Ultrasound-for-abortion laws

Ultrasound-for-abortion laws are in the news again. They last peaked around 2012, but Missouri and Ohio and Georgia have all recently passed laws that have garnered a lot of attention. I’ve written extensively about ultrasound-for-abortion laws and the logics that undergird them elsewhere. Here, I’m going to offer one quick piece of logic–not opinion, but logic–and then some action points. (Note: These action points are mostly difficult things. But I’ve seen people so passionate about these recent bills that I have to assume they are willing to do difficult things.)

Logic: So long as we as a nation believe it’s morally correct NOT to force people to donate blood and organs, it is contradictory to make the abortion debate about anything but bodily autonomy. Autonomy is where we MUST begin.

Action items for people who are genuinely committed to saving lives

  • Become an organ donor. Talk to your family about your wishes so they are aware.
  • Donate blood.
  • Educate others on the importance of being an organ donor and donating blood. Emphasize the important role of universal donors.
  • Sign up to be a bone marrow donor.
  • Sign up to be a living kidney donor.
  • Donate money or time to your local hospital, the Children’s Miracle Network, or the Ronald McDonald House.

Action items for people who genuinely want to help prevent abortions

  • Advocate for comprehensive sex education in your local school system.
  • If you are a parent, teach your children about consent, safe sex, and responsibility. Do so early and often.
  • Work with local initiatives to make contraception available.
  • Empower girls to make their own decisions about their bodies.
  • Encourage body positivity.
  • Volunteer with the Girl Scouts, Big Brothers Big Sisters, or similar role-modeling organizations.
  • Donate to Planned Parenthood (You read that correctly; Planned Parenthood does SO much to prevent abortions.) or a similar family planning organization.
  • Become a foster parent and teach your children about consent, safe sex, and responsibility.
  • Adopt from foster care and teach your children about consent, safe sex, and responsibility.
  • Adopt, period, and teach your children about consent, safe sex, and responsibility.

Back to Writing

I’ve been struggling really hard to get writing done lately. That is at least in part because I have too many projects to think about and I’m having a hard time with focus. It’s also because some of the projects I’m working on matter so much to me that it’s hard to think clearly. I’m returning to Get a Life, PhD, which was a space that helped me a lot when I was a graduate student and pre-tenure. I especially like the ground rules post. I’m beginning with some time off to re-set, and then I’ll see about setting some of my own ground rules.


An Ethic of Care …

… means caring for animals. H/T to the DAR Facebook page of sharing this; I’d never heard this history before. Here’s an excerpt, with the link at the bottom.

These Extraordinary Women Spoke Up For Animals When No One Else Would

In the late 1800s, the treatment of animals was not a topic of concern or conversation. Animals were considered utilitarian, and consequently, inhumane treatment was commonplace. But a small group of extraordinary women, led by Caroline Earle White, raised their voices to fight animal cruelty in the most profound ways. The historic impact they made continues to this day through the work of the Women’s Humane Society.

Initially, it was the mistreatment of carriage horses in Philadelphia (e.g. drivers beating their exhausted and malnourished charges) that spurred Caroline, a devoted humanitarian and highly educated woman from a prominent family of abolitionists and suffragists, to go on a passionate crusade to improve conditions for all animals. …


Patriarchy Chicken

This idea is not new, but this article is a pretty good explanation of–and gives a name to–this phenomenon where women dare to exist in public spaces: Patriarchy Chicken. The idea is that women don’t leap out of men’s way when moving around in public.

The first time I read about this practice, I will admit that I snickered. I was pretty sure that I had not, in fact, spent my life privileging men’s space in public. Then I went to work: parked my car and walked the half mile across campus to my office. I consciously did not alter my pace or trajectory for those around me, and I counted 0 women, 0 non-binary folks, and 7 men who were explicitly taken aback by this. And, for my part, it was hard not to move out of the way. So now, I play Patriarchy Chicken.



Feminist Technical Communication

This is happening. Eek!


Life as an associate professor

This semester I decided to try to hold Thursdays and Fridays sacred and let them be writing days. Today was the first Thursday of the semester and here is what I did:

  • Provided feedback on Master’s capstone projects
  • Provided feedback on a PhD candidate’s job talk
  • Provided feedback to a student applying to the PhD program on their materials
  • Reviewed 3 PhD applications
  • Responded to half a dozen email queries from undergraduate students
  • Arranged to give a talk on campus
  • Completed training for online teaching
  • Wrote two reference letters
  • Reviewed and discussed course scheduling for the fall

I did not do ANY of my own writing, and my inbox is still full. I feel like I could scream and I don’t know how I’m supposed to do all the things. This weekend’s mission: Search for new time-management strategies. Brutal ones.

Queerness and Video Games

From Amanda Phillips, one of the editors:
A special issue of Game Studies, “Queerness and Video Games,” is now out! This has been many years in the making. It is the largest issue in the history of Game Studies, and is a particularly meaningful accomplishment in the context of a journal that founded itself partly in opposition to the “colonizing attempts” of disciplines like film studies and English (and, if you read a bit more widely, the unmentioned specter of feminist studies) invading the territory of video games with their own political agendas.