As many have said in their blogs tonight, today was a day of relaxation. I finished my homework, before the night before it's due, which I consider a huge accomplishment, and I did my laundry. Those really were the highlights of my day in terms of physical activity, aside from lunch and dinner in town. And yet I wasn't bored. There is a lot going on in the world to keep me occupied, chiefly the plane crash at SFO this morning. I was relieved to hear that only two people were killed out of the two and a half hundred passengers, but it is still a bit of a shock. Things like this happen, and when they happen in some other state or some other country they are easy to be apathetic towards, but when a plane crashes at the airport that I'm going to be flying into in a week's time, it makes me think. That isn't to say that I'm now any more nervous to be flying; I know that plane crashes are extremely rare, and, if I'm going to worry, I should worry about the drive to the airport, considering how many car crashes there are every year.
Having been drawn into the vortex that is the Internet by reading about the 777 crash, I went on to read about a veritable cornucopia of social and political issues. I read a fairly scary article about the Supreme Court ruling on a person's right to remain silent, in which it was practically stated that unless the person under question specifically cited the legal definition of the right to remain silent, which none but lawyers know, that failure to respond to a question implied guilt. This sets a scary precedent.
I also read an interesting interview of a radical feminist. Feminism is a hard issue to discuss being a male, as it is very delicate and, not to personally disparage any feminists who do not do this, I am lumped into the male category. Again, that sentence was painful to construct because of the care that needs to be taken to not offend. I find a lot of feminist material hard to agree with because of the way it is propagated, usually with subtle or not-so-subtle undertones of "all men are evil," and, yes, I know that there is some sad irony in my dislike of being lumped and then my subsequent lumping. Another thing I struggle with, and this is more of a personal ideological thing, stems from this marvelous ability I have to not care, but not in the sense most people think of. Not caring has picked up a strong negative connotation, when it is simply the absence of care. Sure, sometimes it is disrespectful, but I think people run to that conclusion far too quickly in most cases. The definition of care as a verb is to feel interest or concern, and when it comes to questions about gender, I don't care. I am not interested or concerned as to whether you are a male or female or lesbian or gay or bisexual or transgender or any of the myriad different gender labels that we seem to have acquired, I just see you as another person. The only exception to that is in my sexual preference, in that, I, being straight, prefer romantic relationships with women, and if one sparks my interest, then I care about gender. But still, that does not alter, aside from my perceived level of interest, how I treat that person, because that's what they are, a person. This is the biggest part of why the feminist movement is hard for me to grasp. I understand that people are different, but the solution isn't some sex strike or some global uprising, it is instead teaching people to disregard the labels and see people as what they are: people. We can't un-teach hate, but it is very much learned, and instead of turning to radicalism, why don't we try to eliminate the indoctrinated teaching and learning of disrespect and hate and intolerance for a new generation, and let that generation sow again respect and love and tolerance? In my mind this is the only way to escape the chains of oppression, be it racial, sexual, or religious. We have to teach people to not care about things that aren't essential, and to care about those things that are. What matters in a person is not who they are attracted to or what genitalia they have or what god they believe in, what matters is if you can engage them in a meaningful way and if that discourse makes you happy, and if these things are true, then you should love that person. If these things aren't, simply say adieu, and be happy knowing that there are billions of other people for you and that other person to make happy and to be made happy by.