Friday, January 11, 2008

Random Pop-Culturey stuff

Imagine the weirdest snack-food flavors you could ever encounter. Multiply the weirdness quotient by about 10, and you have the snacks at Squid-flavored potato rings? Check. Teriyaki Chicken Chunks? Bingo. Grilled-Cheese Sandwich and Ketchup potato chips? Yep. Holy Mary mother of God, what possessed these people to perpetrate such atrocities upon the munching public? What on earth made Tyson think that "Chicken Chunks" would be an attractive name for a snack food? To me, that's right up there with "Lard Nuggets" and "Nacho Shards." Ugh. On the other hand, I guess you could keep some around the house for use in the event that there's a poisoning and there's no ipecac available.

Next up: There's a movement in Colorado--which, I'm sorry to report, has become Evangelical Nutjob Central--to pass an amendment to the state constitution that would declare a fertilized egg a 'person,' and entitle it (notice how I'm using the impersonal pronoun, because at that point the egg is neither a he nor a she) to all the rights that a person is entitled to. The author of the amendment is a very conservative, "religious" (I use that term in the pejorative; I also consider myself religious, but do not pretend that my religion/spirituality gives me the right to dictate to others how they should make major, fundamental life decisions) 20-year-old law student named Kristi Burton. She says the amendment has nothing to do with abortion, merely that it would establish rights of personhood for fertilized eggs. I call bullshit. Anyone with half a brain can see where this is headed. If the amendment passes, then abortion is suddenly equivalent to murder, or at least manslaughter. What about a woman who is ruled to have a miscarriage because she didn't follow doctor's orders? Manslaughter again. Someone who doesn't eat well or take prenatal vitamins? A child abuser, or at least guilty of child neglect (though it would be interesting to see how the state would can't exactly remove a week-old blastocyst from its parents' custody). Not to mention the fact that some contraceptives act by preventing a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus...would that be considered manslaughter as well?

I have to say, this is close to my own heart. I had to take emergency contraception once (after a violent rape that occurred while I was at college) and the thought of being prosecuted for trying to piece my life back together by avoiding pregnancy, or the thought that I might be required by law to carry my rapist's child to term, is abhorrent. It is not only deeply sexist, it not only betrays a lack of critical thought on the part of the pro-egg lobby--it is cruel. I was a psychological wreck for quite a while after the assault anyway; I can only imagine how much worse it would have been to have to cope with a pregnancy as well. I can hear the arguments already: Don't punish a child for its father's sins. Or, more popularly, Pregnancy from rape is so rare that it's not a possibility worth discussing. Unfortunately, if you estimate that there are about 94,000 rapes per year (see statistics here on the FBI's web site) in the USA, and assume (as is generally accepted) that a single incidence of intercourse will result in pregnancy 8% of the have 7,520 pregnancies per year as a result of rape. True, it's not hundreds of thousands. But I think it's far, far more than I could stomach.

1 comment:

sej_50 said...

hey anne! i forgot your email, but i just wanted to say hi and check in and see how/what you're up to. i hope you're doing well!
sarah (edu)