I’ve been under the proverbial weather today — which is too bad really, because the weather here has been freakin’ fabulous. I’m told that San Francisco is normally chilly and rainy at this time of year, but it’s been spectacularly clear and beautiful for days.
Feeling fairly shitty may have prevented me from doing stupid tourist stuff today (and from seeing Iggy Pop tonight at the Warfield with an old friend who had an extra ticket goddammit). But it certainly did not prevent me from wallowing in my misery in bed with my laptop, listlessly poking around on this site or that blog. Thus, I present to you the highlights and/or WTFs of my day:
You keep using that word “honor.” I do not think it means what you think it means. The President of Afghanistan has graciously pardoned a rape victim who was jailed for being raped (a.k.a. ‘adultery by force.’ Srsly.). Now, she may have to marry her rapist “to restore her family’s honor” — or they might, you know, kill her, because that would be honorable. She was brutally raped in 2008; the assault left her pregnant and she gave birth to a daughter in prison a year ago. CNN tracked down her rapist: he agreed she would likely be a target once she’s out of jail, and it would be her family, not his, that would kill her because of the “dishonour.”
Lest you think treating rape victims like shit happens only with those Islamic Shariah types, think again: there are religious kooks like Michael Crook who believe that there is no such thing as a living rape victim, because if a woman (or a young child) did not fight to the death defending her “virtue,” then whatever happened to her was entirely her own fault. There are prominent Americans who believe that women cannot be raped by their husbands, and apparently plenty of people who agree with them: in 1993, North Carolina became the last U.S. state to finally remove the spousal rape exemption. That was less than twenty years ago. Insurance companies deny medical coverage for rape victims with a variety of excuses, including exclusion on the grounds of a “pre-existing condition” because victims were previously raped — in one case 17 years earlier. Some insurance companies have allegedly denied sexual-assault victims mental health treatment on the ground that it is “not medically necessary.”
I could go on, but instead I’ll move on, to a piece entitled The infantile style in American politics by Gary Kamiya at Salon. The essay is an in-depth commentary on the absurd state of affairs that is the Republican party. (“The Tea Party’s sense of limitless outrage, its bizarrely overwrought rhetoric of betrayal and dispossession, is closer to the rage of a toddler than the reasoning of an adult… ‘Won’t raise taxes! Don’t care if we default! Waah!'”)
Last, Rick Santorum is still an epic assclown. I know, it’s crazy, right?
Well, that’s all I got. All in all, not a terribly productive day. But it could be worse: at least I do not have the dreaded Man Cold.