Posts tagged with "classism" - Faerye Net 2011-03-22T12:42:20+00:00 Felicity Shoulders How did we get here? 2011-03-22T12:42:20+00:00 2011-03-22T12:50:52+00:00 <p>Yesterday <a href="" target="links">Ryan</a> and I continued our Peter Weir kick (which has <a href="" target="links">already taught me</a> that Australia itself, not just its fauna, wants to eat you) by rewatching <a href="" target="links"><em>The Truman Show</em></a>. In case you don&#8217;t remember, Truman&#8217;s annoying TV-wife does forced, saccharine product-placement bits and nags him to have a kid to complete their suburban-perfection lifestyle. Her character-within-a-character is incredibly conservative, intrinsically conservative in the textbook sense: she functions to keep Truman the same; she is the caretaker of their retro, confined fantasy of a white middle-class heterosexual utopia.</p> <p>And, trying to smooth over Truman&#8217;s accidental glimpse into a backstage area through an elevator door, she tells him about an &#8220;elevator disaster downtown&#8221; caused by &#8220;those non-union workers. Monstrous!&#8221;</p> <p>I have to admit, this threw me for a moment. The climate has turned against unions so fast that this line, from a 1998 movie, seems nonsensical. Sure, thanks to a tip from <a href="" target="links">Camille Alexa</a> I know that <a href="" target="links">Ronald Reagan said unions were a basic right</a>. But in spite of his conservative canonization, Reagan was a while ago. In just 13 years, we&#8217;ve gone from an artificial shill of corporations and conservatism casually lambasting non-union labor to the <span class="caps">GOP</span> trying to break the back of unions across the country.</p> <p>I like to understand why things are happening. We all do: that&#8217;s why conspiracy theories are so popular, because lack of explanation is primally terrifying. But more, as a history nerd and someone who thinks in stories, I want to know how we got here from there. I&#8217;m going to have to read up on it, because it boggles the mind. It seems like a nationwide revolution has been accomplished by sleight-of-hand within my lifetime. How can the wind change so entirely in such a short time? Why is the history of labor in America so often hidden history, when this is a country built by greed and baptized in the sweat of workers?</p> Keep your opinion polls off my body 2008-08-15T17:52:46+00:00 2008-08-23T09:54:19+00:00 <p>I, personally, am entirely convinced by the Health and Human Services Secretary blogging that the <a href="" target="links">leaked draft regulation</a> doesn&#8217;t have anything to do with contraception.</p> <p>After all, redefining abortion to be possible <em>before</em> implantation (&#8220;any of the various procedures &#8212; including the prescription, dispensing and administration of any drug or the performance of any procedure or any other action &#8212; that results in the termination of life of a human being in utero between conception and natural birth, whether before or after implantation.&#8221;) based on, I kid you not, <em>polling data</em> (&#8220;A 2001 Zogby International American Values poll revealed that 49% of Americans believe that human life begins at conception. Presumably many who hold this belief think that any action that destroys human life after conception is the termination of a pregnancy, and so would be included in their definition of the term &#8216;abortion.&#8217;&#8221;) is totally innocent. Now, recently studies have indicated that oral hormonal contraception, even at emergency contraception levels, doesn&#8217;t seem to prevent implantation of a fertilized egg, but I&#8217;m pretty damn sure that polling data would not reflect that research, so that&#8217;s easy to get around. Science always is. Heck, the regulations are about the conscience of health care workers, so what matters isn&#8217;t whether the patient&#8217;s contraceptives prevent implantation, but whether the health care worker feels they will.</p> <p>The leaked document, by the way, is also worrying gay rights advocates who think the guidelines will allow health care workers to refuse treatment or medicine to gay and transgender patients based on their religious convictions. Woohoo!</p> <p>Here is the <a href="" target="links">leaked document</a> in <span class="caps">PDF</span>, and the Washington Post&#8217;s <a href="" target="links">original coverage</a>. Thrill to such features as (quoting the later article I first linked) &#8220;a major section of the draft regulation titled &#8216;The Problem&#8217; [that] cites state laws designed to make sure that women have access to birth control pills and Plan B.&#8221; Many of those laws are about emergency rooms providing emergency birth control to rape survivors. Isn&#8217;t it good to know our friendly <del>Gilead</del> U.S. Government really cares about its <del>handmaids</del> female citizens?</p> <p><b>Update, 8/23/08:</b> The rule has been <a href="" target="links">officially proposed</a>. This is not just dangerous because it&#8217;s vague or because it redefines scientific terms by popularity contest. It&#8217;s dangerous because the officials who are supposed to care about and provide for people&#8217;s health in this country assume &#8220;that a patient could go to another provider&#8221;, in short are unconcerned about widening the healthcare gap and denying services to those who don&#8217;t have the coverage, time off work, or transportation money to go to another provider.</p> Lake Oswego 2004-10-15T13:48:48+00:00 2010-08-03T11:10:07+00:00 <p>Lake Oswego is a beautiful, affluent community on the outskirts of Portland, centered around a man-made lake and bedecked with community improvements like thriving flower-baskets and pedestrian plazas. It is, without a doubt, a gorgeous place.</p><p>Chance brought me there once again on Wednesday and I putted down the avenues, admiring Mt. Hood, who seems to be in austere mourning for her <a href="" target="links">sister peak</a>&#8216;s current distress, so dark are her flanks in the summer melt. I ducked into a Starbucks looking for an easy WiFi fix (note to fellow laptop users: Starbucks WiFi Big Pain. Lake Oswego Public Libary reportedly free wireless mecca) and found myself surrounded by the very contradictions that make me uncomfortable with Lake Oswego even as I enjoy its beauty, comfort, and artistic offerings. On the patio was a woman, under 30, who without a doubt was actually attempting to look like Paris Hilton, in her current overwhelmingly pink phase. She had the supercilious pinched look, the exact cloying shade on, the clothes, and several hair extensions to make herself look even more fake. Why is Paris Hilton a role model? Because she was born into money? If arbitrary accidents of birth confer idol status, maybe they should be lining up to emulate my corduroy and denim wardrobe&#8212;after all, I was born the day after Paris Hilton! That&#8217;s as good an accident of birth as any! I stifled a giggle as the woman sipped a Frappuccino in affected boredom, and went inside.</p><p>Inside, it was one of the nicest Starbuckses I&#8217;ve ever seen. The music was classical and unobtrusive, they had far more than the normal ratio of comfy to hard chairs, and the selection of pastries was almost dizzying. I sat down with my treats and started wrestling with the WiFi question, and was treated to two carefully chic teenagers filling out job applications. &#8220;Our parents WON&#8217;T <span class="caps">BUY</span> US <span class="caps">OUR</span> <span class="caps">FIRST</span> <span class="caps">CAR</span>,&#8221; they explained in great distress to the teen already employed by our caffeine-vending overlords. &#8220;They say we have to get a <span class="caps">JOB</span>.&#8221;</p><p>I sat typing away on my little Puckster, trying to suppress a smile as I listened to them seriously assure themselves their answers dovetailed to questions about which coins to give customers in change and other basic arithmetic.</p><p>I really like Lake Oswego, but Lake Oswegans scare me&#8230; perhaps this is what America looks like to less wealthy countries&#8212;children of privilege in a parade of folly and vanity&#8230;.</p>