I’m depressed over the Belmont situation. I really do think, while they can do what they want, it’s time for institutions and powerful people who are GLBT friendly to stop working with them. The students alone can’t bring enough pressure to get this changed.
But, frankly, I don’t think it will change. People love to have power and authority over others, to be the ones who get to protect the vulnerable and conversely punish the people who get out of line. That dynamic doesn’t work if no one is vulnerable. And it is especially ugly when the people behaving badly “know” they have a religious justification for it.
That’s what gets complicated about fighting these things–the bad-actors feel a religious mandate and, when they are pushed against, they feel like it’s their religion under attack.
I am actually sympathetic to that. It’s hard to step back and say “Do I believe this because I think my religion says so? Or do I search out the ways my religion says to do this, because I already believe it’s the right thing to do?”
The funny thing is that Belmont just broke with the Baptists over that particular issue–where they being meddled with by the Convention because the Convention was religiously required to meddle in particular ways or was the Convention using the cover of religion to meddle?
Belmont eventually came down on the side of the Baptists wanting to meddle and finding religious justification for it rather than it being a religious mandate.
And yet, here we are again, only a few years later, with Belmont in the same position, only this time, they are the meddlers.
You can see that the problem is that Belmont didn’t step back and say “Oh, we don’t just have a problem with the Convention. The lesson from this is that meddling in others’ business and using religion as your cover is bad behavior and we, who did not like it when it was done to us, should not do it to others.”
It’s this human inability to transfer the lessons we learn at one end of a gun to our behavior at the other end that makes me despair for this situation ever getting fixed.
And I’ll be honest, as much as I think, “Oh, Belmont is never going to change,” I actually see a sliver of hope there. That’s what keeps my cramming my foot in the door, you know?
But in all this attention to what’s been going on at Belmont, where are we with poor Akasha Adonis? I mean, is she ever going to get even 1/8th of the attention the Belmont matter is?
And at least Coach Howe still has all her teeth.
But I’m going to be honest. I think there’s even less of a chance of anything in Jackson changing. And I fear for her life.
I’m afraid that the proper level of outrage about this puts her in danger. More danger. And that it wouldn’t do any good anyway.
And yet, if you don’t say anything, you make it seem like there’s nothing to be said about the matter.
That what happened is fine.
So, I don’t know. My thoughts are with her. She’s forced by terrible after-Thanksgiving circumstances, to be braver than most of us will ever have to be.
On a completely less important note, writing is not going as well. I am embarrassed to say that, considering that I’m only in the middle of the second chapter, but I am plagued by “Why is this happening? Can these things happen in a book? Will people give a shit? Can I fix this in a second draft or should I just chuck it now?!”
The second chapter has a pretty important purpose–to illustrate that shit happens for reasons you can’t know, that you’re all the time kind of dipping and out of other people’s stories. And that sometimes the stories are true, sometimes they’re a lie, and sometimes folks do inexplicable shit that has meaning to them but not to you, but makes them happy.
It’s kind of funny. The older I get the more I think that making a space for your own happiness, to find ways to be happy, even in the face of all the forces that try to make sure that you can’t have something ephemeral that they don’t have, is really revolutionary, really threatening.
And so simple, just to make a small way for you to be happy in a world that needs you anxious and unhappy.
So, maybe I feel better about that second chapter than I did before this part of the post.
But I feel like I just have no fucking idea how to write a book. Ha ha ha. A whole life of reading and editing and writing and this just feels like “Um, what?” every five minutes.
Revision is going to be a strange process.