Progressive. Queer. Feminist. Opinionated.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Why can't more politicians be like this?

I don't think I could love this guy anymore.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Hoping to head off a messy fight for the Democratic Party endorsement in the governor's race, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom on Friday asked candidates to avoid attacking each other.

In the opening speech at the state party's weekend convention, Newsom said, "Let's not make this convention a circular firing squad against one another.

"The worst thing we can do is limp out of this convention," Newsom said. "We will be doing the bidding of the Republican party." [link]

Friday, April 28, 2006

Limbaugh <3 the American way and drugs

Ah, Rush Limbaugh. He loves his American values, right?

LIMBAUGH: They're -- they're busy. They're busy. The Reverend Jackson is in New Orleans. He's leading a big march there tomorrow. The march is -- what is it called? The -- the march for the right to return a protected vote and reconstruction. He's trying to -- they got problems down in New Orleans. They don't have voter base, and Sharpton's working on a New Orleans deal, too. He's trying to figure out how he can get involved in the deal down there at Duke where the lacrosse team --

CALLER 1: Yeah.

LIMBAUGH: -- uh, supposedly, you know, raped, some, uh, hos. [link]

"Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society." [link]

I think some of the militants in the gay community are actually asking for this fight, because ...they want to be confrontational. [link]

Well, he also loves the drugs (which we all knew, but still). This is new.

After his arrest on Friday, Rush Limbaugh has entered into a settlement agreement with the Palm Beach County State Attorney's Office to end their probe of allegations that the conservative talk show host went "doctor shopping" to obtain prescription pain-killing medicine, RAW STORY has found. [link]

Mmm ... taste those American values.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Head? Meet desk.

I've been reading Pam's House Blend a lot lately (and you should, too), and look what she posted:

"Here's the unmentionable secret: Racism isn't that big a deal any more. No sensible person supports it. Nobody of importance preaches it. It's rapidly becoming an ugly memory."
-Tony Snow, Oct 2003 (Bush's new press secretary)

I don't really know much about the guy, so I'm not going to pass judgment on his record in general, but, wow, that was a dumb thing to say. Does he really believe that? Does he still believe that? I hope not.

Pam follows this quote with a whole list of recent racist events.


(Here are some different quotes from Snow, too).

Letter to Leno

I found this through AMERICAblog, but it's been all over. (Seriously. Like, CNN-all over).

Anyway, one of the writers behind Avenue Q wrote a letter to Jay Leno in response to Leno's love for a good, ol' gay joke.

Check it out.

I like this because we know how to reply to gay bashing, or intolerance, or etc. But what about those gay jokes that you know on some level are really upsetting, but can't quite articulate? These are the jokes that fill prime time TV. After all, you don't want to be accused of not having a sense of humor.

Jeff Whitty articulates his problem with these jokes beautifully.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Aw, shut up

While looking for information for a paper, I ran across some "good" Bill O'Rielly quotes:

"That's my advice to all homosexuals, whether they're in the Boy Scouts, or in the Army or in high school: Shut up, don't tell anybody what you do, your life will be a lot easier." (7 July 2000)

"You want to have two guys making out in front of your 4-year-old? It's OK with them. A guy smoking a joint, blowing the smoke into your little kid's face? OK with them. And I'm not exaggerating here. This is exactly what the secular movement stands for." (12 September 2003)

Fun, huh?

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Blog Against Heteronormativity Day

Tomorrow, well, now today (speaking of which, I should get to bed soon...) is Blog Against Heteronormativity Day. Yay for blac(k)ademic's wonderful idea!

You should probably stop reading here and check out her post. It's great.

So, anyway, at the risk of sounding too airy about this subject, I'm going to suggest that you look at the Wikipedia article if you want a definition for heteronormativity. I could stumble over my words all night, but even if Wikipedia has its flaws, it's good for some things and it covers the definition well. Heteronormativity describes the institutions, the beliefs, the policies, the ideologies, the etc that insist humans keep to the strict, binary system: male and female. We live in a heteronormative society. We assume it's "normal" to fall into one of two genders, and through that, it's "normal" to be heterosexual. There's no room for variation from this.

In fact, I think I just learned something from that article. Does anyone know if it's true that Michael Warner coined the term? If so, that'd be awesome. Warner's a great theorist. I only had to open one paper that I wrote for Sex and Gender, and I found a Warner quote:

What immortality was to the Greeks, what virtu was to Machiavelli's prince, what faith was to the martyrs, what honor was to the slave owners, what glamour is to the drag queens, normalcy is to the contemporary American.
-Michael Warner, Warner, Michael. The Trouble with Normal. New York: The Free Press, 1999: 53.

American's want to be normal. Geez, just turn on any TV. Once you open your eyes to the idea of heteronormativity, it's hard to open a magazine or watch a television show without twitching a little, even if the twitch is just in your mind. For example, I was watching some 'Friends' episodes, and they literally hurt at times. "Women don't do this, men don't do this, a women in a relationship with a man doesn't play this role, etc." Why are people so scared of variation?

Anyway, it's getting late, so I'll leave you with another quote:

To represent sexuality as discrete, repeatable sex acts that can implicitly be referred to a sexuality identity, in other words, is to represent sex – or certain sex – as amendable to administration, in that it – or they – can be vilified if they do not conform to what the majority represents as “normal” whether or not this constitutes the statistical norm. Representing sex as discrete acts makes it easy to imagine policing certain acts while tolerating sex in general: by the same token, referring sex acts to a sexual identity makes it easy to imagine policing certain individuals, because they practice these sex acts, even in a society supposedly made up of a 'we' that encompasses 'all Americans'
-Poovey, Mary. “Sex in America.” Critical Inquiry. 24.2 (1998): 388.

If you want to learn more about these sorts of ideas, I'll recommend a few books I know. Sorry I can't list more! Let's see ... definitely read Warner. I really like that Poovey article. Gayle Rubin's essay, "Thinking Sex: Notes for a Radical Theory of the Politics of Sexuality" is awesome. Oh, and read everything Adrienne Rich wrote during the '70s. And then read everything she ever wrote. Because she's wonderful. But that might be my bias talking.

Cheney snoozes

You guys hear about Cheney falling asleep during the Chinese president's speech? I mean, the guy is old and has a lot of health problems and he's recently gone through all the emotional trauma encompassed in shooting a friend ... so in short, I feel kind of bad for him.

On the other hand?

This is damn funny.

AMERICAblog has the picture up.

Spain is awesome

Spain Supports Gay Marriage 2-to-1:

Support for same-sex marriage continues strong in Spain with almost two out of every three voters saying they approve of the government's decision allowing gay and lesbians couples to wed.

The latest poll, taken on march 30 by Instituto Opina, found 61 per cent of respondents agree with marriage equality. Only 32 percent said that they disapproved of the gay marriage law.

Spain in 2005 became the third country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage.

Can you imagine that? And this is a country where the Catholic Church has a strong, strong hold.

Go Spain!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Cyndi Lauper defends feminism

This is pretty cool. I found it on Feministe, although it's been other places as well:

NY Times: I think of “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” as the first feminist-backlash song. It came out in the 80’s and goes against the preachy and high-minded tone of 70’s feminism.

Cyndi: That’s not true! It’s totally feminist. It’s a song about entitlement. Why can’t women have fun? [link]

Friday, April 14, 2006

Easter time

Ah, nothing like the spring celebration of the messiah's resurrection to fire up the Pope's ol'heart.

In marking the Stations of the Cross during Good Friday observances in Rome Pope Benedict XVI called for the "filth" the surrounds society to be cleansed and said the world is in the grip of "a diabolical pride aimed at eliminating the family".

"Lord, we have lost our sense of sin," he said. "Today a slick campaign of propaganda is spreading an inane apologia of evil, a senseless cult of Satan, a mindless desire for transgression, a dishonest and frivolous freedom, exalting impulsiveness, immorality and selfishness as if they were new heights of sophistication.”

Although the Pontiff did not specifically name same-sex relationships the message was clear, less than a week after Italian voters elected a leftist government committed to recognizing gay and lesbian couples. [link]

It warms the cockles of the heart, huh?

Monday, April 10, 2006

Bigotry means never having to say you're sorry

Christians Sue for Right Not to Tolerate Policies

ATLANTA — Ruth Malhotra went to court last month for the right to be intolerant.

Malhotra says her Christian faith compels her to speak out against homosexuality. But the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she's a senior, bans speech that puts down others because of their sexual orientation.

Malhotra sees that as an unacceptable infringement on her right to religious expression. So she's demanding that Georgia Tech revoke its tolerance policy.

With her lawsuit, the 22-year-old student joins a growing campaign to force public schools, state colleges and private workplaces to eliminate policies protecting gays and lesbians from harassment. The religious right aims to overturn a broad range of common tolerance programs: diversity training that promotes acceptance of gays and lesbians, speech codes that ban harsh words against homosexuality, anti-discrimination policies that require college clubs to open their membership to all.

Man oh man, I'm glad these people are testing the system, but wow do they come off looking like moronic hate-mongers. Why not in for a penny, in for a pound?


Book review post review <-- got that?

For the past few months, whenever I enter a book store and wander around the political section, I end up sneaking looks at this book, Women Who Make the World Worse: and How Their Radical Feminist Assault Is Ruining Our Schools, Families, Military, and Sports. It's really upsetting - for obvious reasons - and I always have to put it down before my blood pressure gets too high.

Tonight, I was looking through blogs, and I found this wonderful book review on Crushed by Inertia.

The post is called Dirty Hippies and Ugly Feminist Dykes, and I really recommend reading that. Okay, it's not a New York Book Review, but it's so damn funny.

For example:

And, people, that's just what's odd and offensive about the cover. Check out some of these excerpts, compliments of Daily Kos:

I have long thought that if high-school boys had invited homely girls to the prom we might have been spared the feminist movement. We live with the destructive feminist agenda because the fathers or husbands of so many of them, including Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem, Germaine Greer, and Jane Fonda, never failed to fail them. The views of these angry, abandoned women inform the modern women's movement.

I don't know...It's not really fair to use someone's personal, family background against them in an argument in this way. Like, "you're only saying that because your daddy ran out on your family. If you had a nicer dad, you wouldn't care about equal treatment."

I mean, Kate O'Beirne only wrote this book because she's a fucking moron who has no idea what she's talking about, but I try not to use that against her.

And? By the end of the post, there's a Monty Python and Jessica Alba reference.

So go read!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

This makes me feckin sick.

I guess it doesn't matter who you are. If you're gay, no one gives a flying purple monkey turd about you or your head trauma.


[which for those of you who don't care that I'm a busy student and insist upon me linking not only to the post but the original source which the post I'm linking to links to found on TheDailyHerald.Com, specifically here.]

Apparrently Richard Jefferson, the senior producer of the NBC Nightly News, was beaten with a wrench.

Senior NBC Nightly News producer Richard Jefferson, who was vacationing in St. Maarten, was one of two men rushed to St. Maarten Medical Center around 3:30am Thursday after they suffered a severe beating by a group of men who the victims say were “gay bashers.”

While Jefferson was able to walk, he sustained severe cuts on the back of his head and his lower back.

The second victim Ryan Smith had a fractured skull and has been unable to speak properly since the incident.

The men, who were reportedly beaten with a wheel wrench, expressed concern that the police here did not seem to be too concerned about crimes of this nature. They said the police’s failure to even contact them following the attack made it seem as though they sanctioned the “brutal beating.”
(emphasis John's) ....

Jefferson said he had learnt that many people, including management at Sunset Beach Bar, Maho St. Maarten, a nearby casino and Bamboo Bernie’s, had called the St. Maarten Police, but no one showed up. He said he had called the police station on Thursday around 1:00pm and had spoken to a detective, but no one showed up at the hospital or called.

John (the AMERICABlog guy) had this to say:

I know Dick Jefferson. I'd met him several times at journalist conferences. From what I recall, he's not just a senior producer, he's THE senior producer of NBC Nightly News. This is really horrendous. More.

His street cred is good enough for me.

So Ryan Smith is having trouble talking (read: brain damage) and the police are a non entity? I bet if one of the strippers at Duke would have defended herself with a pipe wrench and one of those frat boy losers was having more trouble than usual talking the police would have showed up guns blazing.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Easter Egg Roll open to gays

Well, I'll be darned.

Laura Bush has said that she thinks all - and she means all - families should be welcome to the annual White House Easter egg roll.

If she absolutely had to pick her very favorite part of her new Easter outfit, Ella Surkis Gillespie would point to the purple ribbons on her yellow dress.

For the 3-year-old, Easter can't come fast enough. She is hoping to be among the lucky youngsters in the annual White House Easter egg roll.

And, thanks to some pretty impressive advance planning by her two mommies, Colleen Gillespie and Alisa Surkis of Brooklyn, N.Y., Ella won't be the only child with gay parents who'll be scooting a colorful egg with a spoon on the White House lawn.

"As a parent, you want everything for your child," says Colleen Gillespie. "We want this event to tell our daughter that she is as welcome on the White House lawn as any other kid in the world."

It turns out, First Lady Laura Bush agrees.

"Mrs. Bush is the overseer of the event, and all families are welcome to attend," her spokesman Peter Watkins told me when asked about the hundreds of gay families who hope to roll eggs April 17.

I've had disagreements about this before, but I'm still really glad that gay families who have pushed for this, even if it does politicize an event that's family/children oriented. I guess I really believe that things around us - things we say and do - are more political than we can even imagine. So I can reconcile the politicized and not politicized aspects of this. ...if that makes sense.

UCC's new ad

Stations are refusing to air the new United Church of Christ ad (which can be seen here). Once again, we learn that tolerance is just to darn controversial.

The commercial has already been rejected by CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox and WB. Now cable networks, mainly owned or associated with NBC and CBS are turning down the spot.

NBC-owned networks, USA and Telemundo, called the commercial "too controversial."

Have I mentioned lately how much I love the United Church of Christ?

Sunday, April 02, 2006

History repeats

Here we go again.

GOP Readies New Bid To Pass Anti-Gay Amendment

It must be an election year - Republicans in Congress are preparing for a new attempt to pass a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) has scheduled debate on the so-called Marriage Protection Amendment for the week of June 5.

This week the U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee released a 16-page policy document outlining the GOP arguments for the amendment.

"The time has come to allow the democratic process to work by sending a constitutional amendment to the states," it says.

Oh, yay. How much fun! < / sarcasm >

Saturday, April 01, 2006

YAAAAH! Heternormativity $ux0rz!

Ahh, Cass. Remember when you and Harper brought the word "heteronormative" to the dinner-time discussion?

Apparrently it doesn't just bother us. It bothers lots of really cool people. Like Twisty Faster. (Who reminds me of real life Cass in writing to a really really freaky degree.)

April 22 is blog against Heteronormativity Day!

Now I am totally against heteronormativity. It is a tool of the patriarchy!

I mean.

I guess I am a it hypocritical over it since I am still weighing the possibility of transitioning (Androgyny is so unsatisfying!) which would mean that I'm buying into the heteronormative ideal...

But then I guess surgically obtaining a Tool of the Patriarchy even though my chromosomes are like "what? no! you don't get those bits!" is kinda like sticking it to the man. Only with, you know, the damage to my internal organs from the hormone therapy.

But I digress. Go visit Twisty!