Sunday, September 14, 2014

Did I just read that?

Google news summary of an article from the NY Daily News: "Manhattanite Kira Kazantsev is only 23-years-old but the blond bombshell is a scholar who speaks fluent Russian, advocates for domestic violence, plans on attending law school and can sing a mean cover of Pharrell Williams' “Happy." (It's the same in the actual article, here: http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv/meet-america-kira-kazantsev-article-1.1939672)

Maybe if she goes to law school she'll learn that domestic violence is something we are against, not for.

Later, the article makes it clear she advocates for VICTIMS of domestic violence (big BIG difference there).  But then it goes on to say, "To combat her fight against domestic violence, Kazantsev volunteers with Safe Horizon, a group that provides shelter for abused women. "

So her work is useless--she's fighting against herself.

Friday, August 08, 2014

Side effect of gay marriage being so visible

One social side effect that NOBODY is talking about in relation to the gay marriage debates is this: by making gay marriage just another option, we open the door to children to the idea that all relationships are potentially sexual relationships. It completely redefines friendship and relationships as we understand them.

Take this quote I lifted off a comment stream on FB (posting it anonymously as I had no way to get permission from the author, who is not on my friend list): "My daughter, at 7, thinks she's a lesbian. I've asked her to wait until puberty to decide. Also mentioned that bisexual is another option, which made her eyes gleam. She loves her best friend to bits, I've told her that sexual orientation is based more on romantic love and it's hard to say what is or isn't romantic love before puberty. "

A 7 year old thinks she is a lesbian because she loves her best friend.

That's so sad.

Is it no longer possible for girls to have a BFF without thinking the relationship has to be sexual?

Also, in context of this, nobody is talking about the fact that there is no research on whether children's sexual identity is fluid during puberty. The majority of women do have a fluid sexual identity, according to research. What about junior high kids? Does opening the door to the idea that they have to discover their sexual identity mean that there will be more bisexual and homosexual lifestyles going on, when they would have been heterosexual before? Does it make teens spend way too much time focusing on their sexual urges instead of focusing on developing skills and talents?

It's all murky, but not a great thing to experiment with.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Did I just read that?

From KSL.com today: "Nighttime 'bio-blitz' nets hundreds of environmentally challenged toads"
Now what on earth is an "environmentally challenged toad"?  They live outside all environments and can't quite fit? They lack personal environment?

Uh....

Sunday, June 01, 2014

#YesAllWomen

You may have seen #YesAllWomen, a movement on social media that encourages women to tell their stories of being sexually harassed or physically threatened by men. It's supposed to be a bonding thing that lets women know that they aren't alone--other women have suffered through these kinds of things, too. And I can see value in that. Truly, I can.

But every time I see it pop up, I just groan.

First of all, it's not ALL women. I can't remember a time I was sexually harassed or physically threatened in the way these women are describing. And it bothers me when they say, openly, "You know you've experienced this, too."  Um...nope. Not ALL women, apparently.

Secondly, their unstated message is that not only have all women suffered, but all men are in line (or at least sympathetic) with these perverted men who do these things. Even if you never acted on it, the women seem to be saying, you know you think about it.  I just don't believe that. I do believe there are horrid men in the world. But not ALL men.

And finally, every single time I see another story pop up, I think how completely inappropriate it would be for men to start a movement talking about all the horrid, mean things women have done to them. Especially if it implied that all men were mistreated by all women all the time.

I find it completely baffling that these same feminist women who are publishing these stories refuse to acknowledge that women can be, and are, jerks too. And that jerkiness is not a function of being a certain gender any more than sexiness is. Some people are jerks. Some aren't. We don't need to expand that to say all women are controlling or all men are lecherous simply because some are. And it doesn't further any conversations about real problems that really exist when we demonize and entire gender because...well ...because we have fallen in line with other people who do that? I find it even more offensive when in one post online women bemoan the objectification of women, and in the next they talk about how "hot" some male movie star is.

I guess what I'm getting at is you can't have it both ways. Either everyone gets to objectify, or nobody does. Either everyone gets to point out things the other gender does that are unacceptable (because, ladies, we do things that are unacceptable, too!), or nobody does. You don't get to make men the bad guys and then expect our culture to somehow magically improve.

Mostly, I'm starting to block people who advocate feminism online. They might find it pitiful, and I find it ironic, but the more they talk about their agenda, the less I feel like they are actually in touch with the experiences of average women, and the less I feel like they can actually help any women anywhere (especially the ones--males and female-- who seem compelled to defend womenkind against most of us women out there, without realizing they are trying to force us all to conform to an arbitrary standard upheld and created by an elite group, which is the very thing they are supposedly fighting against). Which is probably fine. They seem to relish talking to each other more than solving problems or engaging in real discussion anyway.  You know, like the traditional stereotypical gossipy exclusive nagging women's club. Only minus the aprons and hats.

Ironic.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day!

People always confuse the satellite duties of motherhood with motherhood. You know--you've heard the talks. "My mom always came to my baseball games" or "my mom made the best cookies" or articles saying a mother's work is worth $119,000 a year (and defining a mother's work as chef, chauffeur, teacher, laundress, etc.

It's true mothers do massive amounts of work for free. And they do show up and cook and do all those satellite things. They're all closely attached to the job.

But imagine if those things went away. Suppose a mother was in a car accident and suddenly paralyzed from the chin down. For a long time, and maybe forever, many of those satellite things would disappear. No picking up the floor. No cooking. No attending baseball games. No driving or laundering.

And you know what? She would still be mother.

Motherhood is not defined nor created by the work a parent does.

A mother without all of those extra things would still be a mother. She would still be invaluable and one of the strongest influences in a child's life. Her voice would still calm a child in distress-even when the child was an adult. (Did you know there are scientific studies proving that just the sound of a mother's voice--even over the phone--can relieve stress more effectively and more quickly than anything else?). Just simply the way she lived and viewed life and interacted with the people around her would define so much of her children's futures.

Motherhood is not the work we attribute to it. It's not the dishes or the laundry or even the tending to people when they are sick. Even wicked, abusive women do those things, but they aren't really mothers. Motherhood is this other, nearly indefinable thing that is not so much a thing we do as it is a thing we are. Many women become that when they have their first baby, but all women can become mothers. And many women who have children never do.

I can no more define motherhood for you than anyone else, but mothers are an amazing influence for good, for strength, for the future.

So Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there. And thank you.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Did I just read that?

"Head of sunken ferry's owner in S. Korea detained"
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-2622154/Head-sunken-ferrys-owner-S-Korea-detained.html

They let the rest of him go, though.

D-ribose in pregnancy

I've been studying the effects of d-ribose on pregnancy this week, curious if it's safe to take d-ribose when you're pregnant.

So far, the usual forums, doctor-moderated boards, and public health sites have been of zero help. So I turned to Google Scholar.

What I learned, from reading scientific papers, is that, at least in mice, high doses (like 158 grams a day for a human; the usual therapeutic dose for a human is 15 grams a day) of ribose delivered intravenously causes dementia and is highly toxic to cells. (The regular human therapeutic dose was studied, too, and had no ill effects). So don't overdose. (http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0024623)

But I also learned that, at least in rats, dietary ribose supplementation, even in extremely high doses (up to 789 grams per day for a human) has absolutely zero affect on pregnancy or babies. The babies, placentas, etc, were physically indistinguishable from the control group.  (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S027869150600250X).

That would indicate that ribose is safe for pregnancy, at least for rats.

It does cross the blood-brain barrier, and enters cells through diffusion, so there is a good chance that it would cross the placental barrier as well, though.  And, since ribose is unsafe for diabetics, I imagine it would be unsafe for those with gestational diabetes as well.  Also, there was no research regarding the mental development of the rats.

Someone has also submitted a patent to use ribose to treat newborn stroke. http://www.google.com/patents/US20130196934.  This doesn't prove it's safe of course (lots of wacky patents are submitted), but at least one scientist thinks it is.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

More thoughts on modesty

There seems to be an ongoing discussion among some of my friends about what modesty means and how it should be taught. Many of my friends say that teaching modesty (or "the way it is taught") is wrong, and their reasons are very persuasive but feel very wrong.

I realized today that Anda is going to be taught about modesty by someone other than me in the next few years as she joins Young Womens. And I realized that I'd rather her be taught the traditional way, not the "new-and-improved" way some of my friends are proposing.

Why?

The new way doesn't appropriately or accurately deal with the true, biological nature of men. It, in essence, says  that men should be women and see the world the way women do. This is neither fair nor realistic. While I agree that boys should be taught that they are responsible for their own actions and for learning to see women as people, not just bodies, it is important for women to understand that men notice bodies, too, even on women they like as people.

The other thing I want Anda to understand is that her clothes choices are her chance to inform every person she meets how she wants to be treated. While it's a lovely idea that we should be able to dress however we like, our clothes are really a text that informs people how we wish to be perceived. If we treat ourselves as bodies only, people will treat us as bodies only. If we treat ourselves as people, we will be treated as people. And how do we inform others of how we wish to be treated? By what we wear. And all the theories and lovely ideas about how stupid that is are totally disconnected from reality, no matter how appealing they are.

If we want to be treated with respect and dignity, we have to dress with respect and dignity. Period.