What is the Vatican saying tonight?

Back off, Bitch, I got wings

Back off, Bitch, I got wings

Pope says condoms not the way to deal with AIDS, they will only aggravate the crisis.

God-Damn Punk-Ass Mother-Fucker.

EDIT: in case it’s not obvious, “Fuck the Pope” is sung to the tune of “Rock the Boat” by Hues Corporation.

The Patriarchy Gets Everywhere

So fairly recently, I cast the bones and they told me, I think, to go to a blood donation session. So I went along, got vampirised a little, and sat down at the tea table to eat crisps and replenish my fluids.

On the table, underneath the biscuits, was a charming mat-poster affair, showing a large cartoon blood donation session, filled with various stereotyped people donating blood and making jokes – a sort of Where’s-Wally style panorama, obviously designed to showcase the diversity of people who give blood.

Note that: the purpose as far as I could tell was to show an array of human diversity.

Yet something was a bit non-diverse. I noticed that of the medical staff, there were some in white coats, doctors, who seemed to be male, and others in blue outfits, nurses, who seemed to be female. I could only see one counter-example, a solitary female doctor. This perturbed me, but I was sure it must just be in the one area I was looking at. There had to be more variety present in the rest of the scene, surely?

Alas there was not, and don’t call me Shirley. Of the roughly 25 medical staff, 24 four of them obeyed the Iron Law: nurses are female, doctors are male.

At this point I shook my fist at the ceiling and shouted ‘Damn you, Patriarchy!’ As one does.

This is Fantastic

Shapely Prose reports on two recent articles: one that finds that diets don’t make people less fat, and hence concludes that we should focus on exercising, and one that finds that exercise doesn’t make people less fat, and hence concludes that we should focus on diet.

At least amid all the complexities of hard-to-interpret science, we can be confident that as long as everybody keeps repeating ‘diet and exercise, diet and exercise’, it will be true. That’s comforting.

The Bastard-Government in Italy Evokes Historical Parallels

The right-wing Italian Prime Minister has suggested sending the army onto the streets to fight crime, because more violence-prone thugs is definitely the solution, nothing wishy-washy like opportunities or racial equality.

What caught my attention was this:

“Mr Berlusconi suggested the extra deployment of troops in response to the highly publicised cases of two women reportedly gang raped near Rome.”

This reminded me very strongly of Susan Brownmiller’s chapter on race in her book ‘Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape’. She describes how in the American south, black men raping white women served as a central theme in racial conflict, especially in justifying white men’s violence against black men.

She describes both how the over-inflated idea of such rape was taken out of all context and used to justify racism, and also how that racism was then used by many leftists and black agitators to downplay or dismiss the significance of actual rapes. She also describes how a good few black male writers, articulating their racial disenfranchisement, admitted that the sexual conquest of white women, forcible or otherwise, occupied a particular place in the racial landscape for them too, as the most telling blow they could strike against white men.

All these attitudes must be resisted in regards to the Italian situation. Rape is a crime overwhelmingly committed by men against women, and the frequent lack of class consciousness of the part of these groups does not mean that it loses this sex-class character, or that its sex-class character can be ignored in favour of its race-class character. Which is also not to say that the racial issue here should be put aside – there is no question of which side we should be on here.

For Her Own Good

Renee at Womanist Musings reports the despiriting story of an abusive father who, having decided that his teenage daughter was ‘overweight’, and having failed to control her by putting locks on the fridge or simply beating her, chained her to her bed for two days before being arrested.

I totally concur with Renee’s discussion: this is just the very extreme end of a culture of fat-hatred. The most disgusting thing is that the father apparently “stated he didn’t think he had committed a crime and that he was acting in his daughter’s best interest“. This is only possible because of all the other parents, peers, and partners who, similarly thinking they’re acting in people’s (largely women’s) ‘best interests’, ridicule or criticise signs of ‘fat’ or it’s (symbolic, not real) counterpart, ‘piggish’ gluttony (the fact that in our relationship with pigs it is we who eat and they who are eaten doesn’t seem to stop us identifying them with the activity).

I’d just add that we should avoid listing only imprisonment, psychological abuse, and beatings here – the forcible restriction of food is itself a form of abuse. Preventing someone from eating when they are hungry is an attack on their body, and, especially for people whose metabolism demands lots of food, it damages that body, both in the short run and in the long run.

Commentary about overlapping oppressions

Harry’s Place carries a story about Afgahn women and girls defying Taliban acid-attacks and continuing to attend school. I link there for two reasons. Firstly, the story itself deserves to be publicised – it is, as they say, inspiring. The second one is to comment on the discourse that they develop around the story, fitting into the ongoing feud between the ‘decent left’ and the ‘anti-imperialist’ left.

For those who don’t keep up with lefty politics, the basic issue is this: when the armed might of the most powerful countries in the world is deployed to bomb the hell out of some third-world country so as to remove a bunch of unhinged hate-filled maniacs who reside there, who should be ‘supported’, who is the ‘lesser of two evils’?

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Women and Children

So I look at the news: religious nutjobs are getting in trouble for taking marriage too far – both in having 60-odd wives to one man (yet strangely not vice versa) and for marrying wrinkled humans to humans still recovering from their first period.

So then I think to myself, why does almost all sexual child abuse come from men, why are young girls so often mixed up with much much older men, so much more frequently than older women with young boys? Why did this famous Afghan patriarch have four wives younger than him?

Then I look at the other news: the Israeli Offence Forces are getting criticised because their bombs and bullets aren’t just killing adult men (who can handle a bit of death) but are also killing the members of the other category of people: womenandchildren. Omigod! Those barbarians have killed womenandchildren! Those two groubs form a natural class together, don’t they?