This Week’s Menu
GROWNUPS: Salad of Baby Greens, Smoked Chicken, Dried Cherries, and Pecans. Rosemary sourdough toast.
BABY: Banana, Avocado, and Chicken. Butternut Squash. Spinach.
GROWNUPS: Spaghetti with Spiced Meatballs in Chipotle Sauce (from The Gourmet Slow Cooker by Lynn Alley, via the freezer). Baby Greens with Rosemary Sourdough Croutons.
BABY: Hint of Mint Soup. Butternut Squash.
BABY: Split Peas and Rice. Bananas.
GROWNUPS: Chicken Tacos.
BABY: Sweet Potato and Chicken Dinner (from Homemade Baby Food by Connie Linardakis). Peas. Pears.
GROWNUPS: Tuna and Lemon Pasta (from Off the Shelf by Donna Hay).
BABY: Sweet Potato and Chicken Dinner. Carrots. Applesauce.
Thank you, Justice Kennedy, for protecting me from myself.
You want to know what bothers me the most about the Supreme Court’s ruling in Gonzales v. Carhart? It’s not that doctors are confused about what, exactly, has been outlawed, since “partial-birth abortion” is not a medical term, but, rather, an inflammatory phrase concocted by the marketing department of the Christianist right. It’s not that it encourages the antichoice movement to launch even more audacious attacks on the American citizenry’s reproductive rights. It’s not even that there’s no exception protecting the health of pregnant women. It’s the breathtakingly paternalist rhetoric Justice Kennedy employed in his explanation of the ruling:
“Respect for human life finds an ultimate expression in the bond of love the mother has for her child…. It is self-evident that a mother who comes to regret her choice to abort must struggle with grief more anguished and sorrow more profound when she learns, only after the event, what she once did not know: that she allowed a doctor to pierce the skull and vacuum the fast-developing brain of her unborn child, a child assuming the human form.”
If that doesn’t chill you to the bone, maybe you don’t get what Kennedy is saying.
He is saying that women are not fully rational. That they cannot be trusted to make vital decisions. That they must be protected from themselves. That they are, essentially, children.
I can’t help but wonder what’s next. Perhaps states might make it illegal for women to have sex outside of marriage, as a woman who engages in a one-night-stand might wake up the next morning and realize that she’s a slut. Maybe the professions should be closed to women, lest they reach their late 30s and discover that the corner office is not as fulfilling as they thought it would be and now it’s too late to have a baby. Maybe women should be barred from higher education, since men don’t like girls who are smarter than them. Maybe women should be denied access to desserts because, you know, they might feel all guilty and fat when they realize that crème brûlée has, like, a gazillion calories and three times the recommended daily allowance of saturated fat. I just don’t know. Maybe I better ask my husband.
Things on Which My Cat, Miss Piggy, Has Peed
- The kitchen floor
- The basement floor
- My Spanish workbook
- My messenger bag, which contained my Spanish textbook, homework, and PDA
- A crate full of CDs
- My portfolio, which contained a semester’s worth of artwork
“Anorexia of the Soul”
I read “For Girls, It’s Be Yourself, and Be Perfect, Too”—from the front page of yesterday’s New York Times—with interest and a mounting sense of despair. It’s a profile of high-achieving teenaged girls, and this quotation, I believe, captures the essence of the article:
If you are free to be everything, you are also expected to be everything. What it comes down to, in this place and time, is that the eternal adolescent search for self is going on at the same time as the quest for the perfect résumé.
This is such a bummer. It’s a bummer because the idea that a girl can do anything was supposed to be—and, for many, has been—liberating. It was supposed to mean that a girl could take advanced science classes or run on the track team or be class president; now it seems to mean that a girl must take advanced science classes and run on the track team and be class president if she wants to get into Princeton or Stanford or Reed or Wellesley. Pursuits that should be passions, that should be a source of joy, become an exhausting exercise in brand-building.