fa1th3rs's Page > Posts tagged with "politics"


Subject: Re: When it comes to harassment, what is your role?

Forum: When it comes to harassment, what is your role?
I think it's beyond time we started listening to women (and men!) who come forward with allegations of sexual assault/harassment and take action to investigate the perpetrators, not cast doubt on the motives of survivors. The latter attitude was so pervasive for so long it allowed men, especially men with any sort of power, to act inappropriately without being checked and made generations of women feel that their safety was not as important as letting men think they were funny. We cannot be truly equal until our right to feel safe everywhere is upheld and respected.

I have definitely been guilty of supporting rape culture. Whether it was passing judgment in the past of women who come forward with claims and then settle, or not telling guys who say sexist or lewd things that they are wrong, my inaction in those sort of situations has facilitated these actors to continue to infringe on my rights and discourage women from standing up for themselves and I am not proud of that.

I am happy to see that there is such a tremendous outpouring of support for survivors and whistleblowers. It gives me hope in an otherwise dismal political environment that our attitudes are changing and people are not tolerating offensive and reckless behavior anymore.

Subject: Being Paid to Get Sterilized

Forum: Being Paid to Get Sterilized
I just saw a brief video on Vice about Project Prevention, an organization that offers monetary incentives to addicts and coordinates them with physicians who will either equip them with long-term birth control (IUD) or sterilization. As an adoptive mother of 4 children born from the same mother, Barbara Harris believes that her work is saving other children from the possible suffering of cognitive delays, withdrawals, placement in foster care, etc. as well

There are others who believe that what she is doing is bordering on eugenics as the majority of men and women who take advantage of her services are people of color. It's also highlighted that being an addict doesn't mean you should be denied bodily autonomy or the ability to have children when you get sober.

While I can certainly sympathize with those who believe Ms. Harris is preying on addicts, who themselves are often lifelong victims of institutionalized racism, I find myself siding more closely with Harris. I worked for many years with an adoption attorney and at least half the children placed were born to mothers who conceived while high or drunk and continued to use throughout their pregnancy, despite having access to counseling or rehabilitation services at no cost. While it's not always possible to tell if hard drugs caused cognitive or emotional issues (since the birth mothers may have the genetic link to those disorders) there is no denying the physical and mental consequences of alcohol exposure to the fetus. While our country still has privatized healthcare, it's nearly impossible for children born with these conditions to have access to medical care and therapy unless they are with a family that has the flexibility and the money to take care of them.

I would refine her approach to make it equally as attractive to opt for long-term birth-control in order to promote the idea of rehabilitation. Maybe set them up with a social worker or other qualified professionals to get them on the road to recover should they accept.

Where do you stand? Do you believe Harris is helping or promoting the damage of racist practices?

Subject: Re: Should Circumcision be Banned?

Forum: Should Circumcision be Banned?
This is an issue that I've never really considered but you certainly raise some important concerns. As you've pointed out surgeries always open the patient to the risk of infection and in children without a strong immune system this could prove fatal.

It's interesting that the same reasons there was public/moral outrage over female circumcision are largely overlooked or dismissed when it pertains to male circumcision. Perhaps the implication with females is that it's meant to deny them sexual satisfaction in order to keep them "pure" because it is believed they will lack sexual desire whereas with males it isn't meant to curb their libido but borne out of a cultural practice probably meant to make hygiene easier on the female caretaker.

I don't know if parents are fully advised of the potential complications of circumcision but if they are not they should certainly be advised. In order to get a full ban there would probably end up being a Supreme Court case involved since the freedom of religion is involved. Perhaps it would involve a religious exemption wherein the parents can be charged in the event of the child's death should the procedure go wrong but otherwise not be punished for a successful operation done out of religious observance.

I'm definitely curious to hear male input on this.

Subject: Re: Should Public colleges be free?

Forum: Should Public colleges be free?
Yes- for state residents. I have been a resident of NYS my entire life, been paying taxes since I was a teenager, and yet I had to fund my own education at a public NYS college. What sense does that make? Where the hell do my tax dollars go? (Since we also have terrible infrastructure and still haven't implemented Medicare for all!)

Tuition prices are overall too expensive. If we reduce the price of admission we will increase the amount of applications. This means that only the most qualified will be going to pursue higher education, and certainly the ones who want to go will be able to go to school and get an education for free. The rest can do what many of us do regardless of our degrees: take a civil service exam, learn a trade, start our own small business. And those who either can't get into college because they lack the aptitude or the initiative will be able to provide for themselves and their families without the burden of student loan debt. That's the way things were for our parents, that's the way it should have stayed but we over-glorified higher education just for the sake of paper and created the student-debt crisis as a result of our collective egos.

Subject: The Mindful Consumer

Forum: The Mindful Consumer
Everyone's getting ready to get a jumpstart on holiday shopping. It's been on my mind a lot because my budget is practically air-tight and I'm caught between wanting to buy thoughtful, responsibly made gifts, without charging it.

In my daily life I try to do or buy items that are more environmentally friendly and otherwise responsibly made. I clean almost everything with white vinegar and essential oils, my other detergents and beauty products are made in America and from plant-based materials. I'm even avoiding products with palm oil which is incredibly difficult because I LOVE microwave popcorn...

The one area I really fall short is clothing. It's one thing to pay 20 cents more a pound for local produce, it's an entirely different ballgame paying $175 for flats made from recycled water bottles over $20 for shoes from Old Navy, even if they are made at the hands of indentured servants.

What are some of the things you do to avoid buying products that exploit people or the environment? Do these issues have an affect on your decisions when you make purchases?

Subject: Re: Should college athletes be paid?

Forum: Should college athletes be paid?
You cite some very compelling reasons to pay our student athletes, especially the concerns regarding their health risks and how much organizations like the NCAA and the coaches are benefitting from their players. However there are other types of students who are working incredibly hard and benefitting their school, particularly in the sciences where they help develop new drugs or treatment therapies, who would be eligible for pay by the same logic although far less likely to receive such compensation because of the politics of Big Pharma and a general public disinterest in clinical research.

Instead I believe student athletes should be entitled to health insurance through their universities for the rest of their lives (or at least until they can be covered by social security). Especially if they receive injuries that result in chronic health conditions, this would sort of balance the scales with how hard they work, their risks to self, and hopefully keeping scholarship money available for other students.

Subject: Re: Should women have a day off from work every month?

Forum: Should women have a day off from work every month?
I think we should get that time to offset the fact that most women will have been working for free this month due to the general income disparities between men and women in this country.

If you take off one day a month but you're otherwise a model employee there should be no fear of repercussions. Menstrual cramps are a type of illness and for some women they can be debilitating. Especially if you suffer from Endometriosis or PCOS or any other hormonal imbalance. This also ties into the issue of birth control being covered by the employer: if you don't want your employees to miss out on work because they can't get the medicine needed to treat a chronic illness, grant them the opportunity to afford care

Subject: Re: Buying used clothes: Yes or No?

Forum: Buying used clothes: Yes or No?
I always forget that thrift stores are an option but I don't really see anything wrong with buying second-hand clothes. As long as they are clean it shouldn't be any more strange than when a friend gives you a shirt she bought for herself but doesn't want anymore for some reason. In fact I think buying "recycled" clothes could have a positive environmental and humanitarian impact as it would reduce the demand for sweat-shop labor that serves our "fast fashion" industry.

Subject: Re: "Why boys are failing"

Forum: "Why boys are failing"
Excellent forum, I love TED talks.

I think any trends we see in diagnosable medical disorders (such as ADHD) should always be taken with a grain of salt. Sometimes the alleged increase in cases of these disorders has as much to do with changing the definition of the disorder or methods of identifying persons with such conditions as it does with causes of the disorder becoming clearer.

I think the role of the father is only essential in a patriarchy family structure. Like it or not our society is still largely shaped in this fashion and families that don't "fit the mold" are often negatively impacted. If you are depending on one type of person to fit one role with the most responsibility, then the absence of that individual will cause disruption in the family unit and the development of the child.

However, I have found that individuals who grow up with the support of grandparents, close aunts and uncles, LGBT parents, or single mothers can still thrive as long as they know who loves them, that they have a roof over their heads, food in their bellies, and the freedom to test boundaries with the expectation of reasonable consequences. That's really what you need to develop a secure identity.

Subject: Re: Did you vote yesterday?

Forum: Did you vote yesterday?
You betcha! Unfortunately I'm still registered at my parents' address so I had to drive to the opposite end of the county to do it, but I figured I'd be a pretty big hypocrite for not making the effort after my extremely political social media posts this year.

One thing that did not pass that I sort of wish did was a constitutional convention for the State of NY. Proponents for the convention were hopefully it would provide an opportunity to changes laws governing voter registration so constituents could register on Election Day in case the wanted to change party affiliation or address. This would help people like me who have moved to recently to change the address where they are registered, and for folks who would like to vote for a candidate they actually support rather than ones running for election in their party.