I think a great many of us are aware that SCOTUS ruled the other day, on a case involving the strip search of an eighth grade girl, by school faculty. As Ed put it, it is indeed a partial victory for sanity, given that the majority opinion explicitly stated that such a search might have been reasonable had the faculty suspected that she had illicit drugs on her person, rather than the Advil they were looking for. Several people have weighed in on the ruling, including Greg Laden, who's blog is so very often a starting point for very interesting conversations. So I don't feel all that compelled to throw much into the legal discussion, except to say that I strongly feel faculty should not be performing strip searches - ever. If there is a reasonable assumption that a child has contraband secreted in their underwear, the school should call the police in to deal with it - period. If the police don't believe there is adequate reason to search, then the search should not happen.
But I do want to weigh in on a discussion that got started over on Greg's thread - namely the question of how outraged we might be if it were a boy who was strip searched instead. I am not at all fond of the commenter who got that ball rolling - he and I have butted heads way to harshly for that. But he raises a very important question and one that is indicative of far more than just the implications of strip searches.
I am going to go into a great deal more detail on this, when I don't have three tests between now and Tuesday that I really need to study for. However, I would like to refer you to my paper on masculine social gender constructs and help-seeking in men. And I would also pose the question to you:
How would you feel about this situation if it had been a boy who was strip searched, instead of a girl? Would you feel any different about it? If so, why? And please try to be objective in your thinking and honest with yourself. Moreover, if you are comfortable doing so, drop your answers in comments or an email. And on this post only, I am willing to accept completely anonymous comments, because I want to know what you really think. I figure that some people might not want to be associated with their real feelings on this and I will respect that.
And while I am asking questions, I would also be interested to hear from some skeptics who were raised without religion. Stemming from an earlier discussion about cannabis, I am inclined to think that there is some tendency amongst those who never went in for particularly pervasive forms of magical thinking, to discount their skeptical nature when it comes to certain topics they hold dear - or dare I say, sacred. The lovely Juniper and I were discussing this the other night and it occurred to me that it might be a very good topic to write about. So if you were raised a free-thinker, or at least without Faith, these are for you.
Do you believe that you are pretty much immune to magical thinking - that you have some innate ability to think rationally about anything and everything? (discounting inherently arational notions, like love) Do you feel that you don't really have to be careful about how you approach topics that you may have strong personal feelings about? Do you ever find yourself questioning the evidence for something, not because you have seen more compelling evidence to the contrary, but because you don't like the conclusions implied by the evidence you discount?
Again, please be as objective and honest as possible. And again, feel free to email me answers or leave them anon. Any emails I receive about this will remain confidential.