All your bodies are belong to us

16 10 2014

shortformblog

h/t Kaili Joy Gray, Wonkette; shortformblog





Stories for boys

7 10 2014

Why is gay marriage gaining and abortion rights losing?

Paul Constant at the Stranger suggests its down to men: they don’t get abortions, so they can fill their own minds with their own views of the slutty whores who irresponsibly seek to evade responsibility for their whorish slutty irresponsible sex.

Gays and lesbians, on the other hand, have fought and marched and partied and litigated (and, unfortunately, died) their way into public consciousness as human beings deserving of the same rights as all other human beings.

There’s something to this. ‘Coming out’ is not just a personal affirmation, but a political statement, as is the chant we’re here, we’re queer, get used to it. Visibility matters in politics, especially visibility without compromise: as Arendt and Biko and Malcolm X noted, the oppressed must demand recognition as they are—Jewish or black or queer—and not merely ask to be allowed to assimilate.

We’re here, we’re queer, get used to it.

That attitude underlay even the most anodyne of marriage equality ads, the ones featuring couples who’d been together for decades, who are raising children and puppies, who want only to love and care for their beloveds, til death do they part.  These ads were oft-accompanied by gentle music and soft focus, but the insistence remained: we are human beings who want to be treated as human beings.

That’s a tough message for the anti-same-sex-marriage folks to counter, which they themselves knew. It’s not enough to talk about stories or the nice couple next door, they said, we have to talk about principles! and preserving marriage! and the children! don’t forget the children! and zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

The fear of gay marriage worked only so long as homosexuality was a threat; once straight people got to know actual homosexual people, however, the abstraction couldn’t hold. The human story won.

Abortion rights don’t lend themselves so easily to such humanizing stories, however, and don’t end in thrown bouquets and candlelit dances. There are plenty of abortion stories to tell, which are being told, but they don’t follow the same arc as that toward marriage-equality.

There are all kinds of reasons for that difference, but a big one involves sex: marriage-equality folks rightly focused on love and commitment and fairness, on romance and weddings and families, and most definitely not on same-sex sex.

(Again, this is completely understandable: queer folk, especially queer men, have long sought to be seen as more than just sex machines, and as folks who just want what everyone else has. It thus made sense to omit from the ads & campaign speeches that a big thing most everyone has is sex.)

But ain’t no way to talk about abortion without talking about sex, and, unlike marriage, abortion isn’t seen as containing or domesticating sex, but the opposite; it is often seen, even among some who call themselves pro-choice, as enabling irresponsible sex.

By women, I mean. Of course, it is women who have irresponsible sex.

And so abortion gets caught up in all of our weirdness about women and sex and what counts as responsible and what should be the consequences and who should be the judge and wouldn’t you know it, none of that is as happy as the story of Caroline and Anita getting married after 50 years together or Jamal and Keith’s five kids dancing at their wedding.

I get what Constant is saying about the necessity of stories, but on abortion, I gotta side with the SSM opponents: “putting a face on the issue” isn’t enough.





I think I have to send you a reminder

30 11 2013

I learned something today.

That t-shirt that guy was wearing at the gym? The one that said WOMEN LIE on the front, NUMBERS DON’T on the back?

Apparently those are lyrics from a Jay-Z song—although the complete line is “Men lie women lie, numbers don’t.”

Which may get Mr. Carter off the hook, but not the stupid bastard who made the t-shirt, or the stupid bastard who was wearing it.

He was a big guy; I gave him the stink-eye.

But I’m sure it was just meant to be funny. So, so funny.

~~~

I was grumpy the other night reading TNC’s post on Alec Baldwin’s bigotry, noting that

We’re all condemning him for what he says about gay men, but not so much that large chunks of what he finds so awful about gay men is that they act like “little girls” and “bitches”.

Like females. How degrading for a man to be feminine. What a great insult to a man to be called woman.

Can we note the great insult to women? Can we call that bigotry, too?

TNC, to his credit, has written about sexism from any number of angles, noted it in the original post, and re-emphasized the connections between anti-gay and anti-women sentiment in response to my comment, so I’m not calling him out. He’s doing the work.

But it’s still worth noting that a) attacking someone for being gay is bigotry; b) attacking a gay man for acting like a woman is a bigoted thing to say about gay men; c) which makes women the worst thing for a man to be; d) which makes women what, exactly?

~~~

Unlike other forms of bigotry, anti-women bigotry can’t be divorced from intimacy.

Swedes might believe they can live in a better society without Danes and thus try to eliminate all Danes from their state (and the world); their genocide, as terrible as it would be, would not in fact make Swedish life and society impossible. I might argue that it would make Swedish society worse, much worse, but even so, it could continue.

Men who hate women can’t live without them (us), however. Get rid of all of the women and you will, eventually, get rid of all of the men, as well.

And, given that most men are straight, even those who don’t think much of women don’t want to get rid of us entirely: MRAs are not interested in celibacy. So they hate us and they fear us and they want us, and they hate and fear because they want.

Is it easier to confront bigotry which is, somehow, separable? I don’t know exactly how to say this—because I don’t know exactly what I’m trying to say—but it seems as if the lack of choice (at a very basic, sexual, level) in the interaction between men and women makes it far harder to call out sexism as bigotry.

~~~

I’ve never particularly liked the “men-are-so-clueless” types of jokes, whether told by women or men. They strike me as lazy and demeaning, and, worst of all, unfunny.

Women lie/numbers don’t? Not funny.





Brothers in arms

23 06 2013

It’s a modest little show, charming without being precious.

Eureka. I’m (re-)watching Eureka.

I’d happened upon the show at either Hulu or Netflix, watched it here and there, skipping around enough to keep loose track. I liked it, that’s all.

I don’t know if it would qualify as sci-fi. I guess so, insofar as it doesn’t really fit into any other genre—even with a sheriff at the center, it doesn’t really count as a police procedural—and with all the  future-tech, it is fictionalized science. Anyway, I like science fiction, I like clever writing, and I like odd characters.

And on second viewing, I’m latching on to the characters. This isn’t deep stuff by any means, but I’m enjoying how they relate to one another. There’s romance and friendship and antagonism and collegiality and over time it’s. . . nice to see how it all plays out.

The primary relationship is probably that between Sheriff Carter and Global Dynamics head Allison Blake, with a close second that between Carter and his daughter, Zoe, but for me, the central relationship is that between Carter and Henry.

It’s a real friendship between these two, and the actors, Colin Ferguson and Joe Morton, have good friend-chemistry. More than that, they acknowledge that they’re friends, and note on regular occasions how important that friendship is to both of them.

‘Buddies’ aren’t anything new to television, but these guys aren’t buds: they don’t drink beer and knock each other the shoulders and misdirect whatever affection they have toward one another toward, say, a basketball game or a car. They like each other, and that’s enough.

I think that’s one of the reasons I so like Numb3rs. At the center of that show is the relationship between the brothers, Don and Charlie. Don’s a bit of a hard-ass and the genius Charlie is annoyingly needy, but they check in with one another, as brothers. They look out for each other, get on each other’s nerves, and are still working through the weirdness of their childhood relationship.

It’s not a one-time thing, the working on the relationship, and I think that’s what sets apart Eureka and Numb3rs from buddy shows. It’s just there, from episode to episode, and sometimes it’s frayed and sometimes it needs work, but the friendships are demonstrated in their constancy, not in some grand epiphany.

It’s nice to see that, in men. And for them, too.





And furthermore, I don’t like your trousers

3 06 2013

Ohhhh my:

Demetri Marchessini, a Greek-born shipping tycoon who gave [British political party] Ukip £10,000 this year, . . .teamed up with a photographer a decade ago to find “unattractive backsides”, in the words of the Observer writer Liz Hoggard, on the streets of London and New York.

Marchessini wrote in Women in Trousers: A Rear View: “I adore women and want to see them looking beautiful. Everyone has the obligation to look as attractive as possible. It pains me to see women looking terrible.

“Walk along any street and you see women using trousers like a uniform every single day. This is hostile behaviour. They are deliberately dressing in a way that is opposite to what men would like. It is behaviour that flies against common sense, and also flies against the normal human desire to please.”

. . .

Marchessini warned that women are undermining their chances of finding a partner by wearing trousers. “The more women dress like men, the less they are attractive to men. If a man finds a woman attractive, he will find her legs sexy even if they are not perfect, simply because they are her legs. Women know that men don’t like trousers, yet they deliberately wear them.”

~~~

h/t Slactivist Patheos, HerbsandHags





And then this shit: Does it really need to be said that female people are people?

14 03 2012

Unfuckingbelievable. Because: all-too-believable:

Arizona  House Bill 2625

. . .

Y.  Any contract between a corporation and its subscribers is subject to the following:

1.  If the contract provides coverage for prescription drugs, the contract shall provide coverage for any prescribed drug or device that is approved by the United States food and drug administration for use as a contraceptive.  A corporation may use a drug formulary, multitiered drug formulary or list but that formulary or list shall include oral, implant and injectable contraceptive drugs, intrauterine devices and prescription barrier methods if the corporation does not impose deductibles, coinsurance, copayments or other cost containment measures for contraceptive drugs that are greater than the deductibles, coinsurance, copayments or other cost containment measures for other drugs on the same level of the formulary or list.

2.  If the contract provides coverage for outpatient health care services, the contract shall provide coverage for outpatient contraceptive services.  For the purposes of this paragraph, “outpatient contraceptive services” means consultations, examinations, procedures and medical services provided on an outpatient basis and related to the use of approved United States food and drug administration prescription contraceptive methods to prevent unintended pregnancies.

3.  This subsection does not apply to contracts issued to individuals on a nongroup basis.

Z.  Notwithstanding subsection Y of this section, a religious employer whose religious tenets prohibit the use of prescribed contraceptive methods may require that the corporation provide a contract without coverage for all United States food and drug administration approved contraceptive methods.� A religious employer shall submit a written affidavit to the corporation stating that it is a religious employer.� On receipt of the affidavit, the corporation shall issue to the religious employer a contract that excludes coverage of prescription contraceptive methods.� The corporation shall retain the affidavit for the duration of the contract and any renewals of the contract.  Before enrollment in the plan, every religious employer that invokes this exemption shall provide prospective subscribers written notice that the religious employer refuses to cover all United States food and drug administration approved contraceptive methods for religious reasons.� This subsection shall not exclude coverage for prescription contraceptive methods ordered by a health care provider with prescriptive authority for medical indications other than to prevent an unintended pregnancy.� A corporation may require the subscriber to first pay for the prescription and then submit a claim to the corporation along with evidence that the prescription is for a noncontraceptive purpose.� A corporation may charge an administrative fee for handling these claims.� A religious employer shall not discriminate against an employee who independently chooses to obtain insurance coverage or prescriptions for contraceptives from another source. [strikeout in the original]

Z.  Notwithstanding subsection y of this section, a contract does not fail to meet the requirements of subsection Y of this section if the contract’s failure to provide coverage of specific items or services required under subsection Y of this section is because providing or paying for coverage of the specific items or services is contrary to the religious beliefs of the employer, sponsor, issuer, corporation or other entity offering the plan or is because the coverage is contrary to the religious beliefs of the purchaser or beneficiary of the coverage.� If an objection triggers this subsection, a written affidavit shall be filed with the corporation stating the objection.� The corporation shall retain the affidavit for the duration of the contract and any renewals of the contract.  This subsection shall not exclude coverage for prescription contraceptive methods ordered by a health care provider WITH prescriptive authority for medical indications other than for contraceptive, abortifacient, abortion or sterilization purposes.� A corporation, employer, sponsor, issuer or other entity offering the plan may state religious beliefs or moral convictions in its affidavit that require the subscriber to first pay for the prescription and then submit a claim to the corporation along with evidence that the prescription is not in whole or in part for a purpose covered by the objection.� A corporation may charge an administrative fee for handling these claims. [Italics indicate added language; emp added]

There are more strikeouts and additions along these same lines (which can be viewed at the link, above), including:

C.  Before enrollment in the health care plan, every religious employer that invokes this exemption shall provide prospective enrollees written notice that the religious employer refuses to cover all federal food and drug administration approved contraceptive methods for religious reasons.

and

D.  C.  Subsection B of this section does not exclude coverage for prescription contraceptive methods ordered by a health care provider with prescriptive authority for medical indications other than to prevent an unintended pregnancy.� A health care services organization may require for contraceptive, abortifacient, abortion or sterilization purposes.A health care services organization, employer, sponsor, issuer or other entity offering the plan may state religious beliefs in its affidavit that require the enrollee to first pay for the prescription and then submit a claim to the health care services organization along with evidence that the prescription is for a noncontraceptive purpose not in whole or in part for a purpose covered by the objection.� A health care services organization may charge an administrative fee for handling claims under this subsection.

and

E.  A religious employer shall not discriminate against an employee who independently chooses to obtain insurance coverage or prescriptions for contraceptives from another source.

That’s right: Not only does the worker not have the right to be informed of any restrictions on coverage prior to enrollment, and not only would she have to submit an affidavit stating that a scrip for birth control is for “medical” non-birth-control reasons, but SHE CAN BE FIRED FOR USING CONTRACEPTION!

Did you get that? Was I loud enough? !!!!!!!SHE CAN BE FIRED FOR USING CONTRACEPTION!!!!

This bill, by the way, passed the Arizona House and is now headed to the Senate.

And now a word from our sponsor:

“I believe we live in America,” said Majority Whip Debbie Lesko (R-Glendale), who sponsored the bill. “We don’t live in the Soviet Union. So, government should not be telling the organizations or mom-and-pop employers to do something against their moral beliefs.”

Hey Majority Whip Debbie Lesko, I gotta message for you: Go fuck yourself.

Good thing that won’t require contraception.

h/t Laura Bassett, Huffington Post

*Update: And oh yeah, this too.





No comment

13 03 2012

New Hanover Commissioners choose not to accept family planning funds

Following opinions on public funding of contraceptives, the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted to turn down a state family planning grant that would cover contraceptive supplies along with other medical services related to family planning.

. . . .

“The answers that I got were that there were patients that were not being responsible with existing family planning that was being offered and that this would provide a more reliable solution for those people,” Catlin said at Monday afternoon’s commissioners meeting.

He added that he had an issue with “using taxpayer dollars to fund someone’s irresponsibility.”

The county’s health department was awarded $8,899 in family planning funds that would “provide medical services related to family planning including physician’s consultation, examination, prescription, continuing supervision, laboratory examination and contraceptive supplies,” according to a budget amendment item included in documents for Monday’s commissioners meeting. The county was not required to match the state grant.

Chairman Ted Davis said he thought it was a sad day when “taxpayers are asked to pay money to buy for contraceptives” for women having sex without planning responsibly.

“If these young women were responsible people and didn’t have the sex to begin with, we wouldn’t be in this situation,” Davis said.

Commissioner Jonathan Barfield said he was “one of those abstinence guys” and agreed with Davis’ comment.

. . . .

h/t Dan Savage, The Stranger








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