ParentingSkepticism

Monkeys and High Hats, August 13

Hello and welcome to this late edition of Monkeys and High Hats.  My goal was to have this up about 12 hours ago  but there was a combination of Valium and other life things distracting me.

Forgive me, skeptics, for my tardiness.  Or don’t, but if you choose not to, you have to show up at Mahoney’s on Saturday to issue my punishment (sentencing guidelines call for Bombay Sapphire gimlets at the expense of the offended party).

Either way, here are your Olympics-free Monkeys and High Hats after the fold.

Good news about baby bottles! You know how letting your babies drink from bottles will cause bisphenol A to leak into their drinks shrinking their genitals, making them infertile, lowering their IQ’s, leaving them dateless for prom, and causing them to make gay snuff films in your basement?  Well it turns out that while, yes, BPA does leak out into bottles, but not in amounts large enough to do any harm.

I guess I moved into a basement-less house for nothing.

Monkeys to Danica McKellar for bringing the awesome once again.  As if writing Math Doesn’t Suck wasn’t rad enough, she just wrote a second book for pre-teen girls called Kiss My Math: Showing Pre-Algebra Who’s Boss.

A couple of excerpts from the excerpt on her website:

So, what does “Kiss My Math” mean?

It means: “Um, excuse me, I’m going to do whatever I want with my life, and I’m sure as heck not going to let a little math get in my way.”

and

And if anyone tells you it’s impossible to be fabulous and smart and make a ton of money using math, well, they can just get in line behind you—and kiss your math.

Sassy, sexy, snarky and smart, I have a serious internet girl-crush on Danica.

(Monkey to reader Paul for the heads-up)


I’d like to take back everything bad I’ve ever said about Comcast, and apologize by giving them a monkey.  Comcast is giving me a free* Wii!  I’m debating whether this promotion is better than the Pampers promotion that gives vaccines to babies in third-world Africa.  It’s a close call.

I’ve been wanting a Wii since before I got my first Atari, so Comcast are my heroes this week.

*Free for signing up for Comcast service. They didn’t ring my doorbell and say, “Hey, we’ve got this extra Wii that no one wants. It’s free.  You want it?”

First, hats to me because I believe this was sent in by a reader, but I can’t seem to find who sent it in.   Second, hats to Britain’s Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority for their decision to cut a rape victim’s compensation by 25% because she “contributed” to the incident by being drunk.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) told 29-year-old Helen, whose drink was spiked before she was raped four years ago, that she would be awarded $15,696 rather than the standard $20,928 because, “The evidence that we have shows that your excessive consumption of alcohol was a contributing factor in the incident.”

You know, because if she wasn’t drinking, she wouldn’t have a drink for some guy to spike.   Leaving her glass out there in the open was obviously an implicit invitation to drug her which is practically giving consent (25% of the time anyway.)  Or maybe she was slutty enough to be wearing make up and a skirt and therefore was totally consenting to roofie sex.

The saddest story I’ve heard in a long time: Baby Manjhi was born July 25 by a hired surrogate mother in India to Japanese parents with the husband’s sperm and an anonymous donor egg.  Unfortunately, the parents divorced before Mahjhi was born.  The Japanese mother has decided she no longer wants to be a mom and is not going to claim Manjhi as her daughter.

The surrogate mom is not about to get involved.  She was hired to carry the baby to term and her job was done.

The happy news is that the father desperately wants his daughter.  The sad news is that when he arrived in India with his mother – Manjhi’s grandmother, he was not allowed to bring her home because she cannot be issued a passport without her mother’s consent.  So he decided he would adopt her – his biological daughter.

But India said no way.  A single man has no business adopting a girl.

And in the whole mess, CNN reports,

Then, with Manjhi stuck in legal limbo, she became sick and had to be hospitalized. Without her birth mother around, the tiny child refused to eat and became dehydrated. She also contracted septicemia.

Her father and grandmother were heartbroken as they found themselves in a legal mess with a sick baby girl in a country where they didn’t know the law and didn’t speak any of the languages.

There is a chance she may be going home to Japan with her father, but it’s still uncertain.

On to more baby ridiculousness.  Hats to NBC’s Baby Borrower’s aftermath episode.  The first 15 minutes of the hour long episode was spent talking to the teens about how raising kids was way harder than any of them thought.  The rest of the episode was stupid filler about how the teens slept in the same beds together (with an Abstinence-Only-Educator-On-the-Spot to consult) and a half hour on the “teen pregnancy epidemic”.  And guess who’s to blame for the epidemic.  Why. the media, of course.  Teen girls are getting pregnant because Jamie Lynn Spears was on the cover of some magazine holding a baby and Juno won an Oscar.

Maybe it’s been a while since I’ve been a teenager, but I’m pretty sure that any girl who gets pregnant because she saw someone in a movie do it is probably getting pregnant anyway, and her pregnancy risk is likely only number 4 or 5 on the list of the problems she already has.

I have an idea!  Instead of blaming the Spears family for everything wrong with society, how about we, as a society, take responsiblity for our kids.  Let’s take responsibility for educating them about sex and what happens when you have it and how to avoid unwanted pregnancies.  Let’s talk to them like the intelligent human beings that they are and let them know that abstinence is the only 100% fool-proof way to avoid things like STDs and pregnancy, but if they choose not to abstain, there are other options.

Nah, forget it.  If people started doing that, there would be no sensationalism to panic the parents of teenagers.

That’s all for this week!

Elyse

Elyse MoFo Anders is the bad ass behind forming the Women Thinking, inc and the superhero who launched the Hug Me! I'm Vaccinated campaign as well as podcaster emeritus, writer, slacktivist extraordinaire, cancer survivor and sometimes runs marathons for charity. You probably think she's awesome so you follow her on twitter.

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35 Comments

  1. Abstinence is NOT the only 100% pregnancy prevention method. Homosexuality is also shown to prevent pregnancy with amazing efficacy!

    And that rape victim was obviously asking for it because she was DWV (drinking with a vagina). When can we get to the part where we all agree that rape is always completely the fault of the rapist?

  2. I just finished reading the thread about parents having or not having the right to educate their children in the way they see fit. I’m bringing my daughter to be abstinent until she’s married (that’s the official story) or at least VERY sure that she’s in an extremely long-term relationship (that’s the reality). But according to that other thread, that’s indoctrination and I shouldn’t be allowed to do it if that’s deemed by I-don’t-know-who to be too judgmental …

    … my brain hurts.

    I have to admit there are some things that will be easier about raising my son. Autistic children aren’t in much danger of getting their girlfriends pregnant, since that would involve, you know, eye contact and touching and stuff. I wish with all my heart that he wasn’t, but dang … I can’t say I’m sorry to skip the teenage-boys-hormones-condoms conversation.

    *sigh*

  3. Improbable Bee:

    I have no problem teaching kids that abstinence is a good idea. Personally, I doubt I’m going to go the “until marriage” route, but Moose still thinks his penis is a surprise form of entertainment during diaper changes so I still have some time on that issue.

    I do have a problem with ONLY teaching kids about abstinence. The reality is that your kid may not choose to wait, and if that happens, she better be armed with some solid facts about what happens if they don’t use protection.

  4. The reality is that the vast majority of kids aren’t going to wait. I don’t think I know anyone that did. The fact is: any parent of a who thinks their teenage child is a virgin is about 50% likely to be wrong. That goes up to about 90% by age 18, maybe higher. You can try to teach your kids not to have sex, but it simply doesn’t work. The 10% as a lower instance in households that try it than in those that are more open to the idea of the sexuality of their offspring.

    Unless you’re also pushing your kids to get married when they’re 15, tryint to teach them to wait until marriage is a waste of time at best, and more likely just counter-productive to your stated goals.

  5. You know, I’d had a crush on Danica McKellar since watching her on Wonder Years. So when I saw Math Doesn’t Suck in the bookstore the other day, I was thrilled! “My dream girl is also a math geek and an author! *Le Sigh*”

    … Then I noticed the bottom right of the cover had the words: Horoscope Inside.

    I feel she deserves at least half a hat for that.

  6. A rape victim asking for it?
    Even if she stripped naked, sat on a bar stool with her legs spread, then said “No touching.”

    “No” still means no.

    I believe that we humans have long since evolved control over our basest instincts. By the same token, it irks me a little whenever I hear about a woman getting away with killing or maiming her husband because she had PMS. Or a woman getting away with killing her children because of PPD. So is it maybe a similar thing when a man “loses control” of his hormones and commits rape?

  7. Yeah, both concepts make me ill. I couldn’t count the number of women I’ve been naked with and didn’t rape, even if they were drinking. I don’t know the specifics of the case, but even if the drinking did somehow manage to “contribute” to the rape, would a person who was drugged while they were drunk and then robbed to told “You get less because you contributed to it, too”? Somehow I doubt it.

  8. The new news about the rape victim’s compensation was that the decision to reduce it has been overturned: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7555299.stm

    So, hats to whoever made the original decision, but a monkey to the people who’ve reversed it and acknowledged that the rules have been wrongly applied in 14 other cases. One hopes that these 14 other victims have had their full compensation awarded in the light of this decision.

    Does everyone have a duty of care to him or herself? If you get so wasted that your judgement and actions are impaired and you walk into traffic/cut yourself instead of the bread while you’re making a sandwich/fall off a balcony you could be said to be failing in that duty of care. This could be extended to someone who gets completely off his/her face in an unsafe environment and ends up having non-consensual sex.

    I’m not defending rape. Rape is WRONG. But if you accept that you have some responsibility for your own safety, then you can at least see where the original decision to reduce compensation came from.

    Discuss?

  9. “I couldn’t count the number of women I’ve been naked with and didn’t rape, even if they were drinking.”

    I’ve been in that situation too, but not so many times I’ve lost count. What an interesting life you must lead.

  10. What an interesting life you must lead.

    I try to.

    As for the duty to care for oneself, yes, people should protect themselves. You shouldn’t leave your keys in the ignition when you go into the store, you shouldn’t walk through dark alleys alone at night when you’re drunk and flash around a wad of cash… but you should be able to. It is 0% the fault of the victim in these cases. Unless you get drunk and stumble and stumble onto someone’s penis, I reject the analogy to cutting yourself or wandering into traffic.

  11. “Does everyone have a duty of care to him or herself?”

    That’s how I feel about the women who actually go home with someone and then are shocked when he forces himself on her. It’s still absolutely wrong of him of course, but women do need to be careful of us men.

    This is why I don’t drink. Not for fear of rape, though I suppose that could happen, but because I wish to keep control of my faculties.

  12. Burning Man? Nah, not my bag. I did work the Ren Fair circuit for a year, though, and there’s more than a little overlap there. Then there was the remote beach-house where I used to live – that lent itself to more than a little drunken nudity, especially with bonfires on the beach…

    I think this about sums it up

  13. Yeah, I have a lot of Ren Fair type friends, mostly pagan, so I know what you mean about the Burning Man overlap.
    And I’ve visited my fair share of nudist beaches and resorts whereat there were many bonfires and much drinking. (And not a single rape, to my knowledge).
    And I also have very long blonde hair
    Dude, I’m a homeopathic (you know, watered down) version of you! :)

  14. I am glad they overturned the rape decision. I agree that women should care for themselves, and I always tell my female-friends that they need to be careful since 99% of guys are douche bags. But, sometimes you do get too drunk, and you can’t care for yourself. It happens to the best of us. That is why traveling in groups is good. At least one person should be sober enough to care for the hammered guy or girl in the group.
    I also blame guys for rape most of the time. Like I said, many of us guys are just plain idiots. Unless the girl is raping the guy, which does happen.

  15. It was an over-exaggeration. I have way too many she-friends that have been hurt in one way or another by guys. Maybe some day we can do a study to find out how many guys have douche-baggy ways, that way I can throw a real percentage out instead of a terribly exaggerated one.

  16. It isn’t exactly like douche-bag has a standard definition, anyway… I’m sure there are perfectly valid definitions of the word that would apply to 99% or more of males, just like there are perfectly valid definitions of “bitchy cunt” that would apply to 99% or more of women.

  17. Rystefn -> I am glad we can agree on something! I have had my fair share of bitchy girls in the past. Though the number of bitchy ones has statistically decreased with age IMO. But I think that is a whole different issue.

  18. “It isn’t exactly like douche-bag has a standard definition, anyway”

    I did not think of that.

    I should have gotten a definition of douche-bag first.

    Then we could all be on the same page.

  19. Can I nominate Protesilaus’ comment for COTW?

    “And lest not forget, there are a lot of other places to put your penis that isn’t a Vagina…but most aren’t as much fun for both participants, so take turns.”

    Taking turns for the win.

  20. Comcast got monkeys? Wah.

    I’ve suffered Comcast’s unreliable service, taken off work numerous times to meet their techs (because their phone support people can never help), been put on hold for 45 minutes and then disconnected (more than once), and many other annoyances since 2000, when I first got cable internet.

    I finally decided I’d had enough (two weeks w/o internet this month) and cancelled them. I switched to DSL (I know, not as fast but so far at least it WORKS) and I have a package that includes home phone, satellite TV, and internet for $99/mo. That’s a savings of $60/month with more reliable service.

    If Comcast’s management offered me a Wii, I’d politely tell them to shove it up their ass.

    I give high hats to Comast and monkeys to AT&T!

    (Sorry, evidently this has become one of my hot buttons)

  21. Yeah, Only thing that makes a Wii worthwhile in my book is the classic games you can DL for it, and when I wnt to play those, I just play my old NES. If it was a $150 SYSTEM, i MIGHT PICK IT UP. fOR $400

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