Friday, May 23, 2008

The problem with gender stereotypes...

I read about that "ex-gay" therapy program in Poland, at which they claim to "help lesbians, gays and bisexuals." The story says "Men at the center are taught to play football and women are taught to cook." But what about the bisexuals? I mean, we already play football and cook.

via Pam

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Mommy! I touched my special area!

It's not even noon, but this may be teh st00pid of the day. Parents in the Schenectady, New York area are all up in arms because the school proposes something other than abstinence only sex education. Of course, with that program in place, the county has managed to have the second-highest teen pregnancy rate in the state--and mind you, the fleshpots of New York City comprise five counties, so that's some achievement. (Joking, folks, joking--despite searching, I haven't figured out which county's rate is highest.)

This is the best part of the whole story. It seems some parents looked into the materials being used by the schools, and were pretty darn upset by them.

Arlene Whittingham said she did research as well and found educational materials directed to children between the ages of 5 and 8 which indicate that girls and boys have body parts that feel good when touched.

Whittingham said she found it “quite unconscionable” that an organization could suggest sharing such information with school students.

Yeah, that's unconscionable, all right. After all, kids would never even think of such a thing if some evil brochure didn't tell them about it.

via Feministing

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mildred Loving on Marriage

I'm sure you all (or at least those of you who are in the U.S.) know by now that Mildred Loving, one of the plaintiffs in Loving v. Virginia died about a week ago. Ms. Loving always said she was not a political person, and in all the years since the Supreme Court decided the case, refused to say much about it. However, last June, on the fortieth anniversary of the Loving decision, she did issue a statement. If you haven't read it before, it's worth looking at.

Loving for All

By Mildred Loving

Prepared for Delivery on June 12, 2007,
The 40th Anniversary of the Loving vs. Virginia Announcement

When my late husband, Richard, and I got married in Washington, DC in 1958, it wasn’t to make a political statement or start a fight. We were in love, and we wanted to be married.

We didn’t get married in Washington because we wanted to marry there. We did it there because the government wouldn’t allow us to marry back home in Virginia where we grew up, where we met, where we fell in love, and where we wanted to be together and build our family. You see, I am a woman of color and Richard was white, and at that time people believed it was okay to keep us from marrying because of their ideas of who should marry whom.

When Richard and I came back to our home in Virginia, happily married, we had no intention of battling over the law. We made a commitment to each other in our love and lives, and now had the legal commitment, called marriage, to match. Isn’t that what marriage is?

Not long after our wedding, we were awakened in the middle of the night in our own bedroom by deputy sheriffs and actually arrested for the “crime” of marrying the wrong kind of person. Our marriage certificate was hanging on the wall above the bed. The state prosecuted Richard and me, and after we were found guilty, the judge declared: “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.” He sentenced us to a year in prison, but offered to suspend the sentence if we left our home in Virginia for 25 years exile.

We left, and got a lawyer. Richard and I had to fight, but still were not fighting for a cause. We were fighting for our love.

Though it turned out we had to fight, happily Richard and I didn’t have to fight alone. Thanks to groups like the ACLU and the NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund, and so many good people around the country willing to speak up, we took our case for the freedom to marry all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. And on June 12, 1967, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that, “The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men,” a “basic civil right.”

My generation was bitterly divided over something that should have been so clear and right. The majority believed what the judge said, that it was God’s plan to keep people apart, and that government should discriminate against people in love. But I have lived long enough now to see big changes. The older generation’s fears and prejudices have given way, and today’s young people realize that if someone loves someone they have a right to marry.

Surrounded as I am now by wonderful children and grandchildren, not a day goes by that I don’t think of Richard and our love, our right to marry, and how much it meant to me to have that freedom to marry the person precious to me, even if others thought he was the “wrong kind of person” for me to marry. I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry. Government has no business imposing some people’s religious beliefs over others.Especially if it denies people’s civil rights.

I am still not a political person, but I am proud that Richard’s and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That’s what Loving, and loving, are all about.

Thank you, Mildred Loving. Rest in peace.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Ah, Fox News... so entertaining!

I mean, this was meant for a joke, right? (Take a gander at this post over at Bitch, Ph.D., and we can all have a laugh.)

Okay, okay, I know they weren't joking, but I just don't want to believe they don't know the Lincoln -Douglas debate were not between Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, who didn't even spell his name the same fucking way. But when I see this video, well, I have to admit these guys are even more ignorant than I thought.

And thanks to Wonkette for her original post, which inspired me to make a new tag.

The Daily Fail strikes again

So, I was reading an article on the Daily Mail website about how young women who inherit their body type from their hippy mothers (no, not mothers who like to wear patchouli and wear love beads, necessarily) should literally diet and exercise their asses off. The impetus for this is a picture of Princess Beatrice in a bathing suit which shows that the girl has the nerve to have hips, just like her mum! Mind you, the writer starts out by saying the princess is not by any means fat. So, burning calories is supposed to do what exactly? (Leaving aside the argument about how effective weight loss is in those of us who actually are fat, of course.) And then some ass of a commenter refers to the woman as morbidly obese.

When I was done banging my head on the keyboard, I noticed that there was a link to a story about an alleged Jimi Hendrix sex tape. My curiosity aroused, I followed the link and read the story, which was accompanied by a number of photos, including this one:


The caption is "Hippy values: Hendrix pictured with two un-named women in the late sixties." Well, I am notoriously bad at putting names with faces, but those two unnamed woman sure as heck looked like half of the Mamas and the Papas to me. And, whaddaya know— a Google Image search for "hendrix phillips elliot" brings up many instances of that same photo. Now, I know nobody considers The Mail a great newspaper, but FFS, if I of all people am better at identifying the people in a photo that they are, they're more pathetic than I realized.

via Shapely Prose