Friday, September 19, 2014

Three Things I Don't Get

I try not to get too political/controversial/contentious on this blog.

But I am coming from a sincere place when I wonder the following:

1) Why is this new Ray Rice video so explosive?

A caveat - I don't follow or care at all about football.  I had never heard of Ray Rice.  But I do follow the news, and from what I understand, on February 15, 2014, Ray Rice was arrested on simple assault charges for assaulting his wife.  A few days later, we all got a glimpse of what happened, as a video surfaced of Ray Rice dragging his unconscious fiancĂ© from an elevator.  She entered the elevator standing.  She left unconscious.

Um, do you really wonder what happened to her inside that elevator?

The next month Ray Rice was indicted, and on July 24, 2014, instead of losing his job, he received a two game suspension.  Apparently, sitting out two games is an adequate punishment for knocking your wife unconscious.

On September 8, 2014, the new Ray Rice video surfaced, and we got to see what happened inside the elevator.  Here it is:


The same day this video was released, Ray Rice was terminated from his Ravens contract and suspended by the NFL.  All of a sudden, a two game suspension wasn't enough.

So let me get this straight....

You can knock your wife unconscious.  You can be videotaped dragging your wife's unconscious body.  You can be indicted for assault.

And that doesn't merit a termination or suspension.  No, that's not enough.

But if, by some miracle, you happen to be caught on camera doing what everyone already knows you did, then you lose your job.

Lesson - if you choose to abuse your wife, be sure not to do it on camera.  Keep it behind closed doors, and at worse, you'll get a slap on the wrist.  And then everyone will forget about it.

I mean, just look at Chris Brown.  He beat up his girlfriend.  He did this:

And a year after he did this he released a fourth album.  It debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts.

Do we need to see actual video footage of his physical attack to be disgusted and horrified enough to boycott his music?  Just like we need to see the video of what happened inside the elevator, despite the fact that it's glaringly obvious?

I guess I just don't get it.

2) If I hear someone in the bathroom in the middle of the night, I'm going to assume it's my husband or kids or dog before I take a shot gun and kill someone through a closed door.  

I remember seeing Oscar Pistorius at the 2012 Olympics and being impressed and inspired.  A double amputee who makes it to the Olympics?  Who wouldn't be inspired?

But then he shot and killed his girlfriend while she was going to the bathroom in the middle of the night.  He claims he woke up, heard a noise in the bathroom, and thought it was an intruder.  He fired four shots through a locked bathroom door, killing her instantly.

Not so inspiring.

Last week, he was found not guilty of murder.  Instead, he was convicted of culpable homicide, which in U.S terms is equivalent to manslaughter - meaning that the Judge found that he did not intentionally kill his girlfriend; he was merely negligent.  The Judge held that there was a reasonable possibility that Pistorius thought his girlfriend was an intruder when fired shots through the locked door.

I'm not going to pretend to know the intricate details of this case.  In fact, I really got the majority of my information from watching snippets of the Today Show whilst breastfeeding my son.  But let me say this:

If I hear someone in the bathroom in the middle of the night, I'm not going to assume it's an intruder. In all likelihood, I would just go back to sleep.  But if I was curious for some reason as to who was occupying the bathroom, I would do the following:

1) Look and see if my husband was in bed with me.  If yes, then go to #2
2) Look and see if my kids are in bed.  If yes, then go to #3
3) Check and see if the bathroom door was locked.  If yes, then go to #4
4) Say something like "Who goes there?"

Apparently Oscar didn't even get to #1.

Not guilty of murder?

Don't get it.

3) I never knew that taking a stance on transvaginal ultrasound was a thing.

Do you know what a transvaginal ultrasound is?  I do!  I do!  Three pregnancies, and I am an expert on them.

Look, there's Steven Colbert holding one!  It looks like a skinny dildo.  The doctor puts a condom over it (seriously), and then they put it up you, and voila, you see all sorts of things!  In my case, an embryo (hello, Baby Braden!).

Here's the thing - when you are very early in your pregnancy (like 4-10 weeks), doctors can't see the baby with an abdominal ultrasound - it's too low.   Instead, they stick the dildo thing up you and see the baby that way.

It never occurred to me to have a problem with this.

But then a few days ago, whilst breastfeeding and watching the Today Show (see above), a campaign commercial for Democratic Congressional candidate John Foust came on.  Here it is, for your viewing pleasures:

In it, Foust accuses the Republican candidate, Barbara Comstock, of supporting the following:

1) Making abortion illegal in cases of rape and incest (BAD!)
2) Overturning Roe v. Wade (BAD!)
3) Requiring women seeking abortion to undergo transvaginal ultrasound  (HUH?)

I have no idea why transvaginal ultrasounds would be controversial, because really, it's no big thing. Perhaps there are valid reasons, though the campaign commercial didn't expand on them. Ostensibly, just the term "transvaginal ultrasound" is enough for you to know that it is bad, bad, bad.

So apparently now this is a buzzword.  We can't live in a world with terrorism!  Climate change! Racism!  Abortion restrictions!  Transvaginal ultrasounds!

Don't get.

End rant.

ADDENDUM ON 9/23: I have been schooled.  I am now firmly against mandatory transvaginal ultrasounds. [But for those that see the campaign commercial and are freaked out about their upcoming OB appointment, I swear, they really aren't that bad.]


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  1. I am betting TVUs are pricey and it also can make an already unimaginably hard decision harder - and so pro-choice people find it inflicting more mental anguish

  2. Totally agree on #1. I am baffled by #2 as well although I guess if you are a celebrity your expectations regarding intruders may be different from us regular folks? But #3 - the objection is to legislating (i.e. forcing) that someone penetrate a woman with an object without the woman's consent. Imagine if the legislation used different words and people, but same physical experience (i.e. we mandate that any woman who wants to get an abortion or go on an airplane or buy a house or whatever action is first forced to submit to a stranger inserting a dildo (of same size and shape as the ultrasound wand)) into her vagina. Aka sexual assault. Also, pictures are taken of said woman's body and specifically the embryo she wishes to abort. The purpose is to shame her, violate her, and force her to see (or at least know that someone is seeing) the intruder in her body she wants to get rid of with the expectation that the experience or threat of this will cause her sufficient emotional harm that (the anti-choice legislators hope) may result in her changing her mind about getting an abortion. Totally improper and horrifying for there to be a law mandating this. If there were a valid medical purpose for having an ultrasound (of any kind) before her particular abortion, then that is a decision she and her doctor should be working out. I've had plenty of transvaginal ultrasounds too and they weren't a big deal for me either, but that's because (a) I was getting them consensually, (b) I was getting them for a valid medical purpose that was helpful to me and (c) I don't have physical or emotional trauma or sensitivity that was created or triggered by the experience.

  3. As for no. 1, i am positive it is not the new video that is forcing the nfl to take a harsher stand, its the pressure from people and sponsors. The new vid may have sparked the issue in the news but i think its bigger than the video. Plus there was a recent case of child abuse.

    No. 3 baffles me too. Even if you keep the baby your doctor will refer you for one. The argument i hear is that it is physically invasive. Duh, what do they think an abortion entails? People (probably mostly men) are tying to make this nonissue a way to sell propoganda re the republican "war on women."

  4. The purpose is not to shame. Women who are making big decisions should be given all the information. Its to deter doctors from being untruthful or misrepresentative about the baby. The concept is that doctors who profit from abortions will gloss over some of the facts that might disuade someone if ahe had all the facts. How is forcing doctors to show women what they are terminating a bad thing? Abortion is invasive so i dont buy the invasive argument. Mammograms are hella invasive. So are paps.

  5. The TVU should be a woman's choice, period.

  6. Object Sexual Penetration is a life count felony in Virginia. So the government in Virginia tried to make it legal for a crime that is punishable by a minimum of 5 years in prison and a maximum of life to be perpetrated on women in Virginia who are seeking the care of a physician to terminate a pregnancy. The purpose of requiring the ultrasound before an abortion is to confirm the age of the fetus. If you can't see the fetus on an abdominal ultrasound, as you have already said, the age of the fetus between 4 and 10 weeks. Well within the prescribed limits required in order to able to terminate a pregnancy so no real need to perform TVU. Pretty disingenuous for the party promoting less government intervention to be trying to make the government require women to undergo and pay for an unneeded and invasive procedure that is also a serious crime punishable by the same amount of prison time as rape, robbery, and other serious violent crimes. There really isn't any, "Huh?" about it.

  7. Not sure exactly where I stand on the question of whether a TVU should be required or not, but I am not sure I buy the assault argument. If she gives her consent to a procedure that involves a TVU, how can it be assault? (Hopefully) nobody is forcing these women to get an abortion (and if they are, there are much bigger violations to her body to occur than a TVU), so she's consented to the procedure. If a TVU is required, and it becomes part of the procedure to which she has consented (which already likely involves object penetration), I don't see how it can be assault. I'm totally willing to have my mind changed, though, so feel free to rebut.

  8. RU 486 isn't invasive and under the TVU law, a woman would have to undergo the procedure in order to receive the medication. The law would coerce women into consenting to, and paying for, an invasive procedure that is not necessary in order to get an abortion. An abdominal ultrasound is already performed before an abortion and that protocol has been working well for a number of years.


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