Thursday, May 29, 2014

Thursday Tidbits

Random thoughts on a Thursday afternoon:

A few days ago, another privileged young male who thought that the women of the world owed him subservience and sex on demand made the decision to take out on a bunch of innocent people his frustration over the fact that the women of the world didn't agree with him. He killed six outright and grievously injured several others. Sadly, it's an oft-recurring phenomenon in our gun-happy society.

In response to this atrocity, as has become the norm when such things happen, a hashtag account was started on Twitter - #YesAllWomen. The purpose of the account was to give women a place to vent about being sexually harassed and demeaned, discriminated against, raped, and all the other everyday injustices that women in this society experience because of their gender. The response was overwhelming.

Very soon, the utterly predictable backlash from the misogynistic multitudes began. There were responses on Twitter and elsewhere deriding these women's experiences. They were vulgar and mean-spirited at best and promised retribution and violence at worst.

Misogyny is rife in America today and probably always has been. It seems to permeate everything in our lives, so much so that it comes to be seen as normal. Women have radar that detects it, but often, I think, men are completely oblivious to it. They just accept that that is the way things are and will frequently accuse any woman who speaks out against it of being overly sensitive.

So we have people like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck making fun of women for showing solidarity for schoolgirls kidnapped in Nigeria or sneering about women trying to teach their daughters how to be safe, how not to be raped

And then there is any famous male stand-up comedian you care to name for whom rape and/or violence against women seem to be considered appropriate subjects for their routines. Big laugh-getters from their predominantly male audiences.

What is true in the so-called entertainment field is equally true elsewhere in our society. What would a world without misogyny look like? Unfortunately, I'm afraid I will not see it in my lifetime.

*~*~*~*

What is it with Republican candidates and guns? Is there some unwritten rule - or maybe written, for all I know - that any person running for office on the Republican ticket has to be photographed with a gun in his hands? And preferably in a camouflage suit?  What are they trying to compensate for?

*~*~*~*

And speaking of guns and the mass murder in California, Richard Martinez, the father of one of the victims has called out the spineless politicians who refuse to take any action to stop the carnage because they are afraid of the NRA. His eyes are wide open. He knows he will be vilified for speaking out, but he says, "My son is dead. There is nothing you could do to me that is worse than that."

He is a brave man.

At the other end of the spectrum, we have the odious "Joe the Plumber" who said, "Your dead kids don't trump my Second Amendment rights."

There are no words to describe my contempt for this man.

*~*~*~*

It seems we just can't get away from guns this week. Even when noting the passing of the great Maya Angelou.

Now, most news organizations, in reporting on Angelou's death, focused on her career as an award-winning poet and memoirist and activist. Not the right-wing National Review! Nosiree, for them the salient point of her life was that she had once said that she owned a gun. And so their headline read: "R.I.P., Maya Angelou, Proud Gun Owner and User."

Yeah, that was the most important part of her life and the part for which she will be long remembered.

*~*~*~*

Maya Angelou was supposed to be in Houston this week. She was to be a part of the activities surrounding the annual Civil Rights Game of Major League Baseball, a game that will be played by my beloved Astros and the Baltimore Orioles tomorrow night.

The Astros start their series with the Orioles tonight, having won five games in a row. They've been playing much better of late, unlike the worst team in baseball that they have been over the last couple of years. Their latest "phenom" George Springer is tearing the cover off the ball. Pitcher Dallas Keuchel just won Player of the Week honors in the American League. Jose Altuve is a league leader in hits, stolen bases, and batting average.

It's an exciting young team. Too bad most of their fans (including me) are still unable to see any of their games on television.  Sigh.


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