Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday Five: Soapbox Edition

  1. I'm mad at Kelly Clarkson. Get your eye-rolling out of the way now, Rachel. I like Kelly. I love the song "Breakaway," and it's the reason I have all her albums, except the most recent one. I've been resisting buying it because of the hit single, "My Life Would Suck Without You." I do not like the message this song sends, in particular the line, "Either way, I found out I'm nothing like you." I can't listen to that song without shaking my head at those lyrics. What kind of message is that to send to all the 13-year-old girls that love her? And what self-respecting female would release a song with that message in it? It's the whole "You complete me" messaging again. The idea that we are incomplete, pathetic, or nothing without another person infuriates me. And it doesn't matter if the other person is a boyfriend, parent, sibling, etc. And the song is about a dysfunction relationship, which makes the sentiment far worse.

  2. Miss California USA Carrie Prejean. Enough already. I don't care if she lost her title because of her stance on gay marriage or for violating her contract. I will say this: freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences. Just ask the Dixie Chicks. And they don't represent a company with an image and brand to protect.

  3. The uproar over Judge Sotomayer's "wise Latina women" comment. Yes, as the nominee for a vacancy on the Supreme Court, she is accountable for her opinions, public comments, etc. No problem questioning this comment. But man, it would be nice if people factored in context and background before making assumptions. I've read the entire text of the lecture this quote came from. Very interesting thoughts on the role our backgrounds, heritage, culture and experiences have on decision making. A good read. Here is the context.

    "Justice O'Connor has often been cited as saying that a wise old man and wise old woman will reach the same conclusion in deciding cases. I am not so sure that I agree with the statement. First, as Professor Martha Minnow has noted, there can never be a universal definition of wise. Second, I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life.

    Let us not forget that wise men like Oliver Wendell Holmes and Justice Cardozo voted on cases which upheld both sex and race discrimination in our society. [Holmes ruled to sterilize a woman against her will because "three generations of imbeciles is enough."] Until 1972, no Supreme Court case ever upheld the claim of a woman in a gender discrimination case. I, like Professor Carter, believe that we should not be so myopic as to believe that others of different experiences or backgrounds are incapable of understanding the values and needs of people from a different group. Many are so capable. As Judge Cedarbaum pointed out to me, nine white men on the Supreme Court in the past have done so on many occasions and on many issues, including Brown.

    However, to understand takes time and effort, something that not all people are willing to give. For others, their experiences limit their ability to understand the experiences of others. Other simply do not care. Hence, one must accept the proposition that a difference there will be by the presence of women and people of color on the bench. Personal experiences affect the facts that judges choose to see. My hope is that I will take the good from my experiences and extrapolate them further into areas with which I am unfamiliar. I simply do not know exactly what that difference will be in my judging. But I accept there will be some based on my gender and my Latina heritage."

    Whatever you think about Judge Sotomayer after reading that is not important. What is important is that you read it and came to a conclusion. Based on the dialogue we've been reading and hearing in response to her comment, how many TV, radio and print media personalities do you think looked into her comment before decrying her a racist or unfit for the Supreme Court? Very few I would guess. Get the facts before making a decision. I encourage you to read the entire text. You can find it here.

  4. I don't have a lot of patience for other people's emotional instability. Maybe this makes me a bad person, but I can't help it. Whatever your emotional issues and needs are, don't bring me into it. I won't indulge you because it is not good for you. Get yourself together! (Can you tell I'm an extremely rational person, which could be considered my issue.)

  5. I ran out of soapbox topics. I'm about to walk out the door and head to a free outdoor concert along the river. Fun times!

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