Philobiblon: Another fundamentally anti-female culture...

Friday, March 31, 2006

Another fundamentally anti-female culture...

A Japanese feminist has beenbanned from speaking at a lecture series by the Tokyo Municipal Government:

"Last July, Professor Ueno was chosen by a citizens’ group in the Greater Tokyo district of Kokubunji as the first speaker in a series of lectures on human rights; the events were to be sponsored by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. But according to the group, Tokyo officials objected to the choice of Ueno because she might use the phrase "gender-free" – a poorly defined term originally intended to mean free from sexual bias. The citizen’s group refused to find another speaker and instead cancelled the series of events. ...
"Gender-free" is an imported English phrase that has been used in Japan since the mid-1990s. Some progressive teachers and local education authorities have used the phrase to promote liberal sex education, and the mixed listing of boys and girls on school roll calls. The latter is contentious in Japan where traditionally boys' names are read out first.

Nothing like telling kids from an early age who is regarded as important...


I eat organic food (as much as I can, while also trying to take account of "food miles") primarily because I think the form of farming needs to be encouraged. (And organic yoghurt tastes MUCH better than the plastic non-organic stuff.) But like the author of this article whether there is any actual direct harm from the pesticides in food I'm not sure. But he offers an interesting parallel:

He cited the long-burning, but now resolved, debate about the health impact of smoking: "An official at Brown & Williamson, a cigarette maker now owned by RJ Reynolds, once noted in a memo: 'Doubt is our product since it is the best means of competing with the "body of fact" that exists in the mind of the general public.' Toward that end, the tobacco manufacturers dissected every study, highlighted every question, magnified every flaw, cast every possible doubt every possible time ... It was all a charade, of course, because the real science was inexorable. But the uncertainty campaign was effective: it delayed public-health protections, and compensation for tobacco's victims, for decades."
Pesticide campaigners say that they see some parallels in their own struggle to get pesticides banned or severely restricted.

You might make the same parallel with those proclaiming their doubts about the reality of global warming.


Some interesting figures on immigration, legal and illegal:

* There are between 310,000 and 570,000 illegal immigrants in the UK, according to Home Office estimates
* If allowed to live legally, they would pay more than £1bn in tax each year
* Migrants fill 90% of low-paid jobs in London and account for 29% of the capital's workforce. London is the UK's fastest-growing region
* Legal migrants comprise 8.7% of the population, but contribute 10.2% of all taxes. Each immigrant pays an average of £7,203 in tax, compared with £6,861 for non-migrant workers
* There were 25,715 people claiming asylum last year. If allowed to work, they would generate £123m for the Treasury


Blogger clanger said...

Environmentally, cigarettes are hideously polluting on a global scale.

Economically, cigarettes damage poorer people nationally and globally.

If you smoke, you will lose lung capacity, you will be increasingly wheezy, you will suffer from greater breathing problems, and your chances of getting many other health problems will radically increase. Your smoke will damage the health of those around you, typically your family. Your kids will be more likely to smoke and follow in your footsteps.

Coughing regularly, without control, and hacking up gunk will become part of your every waking hour.

If you smoke, you smell, even when you aren't smoking. Your hair, your clothes, your home. And you'll make your kids smell-at school, other kids will notice.

One day, without you even noticing, one cell in your lungs may switch over to cancerous growth. At that moment you'll stop living and start dying. You'll cough up even more gunk than usual, and it'll have some red or some black in it, or you'll feel sick, and you'll go see your doctor. They'll refer you to a hospital, and you'll sit in a cold, sterile room in a gown feeling naked, alone, and horrible, knowing what is coming next.

After your scan you'll be told about a shadow, and how medical science can do many things, but it can't cure everything. They'll give you an approximate guide to when you will die, and start your medication.

You'll lose weight, as the tumour takes the nourishment first. You'll feel sick, and breathless. You'll cough uncontrollably. Your skin will yellow. You'll have to tell your family. They won't know what to do or to say. You'll see their discomfort whenever they are around you, and know how upset it is making them.

The difficulty breathing will reduce how far you can go, you'll need oxygen, and the pain will increase. Then its all about waiting, and pain-management, and the next breath.

Every night when you go to sleep, you'll never be sure that you'll wake up again next morning. How many times can you say goodbye to the people you love most?

You won't see your kids or your family's kids grow up, won't see what happens next in the world, and you'll mark the last this, and the last that, as you get your affairs in order, and pick a plot.

And then one day, you just won't be there. Your family will start to talk about how merciful it was in the end, given how much you were suffering. And they will all have to go through the pain of your funeral, and the grieving process.

So come on then. Is the next fag really worth that? Do you hate living that much?

If you smoke, stop being a complete arsehole, and find another addiction-there are many less damaging.

Oh, and despite the specious arguments, the tobacco industry and its shareholders are morally, and may one day be legally responsible for the contributory manslaughter of more people in the last century than the third reich.

Hitler did it for political ideology. The tobacco industry do it for profit. Do you have shares in the tobacco industry? Maybe you should switch to an ethical portfolio.

However safe the tobacco industry are advised by their lawyers that they might be, last time I checked, there was no statute of limitations on genocide.

3/31/2006 11:48:00 am  
Blogger Natalie Bennett said...

I'm sorry Clanger. This is obviously something you have seen at first hand. The only hope, perhaps, is that the tide is, I think, at least in the West, turning against the pedlars of death. Of course, now the tobacco companies don't really care - there's that huge developing world market, particularly China.

4/01/2006 10:15:00 pm  

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