Dolly (what’s in a name – for cloning)

Wilmut’s team named the sheep cloned from a single adult cell “Dolly” because that cell had come from a mammary gland.  I’m tempted, on that basis alone, to cast my vote against human cloning.  I mean, if that kind of short-sightedness or immaturity is going to be running things, they’re bound to go horribly wrong.

Did they really not foresee that “Dolly” would become headline news?  Or did they not even recognize how juvenile they were being?  Mammaries = women = mammaries.  We are not seen as people, or perhaps colleagues, certainly never as bosses.  Really, need I go on?  This is all so old.  And yet, grown men, brilliant men, on the cutting edge of science, who become headline news, are apparently still forcing farts at the dinner table and snickering about it.

So, cloning?  I don’t think so.  Not until the other half of the species grows up.

(Then again, since cloning means we finally don’t need them at all, not even to maintain the species, let’s go for it.)  (Could it be they never thought of that either – that cloning makes males totally redundant?)

Have you noticed the way the weather is being reported lately?

Have you noticed the way the weather is being reported lately?  Climate change, specifically global warming, as evidenced by the dramatic increase in severe storms and the decrease in polar ice…they’re making it entertaining.  Entertaining, for gawdsake.

Commentators refer to “extreme storms” — making them sound all exciting and daring, like “extreme sports”.

Another opens with “this week’s wildest weather” as if we’re on a fun safari.

And there’s a video called “Force of Nature – Uncut”.  Again, exciting entertainment.

“Will any records be broken?” the commentator asks, the phrasing suggesting that, like athletic competitions, breaking a record will be a good thing. Read the rest of this entry »

Surrogacy – Why Not?

Sure, women should be allowed to be surrogates.  We all do work with our bodies, some of us also include our minds in the deal (some of us are allowed to include our minds in the deal), so why not?  As long as they get paid for service rendered.

Being a surrogate is sort of like being an athlete.  You have to be and stay physically healthy, for the duration: you have to eat and drink the right stuff, and not eat or drink the wrong stuff; you have to get the right amount of physical activity.  And so on.  It’s important.  Use during pregnancy of illegal drugs (such as crack cocaine and heroin) as well as legal drugs (such as alcohol and nicotine) can cause, in the newborn, excruciating pain, vomiting, inability to sleep, reluctance to feed, diarrhoea leading to shock and death, severe anaemia, growth retardation, mental retardation, central nervous system abnormalities, and malformations of the kidneys, intestines, head and spinal cord (Madam Justice Proudfoot, “Judgement Respecting Female Infant ‘D.J.”; Michelle Oberman, “Sex, Drugs, Pregnancy, and the Law: Rethinking the Problems of Pregnant Women who use Drugs”).  Refusal of fetal therapy techniques (such as surgery, blood infusions, and vitamin regimens) can result in respiratory distress, and various genetic disorders and defects such as spina bifida and hydrocephalus (Deborah Mathieu, Preventing Prenatal Harm: Should the State Intervene?)

To be an elite surrogate, Read the rest of this entry »

The Right to Life – a given?

What if the right to life was a natural, inalienable human right to age 18, but after that it was an acquired, alienable right?  So you had to deserve it somehow, you had to deserve to be alive.  And you could lose it, by doing any of a number of things…

Needs and Wants

I don’t like living in a global community.  When everything is so interconnected, everything I do (or don’t do) is bound to be at someone else’s expense.  Mere self-interest seems impossible; selfishness is inevitable.

For example, Read the rest of this entry »

Our Christian Language

I hadn’t really thought about it until I saw ‘his word’ corrected to ‘His Word’ on a Writing Competency Test at a publicly-funded university.

I can accept a capital on ‘God’ because the word is being used as a name, and names are generally capitalized.  (Though I do find it rather presumptuous to so appropriate a common noun.  It’s also a bit coercive: to use a common noun without an article is to imply there’s only one – the claim ‘Cat is happy’ demands the question ‘Which cat?’ unless you think there’s only one; so when the rest of us want to refer to the Christian god, since we must say ‘God’ instead of using a real name like ‘Zeus’ or ‘Hela’, we are unwillingly implying the same belief.)

And I can accept capitals on ‘The Bible‘, as well as italics, because the words refer to the title of a book, and such words are generally capitalized, as well as italicized.

But what’s the rationale for capitalizing ‘His Word’?  Read the rest of this entry »

“Oh Canada” Revision

I’m all for sex-neutral language.

In fact, I think we should completely revamp English to eliminate all sex-specific terms (except ‘male’ and ‘female’, to be used only in relevant contexts, most likely only in medical contexts).  As is, the language encourages, obsessively, sex-differentiation when sex is, or should be, irrelevant.  As is, it supports the patriarchy, a blatantly ridiculous and unfair system.

That said, I’m quite happy to be excluded from a group supposed to be ‘commanded’ (a few steps beyond ‘inspired’, yeah?) by Canada to patriot love (true patriot love, no less).

Because, to be honest, Canada does not inspire me to patriot love.  Why not?  See “Canada Day – Are you sure you want to celebrate?

 

 

Population Growth (i.e., rape)

I am amazed at the number of population growth analyses that don’t mention rape.  So far I’ve read, let me see…none.  And if they don’t even mention rape, they sure as hell can’t consider it a major causal factor.  I mean, think about it:  Do you really believe that millions of women want to be pregnant for five to ten years?  Do you really believe that most women would actually consent to child number four when the other three are still under six?

And look!  Read the rest of this entry »

School Crossing Signs

You’ve seen the signs I mean – silhouette figures of two children about to cross the road: one boy, one girl.  (How do we tell?  One’s wearing a skirt.)  (That’d be the girl.)  (Really, do most girls still wear skirts to school?)

So, yes, let’s emphasize sex.  Boy and Girl.  Ms. and Mr.  Nothing else matters.

And nothing else is possible.

Note that the boy is taller. ‘Oh, but they are.’  Not at that age! Taller suggests older which suggests more mature, wiser.  And just in case you miss this not-so-subtle suggestion of male authority, look, he has his hand on the little girl’s shoulder – guiding, protecting, patronizing.  It will be there for the rest of her life.

Just to make sure of that, Read the rest of this entry »

War Rape

It’s not just an enthusiastic spillover of violence and aggression.  The act of sexual intercourse is too specific, too far removed from the other acts of wartime violence and aggression.  Shooting a person twenty-five times instead of once or twice would be such a spillover; forcing your penis or something else into a woman’s vagina is not.  Furthermore, war rape is often not a spontaneous, occasional occurrence; apparently it’s quite premeditated and systematic.

And it’s not, or not just, a matter of ethnic cleansing.  If men truly wanted to eradicate the other culture, (and if they believed ethnicity was genetic), they’d just kill the women along with the men.  (Women are killed, but as I understand it, they’re usually raped first.)   (Or, sometimes, after.)  (And men are castrated, but not nearly as often as women are raped.)

And if they truly wanted to increase their own numbers, they’d hang around and see that the kid reached maturity.  (Raped women are sometimes kept prisoner until the child is born – but unless the kid is subjected to specific and exclusive cultural conditioning, how is their purpose achieved?  They’d have to look after the kids themselves for ten years.)  (Which is unlikely.)

And it’s not, or not just, a property crime against the enemy.  If men sought merely to destroy their enemy’s property, they’d, again, simply kill their women and children, along with their livestock, before or after they burned their houses.  (Unless, of course, they wanted to confiscate their property – in which case, they’d enslave the women rather than rape them.)

So what is it?  Read the rest of this entry »