Happy New Year!

It feels wrong to write this without acknowledging the tremendous amount of sorrow that has hit our communities and homes.

Midnight marks a new day and a new year, but it doesn’t erase the pain, suffering, and disappointment.

I spent much of the year grieving, but 2020 brought me so many reasons to be grateful. Pre-pandemic closures, my writing was published overseas for the first time, and in my adopted hometown’s print literary anthology, Creative Colloquy. School closures meant being able to spend more time with my daughter. Changing my work style to accommodate additional childcare responsibilities led to taking new risks. In June, I started work in earnest on my video game. I even got up the nerve to try standup this year (from the comfort of my home).

The moving of meetings online post-pandemic has made it easier to engage in community decision making processes. In June, I successfully lobbied the Pierce County Democratic Party to recognize CS gas and tasers as deadly force. In 2021, I want to see this momentum continue at the State and national levels, and for the first time in a long time, I am optimistic that it will.

Gen-Z has taken to the streets and used social media and other avenues to challenge not only police brutality, but racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, economic inequality, and climate change. Emma Goldman said, “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be a part of your revolution.” In the darkest of times, the new revolutionaries have embodied joy, humor, and hope. I am grateful my daughter has such positive role models.

Please stay safe and enjoy the holiday.

Happy New Year!

Suzanne

Gif: Animation sequence for as yet untitled video game. Suzanne Skaar. 2020. All rights reserved.

Peach

A simple question I won’t ruin by repeating the litany of reasons why Trump should not have lasted this long into his first term, let alone be elected in the first place.

Peach
“Peach.” Animated gif. Suzanne Skaar. All rights reserved 2020.

 

And yes, I did use Papyrus.

 

Georgia’s Anti-Abortion Law is an Attack on Women Everywhere

Under Georgia’s new abortion law, I would very likely be in prison.

I miscarried in 2011 after being exposed to tear gas while working abroad for a major local university; my student employee insurance (in our very own progressive Washington State) wouldn’t cover me fully. At first, I was told they didn’t cover “elective abortions”, and then that my D&C for contractions, bleeding, and preventing potentially deadly complications wasn’t an emergency. I was told I should have flown back to Seattle from Athens, Greece (my assigned worksite), to get help in network. I spent years dealing with the fallout of not having my reproductive health care fully protected: paperwork that went nowhere, getting letters from licensed doctors in Greece AND the US that still weren’t considered enough evidence, doing independent reviews of research in a field where men’s bodies are considered the standard and women’s bodies deviations to the accepted model, testifying at the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals, attending lobbying events at every chance with Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice Washington. I never got full resolution. I was left with medical bills and the impact on my career with my employer of more than 3 years. I couldn’t imagine having to prove to law enforcement that I failed to carry to term because of law enforcement’s abusive crowd control tactics.

This is a direct quote from Mark Joseph Stern’s May 7, 2019 Slate article:

“Prosecutors may interrogate women who miscarry to determine whether they can be held responsible; if they find evidence of culpability, they may charge, detain, and try these women for the death of their fetuses. Even women who seek lawful abortions out of state may not escape punishment. If a Georgia resident plans to travel elsewhere to obtain an abortion, she may be charged with conspiracy to commit murder, punishable by 10 years’ imprisonment. An individual who helps a woman plan her trip to get an out-of-state abortion, or transports her to the clinic, may also be charged with conspiracy. These individuals, after all, are ‘conspiring’ to end of the life of a ‘person’ with ‘full legal recognition’ under Georgia law.”

One half of the population of one state has now been put in a position where their fertility and ability/ willingness to carry a baby to term determines their status as free individuals. One fucking half of the population. I shouldn’t even have to address anything further, but that impacts children, spouses, elderly parents depending on women (daughters/ daughters-in-law) for caregiving, employers whose workers will now be expected to take time off work to get reproductive care outside the state and/or spend time in court defending themselves for what should be a personal decision.

This can and will be used as a precedent for other states. If you weren’t political before, get political. Call your representatives today and tell them reproductive health care is a human right. Donate to Planned Parenthood, Cedar Rivers Clinic, NARAL Pro-Choice, and abortion funds in your community. Volunteer as a clinic escort. And contact the Governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp (here is his Facebook page), to tell him the abortion ban is a vile and blatant violation of the US Constitution.