I was telling John about my last post, and happened to say, "Deadbeat dads are definitely on my list of the top ten things that make me angry." He thought that was funny, because I have rather a long list of things that make me angry. All on his own, he came up with about twenty. So I thought I'd go ahead and pick out my top ten: ten things that make me frustrated, angry, riled up, blogging, and ranting to people while their eyes glaze over. I don't think any of these will be a surprise!
10. The massive food industry, which so controls those organizations intended to control it than food freedom is getting more elusive every day. We are not allowed to know if GMO's or hormones are being used in our food. We are not allowed to buy foods that haven't been pasteurized, processed, or inspected, and yet there are food recalls ALL THE TIME because our pasteurized, processed, inspected food harbors deadly disease. We are told it is utterly unreasonable to expect no petroleum byproducts in our food, like dyes.
9. Mommy wars of any kind. From the working moms who want me to admit that they do everything I do plus more (which is probably true, because I'm lazy and have one kid, but wait a few years, okay?) to the moms who are offended if you praise breastfeeding ("because I couldn't so I gave formula and my kid turned out fine, and you're just trying to make me feel GUILTY!") to the moms who call out other moms the second they disapprove of anything they do ... can't we just focus on raising our kids and telling our story and assume others are doing the same?
8. Doctors who, when you ask them about some nagging, chronic symptom, offer you a medication to mask that symptom but never consider that it might be a symptom of something. If you have an idea what it might be a symptom of, they will write you off with, "Very few people actually have food sensitivities/vaccine reactions/etc."
7. People who point out random strangers' actions and label them "bad parenting." Especially if the speaker doesn't have any kids. 99 times out of 100, that "bad parenting decision" is actually the only practical option ... you just didn't bother to find out the person's situation. Oh, and included here are people who say, "I love kids ... it's just the poorly-behaved kids I don't like. I blame the parents." The upside to all of this is that I can laugh my head off at them when they have kids, and those kids do exactly the same stuff they criticized. (Oh, I have been there! John and I used to comment to each other when we saw kids acting up, "Our kids will never do that." Hahahahahaha. Right.)
6. Routine infant circumcision. Bonus points if the only reason for it is "so he'll look like his daddy." That means we have to perform surgery on all future generations of this family, just out of fear that someday, someone will notice the difference.
5. Chauvinism of any kind, but particularly the kind that claims to be "grounded in tradition" and "just simple chivalry." I hate those smarmy jerks who tell me that they have the deepest respect for me as a woman and then ignore what I say, or who talk about how women "in the good old days" were placed on a pedestal and never, ever had opinions. Even telling you about that makes me angry!
4. Children's toys covered in buttons, lights, and noises, which claim to be educational. Especially if it looks like a miniature laptop and promises to help kids learn to read. Sure they're only four -- start them on a baby laptop and they'll be Facebooking by six! Who needs blocks, swingsets, or playmates? I always look past the labeling and see "Mega-toy that will make a child entertained and quiet while the parents ignore them ... but since it's 'educational' it's okay if they do it eight hours a day." Can you say Baby Einstein?
3. Low-fat imitation food. I think the winner here is Smart Balance. But then, anything labeled for kids gets bonus points ... kids are trying to grow their brains, and brains are made out of fat and cholesterol! Give them the whole milk already!
2. Episiotomies. Seriously folks, this one should be obvious. There's [almost?] no good reason to do them. And consent is hardly ever even asked. Where else do we chop up people's private parts without asking them first? (Oh, right, see #6.)
1. Mind control. Any kind of policing of people's thoughts, demanding that they not think or question. Which is why, I guess, I enjoyed 1984 and Brave New World ... they expose that sort of thing. And why I absolutely cannot watch FOX News, presidential debates, or any kind of show where party-line cliches are likely to be spouted. And why I repeat, over and over, to anyone who will listen to me, "Question everything. Have faith that those things worthy of belief will stand up to questioning." Seriously, if you can't question your religious beliefs, for instance, how can you claim to believe them? If they're really true, don't you think they will hold up to you reading up on what they are and pondering whether they make sense or not? (Extra bonus to this practice: you will discover all kinds of new things about your faith that are worth knowing ... and you won't have to rely on the latest televangelist/celebrity priest to tell you what your faith teaches.)
There you go: ten things to drop into any conversation with me to guarantee that I will go on a three-hour rant ... and that's IF no one tries to argue with me!
What gets you going?