I know Thanksgiving is tomorrow and we’ll all be getting extra-thankful, but today I’d like to list a few people who I’m not thankful for.
AIDS denialists. The South African government could have prevented the deaths of 365,000 people, but President Thabo Mbeki’s bought into AIDS denialists’ claims — another “victory” for ideology over science. I’m at least heartened to see that Mbeki’s successor has taken a more progressive track and is fighting the spread of HIV.
Religious fundamentalists who attack schoolgirls with acid. At least ten of them have been arrested. Women who speak out — or little girls who go to school — are threatened, attacked, maimed, raped and sometimes killed.
Brazilian law enforcement, which is targeting abortion providers and women who terminate pregnancies. Some 150 women have been charged with the crime of abortion; thousands of women had their private medical records publicly released; and some of the accused were forced to undergo invasive medical procedures to gather evidence. I suppose, though, that they’re just doing what the Pope says. The “pro-life” nation of Brazil has one of the highest abortion rates in the world; across Latin America, 5,000 women die every year and more than 80,000 are hospitalized after clandestine abortions. And Brazil has the fifth-highest youth murder rate in the world (with four “pro-life” nations beating it out). Not sayin’ that a country’s abortion policies influence the murder rate (this isn’t Freakonomics); am sayin’ that if they really value life, dealing with an obscene rate of youth murder may be a better place to start than arresting women who terminate pregnancies. Just sayin’.
Dudes who take (and get off on) “up-skirt” shots without the woman’s consent.
Army higher-ups who don’t give a rat’s ass about domestic violence. “Honey, we are not going to bring a soldier back who beat on his wife a couple of times or because you feel things weren’t done correctly. He is over there fighting for his life” is not a good enough response.