“Men And Women Aren’t Equal”

“Men and Women aren’t equal”, she wrote—
Just one of those stories you read now and then.
The truth, which the article fails, though, to note:
Women aren’t equal, and neither are men.

You won’t want to read it without a central nervous system depressant of choice, but foxnews.com has an opinion piece “To be happy, we must admit women and men aren’t ‘equal’“.

How bad is it?

But the truth must be heard. Being equal in worth, or value, is not the same as being identical, interchangeable beings. Men and women may be capable of doing many of the same things, but that doesn’t mean they want to. That we don’t have more female CEOs or stay-at-home dads proves this in spades.

Unless, of course, you’re beholden to feminism. In that case, you’ll believe the above is evidence of discrimination. You’ll believe what feminists taught you to believe: that gender is a social construct.

Those of us with children know better. We know little girls love their dolls and boys just want to kick that ball. This doesn’t mean men can’t take care of babies or women can’t play sports. It just means each gender has its own energy that flows in a specific direction. For God’s sake, let it flow.

You can click through for more if you want, but I really don’t recommend it.

I used to run a daycare. I know boys who love their dolls, and girls who want to kick that ball (and even if the writer was accurate, we’d still be left asking why; “it’s a boy/girl thing” is not an explanation). The thing is, boys and girls (and women and men) are not monolithic. For someone so eager to see differences between groups, the author of the article seems blind to differences within groups. And the differences within groups–the differences among individuals–are what matter. I’ve had female (and male) students who were faster than me, stronger than me, smarter than me (no, really!)… and it is very clear: making policies that shut doors based on averages (or worse, on stereotypes) will shut those doors on tremendously qualified individuals.

And when that happens, everybody loses.

Ooooh! Cuttlecap tip to @JessicaValenti (via Twitter, natch), who notes that the photo accompanying the article is (unbeknownst to Fox News) a same sex couple!

The Problem With The VAWA

A woman lies battered and bleeding and bruised,
As so often, reports CNN
And as always, a clamor—a group much abused—
Won’t somebody think of the men?

In a CNN opinion piece, Senator Patty Murray writes of yet another example of the failure of the Republican leadership to do the right thing:

This week, just over 250 days since the U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan and inclusive bill to extend the landmark Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives allowed the clock to run out on protections that bill would have provided to millions of women across our country.

The act had been renewed many times since it was first introduced in 1994; there were a few changes this time:

Specifically, the bill included increased protections for women on college campuses across the nation following the brutal 2010 murder of Yeardley Love at the University of Virginia. It included new law enforcement measures to safeguard women on tribal reservations, one in three of whom will be raped in their lifetimes. It included nondiscrimination language for those in the LGBT community who had been unfairly left out of previous bills. And it provided protections to immigrant women, regardless of their status, who are often scared into silence at the hands of their abusers.

Yeah… no. That’s unacceptable to the right wing of the Republican party, and those extremists are in control.

But that’s not what my verse is about. No, as usual, I took an ill-advised peek into the comments at the article, and found… exactly what I expected to find. The real victims in all this?


Any sort of legislation aimed at protecting women from rape is clearly anti-equality and anti-american. Any concern over some victims of sexual assault (read: women) ignores the bigger picture, that equal treatment under the law means that privileged groups might have to settle for being treated equally, and that’s just not fair.

Never mind that the Violence Against Women Act’s nonexclusivity clause directly states that protections apply to male victims as well. Never mind that “what about the men?” does not apply to this story at all. The Republican extremists apparently don’t like LGBT, native Americans, or women in college–that is the hold-up. But CNN commenters aren’t always that nuanced.

One comment even suggested that the act is completely unnecessary, that other laws already cover everything that is needed to combat sexual assault. This commenter, of course, was referring to concealed carry laws. The solution to every problem.

Here’s hoping the new House of Representatives does a better job.

If Only…

If she puts up a fight…

If only she wouldn’t have struggled
If only she wouldn’t have fought
If only she hadn’t defended herself
If she’d just given up, as she ought

If she does not…

If only she’d put up a struggle
If only she’d put up a fight
She should have defended her honor
Allowing them just wasn’t right

Seems every choice she has is wrong. What about…

If only they hadn’t attacked her
If only they’d just let her be
If women were simply respected
She’d be living, and they might be free

Cuttlecap tip to Greta Christina, and of course to Taslima

Equality Stops At The Border

I’ve been following, as best as an ignorant mollusk can, the analysis of the recent decisions by the Supreme Court to take on a couple of cases on same-sex marriage. Ed has done a great job dissecting the choice, and today the New York Times has a really useful sidebar on it. What I can’t wrap my head around, though, is that there appears to be a very real chance that same-sex marriage will be the law of the land… only in part of the land.

I just can’t see it happening. It’s just too… “a house divided against itself” springs to mind. So an encore, today, just because of the last line. I wrote this when New York passed SSM (which made me happy, cos I was married in NY). [Read more...]

Be Prepared (To Buy Your Christmas Tree Elsewhere)

This post is part of a blogosphere protest against the discriminatory practices of the Boy Scouts. Remember, if you buy a Christmas tree this season, that there are plenty of places to get them that do not support institutional homophobia and prejudice.

Be prepared! That’s the Boy Scout’s marching song
Be prepared! Though your moral stance is wrong—
Be prepared to hide the fact that you are gay
Let our antiquated stands lead you astray… [Read more...]

Wait–Voting Again, Already?

It’s Time–that is, it’s time for Time,
If I could make that clear
For me to plead for votes, in rhyme,
For Person Of The Year.

Yep, Time Magazine is getting ready to name their Person of the Year. There are the usual politicians (failed and successful), the usual power brokers (failed and successful), the usual celebrities, the obligatory quirky mentions (Higgs-Boson Particle and Mars Rover) and (this being an Olympic year) the occasional Olympic athlete.

And there is Malala Yousafzai.

You can vote people up or vote them down. I was surprised and pleased to see her name at the top of the list after I voted, but there are many days to go.

I can’t pharyngulate a poll, but I can certainly try to Sepiate one.

(And yes, you can vote for more than one, so the Rover can be runner-up…)

Stoning Atheists At Penn State

If you’ve ever seen an atheist,
And wished you could have simply chucked a stone
You’re not alone
If it nearly feels reflexive, like
The rock was waiting, wanting to be thrown
Well, that’s well-known

If your holy book commands it
Or your sense of self demands it
You can send a stone in transit toward a head
If you’re faithful, you can show it—
Buy a rock or two, and throw it
And pretend that heathen know-it-all is dead!

Since it’s being done for charity
Just tell yourself your money is well placed
And not a waste
And because the “stones” are water-filled
Balloons, there’s no real danger to be faced…
It’s just bad taste [Read more...]

Just Another Religion?

We gather together each Sunday
With people who share our beliefs
We’ve been waiting all week for this one day
And we’re all gonna cheer for the Chiefs.

Or the Lions, or Packers, or Ravens
Or the Titans, or Jaguars, or Jets
And we turn to statistical mavens
Who advise us on placing our bets

When the oddsmakers, wonks, and diviners
Say our team earns more flags than first downs
We’ll ignore them, and root for the Niners
Or the Eagles, the Dolphins, or Browns

Our allegiance to team never varies
As we cover our faces with paints
Though the Cardinals throw their Hail Marys
We poor sinners will stick with our Saints

See, Sunday’s the day for our Steelers
As for church—really, nobody cares—
They say Jesus is first among healers
But it’s not like he plays for the Bears. [Read more...]