The San Francisco Giants seem to have joined the chorus that immediately assumes anyone accused of or indicted with a crime is automatically guilty. In their contract with Barry Bonds, they negotiated language that empowers them to terminate the agreement if Bonds is indicted on charges not specified publicly. (One assumes that it would be in relation to the Balco case.) Let's set aside the point that there are many athletes who are arrested, indicted, and/or found guilty who don't have their contracts terminated. We'll forget why Bonds should be treated differently than other athletes. Just a petty nuisance. Let's focus instead on the fact that an indictment doesn't mean he's guilty. In this country, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty, yet there are organizations like the Giants who set themselves up as judge, jury, and executioner. I for one believe Bonds is guilty of steroid abuse and or perjury, but his guilt has to be proven in a court of law. The Giants should have no right to terminate his contract unless he's found guilty, and the union backs me up on this one 100%.
It's much better than racism. Here's what Biden had to say about Obama (emphasis mine):
"I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy," he said. "I mean, that's a storybook, man."
But - and the "but" was clearly inevitable - he doubts whether American voters are going to elect "a one-term, a guy who has served for four years in the Senate," and added: "I don't recall hearing a word from Barack about a plan or a tactic."
He expresses nothing about how Hillary Clinton, as the first mainstream female candidate is "articulate and bright and clean" or how that's "a storybook." Because there's no underlying prejudice about white women not being articulate, bright, or clean.
Via Paul the Spud at Shakespeare's Sister.
News of the Tampa college student jailed on an outstanding warrant after reporting a rape is dispiriting to say the least. Granted, she wasn’t immediately arrested and was initially taken to a rape crisis center, but from there, the story takes a stark turn. While she was driving around with the police trying to pinpoint the location of the attack, the cops discovered the outstanding warrant, stopped the investigation cold, and tossed her in jail. She remained there for two days until word leaked to the press and she was released on bond. To make matters worse, the health care worker at the jail apparently refused to give her the second dose of the morning-after pill because of religious convictions.
Nice going all the way around. This country is supposed to be religion blind, yet we have all these right-wing Christians seeking legislation and policies that will impose their moral viewpoint on us. More importantly, with the case at hand, if indeed the health care worker denied the pill because of religious convictions, how horrible is that? The last thing this woman needs is to get pregnant because of the rape. Then she’ll have to go through the trauma of an abortion. Of course if the reactionary right had its way, she wouldn’t even be allowed to do that.
Maybe the cops felt their hands were tied and were obligated to arrest her, but shouldn’t the system have caught on immediately and let her be arraigned immediately and released from jail? To have to spend two days in jail while you’re still dealing with the trauma of being raped only worsens the emotional scars. She needs time to heal, to be counseled, to receive medical treatment, and instead, her reward for having the courage to speak up is going to jail.
Women already have a fear of reporting rape because of the lousy way the system treats them. Now we throw another impediment in the way. How many other women out there are wanted for crimes, get raped, and don’t report the rape for fear they’ll be arrested? Maybe it’s a small number, but just one person dissuaded is one person too many.
Once the story broke, the Tampa police did change their practices for dealing with victims of trauma. They will now take the circumstances into account. But for this one woman it’s too little, too late.
As a Yankees fan, I know a lot of people hate us. Sure, we're arrogant. Well, why the hell not? When your team has the winningest record in pretty much any sport, why wouldn't you be? What, we're supposed to be like "Aw shucks, we're not that good. We're just lucky." How annoying would that be? I'd have to slap us.
Sure, we expect to win. There's only one answer to the question I hear a lot from non-Yankees fans: "Doesn't it get boring winning so much?" That answer is "No." Who plays to lose? And stuff your "but...good sportsmanship!" Good sportsmanship is about how you play. Not about letting the other guy win sometimes just so they won't feel badly. There's no crying in baseball!
People thought they could shame us by referring to our team as the Evil Empire. Come on, people! We're New Yorkers! That was an insult? No, that was The.Most.Awesome.Nickname.Ever.
People are always "Your team buys championships." Um, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada, Bernie Williams, Robinson Cano. All from the farm system. OK, sure, you're thinking "Yeah, but what about A-Rod?" Your point? How has that worked out for us? [And note to someone special re: "The Mets'll take him if you don't want him." If it were up to me, I'd do a trade. You going to give us David Wright?]
Still, say all the bad things you want about us. There's one thing you can't deny. Yankees fans are loyal. It's an article about how Torre told Cashman he'd like to give Bernie Williams a shot at making the team. Read the comments to it. Nearly every Yankees fan there has said the same thing. "We love Bernie. Just put him on the team already."
I spent a large part of the day dealing with some racist crap in a comments thread on Feministe. Which just totally made me cranky. And I'm lucky, because racist shit like that only makes me cranky, but has no significant direct negative impact on my life.
So why do I bring that up? Because then I got all weird about a comment I left over at Ilyka's. No, you can't read the original, because I deleted it. I thought the first paragraph was too snarky. Really, it probably wasn't, but my perspective isn't on tonight. But not before someone responded to it, and then Ilyka said she liked it, and then I wound up posting like three comments in a row, so now I feel totally dorky.
So I'm totally over myself right now. I think I'm leaving the intertubes for the night (I know, I say that now...). I TiVoed "Heroes" earlier anyway. Mmm, Mohinder.
One thing I really hope to see happen: Bernie Williams retire as a Yankee. I love me some Bernie Williams. He's a class act. He's a good ballplayer. And, as one of the commenters to the article says, he bleeds Yankees blue.
Although he's definitely past his prime, I know that another team would sign him for a year as a utility player. I think he would happily stay with the Yankees as a utility player. I think he'd even take less money from the Yankees than he would from another team. He's been loyal to the Yankees all these years. He played well for them for those years. He was a big part of the championship teams.
There's room for him on the roster, if the Yankees want there to be. Who would you rather have as a back-up first baseman? Bernie Williams or the fieldingly useless Jason Giambi, a man so slow that, as my brother once aptly put it, they measure his speed using a calendar (not that that actually makes a difference to Giambi's (in)ability to play first base, but it's such a great line I had to fit it in)? If not as a back-up first baseman, somewhere.
Bernie has been loyal to the Yankees for his entire career. I know that baseball teams aren't managed by staying loyal to players. I know that's especially true when you're dealing with George Steinbrenner*. Sometimes, though, you just want to believe that loyalty will be rewarded. That the team will forego some money in recognition of all the player has done for them in the past. That George Bailey will beat Clarence Potter**. This is one of those times.
*Besides, as much as I am grateful for Steinbrenner's willingness to open the checkbook, I still hate the man.
**Every time a batter swings, an angel gets his wings?
Two animal-related quizzes via Shakespeare's Sister.
HDTV makes poor porn-watching dudes face the fact that porn actresses are real women with cellulite and wrinkles and everything!
It's so sad! I swear, I'm like nearly in tears for their shattered
Today is the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade. It's also been designated as Blog for Choice day. Unfortunately, the word "choice" is too closely entwined with abortion in our nomenclature, and it assumes that all women are able to make the same choices or that all choices are considered equally valid within our society. I thought about blogging for reproductive freedom instead, but I'd rather reclaim the word choice for all possibilities.
I have never been pregnant, so I have no direct experience with pregnancy, abortion, childbirth, or child-rearing. I'm almost at the age where becoming pregnant will be a non-issue anyway. This leaves me with a whole lot of "I don't knows."
I don't know when life begins.
I don't know what I would have done if I had become pregnant.
I don't know how I'd feel if I became pregnant now.
I don't know the experience of raising a child.
I don't know how painful giving birth is (or isn't).
I don't know how I'd feel if I had an abortion.
Most importantly, I don't know why any of that should matter with respect to reproductive choice. It should only matter with respect to what I would do, because I'd be making the decision for myself. For my body. I should never be making that decision for someone else; for someone else's body.
That's what it comes down to. Having the right to make decisions about what we do with our own bodies. For example, no father is required to give a bone marrow transplant to save the life of his child, wanted or unwanted. No one at all is required to do that under any circumstance, even though it will kill the other person. We simply do not have the right to unilaterally use someone else's body to survive. The very idea that a fetus (or if you prefer "unborn child") should be allowed to do so would give them rights far above those the rest of us enjoy. The decision about whether or not we're willing to allow someone else to use our bodies for their survival rests wholly with us. As it should and still would in every other situation should those who wish to outlaw abortion get their way.
Choice goes beyond just abortion, though. We live in a society that stigmatizes and penalizes women of color, poor women, and/or unmarried women for having children. The only "choice" we leave WOC, poor women, and/or single women is the "choice" to not have sex at all. For them, that is the only societally "valid choice." Unmarried women who do dare to have sex are reviled. In other countries, poor women are forcibly sterilized. Welfare "reform" forces parents to abandon their children, a phenomenon that hits black women most. A lack of federal funding for abortion means that poor women who want to have abortions can't afford them. If they are also on welfare, depending on how many other children they already have, this could also mean a reduction in their welfare benefits. To make matters worse, public funding for contraception is poor as well. Add this all up, and it means that only affluent, married, white women have a choice. For everyone else, the only "proper choice" is not to have sex at all. That is no choice.
True choice. Safe, affordable, legal abortion. Public assistance for women who need it, regardless of how many children they have. A federal mandate that contraception, like Viagra, be funded by insurance. An increase in public funds available for contraception (prescription and/or OTC). Birth control pills, like EC, available OTC. Opposition to forcible sterilization programs in other countries. No stigmatization of unmarried women who have sex.
Thanks to a miraculous comeback and last-minute TD (literally), the Colts earned a berth in the Super Bowl today, making Tony Dungy the second African-American coach in league history to achieve the milestone. He joins close friend and former assistant Lovie Smith in Miami two weeks from today. After the egregious mistreatment of African-Americans throughout our history - slavery, legalized segregation, segregation in all but name only, comments by Al Campanis and the like demeaning them - this is an historic achievement for our society. It says something about how far we have come in just the last forty years. Unfortunately, much more must be done to give African-Americans and other minorities their equal due, but for the moment, let's enjoy this unique moment in American history.
Twenty years ago, Dodgers executive Al Campanis said on Nightline that African-Americans "may not have some of the necessities to be, let's say, a field manager, or, perhaps, a general manager." Today, the Bears coached by Lovie Smith, an African-American, lead by 18 and are less than 9 minutes from the Super Bowl. Smith would be the first African-American in N.F.L. history to lead a team to the Super Bowl. Later on, Tony Dungy tries to become the second. Already, it is the first time two African-American coaches have been to the conference championships. This is an historic and proud moment in U.S. history.
Update: the Bears won, making it official, but at the half, the Colts are down by 15 points.
Step 1: on a cold winter day, wear an oversized down parka
Step 2: stuff two cans of diet coke into each pocket of the coat
Step 3: open and drink one can during movie number one (Notes On A Scandal)
Step 4: in between movies, leave the theater, cross street, buy a candy bar, and eat bar before reentering theater
Step 5: open and drink second can during movie number two (Babel)
Marginal cost: $0.75 for candy bar
No one knows what the ultimate disposition of the Duke Lacrosse case will be, but the developments in the last few weeks only reinforce my opinion that there was an immediate rush to judgment and that the entire team and especially the three indicted players have been treated unjustly. In this country, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty; in this instance, the opposite happened. The players were presumed guilty from the start, and for that, I blame reverse discrimination. Because they were white and privileged and accused of a crime against a poor African-American woman in a predominantly African-American and poor community, the players were treated as pariahs from the start, branded criminals, and sacrificed on the altar of political correctness.
Rather than wait for the case to play out, Duke University immediately suspended the entire team and ultimately canceled the season. True, there are other instances where players accused of a crime have been suspended before the legal process has run its course - the most recent example being Tank Johnson of the Chicago Bears, arrested on gun charges and suspended for two games - yet the defining legal principle in this country is that a person is presumed innocent.
I believe the University reacted to the outcry against the team and an assumption that the charges were true rather than give the players the benefit of the doubt as they should have been under our legal system. Some of it may have stemmed from the party itself, that the players held a Bacchanalian affair with underage drinking, but without the rape charges, I am not sure that the University would have responded as it did. The University gave into the public pressure and to the reverse stereotype at play and deprived the team of due process.
The public condemnation of the players was equally as swift. There was no question that the players were guilty, a call was issued for their heads on a platter, and numerous protests and rallies were held at the home of the party. Unfortunately, this happens all the time in America. Al Sharpton organized a protest against the shooting of Sean Bell and his friends outside a Queens night club late last year, despite the fact that no charges have been brought against the police officers and that the shooting appears to be no more than a tragic misunderstanding. Bell and his friends likely thought they were under attack, and the police in turn likely felt they were under attack. Overall, in the Queens case, there hasn't been an outcry against the officers in the same way there was against the Duke players, and the case has largely faded from public memory, but why is there is quickness to assume guilt in such cases? It's as though we need to assuage our guilt for centuries of mistreatment of African-Americans by saying that these incidents only occur because it is white privileged men acting against a disenfranchised populace. One of the officers in the Bell case is African-American, yet that seems swept under the rug and the finger pointed at racism here and in the Duke case. It seems like there's a reverse stereotype at work.
Most egregious of all is the behavior of D.A. Mike Nifong. I will not get into the question of his motivation here because I do not know the man, but his words and deeds only inflamed an already hot situation. Rather than wait for the results of an investigation, he immediately said he was sure a crime had been committed and made several prejudicial statements. From all appearances, he conducted a faulty investigation, proceeding only on the word of someone whose story has been wildly inconsistent, ignoring and suppressing exculpatory evidence, organizing a rigged line-up that was no more than a game of eeny, meeny, miny, mo, never interviewing the accused and ignoring what seems to be strong evidence of their innocence, and only belatedly interviewing the accuser herself. It's a clear example of how not to conduct a criminal investigation, one that has landed him in hot water.
It is only good news in my opinion that the North Carolina Attorney General has agreed to take the case. The office will conduct an investigation from scratch, hopefully proceeding in a far more professional manner than Nifong. I cannot predict the outcome of the investigation. Maybe it will find cause to move forward anyway, though I will be surprised if it does, and maybe the players will wind up on trial after all is said and done, though again, I doubt this will happen. I believe the case will, as it likely should, go away at this point. Even if it does, however, there has been plenty of damage done to the team as a whole and three players in specific.
Their names and reputation have been muddied, and the case will follow them for the rest of their lives. Whenever applying for a job or meeting someone for the first time, they will be immediately thought of as the Duke players accused of rape. Whether that prejudices people against them or earns sympathy is hard to say. Either way, they have been through months of turmoil on what appears to be a weak and doubtful case. If there were more compelling evidence against them and less questions about the merits of the case, I would still have a problem - as stated before, the presumption should be innocent until proven guilty - but not as much of a problem.
I cannot help but wonder had this not been rich against poor, privileged against underprivileged, white against African-American, whether the case would have gained as much traction as it did. Based on all the evidence so far, I believe a fundamental injustice has been done to the team and accused players.
George Herbert Walker Bush.
Hugs and kisses.
Or Why I still have a problem with what Barbara Boxer said to Condi Rice.
I've read a lot of commentary on what Barbara Boxer was saying to Condi Rice. Some of it ludicrously hysterical about how Boxer told Rice that Rice was unqualified for her job because she was single and childless. And, yes, I agree, that's ridiculous. Boxer never intimated any such thing.
On the other side, it's more of the Boxer was just saying that there are sacrifices that will have to be made to carry on the war and the surge, and we should be cognizant of the prices people will have to pay. I agree that's what Boxer intended. However, her framing of the issue unconsciously plays right into patriarchal assumptions about women. As a single, childless woman myself, I got that very quickly.
In her example, Boxer used herself and Rice as two people who don't have a personal price to pay. Both women. The price they could pay was cast in terms of their children or lack thereof. Not in terms of themselves. Women are in the military. Women die in wars, even if they aren't in combat. It's not just that Boxer's children are too old. It's that she's too old. It's not just that Rice doesn't have an immediate family to sacrifice. It's that she's too old herself.
If the only price women are seen as being able to pay for their country in wartime is their children (and husbands), what does that mean for single, childless women? Given the culture we live in, it's really not hard to read that as "you're selfish." It's not as if single and/or childless women don't get fed that message constantly anyway. "Selfish." "Unwomanly." "Failure." That's the environment in which Boxer made her remarks. The environment in which she excluded the possibility of herself or Rice sacrificing themselves (if she hadn't, there wouldn't have been a framing/subtext issue). While I don't believe she consciously meant that Rice was selfish, none of us escape our socialization. There's an unintended subtext to her remarks; one that I believe feminists and progressives should be aware of.
In 1992, the following was said about why the U.S. had not pressed onto Baghdad after the Gulf War:
"If we'd gone to Baghdad and got rid of Saddam Hussein - assuming we could have found him - we'd have to put a lot of forces in and run him to ground someplace. He would not have been easy to capture. Then you've got to put a new government in his place and then you're faced with the question of what kind of government are you going to establish in Iraq. Is it going to be a Kurdish government or a Shiite government or a Sunni government? How many forces are you going to have to leave there to keep it propped up, how many casualties are you going to take through the course of the operation?"
Who said it? Answer tomorrow.
Part 1: My colleague George had a Bryan Adams CD on his desk the other day. I peruse the song list. Summer of 69. Kids Wanna Rock. Cuts Like A Knife. Straight From The Heart. "Wow," I comment, or something to that effect. I continue to remark what a good album it is, that it has all his top hits. I even note, to my puzzlement, the 1993 date on the back cover. Never putting two and two together until George responds, "It's his greatest hits, you ying yang."
Part 2: I receive a replacement Treo for the one I lost the other day. I look in the spot where it says Sim card. I see no Sim card. I take it to a store for a new Sim card. The guys goes put in the new card, and to my amazement, slides out the Sim card that was there all the time. Never thought to look there.
Part 3: I take up running and discover I can extend my mileage to 7 or more miles with no sweat. I do it a few times and get a stress fracture in my foot from doing too much to soon. Fast forward several years. I take up walking, including the 3 miles from work to home on a few occasions and a couple of back and forth trips from work to the Forest Hills/Kew Gardens vicinity. The result? Likely another stress fracture. Lesson from the first time? Not learned. Those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it. Or however it goes.
I guess in the world of Dan Riehl a 40-hour work week means you work from 9 am on Monday until 1 am on Wednesday.
I've updated my F.A.Q., because yet again a Google search for "navy pants and brown shoes" has led another questioner to my corner of the Internets. I am pleased to offer this fashion advice to any and all.
The answer hasn't changed since last I addressed this hot fashion topic, BTW. It's still "No."
Well, you know, as someone (perhaps Benjamin Disraeli) once said, "There's lies. There's damned lies. And then there's statistics." Back in December, Gallup took a poll regarding American views on the media coverage of Iraq. Here's how the numbers broke down: 56% believe the media portrayal of Iraq is inaccurate. 41% believe it is accurate, and the remaining 3% have no opinion. Now, in fairness, that's not great news for the media, and this poll is meant to be a barometer of how Americans view media coverage of Iraq.
Compare and contrast what I'm going to write to what Don Surber wrote. Read both and ask yourselves what messages you get from both phrasings.
56% of Americans believe the media generally portray Iraq inaccurately.
However, only 35% of Americans believe the media portray Iraq as worse than it really is.
The Gallup Poll found 56% of Americans "believe that the news media's coverage of the situation in Iraq is generally inaccurate."
Of that 56%, most (61%) think the media portray Iraq worse than it really is.
Looks like Bush is not the only one with a low approval rate.
The trick is that both phrasings state the exact truth, but in ways that will send different messages to most people.
Detailed breakdown of the poll results below the jump.
41% believe the media portray Iraq accurately
35% believe the media portray Iraq as worse than it really is
20% believe the media portray Iraq as better than it really is
3% have no opinion on the accuracy or inaccuracy of media coverage of Iraq
2% believe the media portray Iraq inaccurately, but have no opinion as to whether they portray it as better or worse than it really is
Sigh. Our own President, turning aside from tradition and appointing Zalmay Khalilzad, a Muslim, to be UN Ambassador. Whatever shall we do? If we don't do something about illegal immigrants soon, we'll just have more and more Muslim ambassadors! </snark>
Via Pam's House Blend. Pam also provides us with the Freeper reaction, which in large part should surprise no one. This gem is indicative: "Holy crap! Please forward all evidence you have that this man is a member of Al Qaeda or the Taliban to the President immediately! A grateful nation breathes a sigh of relief." (OK, it's possible that one is actual sarcasm directed at the racist Freepers. But how sad is it when you honestly can't be sure?)
"You're unqualified to wear silly red suits* and answer questions from tourists."
My "favorite" of the comments:
The PC madness strikes again and I am absolutely disgusted. Before this, the Tower was a place of magnificant British history, and should have been allowed to continue conveying accurate historical tradition to visitors, that is why tourists choose to visit after all. It should have therefore been protected from the modern PC madess.
Now having Yeo'women' is making it all totally inaccurate and therefore pointless. YeoMEN are vestiges of English history, and anyone knows that a woman would never have been employed as a Yeoman.
This is now no longer part of our accurate history, turning it instead into just a fancy dress parade. I feel extremely angry and disgusted that the PC ranters have won yet again.
Oddly, the state education provided to Julia was not part of "accurate" British history. Neither was women being allowed to read newspapers. So where she gets off writing comments on newspaper articles is beyond me. The PC ranters have won yet again!
I also wonder about Julia's feelings on the electric lights and climate control installed in the Tower. Tourists might think that those had been there forever! I guess the AC/DC ranters won too. Damn you, Angus Young!
Via Shakespeare's Sister.
*Fetch the comfy chair!
Shakespeare's Sister wants to know:
Fill in the blank: When the fuck is ___________ going to win an Oscar?
She fills in the blank with Don Cheadle. I fill it in with Peter O'Toole.
Yes, that's right. Peter O'Toole has never won an Oscar.
No, that lame-ass "Lifetime Achievement Because We Should Have Given You An Oscar Oh Only About 7 Times Now" award doesn't count.
"Lawrence of Arabia"
"The Lion in Winter"
"Goodbye, Mr. Chips"
"The Ruling Class"
"My Favorite Year"
I'm pretty sure he's going to be nominated this year for "Venus". My prediction is that he'll win it out of the "Holy shit, we've fucked this up so many times before" guilt factor, much the way Paul Newman finally won for "The Color of Money". Which is not to say that O'Toole will deserve it for this particular role. But fuckin' A, you morons at the Academy cannot let him die without winning a real Oscar.
I love it when a plan comes together. Because I'm of the opinion that a mediocre relief pitcher plus a couple of pitching prospects and an infield prospect beats Randy Johnson.
Now if they could only trade A-Rod.
But, seriously, please, no more Roger Clemens. Isn't it bad enough I have to applaud Johnny Damon? You guys know my feelings about Roger. What will you do to me next? Pedro Martinez?
Not content with warrantless wiretapping, President Bush has decided he can "construe" an exception to existing law and open our mail without a court order too.
The President asserted his new authority when he signed a postal reform bill into law on Dec. 20. Bush then issued a "signing statement" that declared his right to open people's mail under emergency conditions.
That claim is contrary to existing law and contradicted the bill he had just signed, say experts who have reviewed it.
Cue the cries from Bush supporters about how you've got nothing to worry about unless you've got something to hide. Because governments never abuse their power or extend a law meant for one thing to entirely different things. Not to mention a little word like "principles." How many more civil rights does Bush expect us to sacrifice in the name of "security?" The only thing that keeps me hopeful is he doesn't realistically have the time to get a constitutional amendment passed to kill the 22nd amendment.
I'm going to move a discussion over from Feministe to Plum Crazy in order to help it to drop at Feministe. You can read the background there, but if you wish to comment on the subject I'm going to move over, please do so here. Please make no comments over there about the comments that generated this broader topic, as per zuzu's request. I want to continue the general topic, because I think it's an important one.
To try to summarize a rather lengthy back-and-forth, one commenter told another commenter that she was worried about the safety of his sex partner because of some arguments the other commenter had made. The second commenter took this not just as an insult to himself (rightfully), but also an insult to his girlfriend as not having sufficient self-esteem or good judgment to choose a good partner. I took issue with this because I think there's an underlying assumption that unwittingly plays right into rape culture. Following is the meat of my response, somewhat edited to keep the names out of it:
I'm going to say this loud and clear - Women who have good sense and good judgment are raped by men they trust. While you didn't explicitly say they don't, it is an implication of one of your grievances against the first commenter. She NEVER insulted your girlfriend. She did insult you. However, suggesting that YOU might be an untrustworthy sex partner is not an insult to your girlfriend. Having good sense, good judgment, and self-esteem does NOT render a woman invulnerable against an untrustworthy man. You can have all those things and still make a mistake. Making mistakes does not mean someone lacks self-esteem or judgment. And it comes dangerously close to suggesting that if only a woman had had good judgment and self-esteem, she couldn't be raped by a man she trusted. Is that a road you really want to travel down?
From a follow-up to my initial response:
I really don't want to let up on that, because the implication is that only women who lack good judgment and self-esteem get raped by men they trust, which just rankles. It's a very bad premise. It's a tautology, and it puts another unfair layer of responsibility on victims of date rape (not having had good judgment and self-esteem).
So there it is, if anyone is still interested in discussing the topic.
Ace of Spades in a post regarding Senator Tim Johnson's medical prognosis:
I can't help but notice that Johnson's minor interaction with the world is enough to keep him in the Senate, but such wasn't enough to keep Terry Schiavo alive.
Now, no one's claiming Johnson is brain-dead, of course. But still, the Democrats seem to have a newfound respect for an occasional opening of the eyes.
Despite the fact that this is clearly snark (and totally irrelevant by his own admission that no one is saying that Johnson is brain-dead), the underlying assumption as to why people supported pulling the feeding tube in the Schiavo case is breathtaking in its utter incorrectness. Oddly, people did not support it based on some underlying belief that all brain-dead people should be euthanized. As I recall, the argument was along the lines of (1) people have the right to refuse life-saving medical care, including feeding tubes, (2) absent a clear written document expressing their desires, the nearest family member has the right to make a decision regarding what that person would have wanted in those circumstances, and (3) a spouse (e.g., Michael Schiavo) is the nearest family member. Therefore, if Tim Johnson were brain-dead and Barbara Johnson wanted him kept on life-support, it would thoroughly consistent for someone who supported Michael Schiavo's right to determine what should happen to Terri Schiavo to also support Barbara Johnson's right to determine what should happen to Tim Johnson. Even if Michael Schiavo and Barbara Johnson hypothetically wanted different outcomes. But why let that get in the way of an assumption of bad faith?
Last week, Amanda at Pandagon posted a column by Dan Savage in the Village Voice. A woman had written into Dan asking him whether or not she should forgive her ex-boyfriend for ignoring her explicit "No" regarding anal sex.
Go read the entire column before continuing.
Are you done? OK, if you like, now go read the comment thread at Pandagon. If you would prefer not to, we can still play "Spot the Rape Apologies!"
The woman and her boyfriend were stupid. She was stupid, because apparently despite having told him not just once, but several times that she never wanted to have anal sex, she should have known that some day he would force it on her when she was tied up. Therefore, she should have established a safeword, even though they had never said that the word "No" wasn't the signal to stop. That way, even if she suffered massive blood loss, he would be super-specially sure that she really didn't want to have anal sex. He was stupid for also not having established a safeword so he couldn't somehow miss the fact that she was bleeding profusely and continue anally raping her until he reached his orgasm.
She let someone untrustworthy tie her up, did she not? So, he was untrustworthy because he raped her. He raped her because he was untrustworthy. This is known as "begging the question." Apparently, she was also supposed to have special mind-reading powers or powers of precognition that would have allowed her to know that despite having previously listened to her when she said "No," he wouldn't this time. After all, women shouldn't actually trust that men can comprehend simple concepts like "No" and "Never," or shouldn't trust that men will respect them. Again, I have to point out the irony that it's feminists who get accused of believing that all men are rapists, even though we really do think that men are capable of understanding basic words and of respecting women's wishes.
No, you'd know that she believed she had made it clear it [anal sex] was not an option. One of two possibilities here. Either the woman was lying about the sequence of events, in which case we are faced with the old "women lie about rape" canard. Or we're supposed to believe that words like "No" and "Never" aren't clear to men, so women have to develop new and improved super-specific ways of conveying those concepts to them. That last one sounds a lot like "No doesn't really mean no," doesn't it?
Well, that's enough "Spot the Rape Apologies!" for now, kids. Enjoy the New Year!