Thursday, August 28, 2014

Alrighty Then

In a video that's been making the rounds throughout the LGBT blogosphere, one mansplaining Christian "preacher" has posted a video on his website calling for a constitutional amendment that would make homosexuality a crime and subject prisoners to 10 years of hard labor.

Pathetic and hostile, yes.

I guess I'm just so getting inured to this shit that I approach it with dark humor, but I find it somewhat entertaining that, as is the case with so many bigots, this guy seems completely and unjustly enamored with his own "brilliance" as he lectures viewers on not only the evils of homosexuality, but about how "homosexuals" have turned things into a "zero... sum.... game," which he then proceeds to define for all of us dum dums.

I actually went to the preacher's website to gauge the legitimacy of it because, I mean, who really knows on Internet, right?  It's everything you might expect it to be from a Christian conservative bigot or one invented on Internet as a caricature.

He or "he" has posted several installments of his ramblings on a variety of hot topics that he says he's turning into a book. He opines on, for instance, the "orgies" of purported rioting and looting happening in Ferguson nowadays and, in a separate article, on the sinfulness of abortion which, in a blast from the past, references Baby Jessica.

In other news, I keep coming back to the notion of being imprisoned for being a lesbian and what "hard labor" with all of my gal pals might look like and, well, I should just stop here.





Related:
Atlantic Writer: Women's Prison Show Should Be More About Men

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

It's a Good Day For Marriage Equality

One of the biggest lies opponents of marriage equality tell themselves and the public is that their substantive arguments are rock solid and that people, wither willfully or ignorantly, misunderstand their arguments and therefore do nothing but unjustly call them hateful bigots.

That's why, whenever the substantive arguments of equality opponents get the smackdown in the public square and, specifically, in courts, it's always with much schadenfreude that I observe it.  I refer today, most recently, of Republican-appointed Judge Richard Posner's, of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, questioning of  the attorneys for Indiana and Wisconsin, who are defending their states' bans on same-sex marriage - via Slate, and 7th Circuit website. (See also Freedom to Marry, for more background on the case).

Many "marriage defenders" believe, especially when couched in people like prominent conservative "Robbie" George's intellectual-speak, that the purpose of marriage is responsible procreation - that is, they believe that marriage exists to (and because) heterosexual sex can result in babies and therefore heterosexuals need their own institution.

Yet, when conversation with "marriage defenders" becomes a dialogue or a line of questioning, rather than a monologue where this "truth" is dictated to us from them (or "God"), two things becomes readily apparent. The first is that, when they're not actually outright explicitly hating on LGBT people and same-sex couples, they actually don't think much about us and our needs to protect our families at all. When questioned about the needs of our families, they callously show that they haven't sincerely considered the harmful impact their advocacy has on us, or the way their staunch advocacy contributes to more explicit hatred of LGBT people, or what protections, if any, we should have if not marriage.

Two, the conversations show the irrationality and weaknesses of this purportedly "civil" "definitely not bigoted" "responsible procreation" argument, from a substantive standpoint.  I've had these conversations, like many advocates of equality have, over and over and over again.

Any bigot can engage in Internet debate and do a touchdown dance declaring hirself the "winner."  I've seen it happen a zillion times.  The writers at the single-issue bigot blog Opine Editorials, for instance, used to regularly declare themselves "the best" and "undefeated" at debate about the issue - indeed, they were so confident in their position and writing about the evils of same-sex marriage that they inexplicably shut down and deleted their entire blog awhile back.

Thus, it's refreshing, and extremely validating, that those with more power to declare intellectual and legal winners in the public sphere - such as judges - agree that "marriage defense" arguments lack rationality.

I LOVE seeing "marriage defenders" stammer, unable to adequately answer a judge's simple questions about the very crux of their position, and the exceptions they, for instance, create that allow sterile heterosexuals to marry but not same-sex couples if, after all, marriage is all about the babies. I LOVE seeing judges tell them that they must answer certain questions - no evasions allowed, no really- we'll all wait. I LOVE when so-called experts in this debate are declared by courts to not actually be experts at all - because oftentimes, they're not.

The "marriage defense" movement in the US is best characterized by hunches, lazy appeals to what they call "common sense," and a buncha people who are hyper-concerned with, first and foremost, whether or not people think they're bigots.

History will show equality advocates to be winners for these reasons, not because of some invented figment-of-their-imagination "PC gone awry" society.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Very Important Updates

Mansplain is now in Oxford's Dictionary's online dictionary OxfordDictionary.com.  Along with some other notable additions like side boob, humblebrag, and binge-watch.

In other news, I started Chris Moriarty's Spin series, as part of my ongoing Book Experiment.  Thus far, I've skewed heavily into the science fiction and fantasy genres, and thanks to recommendations of readers and friends, have discovered some new authors I've really liked, such as Jacqueline Carey.

Anyone want to share any other recommendations for my queue?  I'm particularly interested in science fiction and fantasy with LGBT themes and characters.

I'm open to other genres, as well!  For instance, I'm also currently reading Angela Davis' Women, Culture, and Politics.  I've just found that, this year in particular, I've really appreciated the escapism of science fiction and fantasy, compared to non-fiction reading that, in previous years, I've leaned more towards.




Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Female Pitcher Leads Team to Little League World Series

Via ESPNW,13-year-old baseball player Mo'ne Davis threw a 3-hitter to help get her Philadelphia team to the Little League World Series.  She had 6 strikeouts in the game.

Congratulations to her and her team!

Of course, in the comments to the article some grown-ass adult man had to immediately chime in and say, "I know I'll get blasted here, but I still say it isn't right. She took the spot of another male player....". Which, I'm not sure what's more sad, this guy's entitlement and sexism, or his inability to state his position without pre-emptively framing any critique of his position as aggression against him.  In which case, he doesn't deserve to be taken seriously so here's some Dottie Hinson action:

madonna animated GIF

Relatedly, ESPNW also ran a decent story on the history of girls in Little League and how incredibly hard Little League and lots of grown-ass adults fought to keep it a super special boys-only entitlement.  Although girls in the US are now largely channeled into the sport of softball rather than baseball, Little League has allowed girls to participate since 1974 as a result of lawsuits brought by girls wanting to play.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Writer Concerned That Folks Just Don't Understand Traditionalists Well Enough

Inspired by yesterday's post, today I want to pull out a bit from Damon Linker's (NOM-approved) column urging us to re-consider traditional sexual morality.

Specifically, he writes:
"Welcome to sexual modernity — a world in which the dense web of moral judgments and expectations that used to surround and hem in our sex lives has been almost completely dissolved, replaced by a single moral judgment or consideration: individual consent. As long as everyone involved in a sexual act has chosen to take part in it — from teenagers fumbling through their first act of intercourse to a roomful of leather-clad men and women at a BDSM orgy — anything and everything goes....
...Is the ethic of individual consent sufficient to keep people (mostly men) from acting violently on their sexual desires?"
Note two things here.

One, the assumption that there is something essential to male sexual desire that's inherently violent and that, therefore, social forces need to tame and keep in check. The ethic of individual consent is not enough because, Linker suggestively asks, can men really take no for answer?

MRAs and feminist critics, meet Damon Linker because *ding ding ding* we have a MISANDRY ALERT!   I'm sure the anti-feminists will take their shit up with him ASAP. Oh. No, wait. They'll probably find this post eventually and finagle some way to frame me, the feminist, as the Real Misandrist.

Two, his concern trollish question suggests that the thing needed to keep men's violent sexual desires in check is traditional morality, which has some serious stuff to teach "us." As though, back in the good old days, the fear of "god" was enough to keep people from raping people.

When, no.

Back in the good old days of traditional morality in the US, men were more often allowed to rape - their slaves, their women, their wives - without consequence.  The thing about "trends" is that once we finally start naming events for what they are, it sometimes looks like those events are increasing in frequency.

The sad thing about his article is that some of the questions he raises are serious and many progressives, feminists, and liberals are actually thinking seriously about them, a fact which Linker seems oblivious to.  As he tries to explain what's really up with the traditionalists and admonishes us to "respect" those traditionalists who are "troubled" by these issues of modern-day sexuality he barely concedes that traditionalists so often, themselves, refuse to respect, understand, or listen to us.

We're largely met by ridicule of LGBT identities and fingers-in-ears whinging about "political correctness." We encounter irrational religious tangents about "sin" and slippery slope arguments about the "decay of society."

Linker quotes social conservative Rod Dreher, who practically every day at his blog writes a post mocking transgender people and/or whinging about how LGBT equality is oppressing him as a Christian.  Like here, where he mocks the "freaky-deakiness" of the dispute between some strains of radical feminism and transgenderism, ultimately predicting that the debate itself is "a sign" that our "decadent society" isn't going to "end well."

Yet, if we listen to Linker, progressives are supposed to turn around, respect traditionalists like Dreher, and take his opinions more seriously just because he's super concerned that modern sexual ethics will destroy society.

Okay! /sarcastic thumbs up sign/  Because we haven't been hearing that for years!

Look. I have considered, truly considered traditional values, and for the most part I reject them.  Where this idea comes from that progressives and liberals just haven't given enough thought to traditional values, I have no idea.  These conversations and debates among traditionalists and more tolerant folks have been going on for at least decades and are well-documented in journals, blogposts, articles, media, books, and court cases.

Speaking for myself, about half the blogs I regularly read are blogs written by those with whom I radically disagree.  While I sometimes find areas of agreement, I'm often not impressed with either their arguments or their understandings of the ideologies they disagree with, which they often write about in vague and caricatured ways.

What I could get on board with would be a column saying, "Hey, why don't all people involved in heated debate and conversation try to understand the other side a bit better, yeah?"

I certainly don't need concern troll "translators" trying their best to make either traditional or Christian views more palatable to me by suggesting that it's progressives who just don't understand where traditionalists are coming from.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Deep Thought of the Day

One thing bigots and other anti-LGBT folks need to learn is that their views are crap even if they can find LGBT people and self-described progressives and liberals who agree with them about some stuff.

At the awful National Organization for [Heteroseual] Marriage blog, the "NOM Staff" author approvingly quotes a purportedly progressive person who wrote an article claiming that religious people's objections to marriage equality "aren't trivial."

Seriously, bigots love this shit, the same way misogynists love "women against feminism."  The "ex-gay," the gay man opposed to same-sex marriage, the celibate lesbian who refuses to live in sin.  It's not exactly a startling revelation that anti-LGBT groups love using these people's words and stories to the extent they echo anti-LGBT talking points.

It's just a reminder that the same talking points we've heard and rebutted over and over and over again for years don't suddenly gain respectability and credence just because it's not the same old bigots saying them.

Monday, July 28, 2014

No, Your Beliefs Actually Are Quite Awful

I'm crying the world's largest puddle of misandry tears for Todd Akin, he of "legitimate rape" notoriety, and other people with reprehensible thoughts who think the Real Issue is that their reprehensible thoughts were just taken out of context and that, maybe just maybe, if they framed their thoughts better, they would be seen as less reprehensible.

I'm reminded of conversations with some anti-gay Christians who think that if we understood, just really understood, that people can hate the sin and love the sinner, then we'd understand that nothing about their religion is at all problematic toward gay people, so geeez, why are you gays being so unfair to Christians by calling them bigots?

According to recent statements by Akin, likewise, we're supposed to feel sorry for him because he's been made out to be the "villain of the whole world," a remarkably self-centered claim, that.  Like, a man's criticized for his reprehensible politics and his way of handling it is to claim he's basically the most hated man on Earth. 

What's he going to do next, start fake *ducking* whenever he says anything remotely controversial, just to pre-empt all those violent, unfair progressives and feminists who criticize him for no reason at all?

In the same interview in which he explains how he doesn't have awful views, people just willfully misrepresent him, this happens:
"Finally, Todd asked Akin if he believed there are any exceptional cases in which a woman should be allowed to have an abortion. 
Akin refused to directly answer the question, but did allow that cases in which a nonviable fetus threatens the life of the mother might constitute an “exception” that he could support. 
'I think that what doctors should do is try to save life,' he said. 'I believe that what you do is save the mother. Your objective is not to kill the child. If you’d call that an exception, then that would be an exception.'"
Like, he can barely, barely, no not even concede that a woman should be able to choose to save her own life if, and only if, the fetus she's carrying is non-viable. And, catering to the most extreme forced birther crowd he can barely, just barely, admit that he would maybe allow (because it's his decision, apparently) women to have that one teeny tiny "exception" with respect to our own ability to stay alive.

This is not a man who has been willfully misrepresented or who, from time to time, misspeaks and says stuff that doesn't actually represent his beliefs. This is a man who really does have reprehensible politics and beliefs about women's autonomy, value, and lives.