Feminism is the Pitts

Mr. Leonard Pitts, Jr. pens on Sunday to say, regarding Feminism

“I’m not a feminist, but … ?” That’s a fraud. It’s intellectually dishonest. And it’s a slap to the feminists who prepared the table at which today’s young women sup.

To be sure, feminism in it’s older form, is a good thing. That is, equal rights for women and the ability to control their own destiny has benefited society greatly. What Leonard is fed up with is the current association of this F-word with militants, being anti-men, and the old notion that it was only for the advancement of ugly or uncomely women. Well, thanks to some who shall remain nameless, this association has been earned… fraudulently or not. If you were politically/socially aware during the 90’s (let alone the 20 years prior) you had to be at least a little aware of this association.

And then there’s this problem with “empowerment” part:

A generation of parents and educators have pushed to ensure that girls have the same opportunities as their male counterparts, with notable results. In 2007, for example, it was girls who dominated the national math and science competition sponsored by Siemens. But a growing number of reports show that the message of equality might have a downside.

Teenage girls now equal or outpace teenage boys in alcohol consumption, drug use and smoking, national surveys show. The number of girls entering the juvenile-justice system has risen steadily over the past few years. A 2006 study that examined accident rates among young drivers noted that although boys get into more car accidents, girls are slowly beginning to close the gap.

So, is this the kind of feminism we want for our young ladies? Like my wife, the WhirlyDaughter will be a feminist in the traditional sense. Clearly, any clear thinking person finds the positive in “…access to birth control** …equal pay for equal work ….fight against rape and violence against women.”

However, empowerment will walk hand-in-hand with responsibility. As it always should.

I’m not saying I agree with Leonard; I don’t on most things. I’m sure we’d split hairs on a few things here knowing what shapes his world-view (**i.e.: abortion and Plan-B do no qualify as birth control to me). But, generally, we agree that some words get unduly associated with negative connotations and as long as there’s an uncomplicated explanation on why you’re reclaiming that phrase, it’s probably not a big deal to try to resurrect its usage.

Face facts, though, Leonard… the F-Word has a lot of baggage to overcome. Especially with empowered women like Lori Gottlieb.

You’ll find one of my favorite, empowered female bloggers here.


Biofuels not the Whole Answer

Not saying that biofuels are bad, but by no means are they a good answer to the Global Warming Crisis(tm). Scientific American highlights a Princeton University study printed in Science Magazine that summarizes…

“Prior analyses made an accounting error,” says one study’s lead author, Tim Searchinger, an agricultural expert at Princeton University. “There is a huge imbalance between the carbon lost by plowing up a hectare [2.47 acres] of forest or grassland from the benefit you get from biofuels.”

Turning food into fuel also has the unintended consequence of driving up food prices, reducing the access of the neediest populations to grains and meat. “It’s equivalent to saying we will try to reduce greenhouse gases by reducing food consumption,” Searchinger says. “Unfortunately, a lot of that comes from the world’s poorest people.”
“We are converting their food into our fuel,” Tilman notes. ” The typical driver of an SUV spends as much on fuel in a month as the poorer third of the world spend on food.”

So, bad for the environment AND the poor AND the economy? Not saying it couldn’t work in some areas of our economy, but to those that think that this is the Golden Ticket of energy independence, think again. That is, unless, you no longer care about Saving The Rain Forest(tm).

I’m a conservationist, myself, but I still get a kick out of watching the super-enviromaniacs eat one another over these issues. In the meantime, me and the fam will continue to keep our driving to a minimum and maximize our use of our local mass transit. KTHXBAI.

…oh…. So what would I propose then, since I’m attempting to being a smarty-pants? I’m still for invading Saudi Arabia and claiming control of the oil fields*. In the meantime, I’m all for a nuclear-based economy. Please feel free to give the litany of reason of why that/I is/am bad/evil.
*yes, that was said, specifically to get your dander up

For the Love of Pete…

We have yet another an itsy-bitsy, tiny, baby problem….

In their bipartisan zeal to quickly cut a deal on an economic stimulus bill, GOP lawmakers overlooked something that will certainly inflame the conservative base…. illegal immigrants could receive a tax rebate check from the government.

Shouldn’t this inflame all Americans?