Setting A Great Example: Picket The Allergic Kid!

I wish I were fucking kidding.  Apparently a group of parents of students at a Florida elementary school have had their compassion and empathy surgically removed, resulting in their willingness to fucking picket the school to try to have a first-grade girl with severe peanut allergy kicked out.

They're apparently upset because they think the procedures the school has put in place - to quite literally protect the allergic child's life, I might add - are "intrusive" and are "wasting academic time".  So, what protective measures are so onerous that they warrant community outrage and picketing the school?

Having lunches stored outside the classroom, and students having to wash their hands before coming in and after lunch.

That's apparently worth walking a picket line outside the school with signs saying things like "Our children have rights too!", "Who's paying for all of these special measures?", "Where is the happy median?", "How much academic time has your child LOST!", and, inexplicably, "No Dogs".  One parent was on-camera as saying "It's not fair for one kid to set a standard the rest of the kids have to abide by."

I don't even know what the fuck to say to this.  I genuinely don't understand how a group of parents, supposedly responsible adults, thinks it's okay to picket a school to get a kid thrown out for having a fucking allergy that could kill her.  Yes, let's teach our children to accept other people and play nice, unless you think you're being inconvenienced by someone else's disability - because as the report notes, the school is required to accommodate the girl's allergy because it counts as a disability under the ADA - and then it's time to break out the protest signs and make a huge fucking fuss and try to get them kicked out of school.

And those signs!  "Our children have rights too!"  I'm sorry, but if you think your child's right to not have to wash hir hands trumps another child's right to an education free of life-threatening circumstances, you're clearly a Republican sadly misinformed and also a gigantic douchenozzle.  "Who's paying for all of these special measures?"  What...I don't...I wasn't aware that hand soap was that expensive in Florida.  Perhaps you could take up a collection at church?  "Where is the happy median?"  Can I reach through time and space and slap you across your stupid fucking face, please?  There is no "happy median" when you're dealing with a FUCKING LIFE-THREATENING ALLERGY.  Good fucking gods, what is WRONG with you?  Your "happy median" by definition means insufficient precautions taken to protect the girl's health, which means asking for a "happy median" is asking to compromise the safety of another child so your child doesn't have to be inconvenienced.  If you really feel that's a reasonable request, you should absofuckinglutely NOT be a parent, or in fact have any responsibility for any living creature bigger than a packet of yeast for baking. 

Let me tell you about my experience with a life-threatening peanut allergy.  There was a boy at my elementary school who had a severe peanut allergy.  Parents were notified, and it was carefully explained to us that if Tim was exposed to peanuts or peanut butter or anything having peanuts in it, he could die.  Even if he didn't eat it, but one of us touched him with a hand that had peanut butter residue on it from a sandwich at lunch, he could die because that's how allergic he was.  And we all said, "Wow, that sucks.  Okay."  So accommodations were made.  You'd be amazed what kids are okay with, if you just explain that it's what has to be done to protect one of them from dying.  A couple of us grumbled when, instead of having peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at the camp we went to that year, we had baloney and cheese sandwiches instead, but that was really the extent of it.  And I'd bet the kids of these dangling taint-hairs aren't anywhere near as upset at the "inconvenience" of accommodations made for this girl as their parents are making them out to be.

But no, now they're going to absorb even more thoroughly the selfish, disablist messages of our culture through their parents' public hissy fit:  You do not ever have to accept inconvenience for anyone else's sake.  It's okay to complain and make a fuss if you're ever asked to accept minor changes in order to protect someone else's health or life.  Accessibility, despite being the law of the land (on paper, anyway), is not important.  What's important is that the abled kids aren't inconvenienced in any way by the temerity of the disabled kids to exist and participate in public life.

Go fuck yourselves, you entitled, privileged dipshits.

Selfish Women Who Don't Have Babies

But I repeat myself; of course women who don't have babies are selfish.  Not having babies is a selfish thing to do.

Can I just say how fucking sick I am of hearing that resentful undertone of blaming childless women for, like, pretty much everything that's wrong with this country?  On its face, the claim is that *abortion* is the problem.  Abortion and/or "anti-family policies", depending on who you ask, which tends to be code for contraception funding, no-fault divorce and same-sex marriage rights.

This has come up twice in my reading today, both times via Right Wing Watch (and much love to RWW for being one of the main sources of material for this lil blog of mine).  First off was former-Senator Frothy Mix, claiming that the reason Social Security is having issues is because of abortion:
“The reason Social Security is in trouble is because we don’t have enough workers to support the retirees, well, a third of all the young people in America are not in America today because of abortion, because one in three pregnancies end in abortion...these demographic trends are causing Social Security and Medicare to be underfunded.”
Damn those selfish women, having fewer babies - or having them on their own time instead of whenever they happened to get pregnant (1/3 of women who abort say it's because they're not ready for a/another child), or choosing to stop having children (60% of women who get abortions are already mothers, and 38% say they're aborting because they've completed their childbearing) instead of emulating Michelle Duggar's 18-child family.  If not for them, we'd have more workers and therefore more money in Social Security!  Although he's actually wrong; one in three women will have an abortion at some point in her life, but the total number of pregnancies (not counting miscarriages) that end in abortion is actually closer to one in five, not one in three.  Not that facts have ever stopped these assholes, but I'm still a fan of them, so. 

Shortly after that, there was the email from Tea Party Nation - I see that the Teabaggers are totally just a fiscal conservatism movement, yes, not synonymous with the current conservative movement at all, of course, and it's totally not about race or abortion or gays or any of those social issues, nope, just the taxes. /sarcasm - claiming that White America is dying out because of "public policies promoting infertility".  Like, for example, those focusing on:
...reducing unwanted pregnancies, delaying child bearing to further career goals and even promoting childlessness and promoting adoption as a better option.
Child bearing has become something distasteful to many women, an unwanted and painful experience to be avoided rather than embraced.
This is even less subtle.  The problem is clearly stated: women are avoiding childbirth instead of embracing it - well, white women, anyway, which are the ones that matter here, as the guy who wrote this is clutching his pearls over the fact that immigrant populations supposedly have a higher birthrate than white people - and trying to further their career goals and not have unwanted pregnancies.

Let me just repeat that for emphasis: this guy is outright saying that reducing unwanted pregnancies, furthering one's career goals instead of giving it all up to have babies, and childlessness are the problem, and that [white] women should be embracing the baby-making in order to keep Real Americans™ from being outbred by those undesirables brown people "immigrants, both legal and illegal."

And yet I notice that, despite rather unsubtly leaning on the premise that women in control of their fertility is bad for the economy/Social Security/white supremacy, neither of these shitballs actually really talks about women and what this would mean for us.

Because neither of them, it seems, is willing to recognize that the point of view - I hesitate to call it policy, as it's a bit nebulous for that - they're advocating comes at a very real cost to the people upon whose bodies they would see their ideals enacted.  Women's bodies, to be precise.  It's to be expected from the Religious Reich, I suppose, yet another attempt to enforce their morals on women's bodies without ever mentioning women at all, making it all about everyone who's affected except the women themselves.

Let me set this straight:  Women are not the problem here.  Not the childbearing ones, not the childfree ones.  A person may choose to have children for selfish reasons, or may choose to not have children for altruistic reasons.  Pressuring women to make a mass exodus from the workforce and put aside their birth control and have as many babies as god gives them will not fix this country, or this world. 

Of course, it would provide a nice, steady supply of expendable labor for corporations to squeeze every last ounce of profit out of.  And it would keep a solid 50% of the population under firm control and keep them from making trouble.  But if you think those are benefits, you are clearly on the wrong damn side of this war.


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