Wednesday, August 1, 2012

My world is not the only world

In my world there are lots of interesting things to debate.  That universal health care is a good idea is taken for granted, of course, but we can talk about the best ways to discourage patient abuse of the system (on my vacation I was told a story of an elderly lady who continually called for ambulances to ferry her to the hospital to visit relatives..) or whether or not the government should bankroll extremely risky or untested new medicines.  It is understood that women should have access to any role in life that they desire but we talk about the pros and cons of trying to raise children while working a lot of hours and how much we should encourage young girls to enter traditionally male dominated roles.  I have real debates about whether or not a child should be spanked under any circumstance and some people say yes, but only in a few extreme situations and some say never.

Then we have other worlds, ones that I often forget really exist.

Worlds like the one this blogger inhabited, where she was told in all earnestness that universal health care in Canada meant state mandated abortions for 'undesirable' children.  Her world also included literal instructions for being a wife that included not voicing opinions, always being available for any need your husband has, and staying at home producing an endless stream of babies since naturally contraception is a tool of the devil.  Let us not forget the child rearing instruction that spanking is the one and only tool that should be used to get children in line; it should be employed in virtually every situation.

I read some of her posts and was blown away by the difficulties of her transition out of 'peon to the patriarchy' to 'actual person'.  Even if you ignore the outrageous sexism and denial of reality when it comes to healthcare she has had a rough time of it since her husband turned out to be a transgender woman and the author came out as a lesbian!  Fortunately these things have some real synergy but it utterly boggles my mind to think of coping with being trans or gay when raised in a society that hasn't even come to grips with accepting straight, cisgendered women as the equals of men.

In the world I inhabit the idea of actually debating whether or not women should be allowed to work is simply not a thing.  I can't even begin to construct a set of rules and guidelines for how I would act in such a world.  It explains a lot of why people vote for right wing religious nutters and why I can't comprehend their decisions though; if you honestly believe that God causes psychopaths to gun down bystanders in retribution for homosexuality being tolerated then there is no chance that I will make sense of who you want to vote for. I don't know what I could say to someone who thinks that fear of Hell would prevent atrocities.

Thankfully the author demonstrates that religious fundamentalist brainwashing is not impregnable.  People can and do open their eyes and renounce faith and the madness that it engenders.  Hopefully the increased connectivity and openness of the world will lead more people cast off their sheep's form and begin to really think.

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