The Obstetrician Inquisition

By Jen Sorensen

By Jen Sorensen


The Saturn-Pluto conjunction is upon us, just weeks away. While this event will happen two or three times in the lives of most people, this particular event is a moment of convergence and reckoning for the world and for us as individuals.

I’m underway recording RESPECT, the 2020-2021 Planet Waves annual readings, to cover the momentous astrology of the coming year-plus. You can read more about the project, and pre-order the readings, here.

15 thoughts on “The Obstetrician Inquisition

  1. RandyJ

    “The Obstetrician Inquisition” is needlessly and viciously sexist. What exactly does this individual mean when she says: “your appendix is about to rupture, so I’m going to remove it, and put it in your junk?” What exactly is “junk” on a male body? This cartoon reminds me of old anti-semitic cartoon from Nazi Germany. Please! Remove this individual from your site.
    She’s not interested in gender equality, but rather, running men to the dark side of the moon and cruelty with a capital C.

    And besides, she’s a lousy artist.

    1. April

      Randy, you’ve completely missed the point. Sorenson is comparing the procedure that will be done on women with ectopic pregnacies to what would happen if this procedure would be done on men. Is your objection to the colloquial slang “junk” for men’s genitals? If you are angry about what would be done (hypothetically) on a man, then you should be really angry about what will be done, for real, on women with ectopic pregnancies in Ohio. Ectopic pregnancies are not viable and they are life threatening, and this is another case of uninformed legislators demanding excessive and unnecessary medical procedures on women.

      1. RandyJ

        Why was it necessary to referent to men’s genitals as junk? That may not be the main point here, yet sh isn’t referring to women’s genitals as junk. To portray any part of the human body, male or female as junk, is needlessly cruel. To refer to one gender’s and ONLY one gender’s genitals as such is certainly sexist and prejudiced. I don’t at all disagree with the point being made in this cartoon. But why was that delivery of it necessary. I am a gay man, and NO part of my body or my partner’s body is junk. On this account, and as someone with a male body, I would like an apology from this cartoonist.

        Personally, I’m weary of all gender roles, and expectations. Why not make gender and gender expression more a personal choice. This affords the individual more liberty. I look forward to the day when a person can mix their own and their partner’s genetic material into a genetically neutral sperm and egg, then create a child outside the human body. Well, why not? That could be liberating in my mind, if one wants children. Of course, if an individual wants to “reproduce” in the traditional way, they certainly could. Just some possible future thoughts – as society (hopefully) becomes more humane.

        1. April

          Oy. As I said, “junk” is a colloquial term for men’s genitals, and it is widely used. It is slang, and many men refer to their genitals as such. Why take umbrage at her use of that word for men’s genitals, instead of the unnecessary and invasive medical procedure that has been proposed for women with ectopic pregnancies in Ohio?. Not to mention doctors who perform lifesaving treatment of removing an ectopic pregnancy without reimplanting the tissue in the uterus, (which is not scientifically possible) would be charged with murder. Your argument is with the use of common slang, and I don’t think Sorenson is using the word to insult men. Would you feel better if she had used the word “jewels”? Would you then understand the point of the comic?

          1. RandyJ

            April, If “junk” has passed into contemporary dialect as a casual term for men’s genitals. it shouldn’t have. I do not argue the point of protecting women, or mens reproductive rights . On this I’m in total agreement. If “junk” is to be used as a description of human genitals, then we should apply it equally to male and female. She could have made her point without the insult. After all, I’m a man, and have in my 61 years on this earth, never once referred to my male partner’s genitals as junk. Actually, one’s heart and mind are ultimately more important.

          2. RandyJ

            April, rather than adding to the vast endemic of cruelty extensively found throughout recored human history, and no doubt much before, why not create a fully inclusive human society for all? Are we as human beings capable of it? Must we continually be at war? Like I said, I would prefer gender and gender expression and roles to become a personal choice, u to the individual. Choice is the key word. And ultimately, i]I do believe this will happen, in addition to free renewable energy, and a completely different economic system, as well as humane treatment of animals. I am a vegetarian.

          3. RandyJ

            April, I would like to show you these poems I wrote for my male partner of 40 years after he passed away from lung cancer three years ago. Thank you.

            A Noble Heart, February 2017 by Randy J.

            1) A Noble Heart
( Wilbur T., My Life Partner, With Lung Cancer At The Nursing Center )

            You were a delicate gentle soul

            Carrying your noble heart to the end

            Of our road together.
With eyes shining like morning stars

            Way past winter winds outside your window.
            I held your hand in mine.

            The nurse’s footsteps echoed quietly,
            Your roommate looked impatient.
            Tears filled your eyes
As you tried to hold a spoon

            Or put those heavy shoes on.
The cancer had spread from 
Your lungs to your esophagus.
            Still, your heart beat bravely

            In that bedridden existence

            Of crumpled Kleenex

            Falling like snow on a February morning
            Falling like memories of happier times.
            Painting rainbows for your personal sunrise
            Reaching up to heaven.

            Oh I miss you, I miss you
I miss your noble heart
Every day you’ve left me here
            Alone by the stop sign.

            While you’re out there somewhere
Exploring the universe.

            2) I Know ( For My Friend Jim )

            I know I’m a vegetarian

            And that we’re going Saturday
To the church pantry for some produce.
            I know you have an alcoholic brother
            And a friend your’e nursing

            Through appendicitis.

            I know you’re over fifty, like me

            A gay man like me, and you can remember
            The Disco-era like I do.
            I know you’re my friend
That you cheer me up over the phone,
            That you drive a red van named Betsy
            And that we’re pulling each other through
            Every day…
You know?

            3) Good Night Dr. Peebles ( My Teddy Bear )

            Dr. Peebles my teddy bear
            Sitting there on my night stand
            By the bed
Giving me a stare.
Well, Dr. Peebles, 
I’m channeling you

            Where shall we travel tonight?
            Ignoring details,

            We travel between worlds at will
Or set off on a journey

            To explore the universe.
Past trillions of comets
Of particular interest to astronomers.
We make trips at the speed of light.

            We travel easily.

            The furthest places are only a step away.
            But the place I‘d like to go most
 Is a fairer,
            Happier existence
Filled with equality.
Regardless of economic circumstance
            Religious preference, or gender identity.
            A world without racism, sexism,
            Or homophobia.
            You get the idea, I know.

            Good Night Dr. Peebles
My bedside companion.
            Dream sweet dreams tonight.

            4) That Day ( For Wilbur T. February 15, 2017 )

            The day

            You died
I was bringing a small bag of Fritos
            To your room,
The bedclothes were missing

            You weren’t there.
A nurse ushered me quickly

            Under a door archway
By a linen closet
And told me that

            That day

            You’d passed away.

            Reality slipped through
            My fingers
With the curving of
            That winding hallway.
            I saw the reflections of my shoes,
            Some posters on the wall.

            The paste-white winter sky
            On the way home
            That day

            You were you finally
            Beyond the clouds.

            – Randy J.

    1. Geoff Marsh

      What a conventionally beautiful bunch of young female bodies, marie. I’m sure they’d all get a lot of votes if they stood for election to the British parliament, unlike Jeremy Corbyn.

      Meanwhile, back in the progressive world of universal acceptance, let’s have a vote for these guys.

      Actually, despite being gay, I’m with Randyj. There are far too many people on planet earth at present but once the homosexuals have been eliminated because they eat food but don’t breed, it’ll be time to make sure that undesirable heterosexuals don’t produce any more unwanted and unnecessary offspring either. That will be achieved by the incubation of genetically-engineered and genetically-desirable test tube babies. Sex will be permitted for pleasure, but the breeding of future human beings will be a much more serious business and will be strictly regulated. How’s your DNA these days? Call in for an analysis at Helix Refresh, Inc.

      I wonder if Jen Sorensen is concerned that under the UK’s NHS system, Muslim doctors are castrating gay men under the pretence of cancer treatment? I know this to be true, because it has happened to me. Let’s hear it for the men’s side for a change. Medicare won’t care for the socially disadvantaged undesirables in America any more than the NHS does in the UK. Wake up and get real, please.

  2. April

    “Junk made its entrance as sexual slang in the work of Ethan Mordden, who wrote a series of gay-themed short stories in the 1980s. In a story called “The Hustler” in the April 1983 issue of the magazine Christopher Street, a character describes rough sex with the line, “That’s when the top man lays you face down on your junk.” (The story was later retitled “Three Infatuations” in Mordden’s anthology, “I’ve a Feeling We’re Not in Kansas Anymore.”) Mordden recently told me that he borrowed this meaning of junk from a slang-slinging friend who was “so beguiling with his locutions that he could have improvised a recurring role on the TV series ‘Deadwood,’ with its mixture of cowboy gabble and Elizabethan symphony.”

    Though Mordden incorporated junk into his own slang repertory, it did not enter into its current vogue as a trashy alternative to “the family jewels” until the mid-’90s.”

    1. RandyJ

      April, the manor in which some gay men, in a sense, had to exist before Stonewall, is a tale of oppression. I can’t speak for all gay men, but I have never lived in such a manner. And by the way, tell me, what are the back street stories for gay women pre Stonewall – surely someone wrote them down.

  3. RandyJ

    April, I do think Jen S. is a talented cartoonist. I just wish she, or anyone else, wouldn’t use the word “junk” to describe the human anatomy: male, female, or whatever gender. One humanity for peace and justice. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Solstice for all.

    1. Amanda Painter

      RandyJ — just chiming in to say that “junk” is certainly not an empatheticor accurate term for men’s genitals, and I understand how it upsets you. But pretty much the *only* people I’ve heard using it in conversation have been men. It’s become quite common, at least in many areas of the US (I’m not sure where you are). I have a feeling it gets used much more by heterosexual men than gay man, but I can’t say for sure. Soooo many people just don’t think much about the words they use, especially if they’re trying to sound “cool.”

      Jen Sorensen is, from what I can tell, reflecting quite accurately current slang — and it’s probably slang that many hetero men use without realizing how it may be subtly undermining their own feelings about their bodies, about sex, about their partners’ engagement with their bodies… etc.

      I support Sorensen’s use of the term, though, and this is why: as this thread has deconstructed, “junk” does connote a disregard for the sanctity of men’s bodies in the hypothetical surgery situation she’s illustrating — just like the very real bill in Ohio demonstrates an extreme disregard and (and even hatred for) women’s bodies. I think that’s part of the point — maybe a big point — of her using it.

      Everything about this cartoon *should* make us angry — but not at Jen Sorensen. Angry that we live in a time and place where shit legislation like this can make it as far as it has.

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