As a married woman in her mid-thirties, I get a lot of questions and comments about when I plan on getting to the baby-makin’.
Sometimes, I want to have this made into a shirt-
Yes, it is incredibly rude, but honestly, so is inquiring about the timing and contents of my uterus. As many around here know, I freaking adore children: newborns, infants, toddlers, all the way on up to even, yes, teenagers. I will happily watch your kid so you can go to dinner. I will keep an unweaned baby overnight if you need a break because one night of lost sleep is not going to kill me. I was a live-in nanny forever, so I know lots of useful stuff about kids and my friends that are new parents often ask me for advice. However, I don’t want one of my own. If (big IF) we did decide to have one, we would adopt, because I have zero desire to be pregnant.
My go-to response when people ask me why I haven’t pushed a human out of my vagina yet is this: “I have had way too many friends and family members go up an entire shoe size after pregnancy, and if that happened to me, I would resent my child for its entire life. It has taken me years and a substantial amount money to build that shoe collection. It’s not a risk I’m willing to take.” If you are a fan of shoes and no babies, please feel free to steal it. It tends to shut the conversation down pretty quickly.
I think most of us have people in our lives with whom we don’t agree about major issues. Often times, those people are also woefully mis- or under-informed about the topic at hand. Since we tend to be a pretty progressive and liberal bunch around here, it’s probably safe to assume many of us aren’t frequenting Fox News unless we are trying to find people to add to our “Who I’d Like to Hate Fuck” list. Fox viewers usually have their memorized talking points to blurt out in a discussion because Fox News is masterful when it comes to talking points. Fortunately for those who disagree, they often don’t have far to go beyond those in a discussion. That’s where these comebacks come in handy. Let’s get started.
5. Gun Control
Gun control is a touchy subject. People get very ragey on both sides of the argument, usually very quickly. Personally, I don’t have a problem with guns for home protection or hunting. I choose not to hunt because I have no desire to kill things, but I am willing to acknowledge both the sport and occasional necessity of hunting for food. I have a shotgun and a crossbow. The shotgun was obtained when my sister and I were living alone in a bad neighborhood. I know how to load it, shoot it, clean it, and be a responsible gun owner. The crossbow is for the Zombie Apocalypse, duh. Awesome anniversary present from the husband. All that being said, I FULLY support drastic changes to our current gun culture and regulations. People should be required to register their guns. It should be much more difficult to obtain one. I have yet to hear a good argument about why someone would need a 30 round clip. I think the NRA should be banned from any association to politics because they are fucking assholes and idiots who have somehow managed to convince this country that guns are the only way to save ourselves from the evil socialist anti-christ, Barack Obama (I seriously, and very sadly, actually know people who truly belive this).
The above retort can be used in almost any discussion about gun control, because the comment almost always comes up that “such and such is just as dangerous” or “some doodad kills more people than guns.” Simply swap out their chosen item for the ones mentioned and watch them sputter.
4. Gun Control and Mental Health
I got to use this one yesterday in a meeting. The oft-repeated “this isn’t a gun issue, it’s a mental health issue,” was spouted out by one of my bosses. I replied, “Which is why it would be nice if it were as easy to get mental health care as it is to get a gun in this country.” Whether the situation is a mental health issue or not is not the question. I don’t agree for a number of reasons, but mostly because it demonizes those with mental health issues and furthers the stigma surrounding mental health in general, which is bullshit. However, we are looking for one liners here, easy and to-the-point statements that can stop people in their tracks or hopefully make them think before they open their mouths again. The reason this one works so efficiently is because many of the people who are super-duper pro-gun are also vehemently opposed to Obamacare. This comeback forces them to look at their explanation– that this is a mental health issue– and then defend their supposed solution based on it. If it is a mental health issue, if that is the problem we are facing as a country, what are we going to do to fix it? If you’re against Obamacare, you don’t think the country should do a damn thing for people who can’t afford health care, mental or otherwise. If that is your position, you are basically saying we shouldn’t do a fucking thing; nothing about guns, and nothing about health care access. Fuck that.
Many of us around here spend quite a bit of time in the feminist spaces of the Internet. We have read a large number of articles and studies about rape and privilege and are well-versed when it comes to having these discussions. I have realized that this has led to me living in something of a rape “bubble.” I assume that people think about rape the way I think about rape, especially women.
Unfortunately, horribly, maddeningly, this is so not the case. I can’t tell you all how many times I have pulled out this, or some variation, in a discussion only to have the person stop cold. They had honestly never thought of it that way. Like many things, teaching young women to be safe and mindful and careful seems reasonable. It absolutely is. It’s a necessity.
But when that logic extends out into the victim blaming bullshit we hear way too much of, the, “Well, if she is going to dress like that, what does she expect?” or, “What did she think would happen if she put herself in that situation?” The classic, “Of course I believe that all rape is wrong, but…” followed by word vomit.
Many, many, way too many people have never thought about it the way the woman in this picture presents it. I really believe they haven’t, because they have never thought about it that hard. They don’t want to think about it that hard because thinking about rape fucking sucks. It is a crime that’s level of cruelty is rarely matched. People don’t want to think about it; I get it. But they have to if anything is ever going to change, and this simple statement, this framing, makes a huge difference. Instead of people walking around thinking of all the things women or men must do not to be raped, we need to start processing how we, as a country, as a world, are going to teach people not to rape.
Okay, the first three were pretty heavy, so I’d like to have the last two be a little less focused and a little more all-purpose. I am pretty much sick of sitting back and taking the bullshit that spews forth out of some mouths around me. I am sick of sitting by and watching people like posts on Facebook that are misleading at best and flat-out lies most of the time that can be debunked by typing three words into Google. I’m sick of it. I’m sick of “not sinking to their level.” It’s time to get down there, folks, because they are spreading hate and bigotry and breeding violence and anger and I am done with it. I’m angry and I’m not gonna take it anymore! I can think of so many people who this statement would be perfect for. I bet you all can think of a few more, no?
1. A Good Old-Fashioned Fuck You
I won’t lie; I said this to my mother last night. I love my mom. She is the best mom a girl could ever ask for. She has the patience of a saint, the beauty of a work of fine art, and has put up with my crap for 34 years. She is amazing and wonderful. That being said, last night she made me wish I had more middle fingers. It happens. I don’t even remember what exactly she said, but it had something to do with having babies, which prompted my retort. It is beautiful in its simplicity. You aren’t actually swearing or flipping anybody off, and yet the point is made perfectly clear what you think of whatever they have said or done. Clean and to the point. Keep it simple.
I leave you with this, the best gif ever.