Total Drek

Or, the thoughts of several frustrated intellectuals on Sociology, Gaming, Science, Politics, Science Fiction, Religion, and whatever the hell else strikes their fancy. There is absolutely no reason why you should read this blog. None. Seriously. Go hit your back button. It's up in the upper left-hand corner of your browser... it says "Back." Don't say we didn't warn you.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The reality on the ground.

We academics are sometimes scolded for being too abstract- too disconnected from the realities of life. This is a tendency that is, if anything, magnified by the nature of blogging. While blogging is certainly a way to connect with people outside of academia, it also divorces us entirely from material reality. On the internet, it is said, nobody can tell you're a dog. Likewise, on the internet, ideas are the main currency. Well, that and poorly spelled profanity.* Oh, and porn. In any case, we sometimes get so wrapped up in our ideas and principles that we can forget how things work out in reality.

Recently, I found that this tendency was usefully combatted by the one, the only, Plain(s)feminist whose blog is both fascinating, and far too infrequently updated. In any case, she recently brought two peculiar cases to my attention: a group of pro-lifers threating violence against pro-choice activists** and a woman who is blogging about trying to obtain legal emergency contraception. The second story is described in more detail at the disturbingly named coathangers at dawn and deserves a read. It's interesting both because emergency contraception turns out to be very difficult to obtain (particularly if you are unmarried and not a victim of rape) and because the verbal response of elements of the pro-life movement to this blogger are every bit as combative as the threats of violence described by the Plain(s)feminist. For example, please enjoy this selection of the comments our e.c. needing woman has received:

you dumb slut

you fucking retard

Ha ha, you're a dirty whore



Your life is fucking worthless you goddamn slut

Please kill yourself now bitch

I hope you feel good about murdering your kid whore

Indeed, delightful.

And if that isn't enough to keep you going for the day, there's an additional post where the Plain(s)feminist raises an interesting question: in all the debate over whether or not homosexuals should be permitted to marry*** we seem to have missed the central issue of why certain rights should only come with marriage in the first place. This is, indeed, a valid question. Why should we privilege a particular social institution instead of simply acknowledging that people should have the ability to visit loved ones and obtain health insurance regardless of marital status? Certainly, marriage should automatically confer a presumption of certain rights, like inheritance or child-custody, but there are many other benefits of marriage that could legitimately be spread a bit wider. Speaking as someone who is currently engaged**** I obviously view the institution of marriage at least reasonably favorably, but it doesn't diminish the act of marriage if many of the rights are given to the unmarried as well.

So, head on over and read for a bit. It'll be a nice break from the philosophizing that happens a lot on these blogs and, if you're lucky, you might even learn something!

Oh, and yes, this does mean that Plain(s)feminist is being added to he Blogroll. I would congratulate her on that, but I really doubt that being praised by me is a sign of any particular genius. I mean, seriously, have you read this blog? I'm an idiot.

* e.g. "Ha ha, u faggort!"

** "And Jesus did say, 'None may come to the father except through me, and if you try, I'll kick your motherfucking ass.'"

*** Permitted to marry other homosexuals, anyway. As the Plain(s)feminist rightly points out, they're marrying right now to obtain the benefits of marriage.

**** To a very charming woman I might add.


Blogger Plain(s)feminist said...

Seriously - I am honored. Thank you.

And I think custody and inheritance should be able to be automatically transferred through other relationships, as well. Legally, we can do this, but those arrangements are always subject to contestation by blood and marriage relations. I don't know how to make these more complicated arrangements happen, though, without simply continuing to legislate what constitutes a family...

Thursday, October 12, 2006 1:21:00 PM  

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