A Powerful and Insightful Article on Reproductive Rights

This brilliant article is the perfect response to those who believe that anti-choicers are not misogynists but simply people who care about babies:

Fundamentally, the debate over abortion is a debate over what we make of the fact that some of us in this world can have babies. For pro-choicers, “being able to make babies” is a nifty thing to be able to do, like being able to play the piano or being able to bake pies. It’s your skill, your ability. You should use it how you like. We would no more force a woman to make a baby because she can than insist that someone who can play the piano drop everything they’re doing at a moment’s notice to play because we want them to.

For anti-choicers, the fact that someone can make a baby means that making babies is what she is for. People mistake the term “objectification” to mean “looking at with lust,” but what it actually means is “reducing someone to an object to be used.” Sexual objectification is assuming that because women turn you on, they are for sex, instead of a person whose sexuality should be an expression of their agency. What anti-choicers engage in is reproductive objectification. Women are among an array of objects to be used. The refrigerator is for storing food. The bookshelf is for holding books. The woman is for making babies. You no more give her a choice in the matter than you would give your refrigerator veto power over what food it holds because it didn’t like your method of shopping.

Do read the entire article. It’s the most brilliant piece of writing I have read in a while. We will not defeat this mentality until we understand as clearly as possible where it comes from.

Insecurity and Narcissism

Reader CK left the following important comment I want to address in a separate post:

I think your post misses the mark. IMO insecure behavior is a turn-off primarily because it is like a big and negative anchor. People who are always obsessing over their looks, weight, or WHATEVER can’t just relax and be happy with themselves; rather they often comment on and focus on the things they don’t like about themselves. Having to say “you look great” all the time or constantly coax them into doing things they’re resistant to doing (because of their insecurities) is draining; it’s almost like babysitting and consoling a weak little kid. To most people, this is not attractive.

What CK is describing is not an insecure person. CK is describing a narcissist. The manifestations of a narcissistic trauma do look like insecurity. But not all insecure people are narcissists.

Of course, I agree that a narcissist should be avoided like the plague. These people will devour you irrespective of whether they are insecure or not.

However, what we see in a comment is a description of a person who plays into the narcissist’s game because it fulfills his or her own needs (“constantly coax them into doing things they’re resistant to doing”). Remember, narcissists thrive on audience. When you become a spectator in a narcissistic performance, you are playing a very unhealthy game because of your own need to see yourself as a savior. Note the paternalistic desire to see the narcissist as a small and weak child.

This comment is the perfect illustration of two psychological types: the narcissist and the savior. They often form relationships because each fulfills the unhealthy needs of the other. Obviously, as long as they don’t bring any other people (say, children) into their folie à deux, it’s their business if they want to live this way.

Russian TV Shows

I need to stop watching these silly Russian dating shows but they are so hilarious that I need them to help me grade.

A 75-year-old man is looking “for a woman between the ages of 25 and 35 who is interested in having a lot of sex.”

“With whom?” I ask the second I hear this.

It turns out that the gentleman is looking for a rich 25-year-old because he has no money.

I will let you figure out why he came to this show on your own.

P.S. It took me a while to figure out how to understand these Russian shows until I realized that you need to add 15 years to everybody’s age to understand what the hell people are on about. So this rich gentleman is about 90 years old in terms of our North American vision of age. For instance, when you see a 25-year-old say, “I need to get married and start having children now because my time is running out” and everybody nods, just imagine that this person is 40 and things become at least somewhat more understandable.

P.P.S. There is a lot of grading that awaits me this semester, people, so prepare yourselves for many cross-cultural posts. I apologize in advance to everybody who hates such posts. My teaching duties are sacred.

Different Schools of Parenting

It hasn’t happened yet this year, but it will. It’s inevitable. One day, the call will come, and anyone who has ever sent a kid to school dreads it. 

“Mom! I forgot my lunch!

American parents never cease to amaze me. Believe me, I’m saying this with the kindest feelings possible towards them. I tried imagining giving that call to my mother when I was 10 (the age of the blogger’s younger child) and started beating my forehead against the keyboard in laughter. And then I imagined doing that at 15 (the age of the blogger’s older child) and the story stopped even being funny.

Yeah. . .

Who needs sci-fi when you can just scroll down your blogroll for stories from different planets?