Thursday, November 06, 2008

dazed and conflicted


I am coming down off the dazzling, dazed high that is getting your candidate into office after years of being demoralized into liberal outrage fatigue. Seriously, my political cynicism never really recovered after the 2000 election, and by 2004 I had all of my civic beliefs beaten out of me. But now I believe again! I am in a haze of optimism. I am naive like that. But my joy is tempered by the hatefulness of my home state. Oh well. No rest for the weary: we continue the fight. After all, its not like Obama's victory magically marshaled us into a post-racial, post-discrimination world in which the meritocracy always works and there is actually equality and justice for all.

Of course, I'm not sure how to proceed in this post-fight fight. Paul's qualms are valid, as are Sigvald's. I signed a petition (and here's another petition from the ACLU, and here's some legal discussion of it), but I don't know what good it'll do, and I'm not sure it's the best way of going about it, and I don't know what else to do. Yes, I am not very helpful.

From the CA Secretary of State's website:

Proponents are allowed a maximum of 150 days to circulate petitions and collect signatures (Section 336). However, the initiative measure must qualify at least 131 days before the next statewide election at which it is to be submitted to the voters (Section 9013; Cal. Const., art. II, Section 8(c)). As a result, proponent(s) may want to shorten the circulation period in order to ensure that the proposed initiative measure qualifies at least 131 days before the next statewide election.

Initiative Constitutional Amendment: Petitions proposing initiative constitutional amendments must be signed by registered voters. The number of signatures must be equal to at least 8% of the total votes cast for Governor at the last gubernatorial election. (Cal. Const., art. II, Section 8(b); Section 9035) The total number of signatures required for such petitions is 694,354.

I'm getting heartbreaking and yet determined emails from friends who feel devastated about being denied the same degree of recognition from the state and who are determined to overturn the amendment. I'm slightly conflicted for the same reasons that Paul and Sigvald are conflicted, but these conflicts are largely academic and philosophical: I have no hesitation about my beliefs that this proposition is immoral and unjust. But qualms about countermajoritarian politics remain. How to reconcile them, I do not know.


In other news, to respond to your posts, my instant gratification scarf turned out great. I will have to take pictures of myself in it and send them to you. I'm knitting myself another, because I am new-things-averse and cannot seem to learn a new pattern without you sitting next to me. I can knit and purl, but integrating new formations of these is beyond my comprehension.

I would like to follow up our earlier discussions of manliness with a post on masculine compensation using this other sociologist's research, but I feel loathe to cite or discuss a work in progress. Perhaps I can find other sources and start a general conversation, but suffice it to say that when a man's masculinity is challenged, he overcompensates by displaying more masculine behaviors like wanting to buy an SUV, being more competitive in sports, and supporting the war in Iraq. I kid you not. Let me dig up some sources (no doubt, you will go "duh") and we can talk about gender compensation--the effect isn't the same for women, as we don't go "girlier" when we're called masculine. So go ahead, call me macho, and watch me not go into the kitchen to bake a pie and be all woman-like.

Tomorrow evening I allow a dear male friend to meet TD. I don't have many male friends. Should this be the subject of another conversation between us, or is this such well-trod Harry-met-Sally territory as to not merit further discussion? Anyway, so I'm letting one of my few male friends who is not a partner of one of my best female friends meet my boyfriend. I don't know why I've waited so long--most of my girl friends who are not far away have met him. I think I tend to lump all of my dude friends into one category, and in keeping with intuitive male competitiveness/masculine overcompensation theories, I always wonder if they will get along, or secretly hate each other and argue and I am one of those liberal peaceniks who wants everyone to get along. Not that I assume they are competing over me, of course! Fie on such ego. More that occasionally I have seen dudes talk over each other and get competitive about their petty little disagreements, e.g. the disputed value of philosophy as a subject of study or whether the other is a corporate sell-out tool. I don't know why I value peace and comity so much that I get upset when people I care about argue, even though I well know that one can disagree and still have fondness for another. Maybe because my family, growing up, was so argumentative that I seek peace at the dinner table as an adult. Ah well. I am sure it will go swimmingly, and that they will have something to talk about--like their shared disdain of English lit majors. Seriously, what is up with that. I might have to start some smack down myself.

Finally, are you, like me, sick of flicks about emotionally stunted man-children?
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