Tammy’s Victory! The First Openly Gay Senator

In case you haven’t heard, Tammy Baldwin, a woman from Wisconsin, has been elected to the Senate! Not only that, she’s openly gay. The first in history, I’m told. (Not the first openly gay person ever, the first elected to the Senate. Just so we’re clear. I know, sometimes I mix those two up too.)

Now, I can’t say I know much about her politics. She’s liberal democrat. And she’s for Medicare and Medicaid, in case you were wondering. I myself always find my mind wandering on such issues. And it’s great she’s been elected. She may turn out to be a crappy politician, but I hope she won’t be. Just because she’s gay and a woman doesn’t instantly make her perfect. But it’s great she’s been elected.
(I didn’t like Tommy Thompson’s politics. He was a sell-out and a corporate stooge. Too many special interests for my taste. What can I say, he just wasn’t working anymore. No, I don’t live in Wisconsin. Why do you ask?)

The polls show that Tammy was elected mostly by women and people under 30, which is cool for a couple reasons.
1. Women’s voices are being heard. They’re coming to be a regular force of nature, something to be reckoned with, and that’s really bitchin’.
and 2. The younger populations are showing up more and more in the poles. We’re breeding ourselves a new generation of more politically-aware and open-minded people. It shows that people are showing more tolerance and acceptance for difference. And that’s always good. That’s a brighter future, a damn good hope for achieving World Peace right there.

And the last really cool thing about Tammy being elected is now that there’s an openly gay person in the Senate, it’s bound to raise more gay issues. Once a person is sitting in the room, it makes a big difference. People will become more aware. Hopefully, what we’ve done is started a tiny pebble down the side of a mountain. And that pebble will bump into a few more pebbles, and those will knock into some slightly bigger rocks, and pretty soon we’ll have a boulder running down the face of the cliff. And I mean this in the best, non-violent way possible. We’ve started a powerful avalanche… of sweet potatoes and Cool Ranch Doritos. That’s not violent, and yet strikingly mighty and awe-inspiring, right? Ah, screw the metaphor. You know what I mean.

Anyways, in Tammy’s own words: “You’re damn right we’re making a difference!

Advertisements

Planned Papahood = Abortion-Tire care-Starbucks Shops Galore

This is funny, outrageous, and sexist; I know. But I started to wonder, is it also true?

There are a few ways to look at this question (if you overthink it). Just in case you have that same pesky problem I have with thinking, let me clarify the perimeters of this discussion:

When men become pregnant, we’re not talking about guys’ hormones/biology/body changing and essentially becoming women.

We’re not talking about all of human history being reversed and are now and have always been a matriarchal society instead of patriarchal. The gender roles are not swapped.

This is not a sudden switch, like suddenly guys are waking up with giant bellies and swollen feet.

Guys stay guys. History stays the same as it’s always been (men in power). The only thing that has changed is the fact that guys carry the babies. Yes, magically. No, more like a seahorse. Let’s say a seahorse. Men raise the fetus in his stomach, and then also gives birth.

The essential core to the picture shown above is this: Is the abortion argument really about the fetus?

Some other lesser questions hiding in the background are: If a woman was president, would she immediately legalize abortion? Is this
just another way for men to oppress women? Are men (and by men, I mean the majority of men in Congress/in power today) only seeing  one side of this argument: their side? Would men have so many abortion clinics in this alternative universe because it’s okay for men to have sex, but not for women? [Disclaimer: I know not all women are pro-choice, and I know not all men are pro-life. But seeing as the people making the Federal decisions regarding a “woman issue” are in Congress, and Congress is filled with primarily men….]

Back to the main question. Is abortion really about the baby? Perhaps. Perhaps not. The picture is outright saying it’s not. Abortion wouldn’t even be a problem if men were the ones having babies. It’s about power. Which, I kind of agree with. Abortion, by all means, is not a simple question. There is no simple answer, and saying there is a simple and concrete answer ignores the basic reality of the question. A baby is not the only one affected (if you believe a fetus is in fact a baby) in the decision. I have to argue that the mother is the one affected most of all. Whether or not that fetus lives or not, it’s not conscious enough to really know what life is. The mother, on the other hand, is painfully aware. And whether or not that mother goes through with the pregnancy or with the abortion, she has to carry that weight, that decision, probably for the rest of her life. Something growing inside of you, or the lack there of, is not something you can forget easily. What ever decision you chose sticks to you like a poltergeist, and stays there.

And no matter how compassionate, or caring, or loving, or understanding, or open-minded a man is, I’m not sure there’s any way for him to fully comprehend the full weight of a life inside of your uterus. No matter how many times you explain to him what it was like, what you were feeling, or what you thought, he’ll never know for himself. Because he can’t know. How could he know? Unfortunately, he’s not a woman.

There’s something here that no one can fully explain. A mysterious, ambiguous third factor lies in this question. A factor that no science, no numbers, no amount of extrapolation and deduction and conclusion-drawing can make clear. Abortion is steaming with this factor. Its why it’s such a hard question, pro-life/pro-choice. And it’s also why I kind of agree with the first picture. I do believe that part of the abortion arguments is actually about the fetus, the human life involved, but that’s not all of it. This is never going to be a fair fight as long as men exclusively are making the reproductive choices. Men should not be making these choices for women. If men understood the whole gravity of it, and the bits and bearings, I do believe that the decisions being made would be different. Or at least, we might be discussing it a little differently.

Hurricane Sandy: God’s Punishment for Homosexuals

Christian religious leader John McTernan has already claimed that Hurricane Sandy is proof that “God is systematically destroying America” as political judgement on America’s “homosexual agenda”. (You know, because only America has gays. Or perhaps God only hates American gays?) But Hurricane Sandy isn’t the only homophobic storm. He claims Hurricanes Katrina and Isaac are as well.

His proof? Hurricane Isaac hit exactly seven years after Katrina, both hitting during the week of Southern Decadence in New Orleans (a gay event). But not only that, Hurricane Sandy is hitting 21 years after the “Perfect Storm,” because 21 breaks down into 7 and 3, both “perfect” numbers when relating to God (for some reason? And then when you multiply them together it makes 21 even more perfect? Don’t worry, you’re not the only lost one here.)

This isn’t the first time religious spokespeople have connected natural disasters with the LGBT community. Pat Robertson, a TV preacher, has long believed that tolerance and acceptance of gays would result in hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, terrorist bombs (really?), and “possibly a meteor.”

And I think he’s right. After all, it is a well-known fact that the meteor hit Earth during the annual T-Rex Gay Parade, and Mount
Vesuvius exploded because the Pompeiians were having an Allies Training session. Dude, this all makes sense now! Global Warming is in on it too. It’s the Earth heating up, like how a human body has a fever to kill a cold, to kill off all the infecting gays!

Doesn’t this all sound a little… Oh, what’s the word I’m looking for…. It’s not pagan, because there’s nothing wrong with that… It’s not witchery, because I wouldn’t want to insult the Sanderson Sisters…. Oh, that’s right: crazy. All of this just sounds way too crazy. I got nothing against religion, but this is too much like the Salem witch hunts, or Noah flooding the world. And god forbid we bring any actual science, like say meteorology, into this.

It’s definitely God, and definitely the homosexual agenda–due to Obama being pro-gay and everything. Because God never misses an election day.

But what an evil thing to say, especially since a lot of good people are getting hurt during this storm, gay and straight, men and women, black, orange, gray, and white people. People are struggling for their livelihoods and homes, friends and families, and this Yahoo McTernan thinks God did it to punish a select few in a wide range of people. If He were going to attack a place, why wouldn’t he attack Salt Lake City, the gayest city in the U.S.! (Yes, it’s true. More gays than Chicago, LA, or New York.) And prior hub to Governor Romney (because he doesn’t like Romney either). It seems so much more likely since Salt Lake is sitting on a fault line and everything. It wouldn’t take very much to start a damn good earthquake. But no, clearly hurricane is the way to go.

The Pregnant Man

What do you like about being a girl/boy?

This question was asked in one of my classes. It seems like fairly simple and straightforward question, until you try to answer.

To determine what you like most about being a particular gender, you first have to know what it means to be that gender. How do you separate what it is to be a “boy” from a “girl” and not stereotype? Here are some of the answers my classmates gave:

Girls:

-you can show emotions and affection
-motherhood
-guys pay for things
-chivalry
-tom boy or girly girl (gender bending)

Boys:

-get ready quickly
-more opportunities
-leadership
-can grow a beard/mustache/side burns
-no line for the bathroom
-can pee standing up

Then the question was asked: What do you dislike about being a girl/boy?

Girls:

-shaving
-scared walking home
-pressure to always look good
-periods

Boys:

-pressure when dating
-limited clothing options
-pressure to have money
-pressure of being a breadwinner

So what makes a man or a woman? A lot of the above ideas are socially constructed views of men and women today, and a lot are stereotypes. Men can’t show emotion? You know you’re a woman when you don’t have to pay on a date?

There’s only a few on this list that is actually biological. You can point and definitively say “Yes, that is a thing that only [girls/boys] do.” Motherhood is one, periods are another, guys growing facial hair, and being able to pee standing up (must admit, jealous of that). I don’t really see any other ones. Sure, shaving because we all grow hair, but society has decided that smooth legs/face are beautiful. We don’t have to take a razor to our skin every few days, but we do to be “pretty”.

Except, what about this?

This is Thomas Beatie. He is pregnant. Thomas was born a woman and decided she wanted a sex change. So she became a he, got a mastectomy, started hormones, grew facial hair, fell in love and then married a woman. His wife found out that they were not able to have kids. Thomas, luckily for them, still had his “original plumbing”, so to speak. Thomas stopped his hormone injections, got a sperm donor, and became pregnant with their first child.

Is he a man?          

I thought motherhood was a definitive point-your-finger girl thing.

And I thought growing a beard was a guy thing.

Thomas has had three children, and by had I do mean borne. He actually has the title in the Guinness Book of World Records as the “First Married Man to Give Birth”. Since, he has had a phalloplasty (an artificial penis).

He’s not the only man to have given birth. There have been guys before and after him to bear children. In fact, just last year in 2011, a Canadian man named Richard Guzzo was the first trans man to give birth to natural twins.

So this whole guys giving birth thing isn’t a one-time deal—a strange anomaly in time. The question remains. Are these men men? What does it mean to be a man or a woman? How can we tell the difference?

What do you think?

Heterosexual Questionnaire

1. What do you think caused your heterosexuality?

2. When and how did you decide you were a heterosexual?

3. Is it possible that your heterosexuality is just a phase you may grow out of?

4. Is it possible that your heterosexuality stems from a neurotic fear of others of the same sex?

5. If you have never slept with a person of the same sex, is it possible that all you need is a good gay lover?

6. Do your parents know that you are straight?
Do your friends and/or roommate(s) know?
How did they react?

7. Why do you insist on flaunting your heterosexuality? Can’t you just be who you are and keep it quiet?

8. Why do heterosexuals place so much emphasis on sex?

9. Why do heterosexuals feel compelled to seduce others into their lifestyle?

10. A disproportionate majority of child molesters are heterosexual. Do you consider it safe to expose children to heterosexual teachers?

11. Just what do men and women do in bed together? How can they truly know how to please each other, being so anatomically different?

12. With all the societal support marriage receives, the divorce rate is spiraling. Why are there so few stable relationships among heterosexuals?

13. Statistics show that lesbians have the lowest incidence of sexually transmitted diseases. Is it really safe for a woman to maintain a heterosexual lifestyle and run the risk of disease and pregnancy?

14. How can you become a whole person if you limit yourself to compulsive, exclusive heterosexuality?

15. Considering the menace of overpopulation, how could the human race survive if everyone were heterosexual?

16. Could you trust a heterosexual therapist to be objective? Don’t you feel s/he might be inclined to influence you in the direction of her/his own leanings?

17. There seem to be very few happy heterosexuals. Techniques have been developed that might enable you to change if you really want to. Have you considered trying aversion therapy?

18. Would you want your child to be heterosexual, knowing the problems that s/he would face?

Baby Storm: the Genderless Child in a Gendered World

Somewhere up in Canada there lives a family. I have never met these people, never been invited to their house, I do not know their names. Yet, I know that they have a baby. This baby is named Storm, but I don’t know what sex this baby is. The mother isn’t telling anyone in an attempt to raise the child “genderless”. Or, perhaps not genderless, but more like without all the social pressures and stereotypes of what it means to be a male or a female (such as the all-pink aisle in Target. I wonder what that’s for?)

Alright, so I looked up their names. Halleluiah Google! The mother’s name is Kathy Witterick. After refusing to reveal her baby’s sex, the story exploded and went viral. People all over not just her nation, but our nation as well, couldn’t help but wonder what was in between this baby’s legs. But it’s only natural to want to know, right? Human nature has us constantly wondering about what’s between everybody’s legs!

It’s true, though. Ever see a guy wearing a dress, or a person in a baggy tee-shirt and jeans that you just couldn’t figure out? You do a double take, stare a little longer than usual, squint your eyes, tilt your head. Not going to lie, it’s kind of weird. But that’s because we’ve gendered ourselves so much.

Humans do this weird thing where we cover up what makes us male or female (our genitals), but we cover them in an explicit way that lets everyone know what’s underneath. Womens clothes are usually colored, cute, frilly, tight; while mens clothes tend to be more baggy, more neutral in color, more sport-like, more “masculine”. Here’s more ways we gender ourselves: men are buff, women are toned. Men are strong and distant, women are emotional. Men play sports and get dirty and sweaty and grunt, and women wear makeup and hairspray and perfume and talk. These stereotypes are built into our clothes, our personalities, our bodies. We do gender all the time, constantly, whether we realize it or not. It comes out of our mouths, and shows in our hair, and in the way we walk and sit in a chair.

Now, back to the baby. Is it so bad that the mother is raising her child “genderless” because we’ve so gendered our culture? We exaggerate the differences between our sexualities. And people who don’t exaggerate, maybe a girl with short hair who wears loose graphic tee-shirts, or a slimmer guy who’s sensitive and cares about how he looks, their sexualities are questioned because they deviate from the exaggerated norms we’ve created as a society about what it is to be male or female.

A lot of people are upset because if the baby doesn’t understand gender norms, will s/he be able to fit into society? Will Baby Storm not fit in because s/he doesn’t know if s/he’s male or female? Will children not accept him/her even though s/he’s a perfectly nice human being? Possibly. This decision will most likely affect Baby Storm’s entire life. But is it the mother’s fault for refusing to accept the way in which society operates, or is it our fault for participating in and continuing gendered society?
Is it anyone’s fault at all?

What do you think?

Debunking Leviticus

In honor of the one year anniversary repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell:

Something I’ve been hearing about a lot recently in the world is gay marriage. Gay this, gay that, it’s wrong, it’s right, I don’t like it, it’s not natural, on and on and on. Gay marriage, or rather, marriage equality (because gay people don’t gay walk their dog or gay grocery shop) is ridiculous. It’s absurd; absolutely ludicrous! There is no reason that everyone shouldn’t be allowed to be married, to publicly show their love, to have tax breaks, to visit their partner in the hospital when their sick, or adopt a child together.

Besides the fact that withholding marriage from a specific category of people is the textbook definition of discrimination, especially in the home of the free and the land of the brave, people try to use the Bible to somehow legitimize their prejudice.

Here for you now, is the Debunking of Leviticus, so you too can stop hate and ignorance it its tracks!

“‘Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.” (Leviticus 18:22)

This is probably the most famous line used against marriage equality. First, Leviticus also said no haircuts, polyester clothes, divorce, tattoos, football, shellfish, fortune telling, and gold jewelry, among other things (like if your wife saves your life by grabbing the attackers genitals, you have to cut off her hand. For shizzle. How bizarrely specific is that?). If you’re going to follow one rule, you have to follow them all. You can’t just pick and choose.

That’s right, no more drunken football games in your poly-cotton blend jersey with your local fortune teller and Cash-4-Gold representative after divorcing your crab-scarfing Barbershop spouse anymore. I know what you’re thinking. What am I going to do with my Tuesday nights now? I’m in the same boat, my friend. Back to Boggle, I suppose.

Second, Leviticus is in the Old Testament, which is specifically meant for Jews, not Christians.

And third, none of it even matters because Jesus invalidated all of it, along with Original Sin, when he died on the cross and instated a new set of rules so we could all go to Heaven. (But I’m sure God cares more about who you decide to marry rather than being a good person or following His teachings.)

I’ve also heard arguments that people of the same sex coming together is somehow against God, or against the Bible. Just in the same way that it doesn’t matter what I think of your relationship, it doesn’t matter what your God thinks of their relationship, because in fact it may not be the same omnipotent deity. And it also doesn’t matter if you don’t like their relationship.

If I don’t like my neighbor’s marriage, can I stop it? No, I can’t. Do I have a say in your marriage because I think blondes and brunettes don’t mix? Because Muggles and Wizards don’t mix? No, I do not. No one should have any say in anyone else’s marriage besides the people in that relationship. (Am I sounding crazy yet?)

Love is not just a right, it’s something unique and beautiful to our species. It’s not only insane to think someone could regulate it, I find it ugly. Love is like breathing. No more can anyone control how many breaths a person takes in their lifetime, can you control the zombie apocalypse, or, you know, the person who they’ll love.

Image