This happened in January so excuse my tardiness.
The new division is the “Conscience and Religious Freedom Division” and it has been put in place to help health care providers avoid consequences for failing to treat people with whom they have fundamental religious disagreements. Like – say – gay people.
The division is, ironically, part of the Office for Civil Rights and when the new division was announced, director Roger Severino said, in part:
No one should be forced to choose between helping sick people and living by one’s deepest moral or religious convictions
No, Roger, they shouldn’t be forced to make that decision. So if they want to be a pharmacist but don’t want to fill prescriptions for birth control, they should be encouraged to find a job where being a judgmental prick doesn’t make it hard to do what they were hired to do.
Medical professionals are supposed to want the job because they want to help people. Not because they want to help some people. And the government certainly shouldn’t be in the business of protecting assholes who don’t want to operate on a gay man because he’s a gay man.
Welcome to the religious freedom crusade. It is the right wing Christianity tantrum that has been started in the wake of legalized same sex marriage. Those who want to push their own moral code on others have been told they don’t get to do that on a grand scale so they figure they would like to make it personal.
Sure, you two gentlemen can get married. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it and to prove it, I’m going to refuse to treat one of you. Or refuse to sell you a wedding cake. Or refuse to give you CPR. And I want to be protected because GOD.
I just think you should look at the picture first. Because it says a lot.
First off, the doll section in Target is way bigger than that. Second, what is that behind the doll in the yellow top? Isn’t that a white doll? Third, interesting how she chose names that are traditionally “ethnic” to make her point. Fourth, who stocks dolls lying sideways? Maybe someone taking a picture to share on Twitter so she can become internet famous for being racist?
And fifth – even if what she said was true (and it wasn’t) – wouldn’t “too many” dolls of color be a good thing? I mean these are probably all of the black dolls in the toy section. I’m not sure how many Hispanic or Asian ones there were. Maybe more. Probably less.
The number of white dolls (outside the frame) were likely at least twice the number of dolls of any other ethnicity.
But this girl thought it would be great to point out how racist it was that there were eight dolls for black girls who may have wanted a toy that resembled them.
Once it was pointed out that her picture was bullshit, she apologized for being insensitive (good) and eventually deleted the Twitter account.
This is what People of Color deal with every day. When there is a little bit of representation, someone complains there is too much representation. There is this idea that being white is supposed to be the default setting and any time someone who isn’t white shows up, they are stealing what is supposed to be ours.
We get to play life on the easy setting but we feel like it isn’t easy enough.
Look – this sort of thing just doesn’t happen to guys. I keep bringing it up but that is only because there is some subset of the human race that will respond to this story by saying “what’s the big deal?”
The big deal is she posted a fun little picture and a bunch of people harassed her because she’s a girl and they don’t think girls should be working in comics. That’s the crux of it.
There are guys out there who think women ruin comics simply because they are involved. It’s like they think comics are the one geek medium that is reserved just for them. What with Star Wars being completely overrun with women, they really need something in this crazy world that isn’t covered in girl cooties.
So they decide to take it out on a group of women who were having lunch. Because they worked in the wrong industry.
And no, this isn’t all guys. This isn’t even most guys. This is some tiny subset of guys who feel they are losing power because the comic industry is hiring women. Not a lot of women. Not enough women. But more than zero.
If we pretend that this subset of guys isn’t a problem, though, we don’t get it. Because if a bunch of male professionals in comics posted selfies, nobody would give a shit.
It shouldn’t happen to anyone. The fact that it happens only to women should piss us off. We shouldn’t be talking about how few people are doing this. We should be talking about how nobody should be doing this at all!
Bad Headline Theater
Dear liberal friends. We had a bad election. We are going to have a bad run here and the conservatives are going to do a lot of stuff that makes us angry. At least fifty percent of the time, our anger will be justified.
Some of the time, though, we need to make sure we understand what is making us angry.
Earlier this week, a friend posted this article with the headline “Dino’s Gyros Cans Employee who Took off for ‘Day Without Immigrants’ Protest.”
Now it is true Dino’s Gyros canned an employee who didn’t show up for work and it is true that employee was taking part in the day without immigrants protest. This headline would make you think Dino’s Gyros were Capitalist fucks who didn’t give a shit about causes important to their employees.
And let’s be fair – they may be.
The truth, which we see if we read the whole article, is that they admitted they should not have fired him because he was participating in a legal strike and they offered him his job back with a raise. He turned it down.
Then there is this story which has the headline “Oklahoma Legislature Just Passed the Most Oppressive law Against Women in History.”
In this case, the law in question is pretty horrible. It requires a woman to get permission from the father before she has an abortion, which is some seriously misogynistic bullshit because it takes a woman’s control of her own body away from her.
But – and given the headline this is super important – the law hasn’t passed yet. Later in the article you will read that it has only been passed out of committee.
And believe me, if the legislature actually passes this law as it is written, I’m going to be bringing it up again. And I will find an opportunity to refer to Oklahoma lawmakers as “controlling gibbons who care about the lives and health of women only slightly less than they care about the lives and health of babies once they are born” when that happens.
All the bad laws in the world don’t justify a headline that is demonstrably untrue. In a world where the term “fake news” is used as a weapon, we have to be doubly sure we are precise.
Most people who read my column are, like me, from Minnesota. If you aren’t from Minnesota, you probably know that the weather this last week was – in the language of the locals – “chilly.”
A couple of guys decided it would be extremely nice if US Bank Stadium would allow homeless people to take shelter there because football stadiums are huge and the weather was deadly.
And they were right. It would have been extremely nice.
So what they did was start a rumor that US Bank Stadium was going to do exactly that. They tweeted how the Vikings were totally willing to open up the stadium and the city just needed to approve it. Essentially, they wanted to force the city and the Vikings to do what they wanted by trying to make everyone look like assholes if it didn’t happen.
The city and the Vikings basically said “uh – no – that rumor is false and we can’t really do that” for all sorts of reasons including the fact there was a football game in the stadium at noon the next day and the stadium is not set up or staffed to be a homeless shelter.
Now it’s easy to say that they should have let folks in anyway but then you have to figure out how to get them out in the morning before the football fans started to show up at 10:00 AM. It just isn’t something that can be done without – you know – planning.
However, because this fake news story was picked up as being a real news story, some homeless people made their way to the stadium for shelter. Shelter the stadium was not equipped to provide.
And when the rumor mongers were called on their bullshit ploy, they basically said “why are you angry with us when the stadium was the one who didn’t provide shelter?”
Guess what assholes? Neither did you.
You were pissed about public funds paying for the stadium (I am too) and you decided that the Stadium should do something that was important to you. Not important enough to, you know, open your house to a homeless family or work at an existing shelter. No, it was just important enough for you to create a fake story and then act like a whiny toddler when it didn’t work.