Friday, January 02, 2015

First Friday Post of Small Posts in 2015: On Kierkegaard and Trolls, Catholic Hospitals and the Ultra-Orthodox Fear of Women

1.  This is a fun story about Kierkegaard and trolls.  I'm not sure how exactly we can apply that to online trolls and demons.  Some of them might fall into that pattern, others are just from a different part of the darkness.

2.  The prominent role of Catholic hospitals in the US can cause serious problems for women's health care.  That's because in theory a woman who is miscarrying slowly might not be given the best possible care if the fetus is still alive, say.  But the question of sterilizations affects not only women but also men.  What happens to people who have only Catholic hospitals in the area where they live?  Where is the role of the government in this?  As in guaranteeing that all citizens have access to basic services.  Or are the religious rights of others more important?  The kinds of rights which work on your body, by the way, whatever your own religion might be.

3.  An international flight was delayed for half an hour because ultra-Orthodox men refused to be seated next to women.   That's because women have cooties and are disgusting.

That's my interpretation.  The ultra-whatever-religion groups would tell us that it's because men cannot touch women who are not their blood relatives or their wives.  Are men expected to go haywire and ravish anything female within an arm's reach (and not go haywire if it's your niece who sits by you)?  But somehow not go haywire if they are two arms' reaches away?

My guess is that the religious rules about this in Judaism and Islam are  about having sex with all sorts of strangers, and that it is the sex that is banned, not sitting next to someone or shaking someone's hand.

I'm reminded of Sheri Tepper's science fiction books.  In one of them a prophetess tells the people of a certain planet that they shouldn't let anyone mess with their heads.  In another book, taking place thousands of years later, those people now worship the prophetess and have a very strict rule that they must never ever cut their hair.