Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Dear Al Franken - I <3 you!

This is just a quick hit, as I'm furiously finishing my thesis this week, AND, ZOMG, Elizabeth Minnich is coming in for the Philosophy Department Conference and busy, busy, busy . . .

At any rate - every once in a while there is a news story that on the one hand seems to talk about the progress society is making toward not being horrifically misogynistic, which is nice what with all the talk about domestic violence being a pre-existing condition, women losing access to reproductive health care under the health care reform, pretty much everything attached to the health care debate really just emphasizes how much this society hates women, like a lot! However, I habitually over-think things and wind up instead feeling a little sad that this is even under debate.

(Trigger warning)

Like what Senator Al Franken (D, MN) did - get an amendment passed as part of the defense appropriations bill that says that our government shouldn't give defense contracts to contractors who encourage their employees to rape- er, that is, restrict their employees from going to court to put their rapists on trial. Which is really kind of impressive to me that this is even legal - I mean, when did corporations covering up rape become ok? Because, really, what else does enforced arbitration in cases of violence mean? Open season on women? Does that mean that defense corporations are run by psychopaths who are incapable of empathy? Some people might think so . . . not that I'm trying to start that rumor.

Of course the Defense Department didn't like the amendment, but then, the Defense Department is pretty much indistinguishable from the defense contractors, what the hell do they care about the law, or about people . . . And mysteriously, all 30 of the people who voted against the amendment that said we shouldn't give people money to rape people were men with a little (R) next to their names. Women voted against paying rapists, Franken had to argue with some men, but 30 men in the Senate think that the US government should give contracts to contractors who don't believe that their employees should not be raped. Here's the roll call.

So, again, why is it that this is being debated? I mean, taking away any actual empathetic, moral concerns, like why you would vote for this amendment because you were actually fucking human, let's think about this from the perspective of an amoral, filthy person who's job depends on people thinking you're an ok kind of guy - perhaps you vote for the nice amendment, perhaps you don't want people to think that your party is the party of people who prefer defense contractors to people. Or maybe you want to be known as the party that hates women.

Who knows - but this is why I can't feel good about this the way I'd like to be able to. I just can't get excited about Al Franken (who's a super-nice wonderful guy) having to make an argument that we should make defense contractors let the law protect their employees. Or how about why anyone should have to make an argument that we should care enough about women that we want to prosecute rapes.

But we don't.

Which is why I love kitties.


  1. Well, we all know that rapes should be prosecuted. Seen any Roman Polanski films recently...? probably shouldn't iron your cats. I'm sure they don't like it too much and PETA probably doesn't go for that stuff.

  2. Hmmmmm. . . I think I hear a moral argument in there. Remember, legality and morality don't always play nice. (Well, morality does, but legality eventully pulls out a gun.) Should this even be a debate? No. Do we need laws like this (ultimately ones that police morality)? Yes. It's sad but true. Unfortunately not every subscribes to the moral acronym WWKD.

  3. I think that if everyone stopped and asked themselves - what would K do - this world would be a better place. I'm very reasonable.

    E.U.0 - Alex moped for like a week after we took that ironing board away. He's a weird cat.