(My husband just lost a year off his life.)(He HATES Arizona...)
Thank the holy good God that I don't live in Arizona. I can't imagine living in a state that is governed by such idiotic, racist, misogynistic, imbeciles.
Now signed into law, LAW, is the supposition that pregnancy begins TWO WEEKS PRIOR TO CONCEPTION.
As in TWO WEEKS PRIOR TO CONCEPTION. What? I mean... what?
If I am understanding this correctly, as far as Arizona is concerned, any woman who is ovulating is pregnant until proven otherwise.
Surprise! Your seventh grader's tampon isn't the only thing making her lose her virginity (don't get me started)! The Arizona state legislature is as well! Well, that's not fair. The loss of virginity supposes some sort of intercourse which this definition DOES NOT. Immaculate conception all around!
Regardless of whether sperm is in the equation or not, according to Arizona, the first day of the last menstrual period prior to conception (generally, for most women, 2 weeks prior to ovulation give or take a few days) is the start of pregnancy.
Oh my God.
Can they just... do that? I mean... isn't pregnancy a medical term?
I'm a doctor. I went to medical school. You can not be pregnant unless an ovum and a sperm have formed a zygote. Those are the rules.
OF COMMON SENSE.
I hate to go all Elle Woods here, but if this is the precedent that's being set, how is it then that all women who don't have sperm introduced approximately two weeks following the last day of their menstrual cycle aren't recklessly abandoning "children" all willy nilly?
This is just stupid.
Ova are not "life." An ovum is a cell. It's a cell that when met with a specific other kind of cell can proliferate into more cells. LIKE A TUMOR.
TUMORS DO THAT. Why aren't we all up in arms about their excision? Okay, so let's say that someone with a modicum of biological knowledge, which will necessarily exclude the members of the Arizona legislature that voted this heinous monstrosity into existence, shoots back and says, ho ho, but tumors don't have the capacity to generate LIFE!
Fine. So let's talk about pluripotent hematopoietic cells. Oh, I'm sorry, they didn't teach that vocabulary in the institutions of higher education that are now hopefully nationally shamed that they produced such simple minded idiots? Okay.
These cells are cells that each and every one of us, boys and girls alike, has in our bone marrow. They're what enables us to regenerate blood. We aren't born with all the blood we need. We are constantly manufacturing new blood.
You know, blood? The thing that carries oxygen all around the body?
Well, to me, and likely to most of the sound minded world, oxygen is necessary for life. Without oxygen, we die. Cells die, tissues die, organs die. That is a FAR more rational argument for life giving in my mind. But yet, pretty sure bone marrow transplants, bone marrow excision, bone marrow biopsies are all legal beagle, and if anyone were to suggest otherwise they'd be more or less a pitied laughingstock.
Where are these legislators coming up with this stuff? And more importantly, why CAN they? They are not doctors. They are not scientists. They can not just change definitions of conditions that aren't limited by semantics. Pregnancy is pregnancy, end of story.
Potential is not pregnancy.
We don't give NFL caliber contracts, paychecks, benefits, endorsements, et cetera to promising young athletes with potential. (See how I stereotypically gendered this to help out all those male legislators? YOU'RE WELCOME.). Sure, they MIGHT down the line be recruited into a formal professional athletic organization, just like an ovum MIGHT down the Fallopian line meet up with a sperm, but we don't know until it does or does not happen.
Arguments to the contrary are tantamount to fortune telling. But hey. At least those fortune tellers will be right at home with all the rest of the carnival and legislative freak shows going on in Arizona.
And, to be clear, there are zero fetuses in my uterus. ZERO FETUSES. (Interestingly, I think I just named of my next girl group.)
I'm less impressed by the media outlets that are marveling that she wrote such an intelligent, insightful article. That is the news they're using as their hook. Is that because she's an actress? Is that because she's not a journalist by trade? Is it because she's a woman?
Fictional Ashley Judd: Hi. Please stop catapulting my face to the top of the day's news issues. Not only is it irrelevant, but it's perpetuating the ubiquitous media misogyny that is becoming as equally acknowledged as it is ignored.
Fictional Press At Large: Whoa. She spelled misogyny correctly.
Fictional Press At Large: And... her prose is lucid.
Fictional Ashley Judd: I did in fact proofread this before sending it to international media outlets.
Fictional Press At Large: Hey look everybody, Ashley Judd is writing intelligent things! With appropriate syntax!
Fictional Ashley Judd: Well... yes, but...
Fictional Press At Large: She's defending herself! She's criticizing us for criticizing her! But we're so supportive of her cause ourselves we're going to publicize her remarks! Because holy crap!
Fictional Ashley Judd: Okay. Sure, but you seem to be missing...
Fictional Press At Large: Hey Earth! This actress constructed sentences with more substance than her waist line!... What? Oh right. Her waistline is expanding... well, please direct your attention to the beautiful woman that sure, might be puffy, but that's okay since her statements make sense!
Fictional Ashley Judd: Forget it.
I think it's awesome what she's saying. I think it deserves to be printed and deserves to go viral, but I don't think it deserves everyone else reading it and writing new stories about how "surprising" and "refreshing" it is to see such opinions publicized.
It's all very pat you on the head little girl.
You're too pretty to do homework, but turns out you're smart and don't need to anyway! My God! The revelation!
Let's write news stories about it and completely perpetuate the very thing she's arguing against!
This just in, Pretty Woman Writes a Literate Article! I Think It's About How The Media Should Stop Being So Ignorant!
I've mentioned before that my husband is the sporty spice of our pairing.
His dream vacation would be akin to Bear Grylls's day job -- man versus wild. Given his druthers, the hubs would bliss out by running up a mountain until it turned snowy, strap on some snow shoes, ascend to the peak, do that scary skiing where your heels lift out to get back down, until he reached an ocean where he could surf and surf and surf, until the dolphins thought he was kin. He'd sleep in a yurt and create sustainable, no trace meals at a fire pit he dug out with bare hands.
There'd be a lot of plaid and facial hair involved.
My druthers, on the other hand, are dipped in glitter.
I think I would sit under a gauzy cabana beside an impossibly turquoise ocean scape and have Muppets bring me pina coladas. I'd lounge in a velveteen hammock with snuggly kittens and the latest NYTimes Bestseller that featured shoes or legs on the cover. I'd sleep in a suite and would sustain myself on pizza.
There'd be a lot of lethargy and sarcasm involved.
Given our disparate ideas of what constitutes a good time, we're pretty good at compromise. He will occasionally help me wind skeins of new yarn with While You Were Sleeping playing on loop in the background; I will occasionally leave the house. Fair's fair.
Today was one of those days.
I invested in a bike at the end of last summer when the gettin's were good. I have decided cycling is infinitely less degrading than running. Sure you wear indecently tight shorts, but they're so binding nothing can jiggle! No cadencing cellulite for all to view and mock!
The weather in Denver has been pretty schizo of late. Saturday was so hot I was sweating through my underwear from the exertion of exhaling. Tuesday I was scraping snow of my car.
Today was sunny, breezy, not too hot, not too cold, and was apparently extremely inviting if you happen to be a flowering tree.
We live near a 65-ish mile path that circumnavigates most of Denver and has numerous branching off points to shorter trails for those of us who aren't bat shit insane. The majority of the path runs parallel to an old canal lined with mature trees that were erupting with blossoms today. It was beautiful.
The thing that really made it worth dragging myself off the couch, besides the investment in my marriage, was the scent of it all. I spent a good five miles trying to piece together words that might adequately capture the smell. It's hard.
It's lame and trying too hard, but I couldn't get the idea out of my head that the scent of spring is akin to flatulence, in that each passing of gas is individual and nuanced, but yet somehow they're all really the same.
I pedaled past the trees and hoped to be down wind. There was something so sweet in the flowers. It almost made my stomach growl. There's probably literally some kind of sugar there that lures insects in, but still.
I finally landed on this:
Take one of those long, fat, pieces of grass, the kind that can whistle just right, and glaze it with equal parts cake baking and your grandmother's perfume.
Spring kinda smells like that. There's a bit of fresh, a bit of sweet, and a bit of nostalgia.
To be clear, I'm not thinking moth balls, I'm thinking more along the lines of the floral spiced scent that smacks you in the face when you open her old jewelry box.
Less smacky though. Not the hefty aroma that gives you a headache, but rather the remnants left in the air after she's gone out to the grocery store.
Anyway. That's what I landed on. Succinctness has never been my strong suit.
At any rate, 16 miles later, I have lived to tell the tale and deemed it official... join me in welcoming the season of whining and sweating; springtime is here.