Human Rights Badasses











This is just really cool. Not like nose-thumbing-badass, but really cool. A prison in the Philippines started teaching dances to the 1500 prisoners, and it reduced the number of fights they’re having, plus it’s pretty entertaining. Several of the inmates are openly gay.  Look up the videos on youtube – my favorites are Thriller and Hail Holy Queen from Sister Act.

Prisons need a lot of work, I think. I get pissed when rapists and sex traffickers and johns don’t get enough prison time, but maybe I’m looking at it wrong to begin with. Maybe the amount of prison time shouldn’t be proportional only to the degree of shittiness of the crime, but to something more practical and more directly related to what will keep the crime from happening again. Because I don’t think prison actually works as a deterrent as much as it’s supposed to. I don’t think deterrents work very well in general. They work on people like me (not that I’m so great, just that I’m not into getting punished), but there are a lot of people out there who think they can get away with it and who want to do illegal stuff that badly, and they’re kinda right, you can get away with a lot of stuff.

Look at pedophiles, for instance. Their recidivism rates are pretty high, not like every one of them repeats, but like half do, I think. There’s a debate over whether it’s a disease, something they can’t help. Kinda looks like it is to me, at least partially. I don’t want to treat child abuse lightly at all, but I think we need to revisit our system and figure out stuff that WORKS.

I still get angry, though, when judges give rapists and child abusers short sentences because they don’t consider the crime very bad.

Another problem is prison rape. I think it’s disgraceful that prisons don’t do whatever is necessary to keep that from happening, and according to feministing, they don’t even watch out for trans prisoners, who are targeted more.

So anyway, there’s some good news coming from a prison, and something is working, or at least keeping them from beating each other up. : ) I’d like to see a trend like that.

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I’m. So. Jealous.

Because as far as I know, no hateful person has called my state the Land of the Sodomite Damned, which probably means we’re not doing enough right. No, definitely. But Fred Phelps generously bestowed that appellation on the state of Minnesota for its tolerance of homosexuality. His daughter blamed them and their tolerance for the bridge collapse that just happened, which is so sickeningly cruel that I don’t even know what to say. Now I don’t want to generalize and name every single Minnesotan a Badass, but a commenter on http://www.feministing.com who’s from Minnesota wants Land of the Sodomite Damned on their license plates, which sounds pretty badass to me. That’s a cool way to handle an insult from someone grounded in hate. His comments, not to mention his protests at soldiers’ funerals where he blames gay tolerance for 9/11, are hurtful and disgusting, but there’s no reason to lend him any credence.

So let’s laugh instead.

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Not only did good ole MN give homosexuals some protection under the law and then refuse to repeal it (not that there aren’t any gay rights problems there), but they also just made birth control less ridiculously expensive (from feministing). That doesn’t really qualify as badass, it’s more of a straight-forward laudable really, but while we’re on the topic…

Why would it be so important to make birth control inexpensive? I mean it’s not like poor people have lots of unwanted pregnancies and don’t have the means to support large families or anything. And it’s not like women are more likely to be poor and malefit* disproportionately from unwanted pregnancies. And it’s not like having birth control that women use (like the pill instead of the condom) is important because of things like rape and men who refuse to wear condoms. So I really don’t get why it’s such a big deal. I mean if you want to have sex, well, you better be able to afford it, either by paying for full-price birth control or paying for a kid, ok? You have to earn the right to have sex by making money. And that’s fair, because meritocracy is totally real. Bad things never happen to good people and if you work hard you’ll get rich. So if you want sex badly enough, you’ll get off your lazy butt and get lucky in the stock market or get yourself adopted by rich people. Gosh.

So now that we’ve decided that affordable birth control is really not something you want to support, here’s a petition to sign saying that you want the price of birth control to go down. I toggle a lot between sarcasm and sincerity, I know.

*a word I made up meaning the opposite of benefit. From Latin male, badly, contrasted with bene, well. I’m hoping it will catch on, because I find it very useful. I’m a big proponent of generative morphology.

PS – How can anyone who’s read the Bible seriously refer to homosexuals as Sodomites? Read the damn (sodomite damn) story. Ha, I wonder if Fred Phelps thinks butt sex is damnable but offering your two daughters to be gang raped is perfectly acceptable. Yes, Lot did that, yes, Lot, the “righteous man.” Somehow they forget that part when they talk about it in church, it’s just one of those things that slips people’s minds. But one time I talked to someone who did remember it, but acted like it was ok because the daughters later turned out to not be perfect themselves (they committed incest in order to keep their father’s line going – another problem with patriarchy). You see, only perfect people deserve not to be offered for gang rape. You have to earn human rights. And if a woman does something bad, that proves that the Bible isn’t sexist. Case closed!



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