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Oct. 24th, 2010


What the Fuck is wrong with you Mike Adams?

Yesterday morning I decided to catch-up reading Shakesville, sadly that ment I stumbled upon this following article written by Melissa McEwan:

[Trigger warning for suicide, homophobia, and Christian supremacy.]

Officials on college campuses across the nation are alarmed at a wave of recent suicides involving Christians who have been harassed by homosexual activists. The main stream media isn't covering the story so, as usual, I have taken it upon myself to do their jobs for them. None of the following eight cases have been covered by any of the three major news networks.

Thus begins an article titled "Eight Straight Suicides" by conservative writer Mike Adams at the cesspool known as Townhall.com. He then goes on to describe the details of these cases, in which straight Christians purportedly killed themselves after being "harassed by homosexual activists." The details, I assure you, are not important, because this is the final paragraph:
These eight cases are all true except for one thing: The Christians who were bullied by gays and gay activists are all still alive. Not a single one has committed suicide. That is because they have centered their lives around Jesus Christ, rather than their sexual identity. And no amount of bullying can change my mind about that.

Psych! They didn't kill themselves after all! And it isn't because the entire culture in which they reside is structured to assure them in every conceivable way that being straight and Christian is superior to being not-straight and not-Christian; it's just because they're inherently better people, stronger, blessed.

This is vile even by Townhall's execrable standards.

I will leave it to you to dissect in comments everything that is wrong with this pile of fetid shit, from disappearing gay Christians, to pretending there's no such thing as straight or Christian privilege, to appropriating the suicide of bullied teens for a breathtakingly inappropriate literary conceit all in the name of playing another round of Poor Persecuted Christians. (See also. And here. Among many others.)

I will instead just make this one observation...

You know, I know a lot of straight people and a lot of gay people (and a lot of people who fall somewhere in between), and no one—but no one—centers their lives around their sexual identity more than straight conservative Christians, whose identities as man/husband/father and woman/wife/mother are inseparable. They speak of procreation as their purpose, and assert that procreation must be between one man and one woman, only, ever.

Being straight, getting married, making babies, raising those babies to be straight, get married, and make more babies, quivers full of them, is the essence of conservative Christianity.

To assert that it is gay people who "center their lives" around their sexuality is just another example of conservative Christian projection. (See also. And here. Among many others.)

And their genuinely pathetic campaign of self-pity would be thoroughly hilarious, if only it weren't contributing the the environment in which the suicides of gay youth really, actually happen.


I mean seriously. How does this guy not see how disgusting that is. How can someone be so inhumane and cruel? People who tell bullies to stop it are not bullies themselves. People have the right to personally be religious and not be discriminated against, that is not the same as having the right to be abusive to others without reprecussions.

Oct. 22nd, 2010

wtf have you done

Torytopia is a fantasy, not a good basis for a spending review.

This spending review is making me so sad. I'm not anti-dealing with the deficit, nor am I a deficit denier but I am critical of the way they are handling it and some of the principals that have led them to handle it in that way.

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Oct. 8th, 2010


Labour Shadow Cabinet Diversity.

10 out of 23 members of Ed Milliband's Shadow Cabinet are women. Far better than the whole one woman the Coalition placed in the Cabinet.

Other than that it's a bit of a diversity fail; although nowhere near as bad as the Tories. It's overwhelmingly white (Sadiq Khan being the only non-white representative), educationally (majority are non-comp, with 9 Oxbridge graduates) & financially privileged and heterosexual (with only one LGBT member), it also has no Welsh representation to be seen. I don't know if any of them are disabled, I can't find any thing to suggest that they are but that doesn't mean much. Great news for improving female representation; shame it's not so great on other counts.

Sep. 17th, 2010


(no subject)

I am so glad the PCC saw sense and upheld Clare Baldings complaint.

For those that don't know the story, here it is;

In AA Gill’s TV column in the Sunday Times, he reviewed Balding’s new programme Britain By Bike. Well not so much the programme, he reviewed Clare Balding's physical appearance and sexuality. His words were:

Some time ago, I made a cheap and frankly unnecessary joke about Clare Balding looking like a big lesbian. And afterwards somebody tugged my sleeve to point out that she is a big lesbian, and I felt foolish and guilty. So I’d like to take this opportunity to apologise. Sorry. Now back to the dyke on a bike, puffing up the nooks and crannies at the bottom end of the nation.

When Balding complained the editor of the Sunday Times, John Witherow,  responded with the following statement:
In my view some members of the gay community need to stop regarding themselves as having a special victim status and behave like any other sensible group that is accepted by society. Not having a privileged status means, of course, one must accept occasionally being the butt of jokes. A person’’s sexuality should not give them a protected status.

Jeremy Clarkson, perhaps the epitome of the heterosexual male, is constantly jeered at for his dress sense (lack of), adolescent mind-set and hair style. He puts up with it as a presenter’’s lot and in this context I hardly think that AA Gill’’s remarks were particularly “cruel”, especially as he ended by so warmly endorsing you as a presenter.
Understandably, this apology didn't go down too well. Privileged groups determining what marginalised groups should or shouldn't find offensive just isn't cool. Balding wrote a reply to the editor stating:

When the day comes that people stop resigning from high office, being disowned by their families, getting beaten up and in some instances committing suicide because of their sexuality, you may have a point.

This is not about me putting up with having the piss taken out of me, something I have been quite able to withstand, it is about you legitimising name calling. ‘Dyke’ is not shouted out in school playgrounds (or as I’ve had it at an airport) as a compliment, believe me.

It may be your job to defend your writer and your editorial team but if you really think that homophobia does not exist and was not demonstrated beyond being ‘the butt of a joke’ then we have a problem.

Her next step was (rightly IMO) to take it to the PCC (press complaints commission) and here is how it panned out - words taken from The Guardian.

Balding said the word "dyke" was "too often used as a pejorative and insulting term". She said her sexuality was irrelevant to the programme and the hurt had been confounded by the columnist's mock apology for previously saying that she looked "like a big lesbian".

The newspaper defended its columnist on freedom of expression grounds, saying Gill was well known for his acerbic and sometimes tasteless sense of humour. It argued the term was no longer offensive and seen as "empowering" by some gay groups.

But the PCC today upheld Balding's complaint. It said the use of the word was discriminatory and a "pejorative synonym relating to the complainant's sexuality".

"Freedom of expression is a key part of an open society and something which the commission has defended robustly in the past," said the PCC director, Stephen Abell.

"While the commentator is clearly entitled to his opinion about both the programme and the complainant, there are restraints placed upon him by the terms of the editors' code [of the PCC].

"Clause 12 is very clear that newspapers must avoid prejudicial, pejorative or irrelevant reference to an individual's sexual orientation and the reference to Miss Balding plainly breached its terms."

In its defence of the column, published on 25 July this year, the Sunday Times said Gill was a "controversialist who pursues the English tradition of lampooning and ridiculing public figures". It said he had been the subject of 62 PCC complaints in the last five years which had not been upheld.

Ben Summerskill, chief executive of gay rights group Stonewall, said: "We warmly welcome the PCC's ruling. The Sunday Times wouldn't refer to Meera Syal as a 'fat Paki' or Vanessa Feltz as a 'fat Jew'. It was just as unacceptable to sneer in this way at Clare.

"Expecting civilised treatment isn't, as the editor of the Sunday Times claimed offensively in response to this complaint, 'having a special victim status'. We hope the Sunday Times will now accept the PCC's ruling and repair the damage done to its sales by publication of this article."

I'm not overly happy with the way Stonewall decided to bring Meera Syal or Vanessa Fletz into this - I think it was unnecessary. Other than that I'm happy common sense prevailed and the PCC can see how a marginalised group trying to reclaim a word is different from a non-member of that group using it in a derogatory manner.

Sep. 15th, 2010


Barriers to Access

Well, I’m going to get the ball rolling on this blog by talking a bit about Ableism.

When I was able-bodied, a mere two years ago, I never thought that much about accessibility. I saw ramps and railings and assumed that everywhere was accessible. I knew about the DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) and believed it was working to make everywhere accessible. The buses had floors that dropped & ramps, I kept noticing hearing loop signs. Sure, I thought, we live in a great country where everyone can access everything.

Then I lost most of my mobility. To be fair, I’ve really lost my mobility. It’s only my pig-headedness and my mental health issues that keeps me walking even though it is like being kicked hard in the gut by three people every step I take.

There is this myth that the DDA has made everything but small independent stores in historically persevered parts of towns accessible.  Until I ‘took the red pill’ - to coin a matrix reference -  and started using a wheelchair I was a real believer in it. The whole time I was waiting for my chair to arrive I kept telling everyone that with the chair I’d be able to go everywhere, come out clubbing, go shopping, go feed the ducks, I’d be able to come out and visit folks on my own on the bus… Well. I was very very wrong.


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