Sunday, October 28, 2012

Halloween 2012: Binder Full of Women!

Since I became a full-blown cosplayer, I share something in common with Joss Whedon's vampires: Halloween is my night off.  The last few years, I've recycled Dragon*Con costumes.  This year was going to be no different.  I was leaning towards being Hermione Granger, when I got a great idea.  Actually, I got the idea from a girl I work with while we worked one of the haunted attractions that our company hosts each year.  We were dressed up like zombies: she was a shopping cart lady, and I was a dead body in her shopping cart.  As we waited for the next group of people to come by, we started talking about Mitt Romney's "binders full of women" comment at the second debate.  She said, "you should dress up as a binder full of women!"

That was a week ago.  So, instead of taking the night off, I ended up making a huge costume!  I put it together over only the span of three days, with the majority of the work occurring in the hours before the Halloween party we were attending.  Submitted for the approval of The Midnight Society: a binder full of women.

The binder is made out of two science fair boards, the blank cardboard side facing out.  I reinforced the folding sides with white electrical tape.  The designs of the outside of the binder are simply retro (retro! - they're from the 90's!) Lisa Frank images that I found online.  I would have preferred more unicorns and puppies, but most of the images I found were thumbnails: no good for blowing up large!

I blew up the images to just larger than the presentation boards (which were 36"x48" - I made the images 38"x50").  In Photoshop, I drew lines over the images to make 8.5"x11" rectangles, then copied and pasted each rectangle (copy the bottom layer, not the layers with the lines) into a new project.  I then printed out every rectangle on a sheet of HP Brochure Paper (which is just amazing - high quality, glossy paper).  I then cut them out (as they don't print truly full-sheet) with a paper cutter, matched them up, and taped the backs together. 

Before I attached the giant posters to the board, however, I had to cut holes for the frame.  I used a hiking rack as the frame for these, and it does stick up over my head, but only because I didn't realize that the bar was adjustable until after I'd secured it.  Anyway - I just shoved scissors through the board in four different areas - eight cuts total - and looped zip ties in and out, and then secured the hiking rack to the board with the zip ties.  I also made two cuts on the front, attached two zip ties, and looped them through the cardboard for a kind of handle.  (If you're going to do it this way, though, I recommend adding more zip ties, as one entire side broke within the first hour of wearing it.)

I then hot-glued the posters onto the cardboard with a LOT of glue (I never have luck with hot glue holding).  Finally, to attach the two boards, I overlapped one of the folding sides of each presentation board and hot-glued them together. 

Dolphin marriage: one boy dolphin and one girl dolphin!

For a final touch to the outside, I wrote out a "Women" label and stuck it on with double-sided tape.

Now, since I am only one woman, and the binder is full of WOMEN, I had to find some women to put in my binder.  I asked several of the women I admire if they would like to be included.  I grabbed some Facebook photos, printed them out on that nice brochure paper, and glued them onto poster board.  I wrote out their "qualifications", and then had Mitt (my husband) make some nice, sexist notes about them.

I was going to attach my pages via rings, but it just was too complicated to figure out how to have the rings in there around me (how would they attach?) and since it was my DAY OFF, I decided I didn't care.  Instead, I cut out thin strips of poster board, folded them in half, and glued them between the pages with the folded part to the back (just to help the pages open up a bit - it didn't work as well as I'd hoped).  And, of course, I imagine Romney would get bored while going through his binder, so he'd graffiti it up 7th-grade-girl style.  Once again, my husband stepped in and lent his artistic talent.

 And here's what the inside of it ended up looking like:

See my little zip tie handle?
And, me inside the open binder:

So, voila: Mitt and his binder full of women!  Go Obama!

Photo Courtesy: my 7-year-old nephew!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Boycotting Hobby Lobby

I'm just going to take a second to be political here.

For those of you who don't know me personally, I'm a liberal.  And an atheist.  That being said, I don't care what your politics are or what your religion is, as long as it doesn't infringe upon basic human rights and all that jazz.  Unfortunately, it seems like there's an awful lot of hypocrisy in any religion, but I'll keep my own personal feelings about that to myself.  Bottom line, I might not believe, but that doesn't mean I'm trying to convert anyone to my way of thinking.

That also being said, Hobby Lobby is my favorite store.  Not my favorite craft store.  My favorite store.  I'm there on a weekly basis.  I spend thousands of dollars there every year, on costuming supplies, jewelry-making supplies, chocolate supplies, frames, cards, counted cross-stitch patterns, fake flowers, Halloween decorations, Christmas ornaments, storage boxes - you name it.  The employees know me, that's how often I'm in the store.

In case you weren't aware, Hobby Lobby is a Christian company.  For instance, they're closed on Sundays so that their employees can worship or spend time with their families.  They sell a lot of Jesus stuff, and Testamints.  The Christian aspect doesn't bother me a bit, but why should it?  They don't shove their ideologies down anyone's throat, and they don't make religion a big deal (unlike the dance fabric store that has a big JESUS FORGIVES sign in their window).  As a matter of fact, my husband has purchased crosses at Hobby Lobby for our vampire hunting kit, and I've used their WWJD kits to make WWWWD bracelets (What Would Wil Wheaton Do?)

Just like the majority of Hobby Lobby customers, the majority of their staff are women, so it should have occurred to me that the whole "providing birth control" thing might be an issue for them.  I was outraged, but not surprised, to find out that they're filing a lawsuit over it.  How dare they?  Their employees are all female, shouldn't they be looking out for them?  Who are they to pick and choose what their insurance covers?

Then I read that they're fine with providing birth control, but not pills that cause abortions.  Wait ... what?  Did I miss something, or is this some kind of crazy Duggar belief?  No, I didn't miss anything; they're talking about the morning after pill as if it's RU-486.  Hobby Lobby founder David Green said, "These abortion-causing drugs go against our faith."  Sigh.

This is complete bollocks.  The morning after pill is emergency contraception.  It prevents pregnancy.  As in, if you're already pregnant, it won't do anything, it won't terminate a fetus, it will just stop you from getting ... more ... pregnant?  You have 120 hours to take the pill, but really, it should be taken as soon as possible.  So, say a woman doesn't take the pill for some reason - maybe it messes with her hormones too much - so she and her partner use condoms, but one night, the condom breaks.  The woman would use emergency contraception right away to prevent her ovaries from releasing an egg.  There's no "abortion" anywhere.  I'm not sure if this is part of the Duggar belief system that birth control causes miscarriages (it doesn't), or just stupidity.  Do some people abuse it, and use it on a regular basis?  I'm sure, but then we need to start talking about WHY it's being abused, better sex education, and why "abstinence-only" is about as logical as No Child Left Behind.  And that's a whole different conversation.  (Oh, and if you want to read some really jacked-up shit about why the pill causes you to abort your own babies, go here.)

The point of birth control is to stop ovulation.  The rest is just kind of a bonus.  The reason I was put on birth control in the first place was because I have a broken fallopian tube, and whenever I ovulated from my left ovary, it felt like a knife twisting in my side.  It was VERY painful.  Like, stop-you-in-your-tracks-like-you've-just-been-shot painful.  The doctor said it had a kink.  I would say a knot would be more accurate.  Therefore, every time I ovulated from that side, I FELT IT.   Since being on birth control, it's happened maybe five times.  So, in fourteen years, five eggs (at least from the left side) got through.  And the chances of them becoming fertilized are probably PRETTY low.  So, unless you're a moron and don't know how to use your birth control, the chances that you're "killing your babies" are, in my opinion (because I didn't feel like trying to find statistics), exceptionally low.

Therefore, as of today, I'm boycotting Hobby Lobby, not because I don't support their right to their beliefs, not because I'm some kind of Christian-hating atheist, but because I don't support their willful ignorance.  They're fighting against something that's not even true, and in the process, they're spreading myths and lies, and starting a tempest in a teapot.  Hiding your political agenda behind your "beliefs" is dirty and low, and does a disservice to religion in general.  I feel that Hobby Lobby should be above that, and it disappoints me.  I'll be sending a letter to David Green, and if you feel the same way I do, then please consider doing the same.

Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.
7707 S.W. 44th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73179