Posts in category Homophobia
Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014)
This phenomenal woman truly showed that when beauty is inside, it shines outside too.
(Quote from Huffington Post)
Listen to Sara Bareilles’ new song, “Brave”:
About the song:
“‘Empowering young women … it’s a concept that is near and dear to my heart,’ says Bareilles, who recalls terrible experiences in middle school. ‘I love seeing those girls [in the video] just kind of be themselves on camera and be free and liberated.'”
She also said that “the lyrics were inspired by a close friend who is struggling with coming out. ‘There’s so much honor and integrity and beauty in being able to be who you are,’ Bareilles explains about her motivations. She wrote the track with Jack Antonoff of Fun., who explained that there’s a ‘need for a civil rights anthem,’ which is what they’re calling the pop song.”
Grave of Leonard Matlovich (1943-1988) — Vietnam War veteran, race relations instructor, & recipient of the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star. From Wikipedia:
“Matlovich was the first gay service member to purposely out himself to the military to fight their ban on gays and perhaps the best-known gay man in America in the 1970s next to Harvey Milk. … His tombstone, meant to be a memorial to all gay veterans, does not bear his name. It reads, ‘When I was in the military, they gave me a medal for killing two men and a discharge for loving one.'”
The media’s treatment of women as sex objects is a ubiquitous fact of life. Advertisements, fashion spreads, comic books, movie posters — nearly everywhere you look, women are shown in various stages of undress and posed in positions that make them look vulnerable, submissive, and sexually available. Conversely, men are depicted in positions of power or dominance, e.g., standing while a woman is reclining, being fully clothed while she’s undressed, etc. These differences reinforce inequality between the sexes. Really, how powerful can a woman feel when she’s half-naked and awkwardly contorted?
It’s an interesting social experiment to see what happens when men are placed in these typical “female” poses.
The image below features two Vanity Fair covers: the top one with fully-clothed fashion designer Tom Ford, along with a nude Keira Knightley and Scarlett Johansson; and the bottom one is a Vanity Fair spoof of their own cover with a fully-clothed Paul Rudd and a pretend-nude Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, and Jason Segel. In a separate issue, Vanity Fair also did a photo spread with comedians Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, and Tina Fey, but posed them as typical sex objects. As Entertainment Weekly asks, would it be “… just as uproarious if some of those ladies vamped ironically in body stockings[?] … Men being objectified is so silly as to be hilarious, but it’s better if funny women are also hot.”
Here’s a similar set of images showing nude female models huddled together and then one with the guys from the “Jackass” TV series and movies:
The following “men-ups” were created by photographer Rion Sabean to parody classic pin-up poses. According to Rion, his work focuses on “… gender and sexuality, wherein I attempt to bring light to the scrutiny and judgments of a society that defines human beings under rigid, antiquated terms.”
Artist Paul Richmond created a similar series from a gay male perspective. “I began the Cheesecake Boys series to rectify the inequalities in the underwear-flashing art genre known as pin-up,” said Richmond.
Here’s Richmond explaining how he came up with the concept, along with more examples of his work:
Fantasy author Jim Hines parodied women’s poses on the covers of fantasy novels by trying to replicate the poses himself. (He also did a series posing like the men on romance novel covers). “… [M]ost of these covers are supposed to convey strong, sexy heroines, but these are not poses that suggest strength. You can’t fight from these stances. I could barely even walk,” said Hines.
Do these images look ridiculous? Silly? Maybe even homoerotic? Once men are placed in the same sexualized poses that women are traditionally seen in, it becomes clear how absurd — and sexist — these poses truly are.
There are 400,000 children in the U.S. foster care system, 115,000-130,000 of whom are eligible to be adopted. With all the “pro-life” rhetoric we hear, where’s the moral outrage about their lives? Many of these children aren’t the “popular” kinds to adopt (i.e., healthy, white infants), but instead are older kids, or racial minorities, or they have disabilities or were victims of abuse.
Instead of protesting a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body & her own life, instead of protesting outside of abortion clinics & treating women’s personal healthcare decisions as if they’re fair game for public scrutiny … why don’t those who claim to be “pro-life” direct all this energy onto making sure children who are already born get loving families? Why don’t they adopt or foster children themselves (especially the harder-to-place kids)? Why don’t they advocate for gay adoption? Why don’t they stop supporting abstinence-only sex education (which has been proven to be highly ineffective) & minimize the number of unwanted children in the first place? Why don’t they protest against legislation that cuts funding for food & services for poor children?
Because if you ignore all of the above & merely want to outlaw abortion, you’re really not “pro-life” — you’re just pro-birth.
So sad about the tragedy in Connecticut. There are many social & psychological factors that may have led up to this horrific event — proliferation of guns, a culture that glamorizes violence, mental illness, & people who are just evil bastards. But simply speaking — it’s heartbreaking. Here’s a little something to consider today.
Yesterday, Jane and Pete-e were the first same-sex couple to receive a marriage license in the state of Washington. They’ve been together for 35 years! During that time, they’ve most certainly been plotting how best to ruin the institution of marriage for straight people, promote their nefarious gay agenda, & other vague-and-meaningless-but-
Face Your Shadows
If a religion offers justifications for sexism, racism, or homophobia, then maybe that belief system isn’t so moral after all.
The majority should not get to decide whether the minority can enjoy the same rights that they get to take for granted. This should be common sense.
The worry about how to explain homosexuality to kids has more to do with the parents’ fears about homosexuality than kids’ inability to understand. Kids are quite open to learning. Adults are the ones with the problem.
Here’s the small print: “Sexist & homophobic words are violent & they’re everybody’s problem. Realize words have an impact even if you don’t see it. Challenge sexist & homophobic language. Use different words. Change the subject. Support people who are being harassed. Use humor to change minds. Violent words support violence. Everybody has a backbone. Use yours.”
Read more about Backbone Zone.
… or that we shouldn’t complain about sexism here because women have it worse in other countries.
Almost everything we feel about others is subjective — remember this next time you’re rejected, insulted, etc.
When our rights are attacked; when we’re treated with condescension and our morals, maturity, and ability to make decisions about our own bodies and lives are questioned; when the definition of rape is twisted to benefit the rapist and punish women — well, damn right we’re going to take it personally! We’re going to defend ourselves against insulting, selfish, and paternalistic attacks against our humanity. We’re going to stand up against sanctimonious bullies who use religion and legal maneuvers to chip away at our civil rights. We’re going to vote for the people who actually respect our constitutional and moral rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And we’re going to question the integrity of those who are so willing to throw our rights under the bus. How dare you speak about freedom when you are so intent on attacking ours.
In this election, we had more on the line than you did. We had more to lose. And guess what? YOU built that. So hell yeah — of course we’re going to celebrate and we’re going to do a bit of gloating about how we prevailed.
We won. You lost. Deal with it.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu further explains the concept:
“[The African tribal philosophy of] Ubuntu speaks particularly about the fact that you can’t exist as a human being in isolation. It speaks about our interconnectedness. You can’t be human all by yourself, and when you have this quality – Ubuntu – you are known for your generosity. We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole World. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity. … A person with Ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, based from a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed.”
Pulitzer Prize & Tony Award-winning playwright Doug Wright’s recent Facebook post to his Republican friends about gay rights. Love this!
Somehow, they’re able to rationalize their cognitive dissonance when it’s two conventionally attractive women. :/ If you’re not familiar with the term, cognitive dissonance is the tension between having two conflicting beliefs, such as being against homosexuality, but being turned on by lesbian porn. A person might feel uncomfortable having these conflicting feelings, so they’ll try to rationalize it to make sense (e.g., attractive lesbians aren’t as “bad” as less conventionally attractive lesbians or gay men).
Being LGBT is not a moral issue – it’s simply how some of us are. Why is this so hard for some people to understand? Everyone deserves love. All the shaming, bullying, & judgments are killing people. That’s the REAL moral issue.
During the second Presidential Debate, while Mitt Romney explained how concerned he is about fairness and equality in the workplace, a meme was born. Someone quickly set up a Tumblr page called Binders Full of Women and it’s since gone viral. Here’s the infamous binder comment:
“In response to a young woman named Katherine Fenton‘s question about females making only 72 percent of what their male counterparts earn, Gov. Romney talked about how when he was elected in Massachusetts, he made ‘a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet.’ He continued, ‘I went to a number of women’s groups said ‘Can you help us find folks?’ and they brought us whole binders full of women!’ …
First of all, who SAYS something so completely condescending and sexist like that — referring to potential female hires as ‘binders full of women’?! Sure, blame that tired old excuse that ‘words don’t always come out the right way,’ but there’s a reason that phrase jumped out at people. It’s because it reflects how Mitt Romney really feels about women.”
The Tumblr page has quite a few “binder” memes, but here are a couple of my personal favorites:
See more here. :)
Portia de Rossi, actress and wife of comedian Ellen DeGeneres, struggled with anorexia for years. Her weight hit a low of 82 pounds while filming the TV show Ally McBeal, partly due to entertainment industry pressure to be thin and also due to the shame of hiding her sexual orientation. She wrote her book, Unbearable Lightness, for anyone who’s ever struggled with body image.
The above quote was from an episode of the brilliant new show, The Conversation with Amanda de Cadenet, which airs on Lifetime. Watch a clip from the show here:
In honor of National Coming Out Day, here’s one little girl’s coming out story:
There’s been a lot of talk recently about religion in politics. From employers seeking religious exemptions for contraceptive coverage in health insurance premiums to pharmacists denying women emergency contraception because it violates their religious beliefs — it appears that there’s an increasingly blurry line separating church and state. And those who try to point out the importance of that line are accused of starting a “War on Religion”.
For an increasing number of Americans, this blurring of the lines may very well be giving religion a bad name, making it seem less about loving thy neighbor and more about oppressing them.
One in five Americans report that they don’t belong to any religion, according to data from the Pew Research Center. While 79% still identify as religious, those without religious affiliation has risen from 8% to 20% in the past two decades. In the same time, there’s been an increasing association between religious beliefs and political affiliation, with white evangelical Christians comprising a large part of the Republican Party and 68% of those with no religious affiliation identifying as Democrats. According to the Washington Post:
Congregations used to be a blend of political affiliations, but that’s generally not the case anymore. Sociologists have shown that Americans are more likely to pick their place of worship by their politics, not vice versa. …
‘We think it’s mostly a reaction to the religious right,’ said Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam, who has written at length about the decline in religious affiliation. ‘The best predictor of which people have moved into this category over the last 20 years is how they feel about religion and politics’ aligning, particularly conservative politics and opposition to gay civil rights.
America was founded on the concept of religious freedom. But what some people fail to understand is that this doesn’t include the freedom to impose their personal religious beliefs on others. Jezebel writer Lindy West sums it up well:
I am not religious, but I certainly don’t care if other people want to be. The only sticking point emerges when people want to use those religious beliefs … to encroach upon people’s legal rights. When religious conservatives attempt to dismantle the separation of church and state (making women’s healthcare into a moral issue, for example; or denying gay couples the same legal rights that straight couples enjoy …), that’s when I take issue with religion. When we start getting into conversations like this:
‘Wait, why don’t I get equal rights?’
‘Because the Bible says so.’
‘But I don’t believe in the Bible.’
‘Well, I do. So tough shit.’
… that’s when we have a problem.”
Amen to that.