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Sunday, October 28, 2012

~It's Not That I Don't Respect Women... It's That I Don't Respect The Dumbasses You Chose To Represent You.

Admittedly, I am nothing if not a dichotomy. There've been times I've described myself as 'a combination of being stodgily pragmatic and exceedingly whimsical'. I'm a gun lovin', liberal. A death penalty backin', pro-choice-er. I can be chronically patient (I have birthday presents I have yet to open and my birthday was almost two months ago. --I'm savoring the element of surprise.) and acutely impatient (like every morning when I'm waiting for my Mt. Dew to reach peak temperature once placed in the freezer), otherwise known as the longest, most 'are we there yet?' 20ish minutes of my day.

So when I thought that I would refrain from commenting on something, I pretty much figured  that was that. A done deal.  While yes, as the title of this blog would accurately suggest, I lack it in deciding what to put in my pie hole, but in general, I've got the willpower of Zeus over most things. 99.44% of the time once I've set my mind on something it's exactly what I'm going to do it. (...And yes, this is precisely why I don't set my mind to too much.) But lemme back up and bring everyone up to speed...

Depending on how you landed here, this post is completely out of left field, or an elaboration of a Facebook post.  I try not to be that girl who posts everything backing her political views that she sees on her Facebook page morning 'til night. (You know that girl [or guy] ...You've probably unfrinded them or wonder each day why you haven't unfriended them.) Which isn't to say I never make a political post, I do, I just make an attempt to be judicious about my ta-doin's. (The same would apply if I liked cats [I don't] I wouldn't post a million and one precious kitty pics either.)  For those of you who know my history working in advertising, it will come as no surprise that while my page isn't all this political and that political, what I have been active in doing is creating content in support of my political beliefs, (you won't even find find them on the BBGWorld page as I've elected to give them away to pages who have posted them) in hopes of furthering conversation, a bit of a spread the word campaign, if you will. I've made several that have had various degrees of success, in terms of viraility.

Generally, I make it a habit to refrain from making comment on them once posted. I feel that while I may have helped start a conversation, it's not my place to try to shape or control the conversation, especially considering I've made my point (or position), with the meme itself.  Oz should stay behind the curtain.  Which was indeed my mindset as I took a peek at some of the comments on my latest creation:

(Originally posted by: The Everlasting GOP Stoppers)

(If somehow you're unfamiliar with this story [here:
   Richard Mourdoch - R Senate Candidate, IN] during a debate last week.)

Until...

I read this comment:   "This is sick and pathetic that this kind of fearmongering is being used. Shows how desperate and the lack of respect for women that whomever posted this ad has."

...That was my, 'crime-- boy,  I don't know...' moment.  (For those non-West Wing fans, the moment I changed my mind.)
 


Open Letter to JS:

I couldn't agree more. This is sick. And pathetic. I'd contend it's supremely disturbing, stomach churning and even tear inducing. Frankly, I don't think those words do the horrific nature of these images justice. I thought long and hard about using them. I didn't take including such graphic photos lightly. You see JS, I knew that many women who were going to see that meme would be survivors of such an event. Not solely based on the fact that I'm aware of the statistics that 1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of a rape or attempted rape and not based on the fact that a rape occurs every 2 minutes, but because I've sat and held the hands and wiped the tears of women who have just had such atrocious and debasing crime inflicted on them. I've walked beside women who are trying to take the very first uneasy steps of regaining some semblance of control and order after both (and more) have been stolen from their bodies and souls. I assure you in no way did I superfluously or cavalierly piece this together. 

I will grant you that I am indeed desperate. I am desperate to keep women who's experiences are reminiscent of those images (as well as scar less survivors) from being forced by somone elses mandate to have to endure a pregnancy and give birth to a child, as if a baby should be a GOP rape parting gift in the event of such an crime and situation.   If I'm being truth-y, I'm desperate to keep abortion legal on demand. As I've noted before, (in my Religion, Politics & Abortion post - click) I believe the only thing denying access to legal abortion stops is women dying in back alleys. Like it or not, terminating pregnancies has always been a part of the human condition. And like other things 'we' don't like, don't approve of or are morally put off by--  it will not cease to exist even if legislated against. People didn't stop drinking during Prohibition. They did start dyin' from drinking illegal, unregulated and unsanitary bathtub hooch. The alternative to taking abortion away as a procedure preformed by medical professionals that any woman can obtain, isn't, in fact, the cessation of abortions, it simply creates a reality where women in the 21st century are relegated to exercising dangerous options of bygone eras like coat hangers, or the time honored tradition of throwing of oneself down a flight or two of stairs. Or an overdose of the pills she was able to get her hands on because death seemed like the only other option available to her.

I am desperate to prevent people, like you, JS, thinking they have the right to enforce their beliefs on abortion, and others from actually doing so. Lemme be very clear:   Either way one chooses to live their lives is perfectly fine with me. If you're pro-life. Super. Don't have an abortion. Run your uterus and your house by those rules. If you're pro-choice and you find yourself in a situation where you would choose to exercise such an option. Fine. I've got no problem with that either. For either position, I feel that's between the woman, her conscience, her God, (if that's her belief system), her partner (if applicable in the situation) and her doctor. It's not my business or concern. Nor should it be yours or anyone else's. It has no impact on me. It has no impact on you or anyone who isn't directly (read: sperm contributing wise) involved. Much like I know what's best for me, I expect that ALL grown ups know what's best for them. Whether they do or not is debatable, but their right to exercise their in-chargeness of themselves isn't.

But that's not the mantra of the GOP these days.  Unless I misunderstood and that whole 'party of personal freedom' only extends to penis packin' Americans?  Pathetically, there seems to be a significant and growing contingent of the GOP who are under the impression that their beliefs get to mandate the fundamental extent of which grown ass American women are able to manage what happens in their bodies. And I call bullshit.

Obviously, the plethora of candidates who hold such beliefs and intend on governing their constituency in accordance with this bullshit mindset aren't representative of all the whole of the GOP. However, on a certain level you are the company you keep. Lie with dogs? Ya gonna get fleas. Don't want fleas? TCB, baby... If you can't take back your party? Well, then it's pretty asinine to as a party at large be spoutin' off about takin' back a country. Get your house in order before you have another whack at the nation, how 'bout?  And that change must come from within. Honestly?  If blow back from this type of reaction helps prompt some of you to do some housecleaning, then, you're welcome.  Until then the GOP can't even entertain courting my vote.   In light of the latest in a long string of comments of this nature on the subject, yes, I felt it was a topic worthy of helping to ensure that voters were aware of as they make their decisions as to who they'll ultimately support this election. It goes to judgement.  The judgement of would-be and elected officials insistent on believing and spewing, what graciously I'll call 'ignorant theories' on abortion, rape and the most rudimentary workin's of physiology that any 9th grader who stayed awake during Health Class has a grasp on.  The judgement of all of their contemporaries who don't run away from them as if they were carriers of some crazy brain atrophying plague.  It calls into question the judgement of a Presidential Candidate who feels so sure about Richard Murdoch, that he's the only candidate Mitt Romney has endorsed with a tv commercial.  That says something.  I feel it's incumbent on us to listen.
 
I also made this.  I doubt you'll like it either...
I take exception on the point that it is [sic] "fearmongering". Fear mongering would be to suggest rumor or conjecture.  What will be the result if access to abortion is taken away from women isn't an if situation it's a when-- a fact one only needs to look at history to verify.

It is an uber graphic depiction. But it's one that simply holds a mirror to an unfolding story within the ranks of the GOP. Clearly, not one you agree with, as is your right. Not agreeing with something, however, doesn't make it untrue.

The point I take the biggest issue with is saying that I lack respect for for women, which couldn't be a more off base assessment. On the contrary. I respect them enough that I am actively invested in ensuring that they are cognizant that a party that they may otherwise, or in other instances be representative of some of their views, is in this aspect actively working against their best interest--  their fundamental right to manage their bodies as they see fit, not as some politician who can't discern the difference between magic beans and fallopian tubes sees fit. And not by people who believe that there is such a thing as 'legitamate rape', when there's not a thinking person alive who doesn't understand that rape is rape. Period. End of fucking story. Nor by people who would dane to tell a woman who had survived sexual violence that if she became pregnant as a result that she would be forced to allow cells to multiply until she delivers a baby. I respect women enough to believe that each individual one should be making her own decisions on how she manages her uterus based on her own beliefs, not mine. Or yours. Can you say the same? If not, then guess what? It's not me who lacks respect for women.

~BBG
     ___________________________________________________

There were, obviously, other comments that took issue with the meme. Although, they paled in comparison to those in support of it.  I found much of the feedback touching, thoughtful and compelling, not surprising considering the gravitas of the subject.  A few things, however, did catch me off guard. I knew this would resonate with women. I am not the only chick who has held hands and wiped the tears of someone in their lives who has be violated in such an extremely ugly way. What I didn't anticipate was that so many men would have shared and commented in support. Listen. I'm not one of those girls who stereotypically holds poor views on guys. I know Mandom is filled with a host of wonderful, thoughtful, caring and supportive men.  I have always been a girl who digs guys, but reading these made me love some of you men all the more;

"Speaking as a man with daughters, I am appalled by this idiot Murdoch's comments. Speaking as a former cop, the graphic is not graphic enough. I saw some that would tear away the very sanity from you. Rape is not a joke, a political football or a sexual preference. It's a violent act committed by a coward that hides behind many excuses. A woman has to have the same freedom and liberty as any other citizen to make life choices about her body. If not, all our daughters are not safe..."

"The reason I posted this was only because people only understand things they can see, and I struggled with the fear of traumatizing past victims but decided that other people are too thick sometimes and need the reality wake up call. I am sorry if this causes anyone pain from memories past or present."
 
"it is really hard for me to understand why anyone can support the republican platform and some of it's members this year. i know it is not representative of all it's members, but they should openly denounce those in their party that hold these views - and yet they only make excuses for them."

"If that is what you believe, I will support your right to not have one. On the other hand, you have no right to impose that view on other women."

"The woman shouldn't be forced to endure the pregnancy. I see that as adding insult to the injury. It doesn't matter if abortions are legal or not, women will get them anyways and possibly die from them in an alley. That is a reason why Mitt was pro-choice until be began running for president, if you didn't know, he had a relative who died in an alley abortion and if it was legal when she attempted the abortion, she would have lived. A pro-choice Republican had opportunity in Massachusetts (highly liberal) but didn't have a chance as President. Outlawing abortions will do only two things: add to pregnancy related fatalities and fill orphanages."

"you are free to believe in whatever deity you choose. But your rights end at your door, and do not extend to forcing YOUR religion onto other people. Would you want Islam or atheism enforced onto you and your family? No? Then don't tell others what to believe or how to handle their own affairs and bodies. "

"You know this whole debate would be funny if it wasn't real. I mean what kind of world do we live in when our freedom of choice is taken away. I do believe that a woman has a right to choose rather or not to have a baby. Especially in a case of rape. I as a guy can only guess the trauma a woman would go through carrying her attackers child. But the constant debate of religious politics is the reason I'm agnostic. Leave religion out of it and think for yourselves. A victim of rape never gets over it. They may be able to move on but that knowledge is always there. Forcing them to carry a constant reminder of what happened is just cruel. Hell we treat sex offenders better then the victims. You go oh the poor unborn child, but unless you are a victim of rape you really shouldn't judge those who are."

"Dear folks who remain silent or defend Republicans: I am well aware of the reason you don't vote FOR a Democrat is because they are evil, promote tax and spend, allow Gays equal rights, fund programs to help veterans find work...what i DON'T understand is, how you can vote FOR Republicans."

"Those who believe they have a right to control women's bodies are making their position clear...no exceptions for rape and incest...maybe if the mother's life is in danger they will put her needs first but for every other woman you will cease to have any rights the minute you are carrying a nonviable fetus. Women desperate to terminate a pregnancy will once again turn to back alley abortions and risk death. We can not let this happen. Vote 2012. "

"This is so disturbing. But it takes a dose of reality sometimes to get through rose colored glasses. Equally disturbing is the Republicans' rape culture - and glorified notion that rape is sex instead of what it always is - a brutalizing act of violence, violation and humiliation for power and control. Let's call rape what it is: A Hate Crime."

"I love how according to the far right, the democratic party is being "petty" and "small". I simply don't understand how we are being small telling them to stop being ambiguous about the definition of rape in the name of a nearly pointless argument as abortion will happen no matter the law. It should serve only as warning to how out of touch these people are to think that a woman should have no choice on carrying her rapist's baby. Would you support this shit if it happened to someone you love? Even as a guy, what if someone raped your wife, then she died birthing said child, so you end up raising a child the child of the rapist who killed your wife? Someone should put these people UNDER their office, not in one"
 

"know this may upset some who do not wish to see such graphic reminders, but I just heard a flock of politicians defending the words of Akin and Mourdock. I defend their right to say it, but it does merit a rebuttal."

Men who love and respect women and choose to support
their (our) freedoms:  I APPLAUD YOU!
 
I also APPLAUD the chicks who make me PROUD to be in their company;

"Yes, this meme is VERRRRY graphic, IT needs to be! This conversation has been too diluted with light, fancy, silly little meme's, and we really need to discuss what the right wing GOP is truly trying to minimize!"

"rape is rape. only one result of rape could possibly be considered a gift from god: that the cops catch the rapist, the jury prosecute him and that he spend a good long time in prison -- and that the woman not be punished for being raped."

"That made me want to vomit, and it made me cry. I won't share it on my wall- but I'm glad you did. It's a reality that isn't being paid enough attention to... Thank you."

"As a rape survivor, this post is very meaningful to me. The women in these pictures represent what real rape looks like. Rape is violent, ugly, hateful & vicious perpetrated by small, angry, dejected, evil people.
If the men who want to define rape as "legitimate" or as "gods will" really saw the brutality left behind, or god forbid someone they know gets brutally raped....they might change their very antiquated opinions."

"as an er nurse i hae seen way to many sexual assaults and noone deserves to have this happen to them and then turn around and have romney and his cronnies tell you that you can't have and aborotion in the event you become pregnant as your body will not prevent it as some stupid republican men think and then these bozoz want to make it a crime if the poor victims opt for an abortion each of these men should have thier balls taken and then if they try to do anything to fix it they risk going to jail. Equal rights from men that have no clue to a womens needs say no to these idiots."

"Republicans ... here's your chance. You don't all want to be lumped together when the horrendous comments of your party leaders are published ... okay then, denounce them and refute them. Right here, right now. Go ahead ... anything from the bigotry to the persecution of gay people to the condescending attitudes toward women to the uncaring rape comments and anything in between. If you're not against it, you're for it ... so don't whine and moan when you're considered part of the group if you don't speak up."

"If you are unsettled by this or find this disturbing... point made.   Complaining about the use of graphic images... b****, please... you do NOT want to go there.   If the outcome was intended then the act itself was also intended. I don't think that anyone's God would promote rape... so, it doesn't make sense regardless. It's just another way to control women."

"These guys are still trying to dictate healthcare for women. Last time I looked it is my body not theirs. If this is compassionate conservatism saying "even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that is something that God intended to happen." You can have it. It was never said by a woman who had just been raped."
 
And in what may be my favorite comment ever;
 
"Here is the problem with the 'God's Plan' argument...because people keep saying he didn't say the 'rape' was a gift...(semantics -sigh-) 'God's Plan' encompasses everything...if the baby was God's plan, then so was the rape, so was the outfit she was wearing, so was the sperm-stained porn shops the rapist hung out in, so was the masterbation over photos of tied up little Asian girls the rapist partook in as a teenager, so was the sexual molestation by the sweaty uncle of the rapist as a four year old child...so was the terrorist attack, so was the Presidential election of a black man, so was the invention of birth control, so was the Supreme Court's determination on Roe V's Wade, so was the birth of a homosexual, so was the falling of a leaf, so was the pregnancy of a single woman, so was a gun shot to the head of a movie watcher, so is the tornado that wiped out your whole trailer park, so is all other religions, so is your anger, so is your debt, so is your inability to find a job, so is all the different colors of skin, so is the cast of The Jerseys Shore, so is your inability to think for your self, so is everything good and bad in this and all worlds....I know it is a habit for religious people to pick-and-choose from their texts, history and facts, but if you are going to use the 'God's Plan' argument then it is all or nothing....so own up to what 'God' is doing to/for you today...so if you want to believe that all pregnancies come from God, then stop having a conniption fit every time one of them is born out of wedlock; then embrace all babies born... be-it they are black, white, gay, Muslim, poor, murdering, female, liberal...etc. And the next time you get fired, your car breaks down, you stub your toe, get a bad perm, can't get it up, get mugged, or grandma dies...be sure to thank God for sticking to his plan.
 
It isn't just one or two crazy old men accidentally misspeaking, it is the platform and the attitude of the GOP. I hear people say, "I am republican, and I don't believe that way," or "it isn't all republicans." But, what they are in denial of or unaware of is, when you vote for these people, and they are in office, you are saying 'this person represents me; all that I am, all that I want, all that I believe is what this person says and does. I choose to have this person, their friends and their constituents make choices for me, and so does the majority of the people in my district, stateblindly voting for the republican party as if you are loyally rooting for you local home team to victorypainted face, belligerently chanting that they are going to win the superbowl even though you and everyone else knows your home team sucks, and hasn't even made the playoffs in decades. If you don't share these horrific beliefs then don't let them represent you...don't vote for them just because you somehow believe the (R) behind their name is the same (R) behind your's. And, if you truly stand behind the your less repulsively archaic (R), then why arn't you angrier than anyone else for letting these neanderthals hijack your party. I would be feverishly angry if I were being misrepresented the way some of you claim you are"

I didn't have that much room to write on the meme, but I couldn't have said anything better than that.


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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

~Teenage Slutdom Or Bust...?

I've always been a girl who likes guys.  I can remember being a 11 year old with a serious crush on two local policemen (friends/co-workers of my folks) one is now the Big Wig Head Police Dude (BWHPD) for my hometown county, the other is the BWHPD for the city.  I apparently always had an eye for talent.  I still see them both from time to time and one of them still insists on always saying, "I remember BBG running around in her Catholic school girl uniform...', which is in fact as creepy spilling out of his pie hole as it seems when you read it.  But, whateves, it's always good to be friends with people who can kill and have the power of arresting, no?

By high school several boys had my attention.  Being the sole brown girl, in my class at least, who was also probably kinda awkward, overly chubby and rockin' some of the worst hair the 80's could conjure up didn't really position me to compete with the high school glamor girls.  You know the ones, the girls who at 16 seem to have e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g.  Which isn't to say I was some misfit toy who got no play.  Don't cry for me, Argentina.  There were prom and homecoming dates, sneaking out of a dances to smooch, notes being passed, hands being held and marathon 'noooo youuuu first', phone chats.  Admittedly, it was all very PG-13.  Ok, there might have been a wee bit of R/NC-17.

Of my three main teenage years crushes, one I ended up breaking a towel rack with while engaged in some aggressive makin' out on graduation night.  Another I ended up dating for a minute, in our 30's, when I first discovered the thrills and delights of being an adult teenage slut.  In all honesty?  It was pretty fucking delightful.  He turned out to be a great (and super cute) grown up version of himself, but lived in a different city.  The sole holdout last one (#3) ended up being one of my favorite people in the world.  He's one of those folks who somehow manages to always make you feel like the most special person in the room when he's around.  

Oh, and did I mention he's smokin' hot?  How hot?  One of my very besties, AnonD, straight up told me that I better hope that she and AnonR are still married if she ever meets this guy, because she, who hardly ever agrees on my definition of male attractiveness, gets a hard-on from his picture. 

So when an opportunity came up to spend a lil' time with the only one who had escaped my clutches last boy who held so much of my teenage attention popped up?  Hellz yeah, I was in.  

What could be bad 'bout that?

Well...

As I set out for my rendezvous with teenage horniness adventure within 5 minutes of leaving my garage I was nearly run off the road by a semi who drifted into my lane.  (It was windy.)  A few more miles down the road and I was surprised to watch the bumper of a car two lanes over fly completely the fuck off and whiz across the highway into my lane.  (It was VERY windy.)  Maaaaybe?  10' in front of me.  Going 80-ish.  Yeah.  It was sumthin'.  Fortunately, BBG has remarkable 'heads up' driving skillz, and is not easily deterred by things that stand between her and a sexy man.

Once I arrived at my destination I stopped at a convenience store to buy a few things including smokes.  (Dear People,   Don't smoke.  Listen, if someone who's doin' it doesn't recommend it, who would know better?)  It seemed like such a mundane task.  A mundane task that was thwarted by A) an irrational, possibly sight challenged, cashier and 2) my dumbassery for not having my license on me.  (#2 is 100% my fault.  Acknowledged.  And, yes.  I have since found it.)   But, I mean, come the fuck on...  If I actually don't look my age?  Awesome for me.  But ya know what I don't look like?  17.  I get rules.  But really?  Is there no room for common sense?  Ya see an old broad in front of you, gray hairs everywhere, give her some smokes for fucks sake.  So, yes.  I've dodged death and now I'm mad.  ...Alllllll the makin's for a magical high school hormone showdown, no?

Fortunately, my faith in all of humanity, the trust I put in karma and my downright understanding of how shit oughta work were all fully restored when I was greeted at my ride with a big ass hug and a not of the Bonnie Bell variety lipsmacker from who for the remainder of this post will be code name'd #3. 

Now, in my minds eye when I envisioned this encounter I thought I'd be this regular, grown ass woman.  I also envisioned much of it taking place in my bed.  Instead, every time #3 draped an arm around me, or grabbed an eyeball full of BBG hooters, I had to nearly come to fisticuffs with this 15 year old, pudgy, brown chick I vaguely remember from days gone by, who tried to force me to let out several sustained, and sure to be super geeky giggles as part of what I can only assume was some sketchy diversionary tactic in her attempt to stage a coup on my ass.  I mostly manged to keep her at bay. 
 
But I can't say it was easy
 
Nor was keeping my inner horn dog in check.  Yes.  It was internal strife on two levels.  Usually, that's not such a difficult task.  But usually when ya have to resist carnal desires it's because you don't know someone well enough, which was NOT  the case here.  But as I'm pretty sure public fornication is still frowned upon I also managed to fight back against its quest for total BBG domination. 
 
In my perfect world, this would be the point in the story where your cheeks flush from reading about how #3 and I slipped away to make some middle age magic happen.  Unfortunately, it is my sad duty to report that, that did not happen. 
 
What did happen was a conversation that involved me calling #3 a idiot.  Actually, I believe it was "you are a complete idiot!"  In the months leading up to this opportunity for naughtiness there had been several conversations about what the plan might look like, which all ended like a fortune cookie fortune, in bed.  I like to try to be realsies about what I own in situations, and technically, I never actually uttered the exact words, "and you'll stay here."  (Dear Cher,  Please consult with Stephen Hawking and see what can be done about this whole turning back time situation.  I don't think think I speak only for myself when I say it could come in quite helpful.  Thank you in advance.   ~BBG)  But when he said that that hadn't happened because he didn't want to be the guy who was all...
 
(ring-ring)
 
BBG: Bonjour
 
#3:  I'm going to be there x day and I'm stayin' with you that night.  Get reds to be penetrated.
 
...In my defense, 'idiot' was the most polite thing that popped into my mind.  Bitter much?
 
In (shrugs shoulders) I guess what can only be described as-- yeeeeeaaaahh, that's about rightness, my night ended sitting in a car makin' out and coppin' a few feels whilst sayin' our toodleloos.  Not a complete bust.  ...But not complete adult teenage slutdom either.  
 
While words like, "next time" were tossed about before I drove away, who knows if an opportunity to fulfill teenage diary dreams will ever pop up again with #3.   Honestly, back then?  I never would have imagined I would have actually gotten so close.    So I'm tucking it away as another cool ass, unlikely and grin inducing moment in the life and times of a BBG.  I'll put my hopes of being an adult teenage slut to the side and will focus on fully grown up endeavours. 

(somewhere in middle America a single tear drops down the cheek of a big brown girl)


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Monday, October 15, 2012

~The N Word & You: What You Should Know About Using It

I didn't wake up the other morning thinking that somewhere along the course of the day I'd have to address the n-word.  But guess what?  Some dickhead on Facebook made sure my day took an unexpected turn.  Thanks, Steve.  And you're welcome for me being benevolent enough to NOT use your last name.
 
 
I wish I knew of a word that carries enough gravitas to capture the feeling I get when the n-word crosses my path.  That feeling that seems to come from some yet to be discovered by science part of the body that isn't, from best I can tell, a place any other feelings are born.  Somewhere deep inside that has the ability to make the indignities, the sadness and the anger over the times and actions associated with the word so real that shakes my core.
 
Since I don't know such a word, and some of my favorite words include;  languid, charcuterie, sesquicentennial, so it's not like it's all See.  Dick.  Run. over here at BBG HQ and can't explain what it feels like, the best thing I can do is provide a honest glimpse at what it makes me think and my experiences with it.  
 
Primarily when I hear it (Dear People,  How sad is it, and how fucked up are people that I have to preface with "primarily"?!?   ~BBG) two things have happened...
 
1)  Nobody assumed that the fat ass, vaguely ethnic lookin' girl might be a portion black.
 
B)  The say-er feels like his views about black people-- that they are worthy and deserving of being called or referred to as such a thing, must represent the sentiments of the others in the group.  He feels comfortable enough around the group to say it in front of them without repercussion or reprisal.  (My BBG challenge to you:  Next time you hear it consider it your opportunity to decide what kind of person you want to be.  The kind that lets others think you're ok with the word and concept, or the kind lets it be known that the say-er is out of line and that you don't stand for bigotry.  Your choice.  Choose wisely.) 
 
These are not your card carryin', I've got a swastika tattoo'd on my forehead and some burnin' crosses in the shed types.  Say-ers like this are in a sense, far more nefarious racists.  He's the one who shakes your hand at the office, goes out to lunch or after a particularly stressful day, a cocktail and you think he's a fine enough human being.   ...Until you hear the n-word come out of his mouth.  In a way, some ass sportin' a 'I hate black people' t-shirt is a little more, um, respectable.  'Cause at least on first impression I know who he is.  He has the (clears throat) decency to be upfront about his feelings about certain people who look like me.  Therefore, I have no expectation that he's going to be fair and honorable with me.  Whereas, the guy who I worked with for 3 years who said the n-word in my presence?  Him?  Well, until I heard with my own BBG ears it come outta his mouth I would have expected that he would have thought of me as his equal in every way except penis size.  Not part of a group to be degraded with such a word.  Before that awkward for him (and possibly those who witnessed the subsequent conversation he and I had) moment it had never occurred to me that he would have harbored racist feelings. 
 
I can hear the grumblings from the back of the room now.  What's that?  Speak up, please?  "...but, you can say it without being a racist..."   You don't say?  Tell me more.
 
Listen. 
 
If you can say a word that means this:
 
 
 and this

 
and this


and this

 

...Without it being a racist statement, it'll be the first time it's ever happened.  And ya know who says racist things?  Yep.  Racists. 

How can I say that so confidently and without a trace of hypocrisy?  Who the fuck am I to say someone is racist for using the word (assuming the say-er is white.  ...Oh, we'll get to that later*)?  

Well, for starters I'm the girl who's gonna tell you that there is no way someone can have that word in their vocabulary and not to some degree hold the bigotry behind it.  There is simply not one fiber in my being that believes that using that word and holding those types of feelings about black people in your heart and mind are mutually exclusive.  I'm so certain because when a (name an ethnicity) pulls some dumbass move in traffic, I yell "fuck you, you dumbass muther fucker!!" usually accompanied with an introduction to my middle finger, and possibly an aggressive horn honk. What I don't yell is 'fuck you, you (insert corresponding slur here)'.

It's just not a part of who I am.  It's nothing I was exposed to growing up.  Granted, I had an odd unique upbringing.   Before Jesse Jackson ever uttered the phrase, "rainbow coalition", I was fuckin' livin' it. The E BBG True Hollywood Story? One summer I took one of my besties since grade school, LEM to a family reunion. We must have been? Thirteen? 14? Anyhoo, she's still tellin' the story of being this lil' blue eye'd, blond girl at my family shindig and having some relative assume she was a family member. Race was just never a thing in my household. I don't recall ever hearing a slur spoken by a family member. In fact, I remember being in my 20's when I heard the term 'wetback' and had to have it explained to me and yeah, somebody got a talkin' to. I, MC Hammer, straight up 2 legit, had never heard it. And I know that's not exactly everybodys experience, but it's almost impossible for me to understand how, or why anyone (parent) would chose to raise a kid any other way.  Or how any adult would choose to continue to embrace and actively sustain such an attitude. 

So, yes. When I hear the word hit the air I already think the say-er is a racist (assuming the say-er isn't black). It immediately alters my opinion of the person. This shift manifests itself in a myriad of ways from a terse conversation, to being kicked 6x in the shin. Hard. With a point-y ass shoe. I'm not sayin' I'm proud about that, I'm just sayin' it's happened. (Official BBG Legal Disclaimer:) Violence is never the answer. However, sometimes it is the duct tape that keeps your sanity in tact. (My apologies to my saintly Mother who raised me better than that.) 

Inevitably, once I've heard the word, more often than not the say-er will contend that it was used in a;  "but I don't mean it that way", "I didn't mean anything by it" or "but I'm not prejudice" kinda way. ...It's just a quote joke unquote. Or a 'harmless' descriptor.  A (coughs) meaningless term with no malice.  And every time I hear those excuses or rationales behind tossing such a word, I think; A) Liar.   II) The person is either at best woefully naive, or at worst willingly delusional. Sometimes a combination.

Due to the requisite appearance of fraternal twins, denial and deflection, the conversation then usually turns to the case of "They"Can Say It vs. And I Can't.

Ok. So lemme break this down for ya, you know how sometimes you hate your brother/sister/
spouse? They have pissed you riiiiiiight the fuck off. You're tellin' your side of the story to your best friend or whomever using every 4-letter double Scrabble word score you can concoct.  I mean, you are really spewin' some shit, riled up.  But that's cool, because s/he's family. She's for lack of a better term, your own. Right? ...But let someone outside of your own say the same things about your sib? All the sudden, 'dems fightin' words, aren't they? DING-DING-DING!! It's go time. If you're being honest with yourself you know that within your 'own' set (whatever that may be at any given time; family, religion, school, sports team fan base, career, gender, nation, blah, blah, fuckity blah) there are things that can be said amongst yourselves that you would kick someones ass over if it came from someone who isn't in the club. 

The concept that some can say things and others can't isn't some obscure and abstract concept. It's a lil' societal strategy applied to all kinds of things. Do you make cancer jokes? No? Do you think it's ok for a couple patients sitting together getting chemo to make cancer jokes? Of course, because they are each other's own. What may be appropriate, or allowable to someone who walks in the same shoes, just isn't for those of us who don't. 
 
I think that's sufficient enough of an explanation as for why (if'n your not black) ya shouldn't use the word.  If you're still, "yeah, buttin'..." me?  The question then becomes what is the big ass need to be able to say the word?  What life affirming, suddenly the earth re-rights itself on its axis, a million dollars drops in your lap, everything in life is lollipops and cotton candy shittin' unicorns, and diamonds will flow from your faucets stuff do you think will magically happen when you can freely shout the n-word? 
 
 
If it's really not something that is in your heart?  Why would you fight so hard to get it into your vocabulary?  Again, I freely acknowledge that, that's not fair.  Know what else isn't fair? Everything. Suck it the fuck up. If you can't accept that, well, lemme put it to you this way, the only other people who can't accept it are racist.  So congratulations!  There may be an angular tattoo in your future.
 
(*this is later*) I'm an n-word hardliner.  If I had a magic wand, even black folks wouldn't use the word. I know many believe that using the word themselves takes the power from the word. Personally, I think expecting that to happen is as likely as expecting Kenmore to introduce the new Auschwitz Pro IV model oven, or someone to open the Jeffrey Dahmer Home For Wayward Boys, ya know? Some words no matter how you try to shine 'em up or spin in a different way, are always going to be what they are.  The n-word is one of 'em.  Personally, when I hear black people say it, it makes me think they lack the respect for those who suffered the indignity of having that word inflicted on them under far less, ya know, throw your hands in the air and Golddigger, kinda ways.   
 
As I have no magic wand and have yet to figure a way to assume control of society and lemme tell ya, when I do shit is gonna be a LOT different 'round here I can only control my position on the word. A point that was underscored when I read a thread I had commented on earlier that day on Biggie Smalls' (Learn about BBG code name Biggie Smalls here) wall and spied the following; (Steve) "Also, just so you are aware, calling members of the Tea Party, teabaggers is as offensive to us, as it would be if you called a black person a nigger."

(This was not at me. I had not engaged in The Great Teabag Debate.)

 
Prompting me to reply: "Really, Steve? Of all of the analogies available to you, *that's* the one you come up with? For the record, as between the both of us I'm probably the only one of us who's been called such a thing, let me tell you there is NOTHING that is the same as being called that. You know, I didn't think I'd wake up and read the n-word anywhere today. ...Thanks for taking care of that for me."

Biggie Smalls who (while normally I wouldn't feel the need to point this fact out but it seems a bit germane-y for context to the story) is white, responded with a lil' "...aside from the sheer lunacy of your N word comparison, " and a dash of "But that aside, you are equating offense of a remark based on your political thought process (regardless of the sexual connotation, tea partiers wore tea bags on their tri formed hats) to that of derogatory comments based on race. You choose your political affiliation. You don't choose your race."
 
That's riiiiiiiight. I roll with some pretty coolass, smart and tolerant peeps.

One might think that after having it pointed out that you had been offensive that ya would make an apology. Not our boy Steve though... No. Steve decided to double down on dumb with a reply including: "...but if I or someone on the right, says anything, not even offensive things, and we are all considered racist?"

I started to craft a curse laden reply. But I thought, if as a grown ass man (I'm guessin' he's 45-50) hasn't figured out that being called a 'teabagger' is really more along the lines of douchebag than it is akin to the n-word, tasked with the purpose of dehumanizing, demeaning and denigrating a black person and the violent and non-violent, but equally as impactful and painful (economically, educationally, socially, etc.) lineage it brings with it, I'm guessin', it's not that you don't understand the difference, it's that you purposefully won't understand the difference. And no matter how I present it he's never going to appreciate that fair/unfair, right/wrong, that the word that was hurled at men as they were strung up to a tree, or was used as part of directions to the different place you had to go pee, eat or stay, or spat at you as were tied to a bumper and dragged to a limb losing death, is just not the same as any other word. And in my opinion shouldn't be used as if it is. But as always here at BBG HQ, that's how I run my 'bidness. Obviously, too fucking many people hold other views on it's usage.  And one of their names is Steve.
 
 
I realize my perspective is solely my own and that some readers may think I'm too sensitive about the word.  Maybe.  (shrugs shoulders)  I, obviously don't think so.  You might not either if you'd been called a "fucking nigger".  ...In church.  During mass.  By one of your classmates.  Maybe just maybe it might rub you a lil' wrong too?  If you don't think it would, may I suggest a long hard heart-to-heart with yourself as to why it doesn't and what it means to be a human.  It's time. 



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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

~Religion, Politics & Abortion

WARNING:  I THOUGHT WHEN I DECIDED TO WRITE ON THESE TOPICS THAT IT WOULD BE A THREE INSTALLMENT MINI SERIES WITH ONE ON EACH SUBJECT, BUT THE MORE I TYPED THE MORE OBVIOUS THAT THESE TOPICS WERE INEXTRICABLY INTERTWINED AND ENMESHED.  Soooooooo, HAVE AN EMPTY BLADDER WHEN YOU START THIS.  THIS IS UNFORTUNATELY OFFICIALLY THE L-O-N-G-E-S-T BBGWorld POST EVER.  I'M SORRY.

EXTRA WARNING:  FROM THE TITLE YOU CAN SEE THE SUBJECT MATTER OF TODAY'S POST IS CONTROVERSIAL, AS I'M SURE WILL BE CONSIDERED SOME OF MY STATEMENTS.  I HAVE TENDENCY TO BE CURSE-Y.  I'M NOT TRYING TO PROMOTE MY VIEWS TO ANYONE, I AM SIMPLY SHARING WHAT MY VIEWPOINTS AND OPINIONS ARE, WHY I FEEL SOME OF THE WAYS THAT I DO.  YOU ARE FREE TO AGREE OR DISAGREE.  BUT REMEMBER, YOU'RE ALSO FREE TO SKIP THIS AND RETURN ON A DIFFERENT DAY. 

                               _____________________________


Religion, politics and abortion.

...Yeah.

We're not supposed to talk about that.

But when do I do what I'm supposed to do? 

I mean, I haven't yet.  

Why start now?

Besides, I've been trying to avoid writing this post because I knew once I got rollin' it was gonna turn into a whole big thing.  That once the flood gates opened and hot pink nails started a tappin' on keys there would be no puttin' the genie back in the bottle.  It got to the point that every time I thought about posting about something ridiculous and disturbingly, yet weirdly interesting (aka: my life), I found myself fighting the urge to a chat about one or more of these three subjects.   Apparently, I've gotta get a few things off my chest so that I can resume regular random BBGWorld programing.  Here we go...



BBG Confession:  Religion might be killing me.  

Just because you should have a reference point as we begin our time together, I'm Catholic.  How Catholic?  School girl uniform wearin' (not now, get your mind outta the damn gutter, hell, stop and think about what a Big Brown Opps I Did It Again look might actually be like, bet you're sorry now?  Shame on you.) - Midnight/Ash Wednesday mass goin' - do unto others doin' - don't eat meat on Fridays during Lent - there's a glow in the dark rosary in my purse - I believe in running my life in as Jesus-y of a way as I can manage at any given moment, Catholic.  That's how I chose to roll. 

(This, of course, does NOT mean I'm perfect in my BBGness.  I'm capable of being thoughtless, although usually not maliciously.  I'm prone to telling someone to fuck off if I feel the situation calls for it, Jesus probably wouldn't do that.  I make stupid mistakes and errors in judgement.  When I'm hungry or shopping I can get pretty bitchy.  ...Listen, the list of the many, many ways I ain't perfect would stretch ad infinitum, and let's face it we don't have that kinda time to waste here today...)

Now lemme tell you what I think about your religious, or non-religious views...

(crickets)

Oh, that's right, I don't

I don't mean that in a disrespectful way.  I just think that's between you, your conscience and whichever him/her/it you have faith in.  You're a grownup and in charge of you.  Whatever your personal mantra or doctrine is, is really of none of my concern.  Mozel Tov to whatever works for ya.

This is America.  We're the OG's of freedom of religion, son.  I was fortunate enough to have been schooled in an environment where we had classes about other religions, we took field trips to the local synagogue, Greek Orthodox, Baptist church, etc., therefore I knew my religious views weren't the only views.  I knew how similar the roots and ideals of many religions are.  As I sat in Old Testament class listening to a man in a collar explain the passage we were discussing, I was never told my faith was more important than anyone else's.  I was raised to have respect for my beliefs, but I was also taught to have respect for the beliefs (or non) of others.  And it's beginning to feel like I'm the last girl on that program.


It seems everyday I'm appalled and offended by the lack of respect for any religious view other than their own and the downright hateful things people do and say in the name of their religion.  Yes.  I am aware that the Catholic church and Holy Sea has done some super sketchy stuff under the color of religion, both in the past and present.  But before you throw your stone at me, take a long, hard glance at your religious glass house.  Practically every religion has some shady skeleton lurking in some closet.   It's disgusting.  It's not righteous, or pious.

It's fanaticism.

And anything taken to extreme is eventually going to turn problematic.  If your passion and dedication to your favorite sports team morphs into complete ire when you see the colors of your rival and next thing you know you're in a mob in the parking lot handing out a beat down to the guy wearin' the 'enemy' jersey, that's a problem.  If your gig is drugs/drinking there are a million and one examples of that turning into a problem.  It's the difference between, "Aunt Pia collects Precious Moments" and "Yeeeeeeaaaaaahhhh, Aunt Pia hoards Precious Moments" (complete with obligatory eye roll).  It's not the, weirdly put into adult situations , large eye'd, dust collectin', ceramic babies that are the problem, the problem is Aunt Pia's inability to control and keep perspective of her zeal for them.   Anytime anything holds such a prominence in one's life it's rife for slipping into fanaticism.  I'm sure becoming a strict and adherent blueberryaterian would prove to be issue, and blueberries are a super fruit for fucks sake.  Reminder:  There's a reason the cliche isn't; 'Some things in moderation', ya know?

Religion is no exception.  And again, I'm not bad mouthin' your religious beliefs (or lack there of), or even religion in general.  I'm talkin' 'bout those who've crossed the line between being a person ruled by their faith, to a person who uses their faith to rule others. 

Honestly, what someone does in practice of their religion (obviously, as long as it doesn't involve actual crime) in their own life, in their own home, at there own gatherings or in their own place of worship?  I could literally not give less of a fuck about.  Do your thang.  Believe your beliefs.  Live long and prosper.  But too many religious folks, of all varieties and flavors but specifically at this moment in time and in this climate, Christians, particularly of the evangelical and ultra conservative ilk are just trying to be the death of me.  Making me ask myself, too frequently, when did it become a Christian value to be a dick?

Wait.  An intolerant dick?  I was raised to believe that being a person of faith (and I don't mean mine, I mean any.) meant being kind, tolerant, accepting of your fellow man.  That you were to be generous in heart and spirit.  That your deeds and words should be helpful and of service.  That empathy should be exercised vigorously and love should be practiced aggressively.  Ya know, how Christians are supposed to be acting, all Christ-like
 
I know. I know.  That seems like a harsh rock to hurl and at a whole lotta people. 

Unfortunately, from my perspective it's an earned rock.  Too many (not all) Christian folk have embraced a level of fanaticism that they firmly believe it's appropriate to act in some decidedly un-Christ like ways.  And too many Christians notice that this is happening and don't speak up about it.  When you watch a someone getting bullied, if you don't stand up with/for the person getting bullied, you've already sided with the bully.

It seems every day as we approach the upcoming elections and I'm that much more in tune with the news 'o the day in an attempt to keep up with ta-doin's, I see/read/hear something that inevitably makes me think that if I hear/see one more person using their faith to belittle or denigrate someone/group, or use their beliefs to manage someone else's life, I fear my head may explode. 


Again, I'm not saying you don't have the right to practice your religion in any way you see fit.  I am saying you (I) don't have the right to expect or try to enforce that anyone else should be beholden to your (my) faith based values. 

Faith, yours or mine, shouldn't factor into which grown ass American citizen is allowed to marry another grown ass American citizen.  It shouldn't decide if an American woman (under any circumstances; from rape and incest all the way to full on swingin' from the chandelier gittin' it on) must forcibly carry and deliver a child, being a few of the stances taken by some "Christians".  In short, too late? laws, should be drafted with the least amount of religious based bias, not the most.




Obviously, there are faith based beliefs that are the law of the land.  Murder, for example.  A no-no legally and biblically.  On the surface one could argue that's religion influencing law.  That it's illegal because it's immoral.  That of course would be the short-sighted assertion.  Yes, in my opinion, redrum is immoral too, but it's illegal because it's significantly impacting, ya know, in the harmful kinda way to the decedent (not to mention their family, friends, community, etc.,).  Indeed something that should be illegal and carry severe ramifications. 

However, gay marriage?  Abortion?  Fine.  It (they) might offend your personal sensibilities or your interpretation of your religion, but (NEWSFLASH) those aren't actually crimes.  (For those subscribing to 'personhood' viewpoints, in other words that abortion is wrong [a, should-be crime to be outlawed if given the chance] because from the moment a sperm fertilizes an egg it is a person, folks?  While it's your right to hold such an opinion and live your life by that belief, allow me to present to a real fact that the rest of us live by:



You are allowed to have your own beliefs.  You're just not allowed to have your own facts. 

Neither issue has an impact on your life if you have no intention of marrying someone of the same sex, or no need/want for an abortion.  See how easy that is?  Instead of allowing that to be that, too many Christians have adopted a 'my way or the highway' stance on such issues.  A mindset that perplexingly justifies taking God's plan for us to exercise our own freewill and has Calvin pee on it.    

Before you think I'm only calling out or picking on Christians, it should be noted that I'm troubled by many fanatical and extreme subsets of faiths that bring out the worst of someone.  Ones where critical thinking is eshewed even if it comes at the detriment of the extremist.  (It reminds me of that old God/boat joke.)  For instance, the Taliban.  Much like I'm not calling out ALL Muslims because the Taliban is not representative of all of those who practice Islam, I'm also not calling out ALL Christians because I also know that they are not representative of the far Christian right.  The (New term!) really right is an example of the most fanatical of Christians in our nation.  It just so happens they seem to be, in eerily similar ways taking moves straight outta the Taliban playbook as they ascended into power as the really right does today in an attempt to grasp for power in our country.  

And let's not forget the other fanatical Christians, you may know them by their initials, KKK.  Congrats!  That's some impressive company you're keepin'.

Acknowledging the 'if it walks like a duck-edness', in a way that the Germans didn't with the brown shirts, of the existence of this really righty'dness movement, one must also acknowledge its scary real impact on our day-to-day lives, in big and small ways alike, for instance: 


A religious banner awaiting the obligatory sign run through at a public high school in Texas.

My problem with it?  Nothing.  If they were cheerleaders holding it up for Our Lady of Bad Cathlolic Kidz, or any other church-y school.  Because they're private institutions.  A public school, the last time I checked was, um, public.  As public as City Hall, or the Post Office, also places it would not be okay to post a religious message.  (And yes, I know some places do erect Christmas trees and the like denoting Christmas, but around here at least, in public buildings you'll also see a Menorah to acknowledge Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and other seasonal celebrations.  It's hard to argue hypocrisy or deference, when pretty much everyone gets included.)  In a society (Society:  a highly structured system of human organization of, or large-scale community living that normally furnishes protection, continuity, security, and a national identity for its members:  American society.), it's inappropriate to behave as if everyone holds your religious views, whateverthefuck they are.   

Some may say that somehow this means religious freedoms are taken away.  As if, if you're not allowed to make some Jewish/Hindu/agnostic athlete have to read your stance on your faith before he hits the field, that your freedoms are being challenged, nay, that an agent of the government will soon breech your home, line you, your children and goldfish up and shoot you all in the head during the night because you dared to go to church on Sunday.  Really? 

Mmmmkay.  Imagine if you will, that your Christian kid played at a public school and the vast majority of the population was atheist/agnostic, wouldja think it was ok for him to have to run though a sign in opposition to your religion beliefs? 


(Would YOU be cool with this?  Yeah, I thought not.)
 
 
Vexingly, the same people who are gonna complain about ^this^ are the same people who have nooooooooo problem with expecting someone else's kid to be involved with something they may not agree with or believe in.  Or that they may be downright offended by.

They call people who feel these ways a liberal.  But when a really right Christian/Republican/conservative (which are morphing into being all the same of late.  Soooooo, new word?  Republaright?  Conserveatian?  Christpublican?   ...I'll work on that.)  says it, it doesn't sound like;  Liberal:  a person who believes in freedom so much that they want people to be free to do their shit... as long as it doesn't infringe on someone elses shit.  Nooooo.  It sounds like;   Liberal: A stupid.  Godless.  Freeloader, or at a minimum, pro-freeloadin'.  ...That you've probably had an abortion, likely because you were fucking Lucifer himself may likely be a communist/anarchist but are definitely tryin' to ruin our nation, and are probably experimenting with the new 'smiles' drug in between binging on your food stamp Funyuns and Colt .45 forty, l-i-b-e-r-a-l.   (spits, wipes disdain off lips) 

The word didn't used to sound so dirty and treasonous.  ...But then again, The people who would refer to liberals as the other side of the political spectrum didn't used to think it was a word, or concept worthy of such levels of contempt, disdain and near hate-like fervor.  That was, of course, when there were still moderates in power of the party, before it was hijacked by the far right Christan conservative contingent.



Now, I don't wanna brag, I don't wanna boast, yeah toast but I was a prrrrrrrretty solid C/D student (...BBG does not apply herself), much to my parents chagrin.  So, I would not want to lead you to believe that I'm somehow smarter than the average bear on ANY subject, let alone one as complex and nuanced as politics.  But, as a LBG (lil' brown girl) I seem to remember most political squabbles of the day having to do more with economics, what to do about Beirut, OPEC and Star Wars (the anti missile program, not the movie for those of you youngin's) type stuff rather than managing women's uterus in the name of religion.  It seemed like our nation was being run by people who looked out to the best of their politician-y abilities for the best of our collective interests.  Did so and worked as bipartisan-y as you could expect politicians to accomplish.  I mean, shit seemed to get done.  


But that was back in 'tha day when (as I recall it from a kid perspective) in large part we were deciding on pragmatic and secular issues.  And as the Nostradamus-esque and one time GOP Presidential nominee, Barry AuH2o stated it, before "these preachers" got ahold of the party.  In the time before this >> would have had to have been pointed out to serve as a legitimate reminder...


These days we can't get enough done for our nation.  It's a perplexing dichotomy of one party being increasingly comprised of believers who often attempt to use their faith to legislate law, (ignoring the fact that our founding fathers purposefully did not decree an official religion of the states.  Good ol' Johnny Hancock and the boys didn't just forget that lil' detail, ya know?  They were mindful not to allow any particular religion to have a greater deference than another.  Mindful to not set up a nation where religion supersedes the Constitution in terms of our land and laws.) whilst simultaneously crying that their religious freedoms are being taken away, when all that is being asked is that they extend the exact same religious freedoms to everyone else.  (That's not exactly my understanding of the definition of 'religious persecution', is it yours?)




And the other being chocked full 'o people, like me, who think that the pursuit of life, liberty and justice for all, not to mention happiness, for every American doesn't include your (or my) faith.  Which is decidedly not the same thing as being anti-religion.

The problem being that it would require a compromise on the part of the far Christian right.  A concept that is generally viewed as a good thing.  Except, when you're fighting for God, there's no room for compromise or reason when this is the catalyst for your fight.  There's only room for being faithful soldier armed with your convictions in a battle royale that can be applied to every thing, and one different than you, where if you acquiesce even a single point it will show that you are weak or not as holy and righteous as you think you are, and you can't have that.  Instead you have the 'pry it from my cold, dead hands' dynamic. 

It's an ethos that reaches from the pulpit to the conservative representatives holding office.  It feels like it's one of the things that has emboldened the GOP to be so obstinate on, um?  How do I say it?  Oh, right.  Everyfuckingthing.  To a degree larger than I'm comfortable with we are gridlocked and mired down in trying to run a religious nation, at the cost of running THE nation.  I donno about you, but I'm not ok with that.  Putting party first is not in the best interest of America.  Not by either party.  But it's hard to say by any measure where important governmental business has be as stagnated by Democrats in the recent years.  Doubt the veracity of that statement?  Get to Googlin'.  If everything that's being held up, blocked and filibustered on is being done by one side, almost exclusively, there's a reason why.  Now, is it more likely that every single decision the other side has made have been wrong.  Every - single - one?  Or that 'we can't pass anything or it will look like he's accomplishing shit?' is the issue?  If even an blind squirrel finds a nut, isn't just kinda likely that some of the President's ideas and leadership have been the correct calls?  ...You sure wouldn't know that from any Republican I know.  Stop pointing out fanaticism and hypocrisy.

Even I find it sad that this is now how I perceive Republicans and the GOP.  Being a Republican used to make me think someone who had a different idea of how we should be divvying up the budget.  Or what our policy should be about the Congo?  That maybe we'd debate how many children should be allowed per classroom, whether we should scrap the penny or Daylight Savings, or how we'll proceed with our investigation of space?  I never would have imagined that there would have come a day where being Republican meant being the associated with a party that had a chance to help give 2nd class gay American citizens the freedom to marry and benefit from all of the tangible rights that accompany it, and didn't because you've (I donno?) been bullied or bamboozled into backing it in order to gain a political tactical advantage, when a significant number of you know it's wrong.  It makes me sad for the party to see it in such a state.  It's a low point for the party that gave us great leaders like Lincoln. Roosevelt and Eisenhower. 

I have voted in every election and the vast majority of primaries since I turned 18.  I've always believed that men shed their blood so that I would have the freedom to cast a vote to have my say in how my city/state/country is managed, and that the very least I can do is to pay attention to issues and candidates at hand and each November show up and do it.  As I formulate my decisions, I try to take in to account what (person/stance) provides for the greater good, in my opinion, for my neighbors, I try not to be a solely self-serving voter.  Mainly, because I don't believe that's what America is about.  (Or religion for that matter.)  I work under the SOP that we're only as strong as our weakest links.  I come from a place that we look out for our own, which of course is a tres copkid way of thinking.  Over the years I've voted for Democrats and Republicans.  In fact, during the early part of the Republican race I was both impressed by and interested in what Jon Huntsman brought to the table.  I also hold some pretty conservative views on things like capital punishment and my love of guns, although I have a more moderate stance on gun control.  I try to be open to seeing what anyone or any party has to offer.

This election is, for me, incredibly cut and dry. 

Dear GOP,
When you wonder why you lost my vote, please remember, it's not me, it's you.

I'd like to think that had I been alive in the days of segregation that I wouldn't have sat on the sidelines watching other citizens being treated as second class citizens and doing nothing, therefore I can not in good conscience sit and allow you to continue to work against the interests of gay Americans and to continue to treat them as less than equals to me just because I dig men.  (related post:  My Big Fat Gay Manifesto

Because I believe that the only thing denying access to legal abortion stops is women dying in back alleys.   That wealthy people will always have access to abortions, yet the poor will only have access to coat hangers if you have your way.  And because I don't have a crystal ball and can't see into the future to know what it will hold for my Goddaughters, I cannot have their freedom to manage their ladyparts as they see fit put at risk in lieu of some hazy combination of governmental oversight, invasive and unneeded procedures, legislators who believe in "legitimate rapes" and a woman's magical properties to "shut it down" mixed with religious views that they may or may not hold.

Because I, and nearly 50% of our nation are chicks, I refuse to back a party and candidate who actively work against laws that would ensure that we close the pay gap between men and women, with women in 2,000 and fucking 12 still earning only .70 per $1.00 a man earns.  Of course, opposing the Violence Against Women Act didn't really help your case either.

I cannot vote for you because I can't condone a party who seeks to limit voter participation by instituting essentially a poll tax, which the the Constitution is expressly against (see Amendment #24).  I cannot vote for a party that in this low voter climate isn't working to increase voter participation.  I can't vote for a party that cites "voter fraud" as a reason to roll voting percentages down to pre- '08 levels by instituting voter ID laws ostensibly to prohibit in-person voter fraud.  Ya know, that massive voter fraud the the Wall Street Journal calls "statistically zero" and "less than 1%", yet ignores absentee ballot voter fraud, which the WSJ reports constitutes a problem 50x larger which ID's don't address at all.  


I certainly can't back a party holds opinions on black American voters that allow them to feel these are somehow innocuous and appropriate statements;  “I guess I really actually feel we shouldn’t contort the voting process to accommodate the urban— read African-American — voter-turnout machine.” (Doug Preisse, chairman of BBGbus county Republican Party and elections board member)  Or the former Florida Republican Party chair who says, 'some GOP leaders were meeting to discuss ways they could suppress black votes'.  Oddly, while having a discussion over this exact topic a friend implied that me bringing these statements up and allowing it to influence my views means that I'm playing the race card.  I'm not sure at what point in history, noticing sumthin' (by way of representatives of the GOP and their actual words) and having the audacity to comment on it turned into being some Black Panther card carryin', hyper sensitive race card playa vs. an informed and concerned person, but apparently that's where we are in terms of the chasm between my vote and where the GOP is.

(Update:)  And now this?

'Come on GOP...

I can't side with people who think if an American citizen is sick and uninsured that the answer is "let him die."  Or that think 47% of our nation is "irresponsible, government-dependent & victims", when that 47% consists of grandma's and grandpa's who worked hard all their lives, veterans, active military members, students, the earnest 'working poor' (which applies to those making up to $50,000/yr. who don't pay income tax) and disabled citizens.  Of course, there are scoundrels who take advantage of what is commonly called entitlements.  There's nothing scoundrels won't try to scheme to their benefit, but that's an issue of management, requirements and being more diligent in sussing out fraud.  I don't have the answer for that, but I know the problem isn't my friends mother who if it weren't for Medicaid keeping her cared for in a nursing home would be out in the fucking street, the problem isn't the poor kid who's hungry that food stamps keeps in groceries, and I can't allow them to be put on more vulnerable footing by a party who seems to be, again, if we take them at their words, ok with lettin' people die, where in true Darwinian fashion only the strong and wealthy enough to fend for themselves survive.  They shouldn't be put at greater risk because we haven't come up with a better way to keep criminals from doing criminal things.

As a girl with a pre-existing condition, never again having to contemplate lying about my condition out of fear of this being the time the insurance company would deem it uncoverable and having that declaration hanging over my head for the rest of my life, is a large weight off of my shoulders.  Knowing that my mother who has an illness that will require intensive and on-going care all the rest of her days will never hit a spending cap is another important factor.  If the GOP had its way I wouldn't have that health security as it's something they've tried to repeal 31x (yes, including even AFTER the SCOTUS upheld it).

You've made it near impossible for me to even get to our fiscal philosophical differences, because you've become so entrenched in representing the wrong side of so many human issues.  I implore you:  GET BACK TO focusing on and coming up with ideas to help run our country!  And not our bedrooms and uterus'. Stop backing people who represent and pander to those who hold the most extreme religious ideas, who you've allowed to gain influence in your party.  It's weakening you.  It's turning voters who otherwise might support you away.  If you don't draw the line in the sand and modify your behavior I can see you having a splinter party breaking off in the future to shake the stench of some of the social issues shit you seem intent on stepping in by Republicans who don't want to have to own that anymore.  Frankly, I'm not even opposed to a multiple party set up, as long as they're large enough to do something other than give an advantage to the other side.  Without a party having enough support to win, around 30% of the nation, a vote for them becomes a vote against the next closest platform that you would support. 

I hope we won't have to have this chat again and that you will embrace a lil' hope that you can take your party back and will create the change to make it happen.  But for now, I bid you adieu.   (drops mic, walks off stage)

~BBG


...Now, that I've got that off my chest maybe I can just keep my head from exploding until November.


If you've stayed with me this long, know you have just earned yourself one BBG Gold Star!  If you are of a like mind and wanna comment, please do.  If you are diametrically opposed to everything I believe in, coolio.  It's one of the best things about America, that we are all free to hold our own opinions, if you want to share yours have at it, but mind you, it would have to be a pretty compelling argument to get me to turn my back on people who I don't think of as 'victims' I just think they're people I'm lucky enough not to be.  I just like to think of them as my neighbors.  Oh yeah, and nearly half of the country, so you're gonna have to be reeeeeal persuasive.


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