Saturday, October 27, 2012

The 'Middle Wife' [My Baby Brother's Birthday,] and Gail Collins: Talk About a Way With Words

From: Jan Goodman []
Sent: Friday, October 26, 2012 8:28 PM
 Check this out.  It's Lena Dunham, from Creator and star of the Emmy winning GIRLS"" talking about doing it the first time.

It seems to me that a lotta girls and women oughta see this clip . . .

If ya know any, feel free to pass it along.

& after you check out the clip, you might enjoy the story below.  

 The 'Middle Wife' by an Anonymous 2nd grade teacher
I've been teaching now for about fifteen years. I have two kids myself, but the best birth story I know is the one I saw in my own second grade classroom a few years back.

When I was a kid, I loved show-and-tell. So I always have a few sessions with my students. It helps them get over shyness and usually, show-and-tell is pretty tame. Kids bring in pet turtles, model airplanes, pictures of fish they catch, stuff like that. And I never, ever place any boundaries or limitations on them. If they want to lug it in to school and talk about it, they're welcome.

Well, one day this little girl, Erica, a very bright, very outgoing kid,takes her turn and waddles up to the front of the class with a pillow stuffed under her sweater.

She holds up a snapshot of an infant. 'This is Luke, my baby brother, and I'm going to tell you about his birthday.'

'First, Mom and Dad made him as a symbol of their love, and then Dad put a seed in my Mom's stomach, and Luke grew in there. He ate for nine months through an umbrella cord.'

She's standing there with her hands on the pillow, and I'm trying not to laugh and wishing I had my camcorder with me. The kids are watching her in amazement.

'Then, about two Saturdays ago, my Mom starts going, 'Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh!' Erica puts a hand behind her back and groans. 'She walked around the house for, like an hour, 'Oh, oh, oh!' (Now this kid is doing a hysterical duck walk and groaning.)

'My Dad called the middle wife. She delivers babies, but she doesn't have a sign on the car like the Domino's man. They got my Mom to lie down in bed like this.' (Then Erica lies down with her back against the wall.)

'And then, pop! My Mom had this bag of water she kept in there in case he got thirsty, and it just blew up and spilled all over the bed, like psshhheew!' (This kid has her legs spread with her little hands miming water flowing away. It was too much!)

'Then the middle wife starts saying 'push, push,' and 'breathe, breathe'.  They started counting, but never even got past ten. Then, all of a sudden, out comes my brother. He was covered in yucky stuff that they all said it was from Mom's play-center, so there must be a lot of toys inside there. When he got out, the middle wife spanked him for crawling up in there in the first place.'

Then Erica stood up, took a big theatrical bow and returned to her seat.

I'm sure I applauded the loudest. Ever since then, when it's Show-and-tell day, I bring my camcorder, just in case another 'Middle Wife' comes along.

Now you have two choices...laugh and close this page or pass this along to someone else to spread the laughs. I know what I did!!!

Live every day as if it is your LAST chance to make someone happy!
"Laugh uncontrollably, it clears the mind."

Jan Goodman
(310) 458-7213 or (310) 729-2394

* * *

Talk About a Way With Words
Earl Wilson/The New York Times

Gail Collins

NY Times Op-Ed: October 27, 2012

Rape is a big issue this election season. Not what we were expecting, but, these days, American voters are prepared to deal with pretty much anything.
This week, all eyes turned to a United States Senate debate in Indiana — also something we were not really planning on doing. Richard Mourdock, the Republican candidate, caused a national stir when he defended his across-the-board opposition to abortion by saying that a pregnancy caused by rape “is something that God intended to happen.”

When it comes to abortion, both Mourdock and his Democratic opponent, Representative Joe Donnelly, are anti-choice. But, unlike Mourdock, Donnelly makes an exception in the case of rape or incest. One of the truly disturbing parts of our current politics is that we have begun to identify people who want to impose their religious beliefs on millions of women who don’t share them as moderates as long as they’re O.K. with the rape exemption.

There are plenty of reasons that a sensible Hoosier would not want to have Mourdock as a senator. He’s a Tea Party favorite who toppled the longtime incumbent, Senator Richard Lugar, in a primary, during which he said that his definition of bipartisanship was “Democrats coming to the Republican point of view.” As state treasurer, he sued to stop the Obama administration’s rescue of Chrysler, a company that is directly or indirectly responsible for about 100,000 jobs in Indiana.

But let’s just talk today about his comment on abortion. Mourdock was basically saying that everything that happens is part of God’s plan. Did that mean God’s plan included evil things like sexual assault? Or just pregnancies as a result of sexual assault? Theologians have been arguing these kinds of questions for more than a thousand years. I don’t think we can expect to work them out in the Indiana Senate debate.

However, Mourdock’s words reminded everyone of Representative Todd Akin, the United States Senate candidate in Missouri. He defended his opposition to abortion under any circumstance by claiming that it was virtually impossible to become pregnant from a “legitimate” rape. (Many Missourians were disturbed by the remark. Recently, Akin skillfully attempted to change the subject by comparing his opponent, Senator Claire McCaskill, to a dog.)

Big-name Republicans who had distanced themselves from Akin were once again shocked — shocked! — by the appearance of another anti-choice candidate whose use of language was so clumsy as to make it clear how really radical the entire party’s position on women’s reproductive rights has become. Senator Kelly Ayotte canceled a visit to Indiana. John McCain said he’d withdraw his support unless Mourdock apologized, then withdrew the withdrawal when Mourdock said despicable media minds had misinterpreted his words.

What about Mitt Romney? Mourdock is the only Senate candidate for whom Romney has appeared in a TV ad, although there are lots of beleaguered Republicans who could use his help: the guy in Montana who had a fire on his property and then sued the local fire department that worked to put it out; the guy in Florida who used to do promotional work for “Hooters”; the woman who’s running against Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in New York. She’s against abortion even in cases of rape and incest, but, so far, very few New Yorkers know it because they have yet to learn more basic information, such as her name.

If Republicans lose Lugar’s seat, it will totally quash their hopes of winning control of the Senate. So a Romney spokesman simply said Mitt “disagrees” with Mourdock’s statement and let it go at that.

The real moral of the Mourdock flap isn’t about giving rape victims special dispensation, or whether it’s offensive to say that you believe even sexual assaults are part of God’s plan. It’s the one President Obama came up with: “This is exactly why you don’t want a bunch of politicians, mostly male, making decisions about women’s health care.” (It’s amazing, at this stage, that the president can say something this pointed, given the way he’s been run ragged through the swing states. Have you looked at the man lately? He resembles a losing contestant in “The Hunger Games.”)

The idea of banning abortion except for rape and incest cases makes anti-choice politicians sound more evenhanded, but it doesn’t actually make much sense. If you believe life begins at conception, then that’s a life, and you should try to convince women not to terminate any pregnancy, no matter what the cause. Our difference of opinion is over whether you can impose your beliefs with the threat of cops and penitentiaries.

And if rape victims deserve exemptions because their situation is dire, what about other women with unwanted pregnancies and terrible stories? The real crime of people like Mourdock and Akin is that their inartful language throws a sudden stark light on a stance that sounds so unthreatening when a candidate simply says: “I’m pro-life.”

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