I’ve never had an abortion, and at this point in the game, I never will. Nor do I have daughters, so this is not an issue that will affect my own life in any immediate way. But I understand that the reality of women’s and girls’ lives is that they include as strong an impulse for sex as men’s. And maybe because I am a woman, the practical has always had a stronger pull on my emotions than the theoretical. Those old debates about the nature of the human soul have never moved me; surely a soul is no more valuable to God if it exists in this world rather than the next. And a thousand arguments about the beginning of human life will never appeal to me as powerfully as a terrified pregnant girl desperate for a bit of compassion.
Re: the California rape case…
There’s been a lot of horrified buzz on the internet this morning (and very rightfully so) about a California court overturning the conviction of one Julio Morales, who had sex with a woman while she was asleep. She woke up and initially thought he was her boyfriend before realizing he was someone else. The court ruled, based on an 1874 law still on the books, that it was not rape because the woman was not married. (No, this is real. This is a thing that happened. Welcome to 2013. Check your sanity at the door, you won’t need it here.)
The outrage here is appropriate, but I want to get specific about something that’s wrong not just with this horrible, outdated, disgusting law and its 21st century impact, but about some assumptions involved here related to contemporary rape culture. The woman was raped regardless of who the perpetrator was, and that has nothing whatsoever to do with her relationship to him or to the man she thought him to be. The fundamental problem is that she was asleep, and you cannot give consent if you are asleep. If it had been her boyfriend or a husband to whom she woke up, and not Julio Morales, it would still have been rape and that is what the law ought to say. The fact that many consider being in relationship, married or not, to be blanket consent for all sex, is a problem of the twenty-first century, not just the nineteenth.
President Obama’s reelection campaign brought 40 engineers into their ranks to build the technology they needed to get the president reelected. This is the very human story of how they helped out, even if they never fit in.
Read more. [Image: Daniel X. O’Neil]
Conservative political pundit Pat Buchanan stoked controversy today by claiming that Barack Obama’s reelection has ‘killed White America’. The paleoconservative nativist is no stranger to racial controversy, having previously been accused of writing books with racist and anti-semitic undertones. But the former Nixon advisor was more explicit on the G. Gordon Liddy Show this morning. When asked for his reaction to Obama’s victory, Buchanan replied brazenly: “White America died last night. Obama’s reelection killed it. Our 200 plus year history as a Western nation is over. We’re a Socialist Latin American country now. Venezuela without the oil.” Stunned by his clear racisim, Liddy tried to walk his guest back from the ledge: “With what you just said right there…You seem to imply that white people are better than other people. That’s not really what you’re saying is it?” “Of course that’s what I’m saying,” Buchanan replied “Isn’t it obvious? Anything worth doing on this Earth was done first by white people.
Note that while this is satire, it’s close enough to the real deal.
just got a surge of happiness thinking about Obama being president again and the fact that he will appoint supreme court justices
“Ohio really did go to President Obama last night, and he really did win. And he really was born in Hawaii. And he really is, legitimately President of the United States. Again. And the Bureau of Labor Statistics did not make up a fake unemployment rate last month. And the Congressional Research Service really can find no evidence that cutting taxes on rich people grows the economy. And the polls were not skewed to over-sample Democrats. And Nate Silver was not making up fake projections about the election, to make Conservatives “feel bad”, Nate Silver was doing math. And Climate Change is real. And a rape really does cause pregnancy sometimes. And evolution, is a thing. And Benghazi was an attack on us, it was not a scandal by us. And nobody is taking away anyone’s guns. And taxes have not gone up. And the deficit is dropping, actually. And Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction. The moon landing was real, and FEMA is not building concentration camps. And U.N. election observers are not taking over Texas. And moderate reforms, of the regulations on the insurance industry, and the financial services industry in this country, are not the same thing as Communism.”
That time Rachel Maddow turned into a West Wing character and it was AWESOME.
As Leslie Knope once told us, “Joe Biden is on my celebrity sex list — well, he is my celebrity sex list.” So she must be pretty pumped that the once and future vice president is going to guest star on Parks and Recreation.
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If there is one thing this election has proven, if there is one thing I have come to know, it is that Americans don’t like it when their right to vote is threatened. The very people whose votes the Republicans sought to suppress came out to vote. In places like Akron and Orlando and Denver and Milwaukee, they came. They waited in long lines and endured the indignities of poll workers. Yet they were not cowed. Today is their day. A day when they can look at one another and appreciate that they are truly a part of the history of civil rights in this country.
Read more. [Image: Philip Andrews]