« January 2006 | Main | March 2006 »

February 24, 2006

Rights and Polite Society

I am trying to calm myself down after reading about South Dakota and their war against women.

My roommate has resigned himself to the ever-expanding control of the religious right. However, I find I still have some rage in me that I am not sure what to do with. Several thoughts and veins of reasoning are competing in my head.

The fact that the anti-abortion law doesn't even make allowances for rape, incest, or the health of the mother bring up a slew of mean thoughts towards SoDaks (as I hear them called)

  • There must be a lot of men who want progeny but can't get a mate - now they can go rape a woman in SD and get their genes passed on! Yay for them. This is a huge step for the Un-mate-able man group. However, they should be sure to rape a poor woman because anyone who can afford it can still abort out of state.
  • The fact that they wouldn't even make an exception for incest makes me suspect there is a lot of it in SD.
  • Health - obviously the life of a potential child is more important than the health of a woman and that child (since they are linked).
  • SoDaks realizing they can't win on quality (they have some of the poorest areas in the nation) are going to try for quantity. They have a long way to go and are willing to forcibly impregnate as many women as necessary to get there.
  • Next SD is going to start campaigns to outlaw periods and self-love. Soon we will see signs stating "Menstruation is murder" and "Masturbation is murder: Do not spill your seed!" As the religious fanatics continue expanding their control over people's bodies and how they define life. Women won't be allowed to drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes because if they aren't with child now, they will be soon.
  • Perhaps we should get in a van and travel across SD handing out coat hangers with instructions on how to use them "in case of emergency"
  • If I were rich I might start a scholarship for women who would like to abort but can't afford to leave the state to get one. It would provide a week's pay, plane ticket, and hotel costs for unfortunate women

Sigh, in reality who knows what will happen. The only thing that calms me down is understand that there isn't anything I can do (is there?). Last night I listened to KFAI's GLBT program and realized that there are a lot of intolerant bossy bigots out there. Ironically, the ones who try my tolerance the most are those who are intolerant.

February 16, 2006

location location location

I am in the closet again - sitting cross-legged, one knee propped on a stack of cds - not the most comfortable position to type. My computer is on box full of old files, right next to my stereo. No matter what I do, somehow I keep finding myself back here. I have an excellent typing table, which I can adjust to the desired height and an aerobic ball to sit on for proper posture. Or I can stay low, using a portable step stool to get in a more spacious location. Then there is the big comfy chair in the corner; where I knit and sit under artificial light - I have a laptop I can take it anywhere! However, for some reason I keep finding myself hiding away in the cramped closet: typing or reading uncomfortably.

I don't know why I return here - probably because it is where I charge my laptop (my wires and cords kept safe from Mani's eager teeth) and inertia prevents me from moving it out (thought my battery lasts nearly two hours and I am rarely online for that long). Perhaps it is because all other flat surfaces (such as the table and stool) tend to accumulate stuff that would need clearing. Maybe I like quick access to my stereo and CDs or maybe I just feel safe and cozy in small spaces. Regardless, I can't seem to escape the closet. Perhaps I should arrange it more comfortably.

February 11, 2006

Mpls Geek in St Paul

When it comes to libraries, I am a geek and have never denied it. I'll never forget my joy at discovering these community book havens in Costa Rica, China, and India. As further proof, a friend and I had a grand time Library hopping in downtown St Paul yesterday. First we went to the elegant James J Hill Business Library, where we stumped the librarian with our request of information on starting a professional association. Nevertheless, he still tried his best to find us some relevant material and I had a great time stumbling through it. Best of all was when I went to find a book and noticed neighboring tomes titled "Economics of the affluent" and "The Handbook of Annotated Forms" which for the longest time I miss-read as the "The handbook of anointed forms".

After a surprisingly giggly run at the Hill Library, we took off to the Minnesota Historical Society to research Co-op History. No, we are not getting paid for this, just being geeky. It all paid off though in amusement, reading through the journals of workers struggling with the co-op movement when I was still in diapers. After all the financial mismanagement, political struggles, and social issues, it is a miracle that the co-op I work at is still going strong. It gives me hope for future. Perhaps I'll take notes next time and give a better example of the trials and tribulations one little store can go through, still survive and eventually thrive.

February 09, 2006

Gender Parity

As the administration keeps attacking our rights over our bodies, girls are revolting in odd ways in the fight for equality. It seems teenage girls have not only caught up but actually surpassed the boys when it comes to doing drugs. This is happening despite a drop in over all teen drug use. Specifically, girls have been popping pills more than boys for a awhile but only recently caught up in the alcohol, and smoking (cigarettes and marijauna) departments. Despite the leveling of the playing field when it comes to doing stupid or exploratory things, experts say that while men tend to imbibe these substances for the adrelalin rush, women do it to escape. However, this theory was stated without a source and I question unnamed experts who don't site studies where they gained their expertise.

Granted, I know being a girl is stressful: they are supposed to be pretty and smart (but not too smart or the boys won't like you), skinny without an eating disorder, confident (but not too confident or people's envy will turn to hate) and while being all this, they are supposed to be discovering their hopes and dreams, what career will be most fulfilling, etc. However, although I have no personal experience, being a boy isn't all that either - they have that whole machismo thing, not being able to express emotions, confusion about their place in the world since the feminist revolution (I am not dissing feminism, mearly saying that many men still haven't come to terms and figured out how to deal with it yet). And once again with men, they want to be smart, but not geeky, handsome without appearing to actually care for their looks (or take care of themselves), and the contradictions go on.

Living with two guys I learn daily about the differences and similarities between the sexes. Henry Rollins, in the latest issue of Bust explemplifies this in how he responds to the threats against Roe v. Wade:

"If I was a woman and you told me I couldn't have an abortion, they would need a construction team to get my foot out of your ass."

Although I know many men who would never phrase their opinion that way, I don't know any, woman who would. Is there a way to respect and acknowledge gender differences without reinforcing gender stereotypes? The same article states, once again without citing a study, that adolescent girls more likely to become addicted to drugs than boys. In the world I grew up in, the reverse was true.

Sadly the study had no hard evidence as to why more girls are trying drugs (though one expert was upset at our President's plans to scale back funds for prevention). Nor was it able to elaborate on the connection between depression, adolescents, and drug abuse.

However, in other news, a health study highlighted in yesterday's paper was done soley on women and then they extrapolated that men's bodies probably react the same. I thought the aspirin hullabaloo taught us that women and men metabolize things differently - when will they ever learn?