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Insert Comma • A Portfolio of Leigh E. Rich
Categories: Ethics, Feminism, Health, History, Media, Politics, Television, Utrinque Paratus | Comments Off on “Men Against Fire”

The bureaucratization of dehumanization is nothing new. Examples can be found in many eras and places and during both wartime and peace. Modern warfare, however, has meant innovations in the techniques of killing as well as the “framing” of those being killed, whether accomplished by separating the act through distance or technology or training soldiers (and the public) to “see” the enemy differently. The U.K. anthology series Black Mirror revisits this question in an episode titled “Men Against Fire,” a direct reference to S.L.A. Marshall’s controversial 1947 book of the same name, Men Against Fire: The Problem of Battle Command. Marshall observed the battlefield as a lonely and traumatic place and portrayed this isolation—and an individual’s moral upbringing—for soldiers’ hesitancy to fire on an enemy, even when ordered or in danger of losing their own lives. What was needed, according to Marshall, were “well-trained foot soldiers” freed from such burdens. While bureaucratic techniques that dehumanize or obscure the Other can be particularly “useful” in war, they are perhaps more insidious beyond the bounds of war. Primary examples include Jim Crow and eugenics, with reverberations of both still felt today. Examining the Black Mirror episode, not in relation to war or Marshall but when men are not “against fire,” sheds light on why health disparities and other inequities persist and the need for movements like Black Lives Matter or new waves of feminism. In civil society, the “problem of battle command” has been understood by certain policymakers and powerbrokers as a hesitancy to limit safety nets (“entitlements”) or reproductive and civil freedoms of the “undeserving” in the name of protecting the financial and corporeal health of the social body. Viewing “Men Against Fire” through examples such as eugenic thinking reveals how discriminatory rhetoric against poor, minority, and other stigmatized populations has lingered during peacetime through the twentieth and into the twenty-first century. Unlike Marshall’s conclusion, the answer to ending such policies and practices is rooted not in overcoming a sense of morality but engaging in it.

Categories: Editorials, Ethics, Feminism, Health, Media, Theater, Utrinque Paratus | Comments Off on “Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say”

Moral distress and bioethics By Leigh E. Rich and Michael A. Ashby At the tragic end of Shakespeare’s King Lear, Edgar, the son of the Earl of Gloucester, clearly sides with the emotions as he laments the state of the king and his kingdom: “The weight of this sad time we must obey,/Speak what we […]

Categories: Feminism, Media, Social Science, Television, Utrinque Paratus | Comments Off on Feminism ain’t funny

Woman as “fun-killer,” mother as monster in the American sitcom By Jack Simmons and Leigh E. Rich Whether America has realized President Herbert Hoover’s 20th-century vision of a “chicken in every pot,” there is a television in nearly every home. Powerful and accessible, television programs, whether explicitly, convey values and messages to viewers and, thus, […]

Categories: Editorials, Ethics, Feminism, Politics, Social Science, Utrinque Paratus | Comments Off on Real dialogue needed on rape

Rep. Todd Akin’s comments a missed opportunity for cultural and ethical debate By Leigh E. Rich These days, one has to feel some sympathy for politicians, political candidates, celebrities and others in the public eye. Modern media technologies and the proliferation of communication channels have created something of a Panopticon, where the relative ease of […]

Categories: Editorials, Ethics, Feminism, Film, Health, Media, Utrinque Paratus | Comments Off on Today’s “Sexmission”

Editorial for the 9(3) issue of the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry By Leigh E. Rich and Michael A. Ashby The Polish film Seksmisja (Sexmission) opens with a quote from playwright and author Sławomir Mrożek: “Jutro to dziś—tyle, że jutro,” which is translated in the film’s subtitles as “Tomorrow is today—but a day away.” A popular […]

Categories: Ethics, Feminism, Film, Science, Utrinque Paratus | Comments Off on ‘Eggsploitation’

Oocyte (egg) donation is riddled with issues that have few, if any, solutions By Leigh E. Rich In one sense, so-called “third-party reproduction” that uses gametes contributed by anonymous (or known) “donors” is no longer novel (Murphy 2009; Sargent 2007; Sauer 2001; Mastroianni 2001), but the highly profitable IVF industry (now sometimes called “ART” for “artificial reproductive techniques”) is still in […]

Categories: Editorials, Feminism, Humor, Utrinque Paratus | Comments Off on Oh, pluck it

The hairy issues of being a groomed feminist By Leigh E. Rich A friend once called me and, before I had a chance to say hello, asked rapidly, “What one thing would you want if stranded on a desert island?” My reply was as automatic as it was predictable. “Duh. Tweezers.” As if she had […]

Categories: Feminism, Fiction & Poetry, Utrinque Paratus | Comments Off on Cookies

Forget  33               17  is  prime                                                         knew  it  all                         […]

Categories: Editorials, Feminism, Politics, Utrinque Paratus | Comments Off on Owens and the Church lack compassion

Boyd and Veiga stand by rape survivors By Leigh E. Rich We’re not a theocracy. We’re not an autocracy. American government, and thus Colorado’s, is representative. So just who, then, does Gov. Bill Owens represent? I’m guessing it must be the Catholic Church, given his veto this week of Rep. Betty Boyd and Sen. Jennifer […]

Categories: Feminism, Politics, Utrinque Paratus | Comments Off on After 128 years, there’s a woman in charge

Colorado’s Senate swearing-in ceremonies, however, don’t go as planned By Leigh E. Rich History was made Wednesday, as Colorado’s first female Senate president was sworn in on opening day of the General Assembly’s 65th session. But not everyone voted for her. In what was otherwise expected to be a scripted, routine and—compared to the reputedly […]

Categories: Editorials, Feminism, Politics, Utrinque Paratus | Comments Off on Too many lasts for a first-world nation

American won’t be one until we are finished with ‘firsts’ By Leigh E. Rich In January, Democratic Sen. Joan Fitz-Gerald will become Colorado’s first female Senate president. An elated Fitz-Gerald told well-wishers on election night—referring to her husband, John—that “for the first time in Colorado, we’re going to have a first lady who’s a man.” […]

Categories: Books, Feminism, Utrinque Paratus | Comments Off on Ridiculous ‘Rayna’

Someone needs to inject the lead character of ‘Chasing Rayna’ with a dose of intelligence By Leigh E. Rich Chasing Rayna By Sylvia Nobel Nite Owl Books $13.95. I too am chasing Rayna—into the arms of Gloria Steinem, who just might be able to slap some feminism into the sophomoric prosecutor at the center of […]