25 June 2008

I guess I'll take off my pissy pants

I've been a little upset at "jake" and Pageone over that past few days for the not-so-nice words posted about the Fairness Campaign. While I believe he has every right to do his own investigative reporting, using negative criticism does nothing to solve the problem and does nothing more than add fuel to the drama fire.

That said, his update on the whole matter is a little more even-handed, though personal stabs are still present in the article. According to him (I was not present), Fairness did its part last night to be open and welcoming, and I know the organization will do all it can to support a complaint filed by Herndon with the OAG.

Hopefully this all gets resolved. Hopefully Herndon will file complaints with KREF and the OAG. Hopefully Fairness (Carla?) will throw some money into investigating the mail piece. Hopefully we’ll be able to out whomever is responsible. And hopefully everyone can take off their pissy pants and put on a clean pair so we can move forward.

I agree. Let's work to get this behind us and find some healing for our community.

Full article here.

Here we go again...

Although I'm one of the "gays" who's pretty steamed at Pageonekentucky.com over the bashing of the Fairness Campaign, I still think this article follows well on my recent posts.

An editorial in the Breathitt County Voice once again bashing Obama for supposedly being a "Muslim Trojan horse". I concur, Pageone (link to their post)... this just makes me want to vomit:

On Obama’s family: “Due to his early Muslim background and paternal forbearers some believe that he could be a potential Muslim Trojan Horse, masquerading as a Christian. During these terrorist-threatening times when our future security is at risk, we can ill afford to have as our commander-in-chief someone we are not one hundred percent sure of their patriotism.”

On Obama supporters: “It seems Obama’s support is coming from a monolithic black vote, the college professors, extreme environmentalists, naïve young folks and those inclined to political socialism. Obama is rated as one of the most extreme liberals in the United States Senate. He supports an appeasement policy in our war against the terrorists, cuts in the military budget, secularism, abortion on demand, gay marriage masquerade as unions, gun restrictions, tax increases and broad general redistribution of the nation’s wealth from the haves to have nots.”

Read the full article here.

23 June 2008

All the racism is pissing me off...

So much so that I'm seriously thinking of moving to a more progressive country. I can't believe that there are still Americans out there who think that skin color has anything to do with whether you're a human or not, whether you deserve rights or not... And then reading comments on op-ed pieces in the CJ (see blockquote below) today piss me off. Alert: there are people out there who actually believe that racism doesn't exist and is just a leftist political ploy! Oh, the audacity!

Read here.

"Yes, government should do far more to relieve the burdens on those who struggle economically and work hard for little pay. And, yes, racism is a damaging reality that explains many of the problems faced by African-Americans -- including family breakdown itself."

SO, according to EJ, it's the white man's fault that the out-of-wedlock birth rate approaches 90% in the black community. And it's government's responsiblity to bail people out (read: more welfare).

EJ, can't you see that it's government who, through the liberal great society programs, has incentivized this behavior, and more intrusion will only make it worse? Why do you and your liberal minions (including Obama) always think government is the solution?

I had to look again at the author of this piece to make sure it wasn't written by Bette Baye. "It's not really their fault...it's racism.....government needs to fix it".....same old leftist manta.

18 June 2008

Clerk to Stop Officiating?

The recent Supreme Court Decision to lift the ban on gay marriage in California has caused little uproar. Yet one county clerk has taken it upon herself to refuse the sale of all marriage licenses in her county. In this NPR.org report, the clerk cites financial reasons for her decision, yet I believe her decision aligns too conveniently with the court's overturning of the same-sex marriage ban. While her office did not sell licenses on the first evening of the ban's lift, her office was forced to sell licenses to about forty same-sex couples today.

While the ban has been lifted for now, there has been a call for its reinstatement. The same-sex marriage ban will once again appear on the California ballot in November.

16 June 2008

Obama and Black Fathers

Racism Review did a nice critique of Obama's Father's Day speech. While his speech was well written and has some good points, I agree that the framing should have been different. Black families are not the only families that experience the lack of fatherly direction. Moreover, should we not be examining the causes of absent fathers, rather than blaming a racial group for their "self-created" family problems? How about social factors? Economic factors? Job availability? Education?

Obama does not deal with the racism these Black men face in his speech. What is always striking about such one-sided critiques, no matter who makes them, is that this problem is not a “Black fathers” problem. In the first place, this is a white-American and general American problem. He could have raised it in a much more balanced way. Why did he not address his sermon to all young men, including the large numbers of the “irresponsible” young fathers who are white? And, perhaps more importantly, where is the strong critique of a racist society that cannot provide decent educations and decent-paying jobs for young black men, indeed for every person who wants to work. Good fathers need decent jobs.

Go here for the article.

15 June 2008

Faux News

This is just getting to be too much... I've had it with Fox News (not that I watch Fox News anyway).

Go here. (racismreview.com)

14 June 2008

Some Musings on Love: Part 1

It's been about a year now since I've realized that I'm polyamourous. *You can pick you jaw up off the floor now* And several people have asked me what I think about love in light of my polyamourous views.

I've been wanting to post my thoughts on this subject, but have neglected to do so because 1) I really haven't had the time to mess with my thoughts, and 2) I wanted to be sure to have something semi-sensical to present. I know you may be thinking, "he's been through a bad break up, he's bitter, he's hurt and he's full of hot air!" Perhaps you're right. I'll leave that possibility open for the time being. I'll let you decide once you make it to the end of this.

So let me lay some foundations for my argument.
1. I believe that love does not exist. At least not in the way most people view love. Our (society's) notions of love are constructed and are heavily linked to sexism, racism, homophobia, etc. From early on, we are taught as children that we are to fall in love with one person, of the opposite sex (I won't go into the assumptions here), and that we are to marry and remain faithful to our "true love". While the narrative may be very romantic, it does nothing more than perpetuate heteronormativity and is anything (fasten your pew belts) but the "norm". Nowhere will you find a day care that actively educates children that there are many different kinds of families, save for perhaps in the Castro district. But then again, the gays aren't supposed to be having kids, right?

2. The construction of love has a history. But I won't bore you with the biblical implications of love, nor with those nasty Greeks and Eros... We'll just do a small bit of time travel. Alert: If you are like more than half of this country, you don't have a normal family (but that might be news to you). That's right folks, the nuclear family of the 1950s is still the standard. Husband, wife, two kids - oh, and did I forget to mention that the hierarchy of power follows that order? Everyone, please welcome Sexism to the stage! Granted many heterosexual relationships are becoming more egalitarian, but husband-over-wife domination is still very prevalent. Men are by and large considered the head of the household, and this image as man-as-leader is perpetuated by the media and by religious groups - but let's not open up that can of worms.

3. Love is a commodity. We are sold love in every aspect of our lives. Love comes pre-packaged in the form of flowers, silicone implants, and Barbie... AND with Love Spell from Victoria's Secret, love is quite literally in the air. Do you realize that the majority of the items you buy are to please the people around you or to make you're partner happy? And let's just bypass the whole issue of anniversaries, Valentine's day, Christmas, etc... Moreover, is it not painfully obvious how much money is spent in marketing "love" to consumers through the modeling industry - billboards, television commercials, radio spots, spam mailings, newsletters, newspaper ads, pop-ups (need I go on)?

I'll stop before you think I'm a delusional freak. ;-)

So, what is love, you ask? I'll save that one for part two.

13 June 2008

How much is too much?

Admittedly, I agree with some of the values that PETA holds. I believe that animals, who are dependent on us for their basic needs, should be treated ethically. I'm working on becoming a vegan (or at least vegetarian) who is aware of and educated on the commodification and trafficking of living, feeling beings in a greater global market. And while I respect an organization's right to protest, I have to wonder, how much is too much? Using scantily clad women? Blood? Bondage? (photo credit: reason.com)

I'll let you decide.

12 June 2008

The end of gender?

After all the gender studies I've been through, it's nice to finally see some research in support of what many genderist and feminists have been arguing for! Again, I think that a good look at masculinity and it's construction would do us all some good. Michael Kimmel, anyone?

Link here from feministing.com.

Better relationships without gender roles

I know this won't come as a shock to all you feminists, but relationships that don't hew to traditional gender roles are more equal.

Notably, same-sex relationships, whether between men or women, were far more egalitarian than heterosexual ones. In heterosexual couples, women did far more of the housework; men were more likely to have the financial responsibility; and men were more likely to initiate sex, while women were more likely to refuse it or to start a conversation about problems in the relationship. With same-sex couples, of course, none of these dichotomies were possible, and the partners tended to share the burdens far more equally.

While the gay and lesbian couples had about the same rate of conflict as the heterosexual ones, they appeared to have more relationship satisfaction, suggesting that the inequality of opposite-sex relationships can take a toll.

We've written a lot about research that shows unequal opposite-sex relationships "can take a toll" -- mostly on women, who are still stuck with the bulk of the housework. So it's understandable that, in a relationship where neither partner is socially "marked" as the one responsible for housework, things would be more equitable on that front.

Beyond the housework example, I thought the article was going to veer into "all women resolve conflict, and all men avoid it, therefore gay couples don't fight" territory. But I was pleasantly surprised. It's more about how couples interact within their relationship -- not necessarily about the gender of the individuals involved. I was relieved to see one of the researchers quoted as saying, "“Like everybody else, I thought this was male behavior and female behavior, but it’s not."

Of course, the overall frame for the article -- that same-sex couples are more equitable and therefore happier -- is a generalization. There are egalitarian hetero relationships. There are queer relationships where gender roles come into play. The take-away lesson should simply be that with more equality -- and with some breathing room from society's expectations for our gender -- we're all a lot happier in relationships.

09 June 2008

Thanks, UofL

Recently the University of Louisville has come under attack for supporting its LGBT faculty, staff and students. Right-wing conservative groups have been hailing UofL's creation of a center for LGBT Services, partnership benefits, and new LGBT curriculum (from the newly hired Dr. Kaila Story) as signs that UofL has lost touch with family values and seeks to support special interest groups.

I was relieved to read Dr. Shirley Willihnganz's op-ed piece that underscores UofL's commitment to diversity: not only in LGBT issues, but issues of race, nationality, research, development, etc. A university that supports and encourages diversity is the perfect model for coalitional learning. We not only learn from stats and facts, but from the life experiences of each other. It's only when we are able to examine the intersections of the issues that face all of us, regardless of where we fall in the identity comma set, that we can truly hope for change.

Please write to Dr. Willihnganz thanking her for the University's continued commitment to diversity.

From CJ <link here>

David Edmunds of the Family Foundation recently wrote a piece that attacked the University of Louisville for decisions made to help our gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students, faculty and staff. Edmunds seemed bent on alerting the community to what he considers horrific practices and developments at U of L. So let's look at these "alerts." (For the record, we got this idea from PageOneKentucky.com.)

Alert: U of L has gay people. Yes we do. And straight people. Black people. White people. People of all races and ethnicities. Our commitment to diversity means that all kinds of people engage in their quest for knowledge and a better life by coming here. This is a good thing. Just as we learn from facts and data, we learn from each other. That learning is more effective and more meaningful if it happens in an environment of trust and tolerance. As President James Ramsey says, the University of Louisville, as well as the Louisville community, values diversity.

Alert: U of L has a center for LGBT. Yes we do. We also have centers for political leadership, for predictive medicine, for humanities and society, for spinal cord injury research, for international students and for the visual arts. All of these, and many others, contribute to the mosaic of opportunity for us to fulfill our mission of increasing understanding of ourselves and our world.

Alert: U of L faculty study drag queens. We also study cancer cells, pollution in our rivers and air, child abuse, the history of the underground railroad, movement disorders, the old and new testament, the mysteries of the heart, how to make manufacturing in Kentucky more competitive, how to build a logistics cluster in our community, and many other topics. This is the essence of a university and the core value of academic freedom. Universities must be unafraid to look at anything and everything that could make our world a better place. We can't shirk from asking those questions simply because some folks might not like them.

Alert: We are also committed to telling the truth. So, when writing articles, we get the salary right (The head of our LGBT center also works for HR, so not all of his salary is for LGBT services), we get the health insurance policy right (our policy covers certain adults living with an employee, and could include adult children, brothers, sisters, friends) and we get the tag line right:

Commitment to Diversity, Freedom and Truth: It's Happening Here.



University of Louisville

Louisville 40292