A Slave to a Slave

MAHMUD OF GHAZNI & MALIK AYAZ (1021 ce)

Mahmud of Ghazni founded the Ghaznavid Empire and ruled as Sultan. He fell in love with Malik Ayaz, a Turkish slave, and their relationship became widely regarded as the epitome of idealized love in Islamic legend and Sufi literature. As the story goes, Ayaz asked Mahmud who the most powerful man in the kingdom was. When the Sultan replied that it was himself, Ayaz corrected him, claiming that in fact Ayaz was the most powerful, since Mahmud was his slave. the “slave to a slave” became a favorite trope in Persian literature.

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Why Gay Marriage will be hard to Achieve

I find that most of my human interactions happen in cafes or cafeterias or restaurants. I wonder why that is. Something about the watering hole, I’m sure, brings people from all backgrounds and thought bubbles into one place. The watering hole is an equalizing gathering place.

Enough musing. As I said before, I was in a cafe. A regular college cafe full of regular college students. Behind me I heard a group of girls laughing and talking about Buffy, Firefly, and Joss Whedon. I was just thinking about turning around and talking to them, perhaps I would even whip out the Firefly DVD case I happened to have in my backpack, when the conversation turned to Nathan Fillion, and then to Neil Patrick Harris.

And, unfortunately, the conversation took a predictable turn.

“He’s so hot! It’s too bad he’s gay.”

Too bad he’s gay. I am so sick of hearing this. What does that even mean? Like, if he weren’t gay, you would have a shot at him and Neil Patrick Harriscould get married to him and live happily ever after? I don’t think so. Even if Neil was the womanizing Barney from How I Met Your Mother, random girl in Utah, I still don’t think you would have a shot at his genitals, and even if you did, you’d probably break up anyways. Just saying.

But then these girls went on talking.

“He can act, sing, dance, and he’s gorgeous! What a waste that he can’t have kids.”

Alright, first of all, just because he’s gay doesn’t mean he can’t beget children. There are such things nowadays thanks to this witchcraft called science like artificial insemination, or surrogacy, or drunken horny one night stands. All those things can and have fathered children from gay parents. But more importantly, what did you just say?

What a waste.

Those words have been ringing in my head ever since I heard them.

What a waste.

A waste of what? I understand the fact that you would like to get good genes into Humanity’s gene pool and continue on the Harris line of awesomeness, but those words. A waste of genes? A waste of a pleasurable sexual encounter? Or are you somehow implying that he’s a waste of life?

That last one seems a little extreme, and she probably never meant that in her wildest dreams, but you can’t help but stop on those words and wonder what was wasting away?

This is the problem. This is why it’s going to take a while for marriage equality, because of an underlying attitude in today’s culture that undermines equality. .Too bad…... What a waste…... Why are all the good men married or gay….... This attitude, that gays are some how not worthy, or they’re stealing away chances of happiness from women, is more detrimental than the hardcore anti-gay protesters. Because there’s always going to be someone who will protest, but it’s like this attitude is infecting the pro-gay people.

I believe in gay marriage. It’s just too bad that they’re gay.

That’s not really helpful, now is it? It’s not really equality, it’s not really tolerance, and it’s not really acceptance. In the back of people’s minds, there’s still this nagging. We can’t seem to accept people as people–purely and only as people who have feelings and ideas and something to contribute to the world other than children and sex.

How many times have we seen this? Just go to any Adam Lambert song on Youtube and see for yourself. The comments are not about how well done this song was, or what an amazing voice he has, or what the video means. All of the comments are qualified and tainted with something like

… if only he wasn’t gayadam lambert

… too bad he’s gay

… I don’t care that he’s gay, he rocks

… Isn’t he gay?

…..

I mean, seriously, when did he come out? Three, four years ago? And we still can’t get over it. We can’t just talk about his music, we can’t just say he’s talented, we can’t have a conversation about him being hot or him being our favorite singer without yourself or somebody else chiming in You know he’s gay, right? I’ve never been able to.

This ‘If Only He Wasn’t Gay’ thing has to stop. It has to. Sticks and stones may break bones, but words hold the real power. They last. They hurt. They break. They change the world.

The words that come out of our mouth reflect our thinking, and right now it doesn’t look good. How we think affects how we act, and our actions affect others.

We the people of the United States hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

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.

Watch Out! You Don’t Fit into Society’s Rigid Gender Ideals and Therefore are about to be Crushed by an Ironic Symbol of Masculinity! she called only too late…

Here for you now, I present a collection of Milwaukee’s Best Light Beer commercials… Enjoy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGItoKaX0BM

What do all of those commercials have in common? Beer. And also hegemonic masculinity.

Hegemonic masculinity is the term used to explain the criteria for being a “real man”; a model for all men to show how they “should” be. Generally, in American culture, there is only one complete unblushing male: a young, married, white, urban, heterosexual, Protestant, father, college educated, fully employed, handsome, tall, of the appropriate weight, and has a recent record in sports. And anyone who fails to qualify in any one of these ways at any time is likely to see himself as unworthy, incomplete, or inferior. Right? All other men who don’t fit this criteria are not manly at all. 

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The tagline of the beer is “Men should act like men”, and those who do not act like “men” should be crushed to death by an enormous beer can that falls from the heavens. Of course.

Clearly, this is unfair and sexist towards men. The men deserve to die because they are not acting like men, but are acting like women, and men becoming women is a fate deserving of death?

However, these men are not acting “like women”. They’re just not being stereotypical, hammer-up-the-drywall, macho-macho-masculine dudes.

The man who was showing love, warmth, affection, and sensitivity to a dog instead of working on the car? He definitely needed to die.

The guy who checked in with his wife? Acknowledging that he cares about his relationship? Obviously worthy of death. How dare a man be considerate. That’s just not how we do things here.

The dude with the clothes matching his wife? Whipped! He lost control of his woman. (And if you notice, once the guys reject him, his wife does too. She lets go of his hand and kind of inches away from him. Rejected by everyone.)

The man blotting his pizza, caring about his health, and perhaps even his appearance? Dead. And good riddance. (This is ironic because most older men in America have worse health than their wives. Not to mention this is a Light Beer commercial.)

A lot of this idea of masculinity has to do with the time we live in. If you notice, all of the “real” men are doing manual labor: digging a hole, fixing a car, grilling outdoors…. A hundred years ago, the perfect man would be he who did not have to do any physical labor. He would have slaves or servants to do it for him. Today, that has completely changed. The men were smoking, eating, drinking, working, getting dirty. Their masculinity was about brute strength. And this doesn’t really seem all that odd to us, because it is in fact hegemonic, and we don’t realize it’s there. We’ve integrated it into society so thickly, so deeply, that it only seems natural to us. Of course guys are rough and sweaty. What else would they be?

However, if this idea of “masculinity” was in fact natural, a hundred years ago the manliest men would also be digging holes and greasing up the … horses. If this really was natural, there wouldn’t be such great differences across time and space.

Here in America, two guys holding hands—not cool. Guys don’t generally hold hands, not unless their lovers. But in Africa, across the sea in the Middle East, guys hold hands. It’s a sign of friendship, of comradery. Guys do it all the time there, and it’s normal, it’s natural.

A guy I know, we’ll call him Gerard, served a Mission down in Africa recently. He had a tour guide to help him navigate the town. The tour guide was going to show him where such-and-such was, so he reached down to grab Gerard’s hand and instantly Gerard snatched his hand back, absolutely shocked. His tour guide looked at him strange, he was kind of hurt and confused. The tour guide was just trying to show him the way. Why had he not wanted to hold hands with him? Weren’t they pals?

It was extremely weird for Gerard to hold another man’s hand, and it was weird for the tour guide not to because of these two conflicting ideas of masculinity.

What’s so wrong with two guys holding hands in America? Oh right, because it’s “gay”.  … Oh, sorry, that was my cue: *Gasp!*

But wait, now why is that a bad thing? Oh right, because of this thing called hegemonic masculinity that says all real men are straight men, and real men are hardass Schwarzenegger S.O.B.’s that would never show affection or emotion because truly they’re half robot inside. And any deviancy will be met with the swift and just verdict of a giant beer can falling out of the sky to murder them on the spot. Silly me, how could I forget?

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Whoopsi daisy! How did that get there?

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?