Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Fun with the Homo Hivemind!

I can't stand rhetorical sloppiness like this. Straight from the nation's most prominent national group opposing same-sex marriage:
"Many in the gay marriage movement claim that they have no desire to force their lifestyle on anyone else, they only want the freedom to love and marry whomever they wish. But sometimes this carefully-crafted claim is undermined by the real-world actions of the homosexual community itself."
Emphasis added, because, likewise, if some gay people say they hate ice cream, but then some other gay people go and actually have an ice cream social, it means that the gay people who claimed they hated ice cream were obviously lying and in on the ice cream extravaganza the whole time!  

So, basically, that's the level of rational thought coming from the National Organization for Marriage.

It's kind of a good starting point for thinking about the other shit they do.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Blogging Note

Just as an FYI, blogging will be light around here for a week or so due to some non-blog-related business.

27 Ways You And Your Best Friend Are Romy And Michele

During this time, I'm going to change the comment moderation settings so that comments have to be approved before they're posted, until I'm able to engage in a more timely, regular manner.

I'll switch the settings back to their regular status probably next week!

Friday, September 20, 2013

On Trans-Inclusive Feminism

I'm committed to it.

In Whipping Girl, Julia Serrano issued a call to challenge gender entitlement, which she defined as  "privileging one's own perceptions, interpretations, and evaluations of other people's genders over the way those people understand themselves."

Frankly, I'm repulsed and angered by the gender entitlement, misgendering of trans* people, and policing that some feminists orchestrate both in the name of feminism and in the name of allegedly protecting cis women. By doing so, they contribute to the marginalization of transgender people and align themselves with gender traditionalists who audit people's own lived experiences of themselves.

Details and background information about what spurred this post can be found here.

At this link is information on how you can sign on, as well.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Men Are Simple v. Women Are Complicated

It is a truth universally acknowledged among the feminist hivemind that Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus thinking is the stuff of really bad stand-up comedy straight from the Golly G. Shucks Skool of Gender Common Sense where everything a woman is, a man is the opposite.

So, I read the following two articles back to back, and got some serious whiplash.

Over at the Good Men Project, Noah Brand (or his editor) claims, "It’s true, men are complicated and confusing." He then proceeds to tell his audience five "important things" that women purportedly don't know about men.

Over at Rod Dreher's blog at The American Conservative, he approvingly highlights and agrees with a commenter who asserts, "Honestly, ladies, men are pretty [emotionally] simple. Women are more complicated than we are, and so you assume that we are complicated, too. Sorry to disappoint you!"

To be clear, I'm not confused by these two contradictory statements. Men aren't a monolithic hivemind any more than women, the gays, or the feminists are, actually. Which, you know, actually does seem like it'd be a big Newsflash to lots of people. Today, though, I want to delve into that we men simple, women complicated, ooga booga grunt grunt thing that's so tiresome and not-reality-based. 

For one, I'm not surprised that the "men are simple, women are complicated" narrative is one that the conservative Dreher buys into, as his religion fabricates sex differences, roles, and hierarchy. What is mildly amusing, though, is the way his own everyday writing subverts the very pop gender psychology he promotes.

I've been reading his blog for a good year now, and compared to the incredibly-diverse range of blogs I read, I find his posts to be about as navel-gazey and emotional as they come. In the midst of writing about bullying, "Campus Feminist[s]", Imaginary Racism, and other assorted topics, he regularly displays anger, sadness, disgust, disapproval, grief, happiness, ridicule, and pleasure. I would even call the way he writes about food, and his Christian religion, to be effete.

Not that there's anything wrong with that. Just that while I rarely agree with him, his posts are what could be expected from an emotionally-complex human being, rather than an emotionally "simple" robot-man, posting stuff on the Internet.

Which brings me to my larger point. As appealing, romantic, and reassuring as these Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus stories might be to some people, men and women aren't monolithic categorical groups. Meta-analyes consistently show that men and women are actually similar on most psychological variables, indicating that we aren't, actually, "opposites" or "complementary" and that it's inaccurate to portray men and women as being inherently, essentially in contradistinction to one another. In other words, average differences between men and women might exist at a group level, but at an individual level, it would be inaccurate to assume that any given man is a woman's "opposite" based on gender alone.

Indeed, just because it was amusing I input the text of Dreher's "men are pretty simple" commenter into the also-kinda-essentialist Gender Guesser, which estimates a person's gender based on word usage. Mr. "men are pretty simple" came back as "weak male" with so-called male word usage coming in at 53%. Dreher's recent food post, here, came back as "weak male" at 54% (for formal writing, it would have been "weak female"). 

One of my most recent blog posts came in as "male" at 60%.

I'm adamantly not using these numbers for purposes of invoking shame or humiliation. Anyone who thinks that I think there's something embarrassing about a man's writing being categorized as "weak male" (ie- like a woman) or "weak female" doesn't know the first thing about my opinions. Rather, the take-away is that talking about men and women as categorical opposites, or very very different and possibly even alien species compared to one another, is of marginal utility in describing reality where most people display both stereotypically masculine and feminine traits, despite their gender identity.

Yet, narratives claiming otherwise persist.

For one, it seems that such narratives are simply appealing to many, on a romantic level - as though they want to believe they're bridging some great, inherent planetary divide, rather than traversing a boring continuum, among the genders when they engage in heterosexual relations.  Some people think that difference and mystery are sexy. Yet, how often is it, really, that what's most sexy, different, and mysterious (or even funny) about a person is that they are a man, rather than a woman, or vice versa?  

As writer Jane Espenson, who maybe knows a thing or two about such things, has noted, "A joke that pokes fun at a person is sharpest, funniest, when it finds that perfect detail, the most subtle observation of what sets that person apart."  And rarely is gender alone that sharp detail about a person that maybe tells us all we need to know about what that person is like.

Two, many people are simply benefit from the certainty of thinking of men and women as essentially different and/or opposite. While the "men are simple" thing has always struck me as demeaning toward men, it's also a backhanded compliment to women. It's dog whistle for "you're irrational." "Wrong." "Not credible." And, if a man is a woman's opposite, he is by definition, well, the opposite of those things.  So maybe Dreher, no fan of transgender advocacy and folks, perhaps needs to continue thinking of gender in the fixed way that he does to keep lots of other opinions from tumbling down.

So, while I don't often agree with things at GMP either, I can at least appreciate Noah Brand's subversion of the "men are simple, women are complicated" trope in his article. 

In some ways, I think his article speaks to a larger, more accurate point:  Namely, that while many men might think of themselves as being "simple" compared to women, actually many of us human beings, to ourselves, seem more simple and less complicated than other people, what with their own inner thoughts and all, seem to be. 

From that perspective it seems almost deeply self-centered to proclaim the people in one's own group to be "simple" compared to those other kinds of people. Indeed, maybe it's not so much that men as a group are emotionally simple, many of them just think they are.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Digital Dualism in the Electronic Frontier

[Content note: Sexism, racist slur, rape apologia]

From a Slate article about Business Insider's former Chief Technology Officer Pax Dickinson, who apparently has a history of tweeting sexist and racist statements:
"Dickinson may see the Internet as a freewheeling alterna-reality where he’s liberated to air his 'unpopular truths' about the ills of women’s suffrage and employment. But the Internet is also the workplace. It’s perplexing why Business Insider would employ someone as openly racist and sexist as Pax Dickinson is, but it’s positively mind-boggling that Business Insider hired a CTO who doesn’t even understand that the Internet is real life."
Some of Dickinson's Tweets include gems of Deep Thought such as, “Women's suffrage and individual freedom are incompatible. How's that for an unpopular truth?” and “In The Passion Of The Christ 2, Jesus gets raped by a pack of n[******]. It's his own fault for dressing like a whore though.”

A few months ago, I wrote of the digital dualism fallacy in which many people believe that what happens online is not authentic, especially compared to what happens offline. There, I noted:
I would contend that when people are rude online, they at least have asshole-y thoughts offline (and don't we all, really, to some degree?). Online venues merely give people an appropriate context to express those thoughts.
In fact, in some ways, social media and blogging enables many people to reveal our more authentic selves, through our writing, than face-to-face interactions do. The surprise to me isn't that so many people are mean online, but that so many people seem surprised that they might face offline for their online behavior.

Of course, I suspect that many Internet harassers know that on some level they can face offline consequences. While so many so-called trolls have no qualms about, say, running women out of Internet forums via rape threats, they howl in protest whenever they perceive their own precious "free speech rights" in any way constricted.

I've said before and I'll re-iterate. For all their talk of free speech values and inclusion of all viewpoints, promoters of Anything Goes forums cultivate their own hivemind, and it's a hivemind of intimidation, threats, and exclusion of those who in any way threaten their conception of what the electronic frontier should be like.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Preferably a Boy

I've seen a lot of people post this article on various social networking sites.

In it, Ben Shapiro takes issue with the Christian anti-vaccine crowd. Or something, I stopped reading after this:
"If Fred Phelps wants to believe that vaccines violate the word of God, thats fine. It's no skin off my back if the evangelical community wants to believe that God doesn't trust them with their own bodies. The problem for me is that someday I plan on impregnating a woman with my penis. Nine months later, we’ll be blessed with a little wriggly child (preferably a boy), and I want to make sure that he grows up big and strong and doesn’t accidently contract an old disease—especially one that most doctors don’t know how to treat anymore—because my neighbors decide not to vaccinate their child."
Too bad for his daughter, I guess, if she ever googles her dad's name and reads about his child preferences.

I actually did read the entire article, and found it mostly bad. Like maybe he thinks he's a lot of funnier than he actually is by, say, erroneously or willfully conflating autism with mental retardation.

To a larger point here, anti-religion dudes often paint religious women as being stupid and duped for being a part of sexist religions.

But, really, how many non-religious men and male critics of religion offer women ways of thinking about gender that are significantly better?

Monday, September 16, 2013

My Family's Good, Thanks

Welp, I got a big kick out of this post, where a Catholic man who runs an outfit called Fix the Family opines that people should not send their daughter to college.

I first found out about the article via Shakesville, where Liss accurately billed it as the "worst thing you're going to read today." And, it was. It really really was, for me! Like, so much so that one wonders if feminists are being punked. Because, wow, the two dudes who started this organization are not into feminism! I mean, they're into feminism in the sense that, wow, it looks like a fave topic for them to talk about! But, like not in a good way.

The content itself is really just a bunch of blah blah blah concern trolling about how college turns "girls" into sluts and makes them forego their "god-given" most important roles in life as being sperm receptacles for their husbands and, relatedly, fetal vessels for the Catholic Church.

Sample text:
"We believe in women making wise prudent choices for themselves. The indoctrination of the feminist culture and the practicing of a sexually promiscuous lifestyle severely cloud, practically blind that good judgment. Getting a college degree often makes a young lady feel an 'obligation' to use it, to make money. Often her husband doesn’t want to see it go to 'waste,' So the degree is what actually traps her. Not having a degree frees her to enter into a marriage with proper roles in which her husband will provide for her and their children. Christian marriage by definition does place her in a submissive role to her husband, but no one forces anyone to marry anyone."
So, we see. College degrees trap women in the.... job market? Which, if true, would be... a.... bad? thing... for women... to be employed. Because all women everywhere.... should actually be... trapped in marriages in which they are economically dependent upon their .... husbands. I mean, what could go wrong, really?

These fellows do a lot of blustering about how practically everyone who's commented on their site are calling their opinions "chauvinstic" for, like no reason at all. And really, what can one do except find that a big hoot!? Internet never agrees on anything!  Internet Commenters are the absolute worst (present company excluded). But, like, these guys are so far off that even Internet is backing away slowly like, "Ummm, dudes we want nothing to do with you."

Of particular note, this "Fix the Family" website also has a video series where one of the founders has made 10 whole entire videos in a series called "Feminist Lies." That's fun to contrast with the site's "Man Room," which sits there like a little turd floating in the kiddie pool, neglected, devoid of content, with only a promise: "Coming Soon!" 

Of course.

How very anti-feminist of them. Nothing to offer men except misogyny.

Well, that and cheap promises of a heavenly, magical, oxymoronic, paradoxical, equal hierarchical marital relationship in which women-chattel are simultaneously placed on a condescending pedestal while also being expected to be entirely dependent upon their husband-masters for their survival in the world.

Wow, sign me right up, mister!

A Comprehensive Glossary Of Gifs

Friday, September 13, 2013

Women's Sports No Haven For LGBT Athletes

Jessica Luther has written an important piece over at ThinkProgress, in which I'm quoted, about the perhaps-counterintuitive reality that women's sports, and female athletes, are not always super welcoming to non-heterosexual and transgender athletes.

In the piece, she references WNBA player Sophia Young's confused-seeming tweet regarding her opposition to marriage equality for same-sex couples. "Confused-seeming" because she tweeted an image of herself at a rally against an a anti-discrimination ordinance that, actually, wasn't a marriage ordinance.


Anyway, the larger point is that women's sports, of all levels, aren't the haven of acceptance that mainstream audiences might believe they are. I was reading the recent obituary of a former player in the All American Girls Professional Baseball League, the league featured in the movie A League of Their Own, and the player, a lesbian, recounted both the the league's firing of her for getting a "butch" haircut and its active exclusion of so-called "freaks" and "Amazons." (And, to its credit, League actually did somewhat portray this gender policing).

Even today, coaches at major colleges are widely known or rumored to engage in lesbian baiting of other coaches during athlete recruitment, trying to dissuade players from going to certain schools that are more accepting of LGBT students. Lesbian coaches are numerous, but rarely allowed to be officially "out" to players, parents, fans, and the media.

Girls and women often actively police the gender conformity and sexual orientations of their teammates and ridicule other players for not looking, or being, "sufficiently" feminine.

And, well, Anna Kournikova is, like, maybe okay, for the Male Gaze that purportedly comprises all of sports fandom, and it's a fun parlor trick for some dudes to watch Jenny Finch strike out professional baseball players. But, largely, male sports fans often demean female athletes of all orientations as being too manly, dykey, and/or sucky to warrant the status of an authentic athlete worthy of something other than ridicule and contempt.

I wonder, too, how a desire for mainstream and male acceptance plays into the bigotry expressed by some female athletes.  It's as though some female athletes view non-heterosexual female athletes as a lavendar menace of women's sports, hamstringing the ability of all female athletes to be taken seriously by the real power-brokers of sports - heterosexual men.

Luther notes:
"As I’ve written elsewhere, there is evidence to suggest that even if coming out may be easier for female athletes than it is for men, that doesn’t mean it is easy. Only 6 years ago, Penn State forced the resignation of their women’s basketball coach, Rene Portland, because of her known 'no-lesbians' policy. Three years before [out lesbian Brittney] Griner arrived at Baylor, Sophia Young was the star of that team. Young led her squad to the national championship in 2005. Unlike the WNBA, Young’s position on gay rights put her in a clear majority at Baylor, where Griner also won a national title but did it while living a less open life than she does now. Openly gay women’s college basketball coaches have said that homophobia hurts their recruiting. Sue Wicks, a former player, said she was asked to deny interview requests to lesbian publications while serving as an assistant coach. Others have identified a 'homonegative environment' as one factor in the decline of female coaches in women’s collegiate sports."
Have I mentioned before that I think Brittney Griner is awesome?

Welp, she is awesome.

And while I'm at it, Doris and "All the Way" Mae always struck me as being girlfriends. There, I said it.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Quote of the Day

From an article entitled "Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders?," at the Harvard Business Review Blog Network:
"The truth of the matter is that pretty much anywhere in the world men tend to think that they that are much smarter than women. Yet arrogance and overconfidence are inversely related to leadership talent — the ability to build and maintain high-performing teams, and to inspire followers to set aside their selfish agendas in order to work for the common interest of the group. Indeed, whether in sports, politics or business, the best leaders are usually humble — and whether through nature or nurture, humility is a much more common feature in women than men. For example, women outperform men on emotional intelligence, which is a strong driver of modest behaviors. Furthermore,a quantitative review of gender differences in personality involving more than 23,000 participants in 26 cultures indicated that women are more sensitive, considerate, and humble than men, which is arguably one of the least counter-intuitive findings in the social sciences. An even clearer picture emerges when one examines the dark side of personality: for instance, our normative data, which includes thousands of managers from across all industry sectors and 40 countries, shows that men are consistently more arrogant, manipulative and risk-prone than women."
The article is discussing statistical trends and so, it often bears reminding, the findings don't apply to all men or all women. Women can be bad leaders or good leaders, and men can be bad leaders or good leaders. At the individual level, I've had experiences with all of these.

It's an interesting read, though, especially in light of how, in both secular and religious aspects of the US, leadership is coded as a masculine/manly endeavor. Men, many religions tell us, are the purported "spiritual leaders" of their homes and, on a larger scale, also of religious institutions. Many (most?) religions are, in fact, structured so that men don't have to compete against women for leadership positions at all. Leadership is, in a very literal sense and for no legitimate reason, equated with manhood. Men are also purported natural leaders of business, the state, sports teams, and - really- groups of all kinds.

I appreciate the article even as it's somewhat frustrating to read because, really, what are women tangibly supposed to do with this information? Circulate it widely and reap the resulting mansplainy, asshole hyper-defensive comments and accusations of man-hating? I mean, the whole phenomenon of mansplaining itself seems to exist precisely because of the same group-level observations from this article, right?

Overconfidence + Illusory Superiority = lots of men thinking they have lots to teach the ladies.

Yet at the same time, it's validating. I know what my life experience is, and this article resonates with many of my experiences in the working world of seeing incompetent men regularly promoted and lauded over more qualified and more competent women. (And oh how I would love to write that memoir!) Indeed, Cordelia Fine has noted the phenomenon of the glass escalator, whereby men in feminine-coded occupations often advance, and advance in leadership positions, much more quickly and easily than women.
 Narratives regularly tell women that if we are to be Good Leaders Like How Men Are, that we must emulate men and their conventional traits of so-called leadership. Yet, as the author of the cited article suggests, maybe it's time we trash, rather than adopt, "dysfunctional leadership traits" like hubris, self-centeredness, and overconfidence.

Accordingly, it also seems necessary for people to remain vigilant about their own implicit biases and, perhaps, uncritical assumptions about what traits are good for different leadership positions. Of course, many people are highly invested and reap large rewards for doing otherwise.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

And They Say We Want Special Rights

Sign on the storefront of Sweet Cakes By Melissa, which the owners seem to have temporarily closed during an investigation about their refusal to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding:
"This fight is not over. We will continue to stand strong. Your religious freedom is becoming not Free anymore. This is ridiculous that we can not practice our faith. The LORD is good and we will continue to serve HIM with all our heart." 
Will someone please, for the love, direct me to the passage in the Bible that sayeth, "Thou shalt not bake cakes for gay weddings"?

Because if that clause doesn't exist, it's difficult to see the above quote as anything other than imaginary martyrdom and contrived persecution. These people are operating a business, not a church or private club. They are not being preventing from going to church. Rather, as businessowners, they are being expected to comply with the law rather than being granted special rights to discriminate against some classes of people.

One of the owners of the bakery tries to explain:
“Discrimination is really the wrong terminology for what took place,” said Aaron Klein in an interview with KATU. “I didn’t want to be a part of her marriage, which I think is wrong."
That's weird.

Aside from the fact that Mr. Klein should maybe familiarize himself with the meaning of "discrimination," do bakers usually attend and participate in the wedding they bake for, or do they mostly bake the cake and have it delivered or picked up to be taken to the ceremony? At my Immoral Lesbian Wedding, we picked our cake up, never interacted with the bakery owners, and talked to the baker for like 15 minutes.

I'm sure it was very traumatic for her.

And, that's what gets to me.

Why, why is same-sex marriage and homosexuality the line in the sand, for some people? 

If the argument is now that baking while Christian constitutes "practicing" one's "faith," then I want to see Christians really own that argument and start applying it, ahem, indiscriminately to instances of sin other than homosexuality. For instance, presumably, anti-gay Christian bakers who cherish their religious freedoms do not inquire into whether, say, the cake they are baking is for someone's second or third or fourth marriage. They bake the cake even though they are possibly baking a cake for a relationship that goes against their religious beliefs and morals. They might even, say, bake a cake for a dog wedding even though they refuse to bake cakes for same-sex couples.

Presumably, they sell cupcakes even to non-Christians, and to those who lie, who cheat, who steal, who rape, who molest, and perhaps who even kill.  Even though their baked good is not necessarily complicit in these immoral deeds, the baked good, if good, would be contributing to the pleasure and happiness of the immoral person. And, well, to bake is to practice one's religion, so.

Furthermore, Oregon's anti-discrimination law also includes race and sex, among other characteristics.  That means, that even if someone holds a strong religious belief that, say, women should not be pastors, a bakery could probably still not legally refuse to bake a cake to celebrate a woman's ordination. It could likely not legally refuse, on religious grounds, to bake cupcakes for an African-American man's graduation from medical school, even if the owner strongly believed, for religious reasons, that it was immoral for anyone other than white people to go to college.

That businesses, even if they're owned by Christians, are expected to comply with anti-discrimination statutes is not some brand new threat to so-called religious freedom brought about by same-sex marriage. People have been discriminating against others for religious reasons since this country's founding and demanding the right to do so.

In a way, I'm almost sad when I hear of unsavvy businessowners who seem convinced that being a Christian means that they get to expect some extra special entitlement to engage in illegal activities whilst simultaneously seeming to believe that if they don't get those special rights they, and their religious freedoms, are under attack!  They take this stand, this one stand, and choose to jeopardize their business and for what, really?  To fulfill fantasies of purported Christian martydom?

The bakery owner continues:
“There’s a lot of close-minded people out there that would like to pretend to be very tolerant and just want equal rights,” Aaron said. “But on the other hand, they’ve been very, very mean-spirited. They’ve been militant. The best way I can describe it is they’ve used mafia tactics against the business. Basically, if you do business with Sweet Cakes [by Melissa], we will shut you down.”
Ah yes, the Tolerance Trap.  Don't fall for it, dear readers!  It's okay to not be tolerant of other people's intolerance of you! It. really. is.

And the so-called "mafia tactics"? One of the bakery's trucks was broken into, although no one has been apprehended or charged. Illegal actions and violence should be widely condemned and I can think of no LGBT group or individual, myself included, who would condone such actions. What's unfortunate, though, is that Homosexual Activists seem to be guilty until proven innocent with respect to that incident, which is a similar narrative with echoes from the absurdly accusatory "Price of Prop 8" propaganda piece.

The other "mafia tactics" seem to exclusively involve non-violent boycotting of this business, an approach that social justice and civil rights advocates widely-recognized and lauded for their non-violent activism have successfully used throughout this nation's history.

But, when it comes to same-sex marriage, it seems that many Christians just really want special rights. They want to take this stand, even though, in reality, they could be taking stands against a myriad of other ways that the legal system holds them to the same (or lower!) anti-discrimination standards it holds others to even though those standards might conflict with their religious beliefs.

[Update: And the purportedly small-but-vocal anti-gay definitely-not-bigoted-though fringe is reacting to this bakery incident in their typical measured, loving, and rational way. Hmmm, let's see if any of those gazillions of nice, civil "marriage defenders" condemn this violent rhetoric or, you know, specifically and personally call him out.  As a related note, I am deeply intolerant of speech that calls for my death at my wedding ceremony. Yes, I admit it. The bigots caught me!]

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Yes, Please Submit This Anti-Gay Marriage Brief!

Welp, this was an... interesting article on same-sex marriage, penned by a David Usher who apparently is President of an outfit called the Center for Marriage Policy.

In it, Usher, whose bio does not say he's a licensed attorney, has sputtered some bizarre, word salad-ish "legal" arguments against same-sex marriage. Stay with me here, though, because that part of his article is actually pretty boring. His arguments are not clear or well articulated, and they do not, in my opinion, coherently reference relevant legal principles despite his assertion that his organization is working on a neat legal brief with a "ranking constitutional scholar" to challenge same-sex marriage.

The basic argument, and here's where shit gets funny, is that the US Supreme Court's recent DOMA ruling has created "three classes" of marriage, a structure that places "mother-mother marriage" at the top, "heterosexual marriages" in the middle, and "male-male marriages" at the bottom. No word on where non-mother lady/lady marriages fit into this schema, they seem not to exist.

You really kind of have to read a few paragraphs to get the full effect of the article.

It's a peculiar twining of MRA ideology with gender traditionalist homobigotry that, frankly, I haven't seen a lot of.  Add in the implicit argument that sexual orientation isn't an actual trait, with consequent notion that gay people therefore don't actually exist or aren't relevant to the issue of "gay marriage" and, well we get arguments that aren't anywhere near rationally related to reality, let alone rationally related to legit government purposes.

Furthermore, I expect many opponents of same-sex marriage to have some level of hatred/disgust toward lesbians and bisexual women, but many of them also have a somewhat traditionalist, simultaneously condescending and idealized view of heterosexual women, especially those who are mothers.

Usher, though, kind of lays it all out by insinuating that all women are basically greedy sperm-burglars who opt to marry other women, not because they're gay, but because women basically want the extra help around the house, in addition to wanting boyfriends on the side who will pay them child support and give them a little pickle tickle on the side I guess.

For real. His own words:
"When two women marry, it is a three-way contract among two women and the government. Most women will bear children by men outside the marriage – often by pretending they are using birth control when they are not. Entrapped men become economically-conscripted third parties to these marriages, but get nothing in return.
This is a significant advantage compelling women who would otherwise become (or are) single mothers to choose to marry a woman instead of a man. They can combine incomes, double-up on tax-free child support and welfare benefits, decrease costs, and double the human resources available to raise children and run their household. They are sexually liberated with boyfriends often cohabiting with them to provide additional undeclared income and human resources without worrying about what happens when they break up with their boyfriends." 
I emphasized a sentence in there that really highlights the traditionalist view of gender. Note the stark admission: In male-female households, Usher takes for granted that only one parent, the mother, is available to raise children and run the household, even though, presumably, two adults exist in that household.  In female-female households, he asserts that the human resources available to raise children and run the household are magically "doubled."

I'll say it again that gender traditionalists are often their own worst PR campaign for "traditional marriage."

Usher goes on to whinge that it's so unfair that heterosexual marriages, what he calls "class 2" marriages, have to "subsidize" the other two classes of marriage. Mumblemumblesomethingjust'cuz.

Things get fun again when he starts talking about "class 3" marriages, that is, male-male marriages. He opines:
"Marriages between two men are destined to be the marital underclass. In most cases, these men will become un-consenting 'fathers' by reproductive entrapment. Men in male-male marriages who become fathers by deceptive means will be forced to pay child support to women in bi-maternal marriages, and become economically enslaved to Class-1 marriages."
Again, this is what happens when people deny that sexual orientation is relevant to the larger marriage conversation. It's as though heterosexual men who are duped by female sperm burglars will throw their hands in the air and resign themselves to marrying other men, where they will live lives of financial servitude to the Matriarchalist Overlords.

I mean, the whole article is like watching a conservative "think tank" guy mistake his own crappy MRA speculative fiction fantasy story for a legal argument.

So, I just want to reiterate.

According to this Usher dude, "The Center for Marriage Policy is currently drafting a preliminary brief [asserting these theories] with the assistance of a ranking constitutional scholar."

Good luck with that.

25 Situations Only Nonprofit People Can Understand

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Nyad Completes Historic Swim!

I've written about one of her previous attempts before, but on Monday Diana Nyad became the first person to swim the 110 miles between Cuba and Key West without a shark cage.  Nyad is 64 years old.

Congratulations to her, and her team of supporters, on the remarkable accomplishment!

You know, I've read a few articles about this story and I've noted the way many commenters following the story, men especially, minimizing and undercutting Nyad's achievement.

People were calling her a "he-she," commenting that there are "more important things" the news media should be focusing on, saying that she was selfish for trying, and were ridiculing her because it took her 5 tries to accomplish her feat (although, I'm not sure what that says about everyone else in the entire world, as we haven't ever accomplished that).

How sad for these negative commenters and how truly typical when a female athlete gets any sort of positive press coverage - question her femininity, trivialize her sport as not being a real sport worthy of coverage, attack her, and suggest that a man could have done it better.

Rather than being happy for someone else achieving a major goal and setting a record, some people feel so incredibly insecure about what Nyad's achievement, and the public celebration of it, represents to purported male supremacy.



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