Monday, October 16, 2006

Op-ed roll call

Here are several recent op-eds of note:

Philadelphia Daily News, Deborah Leavy: Arlen the Chameleon
What's tragic is that a man like Arlen Specter, smart enough to know better, with more power than he has ever had, seems to be so intent on keeping his job as chairman of the Judiciary Committee that he has forgotten to consider his legacy.

Sadly, it will be that he let the Constitution be torn to shreds.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Tony Norman: When government snoops, all groups should be afraid
Americans of all political persuasions should be appalled that nonviolent citizens' groups are being monitored. Intolerance toward people of conscience is an indicator of the government's attitude toward the rest of us.

NY Times, Bob Herbert (subscription required): Why aren't we shocked?
In the widespread coverage that followed these crimes, very little was made of the fact that only girls were targeted. Imagine if a gunman had gone into a school, separated the kids up on the basis of race or religion, and then shot only the black kids. Or only the white kids. Or only the Jews.

There would have been thunderous outrage. The country would have first recoiled in horror, and then mobilized in an effort to eradicate that kind of murderous bigotry. There would have been calls for action and reflection. And the attack would have been seen for what it really was: a hate crime.

None of that occurred because these were just girls, and we have become so accustomed to living in a society saturated with misogyny that violence against females is more or less to be expected. Stories about the rape, murder and mutilation of women and girls are staples of the news, as familiar to us as weather forecasts. The startling aspect of the Pennsylvania attack was that this terrible thing happened at a school in Amish country, not that it happened to girls.

Usually when women's rights are referenced here at SF, it is in relation to reproductive freedom but fighting for gender equality is much broader. I would encourage you to check out national's Women's Rights Project as well as The ACLU Freedom Files episode on women's rights.

Andy in the HBG


Anonymous Anonymous said...

RE: NY Times, Bob Herbert: Why aren't we shocked?

I think we are shocked. Or shell shocked. But the idea that this was some sort of ideological "anti-feminist" hate crime rampage is a bit far-fetched. I think it is assumed that his selection involves his sexual orientation, not an ideology. If he were homosexual and had rounded up the boys it wouldn't be seen as a hate-crime either.

4:03 PM  

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