I don't watch any TV news to speak of, rarely read newspapers, and only sporadically read online news, which overall means that to a large extent I could be considered to live under a rock. (I do however have a lot of very well-informed friends, and somehow manage to have some idea of what's what in the world.) Thus it surprises me that there are two stories I've seen in the news lately that I hadn't heard about socially first. (Or at least the Uzbekistan situation hasn't been in the news that I've noticed for several years.) Both of these come from the BBC because I generally like both their reporting and website layout, but you can read much the same and more elsewhere.
So, if you need more rage about reproductive rights, go read about Uzbekistan's public health policies. In particular go read about government quotas for doctors that lead to coerced or completely nonconsensual sterilization; the article is somewhat heavy-handed emotionally but given the content I'm already maxed out on the rage-o-meter:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-17612550
By way of small disclaimer I should point out I've never been there, but from everything I've read, Uzbekistan, human-rights-wise, is a shining example of doing just about everything wrong. The problem is that it's not just "those people over there"; given some of the public debate in the US lately about whether we control our own bodies this hit way too close to home. I still, still
hear people say things like "nobody would ever really do that
" when there are a few thousand years of contrary historical examples, and now here's a nice current one too.
Next up is the latest round in the ongoing legal wrangling involving prostitution in Canada:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-17520140
I really like that the rhetoric here is all about protecting sex workers without turning it into some kind of bullshit morality play, though I'm sure I could find awfulness if I dug enough. The actual court decision is just so, so reasonable! I'm still really conflicted about the larger issues here, because my "consenting adults should be free to do whatever they want" impulses are warring with my observation of the larger coercive forces in society and the lack of real options that a whole lot of people have (context, as always, is key!), but I'm in any case pleased that this debate exists without having politicians falling all over themselves to bloviate in not-quite-but-almost-as-many-words about how the godless harlots are going to hell anyway so who cares?
There's a lot I like about the US, even still, but the larger political debate just gives me teh crankies. Grr.