I Believe Men Can Do Better

One of the hottest topics in the news right now is the Stubenville rape case right now. And I am *so* tired of hearing about it. Not just because I feel that justice has not been served. Not just because I feel that the victim has been completely ignored and the rapists have been given way too much sympathetic attention. But also the outrage that is coming out keeps trying to identify how we must make men pay. Ok, well sure, I agree criminal acts should be punished.

However, the thing that I don’t hear anyone saying is what I want to say here. I have plenty of male friends, colleagues and relatives. Sure I can be snarky and say “oh well we’re all animals when it comes down to it” but do I actually believe that? No. I don’t. I believe that my male counterparts are sensible, smart, considerate human beings who are capable of making good decisions. I believe that my male counterparts can find willing sex partners if they so choose. That being the case, I don’t think there is ever a time when they need to force themselves on another person. This to me is the same as assault and battery. Similar to if i decided to shove my hand up some guy’s anus that was not a willing participant. That is a criminal act. Could I find someone that might find that kinky and awesome? Probably. So why is there so much discussion about rape and victim blaming and letting guys off the hook? I’m sorry, dudes, but it is our job to teach our young people right from wrong. Just because you have a penis doesn’t mean you get to shove it into other people without consequences. Similar to just because you have muscles doesn’t mean you should beat the shit out of the little nerdy dude in the school yard.

So can someone please explain to me when men became such instinctual, animal creatures who cannot control their impulses? Because the men I know are pretty capable of making decisions good and bad and they should be prepared to deal with the consequences of those decisions. Just like all other people. I believe that men can do better. And I think if we hold them accountable they will. But I’m tired of people trying to let them off the hook. And deflecting it toward the woman. The basic point of rape is this dude did a horrible thing, he should be held accountable. Same can be said for a woman who took advantage of a man. Rape goes both ways, you know. Clearly that is less commonly discussed but I think it goes back to how we believe people should be treated. So folks, next time you think about having sex with someone and you question whether they are interested or not (or they are unconscious/cannot put together coherent sentences) that would be a no. See, not that complicated. If you cannot explicitly prove consent, don’t do it. Because honestly, why do you want to have sex with someone who doesn’t want to have sex with you?

Is This Just A Bad Joke?

Or have American politics really gotten this crazy? Most recently I discovered these amazingly terrifying commercials sponsored by Carly Fiorina for her campaign to be the Republican nominee for California’s senate seat. I was looking her up because I was listening to NPR on my way to work, as usual, but I heard this fabulous snippet from a Republican debate where Tom Campbell was the only Republican that thinks that people on the no-fly list should not be able to obtain arms. Ok, so I’m a bleeding-hearted liberal but I can’t possibly be the only one that agrees with him. I mean I’m from Texas, I get the desire to exercise your right to the Second Amendment. However, logically, I would think that if you are on the no-fly list, perhaps we shouldn’t allow you to buy any form of weapon. Just going on a limb here, if you’re dangerous enough to not let on an aircraft why would we let you buy a gun? Seriously, why? I have to say I completely agree with Campbell when he said, “I can’t believe what I am hearing. Wait until they’re off the no-fly list then exercise your second amendment rights.”

Though this gets better when you see Fiorina’s commercials, which I found thanks to this little gem of an NPR blogger. First we have the demon sheep and then the Boxer blimp. So I don’t agree with everything Ken Rudin (aka the Political Junkie) says but he’s witty and interesting and definitely puts an interesting perspective on things. And I can’t help but being right in step with him on his last few comments about the Boxer blimp:

Last month I suggested that “demon sheep” might be “the worst political ad ever.” Now I’m not sure. I can’t tell if this “hot air” ad is simply terrible … or so incredibly terrible that it’s brilliant.

I mean I don’t quite understand exactly what Fiorina is going for with these ads but if it’s to get attention well she certainly has mine. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing just yet but I’m listening… Albeit horrified but I guess the idea is that any attention is better than none?

So that was the first of my “am I just in a dream-like state questioning” until yesterday when I was reading Gail Collins, who I absolutely adore and happened to be the commencement speaker at Mount Holyoke (my alma mater) this year. Also can I mention how bitter I am that we got Nina Totenberg and 2010 got Gail Collins? Seriously, you would think Nina Totenberg would have been awesome however all she did was talk to us about getting married and making great wives. Totally what you want to hear graduating from a college that prides itself in alumni that want to change the world, not define themselves by their husbands. And let’s not forget the rather prevalent gay population that she completely ignored. Oy. Anyway, enough of that rant (which clearly should’ve left behind with everything else from 2005), where I was actually going is: Gail Collins is amazing and I just stumbled on this piece about how a millionaire is running for the Republican nomination for the Connecticut senate seat. It gets even better because not only is she a millionaire but Linda McMahon is the CEO of the WWE. Seriously, did American politics and Hollywood just collide into a spectacle of the ridiculous or is it just me?

Oh and no joke, google image search Linda McMahon, this is in the first 5 photos that show up. Seriously, this is a woman we want in the US Senate?

If you know me well, you know…

So my lovely friend D wrote this post the other day that I thought was really interesting. Apparently she found it here, and I also loved that post too. So here I am playing along… on my not-so-personal-but-getting-to-be-rather-personal blog.

If you know me well, you know that all my tattoos have significant meaning to me but my piercings were done on a whim, i love physics (and philosophy), am a super liberal feminist but I totally use the “I’m a girl” card to get someone to change a tire or the oil for me even though I’m perfectly capable of doing both myself.

If you know me well, you know I am a sucker for romantic comedies, I live for chocolate and I have the willpower of a gnat when it comes to things I want.

If you know me well, you know I *love* cooking (seriously, I have a slight obsession with food), decorating (and redecorating) and arranging flowers. Seriously every once in a while I contemplate putting myself up for sale: “Fantastic housewife available to a good home. Will cook, decorate and keep a lovely home. Contingent on a large budget. (Let’s not lie, I’ve got expensive taste).” or you know changing careers to be an event planner… or wedding planner.

If you know me well, you know I’m so obsessive about my hair that I cut it myself because I don’t think anyone else can do as good a job, I love chai (the fake Starbuck’s kind even though it’s totally not right) and I hate running but love soccer.

If you know me well you know that despite being a jeans and t-shirt girl, I love love love dresses and skirts and makeup, and if you make it past the tattoos, piercings, sarcasm and cynicism, I am a hopeless romantic and I view the world in hearts, stars, rainbows and puppies.

If you know me well, you know that despite my self-professed geekdom I am really not that geeky. I mean I work in IT but I have never owned a gaming system, nor do I play computer games and for an extended period of time I thought WoW was just people spelling wow rather enthusiastically. Apparently one shelf of fantasy novels does not equate to actual geekdom.

If you know me well, you know I love playing sports but can’t watch them to save my life, I am in a serious long-term relationship with Grey’s Anatomy, I move cities like it’s my job (though Chicago does seem to be sticking pretty well so far) and I desperately miss Texas.

Do You Believe In Magic?

At the moment, I certainly do. I realize this may seem a bit random but this morning I was just reading this article in Newsweek where Ted Olsen makes the Conservative Case for Gay Marriage. I cannot express just how well written his thoughts are on this topic. It’s also very heartening to have someone who identifies as straight and conservative (not even just straight and conservative, he served in the Reagan and George W. Bush administrations) to make the case for equal rights for gay and lesbian couples is just amazing. So today, I believe in magic. I believe that some day there will truly be equal rights for all and that we can work to make this country better for everyone. The world is a miraculous place. And people will surprise you if you just give them a chance. I hope for a brighter future for America and all those who live here.

Yep, That’s My Hometown

The largest US city to elect an openly gay mayor, yes that would in fact be Houston, Texas. It’s made headlines in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the BBC and countless other news organizations. I am exceptionally excited about this because not only is it the first openly gay mayor but also the second woman to be mayor. Our first female mayor, Kathy Whitmire, was absolutely fabulous. I just remember Houston being an exceptionally vibrant and interesting city to live in as a kid when she was in charge. Sadly, as all things go in politics she eventually left and the city has simply never been the same. So I am extremely hopeful that Annise Parker can do some great things for the city. Not to mention this is *huge* for the gay rights movement. Not only do we have another openly gay mayor but it’s in a relatively conservative town in a really conservative state where it is not that easy to get over the gay issue. I have always stood by the fact that Texans would come around eventually because we’re not as backwards as everyone seems to think we are and I believe this would finally be proof! I am so ecstatic that it’s my hometown that has made headlines about this. I am truly proud to be a Houstonian.

Kudos to you, Houston, for being the largest American city to elect an openly gay mayor 🙂

Way To Alienate People, Captain Genius-pants

Ok has anyone else seen that article that’s been making it’s way around about the guy at Wellesley? Yes, the one where he talks about how Wellesley girls are whores etc. I know Jezebel isn’t exactly somewhere that I frequent but I found this posted on my facebook news feed and was absolutely horrified. Being a women’s college graduate I can understand that it is difficult for a man to live at a women’s college. I remember my first year when one of my friends came to visit me (Daniel is generally quite the ladies man) and even he was a bit intimidated and flustered. We can be quite a fierce and intimidating group when you put us all together in one teeny location, I’ll give you that. But my dear, I really don’t think it’s a brilliant idea to call your peers whores. I mean these are the women you have to see on a daily basis, it’s just not that bright. And if your chief complaint is that you aren’t getting laid then perhaps the label “whore” is a misnomer, I believe the word you’re looking for would be “prude” (which I doubt would win you many friends either but would, at least in my opinion, be a touch more acceptable). Also I believe that you’re missing the point entirely of doing an exchange if the only purpose of this is “to get laid”. I mean I’m sure it would be a nice bonus but I believe exchange programs were instituted so that you could learn in a different environment not to pick up girls. Then again, what do I know, I’m sure had he been at Mount Holyoke I would be just another one of those “whores”.

A Sad Farewell To A Real Innovator

Whatever one might say about Michael Jackson, no one can deny that the man was extremely talented and changed the face of music. I do not believe the world has seen such genius in ages. He changed the entire shape of how popular music was viewed and what performers were expected to do. And he began his magnificent career at the age of 5.

People have speculated for a long time about how messed up he was and all the drama surrounding children but this is a man that was in the spotlight from a very small age. And not just one of those one-hit wonders or children in commercials etc, this is someone who was literally a huge star – comparable to Mozart in my opnion, simply due to the age and the type of change he created – from the age 5 onwards. I think to expect perfection in our celebrities/public figures is a bit much considering humans are inherently flawed. I think the loss of Michael Jackson is the loss of someone truly remarkable. It’s always a sad day when that happens. I surely hope that people will remember him for the innovative genius that he was and not the drama that surrounded his later life.

Has The Infatuation Worn Off?

It appears that at least for Maureen Dowd it has, which makes me rather happy because it did get a bit tiresome to read her generally quippy columns that were just glowing reports of the soon-to-be commander-in-chief. This most recent op-ed was actually quite refreshing as she brought up our fearless leader’s ability to crush a fly and I quote:

If only the president could be so brazen about pushing through gay rights and health care.

Thank you, Ms. Dowd. I couldn’t’ve said it better myself. I sure wish our fearless leader would be a little more fearless with things that mattered than with, say, a fly.

This has actually been quite a sore point for me recently because I have quite a few friends (who just happen to be straight males) that have been so baffled by the reaction of many gay activists at Obama’s inaction. Personally, I think we should let gay marriage go through the states before we try any federal action, it just seems to be a bit premature to me but I can understand why many people are upset about it. They backed a candidate who pledged allegiance to equal rights but is now incredibly quiet on the issue now that he is in office. I find that disappointment quite understandable, though considering he did say on the campaign trail that he does not believe in gay marriage even though he does believe in equal rights I am not all that shocked. So in general, I’m quite glad that some of the Obama fan camp are actually looking at him objectively.

It’s Like Dr. Doolittle

Well perhaps a little different but I was certainly super excited to hear about this study in this morning’s paper. Apparently there are some scientists who have managed to extract the human language gene and insert it into mice. Now tell me, how cool is that? Because I think it’s pretty darn cool. Some days I really wish I went into research, there are just so many mind-boggling things discovered like that all the time. Granted, I’m sure there are a lot of failures that go along with it but just think of how cool it would be to have a talking mouse!

I wonder what this would mean if we actually managed to create other animals that could talk. How would that change the balance of the world? I mean I would imagine that humans have this ability which has given us an edge over the rest of the animal kingdom. I mean we don’t have the sharp teeth or nails or really many other mechanisms of defense. What we do have is our intellect and our ability to communicate in a very robust manner. I mean if other animals could communicate in the same robust manner that we do would that mean that we are leading the way to our demise? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think we should stop this research because I think it is seriously awesome. But I do wonder what the implications could be.

Actually it sortof draws my mind to Wicked, I don’t recall the play as well but in the book there were animals and Animals. The Animals were conscious and had the ability to speak and understand language whereas the animals were like those in our world. It would be interesting to see if something like that could happen in reality. And also I always wonder why we humans want to dress animals up in clothing. Perhaps if they had the ability to communicate they would tell us that fashion is a ridiculous social construct. And that walking on two legs is for the birds. But who really knows? There are so many possibilities.

Honest World

I remember the first time I heard Catie Curtis sing Honest World, I thought it was a great song but it didn’t really hit home for me. I mean it was great for my older wiser gay friends who had partners and were serious about life but I was 19 and not quite there yet (to put it mildly). As I’ve grown up (and I’ll put a disclaimer here: I’m not that grown up – I’m barely 26 and certainly not ready to discuss marriage) I’ve found that the song rings more and more truly with me. Perhaps it’s just because I live in the real world now and not the cocoon of a wonderful liberal arts women’s college set in the valley of progressive Western Massachusetts.

I have been meaning to write something like this since I heard about Iowa’s Supreme Court decision to allow same sex marriages. I think it is truly significant because it finally means that accepting gay marriage is not just something that those trendy liberal east/west coast progressives do. Surely Iowa is different and has been for quite some time. In fact I was reading this fab editorial in the Times about how they had some landmark cases about slavery and segregation as well. But it really makes me proud that somewhere in the mid-west where it’s not “cool” to be progressive, it’s not “cool” to have gay friends, it’s not “cool” to be a hippie but apparently it is “cool” to believe in equality. So thank you Iowa for that.

Also I couldn’t be more pleased about Vermont actually voting in legislation to allow gay marriages. Sometimes, I do miss the progressiveness of the New England countryside, even if it does mean that I’d have to give up living in a real city. Alas, I can only hope that Illinois and Chicago won’t be too far behind all these people.

Also I’d like to know what’s up with California and New York? I mean really aren’t they supposed to be our beacons of liberalism? Why are they so behind the 8 ball, I mean MA, CT, IA and VT are already light years ahead of them. Shame on you California, you call yourself the bastion of liberals and yet you actually managed to pass Prop 8. And New York hasn’t even tried, that’s almost equally if not more upsetting. Ok I’ll stop giving those two a hard time now. It’s a tough battle anywhere, I do realize that. But it would be nice if two of the largest democratic states could jump on the bandwagon. It’s a good one to be on in my opinion.

Now, I’d be even happier if one of the southern states *cough*Texas*cough* would jump on the bandwagon because I think that would really be putting equality for all to the test. (Yes, I am still holding out for Texas to surprise us all and support gay marriage or at least do something similar to what Iowa has, I still have faith that my home state can be and is progressive). I have hope and faith that it will happen eventually all over the US. But I believe that will take some more time. And one of my friends actually found this cool little blog that maps out the time-line for knocking down bans on same sex marriages. Welcome to progress my friends.

In the immortal words of Catie Curtis:
Some day, I trust
Love will make an honest world for us