Am I The Only One Who Finds ‘We Will Not Tolerate Intolerance’ to Be Less than Comforting?

Thanks to Newscoma and Fried Apple Pie, we get word of a gay-bashing.


You know, here we are fighting for gay marriage when two guys can’t even walk into Quiznos on a college campus in this town in safety.  Seriously, maybe we need to focus on just the remedial human rights.  I don’t know.

I was talking to the Professor this weekend about how part of the problem with seeking social justice is that, many times, there’s no one sympathetic to your goals in a high enough position to see all the fires.  No one in a position to notice that they’re not just isolated unfortunate incidents, but part of a larger pattern.

I don’t know how one gets that kind of perspective, but there are places in town where it is sorely needed.


So, the other day I was sitting out on the porch, rocking in the rocking chair while a troop of kids was marching through the woods and down into the creek and across the flat rocks.

They were accompanied by the sounds of constant bickering–who would go first, whether someone was watching close enough for snakes, if that frog was still alive, how far up stream they should go, who was being unfair and how, if they were doing what their dad told them to do, and so on and so on and so on, these constant negotiations and squabbles that sounded as familiar to me as if I were making those noises myself, which, of course, I have.

Today the Butcher floated the idea of him going down to Georgia to help the recalcitrant brother get on his feet.  I can’t stand the idea.  I cannot stand the idea of coming home to a house filled only by me.

Some folks find companionship easily; that’s never been a skill of mine.  And without the Butcher, I’m afraid I’d get sad and lonely and weird.  Maybe I’m already weird, but you know, weird to myself.

It seems unfair to say those things to him.  After all, he’s been here almost a decade.  If I haven’t gottem my life together by now, I don’t guess that it’s going to happen any time soon.  And I get embarrassed for not wanting him to go and so I start to get angry instead.  What about all the money I’ve spent supporting us both?  If you were thinking that, why didn’t you say something before I signed a new lease?  How are you going to take care of the recalcitrant brother when you don’t really take care of yourself?  And so on.

I don’t really give a shit about those things.  I should.  I’d be in better financial shape if I did, but I don’t.  I just want to cause sharp needles along the bottom of his heart the way I feel them along the bottom of mine.

Watching those kids, I was reminded that cooperation is not easy.  That we’re all the time making constant demands and capitulations.  We just do it more quietly as we get older.

And Then Sometimes Conservatives Just Make Me Sad

If I had to choose between a world full of depraved  conservatives who were at least enjoying themselves while they made the rest of us miserable and a world full of conservatives such as the kind Ned Williams is purporting to be today, I think I’d choose the depraved conservatives.

Because at least the depraved conservatives are not lying to themselves.

But, Ned, dang it*, do you honestly read that stuff and find it to be the truth?  Is there no gut check you do where some part of you just says, quietly, “Hey, something about that is not right” and, even if you don’t know what is right about it, you listen?  If not, well, then, I feel even worse for you than I did from the beginning.

Let’s go through the lies Maggie Gallagher tells you that you pass along as truths, even though, dang it again, you should know better.

1.  “The male-female divide”–What is that?  I mean, once you get passed all the Men are from Mars, Women from Venus crap, do you really feel that you don’t know your wife?  And, if you do, do you really believe that that’s because she’s a woman and not just because she’s another person, independent of you and no matter how much you love her and come to know her, there will just be parts of her that are secret because you can’t know what it’s like to be her–as a person.  We are not strangers to you because we are women, or at least, we don’t have to be.

2.  “Marriage is the fundamental, cross-cultural institution”–no, it’s not.  Families are the fundamental, cross-cultural institution and families might be constituted a lot of ways.  Long before there was “marriage,” there were families.

3.  “Marriage is the fundamental, cross-cultural institution for bridging the male-female divide so that children have loving, committed mothers and fathers”–Again.  You know your history.  You know this is not true.  Marriage, as a social institution, is historically about inheritance rights, not about love or commitment.

Aw, you know what?  Fuck it.

Most people who oppose gay marriage know at some level that there’s no good reason for it other than the ick factor.  They’re opposed to gay marriage because they think gay people are gross.  All this nonsense about “preserving the traditional meaning of marriage” is just bullshit.  Come on.

Even conservative Ned Williams is not arguing that he should own all of his wife’s property outright and that she not be allowed to have a bank account or a credit card in her name.  He doesn’t believe he should be able to beat his wife in public and carry on with mistresses and prostitutes if he wants.  He doesn’t believe that, if he should die tomorrow, some other man–either designated by him or appointed by the courts–should decide to whom his kids get shipped off to and, regardless of what his will says, how much of his property his wife should be able to make use of until she dies.  He doesn’t believe that he should be able to arrange marriages for his children to wealthy clients or local political families in order to directly benefit his business, regardless of the wishes of his children.

No, he’s basically bought into the idea that there’s some pretend pleasant history of marriage always full of love and devotion and monogamy and happy children and that he can refer to that pretend history as having any legitimacy when arguing against gay marriage.

That’s a joke.  And I should be able to laugh at it as a joke.

So, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, etc.

*That’s conservative for “damn it.”

Please Care About This This Week, Too

Sorry to bring this up again, but Friday afternoons are such a crappy time to learn about important things.  People have weekends.  They get caught up in other crap.

But right now, in our lovely state, a woman can’t get an order of protection against her husband because she is brown.  She is here legally and her children are U.S. citizens.

I don’t know what can be done, but please, let’s do something.  This isn’t just an immigrant issue.  This is an issue about how women are treated in the legal system and about whether our laws apply to everyone or just the folks who meet with the judge’s approval.

Again, see Sean for more details.


I have just been thinking about this all weekend, about this idea of being grateful for where we are and the importance of being grateful in order to have strength for fighting.

This weekend, I had a long discussion with an old-school Southern feminist (I don’t know what it is about Texas, but when they do feminists, they do it right) about this very thing.  And I feel like I have a lot I want to say about it, but I’m not sure where to start and maybe just acknowledging that I have a lot to say about it is enough to say about it.

But we do have these long roots, people who were working long before us, who were working for us, even though they would never live to see it.  And to be miserable in the world they helped make for us is really the height of ungratefulness.

I think the mistake we make is to assume that, if we are grateful for something, it means we think that it’s enough, that we’ve got the culmination.  But, of course, it doesn’t mean that at all.

There are a lot of things I know in my heart are right and just–it’s right and just that we allow consenting adults who love each other to make use of our secular institutions in order to protect and care for each other easily; it’s right and just that women be able to control as much as possible what happens to their bodies and that being in a woman’s body not be a source of constant fear and pain; it’s right and just that whoever is on our soil be protected by our laws.

I might not live long enough to see any of those things realized and I’m planning on living into my 80s or 90s.  But I’m thankful to the people who made it possible for me to be here in this position.

If struggling doesn’t bring you joy, why struggle?