Thursday, May 31, 2007

What Mike Pressler Should Have Done

Or, Why I'm Not Rallying Around the "Innocent" Lacrosse Players

Don't get me wrong. I'm happy that three men are no longer under an undeserved indictment, that what appears to have been a cruelly false accusation has been set right, and that the legal system has proved itself able to negotiate a complex case with relative justice.

But I don't particularly care for the triumphalist tone being bandied about: "Innocent Lacrosse Players Vindicated!!" "Finally, Justice for the Dear Sweet Boys Who Never Did Anything Wrong!" "Mounting Pressure for Duke To Apologize to the Clearly Wronged Former Lacrosse Coach!"

Uh, no. Especially not to that last one.

Mike Pressler tolerated an atmosphere among his players that should never have been tolerated. This permissive attitude is what led to the night which remains an embarrassment to the University, irrespective of whether a felony was committed.

Had Pressler done, say, something like this a long, long time ago, this painful night might never occurred. And, more importantly, those boys might have had a chance to grow into real men. I fear that now, they never will.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Sacrificial Lamb

Chinese Food and Drug Chief Sentenced to Death

I was wondering how China was going to navigate the ever-increasing scandal of contaminated food and drug products. Actually, I was wondering how the US was going to navigate it--whether the dire need for an expanding market would trump basic food and drug safety issues.

But now that China has helpfully "solved" the problem via the classic "scapegoat" method, we can all get back to our regularly scheduled global capitalism.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

"Lybrel says 'You don't need a period.'"

"Surveys have found up to half of women would prefer not to have any periods, most would prefer them less often and a majority of doctors have prescribed contraception to prevent periods.

. . . . . .

Most doctors say there's no medical reason women need monthly bleeding and that it triggers health problems from anemia to epilepsy in many women. They note women have been tinkering with nature since the advent of birth control pills and now endure as many as 450 periods, compared with 50 or so in the days when women spent most of their fertile years pregnant or breast-feeding."

I really thought we had moved past early-eighties feminism, where women had to become honorary men in order to be equal.

Did you notice how the justifying moves go? A) Most women don't want to have periods. B) There are women for whom menstruation presents a medical problem. C) Therefore, this product is okay. D) And plus, we've conquered the inconvenience of childbearing and lactation. This is just one more inconvenience to conquer!

So, once again, a potential (hypothetical? rare?) medical problem is used to justify the development of a product that will be prescribed to the population at large, apart from any medical need. Another wildly profitable product for pharmaceutical companies--because of our incapacity to endure any sort of inconvenience.

Why are women's bodies so to be feared and despised?