Fun with Anti-Science

by Tedra Osell on December 6, 2011

Okay, this is too easy to pass up.

The WaPo reports that Teva Pharmaceuticals has applied to the FDA to sell Plan B over the counter. W00t! No more worrying about when the pharmacy closed or whether or not the pharmacist is gonna pull some conscience-clause bullshit on you, shy teenagers with broken condoms or forgotten birth control pills can sneak it into a shopping basket disguised with a magazine just like they do their tampons, things will be just a little easier from here on out.


<blockquote>“When anybody can buy an emergency contraceptive like this over the counter, you open the door for all sorts of abuse, and especially so when it comes to child abuse and child exploitation,” said Janice Crouse of Concerned Women of America.</blockquote>

Yes! If children who are being raped  or forced into prostitution prevent themselves from getting pregnant, then they are destroying valuable evidence, and that would be wrong. Or at least I assume that’s the reasoning here; surely Ms. Crouse doesn’t think that potential child rapists hold themselves back only for fear of not being able to force-feed their victims Plan B after raping them. Does she?

She’s also concerned that over-the-counter Plan B will make it harder for parents to be, um, “involved” with their children. Poor choice of words there, but let’s ignore it.

<blockquote>”When you are talking about selling something like this over the counter, you are opening up a can of worms when it comes to parental involvement in their children’s lives.”</blockquote>

Again, this is a TOTALLY VALID objection. It’s vitally important that parents have the power to force their underage children to bear them grandchildren, or at least to make them have to get an abortion rather than preventing the pregnancy in the first place.

Ah, but wait.

<blockquote>“It’s not a drug that prevents life — it’s a drug that destroys life,” said Jeanne Monahan of the Family Research Council, a conservative advocacy group. “If we define life as beginning at fertilization or conception, then this drug can be an abortifacient.”</blockquote>

This is my favorite part of the whole article. Let’s redefine “life” so that we can classify things as abortifacients! I’ll start:

If we define life as beginning at the moment a man first sets eyes on a woman, then not putting out for every dude on the street is an abortifacient.

If we define it as beginning the moment the ring is on her finger, then every business trip is an abortifacient.

If we define it as beginning with ovulation, then menstruation is an abortifacient! MENSTRUAL PADS MUST BE PRESCRIPTION ONLY.

Your turn!


by Tedra Osell on December 6, 2011

Those of you who don’t already “know” me might well be wondering “who the hell is this bitch?” Or actually probably not: CT readers aren’t known for being vulgarians, I don’t think, unlike many of the commenters at the Chronicle (dear god, poor Clare). Thank god I haven’t read the Chronicle in years.

If you had been thinking that, though, it would be a reasonable question, inasmuch as I am, in the world of academe, absolutely no one. (Which frees me from having to read the Chronicle, among other perks.) I left the ivory tower something like five years ago–I no longer remember, exactly–for the exalted position of housewife and PTO mom (did you know that the PTA is a national organization that collects dues, which means that a lot of school parent-teacher orgs now call themselves PTOs? I didn’t). That was fun, and I got to do a lot of teaching because my kid’s public school was kinda run like a co-op and required ridiculous amounts of parental involement, so I developed lesson plans for reading and writing and chemistry and put together a PTO library of sorts and did all sorts of other things, as PTO moms do.

Now, though, said kid, who unlike me shall remain pseudonymous, is in a “regular” middle school, meaning that I’m not actually allowed on campus during the day at all (!). So mama needs to get a job. Adjuncting is Right Out, as is getting a credential and teaching K-12 in California; I’m bored, but not insane. So my shiny new 2012 iteration is gonna be freelancing: I’m thinking academicish editing and hopefully the odd opinion piece somewhere.

Which means I’d been mulling over this whole “writing and being public again” thing lately, when lo, John Q. asked me “hey, would you be interested in writing at CT ever?” And I said, “you know what? Yes, that might be kind of fun.”

So here I am.

There is a certain irony in appearing on an academic(ish) blog as myself only now that I’m no longer an academic. Talk about imposter syndrome. Which maybe I will at some point, who knows.

Until then, though, you can expect me to talk about education, definitely: both higher and k-12. Academic and general writing on- and offline, probably. Popular feminism, most definitely. Politics and culture, inevitably. The weirdness of transitioning from “academic” to “entrepeneur,” as my business workshop kept calling us, no doubt (has anyone besides me ever noticed how insufferably pretentious both those titles are, especially when self-administered?). And if you’re really really lucky, cat videos.

Feel free to toss me links, topics, or photos of your kittens.