Book Suggestions for the New Year

Now that the New Year is approaching, we’ve compiled a list of books that we’ve read this year and found interesting, valuable, or controversial.

The Origins of Sex: A History of the First Sexual Revolution, Faramerz Dabhoiwala

Dabhoiwala describes and analyzes the way that people viewed sex between 1660 and 1880. The focus is on in England, but European nations and the United States are mentioned regularly. At close to 500 pages, reading this book is quite an undertaking, but readers will learn about the role of religion, about hospitals or asylums for women, and why it is that women are now considered less sexual than men, when this was not always the case.

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When Holding Hands Becomes Punishment

In order to avoid suspension after fighting, two male students at a high school in Mesa, Arizona were forced to hold hands for approximately 15 minutes. Pictures of the boys holding hands, and covering their faces while numerous students surrounded the pair are now spreading quickly across the Internet.

It is troubling that the initial reaction to two boys fighting in class is to “humiliate” them with a gesture (holding hands) that is deemed non-violent and for the most part affectionate. What the school is doing is not really addressing the violent act, why the boys chose to use physical violence, or even reinforce that violence does not belong in school. Instead, they allow violence to take place while making non-violence the forced punishment for a violent act.  [Read more...]

Joining Forces Against Bullying

The It Gets Better Project is a nationwide dedication to end LGBT bullying, spread awareness, and let people share their stories about discrimination, coming out, respect, acceptance, and how life can get better. This is an important message that highlights the discrimination and violence that many LGBT teens face. Over 532,000 have joined the movement and signed this pledge of support:

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Bullied teen blamed for being “too gay”

Bullied for her sexual orientation, a lesbian teen was told by school officials that she needed to tone down her “gayness” because she was scaring and confusing other students. School officials stated that the girl was to blame for flaunting her same sex attraction and thereby provoking other students to commit violence against her.

The school is assuming that heterosexual students have the right to express their sexuality and sexual orientation without being the victims of bullying or violence, but did not extend the same courtesy to the girl since she identifies as lesbian. She was thereby clearly being treated differently by the school because of her sexual orientation. Sadly, the girl left school after being physically abused and threatened. The high school did not follow protocol as they did not report the violence committed against the student, even though the school is required to report such incidences. When the teen confronted the school she was told that it was her responsibility to report the assault, thereby completely denying her rights as a student while simultaneously denying the discrimination, violence and bullying she endured. [Read more...]

An Entreaty to Rational Pro-Life Supporters

It has become acceptable in the US to use violence and intimidation to stop women and men from participating in activities that are their legal right.  In Wichita Kansas, where Dr. Tiller was murdered over a year and a half ago, there is not a single doctor who provides abortion services. This is not because there are not any doctors willing to provide the services, but rather because doctors are intimidated and stalked by anti-abortion protesters and are afraid to offer these services.

How is this okay with anyone who respects the Constitution to allow bullying and intimidation tactics to trump the legal rights of American citizens?  It truly does not matter what you think about the issue of abortion, if you respect the law and the Constitution then you agree to respect ALL the laws, even the ones you disagree with. We have an entire democratic system in place that allows laws to be discussed, amended and voted on in order to have a democratic, civil society.  By trumping the legal system and taking matters into their own hands, anti-abortionists are in effect snubbing the law and making a mockery of our judicial system.  And to make matters worse, there are people who have sworn to uphold the law that are participating in this debasement of our judicial system either by standing by and doing nothing or using their power to help in the subversion.   [Read more...]

Bullying and Post-Abortion Trauma

Bullying, in particular of LGBT individuals, has been a popular topic of discussion in the media. Plenty of celebrities have voiced their belief that life will get better for those bullied. In my opinion, it only gets better if individuals grow stronger against criticism or if society becomes more accepting of differences. Bullying does not magically disappear once one gets older as we would like to believe, as evidenced from anti-abortion bullying.

One can easily find information about many anti-abortion advocates, who bully women seeking abortions. While there are many that just want to inform women of their options, there are also those who outright pressure and scare women seeking abortions. Usually religion is used to establish self-reproach in abortion seekers. Instead of privately receiving abortion, some women must walk by protesters standing outside clinics passing judgment and criticism. Media outlets perpetuate anti-abortion sentiments with such phrases as “baby killer” and “god is your enemy.” As a result, women can be humiliated by the social scrutiny.

Anti-abortion bullying makes me wonder if the claimed post-abortion mental trauma is a result of bullying. [Read more...]