Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Echidne Whines

Here comes the payment for reading this blog free. You get to listen to my whining. It's all about that series on health care costs I told you I was going to write. Well, it gets born, opens its mouth and speaks academese. Then I put it back in the mental womb and start the process again. And out it comes, talking about morbidity indicators and regression analyses. Gah. I'm such a bad mommy.

That was the first whine. I can repeat it quite a few times if you want to catch the rhythm. Or you could just go and read my much better article on what's wrong with our health care system and how to change it. This series could be very good, too, if it somehow learned to speak simple English.

My second whine has to do with that mommy business. Read Patricia Williams' take on the octuplets and how that links to the way we view women as walking wombs. The whining is because of the simultaneous invisibility of women in so many other ways and the incredible visibility of our ovaries and uteri and vaginas. When I first started blogging I considered calling myself Olive The Omnivorous Ovary. Boy, am I glad not to have done that now! But the joke is still there and it's not funny.

It would be fun to do a reversal on all that focus on women's pelvises (pelvii?) by counting the numbers of children of all male anti-feminist pundits, by discussing their fertility, its timing and their qualities as fathers, and by noting, in a rather loud voice, that Pat Buchanan (who's always on about white wimmin not breeding enough) has exactly zero offspring himself. As far as I know. Poor dried husk of a man he is. No wonder he's all full of vitriol, given his lack of fecundity. It sounds funny when you reverse the thoughts, doesn't it?

The treatment of Nadya Suleman and her octuplets in the comments threads of various newspaper articles and blog posts has been horrible. As Katha Pollitt points out, she's the woman we hate this week. Either she's ill and deserves our help and empathy or she's not ill. You can't have it both ways. But I have also been struck with the large number of comments who regard her case as somehow representative of something (the dangers of welfare, the Obama administration and its impact, the permissive society, horrible women, loose women, gold-digging women) and not as the truly unusual case it seems to me to be.

My third whine: I'm tired of the dark and the snow.