love Your Curvy Wife? Well, I Love My Small Dick Husband

I love this man and his small penis. As a young woman, I was often mocked by my friends for my attraction to guys who weren’t well endowed, ones who bought big lifted trucks and worked out all the time. Ones the average (basic) bitch might refer to as “overcompensating.” Then, as I became a woman and started to educate myself in biology and how the media marginalizes small penis men by portraying a very narrow and specific view of penis standards (thick, tall, straight), I realized how many women have bought into that lie. For me there is nothing sexier than my man: small dick, big truck, and occasional steroid user. His shape won’t be featured on YouPorn (or maybe it will!), but it’s the one featured in my life. There’s nothing sexier to me than a man who knows his shortcoming. This sexy man I married doesn’t really fill every inch of his jeans, but he does fill every inch of my heart. Women, rethink what society has told you that you should desire. A real man is not a porn star! Boys, don’t think you have to fully fill a certain mold to be desired or loved. There is a woman out there who will love you for who you are, exactly as I love my man; a man who is okay with me backhandedly complimenting him on the internet.

Stephen Miller is Your Smug, Gaslighting Tinder Date

Stephen Miller’s exchange with Jim Acosta on Wednesday was horrific, yet familiar.

Women know Stephen Miller. Stephen Miller is that asshole you meet on Tinder, who wants to send you a message so he can let you know your pictures from the Women’s March are really sexist against men. The kind of guy who says, “WELL ACTUALLY,” or, “let me play devil’s advocate here,” before blatantly insulting you and your intelligence. The one who says your name in a way you can almost see the your name in italics (and maybe all caps) coming out of his mouth — over and over. He’s the guy who walks up to you at a bar, hits on you in the most obnoxious manner possible, asks you questions, and proceeds to spin your basic beliefs into a web of bullshit. He’s the smug jerk who pretends to not understand phrases that are commonly used in the vernacular. Instead, he takes every comment you say completely literally, and suggests you are the dumb one for speaking like a human and not a robot. He’s the kind of racist asshole that he makes you out to be a racist monster — and all you said was, “Hey, I think that black lives matter.”

“Well, actually, Manda, it’s pretty racist that you even see race. Manda, why do you have to bring race into it? And that just shows me, Manda, that you are being racist against everyone who isn’t black, and you’re racist against black people, Manda, because you’re acting like they can’t take care of themselves and need a slogan. And, Manda, just to play devil’s advocate, but maybe cops kill black people more because more of them are criminals.” [insert self satisfied smirk]

Clearly, I’ve been tricked into a first date with a Stephen Miller or two. You live, you learn, you more obsessively Google first dates, swipe left more, and life goes on.

Except we can’t just swipe left or abandon our seat at the bar to get rid of him — because insufferable Stephen Miller is a top White House advisor. And life can’t go on for everyone — Miller might have pretended to not understand that Acosta was using hyperbole when he asked if the English requirement meant the US would only admit people from the UK or Australia, but don’t be fooled: that is Stephen Miller’s wet dream.

It’s truly remarkable how many interviews and statements given by or about members of this administration sound frighteningly similar to things sexual harassers or abusers say to women.  If only we had had some kind of clue, indicating how horrible a Trump presidency would be….

 

Dear Conservative Male Snowflakes: I’m Sorry My Dating Profile Hurts Your Fragile Male Ego

Men, I am begging you: please stop using dating apps as debating apps.

I am a single, liberal, feminist woman, and I’m not interested in dating a man who isn’t likeminded. Instead of accidentally going on a bunch of first dates with Trump voters, I’m pretty clear about my opinions on my dating profiles. I have a website where I sell anti-Trump t-shirts, with proceeds benefiting organizations directly impacted by his policies. Not only do I wear the shirts in two of my photos, I clearly state “I own AbortMikePence.com,” the site I sell the shirts on. I don’t bring this up because I want to debate politics, I bring it up because I don’t want to spend the rest of my life defending things I believe to be important to my partner. Not being liberal is a deal breaker for me.

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Oftentimes on OkCupid, I’ll get a message from an angry man who wants to explain to me why he hates “O’Bummer” and why I’m an idiot, but Bumble is pretty safe — after all, we can’t message each other unless we’ve matched. Or so I thought.

Last month I went to a wedding in Charleston, South Carolina. While I was there, I guess Bumble showed my profile results to people around me — because three weeks after I got home, I noticed an email from one of my potential matches.

Apparently, some poor little conservative male snowflake found my Bumble profile to be the most offensive thing he had ever seen. Since this angry man could not message me on Bumble, he went to my website and got my email. He then made a fake email account so he could send me the following novel:

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There are so many things wrong with this message, but I’d like to draw attention to the line “I am just waiting for the day I get the go ahead to grab a rifle. Because a peaceful resolution will not occur. You parasites are a plague.” Look, I’m not an expert — but I think the man who is so enraged by a stranger’s 300 character Bumble profile that he has to go through hoops to email her probably shouldn’t have a rifle.

So I’m sorry, Mr. NOT a beta male. I’m sorry if I hurt your little fee-fees with my preference to date men who are not like you. After all, I am just a nasty shitlib woman, living a lie. My only regret is that, yes, indeed — TrumpsRussiaTies.com is taken.

 

Maybe if I was Braver, Maybe if I was Stronger: A Comey Rewrite

On January 27th, Donald called me at lunchtime. He invited me to dinner that night, saying he was going to invite my boyfriend too, but decided to have just me this time, with my boyfriend coming next time. It was unclear from the conversation who else would be at the dinner, although I assumed my boss’s boss would only invite me to a dinner with others.

I was wrong. It turned out to be just the two of us. Donald greeted me with a large smile and showed me to my seat, as though this was normal behavior for a boss and his employee. Despite presumably having access to a lot of table settings, two high backed chairs were placed next to each other at an uncomfortably small oval table. Half a dozen white roses were placed in a vase, with a trio candelabra next to it. I couldn’t help but notice how close the petals were to the flame. Other than quickly walking in and out to serve us our food, waiters made themselves scarce.

Donald started by asking me if I wanted to keep my job, which I found strange because I have worked here for years and I also like being able to pay my rent. I assured him that yes, I intended to stay in my position. He said that a lot of people would like to have my job, and he would understand if I wanted to walk away.

My instincts told me that a one-on-one setting meant the dinner was, at least in part, an effort to have me ask to keep my job and create some sort of inappropriate relationship between the two of us. That concerned me greatly. My mind started to race: I wondered when the waiters would return to the room, and where Melania was, and my eyes briefly landed on the candelabra, as I instinctively began to check it for sharp edges.

I replied that I loved my job and intended to stay. And then, because the set-up made me uneasy, I said he could always count on me to tell him the truth.

A few moments later, Donald leaned forward. His voice husky and breathy, he whispered, “I need loyalty.” His eyes dropped from my face, down to my chest, and back up. “I expect….loyalty.”

Time stood still. Panic rose up in me. I could feel every atom in my body shaking; I was on high alert. I willed my cheeks to not turn red, and I mashed on my tongue with my teeth. But I didn’t move, speak, or change my facial expression in any way during the awkward silence that followed. We simply looked at each other in silence. The conversation then moved on, but he returned to the subject near the end of our dinner.

Near the end of the dinner, Donald returned to the subject of my job, saying he was very glad I wanted to stay, adding that he had heard great things about me from my direct boss, his good friend Jeff. He then said, “I need loyalty.” I replied, “You will always get honesty from me.” He paused and then said, “That’s what I want, honest loyalty.” It is possible we understood the phrase “honest loyalty” differently, but I decided it wouldn’t be productive to push it further. The term – honest loyalty- had helped end a very awkward conversation and my explanations had made clear what he should expect.

As I mentioned, Donald was my boss’s boss. I returned from the dinner shaken, and not knowing what else I could do, decided to document my experience in a memo. I hoped that he would not ask any more favors of me, and that I could avoid being alone with him in the future.

100 Days of Hell: Beauregard Sessions

It’s exhausting to stay outraged about everything that has happened in Trump’s first 100 days, but at least Attorney General Jeff Sessions keeps going out of his way to remind us how horrible he is.

Sessions has made it clear that fear mongering should replace facts when it comes to creating policy. Forget the antics of the rest of the administration; keeping up with Sessions’s decisions alone is almost a full time job. Here are some of the shitty things that shitty Jeff Sessions has done (and I won’t even talk about how I watched him dig around his nose and stare at his boogers when I was at his confirmation hearing): 

Tribal Sovereignty 

When Sessions was sworn in, President Trump signed a handful of executive actions that were right in line with Sessions’s beliefs. One was the Executive Order on Preventing Violence Against Federal, State, Tribal, and Local Law Enforcement Officers. In this order, the President called for “multi-jurisdiction prosecution efforts” to deal with violence against police officers.

Never mind that violence against police is down. Never mind that there is no epidemic of unsolved crimes against cops. Facts clearly aren’t important to the Trump administration.

If facts mattered, the Violence Against Women Act wouldn’t have met so much resistance from Jeff Sessions back in 2013.  Until 2015, tribal officers could not prosecute non-Natives who committed crimes on tribal land — resulting in Native American women being sexually assaulted more than four times the national average, primarily by men who were not Native American. This was a problem the 2013 renewal of the Violence Against Women Act specifically addressed by allowing some tribal courts to sometimes prosecute non-Indians for domestic violence.

Sessions voted against VAWA, claiming that this tribal court provision was a “big concern” for him. But now, when he wants to convince the country that police are the ones we need to protect from violence, forcing multi-jurisdiction prosecution efforts is fine. Cool. 

DACA

Created by Obama in 2012, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who were born after 6/15/81 and who came to America before they were 16. Applicants have to be enrolled in school and pass a background check. The idea behind DACA was to help young people who were working to become valuable members of society by streamlining the citizenship process, especially since so many of the people eligible were primarily raised in the US.

Back in January, Donald Trump said that DACA recipients “shouldn’t be very worried.” By February, Juan Manuel Montes became the first DACA recipient to be deported. Now it’s April, and I’m still not convinced Donald Trump knows what DACA is — but I’m damn sure Sessions knows and hates DACA.

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Fellow racist Steve King never disappoints. Also, learn how to use your camera, Steve.

“I believe everyone that enters the country unlawfully is subject to being deported…we’re going to focus first, as the president has directed us, on the criminal element,” Sessions announced on ABC’s This Week (emphasis mine).

Their first focus might be the criminal element, but Sessions has a pretty messed up perception of constitutes criminal activity.  Over 1.5 million undocumented people have told the federal government that they are here and applied for DACA. Now these same people have to place their trust in Sessions, who seems to have a burning desire to end the program.

Black Lives Matter

After high profile police killings, the DOJ will come into a city and investigate the police force. They will spend a year or two interviewing citizens and cops, doing ride alongs, holding meetings, and combing through documents to understand if there are problems within the structure of the department. After they create a report on their findings, they work with the city to make a consent decree — a legally binding contract that details how the city will address the issues the DOJ has found. Baltimore is, of course, one of the cities to be a recipient of such an investigation — and it has the unique position of having the process of creating and signing the consent decree spread between the Obama and Trump administrations.

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Right before Baltimore held a public hearing on their consent decree, the DOJ asked for a delay in the implementation of the consent decree, and a review of all active decrees. The judge denied the Baltimore motion, and the public hearing went on as scheduled. Despite having the motion denied, the DOJ decided to again bring up the possibility of delaying the process.

“Reasonable minds may disagree if this decree is the perfect way forward,” stated John Gore, the DOJ’s Deputy Assistant Attorney General, describing the very  document his department created and signed. Gore added that the current administration has “grave concerns” over the decree, and reiterated the need for the already-denied motion for a delay.

The city responded that, not only was a delay was not necessary, but community input was the most important part of reform, and that both parties went to great lengths to involve the community in the creation of the consent decree. To delay it would shake the confidence the community has in the reform — of course, since Attorney General Jeff Sessions believes consent decrees “undermine respect for our police officers,” I assume that protecting the community is no longer a function of the DOJ.

Under any other circumstances, watching the DOJ argue against justice would have been unusual. In a way, Sessions’s DOJ helped bring residents and the police together: of the 49 residents who spoke at this hearing, the vast majority sided with the stance of the Baltimore Police Department.

In July 2015, I attended a very crowded town hall meeting at Sojourner-Douglass College. The first half of the meeting was a panel discussion, and the second half was community members sharing their stories with representatives from the Department of Justice. Many tears were shed as citizens repeated how grateful they were that the DOJ was finally there, that someone was finally listening to their stories. At the time, had you told me that these representatives would become the sabotaging enemies of reform, I would have laughed at you.

The day after the Baltimore Uprising, people gathered around the riot police set up at Penn and North. There were prayers, debates, and crying — but there was also a feeling of cautious optimism.. People expressed hope that maybe now the government would do for Baltimore what it had done for Ferguson — a full investigation into the workings of the police department. Maybe now people would listen.

I would find it hard to believe that this sentiment is not expressed nationwide, every time a police shooting sparks large protests. So what happens when we take away the only government organization that listens?

When the next Freddie Gray or Philando Castile is killed, when the next city has had enough — will Sessions directly say, “sorry, but we no longer wish to help those who have been victimized by the police”? Did John Gore’s years working for Jones Day prepare him to be the one to tell people the official stance of the federal government is that their lives and struggles don’t matter?

Do you want a riot, Jeff Sessions? Because this is how you get a riot.