Avoiding Male-Owned Businesses: Have Some Feminists Taken It Too Far?


Jia Tolentino of the New Yorker wrote this opening paragraph concerning The Women’s Strike of March 8 :

“Tomorrow is the Women’s Strike, the fourth of ten actions that have been called for by the organizers of the Women’s March on Washington. The strike was planned to coincide with International Women’s Day, and the march organizers, in tandem with a team organizing protests in forty countries around the world, have asked women to take whatever form of action their lives allow for. Take the day off from ‘paid and unpaid labor,’ including housework and child care, if you can, or avoid shopping at corporate or male-owned businesses, or simply wear red in solidarity. There will be rallies in at least fifty cities around the United States.”

OK, boycott the corporate masters for a day.  I love boycotts (against companies I dislike) as much as the next liberal (or conservative, I suppose), but the fact is that they don’t really work. But the smaller the business, the greater chance it has for success. Can someone explain to this liberal male why the organizers would risk marginalizing or outright alienating a small-business owner by including this? (I’ll deal with the anti-Israel part at a later time).

The part about male-owned businesses is not in quotes, so I don’t know whether to attribute it to Ms. Tolentino or the organizers of the strike. Comments are open, folks, but be polite and, if you can, well-reasoned.

 

 

 

Lazy Journalism Day: Aggregating stuff you prob’ly read anyway.


 

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Pentatomid bud nymphs aggregating on a plant in Bangalore, India. Photo by L. Shyamal and taken from Wikipedia

I’m occupied with other things today, but there’s always time to make it look like I’m  actually paying attention.

These things seemed worth reading today:

From the NY Times, on feminism’s embrace of anti-Zionism–which although they will scream to the heavens that it isn’t, indeed is actually a form of anti-Semitism–and the bind that it puts Jewish feminists in;

From the Atlantic, on why being poor in Bangladesh might be better than being poor in Mississippi;

This, from Vox.com on the Republicans’ plan to make us get sicker and die faster;

And this, about our increasing military involvement in Iraq and Syria.

 

Personal Stuff: Divorce + Fatherhood = The Worst, Most Painful Irony of My Life


I am sure that it is not an uncommon situation that I am in: I have two wonderful children, and an absolutely horrible ex-marriage. If I want to deal with my kids, I have to deal with this mess. Easy choice, but man, sometimes…

I’m not saying that the former wife is a horrible person, that she is x, y, or z (the variables standing for any number of derogatory adjectives or nouns that are used by divorced people all over the world to describe the other cohort in the crime of their coupling). I am willing to assert, though, that she is the ne plus ultra of the, hmmmm, how to put this, the epitome of the difficult former spouse; if in the afterlife she is to be judged by her co-parenting skills, let’s just say that it’s going to be a tough trip through Purgatory.

Nor am I saying that I’m some perfect or even good former spouse and co-parent. I wish I were made of tougher stuff. I wish that I could always do the right thing, that I could let every insult, every attack, every pointless (except for the point of hurting me) act of revenge for G-d knows what misdeed (the misdeed of wanting a divorce?), I wish I could let them all slip by. I have thinner skin than I would like to have. I don’t know how to make it thicker. (Maybe Sean Sphincter and I should attend a class on obtaining some tougher emotional armor.)

Were there no kids? I’d be gone. I’d fly away. I’d head back to Charleston without looking over my shoulder, and there would be no sequel. But there are the children, and they are the greatest thing in the world that has ever happened to me. I feel a glow in their presence. I love doing things for them. Watching them stirs such strong feelings that even when I worry about them, even when I am mad at them, even when they are purposely difficult, there is not a part of me that doesn’t want to protect them, to love them, to make the world a better place for them. I do not know if I would ever have had this depth of feeling for anything were I never to have had children.

I wish more of my time weren’t occupied by the strife. But here I am, slipping down the backslope of my life, having to force myself not to answer hostile texts, steeling myself not to strike back at things perpetrated out of pure vindictiveness, working to keep my mind on other, more pleasant things, and most difficult of all, trying to construct a view of my life that isn’t so filled with this regret at the painful paradox of being a dad thanks to the biggest mistake in my life; all this, in order that I might just let myself be filled with the wonder and the privilege it that it is to be that dad.

Polaroid of the Day


 

Too many books. The boxes are filled with books as well.   All my closets look like this. Shot with expired color film and a Polaroid One-Step.

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Today, a Pseudonym-ed Commenter Told Me to ‘Go to Hell’


The comment was in response to my last post, where I said that #45 had bugged the phones of anyone who ever tweeted ‘#notmypresident’, and then snidely remarked that there is no way anyone can disprove it. It’s the laziest and most obnoxious form of argument in the world (that was my point), because it’s impossible to disprove a negative.

The post was in response to #45’s completely unsupportable and absurd tweet that Trump Tower was bugged by the Obama administration. The tweet appears to be more a child’s lashing out than a well-founded accusation based on evidence.

Someone on WordPress found the post, and told me, simply, to go to hell.

I have to admit I was, and am still disturbed by this. A total stranger, someone who knows neither me nor my friends and family, wishes me dead, ostensibly for having a strong opinion that he or she doesn’t like. Hardly anybody reads this third-rate blog. It serves mostly as what I think of as my Walt Whitman space, but far less eloquent, poorly reasoned, and if it were on paper it would be guilty of the old insult, “not worth the paper it’s printed on.” (Let it be said in its favor, it does have bad pictures to go with it.) Yet someone found it, and then was so incensed by what I wrote that s/he wants me to not only die , but suffer in eternity as well.

I didn’t approve the comment for publication under the post for the simple reason that there are plenty of places on the internets where people can hurl invective at each other; it’s not my responsibility to provide more.

But I do have to admit: I am disturbed by this and wonder what the something is that’s happening here.

To the person who expressed the nasty sentiment: I have little doubt that I am–at least according to the criteria listed by many of the world’s residents–going there immediately upon my demise.

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