Posts Tagged ‘homophobia’
A quick and friendly disclaimer to start this post before I step on any toes: I’m not saying you should live your life based on the Bible, nor am I saying you should not. What I am saying is that if you claim to live, word for word, by what the Bible says, you are expected to do exactly that. If you, like me, believe that this is a book, perhaps divinely inspired but ultimately written (and then translated) by fallible human beings two thousand years ago, and that therefore some of this stuff just isn’t relevant any more now that we know better and just think that what matters is that Jesus wanted us to love our neighbors, that’s totally cool. It’s the hypocrisy of cherry picking what matters while simultaneously insisting that the cultural context it was written in doesn’t matter and God wants us to obey every single rule laid down therein that gets me.
Without further ado: I found s’more handy Bible knowledge!
This won’t be news to any of you who actually know jack shit about the Bible, but it was new to me.
First off: I Corinthians 11:5-6, which says “But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.” So at the very least, women should cover their heads in prayer (and, by extension, in church). I don’t wanna hear jack shit about literal Biblical living* from any woman who doesn’t do that, because otherwise she is a hypocrite and/or a liar. This passage is full of heinously sexist bullshit, much of which I am sure they use to support their patriarchal society, but if you’re gonna say that you can’t pick and choose, you can’t pick and fucking choose.
I’ve tried this before by quoting Leviticus 19:19, but was told that, because Jesus made a new covenant with God, many of those rules don’t apply any more (e.g., Christians don’t have to keep kosher). This argument pissed me off for two reasons: one, as far as I know (and correct me if I’m wrong), Jesus never says anything about eating bacon (&c.) outside The Gospel According to Biff†. Funny, though, how they have no problem keeping Leviticus 18:22. See what I mean about hypocrites and liars?
Also, continuing the anti-family theme in Corinthians that I talked about earlier, Luke 14:26, wherein Jesus basically says that if you have ties to your family, you’re not worthy of him. Ironic, considering the Biblical literalist/fundamentalist obsession with marriage and babies, ’cause these two passages (both New Testament, mind you, and therefore – according to what I’ve been told about why Christians don’t have to keep kosher – more relevant/important than their favorite passages about replenishing the earth (Genesis 1:28)) make it pretty clear that Christ likes unattached singles.
I did find two verses – and here I am, picking out what I think is still relevant, but I never claimed to do otherwise – that I liked: Joel 2:28-29: “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit” and Galatians 3:28: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” So fucking play nice with each other, kiddies, or Our Father may have to come down here and kick some unrighteous ass: yours.
*I’m not referring here to “What Would Jesus Do?” but to the Quiverfull and related movements that interpret the Bible literally (or so claim to) and live (or say they live) by what the Bible says, word for word; by all means, protect adulterers from being stoned to death and whatnot – be nice to widows and orphans, pet kittens, whatever!
†I went there.
Back in the day, my friend Stephen and I invented a religion (“fuckyouism”) and declared that math, among other things, was against it. As a devout fuckyouist, I shouldn’t be required to take advanced mathematics courses (part of the belief system was that letters were for literature and whatnot, numbers were for math, and never the twain shall meet) but still be awarded my diploma because a state funded school can’t force me to go against my religious beliefs.
This was, obviously, complete bullshit. I took my math classes, whined about it and moved on. (I still think those pesky letters should stay the fuck out of my mathematical equations, thank you very much.)
That was tenth grade, I think. So why do grown-ups think that they can get away with basically the same thing?
Okay, so they didn’t invent a religion with a deliberately offensive name in the name of high school political satire and a half-assed attempt to skip out on requirements, but the fact remains that they expect to get away with not doing the work without getting in trouble… Uh, no. Creationists don’t get to be biology teachers unless they can teach actual science, Christian Scientists probably shouldn’t be doctors and when was the last time you met a Jehovah’s Witness blood transfusion tech? Yeah, that’s what I thought.
I couldn’t go to court and defend Fred Phelps’ right to free speech under the First Amendment (which he has, no matter how deeply I desire to kick him in the teeth) and so I’m not studying to be a constitutional lawyer.
On a tangentially related note, this is actually not a constitutional issue at all. The First Amendment means the government can’t shut you up, but it does not mean that a private institution needs to allow you to speak/publish with them. Also, the Alliance Defend Fund is trying to say that her right to due process was violated, and again, this is a governmental issue and the university is free to organize its own procedures. (Unless I’m misunderstanding the 14th Amendment violation claim and it’s actually directed at the judge who, rightly, recognized that this was bogus – because the 1st Amendment is only about the government, duh.)
People, get with the program. (Reality has a liberal bias.)
If you’re not into meta/fandom, you might’ve missed the ongoing debate about slash. There’s a lot going on, so I’m going to link to a few articles instead of trying, and doubtlessly failing, to come up with something coherent on the subject, as all I have been able to do is chase myself in circles. (Ask Y: I do not enjoy not knowing the answer to something; as I have no answer for this, I’m asking y’all.)
Henry Jenkins, ever my hero, wrote the book (literally) on fan cultures, including an essay called Normal Female Interest In Men Bonking, which is one of my favorites; Geek Feminism has a post on women writing m/m erotica and the queerness or misogyny of slash fandom, and there’s a summary on why male/male fiction written by women is problematic in the eyes of some. metafandom‘s slash tag on Delicious is full of articles and entries, if you really care that much.
So, potential discussion questions: is slash misogynist? if it is misogynist, is it because of the original author’s misogyny (failing to create female characters female readers can identify with), or because of internalized sexism (girls are icky!), both or something else entirely? is it objectifying? fetishizing? Othering? appropriation of another group’s struggles? if so, what should slash writers do about that, if anything? is slash awesome because it gives women symbolic control over men’s bodies when we have, for basically ever, been denied control over our own bodies and sexualities, and basically gives us an excuse to talk, in detail, about what we find sexually appealing? or is it bad because it’s asserting hetero privilege over a marginalized group for our own entertainment? does that change if the (female*) creator/audience is queer, ourselves? if so, in what ways? can slash be a subversive genre? can writing/reading slash empowering, even as it is fetishizing? how do you tackle this particular quandary?
Or basically anything else you can think of. I wanna hear what y’all have to say. Talking in circles, tossing in facts, figures and links to relevant information (as long as they’re relevant), etc. is all fair game. Whatever you want, go!
(xposted from lion-hearted girls prefer blond(e)s.)
*yes, I am operating under the assumption that slash fen are female; I know there are exceptions.
I don’t understand how people like Mary Conroy exist. Why are people so worried about their kids knowing about, oh noes, gay marriages? ‘Cause that’s what people keep bitching about: that the poor, innocent little chilluns will learn that sometimes, two women love each other very much and get married, or two men.
Let me tell you a little story. My uncle on my mother’s side is gay. When I was little, he lived with a man that I saw on Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter … the same times I saw my uncle, aunts and their husbands. Though nobody told me, I was aware that this man was to my uncle as my dad was to my mom, or my mom was to my dad. Being six, I didn’t think much of it.
Now, I’ll tell you something else: nothing bad happened to me because of this. Of course, I was never a good, God-fearing little girl, because both of my parents were bitter ex-Catholics, so I believed in dinosaurs and thought that The Beatles were bigger than Jesus. But knowing that my uncle had a husband? (I wasn’t aware that they weren’t allowed to get married.) Did not really mess me up.
Nor, for that matter, did the vast quantities of LGBTQIA YA literature I read – or the slashfic. (Okay, so slash is like the most unrealistic thing ever, but on a surface level, it is about two men having a sexual/romantic relationship* and would undoubtedly freak out the homophobic crowd.)
In fact, I can’t think of a single thing that’s happened to me or that I’ve done because I knew that gay people exist, except maybe grow up to be less of a self-centered, misinformed, cold-hearted douche who thinks that my personal politics are a legitimate reason to deny citizens their rights as, well, citizens (and, you know, human beings).
Yes, I am angry about what happened in Maine. I’m even more angry that it was put on the ballot at all. These are human rights, people, which are defined as rights – for humans! Even if you don’t agree with them. Mary Conroy has the right to be a horrible person, but she doesn’t have the right to take that out on other people.
I don’t have a single useful thing to say about this, but I’m angry. I’m angry and I’m hurt.
*for a really interesting time, check out Henry Jenkins’ article Normal Female Interest in Men Bonking for some of the politics of representation of homosexuality in slash fiction, and what slash authors do/do not have the responsibility to write in a realistic way