They checked their Blackberries last night, my daughter and spouse. They'd gone out for a walk as we stayed with the kids.
"Nothing yet," was the 10 p.m. (PST) verdict. No, our foot-dragging, drama-loving Congress would make us stay up late to find out would they/wouldn't they.
Earlier, when the House Republicans used women's bodies to stall the healthcare bill, I was angry--once again. More frequent Elderbloggers Darlene and Ronni posted timely rants. Amanda Maracotte* at RH Reality Check posted a stronger response in line with my own feelings on the relationship of Stupak amendment to men's wish to control women and their bodies as result of their "deepset fear of women's agency."
My family tried to calm me with reminders that reform was so crucial, that the abortion restrictions would never last, that we needed to support this shaky bill. Made an effort to let go of disappointment but had less heart in sending more emails, small donations to the "good guys" in Congress.
While we waited, surprising new guidelines were issued by the U.S. Prevenive Services Task Force on mammogram testing. As an old lady who has had two "false positives," one at 52, the other at 64 which led to a biopsy, I take this very personally. Who of us does not?
[Aside: Is Politics Daily, not a feminist blog, the only one to picture the mammo machine? Did any of the mainstream media stories show that dreadful invention, now marginally improved since my first one in the 1970s? I have a couple of paper "gowns" saved from these visits--blue, pink. These combined with the eerie sounds of the X-ray machine have always seemed ready-made for a dance performance or a scene in a play I'd write.]
This morning I had a little relief with the post at Our Bodies Ourselves, New Mammogram Guidelines Are Causing Confusion, But Here's Why They Make Sense. It is a long, thoughtful post that acknowledges the complexity of technology that gives us information but has the potential for harm. The comments with reactions from women, researchers, doctors are worth reading too.
Occurred to me that we need a younger women's consciousness to focus on useful health education in middle and high schools. All the controversy around "sex ed" may have left us with nothing! Bring back those plaster human bodies we cringed at in my freshman college gym class, the ones that come apart to reveal our insides. Young people need to learn more about how it all works--and more about ways to evaluate health info that comes toward us.
*Maracotte has another post, "Less boob squishing seems like a value add to me" on her own Pandagon blog.