I have wonderful children – they are bright, inquisitive, and, at 10 and 7, they are learning to have opinions. So far they’ve asked me things that I could answer easily – no it’s not OK to eat your boogers, yes ear wax does taste bad which is why we don’t put it in our mouths, no I don’t know why there’s a difference between the taste of ear wax and boogers, no this is not a good area of hypothesis-driven scientific inquiry. But occasionally they ask me about things that are not on the EWWW-that’s-completely-gross spectrum and it’s forced me to think about my opinions and where I stand on the big and small issues of our times.
So, this post is about my opinions on a variety of topics – it is not censored so some of it may offend all of you and all of it may offend some of you but I’m really hoping that all of it doesn’t offend all of you! And it is not meant as an indictment of your values, dear reader. But sometime and someplace I would like my children to know what I was passionate about and how I felt about things – right or wrong, good or bad – kids, this is your mother.
I am certain about the redeeming power of education. I believe that public education is a sacred responsibility and all children of all classes all over the world must have access to quality education. I don’t understand how film stars and Wall Street bankers command six and seven figure salaries while we value our children’s minds and lives at a $45K level.
I am convinced that human beings have precipitated climate change but that we are also the solution. I have faith in the ability of science to solve our problems. I believe in the scientific method that prevails.
I am certain about evolution and the Big Bang. ‘Nuff said!
I am an atheist not because I haven’t found god or I have rejected a supreme being out of anger or despair – I have just not had a reason to go looking for answers to life’s questions outside of science and mathematics and logic and reason. I don’t know what happens after death but I’m not going to spend the brief time I have, worrying about it. And now for a short diversion into a tangential cul-de-sac: As far as I’m concerned, death is just another opportunity to travel! I don’t really worry about the death part but I confess that there are some ways I’d rather not die – I don’t want to be eaten by a wild animal, I don’t want to be stabbed, and I’d really rather not drown or be buried alive. And….I’m back!
I am a feminist not because I believe that women are better than men but because I believe that both men and women must work together to solve the big problems facing us and true collaboration cannot happen in an environment where one entire gender is disenfranchised.
And now – this is a big one – so I’m mentally girding my loins as I write this. I am certain that decisions about a women’s body are her own to make and it is no one’s business what she does or whom she involves – especially not the government’s business. I think if a drug that allows men to “rise to the occasion” is covered by health insurance and no one makes a fuss about it then contraceptive coverage for women is a no-brainer. I also think that we have to stop confusing women and incubators. An ability to give birth is not an obligation to do so. And I know that government and social institutions must do everything to protect this basic human right of all women.
As an immigrant to this country I think that unless you are Native American, you have no business complaining about who gets to come to America (or how they do it) and pursue a better life for themselves and their children.
I stand for gun control. I am not against the second amendment and I don’t think everyone has to give up all their guns but I think that reasonable people can agree that a right to bear arms is very different from a license to stockpile weapons of mass destruction. One guy tries to smuggle a bomb aboard a plane in his shoe – unsuccessfully – and the entire world now has to remove their shoes before getting on a plane, but thousands of people die of gun violence and somehow that’s OK? I don’t believe that the US Constitution is meant to be an inflexible document written in stone. It’s meant to evolve as our society progresses. Even the framers added gun rights as an AMENDMENT – if they had been so adamant about it, it would be in the actual document! I don’t understand the thrill of owning a gun but I don’t understand auto-erotic asphyxiation either so my understanding is obviously not the barometer by which people live their lives!
I am certain that people should be free to love and marry whom they want and be supported by their governments and their communities. I believe that families come in different shapes and sizes and colors and no one gets to point fingers or make judgements. I should point out that by “free to love and marry whom they want”, I mean other consenting adult human beings – just thought I’d clarify that I am completely and unequivocally against bestiality or pedophilia. On the other hand, I had an enormous crush on Mr Spock when I was young so I’m reserving the right to change my mind about inter-species dating on the off-chance I meet a cute Vulcan!
I stand for vaccinations. It’s mind boggling to me that though there have been a shitload (that’s an actual number) of studies showing no link between autism and vaccines, we believe f&*%-wit celebrities in matters of public health! What kind of idiotic thinking is this? Even if you distrust all the studies and believe with all your heart that vaccines cause autism – let me tell you one thing that a 100% of all scientists can agree on – the small pox virus causes small pox, the polio virus causes polio, the measles virus causes measles – and a whole heck of a lot human beings have DIED of these diseases. Also, I’ve had mumps and chicken pox when I was 7 and I would not wish those two on anyone!
Sooo, what I’m trying to tell my kids is that their mother is a socialist, feminist, atheist, scientist, educator. If the studies are correct and children routinely reject their parent’s beliefs then I can expect my kids to be ultra conservative, religious, anti-vaxxer, Young Earth creationists – hooray!! Also, it doesn’t look like any of my opinions are going to change much in the foreseeable future – but I reserve the right to change my mind on every one of them! Except the vaccines.