Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Odds 'N Ends

1. Vandals Descecrate Gay Memorial

I wonder if all those who have been diligently documenting each and every instance of alleged misbehavior of gay people, will report on this? In West Hollywood, vandals destroyed two trees at the Matthew Shepard Human Rights Triangle. The trees honored LGBT activists Morris Kight and Ivy Bottini.

2. Victory in Vermont!

As you may know, Vermont lawmakers legalized same-sex marriage on April 7, 2009. As promised, Governor Jim Douglas vetoed the law. However, the legislature voted to override the veto with a two-thirds vote of each chamber. Same-sex marriage is now legal in 4 US states.

3. Equal Rights for Vagina-Humans

Afghanistan's government has been pondering a controversial law. According to the UK's Times Online, the law stipulates that a woman "is bound to preen for her husband as and when he desires." And furthermore:

"As long as the husband is not travelling, he has the right to have sexual intercourse with his wife every fourth night. Unless the wife is ill or has any kind of illness that intercourse could aggravate, the wife is bound to give a positive response to the sexual desires of her husband."

I like that they put in that "unless the wife is ill" part. It's very considerate. But seriously, you will notice that under this law a man has a near-absolute right to his wife's body and sexuality. It does not matter if the woman consents, because by law every woman has already consented when she married her husband. The law effectively takes away the woman's right to consent, because the Man's Right to Sex trumps all that.

Wait, I think there's a word for that. Oh yeah, it's called rape.

The law also restricts women to the home, saying "A wife cannot leave the house without the permission of the husband." Supposedly, after an "outcry" from the West, Afghanistan's Justice Ministry has been "reviewing the law to make sure it is in line with the Afghan Government’s commitment to human rights and women rights conventions." I think that if they have to "review" the law to make such a determination, they have kind of a funky sense of human and women's rights. Assuming that the humanity of women is equal to the humanity of men, it should really be self-evident that marital rape is not okay.

One final thing. Conservative Christians often accuse liberals and progressives of Never Criticizing Islam Because of Political Correctness. That's just not true. Many liberals and progressives, especially of the feminist variety, are equal opportunity critics when it comes to male-centric religions that promote sexism. When it comes to human rights violations, I don't consider any religion to be off-limits to criticism. So, while I object to some of the post-9/11 demonization of all Muslims, I have and will most certainly criticize the treatment of women and gays/lesbians in certain Muslim societies and sects.

4. Removing Women From the Public Sphere

Needless to say, my equal opportunity criticism also extends to Judaism. Specifically, ultra-Orthodox Judaism. The Associated press reported last week that two women joined the new Israeli government and yet, Israeli newspapers "aimed at ultra-Orthodox Jewish readers" digitally removed the women from a photo of the new government and replaced them with men.

Don't worry, though. The decision wasn't about sexism or anything. It's just "immodest to print images of women." When men are accomplished they're just manly man men fulfilling their role as men. When women are accomplished, they should hide their accomplishments lest they appear boastful and immodest.

5. Quote of the Week

"I’m basically a 'man' trapped in a woman’s body. What I mean is that, like a person with a penis, I act like a human being and expect other people to treat me like one even though I have a vagina."

Yeah, me too. I guess that technically makes me trans or something.

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