How Margaret Thatcher Hacked My Brain And Made Me Slightly Less Sexist

“My nephew Luke has no memory of a white male president” says Melissa Ryan.  “Hillary Clinton just made history but for millions of children she won’t be the first woman president. She’ll just be the president.”
This is exactly right, I responded.

I was born right before Margaret Thatcher became the British Prime Minister and she remained so until I was nearly 11 years old. In my head, the word ‘Prime Minister’ was inherently gendered female and whenever, in fiction or historical context, the Prime Minister was referred to with the male pronouns he/him, it felt odd. Continue reading “How Margaret Thatcher Hacked My Brain And Made Me Slightly Less Sexist”

How does the pro-gun lobby reconcile itself with American exceptionalism?

Following the awful, awful news of the massacre in Conneticut, the gun-control debate has begun afresh in the USA.
The canard from those who support the current, ridiculous status quo, is that the problem lies in “evil people doing evil acts”, and not the availability of weapons.  How do the pro-gun advocates reconcile this argument with the doctrine of American exceptionalism?
If one holds that permissive gun laws have no causal connection to the frequent massacres, and that the daily murders are simply caused by evil of people… then one is left with the heretical conclusion that there are simply more evil people in America than elsewhere.  This does not sit well with the idea of America being intrisically better than other countries.
Shibboleths collide! Call for Doctor Pangloss!