Department Of Before I Get To The Complaining Thoughtful Expositions On Topics Of Importance To All Humankind…
First, this observation of appreciation:
I’m not a coffee drinker,  but I would like to thank the person who, somewhere on Necarney Boulevard (Manzanita, OR) at approximately 7:30 am Tuesday morning, was either out on their porch or deck with their morning cuppa Joe, or brewing it in a nearby kitchen with the windows open. Whatever grind or blend they were using, its enticing aroma wafted onto the bicycle/pedestrian path as I walked by. In combination with the morning mist, which carried the scent of the salty ocean…Aaaahhh. What a delightful sensory experience.
* * *
Department Of A Gut-Wrenchingly Devastating, Throwing-Heavy-Objects-Against-The-Wall-Anger-Inducing Thing To Hear…
And Yet Also, Ultimately, Am I Surprised?
Unfortunately, the answer is, fuck no.
This Gut-Wrenchingly-Devastating-Throwing-Heavy-Objects-Against-The-Wall-Anger-Inducing-Thing-To-Hear can be heard in the latest Serial podcast, the capper to their five-part narrative series, The Retrievals. Moiself has written in this space about this podcast, which I can’t recommend strongly enough. In Episode 5: The Outcomes, former patients talk about the lasting effects of their experiences at Yale’s fertility clinic, wherein an IVF procedure caused them excruciating pain, both during the procedure and for hours and even days afterword (…and for “good reason” – it turns out a narcotics-addicted clinic nurse had been stealing the analgesic used for the procedure and replacing it with saline). But the patients’ reports of pain, even to the doctors and clinic staff who heard the patients screaming during the procedure, were discounted and/or minimized.
The following podcast excerpts (Episode 5: The Outcomes, transcript) are from conversations between Serial producer/investigator Susan Barton, and Kelly Fitzpatrick, one of the attorneys representing the patients in their malpractice lawsuits against the Yale clinic,  and Barton and Cecelia Plaza, an attorney who wrote a paper cited in the conversation (my emphases):
“These women were repeatedly ignored….that sets it apart from a regular medical malpractice case. These women were gaslighted. They weren’t believed. …And that makes it different.”
“…So how do you do that? How do you sue for ignoring pain?… It’s not like that, another one of the (patients’ lawsuit) attorneys told me. You can sue because they should have investigated reports of pain…
And then I came across the perfect paper. It was called, ‘Miss Diagnosis – gendered injustice and medical malpractice law.’ ….
The paper…(didn’t say) ‘Here’s how you sue for ignoring pain.’ What it did do is explore how this issue of women not being believed in medical settings plays out in court….
The (paper’s) author was a young attorney named Cecilia Plaza… She set out to answer a specific question about the gender gap in medical malpractice outcomes, which essentially is a question about whether women can be fairly compensated in the medical malpractice system. And what she found is that women likely cannot.
Because the foundation of this system is, did what happened to you meet the standard of care? If it did, you’re out of luck. Like, you’re a woman, you think you’re having a heart attack. You go to the ER. The doctor says, ‘it’s just your anxiety,’ and sends you home. Then it turns out that you really were having a heart attack. Can you successfully win a case against this doctor in court?
Maybe not. Because doctors misdiagnose so many women’s heart attacks as anxiety that sending a woman home could actually be interpreted as a reasonable choice that an ordinary doctor would make.
Just to be clear, Cecilia’s paper is not a work of opinion. It is an empirical analysis based on a ton of data. And what Cecilia found is that women cannot expect to get as much money as men in this system.
Because dismissing women doesn’t necessarily fall below the standard of care.”
“You would have to basically make the argument that not believing your patient’s report of symptoms or of pain is de facto below the standard of care. That’s not currently the case, which is a little bit mind boggling. But you would have to make that argument, and the court would have to agree with you.”
Got that, amid the legalese?
* Because so many doctors misdiagnose women and have done for so long and for so often, it is considered to be routine.
* Because discounting, minimizing, ignoring women’s pain, and *not believing them when they report severe pain,* is so common in the medical field, it is considered to be the standard of care.
* * *
Department Of While I’m Getting Uppity….
Recently, while re-reading Roxane Gay‘s collection of essays, Bad Feminist, moiself was reminded of my conflicted feelings on whether or not people ultimately care about, or learn from, the lives and stories of others.
RG’s essays – specifically, Blurred Lines, Indeed – took me back to last summer, when moi-blog-self mulled over issues of freedom/personal liberty after the SCOTUS Roe V. Wade ruling. We religion-free folk have taken a page from the LGBTQ playbook; thus, many of us so-called atheists, Freethinkers, Skeptics, Brights, et al, encourage “outing” ourselves as such, and not only for reasons of truth-telling (religion-free folk tend to be fans of reality), but also with the thought/hope that that increased visibility helps to break down barriers, open minds, increase participation in the civic arena, and counter stereotypes. Thus I outed moiself, in one sense,  by briefly mentioning my reproductive history:
(excerpt from The Liberty Loss I’m Not Accepting, 7-29-22):
So. A dimwitted busybody curious person may wonder, If it’s personal/no one else’s business, why am I making it yours by writing about it here? Moiself does this for reasons that are not so original and yet are nonetheless pertinent.
“In 1972—when abortion was illegal throughout most of the country—53 well-known U.S. women courageously declared ‘We Have Had Abortions’ in the pages of the preview issue of Ms. magazine.
‘To many American women and men it seems absurd, that in this allegedly enlightened age, that we should still be arguing for a simple principle: that a woman has the right to sovereignty over her own body,’ they declared.
Gloria Steinem, Billie Jean King, Susan Sontag, Nora Ephron, Dorothy Pitman Hughes and Judy Collins were among the signers. The women spoke out ‘to save lives and to spare other women the pain of socially imposed guilt’ and ‘to repeal archaic and inhuman laws.’ They invited all women to sign in order to ‘help eliminate the stigma’ of abortion.”
( ” ‘We Have Had Abortions’ Petition Relaunches 50 Years Later—With Support From Original Signatories.”
Msmagazine.com 1-20-22 )
It can be easy to ignore or discount issues that are critical for other people, if you think the issue doesn’t affect you or anyone you know. If you (mistakenly) think that you don’t know anyone who’s gay/atheist/has had an abortion, then LGBTQ rights/religious discrimination/reproductive freedom may be an abstraction to you. You can allow yourself to be on the fence about the issue – or even on the compassionate side of the fence but not really involved – if you think it doesn’t affect you or anyone that you know.
I’m not sure about my mother’s stance on abortion, but I know she went to her grave not knowing about her older sister‘s harrowing experience.  My parents were as loving and considerate as could be to all of my different friends, and they knew of (and even occasionally discussed with me) my political opinions. However and sadly, judging from the publications and mailers I espied on their coffee table during my infrequent visits to their house, it is likely that they could have fallen prey to fear-mongering politics of The Billy Graham Association and other conservative religious organizations.
During one of my visits, California had an “anti-homosexual” proposition on the ballot (I can’t remember which proposition, nor exactly when– there’ve been several, over the years), and I saw a GAY TEACHERS ARE AFTER YOUR KIDS -type flyer on their kitchen table.
I asked them if they took such hyperbole seriously. One of them (can’t remember if it was Mom or Dad) said they realized it was over-the-top, then said, “Actually, we don’t know anyone who is gay.”
“No,” I said, “Actually, you *do* know gay people. You just don’t know that they are gay because you don’t know them well enough to be privy to their personal lives, or they have chosen not to reveal this to you…” – I indicated the flyer atop the mail pile – “…because of crap like that.” (My mother later assured me that that the flyer had just come in the mail, and that they hadn’t “requested it”).
I proceeded to give them the names of friends and teachers of mine, whom they’d met and liked, who were gay. They seemed genuinely surprised. “Mr. Haffner is gay? He was one of your and your sister’s favorite teachers….” (Still is, Dad.) “That nice friend of yours from college – he’s so sweet and smart and funny, he was a premed student, I think – he’s gay?” (Yes, Mom. He’s still the nice young man – nice doctor, now – who impressed you. You simply know something about him that you didn’t know before).
Did it make a difference in how they thought, or voted? No idea.
* * *
I’m still wondering: when it comes to knowing the personal stories of others, what does and doesn’t make a difference? Still wondering after reading these excerpts from RG’s essay, Blurred Lines, Indeed (my emphases):
“On June 30 2013 in the Room for Debate section, the NYT asked, ‘Would support for abortion rights grow if more women discussed their abortions?’ When I first saw the question, I bristled. Women shouldn’t have to sacrifice their personal histories to enlighten those who are probably uninterested in enlightenment.
…what if she doesn’t want to tell her story? What if it’s too personal, too painful? What do these confessions really do? Some people will be moved, but those are rarely the same people who support legislation to erode reproductive freedom. Immovable people will not be moved by testimony.”
* * *
* * *
Department Of Different As In, And now For Something More Light Hearted:
We’ll Always Have Paris…
A classic line from a classic movie.  There are lists of such – “best” or “most memorable” movie lines – compiled by the American Film Institute, et al. Last week moiself overheard two people discussing classic movie lines.  I got to thinking about those lists, which, if I remembers correctly, tend to be skewed toward films released before the mid-1970s. So, off the top of moiself’s pointy little head…
…I started my own list of memorable lines or dialogue from films released since 1975. I’m not claiming these are the “best” lines; they’re just, IMO, marvelous.
In no particular order, I present you with the lines, in this format:
characters/actors who speak the lines
( movie in which the lines appear )
“You’re not too smart, are you? I like that in a man.”
( Body Heat )
“I have been and always shall be your friend.”
( Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan )
James T. Kirk/William Shatner
( Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan )
“Are you suggesting coconuts migrate?”
Soldier #1/Michael Palin
( Monty Python & the Holy Grail )
“You sit on a throne of lies!”
( Elf )
“Louise, I don’t know how to fish.”
“Neither do I, Thelma, but Daryl does it – how hard can it be?”
Thelma & Louise /Geena Davis & Susan Sarandon
( Thelma and Louise )
“That is one big pile of shit.”
Ian Malcolm/Jeff Goldblum
( Jurassic Park )
Look, I have ONE job on this lousy ship.
It’s STUPID, but I’m gonna do it, OKAY?”
Gwen DeMarco/Sigourney Weaver
( Galaxy Quest )
“Fuck you Mars.”
Mark Watney/Matt Damon
( The Martian )
“Into the garbage chute, flyboy!”
Leia Organa/Carrie Fisher
( Star Wars: A New Hope )
“Better get a bucket.”
Mr. Creosote/Terry Jones
( Monty Python: The Meaning of Life )
“How do you like your eggs?”
( Murphy’s Romance )
“It’s comin’ outta me like lava!”
( Bridesmaids )
Before 1975; still one of my favorites of the classic movie lines:
* * *
Freethinkers’ Thought Of The Week 
Actually, there are hundred of reasons…
but all you need is one, and this is a good one.
* * *
May you not be an immovable person/uninterested in enlightenment;
May you find a way to incorporate a classic movie line
into at least one comment of yours during the upcoming week;
May you be pleasantly surprised by enticing aromas;
…and may the hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
* * *
 Moiself will occasionally treat myself to a latte-dah type drink, but tea is my hot beverage of choice.
 Fitzpatrick herself has been through an IVF procedure.
 The other sense – my religion-free status – has been out for some time.
 A few years before her death, at the request of one of her nieces (who suspected, correctly, that there were family stories to be told), my mother’s eldest sister revealed that the reason she and her husband never had children was that she was unable to, after having undergone an illegal abortion (that almost killed her) .
 Casablanca. Please don’t tell me if you didn’t know that.
 As in debating which were the best, or most-overrated or under-rated lines or dialog couplets….
 “free-think-er n. A person who forms opinions about religion on the basis of reason, independently of tradition, authority, or established belief. Freethinkers include atheists, agnostics and rationalists. No one can be a freethinker who demands conformity to a bible, creed, or messiah. To the freethinker, revelation and faith are invalid, and orthodoxy is no guarantee of truth.” Definition courtesy of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, ffrf.org