Senator Todd Akin’s political blunder into the world of gynecology has taught politicians a much needed lesson: The time has come for men to stop talking about women’s bodies in public. Nearly four decades ago, Roe v. Wade taught legislators a variation on the same theme: the time has come for men to stop legislating what women do with their bodies.
In 1973 Roe v. Wade castrated American men from their phallocentric role as dictators over women’s bodies, but like Moby Dick rising from the depths, males blindly rise in brutish fury over their impotence. The scene in an Ohio court-room yesterday of a 6’5 high school basketball star Tony Farmer fainting after the judge sentenced him to three years in prison for robbery, assault, and kidnapping of his former girlfriend who he was caught on video-tape dragging by the hair like some prehistoric Fred Flintstone across a hallway floor, is but symptomatic of the worldwide presumptive ownership of women which men feel in the marrow of their bones to be their gonadal entitlement.
Ever hear of the Napoleonic Code, in which a woman and her assets became the “property” of the male she married, well into the 1900’s, even in America?
Bully for the Supreme Court and Roe v. Wade which told the Fred Flintstone mentality in America you can no longer legislatively drag your woman to the birthing center by the hair after having your way with her.
What drives religious right crazy about Roe v. Wade is not so much the violation of the sanctity of life, as it is the violation of the phallocentric tyranny American males traditionally exerted over women’s bodies under the rubric of Jesuic or Mosaic religions
Until 1973, that is, when nine men, dressed as scared crows (two of whom dissented) told all American males to mind their own business.
Some, like Senator Akin and Tony Farmer, still haven’t taken the cue.
Every generation has it buzzwords, its jargon, its verbal codes which it throws around to reassure itself that it is "progressing," that its grasp of the human condition is more firm than the grasp of the preceding generation, and that indeed, we are on the cusp of arriving at utopia.
I find these phrases particularly irritating.
Here are some of them which educators, politicians and health care providers throw around these days.
You can be sure these buzzword combinations will be in the air for the next decade or so, and people will actually think they are making sense when they use them.
You can also be sure if you hear them come out of someone's mouth that the brain attached to that mouth has stopped thinking, has grinded to a halt, and is simply repeating what it thinks you want to hear.
Here is a short list:
21st first century (you fill in the blank : teaching; health care; education; infrastructure)
These are but a few of the terms which the New Utilitarians use to describe the super-efficient machine which they predict our lives, our health care, our schools, and our businesses (everything except Wall Street) will become and which they, the priests of Utilitarianism, are already on the path to achieving, as signified by their incantatory mouthing of these phrases.
Note: (Skype and Scalpel is already upon us)
I have just finished reading an illuminating and rather chilling article in the current New Yorker entitled "Big Med" about the coming revolution in health care which will transform the "greasy spoon" of ad hoc medicine into an efficient streamlined machine, whose practitioners are employees of hospital chains, much like McDonalds. These chains will "produce" health care on assembly lines guided by the consensus thinking of medical analysts who have determined what are the "best practices" in everything from knee replacement to Intensive Care Unit efficiency, even going so far as to have regional control stations which monitor Intensive Care Units, for example, via televised images, whose nurse and physician managers interrupt the on-site nurses and doctors from television screens mounted in the ICU (such Control Stations already exist) to alert them to incorrect medication dosages, improperly installed oxygen feeds, etc. Big Brother (ooops)--- Big Med indeed.