Sex and the single woman

Say a woman meets a guy in a bar and has amazing (or not) sex with him. She then gives blood at her office’s blood drive a week later. That must happen right? And probably quite often. Should we ban all single heterosexual women from giving blood? Or just the irresponsible ones?

Apparently in Canada (and no doubt elsewhere), according to this article:

a woman who has had sex with an intravenous drug user or a bisexual man must wait a year before being eligible to give blood. Yet a gay man – unless he had sex with a man before 1977 – can never give blood.

‘Free speech’ trumps all

The University of Illinois has reversed its policy about racist mascot “Chief Illiniwek” for its homecoming:

“The university values free speech and free expression,” the university said in a statement, “and considers homecoming floats, decorations, costumes and related signage all representations of such personal expression. Therefore, Chancellor Herman has directed the Homecoming Committee to strike the existing policy from the homecoming float guidelines.”

This strikes me as an absolutist interpretation of the first amendment that sounds good but has little merit when examined critically. The weasel factor is just too high. Scream “free speech!” and “First Amendment!” and people will nod along like bobble-head dolls. And then you can slither away from examining racist policy.

But in addition, the University’s reversal of its policy illustrates several troubling aspects of defenses put forth against charges of racism. Continue reading

Just a hypothetical

So say you’re a white adoptive parent, and you decide your kid should go to language school. Because he or she should learn about his or her heritage. So you get to the school, and there are two adults present. One is the same color as your kid. The other is white. And the adult the same color as your kid smiles and says hello. What should you do?

a. Smile back and introduce yourself.

Continue reading

Reasonable, ridiculous or racist?

The “debate” over “reasonable accommodation” of minorities in Quebec has hotted up in recent weeks.

The Bouchard-Taylor Commission, mandated by the provincial government in March, aims to report on the extent of so-called accommodation through consultation with the public and institutions, and make recommendations on what is considered “reasonable” – the benchmark being whether it respects common Quebec values.

The commission was set up following wide media coverage and public outcry at such incidents as the internationally reported “Herouxville debacle” and other incidents including the banning of hijabs on the soccer field.

With public forums allowing everyone to have their say, you would expect a fair amount of ridiculousness. But I honestly did not expect public figures to come up with such gems as these. Continue reading

The double door

My mother always used to say that you didn’t truly possess good manners if you didn’t extend them to everyone. And I was thinking about that recently because of some experiences that exemplified this.

A little while ago I was somewhere when I saw two white women carrying large boxes struggling to open a door. So I stepped forward and held the door open for them. There was another interior door so I then walked around them and held that door for them as well.

Their response? Continue reading

Well.

The Costa Rican legislature has a bill pending that would ban adoptions by prospective parents “in which one or both people have shown a sexual orientation toward people of the same sex.” So gay and lesbian couples are out. What about people who are bi but are in cross-sex marriages?

Here’s a quote from a Libertarian in support of the bill: Continue reading