The thug life

While I would hardly say that I avoid discussing politics here, I certainly make a point of doing the bulk of my political ranting elsewhere–typically in a venue that does not record my words for all posterity. It’s not that I’m ashamed of my opinions. In fact, I’m proud of how I deeply I care about the world and all of its inhabitants.

But I don’t necessarily think that the fact that I have immediate 24/7 access to information about everything happening everywhere is necessarily the best thing for someone of my temperament. I get discouraged sometimes–very often, actually. Which was definitely the case on June 30 when the Supreme Court of the United States issued its highly disappointing ruling on the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case.

I am so incredibly exhausted by this country’s obsessions with women’s reproductive rights, with how frequently they come under discussion or debate, with the fact that most of the people facilitating those debates are old white men who don’t seem to have the faintest idea why it’s completely unacceptable that they should be the ones to dictate the health resources available to women. The fact that every woman on the Supreme Court voted against the decision is telling. The fact that they were outvoted because women are not equally represented anywhere, much less the Supreme Court, is galling. The fact that the ruling would have probably been very different if women were equitably represented on the Supreme Court is both comforting and saddening. I can’t imagine the frustration that would attend actually being on the Supreme Court and watching your wise decisions countered by foolishness at best and misogyny at worst. I think my exact words to a friend were along the lines of the idea that having a vagina is now considered a lifestyle in this country.

Once the day of ranting and stupid Facebook fights (some random guy actually called me “barren”) was over, I realized I needed to find something positive in the situation. There were some heroes in this situation: Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Stephen G. Breyer, an Ruth Bader Ginsburg all of whom voted against the nonsense notion that a corporation was somehow a person capable of embracing and practicing a religious ideology. But the greatest of these is Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose dissent was broadly characterized as “scathing.” Her presence on the Supreme Court gives me hope. Someone, at least, was fighting for me, for women, for agnostics and atheists who don’t particularly want to have anyone’s religious ideology crammed down their throat, or into their healthcare.

So I did what any angry feminist looking for a silver lining would do: I bought a Notorious R.B.G. t-shirt (two actually) and let my boyfriend coax me into posing like the badass feminist thug Ruth Bader Ginsburg inspires me to be. The results are pretty ridiculous, and deliberately so because being able to find something to laugh and joke about is essential. No matter how many bad decisions the Supreme Court makes, I’ll still be here, voting for presidents who choose justices like the Great Notorious R.B.G.; calling out racism, misogyny, and homophobia wherever I see it; and rocking these awesome t-shirts.

(PHOTOS BY COLIN RIGLEY)

Notorious-RBG_Long-Sleeve

I should note that Colin had to coach me quite a bit to get me to make an appropriately angry expression. Scowling comes quite naturally to me, except apparently, when there is a camera in my face (at which point I do usually scowl but it’s not the right kind of scowl for what we were doing).

Notorious-RBG_Short-Sleeve.psd

And, lest I get too caught up in my obvious thuggery, this is Cat Cat using my shoulders as a scratching post, much to my obvious dismay.

Notorious RBG Outtake

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