Different Kinds of Fathers

With this kind of father, who needs to have enemies?

MARK SCOLFORO, ASSOCIATED PRESS: How would you tell a daughter or a granddaughter who, God forbid, would be the victim of a rape, to keep the child against her own will? Do you have a way to explain that?

SMITH: I lived something similar to that with my own family. She chose life, and I commend her for that. She knew my views. But, fortunately for me, I didn’t have to.. she chose they way I thought. No don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t rape.

SCOLFORO: Similar how?

SMITH: Uh, having a baby out of wedlock.

SCOLFORO: That’s similar to rape?

SMITH: No, no, no, but… put yourself in a father’s situation, yes. It is similar. But, back to the original, I’m pro-life, period.

My father’s only granddaughter was born to unmarried parents. Since he is a normal father and not a vicious idiot like Tom Smith, a guy who runs for political office in this country, my father celebrates the birth of his granddaughter as a result of a consensual and happy relationship between his daughter and her fiance. Of course, my father would have respected and supported any reproductive choice his daughters would have made. That’s because he sees us as human beings, not as property.

Todd Akin’s comments on rape have become a really good litmus test for jerkdom and many politicians are failing it every day. Let’s keep listening to them reveal their true colors.

“Who Needs Men?”

People keep coming up with more and more intricate ways to dump on the women’s liberation movement:

Ultimately the question is, does “mankind” really need men? With human cloning technology just around the corner and enough frozen sperm in the world to already populate many generations, perhaps we should perform a cost-benefit analysis. It’s true that men have traditionally been the breadwinners. But women have been a majority of college graduates since the 1980s, and their numbers are growing. It’s also true that men have, on average, a bit more muscle mass than women. But in the age of ubiquitous weapons, the one with the better firepower (and knowledge of the law) triumphs.

Meanwhile women live longer, are healthier and are far less likely to commit a violent offense. If men were cars, who would buy the model that doesn’t last as long, is given to lethal incidents and ends up impounded more often?

This is the kind of crap the New York Times publishes, folks. Before you fall into the trap the author of the quoted piece has prepared for you and start defending the “need” for men to exist, let’s look at what the article is really trying to accomplish. This is nothing but a blatant attempt to make people angry with an obviously offensive question. After they do get angry, it will be easy to smuggle any ideological manipulation past them.

The main idea of the article is the age-old myth that whenever women gain rights, men lose out. This battle-between-the-sexes mentality is one of the favorite weapons of the patriarchy. Any reasonable person who is not deeply invested into the preservation of the strict gender binary, however, realizes that this is not how things work. The destruction of strict gender divisions benefits both men and women because different kinds of masculinity, femininity and intersexuality become legitimate. For instance, if women can work and make their own money, this not only benefits women but also men who don’t have to carry the burden of “providing” for a group of dependents on their own. And I cannot believe I have to explain something this basic in year 2012.

The article’s author ends his piece with the following inanity:

When I explained this to a female colleague and asked her if she thought that there was yet anything irreplaceable about men, she answered, “They’re entertaining.”

Gentlemen, let’s hope that’s enough.

This is a favorite trick of all anti-feminists. A spurious anecdote about some ridiculous and offensive pronouncement from a man-eating, ball-busting “feminazi” is offered and then followed immediately with a rallying call to the poor, persecuted men. “Beware, fellow men,” the author is saying. “Or the vile female-lib creatures will get rid of you altogether.” As a result, many feminists will become bogged down in explanations of how we are not opposed to the existence of men. In the meanwhile, the very real assault on reproductive rights can continue unchecked. Come on, who cares about rape victims, unintended pregnancies and healthcare provided by Planned Parenthood when we live in a world where women have gotten so much power that they are seriously thinking of getting rid of men. It has to be true because the New York Times said so.

Food Stamp Cheaters

I keep hearing this story that there is supposedly a certain – and a quite significant – number of people in this country who cheat the government to get the food stamps they are not entitled to. Now, you need to remember that I’m not American and I only discovered the concept of food stamps fairly recently. I’m trying to understand the idea logically but I simply can’t get the concept of food stamp cheaters to make any sense to me.

If a person goes to the trouble of jumping through the bureaucratic hoops on the way to food stamps, resigns him or herself to living in fear of being found out, faces the humiliation of presenting these food stamps at the check-out counter, and agrees to have one’s food choices policed by the unwelcoming cashiers and other customers who hate seeing food stamps being used on food they don’t approve, then that has got to be a pretty desperate person. I can’t imagine anybody with a good income and a comfortable life going to all that trouble. Why would they? I mean, really? If there is, indeed, a significant group of people who cheat to get these food stamps, doesn’t it mean that there are categories of people in dire financial need who, for whatever reason, are not covered by the food-stamp provisions? In this situation, wouldn’t it make a lot more sense to expand the category of people who need this assistance rather than suspect that somebody is trying to become a multi-millionaire by getting “undeserved” food stamps?

It makes me feel somewhat ashamed even to discuss food stamps in a country that has given out billions of taxpayers’ money to Goldman Sachs and Co in very recent history. Food stamps sound like such a miserable drop in the bucket compared to the enormous sums those corporate cheaters have been able to get out of us.

I pay my taxes honestly and I know I’d be much richer if I didn’t have to pay them. But I can’t bring myself to experience any outrage over somebody getting an extra loaf of pre-sliced bread out of that money. I do, however, mind it hugely that Mr. Blankfein will get yet another Porsche out of it.