Random Thoughts: The “Really, America??” Edition

1. Rick Santorum? Really? I mean, maybe it’ll make Obama’s landslide even more awesome in November.

I am equal parts mystified and terrified. The only coherent thought I’m having is, “Handmaid’s Tale, anyone?”

If you are a woman (and/or you are in any relationship with a woman — mother, sister, aunt, spouse, daughter), and you would like to vote for Santorum, please read that book. Thanks.

2. “Mommy Porn” should never ever have been a phrase entered into the English lexicon. It’s equal parts offensive, condescending, and silly. If you don’t know yet, that’s how the book 50 Shades of Grey is being described. The book is, apparently, an outgrowth of fan fiction from the Twilight saga (and this is how I feel about Twilight), and apparently very erotic, and apparently setting married women’s bedrooms on fire. (Not literally.)

Let me tell you what mommy porn would actually be. It would not be a book about sex (let alone BDSM sex, not that there’s anything wrong with that). (Dad, DO NOT google BDSM.) It would be a book about a husband who vacuumed and dusted *without being asked*. Or pictures of men washing dishes; having them be hot men with washboard abs and no shirts on is optional. I would get hotter watching my husband put his dirty socks in the hamper than reading a book about vaguely consensual BDSM sex between two pretty 20-somethings (one of whom starts the book as a virgin).

#justsayin

3. Adding “grief” as a diagnosis to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (aka the DSM). This is less an outraged “REALLY?” and more an inquisitive “really? huh.” On one hand, grieving — even prolonged grieving — is pretty much to be expected after a significant loss (spouse/partner, parent, child, sibling, close friend). The fact that our culture doesn’t quite know what to do with a person experiencing profound grief doesn’t make the grieving person crazy. Grief, even prolonged grief, should not be patholigized (yeah, not really a word, I know).

However: If putting grief in the DSM helps someone get therapy to go through it, I would cautiously support that. (When I asked Dan about it, he said he usually classifies therapy with people experiencing profound grief as “adjustment therapy”, and he thinks putting grief in the DSM is unnecessary.) I got therapy after Gabriel died, and if nothing else, it gave me a safe place to cry uninterrupted for an hour. (It did more than that, but sometimes, that was part of what I really needed.)

4. Oh, Arizona. You crappy, crappy excuse for a state. I hope the progressives come out of the woodwork during your next election, and fire all your lawmakers.

What’s making you ask, “Really?” today?

Updated to add: 5. Pennsylvania, you better watch it. You’re going to be labeled Arizona (or Virginia maybe) North.

I am anti-abortion.

However, I am also pro-choice.

As a Catholic this is probably an untenable position. As a woman, I don’t think it is.

So.

They’re calling it the Women’s Right to Know Act.

How’s that for irony?

Here’s a petition, and here’s a link to a list of your Allegheny County representatives. You should be able to navigate around that site if you live outside of Allegheny County.

I’m going to get a really angry phone call from my parents.

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11 thoughts on “Random Thoughts: The “Really, America??” Edition

  1. I see one good thing coming out of “grief” being pathologized: Perhaps it will lead some employers to provide more time off after the death of a loved one. The standard policy seems to be “3 days for an *immediate* family member (spouse or child), 1 day for parent/grandparent, 0 for anyone else.” I was essentially grief-disabled for a week after my first grandparent died. HR departments everywhere need to start coming to terms with real human limitations–physical illnesses, emotional trauma, family emergencies, even mental-health days. We’ve been conceptually turned into machines whose productivity is measured strictly by “downtime.”

    • This is another good angle to look at, it’s true. When Gabriel died, I was freelancing, so I pretty much was free to collapse for an extended time. (And I promptly did.) It was about 3-4 months before I could think about “going back to work”. And then I was lucky to be able to pick up with a couple of good clients where I had left off.

  2. I think I agree with you on the grief thing. I don’t really have a strong opinion, partly because I have no idea what the implications are of something being in the DSM versus not, but maybe it will help people feel like they are entitled to get help even if they are “just” grieving.

    I can’t really tell where the line is between grief and depression myself… but maybe that’s another topic 🙂

    Also – Santorum – whoa. People must really dislike Romney to be considering Santorum. I think of him as a caveman.

    I hope all it does it drive young people away from the Republican party. That would be a good outcome 🙂

    • Re: Grief and depression: My line was: what am I able to do today? In the days and months after Gabriel died, I was constantly checking my ability to 1) get out of bed, 2) feed myself, and 3) shower and/or be marginally productive around the house — i.e. doing laundry. If I became so grief stricken that I wouldn’t have been able to do any of those things in any combination, I would have considered medication. I was in talk therapy, and it helped so very much.

      ** hugs **

  3. 1. In fairness, look at the choices. Yeesh.
    2. Porn – the word and its meaning – has come a long weird way.
    3. Totally agree with adding grief in there. It may be lower on the scale than even people who marry buildings, but not everyone has the same coping skills and do need structured help.
    4. Arizona needs less sun, fewer sandstorms, and a better NFL team. That might help them out.

    • 1. I know. Romney’s a little more “I, Robot” I guess, which (all I am familiar with is the movie) didn’t have that great an outcome other. Dystopia here we come!
      2. Agree.
      3. Another good point. I just don’t want to see grieving people “forced” into taking meds if they don’t want them, or stigmitized because they aren’t just “getting over it”.
      4. Also agree.

  4. Geez…I had not thought of the Handmaid’s Tale in relation to a Santorum presidency. And now that you go me thinking about it – YIKES!

  5. Really! when was the last time you got a really anger call from your parents, unless it was one from mom that I do not know about:) xoxo dad

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