Inarticulate Frustration

via urban_jungle (flickr)

Right now, there is a whole lot going on in the world that is scary and evil and makes me question the basic decency of humanity.

Muammar Gaddafi – he would be a perfect farcical caricature to mock the idea of fearless leader/glorious dictator into nonexistence if it weren’t actually horrifying that he’s been making life awful for Libyans for over 40 years and, like many other ‘leaders’ of North African countries, getting massive political benefits from powerful democratic countries eager to buy the areas natural resources without thought to the human cost.

There have been reports of violence towards the protesters in Egypt, who continue to fight for the kind of government they want.

In a stunning display of political tone-deafness, David Cameron, the UK PM, travelled to Egypt with reps from several companies that provide ‘defense services’. Arms dealers. Great timing. Those governments might be running low on ammunition. And this is on top of his entitled-posh-boy cuts to services in the UK that disproportionately affect women and not-rich people.

Similarly, budget cuts proposed in the US will disproportionately affect people of colour and the non-rich. Surprise.

Also in the US, there appears to be a war against those with wombs.
ETA: as Angry Black Bitch has just made clear, it ain’t just the ladies with all their equipment that legislators have a problem with – apologies for putting it like that. Straight up – the legislative attack is on all women, and attempts to restrict access to a variety of health care tests and treatments that have little or nothing to do with reproductive organs.

The House of Representatives passed legislation to defund Planned Parenthood.

In Iowa, South Dakota, and Nebraska, legislation was proposed that would essentially make killing abortion providers legal.

Slate’s William Saletan has spent several columns talking about the moral quandary of the right to abortion, in which he does that thing where he assumes fetuses have personhood and rights that supercede those of the woman it happens to be in. He also insults pro-choice activists by conflating their resistance to significant government oversight designed to limit services with a disregard for health and safety standards.

Continuing with the misogynist theme in the US, in Canada, the police comment about how the ladies should avoid dressing ‘like sluts’ to avoid rape has been followed by a judge not sentencing jail time for a convicted rapist because the rape victim was wearing heels and went into the woods with the rapist and two other people, and clearly the rapist was just ‘misreading’ signals. Yeah. Certain types of clothing obviously mean that the vagina is open to any and all comers. We’re not picky, boys, when we’ve got those red pumps on.

In other bad news the Republican legislature of Wisconsin is union busting in spite of massive protests.

Not to mention the stuff that isn’t always given attention in the media despite ongoing conflict and oppression and general nastiness.

And what do I feel capable of responding to?

This guy, another Slate.com writer who thinks that all ladies want to get married and have babies and all guys wants only sex, and that the statistical decrease in marriage rates, the existence of the pill, and some study where more men agreed to have no-strings-attached sex than women, means that men have the upper hand when it comes to relationships. And of course this is bad! And who needs to change things? The ladeez, of course, since it is their fault that they a) want marriage and babies and b) aren’t making those irresponsible man-boys grow up like they are supposed to.

The logical fallacies that abound in his article aren’t worth going through one by one, as it would take all day, but there is a lot of straw man arguing, and a lot of begging the question.

It is far easier to point out logical errors in one of a seemingly endless parade of ‘u r doing it rong ladeez’ articles designed to blame women for the supposed fall of the lifestyle that we supposedly all want, than it is to seriously contemplate the gallimaufry of circumstance, institutionalized bigotry, classism, racism, sexism, sense of entitlement, political corruption, imperialism, capitalism, and amorality leading to everything else.

Because all that bad news caused by humans doesn’t spring from rational and considered thought. There are men and a few women within various institutions which give them power over individuals, and yet where the power does not come from those individuals, but other large institutions. Those in power have a vested interest in maintaining it, usually at the expense of the individuals over who they have influence.

As the system has served they and their cronies, they assume that the underlying assumptions which guide the structure are inherently good and beneficial to all (or at least, all who matter). And depending on how much information they have access to, these beliefs are held with varying degrees of belligerent ignorance and genuine sociopathy and disregard for the people in general.

Humbug.

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