Walking Alone in a Park at Night

In a rape trial, that the woman was walking alone in a park at night has been considered relevant – presumably it’s a mitigating circumstance: the accused can be excused for thinking she wanted it if she was walking alone in a park at night.

What!?  Why? Why is it that a woman walking alone in a park at night is understood – by men – to be implying consent to sex with any and all men?

Are parks designated sex zones?  I suppose in a sense they are.  Lovers often meet there for clandestine encounters.  Yeah, for consensual clandestine encounters.

Okay, but parks at night are also popular mugging zones, perhaps because of the poor lighting which makes escape easier in the event they are policed.  Okay, but a woman walking alone in a park at night is more at risk for rape than for purse-snatching.

So why is a woman walking alone – ah, is that it?  A woman unaccompanied by a man is unowned?  Up for grabs?  Literally?

Being There

I recently read a lament about work attitudes, about how more and more people seem to think that just being there is enough, that their paycheque is for putting in time rather than for actually doing anything, let alone for doing a good anything, that people feel no guilt about the mistakes they make, nor do they feel any desire to do better.

I’d like to offer some comments in defense, or at least in explanation, of that position.  Read the rest of this entry »

Making Kids with AIDS

What has been glaringly absent in news stories about children with AIDS in Africa is comment about why there are so many children with AIDS.  “We are going down,” a woman says, “Theft will go up, rape all over will be high.  People –  ”  Wait a minute.  Back up.  “Rape all over will be high”?  And that’s just one more unfortunate circumstance beyond their control, is it?  What, as in ‘boys will be boys’?

Excuse me, but when someone knowingly infects another person with a fatal disease, he’s killing her.  And if someone takes away someone else’s right to life, I say he forfeits his own.  And not only is the HIV-infected rapist guilty of murdering the woman he rapes, he’s guilty of murdering in advance the child he creates (whether he himself is HIV-infected or whether he rapes an HIV-infected woman).  There’s something incredibly sick about knowingly creating a human being that will die, slowly and painfully, because you have created it.

So, the solution?  Drugs, yes.  But the kind vets use when they put an animal down.  (Or, if mere prevention rather than justice is the goal, castration.  At the very least, vasectomy.)  I mean, let’s have some accountability here!  Those 20,000 kids with AIDS didn’t just appear in a pumpkin patch one morning.  Someone made them.  With a conscious, chosen, deliberate act. 

 

 

 

Grey’s Anatomy, Flashpoint, and Who knows how many others (I don’t – and this is why)

Why didn’t Bailey get the Chief of Surgery position?

For the same reason Ed jokingly says to Greg, when he questions his rank, “Should I get you a dress?”—and they both laugh.

Because in 2012 being a woman is (still) (STILL!) (STILL!being subordinate.

I love that on Grey’s Anatomy, so many main characters, surgeons every one of them – are women.  Actually they outnumber the men.  8:6.  And yet Owen gets the Chief position.  Richard, then Derek, then Owen.  3 of the 6 men get to be Chief.  0 of the 8 women.  Bailey’s been there longer than Owen.  And longer than Sloan, the other contender.  And yeah, okay, Kepner got the Chief Resident position even though she was there longer than Karev, but he didn’t want it.  (And we see it primarily a position of responsibility, not power.)  At one point, the Chief (Webber) said he was grooming Bailey for Chief of Surgery—what happened?

And Sam gets to be team leader in Ed’s absence.  Not Jules.  Again, she has more seniority on the team.  And is just as competent (if not more so—she can shoot and she can negotiate a crisis).

This is why I stick to my Cagney and Lacey, Murphy Brown, and Commander-in-Chief reruns.

(We’re going in the wrong direction, people.)  (And just when did we turn around?)

Making Taxes Gender-Fair

Since men commit 90% of the crime, they should pay 90% of the tax that supports the judicial system. Prisons are expensive to build and maintain. As are prisoners – they don’t work while they’re in prison, so we have to support them. Then there’s the expense of the police forces and courts that get them there. We already require that they pay the bulk of car insurance premiums because they’re the worse drivers. So what’s stopping us from going further, making the system even more fair?

And since a large percentage of their crime is violent, it follows that men are responsible for far more ER visits than women (assuming no gender differences with regard to illness and other injury) (actually, since men take more risks than women, there probably is a gender difference with regard to injury) (don’t forget the driving thing), so men should pay more of the tax that supports the healthcare system.

Oh and the military. Men are the ones who thrive on aggression, they get off on the excitement of fighting. They want to join the military. They want to go to war. So let them pay for it. Let them pay the $530 billion required by the military budget.

Then there’s all the environmental stuff. All those beer cans, empty cigarette packs, fast food cartons – most of the litter along the highways was put there by men. As they continue to drive their big gas-guzzlers with the high emissions. And the companies that dump toxic waste, and clear cut forests, and dam river systems? All run by men.

We could call it the Gender Responsibility Tax – a $5,000 surtax could be levied on each and every male. Payable annually, from birth to death. By the parents, of course, until the boy reached manhood.

The Soaps vs. The Game

While both ‘the soaps’ and ‘the game’ have been criticized as poor viewing choices, only the soaps have been dismissed as fluff. However, a close examination reveals that, in fact, the soaps have more heft than the game.

In both cases, Read the rest of this entry »

Government Grants for Grad School

So – this was quite a while ago – a colleague at work, another part-timer, who was also going to grad school, got a government grant. She’d be getting $675/month to cover her living expenses. I’d spent five years saving $10,000 to cover my living expenses (hopefully it wouldn’t take more than ten months to get my degree).

She’s ‘native’. Well, she was born in Canada same as me, actually in the same year even, but her parents’ parents’ parents’ parents’ parents’ parents were living here before the Europeans moved in.

So, the argument goes, Read the rest of this entry »

Death for Willy?

I was sort of attacked by a dog a while ago when I was out running.  It wasn’t really a severe attack: I was simply taken down, like a deer, in a well-executed stealth manoeuvre by a large German Shepherd; he did not, nor did his companion, come in for the kill, or even the maul – I was left with a single but deep and ragged bite requiring half a dozen stitches.

It wasn’t provoked – well, perhaps it was – in the way a red miniskirt provokes an assault:  I was running, which in itself is provocative to most canines for at least accompaniment, if not pursuit; and I was running past (but not on) his property, so I was, given the canine propensity to extend legal boundaries by a few miles, ‘in his face’.

Thing is, Read the rest of this entry »

Boy Books

Boy books. You’re thinking The Boys’ Book of Trains and The Hardy Boys, right? I’m thinking most of the books I took in high school English.

Consider Knowles’ A Separate Peace. Separate indeed. It’s set at a boys’ boarding school. The boys are obsessed with jumping out of a tree. This involves considerable risk of crippling injury. And yet they do it, for no other reason than ‘to prove themselves’. Now my question is ‘What are they proving themselves to be – other than complete idiots?’ We don’t get it. Read the rest of this entry »

The Superbowl: knock yourself out

So does anyone think someone’s going to get knocked out during this year’s Superbowl? It’s happened before. And frankly, I’m surprised it doesn’t happen more often. Just like that latest disgrace with our prisoners of war.

I mean, consider the similarities: Read the rest of this entry »