An Honest Question

What do you think it will take to get a mention on The O’Reilly Factor?

Posted in Blogging | Tagged , | 11 Comments

Twoo Wuv

The kitties spoon after a long night of helping me grade papers.

Sweet Love

Note Doug’s arm gently draped over Pablo. This, folks, this is wuv.

Posted in General | 19 Comments

“Stay tight, wear white”

advice from a father to his 13-year-old daughter. Is it just me, or is that a completely disgusting thing to be saying?

Feministing scours this one quite nicely, pointing out the huge double-standards in how parents talk about sex with their kids and how it perpetuates young people internalizing this kind of sexism. It’s worth a read, even if a lot of the comments will make you cringe. Not-so-surprising point: In every category of sexual experience, the kids have done quite a bit more than their parents thought they had. For example, only 1 parent thought their kid had given oral sex, while 51 actually had (on the other hand, 10 parents thought their kid had received oral sex; perhaps they believe their children to be selfish?).

And if that’s not gross enough for you, allow Twisty’s latest to stir up some righteous rage about our neighbor to the north: In Canada, you can now get away with rape if you claim you had “sexsomnia.” That’s right, if you rape a woman and claim that you were sleeping while doing it, you’re a-ok — you didn’t know what you were doing, even if you did have the sleep-raping foresight to put on a condom.

Posted in Gender, Sex, Sexual Assault | Tagged , , , , , | 27 Comments

O, George!

An interview with new blogger and paleo-wildlife artist Carl Buell, aka OGeorge, aka OlduvaiGeorge. Last year, Carl emailed a picture for Ethan to enjoy and we were blown away. Beautiful art, sharp mind, highly recommended.

Posted in Blogging, Recommended | Tagged | 2 Comments

Friday Random Ten, 2nd Ed.

1. Joan Baez – The Night They Drove Old Dixie
2. Sigur Ros – Heysatan
3. Velvet Underground – Perfect Day
4. Missy Elliott – Lose Control
5. The Fugees – The Score
6. Kanye West – Gold Digger
7. Ani Difranco – Lost Woman Song
8. Elliott Smith – Angel in the Snow
9. Bob Dylan – Like a Rolling Stone
10. Portishead – Biscuit

Friday wine that I am not drinking until I finish this godforsaken outline: a 2004 Bordeaux which my mom brought back from France, and then dragged from Seattle to New York just for her favorite daughter. Thanks, mom!

Tagged | 6 Comments

Friday Random Ten – The Jock Rock Edition

Apparently Winamp wants me stomping my feet in a stadium:

Do the Spidey Dance1) The Hives – Main Offender
2) Tego Calderon – Cosa Buena
3) Pixies – Here Comes Your Man
4) Lynard Skynard – Tuesday’s Gone (without irony)
5) The Skids – Into the Valley
6) Pharcyde – Back in the Day
7) TV On the Radio – Don’t Love You
8) Marvin Gaye – Mercy Mercy Me
9) T-Rex – Thunderwing
10) Nouvelle Vague – In a Manner of Speaking

Bonus Track: Joan Jett – Love Hurts

Tagged | 8 Comments

A Big THANK YOU

To Norbizness, for the fantastic Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall CD. Studying is much more enjoyable with this in the background. Now I actually have a chance at not failing out of law school. Thanks so much!

Posted in General | Tagged , | 12 Comments

A Suggestion on Men’s Choices

While I find these discussions thought-provoking, and believe questions of equality and accessibility are of utmost importance in the social and political spheres, we might remember that some of the energy used to debate a man’s place in terms of choice could be aimed at lobbying for more effective male contraceptives.

Recommended: Not to be a Pill, but…

Let’s excuse some of the disparaging language in the above article and focus on the salient points:

1) Pharma has been reticent to develop birth control for men because of the pervasive belief that a) women don’t trust men to use it, and b) men are too irresponsible to be dependable. Wrong and wrong. Studies show that men are willing to be medically responsible for their own reproductive functions, and a significant portion of women report that they would trust their SOs to use birth control responsibly.

2) Pharma doesn’t believe that they will make money off of successful hormonal male contraceptives. Maybe — though the profit margin on female birth control is small, women’s widespread, normative use over time covers research and marketing expenses quite nicely. This ought to carry over to men’s BC as well.

3) The myth that hormonal male contraceptives make men into girls. Wrong — while they work differently than female hormonal birth control, recent research shows promise for easily reversible methods for men, none of which involve menarche, shrinkage or breasts.

4) Money. Private donations are down, corporate budgets don’t make annual increases like they used to, and big pharma spends a pretty penny making sure we all have our Viagra hats, Seasonale pens, and NuvaRing Superbowl commercials (right). Though the pro-marketing argument defends this spending on grounds of covering research costs, it would be easy to argue that this is the kind of research that is not only socially smart, but smart for business as well.

If we are committed to exercising the widest range of reproductive choices, including a man’s reluctance to father and support a child, this is a possibility that would do us all a great deal of good. Make every pregnancy a wanted pregnancy — for both parties.

Posted in Reproductive Rights, Sex | Tagged | 25 Comments

The Smrt List

The World’s Top 100 Intellectuals.

So why does the list include Thomas Friedman, Camille Paglia, Paul Wolfowitz and Larry Summers (among others) while leaving off people like Stephen Hawking, Noah Feldman, Ronald Dworkin and Judith Butler? And why is Bono on the “bonus” list? And where are all the women? Surely there are more female intellectuals than this…

At least they included Naomi Klein, Christopher Hitchens (disagree with him all you want, the man is still brilliant), Amartya Sen, Shirin Ebadi, Umberto Eco and Tariq Ramadan (again, you might not agree, but…).

I’ll also admit that my uncultured self didn’t know about 1/4 of the people on this list, especially when it got down to the bottom (Gordon Conway who?).

I’m too lazy to make my own list (plus Contracts outlining calls), so throw it out there: Who would be on your list of top intellectuals (besides Lauren and I, of course), and who would you eliminate from this list?

Thanks to Kyle for the link, and for saying that he expects to see me on there in a few years. Awww. (Except, wait… then he added, “next to the pope and friedman. and hernando de soto.” thanks a lot.)

Posted in Education | Tagged , , | 26 Comments

More on Conley and Spousal Consent

The Conley article on “men’s right to choose” was sent out on the NYU Law Students for Choice listerve yesterday, and elicited some really good responses and questions. There were two in particular that I found so interesting (and challenging) that I wanted to post them here and see what you all think. I’ll use first names so that everyone can tell who wrote what, and respond accordingly:

From Adam:

I am not at all arguing with a woman’s right to choose. She has it, the man does not. The decision of whether or not to have a child completely rests with the woman. What I am talking about is a corollary of this, that this right to choose whether she has the child has the effect of deciding whether or not the man becomes a father and all the legal responsibilities that go along with it, even if he does not want to be.

Some will argue that if he doesn’t want to become a father then don’t have sex or use a condom. But, that is no different than an argument an pro-life person may use against a woman who wants an abortion. The woman doesn’t have to have sex or sex with a man who doesn’t have a condom. She could also simply take the pill combined with a diaphragm. Thus, I think that argument has no weight.

This argument also isn’t about wanting to be a father or not. Its whether or not it is the right time. Just as a woman can be screwed over by having a child while she is young and in school, so can a man.

The issue simply is whether it is fair to let the woman decide for a man whether or not he takes on these responsibilities. A pregnancy can happen even with precautions. A condom does fail, woman for some reason or another can claim to be on the pill but not be. Thus, I will again emphasize the answer isn’t simply they should have taken precautions. This sometimes leads me to say not fair, if the man doesn’t want the child should be able to legally rid of responsibility if woman insists on having child he doesn’t want.

But, then I look at the other side. Any man then only needs to say I don’t want that child and he is always absolved of child responsibilities. Thus, if the reason she won’t have an abortion is religious beliefs he also has, the abortion would only be on her conscience, so she won’t get it and he knows this, but he is relieved of all responsibility. Simply, an unmarried man, or a man who decide for divorce after making his wife pregnant, would always be able to avoid liability. And that also doesn’t seem fair.

I am just wondering if there is a middle ground that creates a truly fair outcome or if there will always be such a conflict.

From Ben:

I think it should be true that in the petri dish world [referring to a previous comment which said something to the effect of, “A pregnant woman should have the right to abort a pregnancy if she wants to; if the man wants that zygote or fertilized egg, he can put it in a petri dish and develop it”], the woman is required to pay child support. But is that likely what Conley’s mythical ex-girlfriend would have wanted? She probably didn’t want to carry the fetus to term but ALSO, among other things, wasn’t ready to support it financially. I think my question is, should the possibility of abortion allow either parent to opt out of total responsibility for the child at a point after conception? Or, once you have conception, are you (at least) financially responsible for the resulting child until it is 18?

I could see a situation where parents could opt-out of pregnancy after conception, in that either parent could say “I would abort if it were solely up to me, but since it’s not, I choose not to support this child,” and then the other partner has a much harder choice to make. In practice, this could operate exceedingly unfairly, undermining a child support system that needs more help, not more hurt.

And to support this, you’d have to see abortion rights as more than just a right to privacy over the body, but a right to not be financially responsible to a child when you’re completely unprepared for whatever reason. Although this is not the legal right and likely never will be, it may, as a practical matter, be more in tune with the motivations of many who have abortions, or support freedom of choice…

Here’s what I think is interesting: We talk about abortion rights in terms of the right to privacy and the right to one’s own body. That is, in essence, what reproductive rights are about. But while some women have abortions as a response to pregnancy itself, many terminate pregnancies because they cannot support a child after it is born. Obviously, I don’t agree with the notion that fathers should be allowed to simply “opt out” of financial obligations to their children. But let’s say we go with the petri dish model, and the zygote is removed from the woman’s body and somehow can magically grow into a human baby. What do we do if neither parent wants responsibility for this petri dish? What if they don’t just want to forgo responsibility, but they want it not to exist? Does anyone have the right to remove the zygote or fertilized egg from the petri dish, therefore terminating its “life”?

Anyway, I think both Ben and Adam raise really interesting points that I’d love to hear responses to. It’s good to remind ourselves that this issue isn’t simple. I’d also like to ask that everyone treat Ben and Adam’s comments with respect; they’re pro-choice, and they’re bringing up some tough questions that challenge conventional pro-choice ideas in a pro-choice public forum. Plus they’re letting me post their thoughts here. So challenge away, but if you’re rude, your comments will either be edited or deleted.

Posted in Reproductive Rights | Tagged , | 51 Comments

Blog Against Racism

It was Blog Against Racism Day today, but my writer’s block preventing me from finishing the long, cumbersome post I’ve been working on for some time now. Perhaps this weekend?

TONS of great reads. Check it out.

Posted in Blogging, Race & Ethnicity, Recommended | Tagged | 8 Comments

Testing Student Achievement

It’s too bad the government isn’t as efficient with student test results as it is with mold test results.

Despite these limitations, there are situations where mold testing by skilled investigators may be valuable – for example, to “justify” remediation expenses or to document that cleanup has met expectations. In some cases, tests can also provide clues that may help find hidden mold, but the growth still has to be found by looking for it so that it can be removed. Experienced investigators should evaluate whether testing is warranted and if they are ethical, they should advise against testing whenever the problem can be corrected without it. Testing may be useful as part of an investigation, but it is never a substitute for a thorough visual inspection.

Posted in Education, Politics | 14 Comments