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Avoiding Homework on a Saturday Afternoon

Hey people of the internet. I realize that I’ve been posting less frequently, which seems surprising given all the wonderful politics related things I could post on, but college is keeping me very, very busy. So, I’m going to give a little rundown on any thoughts I’ve had related to anything recently. I apologize in advance for the lack of concrete topic in this post.

  1. Just for your own knowledge, if you want me to consider you a friend/straight ally, here’s a tip: Don’t act like you know more about my situation than I do. Because you don’t. You don’t know my family, you don’t know my past and you most certainly don’t know how difficult certain things can be. You do not get to talk over me. You do not get to dismiss my fears and concerns with me “being difficult” or “thinking too much.” As a friend and ally, your job is simple. You shut up and you listen and if I ask for your opinion, you give it. If I explain why what you just said/did was wrong and/or offensive, you accept that and move on. End of story.
  2. *trigger warning – rape* When will white, republican men shut the fuck up about rape? I mean, it’s getting pretty fucking ridiculous. We’ve got Todd “legitimate rape” Akin, we’ve got VP candidate Paul Ryan (who sponsored a personhood bill in congress using the words “forcible rape”), Richard Mourdock who said “Even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that is something God intended to happen,” and then we’ve got Roger Rivard. Just as a warning, his quote’s a doozy. He said “Some girls rape easy.” To give more context he was saying that some girls may agree to sex at one point but then claim the sex was rape once they become pregnant. And so, ladies and gentleman, I present to you these real class act guys. They’re not the only ones, not by a long shot. And they are the ones representing you in our government. Want to know what’s wrong with America? Why our culture is so focused on victim blaming and shaming? Look no further than the men mentioned here.
  3. This Website Just…go.
  4. Ellen, I love you, I really do. Because as I’m sure everyone knows, us females have really been struggling with our pens in recent years.
  5. Another “straight ally” related post. This story makes me sick.  Because this man spent a year pretending to be. All, of course, in the guise of wanting to understand us better. He was a homophobic christian who saw the light and as opposed to, oh I don’t know, ASKING A GAY PERSON A FUCKING QUESTION OR TWO, he decided he would spend a year pretending to be gay. He came out (but told his aunt and two friends his plan. You know, for support and stuff.) One of his friends pretended to be his boyfriend because, as another article put it: “I needed protection to keep me balanced and teach me the nuances of gay culture and how they flirt, and to give me an excuse when guys hit on me,” said Kurek. For credibility, Kurek learned to hold hands and embrace.” He needed protection. That wording alone is enough to send me into a rage. What bothers me more is, if you read the second article, is that he needed his aunt to know the truth for support. To make sure his mother wasn’t “going off the deep end.” Isn’t it great that all gay people have someone like that…oh wait. We don’t. What bothers me most about Kurek is that he thinks this year taught him so much. But it didn’t. Because he knew that, should his family reject him completely, they weren’t really rejecting him. Just what he was pretending to be. If life ever became too difficult for him, he could tell everyone the truth. He didn’t experience what it was really like to be gay. To truly feel the fear of having yourself rejected by your loved ones, the anguish of the hate we are subject to, the pain of the words from hateful people and groups that seem to be designed to make us feel worthless. I leave this piece with a quote from Bruce Bawer, “Straight Americans need… an education of the heart and soul. They must understand – to begin with – how it can feel to spend years denying your own deepest truths, to sit silently through classes, meals, and church services while people you love toss off remarks that brutalize your soul.”
  6. Last, I’d just like to talk a little about the election. More specifically, people voting for Mitt Romney. I don’t know many people voting for him, but I do know some people. A few, whom know nothing about my being a lesbian. But some people, people who are my friends, who know about me and what I’ve gone through, are voting for him too. And honestly…that confuses me. So much. Because they give reasons like “well, there’s other things more important right now,” or “I’m more worried about taxes and the economy. Sorry.” No. No, they are not sorry. Because what they just said to me is “Yeah, you having equal rights is important and all, but I’d rather have taxes that are lower. You’re important, but you’re not important enough.” People can use the “I’m more worried about the economy and I support his economic policy,” excuse all they want. But I will never see that excuse as legitimate. Because I will never see business regulation (or deregulation as the case with Romney would be) and lower taxes for the wealthy as more important issues than my rights. I will never see why Wall Street is more important than assuring that all Americans have a right to marry who they love. I will never see more defense spending as of greater need than protecting me from hate crimes, workplace discrimination, and discrimination of any kind. One day, I may want to get married and have kids and be out in my community and my workplace. And I will never see those things, those things that pretty much every straight American takes for granted and considers a “given”, as less important than anything. They affect my life every single day. I can understand disagreeing with someone on economic policy. I have no problem with people who prefer Romney’s economic policy (well, I think they’re very, very wrong. But I get it.). But I do have a problem with people who put businesses and taxes over the rights and safety of human beings. In a way, I think I have more problem with my friends who say they support me but then vote for Romney than I do with other Romney voters. At least when a person who doesn’t support my rights votes for Romney, I’m not surprised. Because they don’t believe I’m denied anything. They’re wrong and hateful, but they’re not telling me the economy is more important than my life.

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 27, 2012 in Opinions, Personal

 

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People just don’t understand (homophobia, misunderstanding of gender)

So today, I found myself in a number of discussions that made me quite upset. Let’s start from the beginning. **The quotes at the beginning of each number are what was said to me, not what I said**

  1. “I think it’d be great if homosexuals got married…But wouldn’t allow gays to marry (something that seemed very radical years ago) be a gateway for things we find radical now (Like incest, or marrying plants and animals)?” Ugh. I just wanted to scream “NO. Stop. Don’t pull that “I like gay people but…” crap on me.” Luckily, I was typing these things. So I had time to think of a much more eloquent answer. It was something along the line of “I’m calling your BS. The “I like gay people but…” statements are probably some of the most annoying statements I hear in regards to gay rights. And I’m including the statements of Evangelicals in that ranking.” and then I went on to explain. So internet, for your reference: Incest is not the same legally as two people of the same gender getting married. The latter involves two, unrelated, consenting adults getting married. The former involves two related people (with possibly not an adult and/or not consenting). These people will usually have intercourse. That’s what the definition I found on dictionary.com said anyway. Furthermore, if these two related parties decided to reproduce, their child would be at risk for any number of birth defects. But my main reasoning stands. The slippery slope is invalid because the legal implications are much different. As for “marrying plants and animals” again, I say that gay marriage = two consenting adults. Plant/animal marriage would be  1 consenting adult + plus one unable to consent plant/animal. In addition, there’s the whole how could a plant/animal have power of attorney should the person married to said plant/animal somehow go into a coma. So. Slippery slope = not valid.
  2. “Genderqueer? What the fuck does that mean? You can’t just keep changing your mind.” **As a cisfemale, if there is anything wrong with what I say in this paragraph, I am sorry. Point it out, I’ll issue another apology and fix it. I am trying my best** I explained to this person “Gender is not simply a binary. Gender is not simply “are you male or female?” Gender is a vast spectrum, and there are many ways to identify. If a person identifies as genderqueer, I believe that generally means they feel neither completely male nor completely female. They could feel like both, or neither, or something different entirely. Gender is what is in your head. Not what’s on your body. Now, I know that many in the world do not understand the whole “Gender is not a binary” concept. But I heard this from a person who I believed to be extremely open minded. It was upsetting.
  3. “Why can’t you be more of a girl?” This was said to me. In order to promote understanding, I shall briefly describe myself. I have short, “boy-cut”, kind of hair. I feel most comfortable in t-shirts and basketball shorts or jeans. So anyway, this person basically said that I “ruined my beauty and femininity” when I cut my hair short and that I “didn’t dress girly enough to say I was a girl” First off, she said girl. I’m a woman, dammit. Second, why the fuck do I need to fit these stereotypes? Stereotypes fucking suck. I love my hair. It’s easy to take care of and is nice and cool during this record hot summer. I’ve never felt more like myself than I do now, with my hair finally a way I like it. Third, I’m going to wear the clothes I want. I will wear what I like, what fits me the way I want it to, and what I find comfortable. My way of finding clothes is much like my sexuality. I don’t give a fuck if it’s from the men’s department, the women’s department, or somewhere in between. If I like it, I like it. Societal norms be damned.

*****If you believe I said anything wrong, especially in point number two, please email me at viewswordsvoice@yahoo.com. I really want to make sure I’m saying that explanation right*****

 
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Posted by on July 15, 2012 in Criticisms

 

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Megan Rapinoe and coming out take two: bigoted comments edition

Initial article here:

http://viewswordsvoice.wordpress.com/2012/07/03/queerscomingoutandmeganrapinoe/

A reader said this in comments:

Meghan you are in a very visible sport for young women. Why would you exploit your sexuality where they can read it? Come on Where is the responsibility here? We are a Christian country and this is not accepted! Too bad Go kick your soccer ball in another country!

This was my response in comments:

First of all, Pinoe basically told the world “Yeah. The rumors that anyone who actually gives a crap about women’s soccer are true. I have a girlfriend. I’m gay.” She doesn’t “exploit her sexuality.” If saying “Yeah, I am gay” is an exploitation of sexuality, then any straight athlete who brings their partner to any public event is also exploiting their sexuality. She brought up her sexuality one time. One. And she tried to make it a “Whatever” kind of moment.

Also, where do you see irresponsibility. It’s not as if she cheated on anyone (many much more visible celebs and politicians). It’s not like she said “Go have sex with whoever you want, all the time.” She never even said “being gay is awesome!” And even if she had said being gay is awesome, saying that does not make people gay. People cannot be “turned” gay because a celebrity is. It doesn’t work like that. I, as a queer female, will not be “turned” straight because I see a straight celebrity on tv and say “Hm, I think I’ll try being straight today.” Sexuality is not a conscious decision.

Third, the main founding fathers (Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton, Adams, Franklin, Madison) Are historically believed to be deists or supporters of some type of “theistic rationalism.” Basically, they believed the universe had a creator, but he didn’t concern himself with what happens here on earth. Most of them believed Jesus to be good morally, but did not believe in his divinity. In addition, when they spoke of God, that God was not the same as the God of the bible. In addition, one of our most well known founding fathers created the Jefferson Bible. The Jefferson Bible is basically a Bible with all the religious, miracle, supernatural type stuff cut out. So only the morals part. Lastly, the words “under God, creator, Jesus” are in no way found in the original constitution. In fact, “under god” and “in god we trust” were not added to the pledge and money, respectively, until there Communist Red Scare of the fifties as something to “ward off communism.” The US is a nation of a multitude of religious beliefs (or the lack thereof). We are not, nor have we ever been, an exclusively christian nation.

And in my final part to this response, when you potentially watch the women’s soccer team in the olympics, do you really care what gender the player wants to be with in her personal life? Does it really matter what she chooses to do with her body on her own time? If so, then I believe you are the one with the problem. When she’s out on that field, she is an athlete trying to get a win for this country, trying to promote having pride in this country. At that moment, the only thing that should matter is whether she can play. And Pinoe, she’s one damn good soccer player.

This is to elaborate further:

Megan is important to girls regardless of sexuality. She is a role model. She’s a powerful, confident, successful female who kicks ass at the sport she plays. She should be a role model to any girl, anywhere. Because she sends the message “You’re female. And you can be awesome at whatever you love to do.”

And, to girls like me, who are gay or lesbian or a different sexuality, she’s also a role model. Because to kids who, like me, have been bullied and have grown up in hate filled areas, she says “You can be successful and confident and happy. It doesn’t matter that you’re gay. Even if it’s bad now, if you stick with it, being open about who you are won’t matter later on. You can be successful and happy no matter what hateful people say.”

So, to further address this, Suzette – the only one hurting young women here are people with hateful things to say, like yourself.

 
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Posted by on July 7, 2012 in Criticisms, Opinions

 

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The 4th…and my thoughts on the USA

So, today is the fourth! Hooray! Happy Birthday, America! As a citizen of the USA, who benefits from many freedoms and other things because I am a citizen, I do love my country. I respect it’s leaders, it’s military, etc. I am glad I live where I live, and all that that entails. But because I am a proud citizen, who only ever wants to see her country do better, I am not afraid to criticize.

So, let’s begin with my favorite topic – gay rights. As I’m sure most people know, if you’re in North America and are gay and want to get married and be protected by anti-discrimination laws, you want to go to Canada. They have both, everywhere. Other places like this are Norway, Sweden, Spain, and South Africa. Places where you can get a similar substitute and protection are Great Britain, Ireland, and Germany. Countries with some type of universal anti-discrimination laws for LGBT+ people include Bolivia, Chile, Poland, Greece, and Venezuela. Countries with some type of marriage or marriage substitute include Australia, Brazil, and Argentina. Now, you may notice that the US doesn’t come up in any of these lists. That’s because in the area of gay rights, we’re kind of behind. Not as far behind as the many African and Middle Eastern countries (and a few in the Caribbean) that do anything from imprison you to kill you if you’re gay, but still behind. As a whole, we have no specific legislation of anti-disrimination for LGBT+ Americans. None at all. Some much for the land of freedom, equality and giving everyone an equal shot at success (it’s hard to think you have an equal shot when you worry about getting fired for being who you are). And of course, we have DOMA, which basically says the federal government does not recognize same sex couples. Now, if you are lucky enough to live in a state with gay marriage or discrimination protection, go you! But not everyone is that lucky, and not everyone can afford to move to where it’s okay. So I love the USA, I just wish that, as a queer female, it respected me as a human a bit more. (Click here to see more info on being gay around the world)

Number 2. Every year, Reporters Without Borders releases it’s “Press Freedom Index” (which can be found here). This index is based on: whether journalists face any type of violence, political pressure, discrimination, or require the use of bodyguards to feel secure; whether the state deported journalists, restricted their access, surveilled journalists, or whether they faced harassment from officials; whether there was any kind of censorship or self-censorship; if there was independent or states controlled media, or both; if the media had legal protections; how the state regulated the internet. Given our whole “freedom of speech, freedom of the press” thing, you’d think the US ranked rather highly right? Wrong. The USA ranked 47th. Leaving us tied with Romania and Argentina. Putting us behind Botswana, Ghana, El Salvador, the UK, Niger, Australia, Japan, Belgium, and countless others. If we want to truly be considered a land of free speech, free press, and freedom in general, we need to do a whole lot better than 47.

In addition, we also rank 47th on the Gender Inequality Index put out by the UN. This puts countries like Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Israel, and Moldova ahead of us in Gender Equality. If we want to be a country that is equal, then we need to be much higher up on this list as well.

So to sum it up, I love my country. I do. And that’s why I write things like this. That’s why I’m eventually going to law school and intend to be a kick ass human rights advocate. I want things to get better. I want us, as a country, to be better. And we can never be better unless we start admitting our faults and working toward fixing them.

 
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Posted by on July 4, 2012 in Criticisms, Opinions

 

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Okay, so here’s a more personal post…

So I guess…I’m just having another rough day. My countdown to college says 56 days, and those 56 days seem like years, given the days I’ve been having. It’s not that I’m unhappy, or that I don’t live a mostly good life. Because I do. I am lucky enough to have a job, a house, food, parents willing to somewhat assist in the paying of my education, certain luxury items like the mac I currently write this on, and iPhone, internet, air conditioning, indoor plumbing, electricity, etc. I’m lucky. And I get that and admit that. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to complain about my life every now and then.

I’ve got a job with small children who, along with the usual wear and tear of working with kids, comes with children who love to use gay as an insult, and therefore provides endless confusion as to how to properly talk to the kids. It’s exhausting.

And then there’s my parents. I hear much less homophobia from my mom, and frequently wonder if she actually knows. But my dad…hearing him call anything he thinks is stupid or wrong “gay”, hearing him refer to any man he doesn’t think is “worthy” of his “support” a fa****, hearing him insult rachel maddow and complain about how the USWNT for soccer is ruined because of Pinoe. It’s just…not right. He doesn’t seem to understand that gay is not an insult, despite the times I tell him otherwise.

And then there’s the fact that I’m a closet liberal with two conservative parents who don’t like to hear anyone disagree with them. My opinions are dismissed as foolish and college student typical (“we expected more from you. We thought you had a brain, unlike those lousy liberals.”) They get spat on as irrelevant and brainwashed, no matter how many facts and statistics I can present. Unless it was said on the all holy gospel of Fox News…it’s wrong.

And then there’s the mental problems I have myself. Constant worrying. Sadness. Low self esteem. But hey, everyone has issues like those at least.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, despite my wish to keep this blog as serious as possible, sometimes I need to vent. I’ve had a day filled with feelings and exhaustion, and saying all this feels very, very good.

 
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Posted by on July 4, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Changes

In a much earlier post, I reference the fact that I am going to school in Washington DC. This is no longer true. Northampton is my new future home…and I’m ten times more excited to be there than I ever was to be in DC. Smith College. My dream school. People have said things, in annoying tones, that “they wouldn’t be able to handle an all-girls school for four more years” (I’m at a catholic all girls high school now.) But you know what i say to those people? “I’m sorry, I think you may be mistaken. it’s and All-Women’s College.”

And yeah, I’ve heard the “don’t become a radical queer feminist thing” too. And to those people, I say f*** off. Because being radical means you want to change things. And sure, the GOP has tried to make change a bad thing, but I ask you, is everything perfect? Because I don’t think it is. And as long as life has imperfections, then life could use some change here and there. Saying “Well, things are bad, but they could be worse, so let’s keep it this way” makes you cowardly. I’m not afraid to be called “radical” because I’m not afraid to say I support changing things for the better. And as for queer…it’s much too late for that. And I’m not sorry. Love is love, and there is nothing wrong with being queer, or any other identity on the LGBTQ spectrum. And as for the last one…since when is feminism bad? Since when does feminism cause anyone pain? Feminism calls for equality. Plain and simple. If you’re not a feminist (and therefore, not for equality) I probably don’t want to really know you anyway,

So anyways, I’m off to my dream school to study government and SWAG (study of women and gender) and spanish. And from there, I’m off to law school. And from there, well I’m not sure where I’m off to yet. But I guarantee, you’ll be hearing from my radical queer feminist self for a rather long time.

 
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Posted by on June 6, 2012 in education, Opinions

 

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