Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Daily Hoe: Inaugural Poppycock

This new socio-political feature is a short, bullet-points only production capturing my (Hooper's) thoughts of the day surrounding local to world politics, society and culture. And it's daily.

I mean, c'mon. What's the point in having a blog if you don't update it daily with nonsense no one cares about but feels obliged to read?

Anyway...enjoy the preview of this "coming attraction."

*First point of interest is the story reported in CNN's Political Ticker that Obama has claimed he "thought of the military as an ennobling and, you know, honorable option," and gave some consideration to enlisting, but in the end decided no to. Not if that isn't the biggest load of political posturing we've had so far this election, I don't know what is. Fresh off a string of polls that show his national lead shrinking, and after a Republican convention that stressed military service and "country first," he now comes out and says he was interested at one point in the armed services.

Why? Because "I have friends whose parents were in the military. There are a lot of Army, military bases there." Faced with backlash against his lack of military appeal (not that he has to serve; volunteer army and all that), he feels it necessary jump up and say, "Oh, me, too! I love uniforms!" He serves the US in his own, admirable way, and he shouldn't diminish that with these base maneuvers.

**If you live in Chicago, you've no doubt read about the school strike last week led by Rev. State Senator Meeks. It's purpose was to expose the disparity between urban Chicago public schools (high school, mainly) and suburban, "wealthy neighborhood" schools. Never mind that Chicago's public school system has a higher per student funding than ninety percent of schools in Illinois. Never mind that the funding is based on property taxes, and so this isn't a question of the state funneling thousands at rich kids, but those kids' parents pouring thousands into the system to make it better for their kids. I benefited from this, I'm the first to say, and I'm also the first to say that funding doesn't mean jack when it comes to education.

You can pour untold thousands per kid into certain (urban) school system, but if those kids, and their parents and their communities are unable to cope with the responsibility of maintaining some level of decorum both in and outside of the classroom, why should we bother? Why should we weep for communities that have given up and aren't willing to fight for their own children? It's easy to embrace a negative, I'm-a-victim culture, to blame racial disparities, but it's harder to stand up to the thugs and bullies and machine politicians that care less about a good education and more about keeping you down so you vote for them, they who offer hope and anger and Equality but deliver a form of cultural slavery more deadly than iron-forged chains.

***What is it about feminism that's so exclusive? I know, it benefits women. Focus. Why do feminists only promote strong women who think like them? It's no secret that Sarah Palin is reviled by the leading feminists and organizations like N.O.W. (National Organization of Women). But why? She is a hard-working mother of five, contributes on of two paychecks to her house, manages to raise her kids as best as she can (they all make mistakes), enforces a tough responsibility for personal actions, is unafraid of bullying good ol' boys - how is this not a feminist's dream? She's the first female governor of Alaska, a state many would think of as a last bastion of the cowboy/frontiersman mentality - and that means a man leads things, not some hussy. But lo, she leads and is respected.

Is it because she disagrees with them on a few issues? I've said it before and I'll say it again, if you really are a democratic organization, you accept opinions of all stripes. Denying someone the respect they deserve as a pioneering woman simply because you disagree with her on abortion is a slap in the face. It's an insult to all the brave, hard-working, strong women out there who think like she does but have busted their asses to succeed in "a man's world." Show a little character, you Gloria Steinems of the world.

There. I've said my piece for the day.



Wonder Woman said...

But, the points she disagrees on are essential to feminist ideals. I am excited that she was nominated as a vice presidentail candidate and she is leading a lot of firsts for women. That's awesome. But she refuses to let a woman choose. I was watching the gubenatorial debates from 2006 the other night, and faced with questions about teenage pregnancy and rape, she responded that she would choose life for the baby in each case. That's fine, good for her. But she CHOSE those things, and that choice should be left to everyone on an individual bases. If you think the idea of killing a baby is an easy decision to make, then you've never really thought about it. It may seem selfish, but faced with the choice of having a baby born with life threatening complications, I think I should be given the choice of bringing that child into the world. Is suffering and living as an invalid better than death? I am all for the sactity of life, but maybe, just maybe, someone doesn't hold the same views as me. Shouldn't they have the chance to exercise their right to disagree?

The Den of Mystery said...

And that's exactly what I mean. She made her choice, but it doesn't make her any less an embodiment of many feminist ideals. Now, she believes - as in, has a theological basis regarding - abortion is killing a life and wishes to promote that idea legislatively.

Devil's advocate, we've seen murder cases where a pregnant women is killed and it's TWO counts of murder - one for mother, one for baby. Just saying.

So she varies with standard feminist doctrine in one major way, but is that enough to sink her? Is there no room for a right to disagree within the school of feminist thought?

I guess the question for you, WW, and women everywhere: can a woman be pro-women if she is ardently "pro-life?"


The Den of Mystery said...

Personally, I don't think those murder cases should warrant two counts. You could argue that the baby had a heartbeat, so it was the ending of two lives. But the baby never had a chance to draw breath and become "alive" in the fullest sense of the word (At least not in the sense that I'd define it.). So it's really one murder.

There is definitely room for debate and discussion within the realm of feminism, but I don't feel someone who would deny a woman the chance to abort a baby that is the product of rape or incest is pro-woman at all.

From the heathen pro-choice voice of The Den of Mystery,

JMC said...

Hoop, doesn't look like you're getting much love on this one. It seems people are so ardent in their stance that they're overlooking the point you're really getting at. Everyone has their beliefs and opinions and, regardless of whether or not you agree, everyone is entitled to them. Also, everyone has to admit that there will probably never be a politician (or really anyone, anywhere, ever...) who you agree with on every possible topic. Wonder woman said that the points Palin disagrees on are essential to feminist ideals but who defines those feminist ideals? What authority sets the standards for which advocates of the feminist ideal must conform?

Years ago someone decided that, in order to be fair to women, some fire departments had to hire a certain percentage of women. An expose was done showing candidates going through the training courses where there were women who could not successfully raise a ladder to the building on the course. Some of these women were hired to meet a quota. Meanwhile, there were men who were passed over who were able to accomplish the task with ease. When fire departments hire individuals who weren't qualified for the job (regardless of men or women) the public safety is jeopardized. Was that practice in line with the feminist ideal? Someone, somewhere obviously thought it was. Others might be in favor of programs promoting women's equality but even more in favor of public safety.

Whenever a women is a victim of rape or incest, everone can agree it's a terrible situation. When a women gets pregnant as a results, it just compounds the hardship endured but the bottom line is it's a lose lose situation. Forcing a woman to endure pregnancy and childbirth against her will is a terrible thing to do to a woman. Taking away a baby's chance at life is a terrible thing to do to a child. Both options are horrible but there is no third option so someone is going to get the short end of the stick. People who are pro-life are NOT trying to spite women, they are just advocating what they believe is the lesser evil. People who are pro-choice do NOT hate babies, they are also advocating what they believe is the lesser evil. Neither side is all that different, they're both just trying to minimize the negative impact of an already negative situation which is a valid objective. However, no one can ride the fence. Everyone must choose a side and once chosen it can be hard to recognize that the people who chose differently aren't really that different from you. It's easier to just slap a label on them and rant against them and their crazy ideology.

Sarah Palin made her choice. She felt, even if by the smallest margin, that the life of the baby should come first. It does not mean that she's anti-woman and it's unfair to deny her the credit she deserves as a pioneering woman, opening doors and advancing equality only because when it came down to choosing the lesser of two evils, she chose differently than the average feminist.

For the record, I do agree with Sarah. I will never be pregnant and I've already dodge the bullet of abortion so I only have the perspective of an outsider looking in. From that perspective, I think the inconvenience of an unwanted pregnancy is small potatoes compared to the gravity of ending a life. But you won't find me calling someone who is pro-choice a baby killer because I can at least recognize that their heart is focused on advocating the woman without intentional malice toward the baby.

The Den of Mystery said...

JMC, that sort of level-headedness has absolutely no place here at The Den of Mystery. How dare you give a reasoned response that considers both sides of the argument. You didn't even insult anybody! Go back where you came from, hippie!


JMC said...

hippie?!?! Them's fightin' words...

To make myself feel better I'm going to have to fight the next person I see with any granola based products then chop down a couple trees while my car sits idling.

Anonymous said...

Wonder Woman says "if you think choosing to kill a baby is easy..."

Choosing to kill a baby is infanticide, and is against the law. If it is a baby, no the woman should not have a choice, any more than a father has the right to kill his or her child. If it is not a baby, then fine. Once you say it is a baby, I don't think the mother has the right to choose.

I personally am not sure a fetus is a baby at conception or for some time there after, but if a woman has a choice to kill a baby, why shouldn't a father later on? There are pretty good reasons why generally speaking.