Sunday, July 11, 2004

Ah, China

And, I just have to share an almost blistering review of China Mieville's latest, Iron Council. As the SF/F genre has a terrible tendency to overhype/overpraise their own, it was nice to see somebody take China to task for some of the purple prose.

He's got some great stuff, fantastic ideas, and I fully intend to own all of his books. But yes, having a hard core editor would likely do his work some good.

Matthew Cheney has some critique and discussion of the review at the always good Mumpsimus.

Pro-choice feminist vs. Pro-abortion Femi-Nazi?

According to this article 52% of Republicans polled believed a woman's right to choose whether or not to have an abortion was a personal choice, and Roe vs. Wade should not be overturned.


Substantially fewer Republicans than Democrats defined themselves as "pro-choice" even when they articulated pro-choice values, responding that they believe women "should have the full range of reproductive choices such as abstinence, contraception, motherhood, adoption and abortion."

Slightly more than half of the Republicans and 84 percent of Democrats called themselves "pro-choice," although, 70 and 92 percent, respectively, support a full range of reproductive choices.

I find the use of labels fascinating. The side-stepping with the above reminds me of the "I'm not a feminist, but..." line that many people who support women's rights/equality will parrot in that divine dance around the scary word "feminist." Like the confusion over "pro-choice" meaning "pro-abortion" (which is does not), I think there are still a number of people who become confused with the term "feminist": Does that mean you have to hate all men?

Choice and equality are not either/or scenerios. We've already proven that "seperate but equal" is just spin covering up deeply rooted biases. Maybe it's time to look past labels.

Same Story

I've just finished reading Susan Faludi's Backlash (yes, I know, it's a classic I have no excuses for not getting to sooner). It's a fantastic, slightly exhausting and anger-provoking book about the backlash against women's rights in the 80s.

Now I'm reading about the latest on the mess of sexual harrassment against women and blatantly unequal pay and opportunities for advancement for women at Wal Mart (the US's biggest employer, according to the Guardian).

I'm not sure why it's so difficult for men to treat women like people. Does that mean they'd have to go back and redefine themselves? If women are "people" what does that make men? Just people too, I guess.