Friday 25 January 2019

Desert Day

I have a day off from normal journalistic duties to think about them. It's a kind of Professional Development Day, or PD Days, as we called them in Toronto in the 1980s when our elementary school teachers had them.

This PD Day as usual I'm going to see my priest for confession and spiritual direction.  Sometimes I write to someone about my work: a nun friend or a young person interested in journalism. Sometimes I read a book about doctrine or a book about journalism. Sometimes I get a massage and ask the masseuse to concentrate on my arms.

One thing I do not do is read the news: we're strictly forbidden to read the news on our Desert Days. We're also not to use the day to catch up on housework.

Hilary White used to write about how sad it was to write about pro-life and Church news all the time and how she'd rather write about marine biology. It certainly can be sad; it's important to find the happy stories, too. There are lots of happy pro-life stories for those who want to read them. I really enjoyed reporting on the young man with Downs who made such an impression on "The Greatest Dancer."

Happy or sad, it's also important work.  Incidentally, I would never permit a child to watch television or use the internet unsupervised. Never, never, never.  I know homeschooling parents who will pop a 100% safe children's film in the DVD player to get a break, but that's as far as I would go myself. Yes, I know that that would be a sacrifice. Yes, I know how tiresome children can be. However, the number of girls whose reaction to hitting (admittedly horrible) early puberty is to seek sex change "therapy" is skyrocketing, and they get the idea from online chatrooms and youtube channels. Allowing a 12 year old girl to place herself before the internet is like sending her into a village teeming with bubonic plague.

I definitely hated early puberty. And when I was 13 or 14 I had my hair cut as short as Annie Lennox in the "Sweet Dreams" video, and dressed up as a boy for Halloween. That's as far as that went, though. Oh wait--no, it wasn't. I also had a crush on a female summer camp counsellor, and I adopted a male persona in a writing project. Although it is decidedly unfashionable to use the expression, it was a phase. What a very good thing no adult came along to interrupt my phase or turn it into something else.

Boxing in my late 20s wasn't a phase, however. It was an interesting pursuit and taught me a lot about women's athletic capacities and our physical limitations. I learned that getting punched in the face by a man won't necessarily kill you. It could, though, if you're very unlucky, so avoid it if you can. However, chances are that a single punch--especially by a 130 pound or less non-boxer--won't kill you, so if you can't run away, stand your ground and put up a fight, that's what I say.  Don't submit to violence like a sheep. Take a self-defence class. Keep your chin down and protect your head.

Incidentally, women should never get into a contact sporting contest with a transgender athlete. If the transgender athlete is genetically female, she's taking testosterone, which should be banned. If the athlete is genetically male, he's probably had all the permanent physical advantages that come with having been a teenage boy. Although a female athlete could leave a male non-athlete in the dust, competing with male or testosterone-using female athletes is a whole other boxing match.

Uh oh. Look at the time. I have to go. Talk to you later, and stay rooted in reality.

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