Lots of stuff to check out! I hardly know where to begin.
First, on the Pastor Rick Warren follies, as I have come to regard them...Mona Charen, right wing crackpot in good standing, offers the following (quite amazing) observation:
What particularly outraged gay rights activists was a comment Warren made in a TV interview when he compared two homosexuals getting married to a brother marrying a sister or an adult marrying a child. Those were not the most felicitous comparisons and probably unnecessarily hurt the feelings of gays and lesbians.Well, as a bisexual, let me say that I don't see why I am thus COMMANDED to infidelity. Huh? (I wrote about some of these issues in my piece on Bisexual Invisibility.)
And yet, the point Warren was making was a valid one. Once you abandon the traditional definition of marriage to suit the feelings on an interest group, by what principle do you stop redefining marriage? Gays and lesbians argue that their same-sex unions are loving, committed relationships. Fine. But there are, or could be, other loving, committed relationships involving more than two people. Supporters of gay marriage say this is a ridiculous slippery slope argument.
But consider the name that many gay activists have adopted. You no longer see gay and lesbian alone. Instead, the new terminology is LGBT — lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. Lesbians and gays say that without gay marriage, they cannot fully express themselves as they really are. But what about bisexuals? I ask this not to poke fun or to hurt anyone’s feelings, but in all seriousness. How does gay marriage help a bisexual? I assume that if you are bisexual, you believe that you need to have sexual relationships with both men and women. If you are a bisexual man married to a woman, don’t you need to break the marriage bond to express your bisexuality? If you choose to express just the homosexual side of your bisexuality, then aren’t you gay? Likewise, if you choose to express only the heterosexual side, how are you a bisexual? Why is bisexuality not a recipe for infidelity? As for transgender people who believe that they are “assigned” to the wrong sex, their sexuality seems a deeply complicated matter. According to Wikipedia, the term “transgender,” which is always evolving, today encompasses “many overlapping categories — these include cross-dresser (CD); transvestite (TV); androgynes; genderqueer; people who live cross-gender; drag kings; and drag queens; and, frequently, transsexual (TS).” We are now in the realm of a multitude of sexual deviances.
The common-sense reason bisexuals are in favor of gay marriage is in the event that we fall in love with a same-gendered person (rather than an opposite-gendered person), we would probably like to marry them.
Is that really such a complicated matter?
And Mona has unwittingly let the cat out of the bag, hasn't she? This ultra-scary GENDER CONFUSION (of Mona's) and her pearl-clutching fear that people's sexual identities are just spewing out all over the place--unrestrained, every which-way, chaos reigns!!-- is the real problem. BARBARIANS AT THE GATES, seems to be Mona's almost-hysterical message, and if we grant them the right of gay marriage, everyone will be changing sex all over the place. ((((screams!))))
If all of this bothers Mona, we must be doing something right.
I didn't know that the author of The Bitten Apple had been a student of Hugo Schwyzer, whom she says was always very open to her as a right wing student. This granted her the necessary freedom to listen to his opposing views respectfully; she did not feel she was under siege. Her process is fascinating:
One of the reasons I disliked my creative writing professor last quarter was because he was so blunt in saying how “hateful” and basically stupid conservatives are. Being liberal in your politics does not necessarily mean that you are open-minded. He asked the class one day, “Are there any really religious people in here?” Obviously, I couldn’t raise my hand, because I would be such a killjoy, so I just shut up and let him talk about how there is “no big guy in the sky” and how “a 2,000 year old dead guy is not going to come back from the dead.” I was pissed. My voice was silenced. One of the reasons I like Obama is because he does not automatically deem the other side stupid, ignorant, or hate-filled.Also check out her post on Jessica Valenti's upcoming book, The Purity Myth.
Several months ago, while I was taking that creative writing class, I realized exactly what made me so upset about that professor. It wasn’t entirely his politics, to be sure. I reflected upon my own journey from being a fundamentalist, Mel Gibson type Catholic into a relatively socially liberal feminist, thanks largely to the women’s studies course I took back in spring 2006. Hugo, my professor and mentor, was and still is much more liberal than I am. Regardless, he always accepts me at whatever stage I am at in my spiritual journey. He accepted me when I was a staunch pro-life, anti-gay marriage 19-year-old student. He was empathetic with me when I was contemplating losing my virginity, knowing how much my virginity meant to me. And he accepts me now. Had I had a women’s studies professor who merely wrote off the conservative perspective, I likely would not have been receptive to the class and might not have embraced feminism to the extent that I have today. In order for me to break out of my ultra-conservative worldview, I needed someone to empathize - but not necessarily agree - with my position at the time.
Palmetto state native Eartha Kitt (from whom Madonna stole "Santa Baby," right down to the baby-talk phrasing) has passed on. She was a fabulous singer, but baby-boomers undoubtedly remember her best as Julie Newmar's replacement as Catwoman on the old 60s Batman TV show (featuring hizzoner, Adam West).
In addition, Majel Barrett Roddenberry has also died.
Unfortunately, Nurse Chapel never got to bed the enigmatic Mr Spock, but we were all rooting for her!
A CALL FOR ACTION ON TRANS RIGHTS IN TENNESSEE:
For Immediate Release: Dated December 27, 2008
Another Transgender Woman Shot in Memphis
On Christmas Eve, a Memphis television station reported the shooting of Leeneshia Edwards in Memphis. She becomes the third transgender woman shot in Memphis in just six months. At last report, Leeneshia is in critical condition. We extend our hopes and prayers to Leenashia for a speedy recovery.Read the rest of the press release at Questioning Transphobia. And to donate, go to Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition.
We also ask for anyone with any information about this latest crime to call Memphis Crimes Stoppers at (901)528-CASH.
The shooting of Leeneshia Edwards helps shed light on a disturbing trend in Memphis. Transgender women who work in the sex industry in order to survive are now being targeted by a pervasive culture of violence.
The indifferent attitude of law enforcement towards the February 16, 2006, murder of Tiffany Berry, and the February 12, 2008, beating of Duanna Johnson by Memphis Police Department officers, has sent a message that the lives of transgender people are not important. This has fed the culture of violence that has permeated the second half of 2008, and is exemplified by the July 1 murder of Ebony Whitaker, the July 28 murder of Dre-Ona Blake, a two year old girl who was killed by the man who had previously been charged with the murder of Tiffany Berry, but was allowed to walk free for two and a half years, the November 9 murder of Duanna Johnson, and now the shooting of Leeneshia Edwards.
This open season on transgender people in Memphis and elsewhere, regardless of whether or not they engage in sex work, must come to an end right now.
I watched a boat-load of movies over the holidays... most chosen by the intrepid Mr Daisy, who knows I am too exhausted to rub two brain cells together while I am busily toiling in the Christmas retail trenches. He chose some great movies, but my favorite was The Good Shepherd (2006). It brought back that strongly-paranoid Cold War vibe that many of us were raised with. Directed by Robert DeNiro, lots of critics found it long and tedious, but I found it tightly-wound and terribly unnerving, like the old Mission Impossible TV show could be, at its very best.
Hope everyone has great plans for the New Year!