Sunday, February 14, 2010

Homosexuality Is a Choice?

I came across this very nice poem. This is for all the people who say "being gay is a choice."

"I chose this life.
I chose to set myself up as an Outcast.
I chose to hear my best friends
Tell me that I am going to hell.
I chose to hear the words Dyke and Faggot
Spat through scornful lips in my direction.
I chose to lose the love of my Family.
To hear them say that I was sick.
That I was wrong.
I chose to place the dreams
Of marrying the person I love
In a file marked as classified
By popular demand.
I chose to have the doors of my church
Slammed in my face
Because apparently, I am the exception to
"Love your fellow man."
I chose to be chastised
For holding hands in public.
I chose to look over my shoulder
At every corner
Afraid for my life simply because
I fell in love.
I chose this life.
I chose to be a Lesbian."

by ~CrikWing on deviantART. Link back to the original:

Friday, January 29, 2010

Challenge Day Challenged

Less than a week ago in West Bend, Wisconsin, the local school board was planning to have a "Challenge Day" for the high schools. The website states that the program is 6 1/2 hours long, designed for 100 students in grades 7-12, and the program has existed since 1987 and has been used all over the U.S. and Canada. The FAQ states that in a Challenge Day Program: "Challenge Day Leaders work to create trust and connection in the morning by helping participants step out of their comfort zones through music and games. Participants begin to recognize stereotypes and labels that exist among them, and are then willing to be vulnerable enough with one another to connect as human beings. Leaders also discuss the healthy expression of emotions, and the negative effects of keeping feelings inside. During the afternoon, participants dive into the issue of social oppression and examine the impact oppression has on their lives and the lives of people around them. By the end of the afternoon, participants have an opportunity to take a stand against oppression, make amends for hurts they have caused each other, and state their commitment to creating change on their campus and in their community. The day is both inspiring and awakening for students and adults."

It is my understanding that A) The event is funded by grant money, B) it is supervised by teachers, and C) it is voluntary, parents can choose whether or not to sign the permission form. Just like a school field trip. So no big deal, right?


Ginny Maziarka was rather alarmed by the inclusion of homophobia as one of the issues addressed (along with cliques, bullying, racism, and a lot more) in the program and said this on her blog:
"I would think that HOMOPHOBIA is a pretty SUBJECTIVE TERM for a program like this. Is our school district supporting the reinforcement that kids with a core belief system that opposes homosexuality go against it?"

No, it's supporting not treating LGBTQ kids like crap. Nobody said you had to like the gays, just treat them like, oh I don't know, human beings?

And if you truly have an issue with the program, simply don't sign the permission form. Your child or children go about their school day as normal. Like I said, it's exactly like a field trip. You don't have to do it if you don't want to.

But unfortunately there seems to be a group of people residing in West Bend who can't grasp the simple concept that just because something is available doesn't mean you have to do it or even like it, they make the entire town look bad.

The school board decided to cancel Challenge Day so the district can "effectively address community concerns." No doubt they cancelled it fearing a repeat of what happened at the library the previous year. It's a pretty spineless move, but I can't really blame them.

I really hope they DO bring Challenge Day back. As demonstrated by the extreme ignorance of certain West Bend citizens, I think this program could really do some good.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Point of Values?

Why do we instill values in our children?

We instill values in them to teach them right from wrong. We instill values in them so they may follow our beliefs. We instill values so they know how to make choices. We instill values in them so they'll do the right thing.

Values are, at heart, deeply held beliefs, usually about right and wrong. They are personal, but often shared by groups(such as religious denominations). They can be about any variety of subjects.

The key word is personal. It's not that you shouldn't be free to share your values, you most definitely should. It's that you shouldn't try to force your values on others. You can have debates and discussions, but most people feel as strongly on an issue as you do. And as unshakable you are on that issue they are as well. And "that issue" can be anything, literally anything. You can agree to disagree, because often trying to bring them around to your point of view is about as productive as beating yourself over the head with a stick.

The point of teaching values to children is teaching them what you believe is right and wrong, which means teaching them to recognize what is right and what is wrong. And when they see something that they recognize as wrong they will have the ability to say "I disagree with that." and not participate.

This very much applies to book censorship. Censors often say that the book(s) in question are a threat to their "values" and will lead their children to do things that go against these values. Even when they've been taught these things their entire lives.

If you've taught something to your children(I'll go with "homosexuality is bad" since that is a common topic when it comes to books) their entire lives and a book they happened to pull off a library shelf(and if you've taught them as such, why would they be pulling LGBTQ books off the shelf in the first place?) threatens to damage or change their values, that would be the failure of the parent. If your child or children are so easily strung along by influence, then you have far bigger problems. Like not letting them read Superman comics and sleep in the top bunk. If they're teenagers, then they have access to many more things unsupervised than just books in a library.

As for the "What about children who don't have parents or guardians active in their lives?" argument, you have no legal right to act in loco parentis for them. We aren't talking about saving them from being hit by car, we're talking about books. Being hit by a car is obviously dangerous. Whether a book is dangerous or not is subject to opinion.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Why Labels and/or Restrictions Won't Work

I know I said that we were done with book banning for a while, but I keep getting new blog ideas and they deserve to be let out.

Book banning is really an umbrella term, besides "banning" it can refer to restricting, labeling, reshelving or otherwise censoring books (because it's easier to say "Banned Books Week" than "Banned, Restricted, Labeled, Reshelved or Otherwise Censored Week"). Oftentimes, the censors request that the books be labeled or restricted with some sort of parental permission system in place.

In the case of restrictions, censors often request that the books be placed on a special shelf or be labeled and only be allowed to be taken out with parental supervision or permission by any minor.

A) This means lumping everyone under 18 into the same boat so to speak. If you treat a three-year-old and a 16-year-old the same you have no business doing anything that involves children.

B) Once children are old enough to go to the library by themselves, they can't take out these books with a parent or guardian there. This is a great hindrance to both the child and the parent. The parent has better things to do than supervise a child that doesn't require supervision, but they have to because a book is considered too "dangerous" for minors. And the child probably won't want to go to the library if they have to drag mommy or daddy along to check out a book. That's not what I would call encouraging literacy or a love of reading.

C) I'm making a huge generalization here but there's a lot of truth to it. If a kid is in a library, you've won. Kids who go to libraries and read books are not part of the crowd who does drugs, has casual sex, drinks or smokes underage, or otherwise does things they shouldn't be doing. Kids who are taking out books from a library are not the ones we need to have tantrums over.

D) Don't try to say "this isn't censorship". It's plain to see that saying this isn't censorship is a load of bull.

Labeling isn't too bad in theory, we have advisory labels and ratings on movies, music and other such things. But there are many differences between a movie at the cinema and a book in a library.

First of all, movie ratings are undertaken by private institutions and are not legally binding. The library is a government institution meant to serve everyone. Who would decide what would be worthy of a label? Would it simply mean that someone objected to the material within? Because libraries are meant to serve everyone, all books would require a label because virtually anything can be considered "objectionable".

If we went by sexual content, what would qualify as label-worthy? The mere mention of sex or would an act have to be described? Would LGBTQ material get labeled?

And if the aim is to discourage children from reading these books, won't putting labels on them and making a big fuss just make them all the more desirable?

The point is: You're the only one who can decide what your children can't and can't read. You have no business interfering with another child's reading. It is no different than going up to a child who is eating a bag of chips and taking them away from them because you don't want your child eating them. And chips can do far more harm than a book ever could.

Happy holidays to all.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Beeping Homosexuality

It's hard to say who I'm more disgusted with at the moment, CBS or my radio station.

As I'm sure you've heard, CBS blurred a kiss between Adam Lambert and his male keyboardist at the American Music Awards.

If that's not bad enough, they left a simulation dance move of oral sex between Adam Lambert and a dancer unblurred. If you're going to blurr something, blurr something that's, you know, actually inappropriate under broadcasting standards. As opposed to kissing. Which you can probably find on one channel or another at ANY hour of the day.

What makes this even worse, they had previously showed footage Madonna and Britney Spears tongue kissing. Their excuse is that the Madonna image has been seen frequently, but the Adam Lambert image is of "current controversy". Oh please, a seven year old could come up with a more believable excuse than that.

Political correctness aside, in terms of acceptance, girl-on-girl stuff gets off easier than guy-on-guy stuff. I don't know why this is, perhaps the long-standing unreasonable loathing of sodomy (despite the fact an awful lot of straight couples participate in that as well) or the equally long-standing ridiculous connection of gay men with pedophiles. Maybe it's the double standard that girls are allowed to break gender stereotypes as much as they want, but if guys do, they're "weird". Maybe it's all of them. Can we get a sociologist in here?

The point is that I have little doubt the blurring of the kiss was based in homophobia, and that's wrong. Hopefully CBS will take note of the public reaction.

Now, about my radio station (That's misleading, it's not "mine" it's just the one I listen to).

Just today I was listening to it and Hedley's Cha-Ching was playing. The song is a riff on reality TV and the stupidity of it. One of the shows it references is A Shot At Love with Tile Tequila, the specific lines being "Pretending to be lesbians/and Tila's playin' all of them". The word lesbian was beeped.

Yep, I didn't know it was a swear word either. (End sarcasm)

I do not know if this was a decision by the station itself or higher up, but you can be sure that they will be receiving an angry letter from me very soon. I'll update you with the results of this. Cheers.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Home for The What Now?

Before I begin this blog I would just like to say sorry for the inactivity. Kitty and I are very busy with schoolwork and other things. We'll try to be a bit more regular. It'll be a short one today.

In addition to my "Pink BullShirt Day" blog from a while ago, here is an excellent essay by a friend of mine on the same subject (I have to say, she said it way better than I did):

Today I am blogging about a rather unique debate going on in light of the upcoming holiday season. A few people have complained about some stores' usage of the word "holiday" in place of "Christmas".

I could be wrong but this seems to be more of an issue in the U.S.A. than in Canada but that isn't really relevant.

The people in question are saying that if a company uses "holiday" it means they are "against Christmas".

I don't think the companies that are making/have made the switch to holiday instead of Christmas are trying to exclude people who celebrate Christmas. Actually I'm quite sure they're including them.

Many, many cultures and religions have holidays that fall within the month of December. Just to name a few: Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Sinterklaas, New Year's Eve, HumanLight, Eid al-Adha, Solstice, and a heck of a lot more.

Canada and America are both patchwork cultures with exceeding amounts of diversity. So when large companies that have stores all across America and Canada use holiday instead of Christmas, they're just trying to be inclusive to everyone. When you just use Christmas, sure you may be including a large group but you're also leaving a lot of people out.

And I don't see how the word "holiday" is "against Christmas", it includes Christmas just as it does all the other holidays. Christmas IS a holiday, I really don't see the issue here. I, personally, celebrate Christmas and I don't feel offended by any of this. In fact, it makes me happy that big companies are being inclusive and tolerant.

That's all for now folks, we'll hopefully get back to you shortly.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Rant Saturday!!

God, I'm changing days of the week each time I do this, eh? Hehe...

So this time's topic? Meh...Let's go with The Eagle Forum!

Alright, it's pretty much their Mission Statement that pisses me off the most. So here I go!

Our first task is to assimilate the millions of non-English-speaking foreign born who are legal residents." Yeah...take out the different culture from the states. That fixes every one's problems. Yup. 100%. (That's not xenophobic at ALL)

We support the right of individuals to keep and bear arms, as guaranteed in the Second Amendment." Because, you know, it's good to keep guns in your homes nowadays when the Amendment was written WAY BACK WHEN THE BRITISH WERE GOING TO INVADE!!!

and the equally important roles of father and mother." What about Mother and mother, or father and father? Wait..they don't want gays getting married or being together because gay parents only raise gay children, just like straight parents only raise straight children. (My voice is just dripping with sarcasm.)

defeat the misnamed Equal Rights Amendment with its hidden agenda of tax-funded abortions and same-sex marriages." OK...So they're saying they don't support pro choice and gays at all....yeah. Great. Freaking great. What if there's a single mother with 5 kids and she's pregnant again and if she has that last child she'll be put out on the street? Then what? 'Oh don't worry about being homeless, as long as you don't have an abortion it doesn't matter that you're out on the street with all you kids, because you didn't get an abortion!'

Now to move onto other things with them...and my always loved sarcasm. Let's move onto their little things with feminists!

From one post about how the move Juno explains feminism. "
...what the feminists call an unplanned pregnancy after initiating a loveless one-night incident with a classmate named Paulie" Well...when a female has sex with someone and gets pregnant and not meaning's kind of is and UNPLANNED PREGNANCY.

The movie's message is that no man should have anything to say about a baby for whom he is financially responsible." ..........Not even if he's the father? What troubles me the most is what the title is 'The Movie Juno Explains Feminism.' Let me make one thing clear MOST FEMINISTS AREN'T AGAINST MALES OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT! They're just pro-female. Like "We can do most things, just as well of guys even though we have a vagina!"

triumph of feminist ideology, i.e., the irrelevancy of men, especially fathers." Read what I have JUST written on the above comment.

feminism has made fatherlessness acceptable in our society."'s all the DIVORCES that have made it acceptable, because of all the stupid people who can't make it work with one another and want to take the easy way out.

this movie reflects today's high school culture: sexual activity without marriage, crude pictures on the walls, vulgar language, a girl smoking a pipe, unattractive clothes, uncombed hair, enjoyment of slasher movies and weird music..." So, the lady who runs the Eagle Forum thinks we aren't allowed to like that stuff or be different? Man...even some ADULTS like weird music, slasher films, have sex without marriage and use inappropriate language. What do you classify them as then? Outcasts? Not adults?

I would like to end this off with a final note: The lady who runs the Eagle Forum has some SERIOUS issues that could be helped with therapy. Thank you, and have a great f'en day.