My name is Heather Parker, and I’m an advocate / activist / sometimes attorney (and, no, I don’t just play one on TV) working to protect and promote women’s rights. I focus primarily on domestic violence, sexual assault, and reproductive health. For full disclosure, I am a domestic violence and rape survivor, so my writing and viewpoints are somewhat colored by those experiences.
I used to work for a major international human rights organization on women’s rights and poverty issues, and now I spend a lot of my time volunteering with various organizations, and a lot of time here on the interwebz correcting misinformation about these topics. My naiveté still allows me to believe that if we were all starting from the same place, i.e. from the same set of facts, we’d probably come to agreements more often. Which is why I do what I do. Sometimes it feels thankless, but occasionally I hear from someone that they learned something new, and that makes it worthwhile to me.
I’m UBER prochoice (though I prefer the term pro-reproductive rights / pro-abortion rights, maybe even pro-women’s reproductive liberty – shout out to my friend Noah, there ), so don’t be surprised to see a lot of posts on that topic. I also post A LOT about contraception and reproductive health in general. My posts on domestic violence have tended to wane recently, but if you follow me on twitter, you’ll find that I tweet a lot of stories there about it. I’ve recently started trying to learn more about sex work, so expect to see more posts about that topic in the future.
I come from the Midwest originally, but never really felt at home there, so travelled to the East Coast a few times, lived in France for awhile (St. Brieuc), lived in Geneva for a bit, settled in NYC for a few years, and now I live in the DC Metro area.
I enjoy wine (Marlborough sauvignon blancs? Yes, please) and cheese (goat goudas – yum!), am an “upper west side, arugula-eating, latte-sipping liberal” (or at least I was – I ran into Morning Joe next to my old apartment on the UWS once whilst buying a latte and some arugula – true story), and am otherwise known as a “liberal, pinko, commie, prochoice, feminist bastard” – and I’m damn proud of it.
Any questions? Feel free to contact me. Otherwise, I hope you’ll stick around, and I look forward to hearing from you.
You STILL need to know more about me?
Figures. We liberal pinko commie prochoice feminist bastards aren’t to be trusted.
Here’s one of those random-ass quirky “50 things about me” lists on FB I got suckered into doing one night whilst procrastinating.
- I used to be a hippie. Like a real, live patchouli-smelling, long-hair sporting hippie. And I’ve got the pics to prove it.
- I’ve showered beneath a waterfall – it’s something everyone should try at least once.
- I used to be a carney – but I don’t have small hands, nor do I smell like cabbage.
- I have a strange love/hate relationship w/ arts and crafts. Apparently I’m “good” at them, but they annoy me to no end.
- I used to own a professional face and body art company, and once painted at an “Eyes Wide Shut” party in Manhattan. Yes, you can ask me about it. No, I probably won’t give you ALL the deets.
- I am continually amazed by how positively “girly” I’ve become in the past ten years; high heels and mini skirts? Whaaa?
- I’m quite positive that 18-year-old me could kick 33-year-old me’s ass.
- I actually read the entire Twilight series – I’m so ashamed. Though now I can adequately discuss precisely why no one, let alone an impressionable teenage (or pre-teen) girl, should EVER consider reading them.
- Putting on a brand new, freshly washed pair of plain white socks just after a shower or bath is one of life’s simple pleasures.
- For being such an incredibly messy person, I’m an organizational freak.
- I thoroughly regret spending more than a year of my life in my MA program – such a waste…
- I didn’t drink coffee at all until law school – and now I’m a Starbuck’s junkie. Grande skim extra shot one raw sugar latte, please.
- I actually hug trees – not in front of people anymore (b/c I’ve seen the looks that causes), but it leaves me with a very peaceful feeling.
- Ditto for going barefoot on grass.
- For having so many pairs of shoes (I <3 my loubs and choos), I actually have an aversion to wearing them – I go barefoot or sock-footed everywhere I can get away with it. It also may or may not be how I got my first legal job. (True story)
- I have a weird addiction to Law and Order & House.
- I not-so-secretly wish that Dr. House was real so that get him to fix my various maladies.
- I cry at the drop of a hat – well, mainly just when I see, hear, or read about injustices. Have since I was a kid. It’s weird, I know.
- I used to hug EVERYBODY. Don’t know exactly when that stopped, but I’m kinda sad about it.
- I lust after homes with built-in bookshelves – ah, storage… ::drools::
- My favorite food ethnicity is Indian – saag aloo, chana masala, and garlic naan are some of the tastiest food items imaginable.
- I not so secretly judge vegans – how can you give up cheese? Yummy, yummy cheese…
- I also not so secretly judge smokers. Seriously? Could y’all please stand over there? Like WAY over there? My asthma does not like you. Kthxbai.
- Mexican Coke (the beverage – do you really think I’d talk abt the OTHER mexican coke on a blog, peeps?) is my newest addiction.
- I have two bengal cats. I both love and hate them. Love them when they’re playing fetch or being adorably cuddlesome; hate them when they’re destroying yet another pair of Skullcandy earbuds.
- NYC will always be my home (even when I don’t live there) but I will always have a longing to live in NOLA.
- If you haven’t noticed by now, I curse like a drunken sailor. Much to the chagrin of the more “proper” amongst us.
- I say “y’all” – a lot. And not to be cute. It just slips out. Also, it’s not the awesome southern y’all. It’s the Appalachian y’all (if you have to ask the difference, you don’t deserve to know). I do love the looks I get when it slips into conversations with big words, though…like legal conversations.
- I have mirth-induced asthma. That right there is enough to convince me that if an omnipotent being IS in charge of the universe, said being hates me.
- I’m totes a vegetarian (have been for…17 years? wow…), but I feed my bengals a raw food diet. Do you know how disgusting it is, as a vegetarian, to plunge your hands into raw turkey once every three weeks? Ick ick ick.
- I recently became a model. Yes, I know. I’m a facepainting, women’s rights advocate / attorney who models. You got something to say about it?
- Apparently I wear my emotions on my sleeve, or rather my face. Mainly rage. And mainly over injustice. So if you’re treating someone poorly, don’t expect to see me act all sunshine and bubbly towards you. You’ve been warned.
- I collect vinyl. Well, sort of. I stopped when my turntable broke. But I do have all of the NIN halos on vinyl. And I used to have a copy of the blue pressing of Bleach. But I gave that to an ex. Because sometimes I’m dumb.
- I pink puffy heart Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess. If you could choose only one blog to read, choose hers. She got me through some really rough, dark times, and introduced me to my sister-wife…because she’s awesomesauce. No, seriously, go read her post entitled “Learn to Pick Your Battles.” Right now. This list will still be here when you get back. I promise.
- I truly believe that Allie Brosh should get a commission anytime anyone uses the phrase “All the Things”. And if you don’t know who Allie is, and you use that phrase anyway, shame on you. Go look her up and read her blog.
- I have a rather healthy obsession with zombies, including a thorough apocalypse survival plan. And I’ve had one since 2002 – so all you Walking Dead fans, I love y’all, but you’re a little late to the party, luvs.
- I believe in soul mates (plural). I also believe that you’re not necessarily meant to be romantically involved with soul mates. But I would have a sad, sad existence if I had never met the wonderful people who are my soulmates.
- Allergies are the bane of my existence. Yellow death? You can go fuck yourself.
- EMDR is both the most difficult and the most helpful thing I’ve ever done for myself.
- I wish I could learn to paint on other canvasses as well as I can paint on skin.
- White russian milkshakes = bestest summer drink EVAR. Second best summer drink ever? Wine slushies. TRUST.
- I once got a call from the DOJ because I tried to send 500+ letters to the Hershey company filed with homemade Valentines asking them to commit to purchasing 5% of their cocoa from fair trade sources. This was right after the anthrax scare in the early 2000s…some people had used white glitter. That was a super fun phone call.
- Je parle français.
- I spend WAY too much time at coffee shops. I think it’s because there weren’t any in the uber small town where I grew up.
- Android. Always Android.
- French fries are my one fast food weakness, and the way to my heart. Particularly if they’re pomme frites.
- Donuts are the suck. No, really. How anyone can actually eat them is a mystery to me.
- I’ve broken eight bones; mine, not other people’s. Osteopenia is the suck.
- I didn’t discover labneh until I was 30. That makes me very, very sad.
- I saved this one for last, because I wanted it to be good, and now I can’t think of anything to write here. Apparently I suck.
Hope you enjoy this blog, and hope to hear from you soon.