Wednesday, August 31, 2005
South African creates Anti-Rape Female Condom. Snips: "A South African inventor unveiled a new anti-rape female condom on Wednesday that hooks onto an attacker’s penis and aims to cut one of the highest rates of sexual assault in the world.
“Nothing has ever been done to help a woman so that she does not get raped and I thought it was high time,” Sonette Ehlers, 57, said of the "rapex," a device worn like a tampon that has sparked controversy in a country used to daily reports of violent crime...
Ehlers said the “rapex” hooks onto the rapist’s skin, allowing the victim time to escape and helping to identify perpetrators...The device, made of latex and held firm by shafts of sharp barbs, can only be removed from the man through surgery which will alert hospital staff, and ultimately, the police, she said...
Ehlers, who showed off a prototype on Wednesday, said women had tried it for comfort and it had been tested on a plastic male model but not yet on a live man*. Production was planned to start next year.
But the “rapex” has raised fears amongst anti-rape activists that it could escalate violence against women.
“If a victim is wearing such a device it may enrage the attacker further and possibly result in more harm being caused,” said Sam Waterhouse, advocacy coordinator for Rape Crisis.
Other critics say the condom is medieval and barbaric** — an accusation Ehlers says should be directed rather at the act of rape."
*wonder where they're going to get volunteers? Maybe cadavers?
**This pissed me right off. Yeah, no shit it's medieval and barbaric. So is rape. Fire to fight fire, I say...
The funny thing is I once envisioned a sci-fi type story along similar lines. Only in my fictional world, women on some planet had evolved natural anti-rape defenses. Such as... acidic vaginal secretions that would only be rendered harmless with a certain state of arousal.
Will this work? I don't know. Once word gets out smart rapists would just check and remove it before commencing. And yes, might retaliate more against the woman for her audacity. Or might sodomize her instead. But maybe it'll launch an urban type myth that could provide a deterrent. It's worth a try. Afterall, it's not like anyone's coming up with any other plan to deter rapists *before* they strike...
Monday, August 29, 2005
Work is keeping me very busy lately which while on the one hand is great (job security!), sucks on the other hand since I can’t wallow in mucusoidal misery.
Things could be worse – I could be in New Orleans. I’m watching Hurricane Katrina in horror, wishing for once that I had expanded cable (CNN, etc.) or at least speakers/ working headphones on my work PC to catch the audio of the streaming video reports. Instead I just watch the detached stoplights flying down the street and provide my own commentary. Which is better than your standard “yep, getting pretty darn windy down here, Bob” that you get from network reporters.
My version: “Jane: Nothing much going on over here (where the Eye *didn’t* hit)…. .getting pretty windy/rainy. There’s not a Starbucks open anywhere within 100 miles. Chickenshits. Hey, look at the flying debris! How’s it going where you are, Bob (where the Eye is hitting)?”
“Well Jane, I was feeling pretty lucky to have drawn storm duty – I’m going to get a ton of face time. But then a half a building flew by and there’s not a laundromat open anywhere within 100 miles to clean the crap out of my drawers. Good think the network sprung for that hi-tech raingear that wicks away moisture – I don’t know what’s from the rain/flooding and what’s from pissing my pants. Guess it doesn't matter - this whole place is turning into an open sewer anyway.” A smart investor would have stocked up on hip waders this hurricane season.
Then I think about how miserable those people are (and are going to be for quite awhile). You're forced to evacuate, leaving behind cherished possessions, maybe even pets. Don’t know if you’ll even have a house to come home to. Your work/business/livelihood may be washed away, and even if you do have something to come back to, you’ll be trying to rebuild the shambles of your life in a stifling hot toxic environment with no A/C until they get the electricity back online could be weeks) and will likely be fighting off looters and other criminal elements with minimal emergency resources (police, medical, etc.) available.
Friday, August 26, 2005
Julie's Charlie is just a tad older than Duncan, so I often tune in to her blog to get an idea of what I can expect in the near future. After reading her account of a really shitty day today I had to swallow my snickers for fear of inviting my own shitslinging come-uppance.
Just so she knows she's not alone, here's D. in classic crank mode. Note cause & effect placement of cranky child and blessed blender. Bottle of rum and pina colada mix are just out of frame.
This week, cold medicine replaced the bottle of rum due to some evil little bug that has been spiking my food with microscopic razor blades for 4 days. Hence the dearth of posting recently.
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
And the rightwing’s below-the-belt skewering of Cindy (one of the mothers of fallen soldiers Bush claimed to have “loved” personally back on the campaign trail) is going over with the American people about as well as that Major League baseball strike a few years back. Everything they try to throw at her is just making them look like bigger assholes. Most normal people know you don't disrespect the Mama. To most normal people, motherhood is a sacred institution - you don't get between a Mama bear and her cubs. But then, wingnuts aren't normal. They seem to only respect the Mama when she dutifully fulfills her Old Testament role by keeping her famy fed, her uterus full and most importantly - her mouth shut. Bonus points for dying a painful death in childbirth.
Bush in particular must be tickling his intestines with his toes by now, he's got his foot shoved so far down his throat. The woman has lost her SON and he claims going bike riding is more important than helping her (and through her, the thousands of other mothers she represents) come to terms with her loss? Casey won't ever get to ride a bike. He won't get to teach his own children to do so. But I bet Cindy would be more than happy to accompany Bush on his little rides around the ranch. Heck, I bet she'd pony up and pull some tumbleweed just to help him multitask. He's got time for his biggest supporters - I'm sure he entertains them lavishly at the White House. But no time for Cindy? Pulleeze... ! It's not like she's asking for a night in the Lincoln bedroom or anything. Just a chat.
One thing that's got me fuming about this are all the wingnut pundits, commenters, bloggers, radioshow listeners, etc. who have the unmitigated gall to presume to know her son's political beliefs better than she, just because he wore a uniform. Like camo gives them some kind of telepathic insight into his mind. I hadn't realized the military was *that* technologically advanced! I get so sick of their blatant assumption that just because someone is in the military, or if they served/are serving in Iraq they MUST support Bush, agree with his pathetic justification for the war and praise his miserable handling of it.
I’m referring of course to the comments you hear/read to the effect that “if Casey were alive he would be ashamed of his mother” or “I’m sure he’s turning over in his grave”. I’m sorry, did they know Casey? Cindy indicates even her rightwing in-laws who made that statement disagreeing with her didn’t have a personal relationship with her son. But Michelle Malkin is supposed to have? What, did they date once? How in the hell would she know what Casey thought?
According to an interview I heard Cindy give, her son DID agree with her political beliefs before going to Iraq, and the only reason he deployed was out of a sense of duty TO HIS COMRADES. Not because he believed it was a noble mission. Not because he agreed with his commander in chief. And if you listen to any of the returning vets who are against the war &/ against Bush, you hear the same thing over and over. The only reason they are there is for EACH OTHER.
How dare they tell a mother who Bush demanded the ultimate sacrifice of – the loss of a CHILD that they, absolute strangers know her sons mind better than her? HOW DARE THEY??? Did they nourish him with their very lifeblood for 9 months before laboring in intense pain to bring him into this world? Not that giving birth to a child gives you special insight into their mind 24 years later, but it sure gives you a headstart. Did they change any diapers? Did they comfort him through long nights of teething and illness? Did they teach him how to ride his first bike? Walk him to school his first day? Play tooth fairy? Experience his devestation when he didn't get what he really wanted from Santa Claus? Help him with his homework? Comfort him through his first heartbreak? I don’t think so. The absolute arrogance is unbelievable – to tell a mother who has lost her child that her relationship with that child, her lifetime of experience understanding him is beyond worthless just because he was wearing fatigues when he was slain.
It would be one thing if she’d been estranged from her son before his death. But by all accounts, nothing could be further from the truth. Given that, I’ll bet that wherever he is Casey is watching his Mom & cheering her on, proud that she’s continuing to do the one thing he DID think risking his own life was worth – protecting his fellow soldiers who are still in harm’s way.
Because what so many who feel “it’s the military’s job to protect U.S. Citizens and an honor for them to die in that service” fail to realize is…. Just as it’s their job to protect us, it is OUR job as good citizens to protect THEM. They give up so many fundamental rights when they join up. They sacrifice so very, very much. Not just lives shattered, but bodies, careers, financial wellbeing – even families. Who is supposed to protect them? Who is supposed to make sure that the sacrifice we ask of them has meaning?
“We, the People” are, that’s who. With rights of citizenship come responsibility and this is one of them: responsibility for those give up their own rights to serve on our behalf, and in our name.
Thursday, August 11, 2005
Which we find hysterical.
So we start to laugh.
He gets this surprised look on his face and then busts into this huge grin and chortles along with us. Which makes us laugh all the harder. Somewhere between the tears of hysteria I manage to say in babytalk: “you are SO BUSTED! Yes you are! Who's got your number now? Mommy & Daddy, that's who!! Googiddygoo goo goo!”
I didn’t think infants were capable of such histrionic behavior until they were a little older (and they develop that wonderful puke-on-demand just as Mom & Dad leave for a night out ability) but now I wonder if there might be more goin' on behind those baby blues than I thought!.
Turns out I'm not the only one: Innovative Studies Reveal that Infants' Minds are Much More Emotionally and Intellectually Complex than Previously Believed.
I totally buy the jealousy thing. Duncan and the Dog have this adorable little mutual envy thing goin' on. If we ignore the dog and play with the baby Jinx will bring us every toy she can find in the house and toss it in our lap, hoping to initiate a game with *her*. And if we play with the dog and ignore Duncan, he starts grunting and kicking in frustration, only to smile disarmingly once he wins our attention. The other night, Curt made a big show out of taking Duncan's favorite rattle and pretending to chew on it blissfully. Christ on a cracker you should have seen the sideways LOOK of sheer betrayal he got! And the heartfelt SIGH! And the sad little dramatic closing of the eyes and dramatic look away. If he had more motor control I swear he'd have crossed his arms in a perfect pout.
Damn he's adorable! Yeah, he's so got our number. We're so screwed.
Thursday, August 04, 2005
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
I'm still trying to figure out what all this will mean for women's rights on the Peninsula. I believe Abdullah is more reform minded than his father, and the younger generations even more so. But perhaps the Wahabists (sp?) ala Bin Laden are getting a firmer grip. Time will tell, I suppose. In the meantime I'm hopeful.