More anseriform foolishness than is absolutely necessary.

[Trigger warning for gun violence]

CNN’s Gloria Borger has written a relatively pedestrian column on the Tucson massacre and violent rhetoric. Both sides are just as bad. Both sides are just as good. Two of hearts, two hearts that beat as one. Whatever.

Here’s the opening:

It is probably some form of poetic justice that, in reacting to the attempted murder of a congresswoman and the murder of a judge, some of the political discourse has devolved into an unhelpful and unenlightening argument that goes something like this: It’s your fault; no, it’s your fault.” [Emphasis mine.]

Yikes. Everyone misuses idioms every now and then. That said, are there people editing Whoa.

Gender identity enigma

Caster Semenya
Caster Semenya
Semenya is a hermaphrodite

Fair playing field
Unfair advantage
Distinct advantages against women in sports

Forced to have gender testing
The concept makes precious little sense

Muscle mass
Male muscling
Bone structure
Intrinsic biology
Strength of men
Skeletal structure
Masculine physiognomy
Having both male and female sex chromosomes

It’s believed

One-time man

She’s 57
A transsexual Masters for aging duffers

Transgendered individuals

Reassignment surgery
Gender-reassignment surgery
Switching anatomy if not human atoms
Some among us recreate their very identity

Entitlement privileges
Conundrum of applying broad civil rights
Privileges that she feels she is now entitled to

Even Dr. Renee Richards
Male-to-female tennis player
Mixed transgendered doubles at Wimbledon

Not created equal
The measure of a man
Remains that of a man
The measure of a woman
Female but transgendered to male
The two can’t be conjoined into one

Born and raised a female
Though never officially confirmed
A female, too, both legally and in her own mind

Core reality has been blurred

These are but a few of the words in today’s Toronto Star.


[Trigger Warning: Violence]


But thanks for playing.
On second thought, get bent, CBS.
Earlier this morning, the CBS morning show-Saturday edition aired an interview (link forthcoming) with a former colleague of Yale lab tech Raymond Clark III. New Haven police recently arrested Clark, who they’ve charged with murdering Le. But enough about her, what about Clark? What possible injustice could have driven Clark to the brink?
Did I mention that Clark was a lab tech?
So, this is pretty much where my head explodes. The interview covers some really important ground. Working in a lab is stressful. Given the very real threat of vandalism and violence from animal rights protesters, there are security concerns to be mindful of. In part as a result of society’s concern for animals’ welfare, there are strict protocols to follow. Also, there’s science afoot, so it’s important to be very precise, lest you mess up the one experiment that was finally going to cure all that cancer.
But wait, there’s more! There’s a nasty power hierarchy in science and the academy. Presumably there’s a rich, good-looking professor at the top, who drives a brand new Beemer to the office in order to decide what top-flight journal to publish in, and maybe answer the occasional inquiry from the Nobel committee. Punk 20-something grad students and post-docs with college degrees, who may come from money, who may or may-not have social skills do most of the sciency-bits. And of course, they’re the ones supervising the techs– who may not have a college degree, are probably fairly likely to come from working class backgrounds, and may well be older than the grad students who are totally on their way to becoming big shots in their own rights. Yet the lab techs are doing a lot of the work. They’re making $8.50 an hour. And people refer to them as janitors, despite the vital role of lab techs in making bio-medical research possible.
These are all very real, very important points. We should totally have a discussion about them in the near future. Perhaps we can air it on CBS. But fortheloveofgod, not in the context of explaining why some poor guy needed to kill a graduate student.
As for Clark’s potential motivations, let’s review the circumstances:
“Went off” doesn’t quite cover the nature of the relationship. As the NY Post puts it, Yale Lab Tech “Forced” Ex into Sex. (which is rape, but as always, I thank the Post for the quotation marks and paraphrasing).
Ms. Le was murdered on her wedding day.
And this one’s important: working as a lab technician is not a justification for violence.
As has been the case with lots and lots of recent horrible acts of violence, this case shines a light on a culture that at times gives a wink-and-a-nod to violence against women. And while I haven’t seen a lot of folks waving pom-poms for sexual violence, by trying to make Le’s murder an understandable act caused by a nice guy’s(TM) misfortune, CBS certainly isn’t helping the next victim.

Originally posted at Duck, Duck, Gay Duck the First.