Purveyor of Pleasure

Pleasure is my business, my life, my joy, my purpose.

Tag: politics (Page 1 of 2)

Keith Olbermann on Prop 8

Though I did write about the election, I have been meaning to talk about Proposition 8 in California. I attended the rally to protest the LDS church’s involvement in Prop 8 here in Salt Lake City last Friday, we met up by the LDS Temple and marched around it. I do believe that this has been a great catalyst for the queer rights movement lately, and I also think that marriage is just one small aspect of what we need to be focusing on, but having one goal to rally around does help organize a movement.

I saw this last night, as I have become an avid watcher of Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow (conveniently on right after another) in the last few months, originally because of the election but now I seem to have become a bit of a liberal political media junkie (not hugely, but a little). This has been popping up all over today, and it’s something that touched me strongly enough that I would like to share with you. He makes some of the best, strongest, and most organized points against Prop 8 that I’ve seen on TV, because it is a personal rights issue and a love issue not a religious issue.

Transcript of his thoughts below found here.

Finally tonight as promised, a Special Comment on the passage, last week, of Proposition Eight in California, which rescinded the right of same-sex couples to marry, and tilted the balance on this issue, from coast to coast.

Some parameters, as preface. This isn’t about yelling, and this isn’t about politics, and this isn’t really just about Prop-8. And I don’t have a personal investment in this: I’m not gay, I had to strain to think of one member of even my very extended family who is, I have no personal stories of close friends or colleagues fighting the prejudice that still pervades their lives.

And yet to me this vote is horrible. Horrible. Because this isn’t about yelling, and this isn’t about politics. This is about the human heart, and if that sounds corny, so be it.

If you voted for this Proposition or support those who did or the sentiment they expressed, I have some questions, because, truly, I do not understand. Why does this matter to you? What is it to you? In a time of impermanence and fly-by-night relationships, these people over here want the same chance at permanence and happiness that is your option. They don’t want to deny you yours. They don’t want to take anything away from you. They want what you want—a chance to be a little less alone in the world.

Only now you are saying to them—no. You can’t have it on these terms. Maybe something similar. If they behave. If they don’t cause too much trouble. You’ll even give them all the same legal rights—even as you’re taking away the legal right, which they already had. A world around them, still anchored in love and marriage, and you are saying, no, you can’t marry. What if somebody passed a law that said you couldn’t marry?

I keep hearing this term “re-defining” marriage. If this country hadn’t re-defined marriage, black people still couldn’t marry white people. Sixteen states had laws on the books which made that illegal in 1967. 1967.

The parents of the President-Elect of the United States couldn’t have married in nearly one third of the states of the country their son grew up to lead. But it’s worse than that. If this country had not “re-defined” marriage, some black people still couldn’t marry black people. It is one of the most overlooked and cruelest parts of our sad story of slavery. Marriages were not legally recognized, if the people were slaves. Since slaves were property, they could not legally be husband and wife, or mother and child. Their marriage vows were different: not “Until Death, Do You Part,” but “Until Death or Distance, Do You Part.” Marriages among slaves were not legally recognized.

You know, just like marriages today in California are not legally recognized, if the people are gay.

And uncountable in our history are the number of men and women, forced by society into marrying the opposite sex, in sham marriages, or marriages of convenience, or just marriages of not knowing, centuries of men and women who have lived their lives in shame and unhappiness, and who have, through a lie to themselves or others, broken countless other lives, of spouses and children, all because we said a man couldn’t marry another man, or a woman couldn’t marry another woman. The sanctity of marriage.

How many marriages like that have there been and how on earth do they increase the “sanctity” of marriage rather than render the term, meaningless?

What is this, to you? Nobody is asking you to embrace their expression of love. But don’t you, as human beings, have to embrace… that love? The world is barren enough.

It is stacked against love, and against hope, and against those very few and precious emotions that enable us to go forward. Your marriage only stands a 50-50 chance of lasting, no matter how much you feel and how hard you work.

And here are people overjoyed at the prospect of just that chance, and that work, just for the hope of having that feeling. With so much hate in the world, with so much meaningless division, and people pitted against people for no good reason, this is what your religion tells you to do? With your experience of life and this world and all its sadnesses, this is what your conscience tells you to do?

With your knowledge that life, with endless vigor, seems to tilt the playing field on which we all live, in favor of unhappiness and hate… this is what your heart tells you to do? You want to sanctify marriage? You want to honor your God and the universal love you believe he represents? Then Spread happiness—this tiny, symbolic, semantical grain of happiness—share it with all those who seek it. Quote me anything from your religious leader or book of choice telling you to stand against this. And then tell me how you can believe both that statement and another statement, another one which reads only “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

You are asked now, by your country, and perhaps by your creator, to stand on one side or another. You are asked now to stand, not on a question of politics, not on a question of religion, not on a question of gay or straight. You are asked now to stand, on a question of love. All you need do is stand, and let the tiny ember of love meet its own fate.

You don’t have to help it, you don’t have it applaud it, you don’t have to fight for it. Just don’t put it out. Just don’t extinguish it. Because while it may at first look like that love is between two people you don’t know and you don’t understand and maybe you don’t even want to know. It is, in fact, the ember of your love, for your fellow person just because this is the only world we have. And the other guy counts, too.

This is the second time in ten days I find myself concluding by turning to, of all things, the closing plea for mercy by Clarence Darrow in a murder trial.

But what he said, fits what is really at the heart of this:

“I was reading last night of the aspiration of the old Persian poet, Omar-Khayyam,” he told the judge. It appealed to me as the highest that I can vision. I wish it was in my heart, and I wish it was in the hearts of all: So I be written in the Book of Love; I do not care about that Book above. Erase my name, or write it as you will, So I be written in the Book of Love.

Yes We Did

Just 75 days and some odd hours until the current administration and the last eight years become a memory, and Barack Obama becomes the 44th President of the United States. I am overwhelmed.

I’m saddened that Proposition 8 does not seem to be doing too well in California. While not all of the results are in yet there is quite a gap. The good news is we know that they’ll end up doing something else in CA to legalize same sex marriages at some point in the near-to-distant future, another loophole to jump through, etc.

I’ve heard a few people who opposed Prop 8 say that they think it wasn’t right for the courts to overrule something the people had put in place, to which I replied that is the job of the courts and our leaders to look out for the minority that the majority is oppressing. If they weren’t looking out for the minority we would probably not have as many civil rights . The most extreme and obvious examples are slavery and segregation. If we had let the people decide those may never have ended (and probably wouldn’t have).

On a lighter note, from my election party tonight (for those of you who didn’t already see them on twitter):

Obama cupcakes (from scratch, yes, I made them myself including the icing. It was all vegan and sugar-free, though you wouldn’t know it if I didn’t tell you).

Red, white, and blue martini – Mango or Pomegranate Vodka (we had both, it called for cranberry but the only cranberry vodka at the liquor store was smirnoff), blue curacao, and red pop rocks on the rim of the glass (like fireworks!). The vodka and curacao were layered, the vodka on top of the curacao, though it’s kinda hard to tell in the photo.

Vote!

For those of you in the United States, the 4th is a huge day for us, not only because we are going to get the change we need (I hope), but also it may be the largest voter turnout in history they say, assuming people will actually wait in lines as long as they’re going to be. Lucky for me, I vote absentee in Alaska, so I have no lines to wait through.

Be sure you know where you’re voting and who and what you’re voting for.

If you’re in California: No on Prop. 8, please!
If you’re in San Fran: Yes on Prop K

If you’re in the USA:

I hear Starbucks is giving away a free coffee to anyone who votes, Baskin Robbins is giving away free ice cream to those who vote, and the wonderful Babeland is giving away Maverick sleeves and silver bullets.

Personally, Onyx and I are throwing an election day party at our house, complete with red, white, and blue martinis called Boston Pops Martini (heavy on the blue), I’m highly considering making Obama cupcakes tomorrow as well (vegan, most likely), and I also bought champagne for the event hoping that the outcome is good!

In addition to the national presidential election, the other two I’ll be watching closely are the two mentioned above, though there are many other ballot measures in other states that are just as important. See Sinclair’s list over here.

What are you doing for election day?

Playing the 'Gender Card'

I haven’t posted too much that’s out-and-out politics on this site, though I do get political it is in a very specific way. The previous videos have been related to sexism in Hillary Clinton’s campaign or the way Obama and McCain view queer issues and this time the video is again about the gender politics re-emerging in the presidential race, highlighting the hypocrisy of the GOP in their treatment of Sarah Palin.

I thought this was worth sharing because not only do I love Jon Stewart but while this hypocrisy is easy to witness it’s much more powerful when you see the clips back-to-back like they are. Also, Wasilla is tiny and so not the second largest city in Alaska. I should know, I grew up in the third largest city in Alaska, and Wasilla at 9,000 does not have a higher population than Juneau. Not that it’s really important, but come on! Alaska is small population-wise, but it’s not that small!

Alaska soapbox aside, I hope you are as amused by this video as I am.

Library Request Activism

Found here at Queers United

Inspired by a right-wing blog I read that was advocating for their readers to request “ex-gay” books for their local libraries I decided to post a reverse entry.

Your local library is about serving the community, they want to carry books and videos that their residents want.

They have a suggestion box or email form, why not go ahead and list some good queer political books, coming out resource guides, and queer history books to be added to the shelves?

In addition to requesting new books, make sure to take out the existing books on queer culture so that the libraries do not discontinue these books.

Many libraries have been forced to place LGBTQ books on high shelves due to community outcry, making it harder or virtually impossible for people to have access to them. Speak to the head librarian and demand that the books are visible and available for those who want them.

It seems like a wonderful idea to me, and I’ve checked the Salt Lake City Library for some authors and titles, and was pleasantly surprised at some of the things they have there, though not too surprised as SLC itself is pretty liberal and queer friendly. Best would be going to the library in one of the surrounding extremely conservative cities and doing this, and I’m placing it on my to do list.

I’ve had a somewhat sexless weekend despite it being our anniversary weekend, we just keep doing things other until we’re too tired to fuck. We did buy a fur flogger last night, which is “impact caressing” as Dominus dubbed it. I love it so much, plus it means I’ll get to flog him! I’m a fan. More later.

Bound to Struggle Vol. 3 Call for Submissions

Found via Subversive Submissive and thought I’d pass it along. I’m definitely going to add it to the list of things to write a piece for.

Bound to Struggle
Where Kink and Radical Politics Meet
Volume 3: Word Play
Call for Submissions – Deadline September 1, 2008

PURPOSE: To create a ‘zine that brings together the words of a diverse group of practitioners of both kink and radical politics

WORD PLAY: I’m interested in the words we use – when we are playing, when we are negotiating, when we are telling stories. The power/lack of language. The queering of words. The possibilities of words we thought were foreclosed to us. Reclamation, recreation.

YES: personal essays, comics, theoretical works, poetry; serious, funny, sexually explicit, fabulous, unfinished; clearly drawn art due to cheap copy machines

NO: grocery lists of anecdotes, using others’ names without their consent, photos (sorry, I don’t have the equipment necessary to replicate photos)

PLEASE: questions you may not have the answers to, analyses you can’t talk about in class or reading group, thoughts about power and sex that get more complicated the more they are dissected, turning readers on with your brilliance

SEND ALL SUBMISSIONS TO:

simon strikeback
1433 W. Lunt #IN
Chicago, IL 60626
s.strikeback@gmail.com

Obama vs. McCain On Queers

I’ve been trying to keep relatively out of election politics thus far, but I feel these deserve repeating. Obama’s and McCain’s positions on queerness.

First, McCain. Found here via Queers United. “A video by Stonewall Democrats showcasing John McCain’s anti-LGBT voting record.” Are you really surprised?

Second, Obama. Found here via Queerty. “Some excited voter – or crazed fan – has collected Obama’s greatest same-sex hits into a meaty nine-minute video.” It made me tear up. This is a change we can believe in.

Jon Stewart on Gay Marriage

Simply fabulous, and my last post on gay marriage for the time being.

Misogyny is like jazz: Women know it when they hear it

Despite the title of the blog (FEMINIST fucktoy) I have had relatively little posts regarding feminism directly. One could say that feminism and feminist theory (along with pomo, gender, queer, and sexuality theory) form the background of everything I post, and inform all of my ideas and insights. While this is true, sometimes it’s just good to post something which is less about sexuality and more about feminism in general.

Found here via Feministing

Time for me to go fight injustice. Do they make underoos in my size?

In Case You're Hiding Under a Rock Somewhere

You all are, no doubt, tired of hearing about same-sex marriage passing in the California supreme court by now (though who would be tired of hearing about something as wonderful of this, you say? Good question!). However, I will make this short and sweet and just want to send out happiness of all types to all those who have and will participate in the California legalization of gay marriage

Also, the country newly near and dear to my heart (remember: Master’s from there and we just went there in May for a few weeks), Norway legalized same-sex marriages. Previously, Norway had civil partnerships, but did not have the right to church weddings or to be considered as adoptive parents. There are wonderful things going on for marriage equality everywhere!

Now, personally, I think these examples of marriage equality are wonderful, and I believe that marriage is a wonderful declaration of love between two people. I always tear up at weddings, I can’t deny that. I think that any commitment ceremony is beautiful, and I think that it is wonderful that people of the same sex can now marry each other 100% legally with all the same rights and privileges as other sex marriages.

That said, I do have some problems with marriage. It is by and large a religious institution of a religion I am not associated with. I’m not against the idea of a legal contract between two (or more) consenting adults for child and/or tax purposes and things like that. However, calling it marriage (a religious term) and making it basically mandatory for other sex couples who live together for a certain amount of time (as it varies between states) is just ridiculous.

Personally, I don’t intend to get married, possibly ever, though I may be forced into one of those common law marriages at some point, or I would get married to Master if/when we move to Europe (thereby making me a citizen of Norway and making it much easier for me to move over there). Or, if we were to have children I would probably marry him, though I’m not sure that will ever happen. I just don’t believe in the institution of marriage, nor do I think it is necessary for me, except in the above mentioned circumstances.

I used to say I wouldn’t have an other sex marriage before same sex marriages were legal, and, well, that’s not completely true yet, but it’s definitely getting closer. I still wouldn’t do so until it’s legal all over the states, except for the moving to Europe scenario. My other problem with marriage is that it is confined to two people. Although I do not want marriage for myself, I would like consensual adult polyamorous marriage to be a reality, and I think it will someday, just not for quite some time.

However, legalization of same sex marriage in California is also reason number one billion six hundred fifty eight thousand and one to move to San Francisco. Just counting down until 2009, now.

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