Sunday, July 10, 2011

Introducing Crabby Abby:

Pictured: Crocheted crab, looking appropriately crabby.

Unlike Ms. Uterus Head, this children's toy is available to anyone who wants to make it. I was looking for a good way to teach my three-year-old students about emotions, and Crabby Abby was born. And unlike Gratuitous Uterus, which I wanted to be available for free to anyone who wants to make hir, the Crabby Abby pattern is available on etsy for the low, low price of $3.20. The facial expressions are removable and can be arranged into all kinds of fun faces. And the doll is huggably soft.

Don't worry. A hug from Gratuitous Uterus can make anybody feel better.

Pictured: G.U. hugging Crabby Abby who looks like she's cheered up.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Gratuitous Uterus joins the Planned Parenthood blog carnival.

Pictured: G.U. in front of Planned Parenthood where sie has just made a donation.

I was raised in an authoritarian fundamentalist religion where sex was prohibited outside of marriage and looked down upon in just about every way. When I broke free of that group at age 24, I had some experience with sex from my failed marriage, but I was woefully ignorant about sex and dating in the real world.

The first guy I went out with was an absolute creep who took advantage of my ignorance and manipulated me into going sans condom. It never occurred to me that I might have contracted an STD (I didn’t) but I was scared I might get pregnant. The next day, I made my first visit to Planned Parenthood where I was given Plan B.

At this point in my life, I was just forming my own opinions on many things (rather than the ones given to me by my former religion), and I hadn’t decided yet how I felt about abortion. My religion had told me that the morning after pill was an abortion pill, so I expressed my concerns to the lady at PP. She explained that the pill would only prevent me from getting pregnant, not cease a pregnancy that had already taken effect. I took the pill, feeling the satisfaction of doing everything I could to remedy the mistake I’d made.

Today, I made my second visit to Planned Parenthood. It’s something I’ve been intending to do since I started this blog. I wanted a picture of Gratuitous Uterus writing out a check in donation to PP. When I expressed this wish to the lady at PP who met with me to take the donation, she told me that since they’ve had so many people try to set them up, they didn’t want any pictures taken. I completely understood. She gave me the okay to take a pic outside, as you see above.

I’d like to say that after my first lousy dating experience, I immediately wised up and made better choices, but the truth is, I just got lucky that my bad choices didn’t give me their worst consequences. I was fortunate to go out with two good men, the second of whom I’ve been with for two and half years now, going strong.

And during this time of relative sexual safety, I’ve had the opportunity to finally catch up on my knowledge and understanding of safe and consensual sexual relations. And what I understand is that Planned Parenthood performs a valuable and indispensable service. I am grateful to them for their help, even as I am grateful that I haven’t needed it again. I stand with Planned Parenthood.

For more stories of personal experiences, see the carnival hub at What Tami Said.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Gratuitous Uterus celebrates both of the countries she calls home.

Pictured: Smiling uterus crocheted to look like the U.S. flag, holding the Honduran flag.
What do you mean today's not the fourth?

Monday, July 4, 2011

Introducing Ms. Uterus Head:

Pictured: G.U. wearing the eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and hat from a Mr. Potato Head set.

Somebody call Hasbro, this will sell like hotcakes. Especially if it smells like hotcakes.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Gratuitous Uterus is hanging out on the playground.

Pictured: G.U. hanging from the climbing apparatus of a colorful playground.

It turns out uteri are not the sole possession of adults.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Gratuitous Uterus hits the books.

Pictured: G.U. at the library with a stack of books.

Slightly less effective than hitting the computer, but books rarely glitch anyway.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Gratuitous Uterus does not have a bikini body.

Pictured: G.U. in sunglasses on a poolside lounge chair with a towel.

Technically, she does not have a body at all. But she still looks good naked.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Gratuitous Uterus practices safe sex.

Pictured: G.U. in front of a store shelf full of Trojan brand condoms.

And practice makes perfect.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Gratuitous Uterus is tired of anti-choice whining.

Pictured: G.U. sitting in a vineyard with a glass of red wine.

Decides to do a little wining of her own.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Get your own Gratuitous Uterus--Support Planned Parenthood of NC.

Pictured: The stuffed uterus that could be yours.

Want your own Gratuitous Uterus but don't know how to crochet or knit? Want to support Planned Parenthood of North Carolina (the third state to vote to defund PP)? It is so totally awesome that you can do those two very things at the same time! Head on over to eBay and bid on this happy, happy uterus. (Apologies that it's only available in the US at this time. If you're outside the US and you'd like to commission a uterus, please email me).

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Gratuitous Uterus finds the Lord.

Pictured: A bushy-bearded Jesus wearing a sign that says "Is it May 21st yet?" holding G.U. in one hand and issuing a blessing upon zir with the other hand.
Apparently he fell through a time warp and wandered into an atheist picnic in confusion.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Gratuitous Uterus decides to procreate.

Pictured: G.U. holding circular knitting needles attached to the same yarn she is made from.
This would be more accurate if she was holding a crochet needle, but the knitting needles are cuter. And if I ever decide to crochet a brain, I'm totally using that yarn.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Gratuitous Uterus joins the tea party.

Pictured: G.U. with a tiny, fancy tea set and a teddy bear in a dress.

But only because he's into that sexy bear.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Gratuitous Uterus needs help to keep smiling.

Pictured: G.U. with a case of Citalopram (antidepressants).
She practices bodily autonomy by deciding which meds are right for her.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Uterus army is increasing in numbers.

Pictured: a hand holding a crocheted uterus with embroidered red facial features.

Now there are two of them.

Kivi kengässä posted this pic at Ravelry. She's considering using it as a stress toy.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Gratutious Uterus makes a fashion statement.

Pictured: G.U. wearing a large yellow T-shirt depicting a silhouette of a uterus and the slogan "Don't tread on me."
Perhaps she should have ordered a small.

You know you want one. Go get you a T-shirt:

Monday, June 6, 2011

Uterus Under Arrest

I've just discovered the Tumblr Hey Pro-Life. Check out its manifesto. Normally, I would just add this to my uterus-friendly blogroll and move on, but I have to draw attention to this adorable picture:

Pictured: a simplified outline of a uterus with handcuffs around the neck of each fallopian tube.

The post asks for a caption. Here's mine:
You have the right to remain pregnant. Anything sexual you have ever done or had done to you, can and will be held against you in a court of public opinion. You have the right to receive (although not necessarily have access to) an abortion. If you cannot afford an abortion, sucks to be you.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Gratuitous Uterus is a zombie.

Pictured: G.U. with a bottle of Bacardi Zombie and a skull shaped shot glass, looking sickly drunk or possibly undead.

Turns out he was just drinking Zombie. The effects are virtually the same.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Gratuitous Uterus finds a UFO.

Pictured: G.U. next to a pile of bird seed, locking eyes with some kind of little brown bird.

It's probably a weather balloon.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Gratuitous Uterus is a planeswalker

Pictured: G.U. playing Magic the Gathering

 She is smiling because she's about to play Darksteel Colossus.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Gratuitous Uterus has a little one to call her own.

Pictured: G.U. looking at a black chorkie napping on blogger's lap.
The cuteness quotient in our household has now doubled.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Gratuitous Uterus draws Muhammad.

Pictured: G.U. holding a pen and a paper with a stick figure drawing labeled "Muhammad."
Because respecting others' freedom of belief does not mean being bound by the rules of their religion.

Everybody Draw Muhammad Day may seem like an effort to pick on Muslims, but I think it makes an important point that applies across the board. I'm not going to avoid creating an image of Muhammad just because it makes a few Muslims murderously enraged or many Muslims offended. Neither am I going to avoid an abortion because it makes a few Christians murderously enraged or many Christians offended.

I find the idea that one guy can die in behalf of other people's crimes to be offensive, but I don't go into a fit of righteous indignation when people display the cross. We are all entitled to create or join ourselves to a set of beliefs that guide our lives. We are not entitled to force others to live by those beliefs.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Planned Parenthood Opens $8 Billion Abortionplex

The Onion is not intending to make a factual statement.

How does abortion affect African American women?

Today is the only day this video will be available for free, so jump on it now:

"Silent Choices" is about abortion and its impact on the lives of African American women. The film is a "hybrid" documentary: part historical piece, part social and religious analysis and part first-person narrative. From African Americans' cautious involvement with Margaret Sanger during the early birth control movement to black nationalists and civil rights activists who staunchly opposed abortion (or stayed silent on the issue), "Silent Choices" examines the juxtaposition of racial and reproductive politics. Three black women also share their stories of the abortions they had, including a woman's wrenching tale of the illegal procedure she endured. African Americans who oppose abortion were also interviewed, and the film wraps up with a montage of responses to a comment made by one of the pro-lifers, that abortion is a white woman's issue.
Forced-birth groups like to use African Americans' experiences to support their agenda.

Pictured: Billboard of a young black girl that reads: "The most dangerous place for an African American is in the womb," with a link to
These women's experiences belong to them and do not exist to be exploited for any political ideology. Abortion has a tangled meaning to the African American community and it is not up to Whiteness to decide what it should mean to them. This video is a good opportunity for white people to sit back and listen, and for black women to hear the voices of women like them, talking about a subject that has long been considered taboo.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Gratuitous Uterus is proud to wear hijab . . .

Pictured: G.U. wearing a purple scarf tied in the best imitation of a hijab you can make on a hairless uterus.

  . . .  as part of her spiritual identity and a way to express her bodily autonomy.

In my research preparing for this post (I learn so much in creating this blog), I discovered that one of Islam's names for God is al-Rahman, the most Merciful. This word comes from the root: rahm--meaning womb. More on feminism and Islam

Monday, May 16, 2011

Do your labia look like a starfish?

An anonymous commenter just told me about Trannymal, a decidedly NSFW site that displays images of transgender folks' genitals with googly eyes and other creative props designed to make them look like animals. Here's the gist:

Have you ever wanted to see transgender genitals, but been afraid to ask? Meet Trannymal, a transgender genital with attitude. Yes, you get to look at him – but he looks back!

“Trannymal” is a two minute short that introduces you to a whimsical creature made up of two googley eyes and one genital. Trannymal is the creation of Dylan Vade, co-founder and former co-director of the Transgender Law Center in San Francisco. Vade says: “At the Transgender Law Center, I found transgender genitals to be quite a serious subject. People are denied drivers licenses, health insurance, employment – and even murdered, because someone else has a rigid idea of what genitals are supposed to look like. Its absurd to me, to withhold rights based on genital shape. I want to change people’s minds and open their hearts, and humor can do that.”

Trannymal, who himself morphs from a snuffaluffagus to a starfish, believes in a grand multiplicity of bodies. “There are as many different transgender genitals as there are birds that fly,” says Trannymal. Abe Bernard, Trannymal’s still photographer, says “Trannymal is about respecting and honoring all bodies, starting with your own.”

“I love watching people’s reaction to Trannymal,” says Chrys Curtis-Fawley, the director of the short. “Often, there is a nervousness. But right underneath that, I see relief. A relief that this unspoken subject is moving from shame to openness and celebration.” Director of the New School of Erotic Touch, Joseph Kramer, says: “Trannymal gives you permission, permission to be fully, openly, and unapologetically yourself.” Trannymal invites you to curiosity, playfulness, kindness, and boldness.

Some people may find the idea of these images problematic, and as a cis woman, I would not attempt to gainsay any trans individual who feels so. As for my own opinion (coming from a position of cis privilege) I think that trans individuals who are able and willing to address people's curiosity are doing a valuable service for their whole community. Should they have to? Of course not. Does it help when they do? Absolutely.

In her book, Mindfulness, Professor Ellen Langer writes: “People stare at novel stimuli. When the novel stimulus is a person, however, it is culturally unacceptable to stare. Therefore, we reasoned, people may avoid those who are different in an effort to avoid the conflict between wanting to stare and feeling it inappropriate to do so.”

She tested this hypothesis by setting up a study that partnered a subject with a woman who was either pregnant, in a leg brace, or visually unexceptional. Some subjects were given the opportunity to discreetly watch this partner before meeting her. These subjects were then able to work comfortably together when introduced to her. Other subjects were immediately introduced to the partner.

The results: “Those who did not view the partner before meeting her acted more distant when she was either in a leg brace or pregnant. For example, they chose to sit farther away from her than from the 'normal' partner . . . People tend to avoid people who are 'deviant.' In contrast, however, when subjects viewed the person ahead of time and sated their curiosity, they did not sit away from the pregnant or disabled person or show other signs of avoidance. This rather straightforward experiment suggest many ways in which  encounters with people seen as different (for instance, in schools where handicapped children are 'mainstreamed') can be enhanced by providing an outlet for mindful curiosity." (pp 153-170)

This is also why many of us feel that a transgender character on Glee would be wonderful. I appreciated one comment there in particular:

I live in England, I’m 14 years old and I’m pretty sheltered. Glee has actually taught me a lot. I am a HUGE klaine supporter, but two years ago, ask me to write “slash” fanfiction, I would be unwilling and(I REALLY hate to admit it)a little repulsed. Now, it’s no big deal. Also, until several years ago, “queer” was a word used to describe the a place in my favourite book (The Secret Garden). I didn’t get why other people looked shocked or embarrased when I tried using it to describe something – it was just a piece of vocabulary I’d picked up from a classic book. I hadn’t heard the word “tranny” until under a year ago, and only through reading these posts have I realised it can be an offensive term – it was just a word some of my friends used.
What I’m trying to say is there’s a LOT of uneducated people – like me – out there, and having a transgendered person join Glee would be invaluble. it would help people actually ACSEPT them, rather than just know that you SHOULD.

The work the QLGTB movement does has made it safe to have gay characters and their stories prominently featured on popular TV shows like Glee. Hopefully the work that people like the folks at Trannymal do will make it safer to feature trans characters as well.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Gratuitous Uterus has a temperature.

Pictured: G.U. in graduation cap, next to US flag and diploma case labeled Virginia Western Community College.

I mean a degree. I got one too:

Pictured: author in graduation garb with diploma case.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Gratuitous Uterus visits the delivery room . . .

Pictured: G.U. at a pizza joint with an open pizza box.
. . . but opts for carry-out.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Gratuitous Uterus is on a horse.

Pictured: G.U. being held on the back of a bridled horse in halter and lead rope, held in front of a banner that reads: "Healing Strides of Virginia [???] Lives . . . One Stride at a Time."

Look at your uterus, now back at me. Now imagine the kinds of looks I get when I ask people if I can take photos like these.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Gratuitous Uterus calls her mom.

Pictured: G.U. holding a cell phone.
And thanks her for being a feminist.

This post is dedicated to my mother, who somehow gets awesomer every day, despite the fact that Blogger does not seem to think that awesomer is even a word. Screw you, Blogger. My mom lives it.

A Mother's Day wish I can get behind.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Gratuitous Uterus loves her clam.

Pictured: G.U. on a table with a wide-eyed, crocheted clam in front of her.
If I were a knitter, I would make a joke about purling.

Want your own clam?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Gratuitous Uterus is a teacher's pet.

Pictured: G.U. sits on the base of a white board next to a teacher writing on it.
At least zie's got class.

It's teacher appreciation week. Show your teachers some love.

p.s. I'm a teacher.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Gratuitous Uterus gets checked out.

Pictured: G.U. on a patient's chair next to a book titled "Urogynecology."

·         Or checked up. And she got a photo with a poster of one of her idols:

Pictured: On clicking, G.U. in front of a poster picturing different aspects of the female reproductive system.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Does this look like a uterus?

People say this hat looks like a uterus and fallopian tubes:

Pictured: front and side views of Princess Beatrice of York wearing a vertical pink hat shaped like . . . a uterus?

It kind of looks like a spider to me.

But this one is definitely a vagina:

Pictured: Tara Palmer-Tomkinson in a blue dress and hat unquestionably shaped like a vagina.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hardworking Gratuitous Uterus enjoys well-deserved pampering

Pictured: G.U. in day spa with two tables. One with fruit, cheese, and bottled water, the other with tissues and nail polish.

My, I'll bet you uteri lead interesting lives. I said to my girl friend just the other day, 'Gee, I'll bet uteri are interesting.' I said. The places you must go and the things you must see -- my stars! I bet you meet lots of interesting people too. I'm always interested in meeting interesting people. Now let's dip our patties in the water!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Gratuitous Uterus Inc. How may I direct your call?

Pictured: G.U. sitting at a cubicle desk in front of computer keyboard and mouse, wearing a headset.
This is obviously a staged photo. Gratuitous Uterus is really the CEO.

Have you incorporated your uterus yet?

Pictured: Certification of the uterus of Uté Russ as Gratuitous Uterus Inc.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Where did you think the Easter Bunny got his eggs?

Pictured: G.U (with ovaries attached to her fallopian tubes) sits on a table next to a purple stuffed bunny holding an egg that says "Happy Easter." Background has a basket of candy; foreground has pink plastic grass with six died Easter eggs resting on it.

Why the frell is the Easter Bunny male?

The rabbit is supposed to be a symbol of fertility. But it doesn’t pass out sperm (unless I’m familiar with the wrong theology); it gives eggs. And this new movie Hop features a male EB. Since I would rather run myself over with my car than see it, I’ll have to rely on you people. Would the movie have sucked more with a female EB?

Edited to add: I'm pretty sure the character is not supposed to be a transgendered male. 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Gratuitous Uterus does not have a bun in the oven.

Pictured: G.U. on a table holding a tray full of fresh cookies.
That's okay. Zie prefers cookies anyway.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Gratuitous Uterus bowls for choice.

Pictured: G.U. stands at the end of a bowling lane next to a pink ball which looks rather surprised to have its picture taken.

Actually, we were able neither to find or start a local bowl-a-thon, so we just went bowling for fun, then donated to the Women’s Medical fund via Michelle Kinsey Bruns’ page. Please help out if you’re able!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Gratuitous Uterus shows up for her pap smear.

Pictured: G.U. sitting on the counter at the Walgreens pharmacy next to a sign that reads "Please Proceed to the Pickup Window."
It turns out Walgreens doesn’t even do pap smears. How weird is that?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Gratuitous Uterus knows Spring is a time of rebirth.

Pictured: G.U. sitting in a tree full of pink blossoms.
For plants. In his case, it is a time of no birth.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Susannah Lindberg Randolph gets in on the action.

Pictured: Susannah Lindberg Randolph's torso, holding a pink uterus plushie.

Appropriate, considering she made the original comment that started so many of us celebrating our uteri. Her husband was the one who repeated it to the House, joking that if she incorporated her uterus, the Republicans might cease trying to regulate it. Here, she's participating in a rally to protest anti-abortion bills and declare April 12th "Birth Control Matters Day." I totally heart this lady.

Courtesy Capital News Service.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Gratuitous Uterus plans to mate.

Pictured: G.U. seated at a chess board, mid-game, reaching for a piece.

Does that count as a pun? Just checking.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Gratuitous Uterus Is Eating for One.

Pictured: G.U. seated at a table with a plate of Thai food and a margarita before her.

And enjoying a margarita. For one.