Skepchick Quickies 7.10

On July 10, 1553, Lady Jane Grey took the throne of England and ruled for 10 days. I know this might not seem like a big piece of history to post, but I’ve always been fascinated with the British monarchy.

BONUS: C3PO dropping mad beatz in 1986! (From Andy.) Also, how long does it take a snail to climb over a frog? (From Nicole.)


Mary Brock works as an Immunology scientist by day and takes care of a pink-loving princess child by night. She likes cloudy days, crafting, cooking, and Fall weather in New England.

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      1. I took that to be out Skepchick headline.

        But the answer is still definitely “no.” High poverty and large families are correlated and generational. That trend dominates demographic data. Only a privileged perspective would cause someone to pause and ponder whether only the rich can afford to have kids these days.

        1. I have a kid that I can barely afford (student loans, daycare, etc). I’m not complaining but more and more it does feel like a privilege to have children AND a house AND a bachelor’s degree.

          1. Word.
            I pretty much traded in the possibility of finishing my BA or buying a house for having four kids. Love my kids. Would have very much like to not have to trade my own future and security for theirs, but when you’re already dirt poor to begin with, being able to have personal financial or residential stability *and* kids is unlikely. I don’t regret my choice so much as I regret that I had no real choice besides have a family and be always one accident away from bankruptcy or don’t have kids and be two accidents away from bankruptcy.

            I’m not saying it would be impossible, but the amount of energy and will it would take to focus anything of substance on myself and be a halfway attentive, observant parent is more energy and will to fight than I have discovered I have. Was already ten years into being a full time employed single parent and three years into my BA when I got pregnant with #2. Am not volunteering to take on that level of stress again if it can be helped, so finishing my BA is going to have to wait until my own offspring are done with college, and then I’ll have to see what the job market is like for a future 50 something woman with a BA in English, a gender studies minor from a rural state school, and who’s been unemployed (for pay, at least) for about 15+ years. I’m guessing not good. Just guessing.

          2. Remember the place you occupy in society. You’re one of the lucky people who went to college. You get to sit around and think about when to have a child and weigh the impact it has on your social mobility.

            We talk about sex and gender privilege around here, but class privilege seems completely off the radar.

          3. It just seems that we shouldn’t have to choose between those things. In other, more socialist countries, people are able to hav educations, children, and own property without accumulating a crushing amount of debt.

  1. I read an interesting book in my political philosophy called “Beggars and Choosers”. While some aspects of the book I don’t necessarily agree with, I do agree with one of her theses that if you cannot make the reproductive choice because of something like economic reasons, then it really isn’t choice. While I do not think you should have multiples of children if you cannot afford them, I understand that then the woman is not really able to make that choice. Likewise, it is not a choice if you cannot get an abortion or birth control because of the cost or burden to get it. I think there is often a sense of false choice given in America, especially as it concern the lower classes of society.

  2. Yeah, I don’t think I’ll be paying to see Ender’s Game. His views have to be coupled with some significant activism on his part.

      1. It’s understandable. I loved the book too, for sure. I just look at it as Card just doesn’t need any more of my money. If the movie shows up on Netflix or on a cable channel next year, I’ll watch give it a shot then.

        Also, I personally don’t see how anyone could have gone into ‘Eragon/ thinking it would be good. Was not Jeremy Irons in ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ enough forewarning? ;)

        1. Hey Jeremy Irons makes Dungeons and dragons enjoyable to watch! :P

          As to Ender’s Game I wouldn’t see it because of Card’s views… but also realistically I still haven’t seen so many movies I actually meant to go see (Dark knight rises comes to mind) that it’s doubtful I would have seen it even with if I didn’t feel strongly about OSC.

          1. For anyone who’s bothered about Ender’s Game, it will appear for free on the internet at some point, surely? I always feel a slight sense of smug virtue whenever I watch Murdoch-owned sporting events on a shonky, free stream.

            As an aside, Orson Scott Card’s name is highly amusing to Britishers, as it is one letter removed from the rhyming slang for ‘fart’ (Orson Cart).

        2. I didn’t see the D&D movie! But I used to like Eragon the book (not so anymore), and I was committed to seeing the movie despite horrible reviews. I learned my lesson.

          1. Well in fairness my love of the DnD movie is as a so bad its good movie and I do know where you’re coming from we’ve all seen bad adaptations.

        3. Is there any evidence that the movie has much to do with the book? I mean, given the past history of movies with the same titles as well-loved SF books, I would assume that the two were unrelated until I saw evidence to the contrary.

          1. Well, movies are always somewhat different from books (or at least they should be), but thus far, trailers and everything I’ve read about it makes it seem to keep the same basic formula except Ender is by necessity a bit older as are the other kids. Some character alterations as well. But it is about a genius kid being molded in a crucible as the last best chance for the human military to beat the ‘buggers’. Looks to be relatively faithful an adaptation for whatever that’s worth.

  3. I am taken aback that a word like “rumors” is used to describe McCarthy’s views. Her stances on medical treatments, both in terms of what she supports and has admitted to doing (chelation and hyperbaric oxygen chamber usage, for instance, to “treat” her son’s autism) and what she doesn’t support (vaccinations) are abject and horrifically uninformed. Implementation of her views has literally led to dead babies.

  4. Not this “PETA kills animals” nonsense again. PETA don’t attempt to operate a “proper animal shelter” and they don’t claim to. They run a euthanasia clinic, or a “shelter of last resort”. You can take your sick animal there to be euthanised for free. They don’t trick anyone. Saying they can’t operate a proper animal shelter is like saying a junkyard isn’t a proper mechanic.

  5. Just listened to Hollie McNish’s poem about being shamed about breastfeeding in public, and would like to congratulate YouTube commenter
    misterteaificatio, who has this to say:
    “Hollie, if you want? something food-related to protest about, I recommend the way non-Muslim workers are intimidated during Ramadhan into eating in company toilets, so as not to ‘offend’ Muslims who are on a VOLUNTARY fast. But then I guess some people will always have the wrong priorities.”
    Congratulations, you win a big, shiny WTF?

  6. Hollie McNish rocks.
    Plain and simple. Her language is powerful and beautiful and her poems usually spot on.
    And I’m glad Germany seems to be a bit more tolerant of breastfeeding in public. I’d never have breastfed my kids on the toilet. If another guest thought that was the appropriate place for eating a meal they were free to take their plate there.

    1. I breastfed mine in public in Germany. I wore a blouse and just unbuttoned it enough to be still decent. The only person who ever remarked on it was my (British) mum.

  7. Babies; it’s not the binary choice – to reproduce or not – but the choice how many can you afford? If people really want kids they will have them, as we did, but if the combined income isn’t enough they’ll have less. So we stopped at 2 although we really wanted 3. The neighbours could afford to have 5 because they didn’t have to pay for their own house (yay well-off grandparents). Another pair we knew just had the one because they couldn’t
    afford to move to a bigger flat. I don’t know anyone who didn’t have kids at all because of the money. Most people have 2 or 3 because it’s a handy number, you still have a life.

    But then I live in Europe with state-assisted health care. If one of us had got really sick that would not have ruined us, though if one of us had lost our work we would have been in trouble. We did the maternity (and paternity) leave on our savings, together with the tax advantages for parents in Germany. Sometimes I regret number 3…

  8. The execution of Lady Jane Grey was the act that really made the protestant/catholic schism in England irreparable. Henry VIII’s move against the church was a purely political act. Even by the time of Elizabeth I the Church of England was still essentially Catholic in character. But the memory of Catholic persecution of dissenters under bloody Mary meant that the Protestant faction was fighting for their lives from that point on.

    A few months ago we went to Rome and visited St Pauls. One look at the inside is enough to understand the causes of the reformation. The Popes reduced Europe to a state of beggary to finance the building of a palace for themselves.

    The Borgias usually get a bad rap as the worst of the popes. But Jullius II’s attempts to restore the reputation of the papacy were far more damaging than anything that went before.

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