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 »

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“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?

 

 

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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Is it true that some people can’t think?

I watched The Shawshank Redemption recently and was struck by the scene where the guy says that in solitary confinement he had Mozart to keep him company, and they all express surprise that he was allowed to have a record player, and he says ‘No, in here’ and points to his head—and they all look at him dumbly. With no understanding whatsoever. Shortly before that, I was reading a novel in which someone confesses to making people up and having entire conversations between them in her head, and someone else says something like ‘Really? Being able to make up characters and tell yourself stories is a sign of high intelligence.’ What?

Is that true? Is it the case that some (many?) (most?) people can’t imagine? Or even remember? They can’t close their eyes and picture (remember or imagine) a scene, they can’t hear (remember or imagine) music in their heads, they can’t hold (remember or imagine) conversations in their head? Meaning, if they can’t do the last mentioned, they can’t think? Has there ever been a study about this? Has anyone actually conducted a survey and asked people whether they can do the forementioned?

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The Silence of Descartes and Bacon

Reading (again) (this time in Daly) about how during the Renaissance it was so inconceivable that women were knowledgeable, especially with regard to the human body, that when they cured various ailments, they were not lauded as competent physicians but accused of consorting with the devil; such ‘witches’ were tortured with eye-gougers, branding irons, spine-rollers, forehead tourniquets, thumbscrews, racks, strappados, iron boots, and heating chairs. (A bit over-the-top, one can’t help but note.)

And as both a feminist and a philosopher, I am ashamed to say that it never occurred to me to wonder why Descartes and Bacon didn’t object; nowhere in all their voluminous writing do they address this being-‘punished’-for-knowing-something. So they approved? How could they?

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Taxing the Rich

Of course the rich people should have to pay higher taxes. Not because of some sacrifice for the common good principle or some trickle down principle or some from each according to their ability principle, but because they don’t deserve their money. There, I said it. They don’t deserve their millions.

Even if I worked twenty hours a day, 365 days of the year, I wouldn’t make anywhere near just one million.

So they must be making ten, twenty, a hundred times per hour what I’m making.

Is what they’re doing a hundred times more important than what I’m doing. It’s not even ten times more important. (Let’s say I’m a garbage collector.)

Is it a hundred or ten times more difficult? No. (Let’s say I’m a nurse in the paraplegic ward.)

Does it take a hundred or ten times as much skill or training? No. (Let’s say I’m an astrophysicist.)

Rich people have their millions because they’ve been paid, by others or by themselves, an unfair amount for their work. Or because they know how to work an unfair economic system that, for starters, rewards risk: the stock market.

But why do we reward risk? Because it’s a male thing. And males reward themselves for male values.

Actually, though, often it’s not a risk. If the company they started, the company they invested in, lost millions, they could declare bankruptcy. And other people would pay the price. Not them. Or if they’re really big, if they lost really big, the government might bail them out. That is, us.

Furthermore, they’re not even risking their own money. They probably borrowed the start-up money from the bank. So it’s our money. Or the bank’s money (which is just money they made by investing our money).

Or if it was their own money, well it still wasn’t. It was inherited from their parents. (Who probably inherited it from their parents). Because you can’t have that much money to invest by working and saving. Even if you work twenty hours a day, 365 days a year…

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Reporting What Women Do

What if, for just one year, the media reported 90% of the time what women are doing instead of, as is now the case, what men are doing?

Not because what women do is better, or more newsworthy, but just to see how it would change our outlook, our world view.

The news might be more boring. But then, hey, what does that say?

It would likely involve a lot less death and destruction. Ditto.

It probably would have less to do with money. Again…

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Better than Speech Codes

Instead of prohibiting ‘hate speech’, we should just prohibit all claims made without reasons.

Oh how our society would change! If we were legally compelled to provide reasons, justifications, evidence, for every claim we made in public…

No exemptions for politicians – every speech, every statement to the press…

No exemptions for business – every ad, my god, that one alone gives one pause…

Go ahead. Say whatever you think. But only if you also say why you think it.

How ridiculous most of us would sound most of the time. Our almost complete dependence on immature appeals to emotion, our thin and pathetic appeals to custom, tradition, past practice majorities, questionable authorities – all exposed by expression. How silent we would suddenly fall after the unwarranted, self-righteous ‘because – ’ How quickly we would just – shut up.

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