communication, condescending twatbags, controversies, true crime, YouTube

People and the glass houses they dwell in…

Yesterday afternoon, I found myself watching more cop videos on YouTube. I know this is a habit I should break, even though sometimes the videos are genuinely entertaining. I should probably curtail the urge to watch them, though, because I think making bodycam videos available to the general public is potentially very harmful.

If you’ve been reading my blog for any time, you might already know that I’m not a big fan of “cancel culture”. I don’t think people’s lives should be ruined over being caught on camera on a bad day. I think justice and punishment should be, by and large, handled by the courts, rather than the public.

Some people are proponents of public shaming, claiming that it’s a good way to get people to behave better. Personally, I disagree with that, because the videos have been available for a long time now, and many people still act like jerks. When you’re having a really bad day, you may not be thinking about eventually being featured on someone’s YouTube channel. Moreover, sometimes people are dealing with mental health issues that they can’t control. Those episodes shouldn’t necessarily be made available for public consumption.

That being said, I do still watch the videos, in spite of my reservations about them… and sometimes I find them very disturbing. It’s very easy to get arrested in the United States. Sometimes police officers are extremely unprofessional, and it’s the luck of the draw as to which one people are going to have to deal with. By the same token, sometimes people act like complete maniacs. Take, for instance, the woman in the below video… This one is not for the faint of heart.

This was rather shocking to watch on many levels.
Adding a screenshot of the video, in case it disappears.

Police officers do have a difficult and dangerous job. There is no question in my mind about that. However, many of the police officers I see on American bodycam videos make me really appreciate German cops. They are less casual, generally more courteous, and resort to violent measures less often. But then, German cops don’t have to deal with as many weapons or unhinged people as American cops do. I suspect German cops are better trained and equipped, too, because Germans are generally more willing to pay taxes that will go towards training them properly.

Here in Germany, there’s also the right to be “forgotten”. That means people who are arrested get a modicum of privacy. Their faces aren’t shown in the media, and their full names generally aren’t publicized. If you see an accused person in a German newspaper, their faces will be covered, and they will be addressed by their first name and last initial. I think it’s a good policy for many people. It gives them a chance to start fresh, once they repay their civic debt. But again, society here is kind of different, and so is the overall mindset. People tend to be more community minded in Germany and other parts of Europe.

Which brings me to the video that prompted today’s post. Yesterday, I watched a DUI arrest video involving a young woman who said she was pregnant. The young woman immediately admitted to drinking and driving, then made the heartbreaking statement that she was “just like her dad.” I guess her dad is an alcoholic. As a daughter of an alcoholic, I sympathize.

This young woman is clearly very upset… She doesn’t come off as a “privileged princess” to me.

Reading some of the vile comments on this video, I get the sense that a lot of Americans are unaware that they’re veering pretty close to agreeing with the ideas and conditions set in The Handmaid’s Tale. Maybe they don’t want everyone wearing clothes in colors that identify their statuses to everyone else. Maybe they don’t think women deemed “loose” should be turned into broodmares for the powerful. But they do seem to think that pregnant folks should have different civil rights than other people should. Many of the commenters were making appalling speculations about this young woman, just because she got caught driving drunk while pregnant.

Now… I am NOT trying to say that this young woman wasn’t very irresponsible for doing what she did. Of course she shouldn’t have been drinking and driving, regardless of the status of her womb. I don’t know what her plans are/were regarding the alleged pregnancy, but I certainly wouldn’t condone drinking alcohol while pregnant. However, based on the comments, some people seem to think this poor woman’s life should be ruined for this incident. Many people speculated that perhaps she was planning to have an abortion, and that’s why she got drunk. It’s not too far of a leap to think that some of them think she’s a “slut” for getting pregnant, which, of course, is an insult to her overall character. I wonder how many of the people making such awful comments would like the same kinds of observations made about them when they make mistakes.

I am a product of a generation when plenty of pregnant women drank, including my own mom. I’m not saying that fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) or Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) aren’t a thing. They absolutely are. Since we don’t know how much alcohol is “safe” during pregnancy, and it’s not necessary to drink alcohol to be healthy, of course it’s wise to avoid it. However, it’s unlikely that this young woman, who clearly isn’t heavily pregnant, will condemn her embryo to FAS or FASD by getting drunk very early in her pregnancy. Moreover, the disgusting comments about her intentions regarding the pregnancy– potential plans to have an abortion, for instance– are completely inappropriate.

It’s a wonder that any woman in the United States even wants to be pregnant right now, with so many people in our country judging them so harshly for just about EVERYTHING they do. This young woman made a huge mistake, but the good news is, no one was injured or killed. She can and should learn from the mistake, and then simply go on with her life. But based on some of the shocking comments on YouTube, some people seem to think she should be labeled with a scarlet letter, like Hester Prynne.

Not everyone on YouTube was nasty. Some people did have some empathy for the young woman, as they hoped this was a “wake up call”. There’s no telling why she decided to drink and drive. No one should be doing that. And naturally, it’s not advisable to drink alcohol while pregnant, although in some countries, it’s considered much less of an issue than it is in the United States. Here in Europe, for instance, some physicians even encourage very light drinking during pregnancy (maybe one small glass of wine or beer per week). They get more upset about pregnant women eating very rare meats, unpasteurized cheeses, or raw seafood. And yet, plenty of babies are born in Europe, safe and sound, even if their mothers had a glass of Syrah or a Guinness while they were pregnant.

American culture has some big issues with moderation. I think maybe it has to do with the fact that the US is a young country, and our people lack the wisdom that comes from thousands of years of civilization. Many United States citizens are not unlike new converts to a culty religion. We, as a whole, seem to think we know everything; our culture is the best; and we can do no wrong. The rest of the world laughs at us. You can see it when someone from the States comes to Europe, is super loud and obnoxious, and acts like people should be impressed by where they come from. Many American people lack self-awareness and like to hear themselves talk, rather than stopping to listen occasionally. I’m not saying ALL Americans are like this, but quite a lot of us are. That attitude comes from ignorance and a lack of perspective, as well as significant hubris.

And so, when we watch a video of a young person doing something clearly unwise and potentially very dangerous, we tend to be heavy handed with insults, inappropriate predictions of the future, judgment, and condemnation. It really sucks, because nobody is perfect.

This young woman did, at least, own up to what she did, and mostly cooperated, even if she did it while crying and shrieking in a “baby” voice. She should have the chance to redeem herself and thank God that this incident didn’t turn out much worse. But not only does she have to endure humiliation, pay fines, and probably get yelled at by people who actually know and care about her, she also has to put up with absolutely horrible, soul destroying comments from complete strangers, who evidently see her as nothing more than an embryo bearing vessel, and apparently think her whole life should be ruined over this mistake. That’s what I think is the real shame. Those kinds of words hurt, and they can cause some people to fall into true despair that can lead to more destructive behavior, or even suicide.

There were also a few “abortion is murder” comments thrown in for good measure, although there is no indication that this woman is/was planning a termination. But, if she was planning to terminate her pregnancy, and is actually as terrible, morally bankrupt, and irresponsible as some of the commenters seem to think she is, maybe having an abortion would ultimately be the most appropriate thing for her to do. Because obviously, someone that absolutely horrible can’t possibly take care of herself well enough to gestate a healthy baby… right?

In case some people are missing my sarcasm, I do NOT think this young woman deserves the extreme hate she got on this video. I think she needs someone kind and mature to talk to her and give her some much needed guidance. I really hope she has someone like that in her life… or finds someone who can fulfill that role. And if she chose to stay pregnant, I hope she had/has a healthy baby. She should learn from this mistake and go on with her life… and those who are condemning her character should stop and take a long look in the mirror at themselves and the glass houses they dwell in. I would like to hope that, in person, most people really aren’t as dreadful as they are in vicious comments they make online.

celebrities, condescending twatbags, healthcare, rock stars, slut shamers

No, Lindsey Buckingham doesn’t need your input on charities…

This morning, I looked at my Facebook memories and realized that one year ago, the world lost Christine McVie, the luminary singer, keyboardist, and songwriter for Fleetwood Mac. As I remembered my shock at the sudden departure of McVie, a musician I’ve admired for most of my life, I remembered that one of her former bandmates was also recently on my mind.

Lindsey Buckingham, legendary guitar player, songwriter, singer, and former member of Fleetwood Mac, is running an ad on his Facebook page that I happened to see. I fully support Lindsey’s decision to support Planned Parenthood through Wear Your Music, an organization that makes and sells jewelry from guitar strings. In fact, I applaud it. For the most part, Planned Parenthood does good work, offering reproductive healthcare to people– men and women– who need it. Yes, Planned Parenthood offers abortions, but abortion is a very small part of what Planned Parenthood does… and if you’re a regular reader of my blog, you already know how strongly I feel about the need for safe and legal access to abortion healthcare. I do not, by the way, wish to argue about this point. I won’t be changing my mind.

I think this is a good thing, and I applaud Lindsey Buckingham’s courage. Plenty of anti-choicers were flooding the comment section, though.

It always amazes me how many trolls come out when an artist expresses support for something like reproductive healthcare. While many people were congratulating Buckingham’s decision to support a very worthy cause, plenty of other people– many of them men and older women who no longer have to worry about unintended pregnancies– were chiming in on how awful Planned Parenthood is, and how wrong it is for Buckingham to support it. Lots of people were commenting about how Buckingham’s decision changed their opinions of him… as if that is going to matter a whit to Lindsey Buckingham. I doubt he’ll lose any sleep over their outrage.

Poor Bill had to listen to my outrage at some of the braindead comments on Buckingham’s ad. It infuriates me to read the sanctimonious, slut shaming, and just plain clueless remarks made by people who insist that they care about the sanctity of life, as they vote for people who don’t give a fuck about anyone but the super wealthy. One woman commented repeatedly about how she’d rather Buckingham donate money to pay for ultrasounds for pregnant people who are considering abortion. When someone asked her how many babies she’d adopted, she responded that she hadn’t adopted any… but gives money to “organizations that do.”

That struck me as a strange comment. This woman is no doubt a Republican, and Republicans constantly yammer about how government needs to be smaller and less involved in people’s personal decisions. And yet, she feels perfectly fine about inserting herself in one of the most private and personal decisions a woman can make. I also didn’t see her commenting about what she does to make sure the babies born to women who aren’t ready to be parents have a good start in life.

I NEVER see pro-life people ever offering to help pregnant women with anything that would make pregnancy safer, and parenthood more feasible for them. I don’t see them offering to hire pregnant women, helping them pay for food, rent, or medical bills, or otherwise trying to make pregnancy easier for women who find themselves facing parenthood when they aren’t ready. They repeatedly bring up adoption as a good solution, but never seem to consider that pregnancy is physically and emotionally risky for some people.

Some of those babies born to mothers who aren’t ready for them are going to suffer from abuse, neglect, poverty, and other social ills, because, at this point, we don’t force people give up their babies to “good” parents. Moreover, left to their own devices, a lot of women who would want to have an abortion for the sake of convenience would do it as early as possible, if people would just leave them alone and let them make the decision without interference. The people who speak of carelessness and convenience don’t seem to realize that pregnancy shouldn’t be a punishment. Life is hard enough as it is. I wouldn’t want a very irresponsible person maintaining a pregnancy, especially if they don’t have any support. Republicans don’t want to support anyone or anything but the wealthy and the religious.

I have repeatedly stated that, personally, I don’t think I would have ever chosen to have an abortion. Thankfully, I was never in a situation where I would have needed to consider it. But that’s me– and that’s my choice. And I was lucky enough to grow up at a time when I still had the choice, if I needed to make it. Today’s young women are no longer guaranteed that choice. While a lot of pro-lifers remind everyone that pregnancy is prevented by abstinence, quite a few of those folks are men, and as almost every woman knows, men can be very persuasive when they’re in the mood for sex. Unfortunately, not all of them are willing to wear condoms.

Planned Parenthood has helped many people with reproductive healthcare issues that have nothing to do with abortion. The organization offers affordable, accessible care to people who really need it. As someone with master’s degrees in public health and social work, of course I support the valuable work they do. Someone else’s choice to have an abortion is NONE of my business. It’s none of yours, either.

Someone who doesn’t support Planned Parenthood posted that they were glad Lindsey was upfront about where the money would be going. I thought that was a reasonable comment. If you choose not to support Planned Parenthood, of course that’s your prerogative. I highly doubt the man who posted his thoughts on this was going to buy any guitar string jewelry, anyway. I mean, I support Lindsey’s choice in charities, but I’m not interested in buying guitar string jewelry myself. It makes me think too much about what a pain it is to change the strings on my guitar.

I have donated to Planned Parenthood, though, and maybe it’s time I did so again. That’s a cause I believe in, wholeheartedly. I just wish there was a way to donate that didn’t potentially put my credit card at risk. Last time I donated to a cause, my card got hacked, and it was a huge pain in the ass. Just a few days ago, someone got ahold of my old number and tried to use it for nefarious purposes. I wish those criminal dirtbags would get jobs.

Anyway… it saddens me that so many Americans think they need to weigh in on other Americans’ reproductive choices. Especially when MOST of them have no desire to do anything more than slut shame, scream about their gun rights, and vote for people like Donald Trump. It really saddens me how very ignorant people are. And frankly, it reminds me that I’m glad I don’t have any children to worry about… especially daughters.


I am very glad to see women in Texas suing the state over the ridiculous and extreme abortion bans there. I wish most of them would simply leave the state. It’s so dangerous to be a woman in a state where doctors are afraid to do what is medically correct, because they don’t want to go to jail, get sued, or lose their license to practice over the abortion issue. IT IS A DECISION THAT SHOULD BE PRIVATE… just as private as John MAGA’s prostate surgery is. And just as sacred as John MAGA’s guns are…

healthcare, politics

The people of Ohio have spoken up for women’s rights!

The day after Election Day is often very polarizing. I remember how some people were rejoicing in 2016 when Donald Trump won the presidential election. Other people, myself included, felt like going on a bender at the news of his ascension to the White House. In my opinion, the 2016 election changed everything… and in many ways, things got worse. Emboldened MAGA Republicans decided to screw around with rights we Americans have taken for granted for decades. Roe v. Wade was overturned, and suddenly, women of childbearing age became second class citizens in most states where people typically vote Republican.

Well… I was absolutely delighted this morning to read about the results of Ohio’s election. I took it as a sign that there are still people in the United States who have common sense and decency. I’m writing, of course, of the decision Ohio voters made to establish the right to abortion in their State Constitution. According to The New York Times:

Ohio voters resoundingly approved a ballot measure enshrining a right to abortion in the State Constitution, according to The Associated Press, continuing a winning streak for abortion-rights groups that have appealed directly to the public as they try to recover from the United States Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade.

Issue 1, as the ballot measure is known, had become the country’s most-watched race in the off-year elections, as both parties try to gauge whether voter anger over the loss of the federal right to abortion could help Democrats in next year’s presidential and congressional races.

I am also greatly relieved to see that many of the people commenting on this issue are as delighted about it as I am. It’s a sign that most Americans do not want to see our country backslide fifty or more years by intruding in private medical decisions made by women about their own reproduction. I also realize that some people are very disappointed, because they truly believe that abortion is morally wrong. It may surprise some of my readers that I can empathize with that viewpoint. Personally, I find abortion horrifying. But I’ve also never been in a position in which I seriously had to consider having an abortion. I’ve never been pregnant.

I have never been pregnant, but I have always been practical. And I wholeheartedly believe that we must protect the rights of the already born over the unborn. The attempt to completely ban abortion has already had disastrous second and third order effects that I don’t think most people considered when they tried to impose draconian limits on the procedure.

I don’t think people who oppose allowing women to choose realize that banning abortion will lead to poorer healthcare for everyone. Why? Because doctors don’t want to work in states where they can be arrested for doing their jobs. OB-GYNs in red states like Texas, Idaho, and Florida are already leaving those states for places where they don’t have to fear prosecution for acting in the best interests of their patients. So already, women who live in states with strict abortion bans are going to have fewer doctors around to help them, not just when they’re pregnant, but also when they have other conditions that affect their health.

But while I haven’t done a lot of research on the emerging issues of physicians leaving red states over abortion, I’ll bet other doctors will leave, too. Because if state legislators can butt into women’s health, what’s to stop them from branching out into other specialties? And what about the medical schools in those states? The best and the brightest medical students won’t want to study in a state that ties their hands and threatens them with arrest over moral issues, largely influenced by politics and religion. Those who do go to medical school in red states might not want to become OB-GYNs in those states. Or, at least those doctors in training won’t want to train in those places, unless they are themselves anti-choice. I would think that mindset would inherently make them worse physicians, because their focus would be on the unborn, rather than the already born patient asking them for care.

Pregnancy can be dangerous or even deadly for some people. Physicians should have the right to be able to help their patients without worrying about being arrested and eventually incarcerated. Patients must have the right to privacy, without some politician’s ideology in the exam room with them. The United States, as a whole, already has way too many people in prison as it is. Incarcerating more people isn’t a good way to protect children. Banning semi-automatic and automatic weapons… now THAT is a good way to protect children!

I’m sure the decision to enshrine the right to abortion in Ohio’s State Constitution had at least something to do with that poor ten year old girl who was impregnated by her stepfather and had to go to Indiana for care. I’m sure many voters realized that a ten year old child isn’t equipped to maintain a healthy pregnancy. While her case isn’t necessarily the norm, the ugly truth is, children can and do get pregnant after they are victimized. They must be protected!

Other people likely voted for the measure because they realized that sometimes women need abortions for tragic reasons that are, quite simply, no one else’s business. Sometimes women have abortions because they will DIE if they don’t. And they should not have to explain that to anyone else, nor should they ever have to worry that they’ll be arrested for taking care of their own health. Imagine how absolutely horrifying it would be to learn that your much wanted baby has anomalies that are incompatible with life, then being FORCED to maintain the pregnancy.

I read some comments from some people who were concerned that protecting the right to abortion would lead to an erosion of parental rights. Some people don’t want minors to have the right to gender affirming care without parental consent. Others don’t want to allow minor girls to have abortion without parental consent. To that, I say that gender affirming care for minors generally doesn’t involve making permanent changes to their bodies. Frankly, I think it’s much better to provide that healthcare and support to minors who are transgender or non-binary, than ignore the issue and put them at risk of suicide. Either way, this is an issue that should be dealt with privately among the people involved, not politicians.

As for girls getting pregnant and having abortions without their parents’ consent, I would say that if your daughter is having unprotected sex without your knowledge, that’s a much bigger issue than the risk that she might get an abortion without your permission. I think we need to face facts and realize that teenagers are going to have sex. It should be up to parents to teach their children about sex, and how to avoid unintended pregnancies. But many parents typically do a terrible job at this task. They simply tell their teenaged children to abstain, or leave it up to the schools, which are governed by their communities.

Many educators in school systems will direct teenagers to abstain from having sex. Some of them will do that. I did. But plenty of others will have sex before they’re ready for it, and they will get pregnant. I would much rather see teenagers be able to access contraceptives and even abortion care than be at risk for doing something desperate, crazy, or stupid.

When I was a teenager, there was a well known case of a 17 year old girl named Becky Bell who got pregnant in Indiana. She asked about having an abortion, but was told that in her state, she needed either parental consent or a waiver from a judge. Not wanting to tell her parents about her condition, Becky considered her options. They included going 100 miles away to Kentucky for an abortion, carrying the baby to term and placing it for adoption, or running away to California. She feared asking a judge for permission to have an abortion because she didn’t want her parents to find out about the pregnancy.

Sadly, Becky decided to either self-abort or access an illegal abortion. The end result was that she got very sick with an infection, got pneumonia, went septic, and ultimately died on September 16, 1988. Her parents, Bill and Karen Bell, later lobbied against the parental consent law. They would have preferred that their beloved daughter have access to abortion without their knowledge or consent than what ultimately happened. They lost Becky forever because she couldn’t have healthcare privacy. This was a young lady who was on the brink of adulthood, anyway. If she’d been able to have an abortion without interference from uninvolved parties, she would still be alive today. But you never hear the pro life crowd talking about that. They just want to talk about the sanctity of life, and abstinence education. Why didn’t they care more about Becky Bell’s life?

Becky Bell’s story was later dramatized for HBO. That was how I heard about it. In 1992, she was the subject of Lifestories: Families in Crisis, “Public Law 106: The Becky Bell Story”. I remember the show vividly. I don’t see it posted on YouTube, but it looks like it can be accessed on HBO Max. Becky Bell’s story really hit home for me, because she was one of my peers. She wasn’t even a year older than me. I could have been in her shoes myself.

I think Republicans made a huge mistake when they decided to go after abortion rights. They’re going to find that this is an issue that will cause them to lose elections. I know I’m done voting for Republicans, and I also know I’m not the only one. In my case, it’s not just because of abortion, but abortion is one reason why I won’t vote for them anymore. I don’t have to worry about needing an abortion anymore, but there are people I care about who do. And also, I’m pissed off about the dreadful people in that party who seem to have lost all sense of decorum and decency.

I truly fear Donald Trump winning another election, although common sense tells me he won’t win. But then, I didn’t think he stood a chance in 2016, either. If he wins, he will do everything in his power to dismantle the Constitution, because he wants to be a dictator. And the people who support him are too stupid to realize that if he gets into power, they will lose their power, too. This isn’t about Republicans as a whole, either… it’s about Trump, who is the top Republican at the moment. Going after abortion– which I really think is more about keeping people in their places than caring about babies– was just the first step toward taking away freedoms for everyone. The United States is supposed to be a free country… but banning abortion is the height of government overreach that will have devastating effects on basic freedoms like healthcare privacy.

I think Ohio’s decision to enshrine the right to abortion will ultimately be a good thing for all Ohioans– including the unborn. Because they are going to find that people will move to their state… especially people who can provide good healthcare. They will find that doctors will want to practice in a place where they can do their jobs without fear of arrest. Bright young people will want to go to medical school in Ohio, because they can get all of the training they need to do their jobs. The military will want to do business in Ohio, because female service members will be able to access the healthcare they need and maintain military readiness. And fewer babies will be born to people who aren’t ready or don’t want to be parents. That will lead to less poverty, less child abuse, and fewer people needing welfare assistance from the state.

So, I say BRAVO to Ohio voters. I hope like hell that other states will follow suit and protect the right to reproductive healthcare privacy, although I fear that many Republican legislators red states will do everything in their power to keep the issue off their ballots. Imagine that… the Supreme Court says it’s a state issue, but the legislators in red states don’t want to risk making that decision. I’m shaking my head at that… and grateful I don’t have any descendants.

celebrities, condescending twatbags, mental health, rants, sex

People hate the successful…

I’m happy to report that I’m feeling somewhat well this morning. Over the past few days, my stomach and, I suspect, my gallbladder, have been giving me issues. Add in the residual cough from my recent cold/acid reflux, and you have someone who isn’t super sick, but has been feeling pretty crappy lately. It got bad enough the other day that I actually started looking at hospitals in Yerevan, not because I want to seek medical treatment there, but because I figured I might need emergency gallbladder surgery.

To be clear, I don’t WANT to have surgery in Armenia, or anywhere else, for that matter. I just wanted to see if the facilities had improved since I lived there in the 90s. I did once visit a friend who was in the hospital in Armenia in 1996, and it was definitely a “rustic” experience for her. I think the hospitals are probably markedly better now, but I’d still rather have any medical procedures done in Germany or somewhere similarly first world. This isn’t even to say that there aren’t good doctors in Armenia. I know there are. But I’d still much rather have surgery in Germany, if I can help it.

This morning, I’m feeling like I can put off surgery. I got a relatively good night’s sleep after I took some NyQuil, and my stomach is feeling a lot better. The nagging pressure and vague pain have mostly disappeared. I will probably need to have my gallbladder taken out at some point pretty soon, but it no longer feels like it has to be this week. I haven’t been eating dinner since Bill left on Sunday, since I can’t be bothered to cook. I’ve also been teetotaling. If I manage to stay off the sauce until next week, maybe I’ll feel like a teenager again. That, of course, is a joke… 😉 Also, it’s entirely possible that I need medication, instead of surgery.

I do think I have gallstones, though, because I’ve infrequently been having the classic symptoms for about twenty years. Plus, my dad had to have his gallbladder removed, and these things can run in families… Or, he had it removed because it was inflamed and he was in pain. Unfortunately, he never recovered from the surgery and died shortly after he had his gallbladder excised. I don’t expect that would happen to me, since I’m a lot younger than he was when he had his out, and I don’t have Lewy Body Dementia. Pity… 😉 (sorry, a little black humor creeping in there)

Since I do feel much better today, I want to write about something I’ve noticed in the wake of Britney Spears’ new tell all book hitting the market. People really hate the successful, don’t they? Poor Britney can’t catch a break anywhere, especially from empathy challenged men, and their equally tone deaf female counterparts.

In her book, The Woman in Me, Britney Spears disclosed that she had an abortion when she was dating Justin Timberlake. She explained that she hadn’t wanted to have the abortion, but Justin was adamant that he didn’t want to be a father at that time in his life. They were too young. At the time of Britney’s unplanned pregnancy, Justin and Britney were just barely legal adults. Both had extremely successful careers going. While I think it’s likely Britney could have chosen differently, she decided to defer to Justin and terminate the pregnancy.

Britney took pills to end her pregnancy while she was at home, so no one would ever know about her decision. Justin and an assistant were there as she did it. She wrote that he strummed the guitar in an effort to help her feel better, and that the abortion was “excruciating”. Below is a passage from The Woman in Me regarding how she decided to have an abortion…

Well, Justin was right that they were too young… It was very pragmatic thinking. Too bad they weren’t practical enough to either use birth control or abstain.
Poor Britney… Her description of this scenario is one reason why I don’t think men have any right to have a say at all in abortion decisions. They aren’t the ones who will be physically hurting.
She may have loved him, but he sure as hell never loved her. But at least she doesn’t have to maintain ties to him today.

Justin Timberlake is now getting a ration of shit because of Britney’s book. It was so bad that he turned off comments on his Instagram. Now, people are flooding Jessica Biel’s Instagram to vent about this. Jessica Biel, for your information, is Justin Timberlake’s wife. They have children together.

I’ve seen so many awful comments about Britney’s decision to do as Justin demanded. Many people blame her entirely for her choice to have an abortion, rather than ignoring Justin’s wishes and having the baby. I think it’s important to remember how very young Britney Spears was at the time, and how a lot of young women at that age often want to please other people, particularly when they come from small Southern towns. Yes, Britney Spears was a legal adult when she made this choice, but she was also still a teenager… and, I think, much too young and immature to be having sex with anyone.

Britney Spears does also have a long, documented history of mental illness. Having an abortion probably was the most practical decision for Britney to make at that time, which doesn’t mean that it wasn’t an absolutely horrifying experience for her, or anyone else who chooses to have an abortion. I hasten to add, it also doesn’t mean that Britney’s experience with abortion is every woman’s experience with it. I hope Britney’s story doesn’t end up being used as “pro-life/anti-choice” propaganda. I don’t think anyone WANTS to have an abortion for fun. It’s a sad, difficult, and ultimately very personal decision that absolutely should be 100 percent the pregnant woman’s sole decision. It’s still HER body, at least until the fetus is developed enough to safely be born. She’s the one who went through the excruciating cramps and pain as Justin played guitar. I guess I can give him a couple of points for at least hanging around while the deed was done.

This should have been a private matter; but because Britney Spears has been a public commodity since she was a teenager, her abortion is now fodder for public commentary. Predictably, the comments are very judgmental and sometimes pretty cruel. I’ve seen a lot of people complaining about Britney acting like a victim and– horrors!– SELLING her story, instead of donating the proceeds to a charity. How DARE Britney Spears make money off her story! Even though she has had an abusive, alcoholic, asshole of a father dictating her every move for 13 years!

The more I read about Britney’s book, especially after having read it myself, the more I think a lot of people are just plain bitter about Britney Spears and people like her. She happened to be born with formidable talents that could be packaged and sold to the masses. A lot of the decisions made about her destiny were made when she was a just a child. Before she even hit 18 years old, she was a product responsible for the livelihoods of a lot of people. Yes, she was legally an adult who could technically make decisions, but she was also being controlled by family members at a time when her brain wasn’t fully developed. Add in mental health issues and being sheltered and immature, and you have someone who might decide to listen to her boyfriend when he says he wants her to have an abortion– even though it’s HER body, and ultimately her decision!

And then, Britney Spears has a mental health breakdown that is very public, with people ridiculing, shaming, and laughing at her, and that lands her in a very restrictive conservatorship, where she can’t even decide what to eat every day. But she’s well enough to perform, and make money for all of those people handling her career! Now, some people are using her book as “proof” that the conservatorship was a good thing… because how dare Britney write about having an abortion and make money!

I tell you what… my heart goes out to Britney Spears. As a woman– as someone who sings– as someone who had a controlling, alcoholic, abusive father– hell, as someone from the South– I can identify with her predicament. I wish Britney Spears had never had sex with Justin Timberlake, or anyone else who had so little respect for her. I’m glad I waited for marriage, and I’m glad I never had any desire to be a famous pop star, nor did I have parents who knew I could sing when I was still a minor. Of course, I also wasn’t blessed with the kind of raw and natural sex appeal Britney has. Is that a blessing or a curse? Because a lot of the men who are blaming her for getting pregnant as a teenager, probably, would have happily “hit that”, regardless of Britney’s mental health issues. A lot of those men would “hit that” even today, in spite of thinking she’s a victim who “blames everybody” for her problems.

I think people should be a lot less casual about sexual activity. It’s not because I’m a religious prude or anything. I just think it’s the most practical thing to do, especially when you’re very young and still figuring out life. But, I also know that most people will have casual sex, and most of them won’t take every precaution. I don’t know if Justin Timberlake was using a condom when he was having sex with Britney Spears, nor do I know if she was using birth control. My guess is that they weren’t being as careful as they could have been at the time… because they were very young and very horny. Young bodies are made to reproduce, so it makes sense that it happened. It could have been avoided, but again– they were kids, and not quite ready to be having sex with anyone.

Anyway… this is all water under the bridge. It’s been a long time… and I don’t think either Britney or Justin should be harassed for making this decision. The fact that so many people are getting upset enough about it to send hateful comments to either party is just more proof that these two famous people– beautiful, talented, and wealthy– have been reduced to products that perfect strangers feel perfectly free to judge. I guess it gives them something to do before they head off to their perfectly, average, mundane jobs.

I probably should quit reading comment sections… they always make me realize just how awful so many people are. I just read about Frances Bean Cobain getting married again. There were so many disgusting jokes referencing Kurt Cobain’s suicide. I mean… what prompts people to be so cruel? My guess is that it’s just plain old bitterness and envy. Such a shame.

Well, I think I’ll end today’s post and move on to my next chores… folding laundry, walking Noyzi, cooking a chicken, and practicing guitar. See you all tomorrow.

book reviews, celebrities

Britney Spears tells a lot in The Woman in Me…

Good morning, blog fans. Another Monday is upon us. Today, I woke up alone at about 3:00 AM. I couldn’t get back to sleep, so I plowed through the rest of Britney Spears’ bombshell memoir, The Woman in Me.

I read Britney’s book, not because I am a big fan of her music, but because I know she has a story, and she was silenced for far too long under her father’s disgusting conservatorship scam. I’ve come to admire her prodigious talents and her undeniable pluck. She’s been through a lot, and while I have no doubts that she struggles with mental health issues, I also think she was used and abused for most of her life. I admire her for fighting back against the many parasitic people who were in her life, and for making herself heard… and I love that this project is hers, and she will profit from it.

The Woman in Me is decently written, and Britney Spears is remarkably candid about what has happened to her since her birth in McComb, Mississippi on December 2, 1981. She was born into a troubled family. According to Spears, her father, Jamie Spears, is a notorious alcoholic who is a very mean drunk. Britney writes that her father’s father, June, was also a very strict, abusive taskmaster who was mean, while his mother, Jean, tragically committed suicide about eight years after she lost her three day old son.

Britney’s mother, Lynne, was born into a family with money, although her British mother, Lily, longed to go back to her native London. Lynne’s father, Barney, would not allow Lily to go home, so she became kind of flighty and distraught, as Britney describes it.

Since Britney’s parents came from dysfunctional backgrounds, they were pretty dysfunctional themselves when they wed in July 1976. Lynne was Jamie’s second wife; his first wife was Debbie Sanders Cross, and their marriage lasted about three years. Jamie and Debbie are reportedly still friends, even though their marriage failed.

There were problems between Britney’s parents even before they welcomed Britney’s brother, Bryan, on April 24, 1977. Besides Jamie Spears’ alcoholism, there were also serious money problems early in the marriage, although Jamie later turned into a capable businessman in their hometown of Kentwood, Louisiana. Lynne went as far as filing for divorce in 1980, but changed her mind. The couple stayed together so that Britney could be born the following year. Sister Jamie Lynn Spears was born April 4, 1991, even though Jamie and Lynne Spears continued to have marital strife. As of May 2002, they are divorced, although they unofficially reconciled in 2010 and seem to continue to be in and out of each other’s lives.

From an early age, Britney Spears showed an affinity for performing. She loved to sing, dance, and do gymnastics. When it became clear that their daughter had a special gift for performing arts, Britney’s parents encouraged her to participate in musical activities. She made her debut in kindergarten, singing “What Child Is This” for a production at her Christian school. By the time she was eight years old, Britney was auditioning for The Mickey Mouse Club. Although she didn’t make the cut the first time, the casting director liked her enough to encourage her to go to New York and work with a talent agent. Lynne took Britney to New York City and pretty soon, she was singing on Broadway with the likes of Natalie Portman. She was also famously a contestant on Star Search, although she didn’t go far on that show. She was eliminated after her second appearance.

Ten year old Britney Spears’ second appearance on Star Search. Little did we know what she would later become… a true star.

Britney later got on The Mickey Mouse Club, and there she met Christina Aguilera and Justin Timberlake. She and Justin had a long romance and she eventually got pregnant with his child. She wanted to keep the baby, but Justin objected. So Britney Spears, who had been baptized as Southern Baptist and went to Christian school in the Deep South, had an abortion that she didn’t want. Later, she realized that Timberlake was unfaithful to her, just as other men in her life have been.

The video that put Britney on the proverbial map…

By the time Britney was seventeen years old, she was a huge star and certifiably bankable to money hungry executives. When she first started, Britney wanted to work constantly. She loved what she was doing and it came very naturally to her. She was also happy to share her good fortune with her family. But soon she was consumed by the demands of her stardom, and the many people who were making money off of her gifts. She started to have mental health issues and began to crumble quite publicly. She famously got married for 55 hours to her friend, Jason Alexander. The press turned on her; her marriage to Kevin Federline collapsed; and she lost custody of her sons, Sean Preston and Jayden James. She responded by shaving her head.

Britney Spears and Michael Jackson, before things went south for both of them…

Then Britney’s father turned into her master, and for thirteen years, she couldn’t so much as eat a piece of pizza or drink a cup of coffee without his permission. Meanwhile, she continued to rake in money, which she was forced to spend on rehabs her father made her attend. He paid himself more than he paid her; she was given an allowance of $2000 a week. And the rest of her family just stood by and did nothing, while Britney was deemed too sick to handle her own affairs, but not too sick to perform on stage or make best selling albums.

My thoughts

This book is pretty easy to read, with short chapters and straightforward writing. There are no photos included, which I see disappointed some readers. Personally, I didn’t mind, since I can easily find many records of the incidents she refers to in the book. Most of them are videos that are easily watched on YouTube.

Some of Britney’s bombshells are shocking and infuriating, but she also manages to include some interesting anecdotes about her life as a star. I was particularly intrigued by her story about working with a huge snake while performing at the 2001 Video Music Awards. While I wouldn’t say Britney’s writing (which is actually assisted by several ghost writers) is extraordinary, nor would I describe her book as super detailed, I would say that she delivers a pretty raw story about what her life as a superstar has been like. Based on Britney’s account, I would say being a superstar is definitely a mixed bag, even if her father hadn’t been an abusive tyrant.


Sure, Britney got to meet a lot of her heroes and has worked with fellow superstars Elton John, Madonna, Michael Jackson, and But she also lost her privacy, as she was hounded by the press. Her every move was scrutinized and critiqued, and she wasn’t allowed to fail. And while she’s made a lot of money, she’s also employed a lot of people, whose livelihoods depend on her ability to deliver great performances. That’s a lot of pressure, even if your parents aren’t dysfunctional assholes. Based on Britney’s story, her parents are definitely in asshole territory.

As of June 9, 2022, Britney Spears is now on her third marriage, but by September 2023 she had already separated from Sam Ashgari. I have no doubt that it’s a challenge to live with Britney Spears. Even if her mental health was rock solid, she can’t enjoy the basic things normal people take for granted. That would be bound to affect anyone close to her, especially a spouse. I don’t know why she and her husband have already split. I hope it’s not because he turned out to be yet another exploiter.

As a singer myself, I really admire Britney Spears’ talents. I also find her very likable, even if I’m still not a big fan of her genre of music. She has undeniable charisma, and that is what makes her such a bankable star. I’m glad she wrote The Woman in Me, and I hope she enjoys the surge of success that comes from sharing her story. She’s entitled to be free to live her life on her own terms. Even if she has a mental illness, she should have the right to handle it without interference from leeches who are just trying to make money off of her star power. I don’t want to see Britney end up like so many other incredibly gifted people who burn out fast and die too young.

As I was reading this book, I was actually reminded a little of Tina Turner, who was also famously exploited by a greedy man who wanted to profit off her talents. Tina was also able to break away in her 40s, just like Britney has. I hope, that like Tina Turner did, Britney is able to enjoy the rest of her life as she pleases. She really deserves it.

I would give The Woman in Me four stars out of five and a hearty recommendation.

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