Tuesday, October 6, 2009

How about some homophobia to go with your morning coffee?

I was listening to one of the "Black" radio stations in the cab this morning, and they were doing a segment where a listener writes in about some problem and the hosts call upon the listening public to weigh in.
Today's "problem" involved a woman engaged to be married who had some concerns about her fiance. Apparently her fiance had confessed to sexually experimenting with a man in the past, and now she's worried about marrying him.
I'm going to call this woman "Weak Love" because if this shakes her when she's been with this man long enough to know up until his revelation that she wanted to spend the rest of her life with him, then her love for him is a weak one.

I'm sure you can just guess how the discussion went after that. Lots of laughing and joking abot the man's sexuality, and the hosts saying in varying ways how that's just "not right."

They then read a text from a listener who said something to the effect of "there is something in a man's anus that causes pleasure just like a woman would receive in her vagina. Why should it matter what this man did in the past just because society has a problem with it? Don't let society tell you how to live your life!"
While a very simple statement, it goes right to the point. Why should it matter whether he had sex with a man in the past? It's really not all that complicated, and perhaps that's why that one listener's statement was so fitting. The past is in the past, and if he loves you, he loves you. Why should his having sex with a man matter any more than it would if he admitted to having slept with other women?

An then all of my hopes for a potentially progressive discussion were crushed.

Female host: "That's probably the person at the toy party who goes for the beads!"



And then from there it only got worse as they were encouraged by callers backing them up and providing their own "insight."

One woman outright said that Weak Love should just leave him because his having sex with a man in the past means that he must want men, and that it's wrong of him to be with her because a "real man wouldn't sleep with no other man," and that "a real man wants a woman."

Even though I know that people say those sorts of things all the time (I even live with some of the same sort), it's still just mind-blowing every time I hear it.
Just the other night I was at my cousin's house, and he was talking about someone walking "gay." I gave the politest "wtf" that I could considering my aunt and uncle were there as well and I can't debate these sorts of things with them like I do with my mother, and made no effort to hide my distaste every time something like that was said.

I suppose what bugs me the most is how it everyone likes to play oppressor. I won't get into any discussions of "whiteness" and privilege in this post, but the same attitude exists even within minority groups. One would think that with all of the oppression suffered at the hands of the white patriarchy, that women and minorities would at least recognize that they are only emulating the very behavior that causes them to suffer.
While I don't personally have an opinion on whether or not homosexuality is morally right, and I don't think that I should as what someone chooses to do with his or her own body is not my business, I do believe in equality. I believe that no one has the right to infringe upon another person's independence, where they are causing no harm.

If God is about love as evidenced through the teachings of Jesus Christ, then who am I to send malice toward another person just because of how they choose to live.* If God loves us all, then how dare anyone hate another? I think that hatred is a much greater wrong than homosexuality could ever be.

Note: I also don't have an opinion as to whether sexual orientation is a choice. The only "choice" that definitely exists is in what sort of lifestyle one chooses to lead. A person can be flamboyant, closeted, butch, effeminate, or can present any other face to the world. The choice of whether you'll be true to yourself is the only one that I can say for sure that I believe in.

Friday, October 2, 2009


This whole Polanski business has really been bothering me. Aside from people's protests over the extradition, the thing that's been bothering me the most is how the crime is being reported.


He raped her.

There is a distinct difference.
In saying he had sex with her, it is implied that not only was it consensual, but that he was a passive participant. Sex is the coming together of two willing individuals capable of engaging in that act. This is not simply a case of statutory rape in which she willingly participated despite not being able to legally give her consent. He drugged her and pushed on despite her protests.
He did not participate in the act with her, he acted on her.
That is the difference between having sex and raping someone.
Sex is something you participate in, rape is something you do.

Reporting the crime as "having" sex downplays his active role in drugging her and taking advantage of her body which he felt entitled to. Wording it so passively seeks to remove that responsibility, and is highly indicative of how our culture views sexual conduct.

The responsibility is shifted to the woman for the acts of the man or attacker. So, instead of a man raping a woman whose body he felt entitled to take control of, he instead "has sex" with a woman who really should have known better than to:
Have that drink
Let someone slip something in her drink
Go out on a date
Wear those clothes
Walk alone
Leave her job at night
Leave her home at night
Return home after dark
Ride the subway
Wear makeup
Say no
Be afraid to say no
Exist in a world that she has no rights to

The list of responsibilities the woman has over the man's "nature" goes on and on. It's not in a man's nature to rape anyone. It's not about sex drive or enticing clothing. Rape is about power, not attraction. When you cross the line from wanting to have sex with someone to wanting to act on them, it is no longer sexual. It is about dominance. How dare she say no? I'll take it from her.

And then we have victim blaming and slut shaming all around as though it was the victim's fault that the (generally) man decided that he had the right to act upon her.

I don't mention men as the victim in that rant above because our culture doesn't even see them as victims due to the same mentality that holds the woman responsible his sexual conduct. Our culture sees men as un-rapeable. This holds true especially if the assailant is a woman because after all, what man doesn't want "sex"?
Whereas, when the assailant is male and in the context of prison rape, it's a joke.
Strangely though, that's hardly ever referred to as "sex."
Perhaps it's because that act is seen as damaging to so-called "manhood" whereas rape against a woman is affirmation of her "womanhood." Women are just there for "sex" right? And men just "have" it, right?