The Bookworm Beat 5-15-15 — “knock yourself out” edition and Open Thread

Woman writingNot a bad day, but a busy one. Legal work in the morning, followed immediately by taking my mother to an appointment, followed immediately by a lunch that I’ll tell you about, followed immediately by taking my son to the barber, which activity will be followed immediately by joining some gal pals for dinner. I’m grabbing a five minute interval between activities to tell you about that lunch and to offer you a couple of links.

The person I met for lunch is the client of an attorney friend whom I’ve been helping for the past months, since she’s been very busy. He and I talked on the phone about discovery issues and, since we kept getting sidetracked on non-legal matters, we agreed to meet for lunch. We lunched for two and a half hours! About twenty minutes into the conversation, when he mentioned Friedrich von Hayek’s Road to Serfdom, I knew that the lunch was going to go very, very well. We talked law, politics, society, child-rearing, etc. and found ourselves to be in sync ideologically, but with different funds of knowledge and different thoughts about significant issues. It was a very enjoyable lunch. Next time, we’ll try to get our spouses involved since, coincidentally, our spouses work in similar fields.

I always enjoy these reminders that, no matter how old I get, and how regimented my days can be, life still offers surprises. You just have to say yes when opportunities offer themselves, and pay attention so that the surprises don’t pass by without your even being aware of them.

Oh, and the posts I wanted you to see. Wolf Howling directed me to an Open Letter an Air Force enlistee penned after having to sit through a mandatory annual training given by her base’s Sexual Assault Response Coordination (SARC) office. She came a way furiously angry but, unlike a Michelle Obama-esque person, she didn’t come away furiously angry at men, she came away furiously angry at a military culture that tries to paint her as a victim and then treat her accordingly:

You made me a victim today, and I am nobody’s victim. I am an American Airman in the most powerful Air Force in the world, and you made me into a helpless whore. A sensitive, defenseless woman who has no power to protect herself, who has nothing in common with the men she works with. You made me untouchable, and by doing that you made me a target. You gave me a transparent parasol, called it an umbrella and told me to stand idly by while you placed everything from rape to inappropriate shoulder brushes in a crowded hallway underneath it. You put my face up on your slides; my face, my uniform, my honor, and you made me hold this ridiculous contraption of your own devising and called me empowered. You called me strong. You told me, and everyone else who was listening to you this morning that I had a right to dictate what they said. That I had a right to dictate what they looked at. That I had a right to dictate what they listened to. That somehow, in my shop, I was the only person who mattered. That they can’t listen to the radio because they might play the Beatles, or Sir Mix-A-Lot, and that I might be offended. That if someone plays a Katy Perry song, I might have flashbacks to a night where I made a bad decision. I might be hurt, and I’m fragile right? Of course I am, you made me that way.

That’s just a taste, but you really need to read the whole thing.

Now that I’ve got your dander up, let me calm it down with one of the nicest stories I’ve heard in a long time. Wait. Make that two of the nicest stories.