Monday, June 18, 2012

What I Refuse to Believe

With the all the hoopla of the HHS mandate and abortion going on I've been thinking a lot about abortion and contraception. It's not as exciting as it sounds, trust me.

I've come to the conclusion though that they are not a friend to women. They aren't the weird crazy aunt that no one really talks to but will always help you out when you're in a pinch and can't call your parents. They are not liberating. They are not empowering. Most importantly they are not the best option for women.

I refuse to believe that we are treated as equals in a world that says "You can't succeed if you have this child." I refuse to believe that abortion helps women. And I refuse to believe that it has done anything for women's rights. Equality and opportunity should be for all women, mothers or not.

Because of contraception and abortion we live in a world where being a stay at home mom is looked down upon. Because of these two "liberating" forces we live in a world where victim blaming is socially acceptable and women are thought of us "so stupid" for 'getting themselves pregnant.". We live in a world where getting pregnant is called a 'mistake' more than it is called a gift and is greeted with tears of sorrow and shame more often than those of joy.

I refuse to believe that the best the world has to offer women is abortion and birth control or not having a career. Motherhood and a career shouldn't be mutually exclusive. Feminism is not about being men. That is masculinism.

Courtesy of Paige.


I chose to believe in genuine femininity where women can choose to be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company and a mom or a stay at home mom and be completely fulfilled and always considered successful. I chose to believe that we do not have to disable our bodies in order to be as successful as a man. Likewise, I believe that success has many faces and very few of them lie in the corporate world alone.

Women deserve so much more than what radical "feminists" have settled for, which is being men. They've settled for a rigged game. If we're competing with men about who can be the most masculine we will lose every time. Instead we need to demand that world first accepts and respects women for what they are: feminine and then for what they accomplish.

"In fact, woman has a genius all her own, which is vitally essential to both society and the Church. It is certainly not a question of comparing woman to man, since it is obvious that they have fundamental dimensions and values in common. However, in man and in woman these acquire different strengths, interests and emphases and it is this very diversity which becomes a source of enrichment."  -- Blessed Pope John Paul II, Angelus Address, 23 July 1995

40 comments:

  1. i agree that accepting contraception and abortion as "basic healthcare" puts us so far behind in so many ways. Let's kick out the crazy aunt!

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  2. This is fantastic. I totally agree: women deserve better than this garbage.

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  3. I just happened upon your blog through Twitter. I'm really excited to have found this.

    I love the "crazy aunt" comparison!

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  4. I totally agree!! I think it's a failure on the part of society to say to women, "the sexual revolution means that you can do anything a man can - so long as you sterilize yourself!"
    If this country wanted to really support women, it would take the money it throws at PP and their ilk, and put it towards giving all women adequate prenatal care regardless of ability to pay, or making sure there is adequate maternity and paternity leave. Not to mention incentivizing work places to be more family friendly - on-site childcare, more parttime work, or working from home options. Women often have to choose between work and family because they don't think there are any options to balance both - THAT should be something we can all work towards changing!

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    1. "giving all women adequate prenatal care regardless of ability to pay"- Actually we already have that in this country- it's called welfare, food stamps, WIC, APA, etc. etc.

      All the workplaces I've worked at or known about, have been very family friendly- maternity/paternity leave, parttime hrs after leave, extra flexibility- lots of options & benefits.

      And might I also mention that those women/men who choose not to have children are often put in the position to temporarily take on the job of the woman/man on leave- sometimes voluntarily, sometimes forcibly. But, like every choice we make in life, there are pros and cons.

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  5. Thank you so much for putting this out there! It's sad that feminism has become "masculinism". Changing mandates isn't going to do anything if we don't start changing mindsets. : )

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  6. "Equality and opportunity should be for all women, mothers or not." Exactly, as well as accepting that a woman's fertility and the ability to carry and bear children is exactly what makes her a woman. If one refuses to treat her with equality and opportunity unless she masks/hides/thwarts/disables her fertility and her ability to carry and bear children, then one is NOT treating women with equality.

    I just wrote something similar on my own blog. :)

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  7. This gave me chills Katie - awesome and beautifully stated. Thanks!

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  8. Wow! I usually do not comment on blogs but I just had to for yours. I think we are the same person..?! I'm also a second year med student (at SLU!) (congrats on finishing boards!) and I LOVE what you do here! Especially as healthcare professionals, it's our duty to provide what is best to women, and I refuse to believe abortion is the answer! So hard to deal with that in a world where we're seen as crazy! Anyway, excellent job with your blog!

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    1. Yes, as a healthcare professional you swear an oath to remain respectful of your patients, and accept responsibility that sometimes you will save a life and sometimes take a life. It is your duty to provide the best healthcare based on the individual woman and HER wants & needs, not based upon YOUR religious wants & needs.

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  9. I would love to see the workplace become more child/family friendly. It is never going to happen if we don't stand up for our right to BEAR CHILDREN and work.

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  10. Great post, Katie!
    "Feminism is not about being men. That is masculinism." You said it! It annoys me to no end that modern "feminism" has become a complete denial and reversal of true, authentic feminity.

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  11. I found your blog through a tweet by Mandi of Catholic Newlywed and I am so glad I did! :) This is a great post, worthy of sharing! :) God bless you more and more, especially as you stand up for the Truth! :D

    Love from the Philippines,
    Tina :)

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  12. You are awesome! We definitely deserve so much more than that.

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  13. I love this. If we refused to consider abortion and abc as options, we would be "forced" to improve issues concerning women like infant/mother mortality rates, women's cancers, irregular cycles, accommodating and embracing breastfeeding, motherhood and education, motherhood and working, etc.

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    1. Actually we would be forced to deal with the issue of overpopulation- an issue that is already starting to rear its ugly face and would even more so if abortion & abc were no longer options & choices.

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    2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZVOU5bfHrM

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    3. Not a myth, here ya go-

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAUVGYz3pZw

      Love this quote by Albert Einstein- "The problems that exist in the world cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them"

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  14. This is amazing! I do feel like prevailing wisdom tells us "you can't succeed if you have [a] child." Especially in academia, there's the expectation that you will mold your life to meet their criteria, instead of accomodation for motherhood. That's not empowering, that's refusing to accept the reality that women bear children.

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  15. So glad you posted this. I've been worrying recently that having a child may hamper my chances at becoming a manager. Not that my employer has shown this in the past...but still. I want to be a manager and a mommy and SOON!

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  16. Spot on, my friend!! We've settled for a crappy share of the "American Dream," one that involves choosing between a child and a career... Between choosing self-respect over doing anything to get and keep a man... Between supressing our feminine mystique for one-size-fits-all societal norms.

    It all makes me sad.

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  17. "Most importantly they are not the best option for women."- Who are you to say what is the best option for all women in all situations?

    "We live in a world where being a stay at home mom is looked down upon"- We must live in different worlds. In my world, women who have the opportunity to be stay at home moms are respected and admired for choosing to devote their time and patience to an important job- raising the kids. And nowadays it's becoming more common for the man to stay at home, while the woman takes on the role as breadwinner. I know quite a few men who do that, and they are not looked down upon.

    "I refuse to believe that the best the world has to offer women is abortion and birth control or not having a career. Motherhood and a career shouldn't be mutually exclusive."- They're not! I know many, many women who are successful doctors and other professionals and they have kids. Actually there were women (and men with wives) who were pregnant in my med school class, and they were accommodated appropriately. I would venture to say that our society goes above and beyond in the accommodation of women who are pregnant, or women & men who have families.

    Well, you are right about 2 things- radical feminists are detrimental and women should be able to choose to be a CEO and/or a mom.

    I refuse to believe that women shouldn't be able to CHOOSE whatever it is that they want/need to do to be happy & successful in life.

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  18. Awesome, Katie. Thanks for being such a beautiful voice of reason! Women speak of empowerment, and I wholeheartedly agree... then they mention the means, and I have to shake my head sometimes at how much they're still believing the lies. My formerly contracepting mom was outraged when she learned NFP: "Why didn't anyone teach me about how my body works before?? Why is it a secret?? Why was I only offered birth control??"

    I'm not sure where or in what socio-economic place "Hope" lives, but the world does not look like that from where I'm standing! Can we all go there?? Except I would want to remind her that post-natal and pre-natal support aren't the same thing, and that the oath docs take involve NOT taking life, but preserving it insofar as your intent and as it is possible: "first, do no harm..."

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    1. The place I live in is called reality. In fact, women are provided pre-natal and post-natal support and healthcare through various programs- even if they cannot afford it. The same cannot always be said for general healthcare, mental healthcare, or specialist healthcare- dentistry, dermatology, surgery, oncology, etc. So, pregnant women, as well as their children, are most definitely given a fair shake in the support that is provided to them regardless of financial status.

      Yes, the responsibilities of a doctor involve preserving life when possible- life of the patient. The life of the pregnant woman that, in some circumstances, may be in harms way if she remains pregnant or gives birth. As quoted from the principles of medical ethics of the AMA- "A physician shall, while caring for a patient, regard responsibility to the patient as paramount"- the patient being the pregnant woman who is undeniably a human being, NOT the fetus that has the potential to be a human being.

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    2. Hope..I really don't think I get why you feel the need to make so many comments. Has this become your pet project?

      Of course a devout Catholic doctor would put the woman's life first if it came down to that choice.

      Your lack of Catholic moral teaching will not help you debate here.

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    3. I comment, because I feel the need to spread truth, reality, and morality. A Catholic doctor does not put the woman's life first if she denies the woman an abortion for any reason. Those reasons can include life & death scenarios as well as other physical & mental health issues (which are often overlooked and deemed to be not as important). The Catholic doctor does not have the right to decide when it is ok to risk the health & well-being of the mother.

      Your lack of true morality and insistance upon living in denial will not help you to see reality. I may not win a debate here, but perhaps I may reach someone who chooses to see reality, as well as true morality and humanity.

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  19. I am with you hope. I am not sure what world these people are living in. I have not seen anything like this in my entire life. There are no stay at home moms that are looked down upon. I know many moms who are successful.

    I am just glad I dont live in the same world as you people.

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    1. Glad there are others out there who are also living in reality.

      I suppose some people prefer to live in a skewed reality, one in which they believe they are living a life of oppression and martyrdom.

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    2. If our ideals bother you so much, then you do not have to visit this blog. Keep living your dream, whatever that may be.

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    3. It's not so much your ideals that bother me (each human being should be free to choose and live his/her own life path), it's the fact you impose those ideals upon my life and any other person's life who doesn't share the same ideals as you.

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    4. But isn't that what's been happening but on the flip side? Imposing the belief that contraception and abortion are women's rights? These values have been imposed on Catholics and others of faith who are against them for decades. Up until now, a person or institution who was against them, could choose not to include these services in their Healthcare.

      Now with the HHS Mandate, it's going to be made a law, "forcing these ideals on those who are against them." Or face huge fines and penalties.

      Lets flip it, if you are for contraception and abortion, the government shouldn't have the right to tell you that you cannot do it. I seriously believe this is much bigger than abortion and contraception, the government should not make you do something that goes against your morals and values. Period.

      If the government became Pro-Life and decided to issue a mandate making contraception and abortion ILLEGAL, the feminist movement would be up in arms.

      That's what's happening now but on the other side of the coin. Yes, the Catholic Church teaches that abortion and contraception are immoral and yes, they preach it to the world. They don't force it on anyone. If a person chooses to work in a Catholic institution, they know that those services are not part of their healthcare package. The person can choose to work elsewhere.

      Bottom line is that all Catholics still have a choice whether to follow this doctrine or not. The church is not kicking out parishioners who are on birth control or who've had an abortion. They'd have to kick out all the idolaters, liars, thieves, murderers...etc. We are a church made up of sinners who strive to follow the Will of God.

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    5. Pro-choice advocates are not imposing anything- they are simply giving options to women that have rights as human beings. Those options include contraceptions, sterilization, abortion, AND NFP.

      But Catholics do force their belief that abortion and contraception are immoral! By being Pro-life you are automatically forcing that, because you are saying you want a world where abortion is illegal, thus forcing your belief on others. If you were simply teaching your beliefs and morals, you would be Pro-choice, because you would recognize that while you do not support or choose abortion, other people have the choice to support it. Pro-life automatically means that you wish to impose your beliefs on others.

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    6. Do you know how many legal abortions have been estimated to have been done since Roe vs. Wade in 1973? Nearly 50,000,000 (yes, million it's not a typo) in almost 40 years. These figures come from secular sources not Christian ones. You may think it's helping the overpopulation issue but I see it as mass murder. I also find it hard to believe that pro-choice doctors often counsel their patients to keep their babies if a mom comes to them uncertain or afraid. I think it's viewed as "an easy fix." I had a health issue during my pregnancy and my ob gyn offered to "help me" by aborting my child. Very nonchalant did she state it like it's routine.

      In fact you can go to Planned Parenthood's website and click on the tab for abortion and see that it states "abortions are very common. In fact, more than 1 out of 3 women in the U.S. have an abortion by the age of 45." That sounds like it's a completely inflated statistic but it's on their website. Yes, they do say "it's an option and you may want to look into parenting or adoption."

      We're back to this but, as Catholics we do not force our views on others. (I know you disagree here and I respect that.) If you look at the statistics of "more than 1 out of 3 women by the age of 45 have an abortion" and "nearly 50 million abortions since 1973" you can see why the pro-choice view is looked upon as primarily abortion and not options.

      If as a Catholic I was teaching our beliefs and morals and included abortion as a right, then I'd be a hypocrite. I'd be a "cafeteria Catholic" who picked and chose what doctrine I wanted to follow and which to disregard. There are plenty of Catholics in our society who could be categorized in this manner. (I have been there myself.) I'm sure you've heard Catholics in favor of abortion, contraception, sterilization...etc. but they do not speak for the church. They speak for themselves and that's between them and God.

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  20. Wow Kate, an interesting debate going on in your blog. I think it shines brightly on the fact that when there "is not one moral authority" then Truth gets rewritten at will and convenience. God gets left out of the equation.

    I'm not saying that Catholics are the only group of believers that are following God. Of course not. Just making the observation that there are so many different faiths, all claiming to be led by the Holy Spirit, and having radically different doctrine. Then there are people who claim not to believe in God and have their own set of values. This all leads to a skewed society that pits groups against each other instead of Christian unity. And that is distorted and yes, I would agree with Hope that our society is skewed and that is not of God.

    I'm not about to speak for all women because we are all given the gift of free will which involves choices that we must daily make, that shapes who we become, and influences our society.

    I would encourage Hope and Anonymous to read their bibles with an open mind and heart asking for the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Whether Hope believes it or not, God has blessed her with the drive, intelligence and endurance to go through medical school. Not everyone is given these gifts and she is truly blessed and since she does seem hooked into this debate, prayer should be her next step. I think God is whispering to her :)

    As for overpopulation, God knows what He is doing.

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    1. You make some good points- that there are so many different faiths, religions, and beliefs, and because of this, problems have the potential to arise in society. I would encourage you to take this one step further and realize that as human beings with different beliefs, we must be cognizant, respectful, and accepting of those beliefs and differences. An individual who is a devot Catholic, Baptist, Hindu, Christian Scientist, etc., etc. has their own moralistic beliefs and doctrine. But one's religious morality is not the same as a general, human morality. Having a general, humanistic, moralistic viewpoint means you treat all human beings with respect and you live your life treating them as you would want to be treated. An individual can have their religious morals to live their life by, but those morals should not be imposed upon others or society. What may be considered moral in one religion may be considered a mortal sin in another.

      I am extremely thankful to have accomplished what I have so far in my life. But I am not sure that God has blessed me, since I am agnostic. So, I'm not sure that there is a God, but I do have an open mind and heart. But, if I did believe wholeheartedly in a God, I know that praying to him would not change what is happening in the world, because humans will continue to impose their beliefs upon others. I could pray to help in my acceptance of that fact, but ultimately that is not going to bring about change.

      If there is a God, then I'm sure he knows what he's doing, but since he has given us free will, then he has imparted us with the ability to overpopulate- and the fact is, 'we' don't know what we're doing.

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    2. I would agree with most of what you said but there are exceptions and I believe it's a slippery slope to continue that line of "acceptance of others." I do not respect the belief that one honors Allah and goes straight to heaven by being a suicide bomber. I know you'd agree here, it's just an extreme example. Yet it all ties back to the many schisms that have occurred since the time of Christ. If there are so many variations, what happened to Truth? People have shaped and boxed in God as they see fit, thinking they're in charge.

      In this world, I can go and open up my own church and create my own doctrine and it's legal. May not be moral, but it's legal. I could have the same values as David Koresh and have children becoming wives of old men...etc. I could convince my followers that taking their own lives would send them straight to God...etc. Another extreme example but I'm sure you understand where I'm heading...that slippery slope.

      That's the wonderful thing about God, you don't have to believe in Him but He believes in you.

      And I agree that "we" don't know what we're doing because we think we're in the drivers seat forgetting about God. History has proven itself to fall trap to this same sin of pride and civilizations have risen and fallen again and again. Humans tend to flounder around and fail in this regard all throughout time.

      Thank you Hope for your willingness to discuss this issue. It has helped me to reason out why I believe what I believe. I'm not a puppet that is being manipulated by the bishops or Pope Benedict :)

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    3. There is no slippery slope- let me explain. There is a difference between universal morality and religious morality. All religions have different morals/standards that their followers live their lives by. The belief that being a suicide bomber is what honors Allah is indeed a belief and no one can change or refute that. But since that religious belief can violate human morality by killing or harming or interfering with other human beings' lives, it cannot be tolerated. Humanistic morality is what we must enforce in our society, because it is the one thing that unifies all of us. You can also have your own individual religious morals, but you cannot impose them upon other individuals, just as they cannot impose their religious morals upon you. You can disagree with the religious beliefs of a religion or individual, and still have acceptance for them (in fact you should). You don't have to accept what they are doing if it is inherently morally wrong, but you should still accept them as a human being. Many people suffer from countless mental illnesses (schizophrenia, bipolar, sociopathy), of which may cause them to do horrible things (which may lead to necessary consequences). In fact, some biblical events could be the result of an individual having a mental illness- seeing things, having visions...

      And isn't it your view as a Christian to have acceptance for all people, even though what they may be doing is wrong? I don't think God said it was your job to condemn the suicide bomber. I believe he said something along the lines of 'love thy neighbor' even if he may be extremely lacking in true morals.

      Yes, you can start whatever type of church/belief system that you wish to- that is your right as a freethinking human being. It is also the right & choice of those whom you are preaching to to do with that as they wish- they can choose to blindly follow your church, or see it for what it may be- lies, a way to take advantage of unsuspecting people, or perhaps, a fairytale to give people hope of an afterlife that is better than this life. I wonder if God did not promise the gift of heaven if people would still follow him?

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    4. We've reached the crux of this debate. For a christian, universal morality and religious morality are the same. We don't compartmentalize it and have morality change it's face for others. It is what it is. No getting around it. The majority of christian faiths believe in the Ten Commandments. The morals and values are very similar. They differ in specifics of doctrine and dogma but generally, there are many shared beliefs which is why there has been success at the ecumenical councils.

      We differ here because your view sounds like relativism or at least secularism. It's the mantra of our society "it may be true for you but not for me" which is why it can be difficult to be a christian. We're seen as bigoted, old fashioned, men trying to control women, ancient, fools...etc you get the drift. I'm not saying that in America we're facing religious persecution, but the eye rolling and derisive comments are the norm. You said yourself earlier, "that we don't live in reality" or something of that nature. It certainly wasn't meant as a compliment :)

      As a christian, we believe that we are made in the image of God, that He knows us before birth, that we are all His beloved children, and He has written on our hearts a desire to know Him, love Him and serve Him. We're challenged to speak His Truth in love, not at the top of our lungs :) We're also directed to speak His Word or else we're complicit in the sin. We sin in our thoughts, words, actions, what we've done and what we've failed to do. We also believe that one day each of us will stand before God and be judged on how we lived our lives. And no, we don't believe he has a tally of our good deeds vs. our sins :) But we do believe that if we deny God, He will deny us when we meet Him. He is a loving and forgiving God but He is also just. All of what I've just said is biblical not my opinion. It doesn't come out of nowhere and not just from the pulpit. It's God's Word we find in the bible.

      This may help you understand why Christians feel strongly and "may be imposing" their views on you. It's not meant to be condescending or judgmental so, I apologize if I'm coming off that way. I'm positive that Christians have behaved horribly in the past trying to impose their views which is wrong.

      And "I'm" not the one condemning the suicide bomber. Taking lives is murder according to God, it's written in the bible. He decides when He gives life and when that life ends. Not humans. It's not just my view or the church's. I also don't think it's in the Koran. I think extreme militant groups have interpreted their faith in this manner but I do not believe it's a general view of Islam. Could be wrong but I don't think so.

      Your last question is a provocative one. It's a good "selling point" to encourage His followers to live according to the Word of God. Plus, I think we need to know our purpose here on earth or what's really the point? We live for ourselves and when we die, there's nothing?

      Just curious, you stated you're agnostic but, were you always? Were you raised in a faith? Or were you raised with no religion at all? And thank you for your time and thoughts in our dialogue on Katie's blog. I did ask her permission to respond back to you because I didn't want to overstep here :)

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Thanks for stopping by! I love comments so if you've got something to add please don't hesitate. Also, I don't require that you agree with me but I would appreciate if you're nice. :)

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