Friday, July 24, 2009

Odds 'N Ends

1) It Depends On What the Meaning of "Choice" Is

Via The Box Turtle Bulletin, I read of a young man (aged 23) whose parents allegedly economically coerced him into ex-gay therapy. How did they do so?

"His friends have said he had no choice as his parents took away his phone, his car and his money."

While I do think it's unfortunate that this guy's parents were (allegedly) so unaccepting of their son's sexual orientation that they cut him off financially unless he went to "ex-gay therapy," I don't think it's at all accurate to say he had "no choice" in the matter. As a 23-year-old adult, he made the choice to go to ex-gay therapy over the choice of not doing so and losing his parents' financial support.

As someone who put myself through college and law school while remaining financially independent my entire adult life, I've had trouble relating to this guy's "lack of choice." Had either of my parents demanded that I go through "ex-gay therapy: when I was 23-years-old, given my independence from them, I would have laughed in their faces. I guess it's all about perspective and what comforts a person is used to.

2) Cunts Again

Every so often in my Google Alert box, I receive links to a certain bizarre online Men's Rights crowd. The other day, I was alerted to a post by a feminist, Amanda Hess, who came across that notorious site that promises to cure the universe from "feminist indoctrination." Like so many folks who are ignorant of feminisms, this site presents the views of Valerie Solanas as though it is "the second-wave feminist view of men."

When someone genuinely believes that Valerie Solanas is in any way representative of mainstream, most, or even the majority of feminist thought, well, that pretty much automatically discredits the person. I mean seriously, 1968 called and it wants its bell bottoms back.

Anyway, from what I've observed, I think men's rights activism (and its twin brother "anti-misandry") is, for some men, a place for dudes to figuratively unzip their flies, take out their dicks and self-indulgently opine upon the "natural" superiority of man and the overall cuntiness of woman. Hess, in a quick site search, found 101 references to "cunts" on that particular site despite the fact that the site supposedly bans that particular offensive term.

That's why I actually think that MRA-ism does a pretty good job of, in many cases, existing as the radical woman-hating ideology that it believes feminism is with respect to men. Its reality is a caricature, an extreme and aggressive reaction to the de-centering of men from the center of all that matters in the universe.

3) "Married" Works Too

The 2010 US Census will include married same-sex couples. However, thanks to DOMA, the Census cannot count same-sex couples as married even if they are legally married in their respective states. DOMA, of course, prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex married couples for any purpose, no matter how trivial. (Although, I think our foes for some reason like it when accurate numbers of same-sex couples and LGBT people do not exist).

To get around this tediousness, "the census probably won't classify [married same-sex] couples as married but as something legally safe, such as 'spousal-designated same-sex couple.'"

I have a better idea. How about we just call these couples married? Because if they're legally married then that's what they are.

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