Posts Tagged mommy make the stupid people go away
My attention was drawn to…THIS, today. It kind of makes me feel sorry for the opposition. Maybe, kind of, almost. If I’m inarticulate, it’s because reading this has caused me to lose brain cells.
For Charles Cooper, the lawyer defending Proposition 8, California’s gay-marriage ban, the worst moment of the proceedings probably came when Elena Kagan zeroed in on the most consistent and conspicuous weakness in the anti-gay-marriage case, namely that the unchanging purpose of marriage is procreation. (And in that purpose lies the state’s constitutionally defensible rationale—something above mere animus towards gays and lesbians—for excluding them from the institution.) Cooper had been explaining his side’s concern “that redefining marriage as a genderless institution will sever its abiding connection to its historical traditional procreative purpose” and “refocus” it—away from children and toward “the emotional needs and desires of adults.” Suppose, Justice Kagan asked Cooper, that a state were to pass a law saying it would no longer give marriage licenses to heterosexual couples in which both people were over fifty-five. Would that be constitutional? No, said Cooper. But why not, Kagan persisted, if gay couples could be constitutionally denied marriage rights for the reasons he stated? Cooper mustered a rather weak empiricism: “Even with respect to couples over the age of fifty-five, it’s very rare that both parties to the couple are infertile”; men, he said, “rarely outlive their fertility.” Kagan was skeptical. “I can assure you that if both the woman and the man are over the age of fifty-five there are not a lot of children coming out of that marriage,” she said, eliciting the biggest laugh of the morning.
I’m so sorry that I wasn’t sitting next to Justice Kagan. It would have been so, so much fun to ask Mr. Cooper to elaborate.
Dude…are you aware that a post-menopausal heterosexual couple is not HALF-fertile? If the woman can’t get pregnant, then she and her husband, together, are not fertile AT ALL. A heterosexual relationship involving a woman who has outlived her menstrual cycles is not a procreative one. Honestly, young lesbian couples make more babies than 55-year-old straight couples. You see, Mr. Cooper, the role of the uterus in reproduction is absolutely essential and non-fungible. It’s all or nothing, and it’s very costly to the body. Sperm, on the other hand, is not that difficult to acquire!
In the Alabama legislature, Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin gave this hilariously ignorant rationale for TRAP (Targeted Regulations for Abortion Providers) laws:
“When a physician removes a child from a woman, that is the largest organ in a body,” McClurkin said in an interview Thursday. “That’s a big thing. That’s a big surgery. You don’t have any other organs in your body that are bigger than that.”
If they were performing C-sections in these clinics, her concern would be legitimate. That’s a pretty big surgery with a maternal mortality rate way, way higher than your typical first-trimester abortion.
Even a full-term fetus takes up a lot less space than its mother’s skin or blood. This is the sort of thing we learn in 7th grade Biology. A pre-viable fetus—in the development range at which the overwhelming majority of abortions are performed—is still smaller than a grown woman’s liver (approx. 3 pounds) or either lung (approx. 2.4 pounds). A first-trimester embryo—which is what we’re still dealing with in most of these procedures—is considerably smaller than either of my kidneys.
As a justification for placing needlessly burdensome requirements on abortion providers, this is incandescently unrelated to reality.
All that said, it’s a much more level-headed characterization of pregnancy than, say, talking about the fetus as a separate person. If a fetus is an organ in a woman’s body, then personhood is a nonsensical idea. If it’s an organ, then surely there should be no moral objections to the woman having it removed before it gets big enough to push the other organs around. Thanks, Rep. McClurkin! Join the pro-choice side! We have vibrators and cocktails!
The latest faux pas comes from Representative Phil Gingrey of Georgia, who, I am not joking, has defended Todd Akin, of all people. Here’s the thing: if you defend Todd Akin, you deserve to be kicked out of office and run out of town on a rail. There’s no ambiguity about this. There is nothing defensible about Todd Akin, and Gingrey has just marked himself as more of the same, because he seems to think that we didn’t hear Akin the first time:
and what he meant by legitimate rape was just look, someone can say I was raped: a scared-to-death 15-year-old that becomes impregnated by her boyfriend and then has to tell her parents, that’s pretty tough and might on some occasion say, ‘Hey, I was raped.’ That’s what he meant when he said legitimate rape versus non-legitimate rape. I don’t find anything so horrible about that.
These are the “tough questions” some womb-controller named Trevin Wax is all annoyed that nobody ever asks pro-choice politicians. Adam Lee takes his crack at them, and now I will give my take.
Granted I’m not a politician, and so I don’t need to worry about offending half the population, but I will see just how tough these questions are.
1. You say you support a woman’s right to make her own reproductive choices in regards to abortion and contraception. Are there any restrictions you would approve of?
You make it sound like abortion restrictions are a good thing unto themselves. I don’t think we should sit around, trying to come up with ways to make sure women don’t have too much freedom to determine her family planning.
2. In 2010, The Economist featured a cover story on “the war on girls” and the growth of “gendercide” in the world – abortion based solely on the sex of the baby. Does this phenomenon pose a problem for you or do you believe in the absolute right of a woman to terminate a pregnancy because the unborn fetus is female?
Short answer: no, it’s not a problem.
Longer answer: I am not quite sure why the prevalence of sex selection in India and China is relevant to the debate over abortion rights in the U.S. They are not convincing us to abort our female embryos, and we do not set their agenda on reproductive freedom.
Moreover, there are major cultural factors behind son preference, which is the issue driving sex-selection. Forcing women to carry all pregnancies to spontaneous conclusion will do nothing good for women’s place in those societies, which means their preference for sons will only become more entrenched.
3. In many states, a teenager can have an abortion without her parents’ consent or knowledge but cannot get an aspirin from the school nurse without parental authorization. Do you support any restrictions or parental notification regarding abortion access for minors?
It kind of sounds like you want to have restrictions just for the sake of having restrictions.
No, I do not support parents’ right to force their daughters to give them grandchildren. Nor do I support their right to punish their daughters for opening their legs.
4. If you do not believe that human life begins at conception, when do you believe it begins? At what stage of development should an unborn child have human rights?
The question of when life begins is a separate issue from when a woman is no longer allowed to terminate her pregnancy. Let’s not forget that any “rights” we confer on a fetus must go through the personhood and quality of life of its pregnant mother. We could argue that an individual organism’s lifespan achieves a meaningful beginning at birth. That doesn’t mean it’s okay to abort in the last month of pregnancy. We could argue that the lifespan begins at implantation. That doesn’t mean the woman has lost her bodily autonomy.
5. Currently, when genetic testing reveals an unborn child has Down Syndrome, most women choose to abort. How do you answer the charge that this phenomenon resembles the “eugenics” movement a century ago – the slow, but deliberate “weeding out” of those our society would deem “unfit” to live?
Stephanie Zvan handles this one really well. Abortions of fetuses with Down Syndrome is not about a society-wide decision that people with certain disabilities are unfit to live. It is about a woman and her partner making a decision about what kinds of responsibilities they can handle. If most expectant parents think they are not up to the challenge of raising a child with Down Syndrome, then it’s a perfectly sensible decision to abort.
6. Do you believe an employer should be forced to violate his or her religious conscience by providing access to abortifacient drugs and contraception to employees?
So much bullshit, so little word count.
Check your facts before you start making up “hard” questions.
Do I think an employer should be able to control how an employee uses her health coverage or controls her fertility? No. I don’t think so at all.
7. Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King, Jr. has said that “abortion is the white supremacist’s best friend,” pointing to the fact that Black and Latinos represent 25% of our population but account for 59% of all abortions. How do you respond to the charge that the majority of abortion clinics are found in inner-city areas with large numbers of minorities?
If African-Americans have higher rates of unintended pregnancy—which they do—then it follows that they will place greater demand on abortion providers. Hence, the providers go where they’re needed. If African-American and Latina women don’t want to have all the babies, it’s doing them no favors to demand that their access to abortion care be curtailed. Alveda King is full of nonsense.
8. You describe abortion as a “tragic choice.” If abortion is not morally objectionable, then why is it tragic? Does this mean there is something about abortion that is different than other standard surgical procedures?
I don’t think abortion is a tragic choice. I think the reasons why her pregnancy is unwanted may be tragic; like, she has serious medical problems that are incompatible with pregnancy, or, she got pregnant because her abusive partner sabotaged her birth control. But her decision not to have a baby isn’t tragic at all.
9. Do you believe abortion should be legal once the unborn fetus is viable – able to survive outside the womb?
That depends on the circumstances. If the fetus has a condition that will make its life post-birth painful and short, then the merciful thing would be to abort. If the fetus is perfectly healthy, and truly able to survive outside, then it should be possible to induce labor and deliver the baby.
But, actually? Nearly all women, given their preference, will abort as early as possible. If they wait longer, it’s usually because they had to save up money for the procedure and travel, deal with ultrasounds, waiting periods, mandatory counseling at some sectarian third-party, and she’s a teenager who lives in a state with parental notification and she had to see a judge because her parents are abusive assholes. If you want women to get their abortions done early, then we need to make it easy for them to do it early. You don’t get to keep making up roadblocks to throw in their way, and then act like the pro-choice side is failing to answer a “tough question.”
10. If a pregnant woman and her unborn child are murdered, do you believe the criminal should face two counts of murder and serve a harsher sentence?
Pregnant women are especially vulnerable to partner violence, so I’m not going to dismiss the question out of hand.
Here’s an idea: protect pregnant women under hate crime statutes.
If someone kills a woman because she’s pregnant, try it as a hate crime and assign a harsher sentence.
If someone kills a woman who happens to be pregnant, try it as a singular homicide.
Even the Old Testament doesn’t treat the fetus as a separate person entitled to protection under the law.
Leta Hong Fincher at NYT shows us how the All-China Women’s Federation, which was founded in 1949 by the Communist Party to “protect women’s rights and interests,” is trying to scare single young women into lowering their standards. They really do not mince words.
Pretty girls don’t need a lot of education to marry into a rich and powerful family, but girls with an average or ugly appearance will find it difficult. These kinds of girls hope to further their education in order to increase their competitiveness. The tragedy is, they don’t realize that as women age, they are worth less and less, so by the time they get their M.A. or Ph.D., they are already old, like yellowed pearls.
How many bullshit misogynist beliefs can you pack into a short paragraph?
Is it really so unlikely that many young women are pursuing higher education because they want to be highly educated and have ambitious careers? Is it possible that some women want to be professors, attorneys, physicians, historians, or otherwise noted experts in their fields? Do you really think they go to all that trouble just to make themselves more interesting for potential husbands? Does it take an M.A. or Ph.D. to get an MRS?
Many highly educated “leftover women” are very progressive in their thinking and enjoy going to nightclubs to search for a one-night stand, or they become the mistress of a high official or rich man. It is only when they have lost their youth and are kicked out by the man, that they decide to look for a life partner. Therefore, most “leftover women” do not deserve our sympathy.
Don’t sleep around, ladies! Don’t spend your 20s having fun and fucking all the dudes you want! You need to marry the first guy who shows an interest, or else you’ll be old and single. And by “old” we mean over 27.
The main reason many girls become “leftover women” is that their standards for a partner are too high … As girls are not too picky, finding a partner should be as easy as blowing away a speck of dust.
Can you find the contradiction in this statement?
When holding out for a man, if you say he must be rich and brilliant, romantic and hardworking … this is just being willful. Does this kind of perfect man exist? Maybe he does exist, but why on earth would he want to marry you?
So, how are single men supposed to set their standards for potential mates? There are actually more men under a certain age in China than women, so what kind of advice are men getting to make themselves more appealing to eligible young women?
This is possibly the best part:
When you find out that he is having an affair, you may be in a towering rage, but you must know that if you make a fuss, you are denying the man “face” … No man is capable of spending a lifetime being loyal to an outmoded wife who never changes … Try changing your hairstyle or your fashion. Women must constantly change for the better.
*blogger pours herself some more vodka*
What the effing shit.
Ms. Hong Fincher explains the agency’s motivation:
Curious, I searched the Women’s Federation Web site and found that it posted its first article on “leftover” women in 2007, shortly after China’s State Council issued an edict on strengthening the Population and Family Planning program to address “unprecedented population pressures.” These pressures include the sex-ratio imbalance — which “causes a threat to social stability” — and the “low quality of the general population, which makes it hard to meet the requirements of fierce competition for national strength,” according to the State Council. The State Council names “upgrading population quality (suzhi)” as one of its key goals, and appoints the Women’s Federation as a primary implementer of its population planning policy.
What better way to upgrade population quality than to frighten “high-quality” women into marrying and having a child for the good of the nation?
Let’s get this much out of the way: Eugenics is SO 1930s. We see through your “population quality” nonsense, China.
The sex-ratio imbalance is significant. The agency’s scare-mongering of single women makes it sound like their country is suffering a serious shortage of single men.
It is a well-documented fact that, due to the combined pressures of their one-child policy and the cultural preference for sons, there are significantly more men than women in the Chinese population of marriageable age. A man shortage is the very opposite of China’s problem in “population pressures.”
They’re not worried about women being unable to find men who want to marry them. The All-China Women’s Federation is really looking out for the interests of “leftover” men. They’re trying to minimize the number of men who can’t have families by convincing women that their time is running out. They could try giving men advice on how to make themselves more attractive to women, because, let’s face it, women in China can afford to be choosy in ways that men can’t, but that would require the government to acknowledge that men are not superior to women in every way.
I understand that there is a healthy rate of population decline, and it is possible to go beyond it, but perhaps the Chinese government should have thought about that before they instituted a one-child policy in a culture that views daughters as dead weight. If the problem really is a matter of women having expectations that men can’t meet, then there should be a campaign of teaching men how to be better partners so that women will be more likely to have their one baby apiece. There would still be some men left out, unless they also decide to encourage polyandry, but if the emphasis were on teaching men how to improve themselves, it might actually achieve the goal of persuading more women to get married.
That is, of course, assuming that China suffers from legions of women holding out for the man who is “rich and brilliant, romantic and hard-working,” which I doubt. I think it’s more likely that some Chinese women just don’t want to get married or raise a kid. They want to be highly educated, have interesting jobs, and spend their younger years having a good time. They’re not looking for Mr. Right because they don’t need him. Perhaps China is a victim of its own success in population control. Many young women see that the population density is too damn high, and they figure they’re doing their country a favor by not adding one more human being per couple to the country’s already-limited real estate. Or perhaps marriage is unappealing to them because men have been taught to believe that they can sleep around and then blame it on the wife for not keeping her hairstyle up to date.
I will offer a reality check: if a man in a population with China’s sex-ratio imbalance cheats on his wife, it’s not because his wife isn’t keeping up his interest, it’s because HE’S A FUCKING MORON.
I tell you, China is pissing me off. I gave them a uniquely varied approach to gender roles in the post-Plague world of Charlinder’s Walk, and the All-China Women’s Federation is partying like it’s 1955. They target highly educated women and treat them like they have peanut shells for brains. It’s safe to assume that a woman with an M.A. or higher knows how to count, and understands what her country’s ratio of females to males implies.
Message to the Chinese government: “high-quality” women do not owe their vaginas to your men, or their uteri to your tax rolls. You would make far better use of their training and qualifications if you appreciated them for their brains.
Someone thought this was a joke to tell in a public venue:
During a rootin’, tootin’ jamboree this weekend, the announcer made a joke about the First Lady being offered $50 to appear in National Geographic magazine. GET IT?!?!
But wait, there’s context. You see, jokester
Ed Kutzwas making a comparison between attractiveness of Mrs. Obama and potential future First Lady Ann Romney. Romney, he said, was offered $250,000 to appear in Playboy magazine (yeah, Playboy loves the 63-year-olds) whereas Obama, who possesses inferior attractiveness to Romney, was only offered a tiny, pathetic sum to appear in a magazine that often features pictures of animals.
As the commenters on Jezebel point out, the connection to National Geographic is more about naked pygmies than gorillas and chimps, but still. If you’re going to work a crowd into a froth by telling lame-ass jokes that amount to, “BECAUSE THEY’RE BLACK, GET IT?!”, there are subtler, more dog-whistle-ish ways to do it than by saying Michelle Obama is ugly. I guess you don’t have a problem with contributing to a culture that makes black girls feel like shit by telling them pretty=white, but your audience didn’t think it was quite so funny, now did they?
Now I’m gonna crawl back into my hole of allowing rumors of my death to germinate. I’m not quite dead yet; just no longer trying to hide my insanity.
Someone made this happen, and Paula Kirby (who was until quite recently someone I respected) Tweeted it around:
So then Ophelia Benson showed it off on her blog so that we could point and laugh.
For those who have no idea what this is about: there’s been some assholery going around the atheist movement over the past year-and-change. Only now is the assholery leading to actual upheaval. This is one of those things that have been puked up due to the motion sickness of the rug getting pulled out from under them.
This is probably not the effect that the “artist” intended: I want to jump in there and assist Jen and Greta with whatever it is they’re doing on monkey-face. I want to kneel at Rebecca’s feet. I want to learn the wise ways of Ophelia. I want to have a beer with Richard and PZ.
These are just the sensations coming up from looking at this picture.
I see from the context that this little collage was intended to ridicule the FTB/Skepchick alliance, but the effect is that they all seem like an awesome bunch of people. If you’re trying to ridicule, it helps to make the object of your derision actually look ridiculous.
Look, folks, if we want to show Christians that it’s not cool to vandalize atheist billboards (for example), the way to do it is definitely NOT to fucking spray-paint pro-atheist slogans on the sides of a CHURCH, for Pete’s sake.
That said, I’m a little skeptical that the vandals in this case were actually atheists. To wit:
Do you see what’s out of place here? I do not recall ever seeing an atheist person misspell the word “atheist.” I do, however, regularly see theist persons use that misspelling.
It’s possible that the vandals were members of a different denomination who wanted to fuck with Shady Grove United Methodist Church and pin it on the godless. It’s also possible that the vandals were some bored teenagers who attend Shady Grove United Methodist and decided it would be fun to spray-paint badly-executed atheist messages on the outside walls because they had absolutely nothing else to do with their time. (I’ve been in the Peace Corps; I don’t underestimate the depths to which bored teenagers will descend.)
It’s also possible that some atheists simply can’t spell. Then again, it’s interesting that they can spell “delusion” correctly but make a rookie mistake with “atheism.”
Of course, the red misspelled “atheism” might not have been the work of the same person as the others.
I’m paying a lot of attention to spelling, here.
Either way, I think that decent people of all strains of belief can agree that vandalizing someone else’s property is not okay.
Louisiana state Rep. Valarie Hodges, who looks like Sarah Palin’s dowdier sister, is simply shocked—shocked, I tell you—to hear that when they say “use state funds to send kids to religious schools,” it includes religions other than hers.
“I actually support funding for teaching the fundamentals of America’s Founding Fathers’ religion, which is Christianity, in public schools or private schools,” the District 64 Representative said Monday.
“Unfortunately it will not be limited to the Founders’ religion,” Hodges said. “We need to insure that it does not open the door to fund radical Islam schools. There are a thousand Muslim schools that have sprung up recently. I do not support using public funds for teaching Islam anywhere here in Louisiana.”
That is a lot of wrongness in a little bit of word count.
I will save the school voucher debate for later. The religious freedom debate, however, is fairly straightforward. If you do not want state funds supporting schools of a particular religion, you do not allow state funds to support schools of ANY religion. In fact, they shouldn’t be using state funds for anything but secular schools anyway, but a person who’s been elected to a legislative position really ought to be aware of the connection between “religious schools” and “religions she doesn’t like.” I think I learned that in 9th-grade Civics class. It was a well-funded public school.
“I do find it amazing and entertaining that one of our stickers has become a racist thing,” Ms. Smith told Forbes.
She even tried arguing that the dictionary does not define the “N-Word” as racist. Wisely, Friedman posted the actual definition from dictionary.com, which says the word, “is now probably the most offensive word in English. Its degree of offensiveness has increased markedly in recent years, although it has been used in a derogatory manner since at least the Revolutionary War. Definitions 1a, 1b, and 2 represent meanings that are deeply disparaging and are used when the speaker deliberately wishes to cause great offense.”
Her protestations aside, Ms. Smith appears to have removed the bumper sticker from her site. Under the ”Anti-Obama” section of the site (advertised as her No. 3 bestseller), you’ll now only find a sticker reading, “I was Anti-Obama Before It Was Cool.”
In what may be a reference to the controversy her other bumper sticker has caused, the description below reads, “Show the world how you feel! (but be careful, you may hurt someone’s feelings).”
Ms. Smith then goes on to argue that President Obama is “not even black,” but rather, “a mixture of race.” When Friedman asks Smith if she thinks the N-Word is offensive or derogatory, she says no, but then claims that she herself does not even use the word.
“I have kids here around me that are black kids. I call them my own kids. I’ve helped black families…to guide them in the right direction,” Smith told Forbes. “We like to laugh and have a good time. That’s our way of life.”