Progressive. Queer. Feminist. Opinionated.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Well. All right, Ohio!

Ah, my homestate.

Bill Would Block Republicans From Adopting Children:

An Ohio Democrat is proposing legislation that would prevent Republicans from adopting children, a move aimed at embarrassing the GOP over moves to block gay adoptions.

State Sen. Robert Hagan (D-Youngstown) admits his bill is purely "tongue-in-cheek" but says that the message is anything but a joke.

In an email sent to fellow legislators, and obtained by Knight Ridder Newspapers, Hagan says he's looking for co-sponsors to "introduce legislation in the near future that would ban households with one or more Republican voters from adopting children or acting as foster parents."

Sometimes I DON'T hate my homestate!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Marriage is...

So today I was checking LiveJournal. Like I do. And someone had posted to an icon community I watch for the show "One Tree Hill" with an icon that was pure text, defining, dictionary style, marriage as being between a man and a woman.

I was...kind of confused at first. One Tree Hill is, at least in my opinion, very queer friendly. More importantly, the icon had nothing to do wih the show. I just didn't want it on my friends page.

If the post were about the icon, or were in some kind of discussion community, or was from someone I knew I would reply with how much it bothered me. But this doesn't seem the context for that.

The thing is, I can't figure out if what the person did was wrong. I know it upset me, but it wasn't like the icon said that god hates fags. I feel like it was inappropriate to use that icon, but if it were an icon about how marriage is for everyone I know I wouldn't have reacted the same way. Both would hurt and offend people, both are irrelevant to the show, but one I agree with and one I find offensive, ignorant, and ugly in sentiment. I believe in freedom of expression, but well-

I just don't want that hate on my friends page. I don't know the correct course of acton here.

Fearing the mambo ... the horizontal mambo!

Ion often reads Huffington Post, and she pointed this article out to me.

'Brokeback' & Abu Ghraib: What's our Problem with Gays?:

That day after I studied the Abu Ghraib images, I stumbled over gay sex again. This time, it was in a conversation with a Media Guru about the upcoming Academy Awards. He saw a ratings disaster. "After Jon Stewart's opening segment," he said, "everyone will change the channel."

"What makes you think so?"

"This country isn't going to show up to watch 'Brokeback Mountain' win a bunch of awards."

He's probably right. It doesn't matter that "Brokeback" has out-earned all of the Best Picture nominees. Or that Bill O'Reilly's prophesy --- "This movie does not do big box office outside the big cities. It won't. They're not going to go see the gay cowboys in Montana" --- has been proven wrong, not just in "liberal" Missoula and Helena but in hard-core Billings and other "Red" strongholds as well.

So here's my question: Why are so many Americans --- most of them living where there's no uncloseted homosexual for miles --- so full of fear and hate for gay men? (Gay women are another story; just ask any horny guy.) Why is gay sex unacceptable within our borders, but ideal to export to foreign torture chambers? Why, of all our urgent issues, is homosexuality right up there at the top?

I propose that many of our issues with gay men relates to our issues with sex. Period. But, anyway, this is a good article and I recommend it!

Now, seriously, go look at the history of sex. Start with Gayle Rubin's "Thinking Sex." People have some major problems with the horizontal mambo.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Great ruling, asses

Say what?!

The court ruled in favor of a man in his forties, identified only as Marco T., who forced his 14-year old stepdaughter to have oral sex with him after she refused intercourse.

The man, who has been sentenced to three years and four months in jail, lodged an appeal arguing that the fact that his stepdaughter had had sex with men before should have been taken into consideration during his trial as a mitigating factor.

The supreme court agreed, saying that because of her previous sexual experiences, the victim's "personality, from a sexual point of view, is much more developed than what would be normally expected of a girl of her age".

"It is therefore fair to argue that (the damage for the victim) would be lower" if the abused girl was not a virgin, Italian news agencies quoted the court as saying.

This means the man could now be handed a lighter sentence.

On what insane planet does this make sense?!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Dems being anti-gay?

Pam's House Blend is a really great blog I read. There's a great post up there now about the Democratic Party's recent not-so-positive approach to queers.

As she says,

Folks, we're seeing the official recloseting of the Democrats in terms of gay visibility and outreach. If you had any illusions that the 2006 iteration of the Democratic party isn't ready to throw gays under the bus (but take homo cash), here's convincing evidence to chew on.

It's a great post. Go read!

Blizzard apologizes

Ha! Will you look at this?

A gay-rights uproar in the popular "World of Warcraft" online game has spurred the game's maker to review its treatment of gay players.

The game, which draws more than five million players worldwide, was hit by controversy last month after a player was threatened with expulsion from the virtual Warcraft world when she sought to recruit others into her gay-friendly team.

Blizzard Entertainment, the game's maker, apologized last week to the player, Sara Andrews of Nashville, Tenn. [link]

Well done, Blizzard!

You wanna have some fun and study gender and queer theory in popular culture? Play some Battlenet. Those little boys can be naaasty!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Robinson seeking treatment

The Episcopal Church's first openly gay bishop, V. Gene Robinson, has started treatment for alcoholism.

"I am writing to you from an alcohol treatment center where on February 1, with the encouragement and support of my partner, daughters and colleagues, I checked myself in to deal with my increasing dependence on alcohol," Robinson wrote in an e-mail to clergy Monday that was released Tuesday by the Diocese of New Hampshire.

Robinson's assistant, the Rev. Tim Rich, said Tuesday there was no crisis that led to Robinson's decision to seek treatment but rather a growing awareness of his problem.

In his letter, Robinson said he had been dealing with alcoholism for years and had considered it "as a failure of will or discipline on my part, rather than a disease over which my particular body simply has no control, except to stop drinking altogether." [link]

It takes a lot of courage for the man to do this, so I wish him the greatest of luck.

This is going to be spun like hell, huh?

Well, I'm glad Robinson's facing these issues. And I hope things work out well for him.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Willie Nelson loves gay cowboys

Willie Nelson is apparently gay friendly!

Willie Nelson chose
Valentine's Day to release the gay-themed song "Cowboys Are Secretly, Frequently (Fond of Each Other)." The country music icon premiered the track Tuesday morning (February 14) on Howard Stern's Sirius Satellite Radio show as it was being made exclusively available via Apple's iTunes music store.

Nelson recorded the song, written in 1981 by songwriter Ned Sublette, last year at his home studio in Perdernales, Texas, around the time he first mentioned it during an appearance on Stern's former terrestrial radio show. The timing of the song's release coincides with a time when the idea of gay cowboys is being discussed throughout the media in response to the success of the Academy Award-nominated film "Brokeback Mountain."

Coincidentally, Nelson contributed the track "He Was a Friend of Mine" to the movie's Verve soundtrack, which peaked at No. 54 on the Billboard 200.

"The song's been in the closet for 20 years," Nelson said in a statement released to the Dallas Morning News. "The timing's right for it to come out. I'm just opening the door."

Adding to the track's poignancy is the fact that David Anderson, Nelson's longtime tour manager, revealed his homosexuality to Nelson two years ago.

"This song obviously has special meaning to me in more ways than one," Anderson told the Dallas Morning News. "I want people to know more than anything -- gay, straight, whatever -- just how cool Willie is and ... his way of thinking, his tolerance, everything about him." [link]

Ha ha! Excellent!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Huh. Howard Stern said something ... neat?

Hell froze over.

Howard Stern, misogynistic creep that he is, liked 'Brokeback Mountain' and made a pretty neat comment about the movie:

One of the best films I ever saw. It's an incredibly moving movie. I wish that they would take this movie and force these assholes from the religious right, these perverts, these Taliban mother-f-ers, who want to sit there, and tell gay people they can't get married...It shows you how, when gays have to be closeted, how they ruin the lives of women, and families. Everyone goes through hell. I wish they'd force these religious right assholes who are so sanctimonious because they aren't gay. It is just outrageous. Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger, they were both terrific in it. [link]

Still don't like the guy one bit, but the quote remain interesting.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Laura v Hillary

Well, I think it's becoming pretty clear how they're going to approach Hillary's election journey in the next few years.

Clinton, the New York senator and a potential Democratic presidential candidate in 2008, has called the Bush administration "one of the worst" in history. In the interview with ABC News, Mrs. Bush was asked if Clinton's comments were "just politics, fair game or out of bounds."

"Of course I think it's out of bounds," the first lady said. "But I think it's politics, it's certainly politics."

Bush pointed out that former Presidents Bush and Clinton and her husband are part of a unique club that also includes the wives.

"We know what it's like to live in that house. We certainly know what it's like to have your husband criticized," she said. "So I think there's a certain empathy that we might have for each other that we wouldn't have maybe for somebody else who said something like that."

This is going to become a really interesting study in gender. How much do you want to bet that? It's going to be really disgusting, and really interesting.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Sen. Clinton says Republicans use fear ... and the Pope is Catholic

Paging Sen. Obvious ....

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton on Wednesday accused Republicans of "playing the fear card" of terrorism to win elections and said Democrats cannot keep quiet if they want to win in November. [link]

Ah, but I jest. I'm glad she's saying it; when that woman says something, people listen.

I often feel like I missed the boat on the Hillary Rodham Clinton Love Fest. Many young democrats adore her, but I was too young to appreciate her when she was the First Lady. (Am I showing my age, I ask with a coy smile). Also, my feelings for her were highly influenced by my parents back then, and lemme tell ya: Republicans do not like the woman. But this means I never got to form my own opinions about her, and of course it's not too late, but while I've reconciled myself with democrats like, say, Al Franken and Bill Clinton, I just never got around to Hillary for some reason.

I think I should fix that at some point, preferably before the 2008 election.

I have a theory. I could wander around the internet trying to find evidence that backs me up, but there's a lot of porn in the way [side note for later discussion-how disturbing is it that if you enter the words teen and lesbian you get almost nothing but porn? How bad is that for questioning youth?] but right, this is clearly just an opinion.

Teen magazines are often scolded for encouraging young females to degrade themselves to men. However, this may have been true in the past, and in some articles, but it seems the majority of the contents of teen magazines are the opposite. For starters, there's the pictures. While often cited for damaging girls body images with unrealistic airbrushed girls who are almost all white and such, a valid point, there is something people miss. When I was 19 I got free subscriptions to two magazines-Stuff and YM. Proportionately speaking, I noticed YM had way more pictures of attractive girls, often in revealing clothing. While this clearly has negative effects on young girls ideas of themselves it's also doing something else. There will be one or two shots of cute boys, or boys in pictures with girls where the girl is usually the focus. Page after page off attractive females are being offered up. Any girl even a little attracted to girls is bound to notice one she likes. Plus, you know, if your pervy, go buy YM, and if you want humor go by Stuff.

Then there's the content. For every article on "Does he like me?" It seems there are several on why you need to stick by your [female] friends over a guy, implications you can be closer to girls than guys, and horror stories of boys pressuring girls into sex, raping girls, convincing them to try drugs etc. I'm not saying this an unrealistic representation of reality. As for the fashion content, that teaches girls to notice other girls physically more. It isn't really about attracting guys, because the average straight male does not care how "in" a girl's clothing is as long as she looks good in it.
It seems pretty clear magazines are turning young girls into lesbians!
Okay, no. Nothing "turns" someone gay. But I honestly do believe that these magazines are encouraging, probably totally unintentionally, a questioning, a background idea that girls are more attractive and better to be close to than guys. I'm not saying there are girls who would be straight if they hadn't poured over seventeen when they were young. But perhaps part of the seeming upswing in teen bisexuals stems from the fact that girls are coming in touch with attraction to girls through these magazines. Also, lesbians are hawt.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Tucker's thoughtful insights

Found this one through a friend, again.

Gay-friendly posters put up in California school

The new sign teachers at a California high school are being forced to post in their classrooms a sign that says, “This is a safe place to be who you are. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender,” whether they agree with that sign or not.

You know, I try to be patient with people. I really do. And I try to understand where they are coming from. And I understand that lots of people in the world have problems with homosexuality.

But it pisses me off that Carlson is attacking this school's attempt to give all students a place free of discrimination. His argument is:

Is that right? It‘s not a safe place for students whose belief systems specify that homosexuality is wrong. If I‘m an observant Muslim or a Mormon or an evangelical Christian and I think homosexuality is a sin, your classrooms aren‘t a safe place for me to express my beliefs, are they?

And I understand what he is saying, but it's incomprehensible to me that some student's opinions about homosexuality should be more important than the gay kid who wants to come to school and not be beat up or emotionally abused.

It's just mind-blowing to me.

CARLSON: OK. You‘ve said if I‘m a student who believes that homosexuality is wrong, and a lot of people believe do believe that. I‘m not anti-gay myself. A lot of people believe it‘s a sin. Are they allowed to say that in class or are they going to get slapped down for harassment? Can a student get up and say, “You know what? I think homosexuality is a sin. God frowns upon it. And I think it‘s totally wrong and ought to be banned in this country?” What‘s going to happen to that student? Is the classroom safe for him?

Why doesn't the man just say what he means? He means, "Fuck you, Queer!"

Although the superintendent of the San Leandro Unified School District, Christine Lim, did handle herself beautifully, so we can take thanks in that.

CARLSON: OK. But why wait now? I mean, if your point is that all students are protected, then why limit it to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender? I mean, you‘re putting the signs up because you‘ve received pressure from a political interest group, the gay and lesbian, transgender and bisexual lobby. I mean, why not take those words out and say anybody is free to express him or herself?

LIM: We have. We have posters that say that there‘s no harassment in our schools. However, we do have a sexual minority that is not allowed to express their opinions. We know that the teenage suicide is the highest among gay and lesbian students, and so we, under AB 537, including sexual orientation and gender equity in our fight for antidiscrimination.

Well done, lady.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Oh, man.

Ooooh, man.

Betty Friedan just died.

Feminist Author Betty Friedan Dies at 85:

Betty Friedan, whose manifesto "The Feminine Mystique" became a best seller in the 1960s and laid the groundwork for the modern feminist movement, died Saturday, her birthday. She was 85.

Friedan died at her home of congestive heart failure, according to a cousin, Emily Bazelon.

Friedan's assertion in her 1963 best seller that having a husband and babies was not everything and that women should aspire to separate identities as individuals, was highly unusual, if not revolutionary, just after the baby and suburban booms of the Eisenhower era.

Well, there goes a great.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Because I'm easily amused...

Found this link through a friend.

Brokeback to the Future

It amused the hell out of me.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Sheehan speaks out about State of the Union arrest

I found this through a friend.

Cindy Sheehan wrote her side of the story here.

Key parts:

I got the ticket back from John, and I met one of Congresswoman Barbara Lee's staffers in the Longworth Congressional Office building and we went to the Capitol via the underground tunnel. I went through security once, then had to use the rest room and went through security again.

My ticket was in the 5th gallery, front row, fourth seat in. The person who in a few minutes was to arrest me, helped me to my seat.

I had just sat down and I was warm from climbing 3 flights of stairs back up from the bathroom so I unzipped my jacket. I turned to the right to take my left arm out, when the same officer saw my shirt and yelled, "Protester." He then ran over to me, hauled me out of my seat, and roughly (with my hands behind my back) shoved me up the stairs. I said something like "I'm going, do you have to be so rough?" By the way, his name is Mike Weight.


I wore the shirt to make a statement. The press knew I was going to be there, and I thought every once in awhile they would show me, and I would have the shirt on. I did not wear it to be disruptive, or I would have unzipped my jacket during George's speech. If I had any idea what happens to people who wear shirts that make the neocons uncomfortable, that I would be arrested ... maybe I would have, but I didn't.


I was never told that I couldn't wear that shirt into the Congress. I was never asked to take it off or zip my jacket back up. If I had been asked to do any of those things ... I would have, and written about the suppression of my freedom of speech later. I was immediately and roughly (I have the bruises and muscle spasms to prove it) hauled off and arrested for "unlawful conduct."

I suggest you go read the full statement yourself.

To sue or not to sue

Ha ha! Well done, ladies!

Women Sue Wal-Mart Over Contraception

Backed by abortion rights groups, three Massachusetts women sued Wal-Mart on Wednesday, accusing the retail giant of violating a state regulation by failing to stock emergency contraception pills in its pharmacies.

The lawsuit, filed in state court, seeks to force the company to carry the morning-after pill in its 44 Wal-Marts and four Sam Club stores in Massachusetts.

I'm glad this is getting press.