Advocates of birth control and abortion frequently fly the banner of “women’s reproductive health,” as if the prevention and termination of pregnancy were intrinsically therapeutic–which is to say, as if the capacity to become pregnant were a disease or defect. The same logic would treat the freezing of eggs as a therapy and the normal decline of a woman’s fertility with age as a disease or defect.
We understand how these technologies can be construed as liberating for women. But just as our hypothetical osteotomy advocate is no friend of the wee, reproductive-choice feminism can also be seen as a form of misogyny.
One more point: This column has noted in the past how the pill, now ubiquitous and generally seen as benign and liberating for women, was also harmful to women. By giving them control over the reproductive process, it absolved men of responsibility. By promising consequence-free sex, it expanded male sexual options. As a result, it became harder for women to demand commitment either as a precondition of sex or in the event of unintended pregnancy. That contributed to the decline of marriage, the rise in illegitimacy and the demand for abortion.
Imagine if cosmetic osteotomy caught on, so that a significant percentage–let’s say one-third–of short men were having the procedure. That would have similar systemic effects. The average male height would rise considerably, while the number of short men would decline. Short men who were content to live in a society with a natural height distribution would feel more isolated and diminished, increasing the pressure on them to get stretched. Men of average natural height would find themselves slipping below average, as former 5-foot-6ers shot up to 6-foot-2. At that point even tall men would have to have the procedure in order to maintain their advantage.
It would be like the arms race, only with legs.
BY E. E. CUMMINGS
spring when the world is mud-
luscious the little
whistles far and wee
and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it’s
when the world is puddle-wonderful
old balloonman whistles
far and wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing
from hop-scotch and jump-rope and
This quote from very funny, newlywed fashion blogger Man Repeller perfectly sums up exactly what I’m looking for:
“Leandra: [S]eriously, I’m married to the most understanding human on this planet. We don’t have fights about these types of things and that’s why I keep pushing him because I feel like we’re at this stage in our lives where we can be so wholly selfish without having to wonder what’s going to be because, at the end of the day, we come home to each other. It’s not like I’m working really hard on the blog and also wondering what’s going to happen to my personal life.”
From Into the Gloss.
Isn’t that EXACTLY what calm is: predictability?
Complaining about how we’ve “normalized a culture of playing with guns” (yes, this is new, Cowboys and Indians is a new, video-game driven pastime), a mother is stressing how much she’s banning guns from her household:
“it’s a war on kids and their psyche; our house is so gunplay-free that I won’t even let my son hold his penis in an aggressive way as he’s potty-training.”
Really, lady? Kiddo is just excited to be attached to something so entertaining. The only one talking about a “war” here is YOU.
Great advice. I especially love these lines:
When do you listen to music? I’m guessing on the way to and from work. Me too.
Here’s something I’ve already begun to do – I’ve stopped listening to plaintive, delicate Dad Rock on the way to work, it’s going to be rap only from here on in. On the way to work, it’s going to be all aspirational, no reflection. Don’t get me wrong, I respect accordion skills and lyrical romanticism as much as the next guy - but whom do I want to emulate more in my business dealings each day – the Decemberists or Dr Dre? One of them is worth $260 million and just built and sold the Beats Audio headphone company as a side project.
The other one is really great at tying scarves.
On the way home, feel free to wallow in the fiddle & banjo Americana ambiance of the Lumineers and the Avett Brothers and the Wilcos and the Bands of Horses as well as Mumford and his sons. That stuff is great for decompression and chilling out. But you musn’t subject yourself to this Sad Bastard Music en route to the battlefield. Primarily because you’ll be playing against people like me, who’ve been main-lining an overdose of corner-holding bravado while you’ve been listening to an art major lick his own violin. Switch it up – aggressive and inspirational in the AM, plaintive and beautiful in the PM when the fightin’s done. Try this for a week, watch what happens.
Not certain that lawyers will benefit from comparing client interactions to colonoscopies, but here’s some interesting advice via Lawyerist:
The wisdom imparted by colonoscopies
One of Kahneman’s data points was surveys of people who underwent colonoscopies. For some patients, the tube was removed as soon as possible when the needed information was gathered. Others, after the examination was complete, had the tube left in for a while without it being moved (thus lessening the discomfort). Only then was it removed. The second set of patients rated the total experience as significantly less painful than the first set of patients, despite the fact that the procedure lasted longer and the total amount of very uncomfortable periods was the same. Similar results are found with people asked to place their hand in uncomfortably cold water. 60 seconds at a consistent temperature led to significantly worse memories of the experience than 90 seconds with the water warmed slightly during the last 30 seconds.
Kahneman concluded that duration of experience and “amount” of suffering really don’t matter. The highest or lowest points, and the way the experience ended, matter much, much more. I have a strong feeling this is why so many lawyers speak fondly of law school, and the farther in time they are from it, the fonder they are. It also explains why so many lawyers complain about how miserable they are, but change nothing. Their experiencing selves are unhappy, but their remembering selves re-write history to make it not seem so bad in retrospect.
Kimberly Strassel calls the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s staggering Senate loss candidates “professional malpractice” (“The GOP’s Epic Senate Fail,” Potomac Watch, Nov. 8). While Ms. Strassel is correct, she fails to explore the historical irony behind leaving Senate elections vulnerable to this particular brand of malpractice: The whole point of the American founders’ decision to divide the legislature in the first place was to protect states’ rights in one house, free from bungling attempts like the NRSC’s to direct the popular will and influence special interest groups.
Enacted in 1913, the 17th Amendment restructured the government so that there is no difference between how Senators and Representatives are elected. This is in stark contrast to how the American Constitution imagined the country would be run.
The Constitution outlined a legislative branch in which Americans didn’t actually directly elect senators, state legislators did. This reflected the fact that the House was intended to represent individuals’ rights, while the Senate stood for states’ rights. Individuals, the founders believed, would be better represented overall with two separate levels of accountability before submitting to the ultimate will of the federal government on high.
Federalism was an important principle for the American founders, and federalism holds states’ rights paramount. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has gone so far as to note that since the 17th Amendment was ratified, “you can trace the decline of so-called states’ rights throughout the rest of the 20th century.”
America was founded not as a democracy, but as a Constitutional Republic—a community of individuals and states responsible to constitutional procedures designed to promote divided government. The 17th Amendment changed the process to make the Senate democratically responsible to the people rather than, as in a republic, responsible to the states.
It is no wonder, then, that so many other American principles have also ceased to resemble the constitutional principles of 1776.