What’s on my radar today: Undocumented citizens, Foreskin, Gay marriage, profiling, abortion and virginity

Posted on June 7, 2011

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Well first, California upholds the rights of undocumented citizens:

The court rejected without comment an appeal brought by out-of-state students who said it is unfair that they — as U.S. citizens — have to pay as much as $20,000 more than illegal immigrants to study at the state’s colleges and universities.

Lawyers for a conservative immigration-law group that backed the appeal claimed that offering in-state tuition to illegal immigrants the state was giving them “preferential treatment.” That practice is banned by a federal provision in a 1986 law that bars states from giving “a post secondary benefit” to an “alien who is not lawfully present in the United States on the basis of residence within a state,”

The 2001 California law in question awards in-state tuition to qualified students who attended a California high school for at least three years and graduated

now if only we could get the times to stop saying “illegal immigrant”….

OK, so has everyone heard about the circumcision law that’s being mumbled about? I find it fascinating to watch the conversations play out since this is the first time that I have seen legislation introduced around men’s bodies (even though technically it’s children’s bodies and so it’s different – and yes I think there’s a difference between children who could live outside of the uterus and those who cannot and thus, in my personal opinion, are not children):

Californians are facing billions in tax hikes and spending cuts that could mean more cutbacks in services and givebacks by state workers.

And yet, for some reason the debate over foreskin has a place….

…We chuckle, but from interracial marriage to masturbation, politicians have been trying to tell us what to do with our genitalia for centuries. It’s just a microcosm of our culture’s sexual immaturity which craves to know every sordid detail surrounding New York Rep. Anthony Weiner’s sexting photo but is too giggly to say what it’s a photo of, a penis. Or better yet, why don’t we simply mind our own business, seeing how the perfectly legal photo was not taken for the general public’s consumption in the first place?

Let’s replace “foreskin” with “a clump of cells”.. or “cancer screenings” or “sexual health information”…  or let’s replace the sentiment about a perfectly legal photo being taken with a perfectly legal medical procedure… but no, that’s different, right? It’s different when we’re talking about women’s bodies…

Seriously, if municipalities in San Francisco or Santa Monica honestly believe parents can’t be trusted to decide what’s best for their newborn’s foreskin, why on earth would they let them leave the hospital with the rest of him? It just doesn’t make sense.

Seriously, if religious conservatives believe women cannot be trusted to decide what is best for their lives, why on earth are they telling us we’re only mostly good for having babies? It just doesn’t make sense…. Get my point?  I do get that this is a different discussion, but to not even identify how closely related they are a very clear example of divide and conquer as well as double standards.  There is one thing I can absolutely agree with though:

This is about choice and preference and opinion and I am really tired of being subjected to ridiculous laws instituted by religious conservatives pandering to a bunch of crazy people or by meddling liberals who have nothing better to do

Could you imagine the frenzy if this was a movement supported by most women legislators?  If we had a majority of women in our political offices, and if men felt that the Other was restricting their rights as men?  Just something fun to think about…

And apparently Jews are all the rage today, because at feministing there was this article about jewish mothers wanting gay marriage to be legal so they can pester their kids to get married.  This is why I think marriage in and of itself is the problem.  We’re still being pressured to abide by a social hierarchy of relationships, and I’m calling bullshit.

Have you heard of the “Secure Communities” program? Well:

Launched in 2008, the Secure Communities program runs the names and fingerprints of everyone arrested through federal immigration and criminal databases. The purpose is to ensure that offenders who are in this country illegally, especially violent criminals, are detained and deported. But the program has been highly controversial among immigrant advocates, who argue that it could be used against those whose offenses are minor, for example, being caught driving without a license.

I think at the heart of this issue is the fact that brown folks are targeted by police more often, even for crimes we know white people commit more often (like using drugs, for example).   Right now I live in Honolulu, and there’s always this discussion of race, privilege and oppression right under the surface here because of “haole hate” and white people saying they don’t experience privilege here because they’re the “minority” and this and that.  Same bullshit, different day.  Just last weekend I was driving home from a bar, I had had a couple of drinks, and I saw that I was about to go through a DUI checkpoint.  My heart went into the pit of my stomach. I knew I was totally fine to drive, that wasn’t the issue at hand.  The issue was that my car isn’t registered and I haven’t done a safety check (“smog”), so technically I’m riding dirty.  I was busted.  As my mind is racing to figure out how to handle this situation, I was waived through.  They had stopped a car in front of me, and as I drove away I saw them stop the person behind me.  With my california plates (ppl usually think i’m military) and my white skin there is no other way for me to make sense of this situation other than to assume they didn’t think they needed to stop me because i didn’t fit the profile of someone who would be breaking the law.  EVEN THOUGH THATS NOT TRUE.  So you can see in a situation like this how marginalized communities would be at a greater disadvantage under this program.  If you are an undocumented citizen who came from Russia you’ll probably slip through the cracks.. if you’re black or brown you’re pretty fucked.  And what if you’re a victim of DV whose batterer uses your immigration status as leverage? This is ridiculously flawed, because the system works to the advantage of people who look like me and nobody else.

Some good news from maine: 3 House Bills aimed to chip away at women’s right under the laws of this country were rejected.

Some more good news: I want to mother this man’s children: 

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