Vaginal Discourse

You know how when the government treats trans* people like shit, it’s all our fault because we didn’t educate our would-be allies? That shtick works for pretty much any underclass.

Ben Smith at Politico, via Susie Madrak:

Tensions between the White House and its liberal allies came to a head last night at the weekly Common Purpose meeting, where progressive leaders and National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling had a tense exchange about the debt deal, two Democratic sources said.

The meeting is an off-the-record, regular gathering that some on the left credit both with keeping the White House aware of liberal concern and keeping liberal messaging coordinated with the White House. Critics deride it as a “veal pen” aimed at neutering the left.

Yesterday, Sperling faced a series of questions about the White House’s concessions on the debt ceiling fight and its inability to move in the direction of new taxes or revenues. Progressive consultant Mike Lux, the sources said, summed up the liberal concern, producing what a participant described as an “extremely defensive” response from Sperling.

Sperling, a person involved said, pointed his finger at liberal groups, which he said hadn’t done enough to highlight what he saw as the positive side of the debt package — a message that didn’t go over well with participants. [Emphasis mine.]

Susie goes on to point out that this isn’t the first time the White House has taken this tack on the economy.

I think a lot of progressives know that the White House is full of shit. They’re the ones with the power, they’ve certainly got the means to educate both themselves and the electorate. The truth is that they don’t want to sell an effective economic stimulus package to the public. Of course, the White House wants our votes, so it assures us that next time, if we work super hard to promote our masters, they might throw us a bone.

Why am I pointing this out on a blog about health care and marginalized bodies? It’s because I guarantee that lack of outreach on our part will be the exact excuse that power brokers give the next time they refuse to fight for our rights. If you want to continue to be my ally, I suggest you be prepared to call them on their lies.

There was this one time that I had a collapsed lung. It’s a pretty funny story, albeit one best left for another time. For today’s purposes, you just need to know how it ended.

When I arrived (on foot, of course) at the ER clutching the note Pittsburgh’s finest had helpfully affixed to my dorm room door, a pair of doctors was waiting for me. A quick wheelchair ride and an x-ray later, I was on a bed having a huge needle shoved into the side of my chest:

“We’re gonna stick this big-ass needle in your chest.”

“Oh. Okay. Cool?”

The nurse explained that sucking the air out of the sack containing my lungs and heart would keep the atmosphere from crushing my lung any further. She neglected to explain the reason I’d soon find a tube running from my chest to a giant white box, which I would be carrying around the hospital for days like some sort of nerdy, crippled, white bread version of Radio Raheem.

After a night in the hospital, I had a another conversation with the medical team:

“We were wondering, do you want your lung to collapse at some future, as-of-yet unpredicted time?”

“Um. Well. No?”

“Cool, gotcha. We’ll let the surgeon know.”

Based on that conversation, some folks cut another couple of holes in my chest, one for the camera, and the other for the high-tech medical equipment that was all the rage in the nineties: a knife, a pair of forceps, a stapler. To this day, I’m still not sure how it’s possible to staple a lung back together. On the plus side, I’ve gone fourteen years without having a lung collapse. Read more…

Hi there!

For some strange reason, I’ve been feeling guilty that I haven’t written anything in a good 96 hours. Between my day job, watching my country eat itself, and all sorts of personal bits, I’ve been a bit down and unmotivated.

However, I assure you that I’m working on post about genital electrolysis that you’ll all want to read. Actually, the topic of the post is almost as expansive as this blog, so I might accidentally write a book about it. I’ll try to keep it under 1000 words, you know, like those pamphlets creepy guys are always trying to give you as you anxiously wait for an opportunity to jaywalk.

In the meantime, I present the second A Cunt of One’s Own blogaround, under the new-and-improved title of “Meet the Clit”:

-Joelle Ruby Ryan has a great essay up about living large, and refusing to be unseen:

The great stage called life allows us to be big, boisterous, rancorous, animated, noisy and vibrant. Are you sparkling glitter along your trail? Are you doing your work like Audre Lorde implored us to do? Are you freely allowing yourself to be too much, go too far, and live vivaciously and vociferously, without apology for who you are?

-If you want to know how to make vagina cupcakes, The Frisky has you covered. Apparently toasted coconut pieces are excellent stand-ins for pubes.* Given that there’s not actually a canal there, I’m wondering what’s up with the word “vagina”. How about vulva cupcakes? Or, more obviously, cuntcakes? It’s not rocket science, people.

-Autumn Sundeen reports on a new directive from the Veterans Administration:

The National Center for Transgender Equality analyzed and described the new policy directive. The center reports that the directive states that VA staff must provide care to transgender patients “without discrimination in a manner consistent with care and management of all Veteran patients” and that all personal information about transgender status and medical care is to be kept confidential. The policy also reiterates two existing regulations — that sex reassignment surgery cannot be performed or paid for by the VA, and that all other medically necessary healthcare for transgender veterans is covered, including sex specific care like mammograms and pap smears, and transition-related care, such as hormones and mental health services.

Considering it’s the VA, I’m willing to call that a baby step in the right direction.

A trans woman whose document changes the government of Malaysia refused, has died of a heart attack at age 26.

-Here’s a tweet from the New York Abortion Access Fund and The Lilith Fund:

Wow. Who can afford that? RT @lilithfund: The average cost of an #abortion for our clients in July was $1,212. #poverty #healthcare #justice

So, there’s that to think about.

-Joanne has a kickass post up about coming to embrace fat acceptance.

-Sarah Morice-Brubaker wrote about the next logical step in the war on people who are making incorrect choices about their bodies: In Which I Explain why Marathon Runners are Depraved and Should Just Have their Knees Fall Off Before I Give them One Red Cent

*If you played “toasted coconut pieces are excellent stand-ins for pubes” in the rarely-used-phrases-I’ll-bet-I’ll-see-on-the-Internet lottery, congrats!