You swing like a boy.

Profiling and stereotyping–we are all guilty of it in some way or another whether we realize it or not.

For example, the other day my husband had taken my son (6 y/o) to his fall ball baseball practice. Apparently, my son’s hitting was not too great. My husband proceeded to tell him that he was swinging the bat like a girl.

Now, if you are female then you are thinking the same thing right now that I thought when my loving husband told me that he said that.

“Hold up…wait a minute…you told him what?” (Those were my exact words and I bet that is similar to what you are thinking in your mind right now. Some men out there wondering what is the big deal…like my hubby was after he told me what he told our son.)

My loving hubby demonstrated the swing that our son was performing and again said that he was swinging like a girl.

I told him that a girl can swing a bat just as well as any boy can and that I have seen some pretty wimpy swings in the boys little league over the years. When you say that he is swinging like a girl that is putting all girls in the category of being inferior to all boys because they can’t swing a bat as well as a boy can. It is a put down to all girls–period. Anytime you tell a boy that he is swinging like a girl or running like a girl or whatever like a girl; that is putting girls down. That kind of reasoning and teaching is wrong. It is teaching our son that girls are not as good as boys and that boys are better because they have superior skills.

He didn’t get it.

But I do.

Oh, he understands what I am saying but he doesn’t think that telling our son that he swings like a girl is going to cause him to grow up thinking that girls are inferior to him because he is male.

If you don’t believe me when I say that it is a put down to all girls when you say that a boy swings like a girl, runs like a girl, hits like a girl, or throws like a girl, then I suggest you watch one of my all time favorite movie—The Sandlot. The Sandlot 2 is a good one, too.

Here is an exchange that occurs between kids in the movie, The Sandlot.

[the Sandlot Kids and their arch-rivals come face-to-face]
Phillips: It’s easy when you play with rejects and a fat kid, Rodriguez.
Benny: Shut your mouth, Phillips!
Ham Porter: What’d you say, crap face?
Phillips: You shouldn’t be allowed to touch a baseball. Except for Rodriguez, you’re all an insult to the game.
Ham Porter: Come on! We’ll take you on, right here! Right now! Come on!
Sandlot Kids: Yeah!
Phillips: We play on a real diamond, Porter. You ain’t good enough to lick the dirt off our cleats.
Ham Porter: Watch it, jerk!
Phillips: Shut up, idiot!
Ham Porter: Moron!
Phillips: Scab eater!
Ham Porter: Butt sniffer!
Phillips: Pus licker!
Ham Porter: Fart smeller!
Bertram: [sniffs] Ahh.
Phillips: You eat dog crap for breakfast, geek!
Ham Porter: You mix your Wheaties with your mama’s toe jam!
Sandlot Kids: Yeah!
Phillips: You bob for apples in the toilet! And you like it!
Ham Porter: You play ball like a giiirrrrrrrrl!
[entire group stands in shocked silence]
Phillips: What did you say?
Ham Porter: You heard me.
Phillips: Tomorrow. Noon, at our field. Be there, buffalo-butt breath.
Ham Porter: Count on it, pee-drinking crap-face!

Oh, it is a classic. I find it interesting that there are all these different insults being slung back and forth and the one insult that is so shocking, so insulting, so unforgivable is that “You play ball like a giiirrrrrrrrl!” Playing ball like a girl is worse than not being good enough to lick the dirt off cleats, worse than being called a jerk, idiot, or moron. It is worse than being called a scab eater, butt sniffer, pus licker, or fart smeller. It is worse than a geek eating dog crap for breakfast, mixing Wheaties with your mama’s toe jam, or bobbing for apples in the toilet…and liking it.

The worse insult that you can sling to any little boy on the baseball field is that they play ball like a girl.

My point is that without even realizing it, my husband was passing along stereotypical thoughts and impressions to my son. My husband is not sexist, but that is how stereotypes, racial biases, and profiling are impressed upon us and our children—subtly, unknowingly, and for the most part, innocently. Of course, there are exceptions because I know that there are plenty of racists, misogynists, misandrists, and a whole lot of other hater-ists out there in the world.

Anyway, people need to think critically. I shouldn’t assume every man thinks that he is superior to me because I am a woman. My husband shouldn’t assume that a girl’s swing is inferior to any boy’s swing. Somehow, telling my daughter that she swings like a boy just wouldn’t have the same effect as saying to my son that he swings like a girl.

Now, this story is leading you up to something else that I have been pondering about the last couple of days. It has to do with stereotyping and profiling. I can’t go into all the different cases of stereotyping and profiling because that would take forever, so I will go with the story that is in the news right now—Professor Gates vs. Sgt. Crowley, with a little interference from President Obama on the side.

Every police officer out there is not racist. Not every African-American is a criminal. After doing some research, I believe that the entire incident between Professor Gates and Sgt. Crowley is unfortunate and unhelpful toward healing race relations in our country. I think that Sgt. Crowley was doing his job, while Professor Gates was upset that he was being questioned about his right to be in his own home. Any person would have been upset if they were tired from a trip and just wanted to get home and were being questioned by the police because someone was concerned enough to call 911 and report a possible break in.

I would like to think that in retrospect that the Professor is pleased to know that people in his community care enough about each other to step up and make that call.

Will this cause people to become wary of calling 911 and getting involved because they do not want to have their motives questioned or be called a racist? Will this cause people to not give eyewitness accounts because they do not want to describe race or seen as racially profiling? Will this cause police officers to pause before acting or questioning someone because they would not want to be labeled as showing a racial bias? Will this cause police officers from doing their jobs to protect and serve our communities because they do not want to be accused of being racist?

Was it really necessary for President Obama to speak about this case?

Oh, and what signal does sitting around having a beer to solve a problem send to all those folks in AA that are trying to overcome the urge to drink when faced with a problem?

Mary Wollstonecraft is my hero; however, I am resigning my position as a feminist.

I understand wanting to be equal and that is why Mary Wollstonecraft is one of my all time favorite people.

What confuses me is that The National Organization for Women, which is supposed to be for all women’s rights, are definitely not for every woman.

They certainly do not represent me. Since I am a woman, I am allowed to say that.

I do not consider myself to be a feminist, because feminism doesn’t mean what it was supposed to mean for women in this country.

For one thing, just because Sonia Sotomayor is a woman does not mean that I think that she needs to be appointed to the Supreme Court.

 It certainly does not change my mind about it just because she is Hispanic. It doesn’t make me racist either. I just think that a person should be hired for any job based on their previous job performance and based on their own merits. Which is a position that I thought anyone who is supposed to be for equality in the workforce would be for, not against. Quite frankly, if I was Sonia Sotomayor, I would be highly offended that people believed the only thing that got her where she is today is because she is Hispanic and she is female.

Once again, women are being judged by their anatomy, or lack thereof.

Sarah Palin. There are some women that hate her. There are a lot that love her. Even some love to hate her. If you don’t like her because of a political stance that she has, then that is much more admirable than to hate her because she doesn’t fit into her idea of what a feminist should act.

I can respect an argument against her because of a difference in opinions as far as policy is concerned. You may not like her because she is an avid hunter and she fishes. That is fine. I have a good friend that doesn’t like her because of the aerial hunting that she supports. I don’t know that much about Alaska and the hunting situation there, but I know that it is brutal territory and I am going to research that before I form an opinion about it.

If you don’t like her because she teaches abstinence and her daughter got pregnant as a teenager, then that is ridiculous. I don’t know about you, but I know that I would not want to be judged by my children’s actions. I certainly would not have wanted my parents to be judged by mine.

I don’t understand the problem with Sarah Palin choosing to have her son despite the fact that he has Down’s Syndrome. If she had chosen to have an abortion, then she would have been ok? If her daughter had not had her baby, then Sarah would have been ok? Again, it just sounds ridiculous to me that she is being judged by what her 17 year old daughter did or didn’t do.

 Let’s move on away from Sonia and Sarah and how one would advance the rights of women and one would apparently squash them.

It is ok to trample on the rights of others, just so long as you have the right to do anything? How can anyone claim to be for equality and trample on the rights of any group just because they don’t belong to your group? It is ok to take the rights away from one group so that you can advance your rights? One group I am discussing is unborn babies. I would bet that there are people that care more about the rights of unborn animals than they do about unborn human babies. Unborn babies die because women have somehow forgotten how to use birth control.

I can empathize with the woman that wants an abortion because she was forced into an act that created a life that she otherwise would not have created. It is more difficult for me to empathize with any woman that was just plain careless with her body and doesn’t want to deal with the consequences. I am pretty sure that most people know what causes pregnancy and most know how to prevent it. It is not that difficult to protect yourself and if you can’t remember to take a pill every day or to stop long enough to say ‘do you have a condom?’ then perhaps you need to consider not allowing yourself to be placed in the situation that could cause you to get pregnant in the first place. If you are not mature enough to do what has to be done, then you are obviously not mature enough to be having sex in the first place. Just don’t go there.

It is like I tell my 14 year old son—It is my job as his parent to not allow him to be placed in situations that could lead to compromising positions (no pun intended) until he is old enough to be able to resist the urge. Problem with that philosophy is that my husband hasn’t even reached that point yet. I will have to fine tune my reasoning behind not allowing my son to go anywhere that could be a potential temptation as he gets older. With all that said, I am merely expressing that I am for pro-responsibility. I want my to raise my children to be responsible—whether it is choosing abstinence (which is what I hope) or whether they choose to act responsibly by using protection (preferably a condom—because pregnancy is not the only thing to be worried about).

If that responsibility is thrust upon you literally by a man that doesn’t care whether you say no or not, then I believe that it is entirely one of those situations that fall under the health of the mother. Some women are just not strong enough to deal with having the responsibility of raising a baby that was conceived by force; however, some do. I believe that the health and well being of the mother includes psychological and physical.

I just think that the true feminist at the beginning of the feminist movement did not want to emasculate men and I do not believe that they wanted to be seen as cold hearted women that were men haters. I think that they truly set out to create equality where there wasn’t any.

Now, the feminist movement is more like a club for man-haters and misogynistic women.

Access to Health Insurance is the real issue.

I have to address an issue that has been a political pet peeve of mine for a while now: the health care crisis.

There isn’t a health care crisis in this country. We have the best health care system in the world. The problem with our health care isn’t that folks do not have access to health care–it is access to health insurance that is the problem, along with people stealing health care services.

If you live in the United States and you need medical attention, then you get it. An ER has to treat you whether you have insurance or not. Unfortunately, not everyone has medical insurance, so they have to pay their full bill. Unfortunately and for various reasons, some good and some not, many people simply do not pay their bills. Basically, they stole their health care.  

An issue that I have with private insurance companies is that they discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions. Seriously, that should just not happen. It is discrimination and if an employer can’t discriminate against you for medical conditions, race, or gender, then an insurance company should not be allowed to either.

We need to figure out ways to lower the cost of medical care so that it is affordable for all. Haven’t you heard that when people steal something from the store that it causes the prices to go up in that store, because the store has to make up the difference. Well, the medical care industry has the same problem. People are stealing from hospitals and from doctors every day. Do you think that the ERs and doctors write that money off? No, they don’t. They pass it on to the people that are paying…the people with insurance. Unpaid services causes the services, fees, and insurance premiums to go up. It is a vicious cycle and it will not be corrected with a Government public option for health care. It will put private insurance companies out of business and then the Government public option will be crowded with folks that want health care, but want someone else to be responsible for it. Another point to consider is this, what is going to happen when the Government pays out more money for health care than they have coming in? They will start rationing out medical treatments and medications and raise taxes on everyone. Medicare and Medicaid already ration services. They don’t pay for certain procedures that they do not think are necessary and they don’t cover a lot of pharmaceuticals.

Our Government created Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. The Government runs the welfare programs. Social Security is going bankrupt. Medicare and Medicaid are in trouble. Our welfare system is widely abused. It doesn’t matter at this point which party is responsible for causing these programs to be a drain on our society. The problem is much greater than that.

We need real solutions. Not another Government run system that is going to fail and become another bankrupt Government program. We do not need to have higher taxes heaped upon us because the Government does not know how to manage another Government program.

Seriously, does it make sense to allow the Government to run our Health Care system?

Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. –Albert Einstein.

A year for the history books…

What happened in 2008 changed how I think and how I believe regarding politics, and politicians, in America. Now, if you are asking yourself what happened in 2008, then perhaps you need to brush up on politics and what is happening in the news.

I graduated from high school in 1993. I am a product of the generation that started hearing about things like acid rain, ozone layer, and global warming. I was a child when AIDS was first starting to make major headlines and I remember watching the Gulf War live on TV. I remember listening to Garth Brooks ‘Friends in Low Places’ and ‘Can’t Touch This’ by MC Hammer.  I actually remember watching Michael Jordan make all the moves on the basketball court that he is so famous for and I remember actually liking New Kids on the Block (sad, but true), Milli Vanilli, and Vanilla Ice. But I have to say that I was also in love with The Beatles and The Beach Boys. I still like that old music, but I have added quite a bit to my collection, too.

Strange how when you are young you think that you are so mature and that you know everything. Those of you that are old enough understand exactly what I am talking about and those of you that aren’t will understand soon enough.

If I had been old enough to vote for Bill Clinton the first go around, I would have. If I had been registered to vote the second go around, I would have voted for him then, too. Much to my father’s dismay—hopefully he will never know. By the time Clinton’s terms were over, I had registered to vote. I voted for Al Gore. At the time, I didn’t really understand politics, but I thought that I pretty much knew how to sum it up–the Democrats were for the poor and the Republicans were for the rich.

Then, Bush was up for re-election and Kerry was running against him. I did not particularly like Kerry. I don’t know what it was about him, it was just a feeling. Needless to say, I voted for Bush.

Bush’s time as President was beginning to come to an end. I decided that I needed to get a little educated about the entire political process and the candidates. I have to say that I was more impressed with the Democratic candidates at first, especially Hillary. Then, it happened. I started seeing it everywhere, but I didn’t understand it.

Obama infatuation.

What in the heck was all this swooning about? Yes, the man could speak, but having taken a Rhetorical Criticism course in College, I knew that there was presentation, and then there was presentation. A good speech writer would know how to reach his audience. Obviously, Obama and his speech writers knew how to reach their audience.

I felt that thousands were swooning over Obama’s ability to harness the power of great speakers that came before him. In fact, I felt a little offended that he was using MLKs memory and rhetoric to make people think that he was that great. MLK was that great. MLK led the civil rights movement and led the way toward achieving equality in our country. However, when I look Obama and watched and listened to him speak, I did not see what everyone else was obviously seeing. I tried, but couldn’t.

I began to do my own research. What I found was that I identified more with the Libertarians/Conservatives. Honestly, I couldn’t believe it. I really thought that I was more of a Democrat or an Independent. How could I be against the poor people? How could I be for making the rich richer? As I went further into my research, I discovered that those were just myths.

I will explain later in another post, but I know from personal experience that some of the programs out there that are supposed to help the poor actually can keep the poor poor. I don’t know if that was the original reason behind it as some on the Right claim, but it has ended up that way and it is time for people to start recognizing it. It is time for some real reform for welfare, Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security. I am talking about lifting people out of poverty, not making it harder for them to escape it. I know just how hard it is to do so.

Anyway, I digress…

I discovered that I could not in good conscience vote for Obama. I didn’t feel that McCain was Conservative enough, but I voted for him anyway. When it became clear that Obama had won, I prayed and hoped that Obama would prove to be the President that all the people swooning over him believed that he would be.

In just a few months in office, Obama has done more to divide our country than any other President in our history (I believe). Issues involving race comes up much more in the media. There is class warfare going on between the rich and the poor that the middle class will end up paying the price for in the end with higher taxes.

I feel that there are lots of folks that feel the same way as I do on many issues, but because they feel one way about one specific issue, then that causes them to vote one way or another. I say you have to look at everything collectively and choose wisely.

I am going to list how I believe on some issues.

I believe a marriage is between a man and a woman, but I don’t believe in telling people that they can’t be together because they are the same gender.

I personally do not believe in abortion, but I don’t believe that I have the right to make that decision for other women.

I believe that the earth is constantly changing and that the climate will change no matter what people on earth do to stop it. I believe that Al Gore’s version of global warming and climate change is a scare tactic used to push a money making agenda.

Whether or not we should have invaded Iraq is not the point any longer, but the point is staying there as long as it takes to get the job done with the least amount of casualties. I don’t understand why so many war protesters were for Obama, because he plainly said that he was going to focus on Afghanistan and Pakistan. I’m just saying…

I believe in the Capitalist system and I think that the economy will correct itself if it is left alone.

I think that we need to secure our boarders. I am all for immigration…just do it legally.

After saying all this, I don’t always agree with the right. I don’t always agree with the left. I make my own opinions based on my beliefs and my own experiences.

I have to say that what I have witnessed out of the Obama administration has caused me to really worry about the future of my country, The United States of America.

I really am ready for hope and change. I am hopeful that out of all this a true American will rise up above the usual politicians and truly be the candidate that everyone was so hopeful that Obama would be.

I hate to think about what will happen to our great nation, and the rest of the world, if our nation falls down due to greed and power hungry politician on both sides of the aisles.

Listen to both sides with an open mind and decide for yourself. I did.

The year 2008 will truly be one for the history books.

My favorite quote from today’s email conversation with my friend, cube farm buddy, and coworker…

During an email conversation today about what is happening in politics in America, my friend had this to say…

Just call me a tree-hugging paleoconservative, because these liberal guys in charge are crazy as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs…