Nov 10 2008

Can’t have a bunch of fags queering the deal

How, one asks, wiping a drip of spittle from lips slackened in disbelief, do American voters simultaneously elect a black dude president and ban gay marriage in a single swipe of the always-reliable electronic voting machine? Well, I am the world’s foremost authority, so I’ve got a couple of theories.

The Dawning of a New Post-Patriarchal Tomorrow

The New Obam-A-Merica is young, happy, hopey, changey. We’ll ban gay marriage, OK? but only to pave the way for the inevitable ban on straight marriage, whereupon we liberate millions from the stifling, dimensionless, heteronormative purgatory of the nuclear family, and from movies where beautiful brides claw each other’s eyes out under whimsical comedic circumstances.

Not buying that one? Well, how about

Mass Delusion

Bizarre as it may seem, many Americans mistake for truth certain fanciful narratives the central figure of which is an invisible, immortal male superdude who lives in a cloud palace and who is as obsessed with human reproductive material as he is with smiting infidels. Quite a large chunk of the populus are so besotted by this fantasy, they think the invisible superdude is actually real. They chit-chat with him, bargain with him, build fancy castles for him, use special gang signs with him, seek to appease his wrath, cajole him into intervening on their personal behalf, sacrifice the lives of the less fortunate in exchange for such filthy lucre as he sees fit to confer upon them, announce to the world that they believe in him so their peers won’t mistake them for amoral atheists, and reinterpret his myths in whatever manner will most benefit their own status in this super-fubar set-up.

As a result of the surprisingly widespread belief that this or any other fictional character ought to be given carte blanche in matters of social policy, quite a few inconsistencies plague the American socio-political scene. One such inconsistency is the dissonance between “liberty and justice for all” — a quaint story Americans tell themselves about themselves — and liberty and justice the godbag way — which puts into practice the immortal cloud-abiding superdude’s ideology that certain folks are more equal than others.

The fundamental irrationality of professional political godbagism makes things danged awkward for people like women, who in reality are human beings, but who are confined by the godly narrative to the humiliating role of meatsocks. It’s also awkward for queer women, who are not enough like traditional meatsocks, and for queer men, who are too much like traditional meatsocks. We don’t get to chillax and be ourselfs. Somebody is always threating to rape us or kick our ass or suddenly come down with Gay Panic Disorder.

The mass delusion known as homophobia is a sub-species of misogyny.

A black dude can get elected president, but a woman? When swine defy gravity. Racism flourishes, all righty, but it’s covert, on the DL, the embarrassing private luxury of elderly honkys and parochial-minded nincompoops, an imp of the perverse the public indulgence of which is becoming increasingly difficult both to justify and to legislate[1]. It seems safe to say that if the majority of Americans wished to cling to racism as a defining aspect of their cult, last week’s election would have had rather a different outcome.

Misogyny, on the other hand, is bullet-proof. It’s not merely tolerated, it’s openly celebrated in the American street, the American courtroom, the American bedroom, the American internet. Except for a puny consortium of bruised and contused blamers calling blindly to the Vaginatariat through mists of dime store cologne, even the victims of this oppression embrace it. Thus is it possible for American voters to view straight male Barack Obama as a human being, but to view the queers seeking some of that liberty and justice as a bunch of deviant meatsock mutations to throw under the bus.

As mentioned earlier, heterosexual marriage is the primary unit of patriarchy. It’s how dudely power is transferred from generation to generation, and must not fall into enemy hands. Homos, apparently, are not equal enough to perform the sacred ritual of the white-veiled pussy presentation.

1. Excepting, of course, the hysteria over “illegal aliens” — the screamingly deprecatory name given to that group of people who do America’s shit work for shit pay — which hysteria has climaxed with citizen militias — many of them, I am sad to say, Texans — patrolling the borders with flame-throwers and nukular bombs to keep our country free of suspicious swarthy types.


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  1. sarahcl

    If two men or two women were allowed to marry, it would mean having to treat marriage as a social contract between two equal human beings, rather than one human being owning another.

    There are all the slippery-slope arguments the social conservatives (or whatever you want to call them) come up with; it will lead to men marrying children, or animals, or lots of women, or blow-up-dolls. All of which reflect the fact that they see heterosexual marriage as a man owning a`woman.

    So allowing gay marriage means acknowledging that women are human.

  2. Zooeyibz

    “Racism flourishes, all righty, but it’s covert, on the DL, the embarrassing private luxury of elderly honkys…. Misogyny, on the other hand, is bullet-proof. It’s not merely tolerated, it’s openly celebrated”

    That’s been on my mind a lot, recently. I’ve started doing a misogyny litmus test, to keep myself on guard: any time I read or hear a statement about women/girls I just substitute the word “black”.

    Suddenly I see throw-away comments like: “Women are too emotional” or “Everyone knows girls do worse at maths” for the unacceptable
    woman-hatred that they are.

  3. NicoleGW

    “It seems safe to say that if the majority of Americans wished to cling to racism as a defining aspect of their cult, last week’s election would have had rather a different outcome.”

    I’ve gotta disagree with this. According to exit polls, white people voted overwhelmingly against Obama. So if the presidential election had come down to us white folks the same way the California ballot initiative fell predominantly to straight folks, Obama would have lost by a larger margin than that by which Prop 8 failed.

    And that’s sort of funny, seeing as how other ethnic groups voted just as overwhelmingly in favor of Obama. So either white people were in on some secret that no one else was privy to, or there’s a really big proportion of white folks who are racist asshats in a not so secret way.

    (Exit poll data from NYT.)

  4. ivyleaves

    I think this post hit the nail on the head:


    I heard people I know who were not against genderless marriage thoroughly convinced that their young children would be taught about gay sex in school. These are people who travelled far enough to accept marriage between same sex couples, even to accept one of their children coming out as gay but only if “they had no choice that it was part of them and not something that they had forced on them.” Completely unable to accept that heterosexual brainwashing is also forced on them and that they might get pretty fucked up behind that. Very sad. I tried to plant the seeds for the next election.

  5. cafesiren

    As a result of the surprisingly widespread belief that this or any other fictional character ought to be given carte blanche in matters of social policy…

    This got me thinking: If we’re going to let a fictional character run the show, can we at least think of a better one? The only one that springs to mind is the Wife of Bath.


  6. B. Dagger Lee

    This could all be solved very quickly if good queer ladies just rode out on their horses and stole some wives for themselves.

  7. another voice

    Zooeybiz _ how depressing. How painful. How true.

  8. Sylvanite

    I can scarcely think of any fictional character who wouldn’t be superior to Yahweh. That Yahweh is one angry sky-dude. How about Bullwinkle? Big Bird? Pippi Longstocking?

    Well, I don’t know if 43% of whites voting for Obama isn’t actually better than I would have expected overall even a couple years ago. I live in Philly, and Obama took all the predominantly white neighborhoods except South Philly. Even my neighborhood, which has traditionally been working class and is still filled to the gills with white bigots. He did really well in the Chestnut Hill neighborhood. It does seem to be getting better, though slowly.

    Still, as much as I disliked Sarah Palin, the post-election blame reeks of misogyny. I can’t think of any veep candidate getting so much blame, though I was only in high school when Geraldine Ferraro was on Mondale’s ticket in 1984. Was she blamed for Mondale’s failure in any way?

  9. Jeanne

    Twisty, I love your perspective on this. This post is one of the most rational, logical assessments of what the hell happened last Tuesday that I have found. As a transplant in a red state in the buckle of the Bible belt, I would have expected something like this from the twerps ’round these parts, but not from my enlightened peeps in Cali. No way.

    But then your post reminded me so eloquently of the fact that, yes, there are godbags everywhere, even in the “blue states.” And while racism becomes less and less socially acceptable, misogyny (and it’s fugly little offshoot, homophobia) are alive and well and living in the Golden State, apparently. Not to mention every other state.

    I to the B to the T to the P, dammit.

  10. goblinbee

    What I’ve read is that getting out the black and Latino vote all over the country also affected passage of Prop 8. These are folks who wanted a change from whitey, but they tend to vote the status quo when it comes to marriage. It’s too bad, because Obama would have done fine in California without these votes. Once at the polls, they voted yes to both.

  11. jess

    I’ve gotta disagree with this. According to exit polls, white people voted overwhelmingly against Obama.

    56% of women voted for Obama. 53% of all voters were women. 49% of men voted for Obama. Kerry didn’t get this much support from women. I have to wonder if that statistic your using isn’t just the male vote. White women don’t count as white people?

  12. AoT

    Some thoughts here. First, black men are targeted with huge amounts of violence, the method of violence is fundamentally different than that used against women, but that doesn’t take away the fact that it happens. Just because using the n-word in polite company isn’t acceptable doesn’t mean that racism has somehow lessened.

    Moreover, black men are not the only people who are attacked by racism, everyone who isn’t white is. The fact that a lot of white people don’t see these things happen doesn’t make it any better.

  13. AoT

    On exit polls:

    CNN exit polls* say that 55% of all whites votes for McCain, 53% of white women and 57% of white men.

    Not all women in that 56% of women who voted for Obama are white.


  14. NicoleGW

    “56% of women voted for Obama. 53% of all voters were women. 49% of men voted for Obama. Kerry didn’t get this much support from women. I have to wonder if that statistic your using isn’t just the male vote. White women don’t count as white people?”

    I can’t say I know much about the analysis behind the exit polls, though I doubt that they counted people separately for the ethnic groups and gender groups. Either way, the statistics you mention are not mutually exclusive. You can try just scribbling some numbers with a small sample size, and it works out. Say you poll 20 women. You know that 12 voted for Obama. Now, say that 12 of those women were white, and of those 12, only 5 voted for Obama. All this means is that of the 8 remaining women, 7 must have voted for Obama.

  15. Chandelle

    I used to be LDS (Mormon) and I still live with a lot of Mormons here in SLC. So I’ve been hearing about Prop. 8 for weeks on end now. I’ve heard the argument several times by this point that because so many black people voted down gay marriage, that must mean that it’s not really a civil rights issue. Because, you know, black people get to decide who is really being oppressed. And if you’re oppressed it’s impossible to oppress anyone else. Kinda like the Mormons were oppressed for polygamy so they ran away to start their own country and now it’s impossible that they might be turning around and victimizing others. Sure.

    Dear not-god, I have got to get out of this state.

  16. PhysioProf

    The state should stay out of the “marriage” business completely, and give absolutely no legal weight whatsoever to religious mumbo-jumbo ceremonies. In this legal regime, any two people who desire the traditional legal appurtenances of “marriage” need to go to City Hall (or whatever registry office) and execute a legal document that creates the legal relationship.

    This way, religious fuckwits can keep their “marriage” to themselves–just as they do “baptism”, “bar mitzvah”, etc–and the state can continue furthering its legitimate interest in encouraging the formation of families headed by two people, but without entangling the apparatus of the state in wackaloon religious fuckwittery.


  17. Belfusto

    I’m in complete agreement with PhysioProf. (and really like the wording, especially that last line. wackaloon? fuckwittery? Wish I could be that creative…..peckin’ mother hunchie…….)I work with a lady who is a Mormon. She doesn’t preach, bad-mouths no one, never heard her cuss no matter how mad she got. She’s never told me that I’m going to hell or that I need to change my ways. She just lives her religion and keeps it between her and her god, the way it should be. I respect her for that. She also heard me tell a coworker about a couple in Sacramento who recently married, only to have that now jeopardized. Later she told me that she felt bad for what happened, that it just isn’t right that they shouldn’t have their rights taken away.

  18. TG

    Whoa, everyone, let up on minorities. While it’s true that minorities voted overwhelmingly for Prop 8, so did rural whites. And there are more of those.

    If you want to blame someone, it’s gotta be Whitey.

    Personally, I blame the patriarchy.

  19. Pinko Punko

    Civil bar mitzvahs for everyone!

  20. slade

    ‘With the power bestowed in me, I know pronounce you ‘husband and wife.’ Or ‘wife and wife.’ Or ‘husband and husband.’

    That power which is bestowed to the religious person doing the ceremony is THE STATE!

    Uck. I don’t much care for the institution of marriage…I always thought there were ways to set things up without The State getting involved.

    But I realize that when someone says you can’t have something, then you want it even more.

    Having love institutionalized seems wrong to me.

  21. Tupe

    Goblinbee, I think you need to check yourself on two points.

    First of all, the status quo you’re referring to was not established by oppressed POC so let’s keep with the theme and let the blame rest where it actually falls, eh?

    Second, when historically disenfranchised voters come out to vote in record numbers it is reflective that the status of their oppression is changing for the better. That’s a good thing. Your comment all but says that American doesn’t need THOSE people voting — those people, as in POC.

  22. Noshoes

    As a Californian, I wasn’t very surprised that Prop 8 passed. For months before the election, crazy pro-8 ads were running during Family Feud and Wheel of Fortune (my mom’s favorite shows), erroneously claiming that “children would be taught about gay marriage in public schools.” The thing that was weirdest about these ads was that they were acting as if gay marriage was some new thing being forced upon the unsuspecting Californian population by Gavin Newsom and renegade judges, when in fact it had been the law of the land for six months. I wanted to grab potential pro-8 voters by their lapels and ask exactly how their lives had changed in the last six months. Were they offended by pictures of happy gay people in their local newspapers? Were their children coming home from school burning with the desire to marry someone of the same sex?

    Voters fell for the same crap: that gay people are created by a “permissive” society rather than born that fucking way and that parents actually have some sort of control over whether their kids are straight or gay, a notion I would find highly amusing if it didn’t result in so many horrible outcomes: suicide, murder, depression, repression, estrangement, et al.

    Some people are trying to put a “race” spin on this, as if black and Latino people should be blamed for Prop 8’s passage. Bullshit. According to the young, gay, biracial man I talked to at the Coffee Bean yesterday in a very conservative part of town: “It’s the fuckers, those fuckers, the fuckers.” He meant white fuckers, conservative Christian assholes, bigots to the core. These people actually resented being called “bigots” because they voted for Prop 8.
    I’m sorry, would “asshole” be more appropriate?

    I have a long-term partner who works for the feds and was actually in the US Army. If I had a dick, we would both be covered under her benefits, but since my parts are female, I don’t count. It’s all so depressing, I’m afraid.

  23. sonia

    I realize Palin is a side note, but I was watching Hardball at the gym (the gym minions control the channel), and the volume was all the way up. Chris Matthews opened a segment on Palin with his Look Who’s Talking Now slogan and immediately dissed her in his first comment. Exaggerated, triumphant guffaws from the. whole. gym. Then he went on to say how she’d referred to some group of men as “jerks.”

    “That’s what she said!” he gloated. Hateful silence from gym.

    “Jerks” is my favorite political speech from 2008. I realize it was post-election and all, but I think Ms. Palin has set a great example for the kind of debate I’m looking forward to when everyone else gets tired of boy elections.

    Twisty, I’m glad you’re back! We had Prop 8 douchebags lining the corners here in NorCal. It was embarassing. One of the most “progressive” areas in the country? that’s scary.

  24. liberality

    You have a way of cutting through the crap and explaining things that make so much more sense to me. I love reading your blog. The comments are almost as good.

  25. Pinko Punko

    The people celebrating Prop 8 like they had won new lives that weren’t somehow filled with the sadness and degradation we all endure (certainly to differing extents) was also a depressing sidenote. When you set your own arbitrarily reachable bar for “happiness” and the generate actual elation over something that will have no tangible effect on your life, while hurting others, really gets to me. Oh crap, it looks like I’ve described sports, hobbies, Prop 8 fans, and many sorts of vicarious experiences. I don’t mean to denounce happiness of all kinds- just the shittiest kinds.

  26. slythwolf

    If a fictional character is going to be allowed input on how we run this country I would love to see that fictional character be Hothead Paisan. Or, I guess, if that’s too radical for the majority of Americans (and it is, obviously), Esme Weatherwax.

  27. speedbudget

    I vote for Edna Pontellier.

  28. goblinbee

    Tupe: “Your comment all but says that American doesn’t need THOSE people voting — those people, as in POC.”

    I realized that’s what it sounded like as soon as I sent and re-read it. Ack! Apologies to all. And, Tupe, thanks for being so gentle.

  29. Adam Myerson

    Thank god you’re back. Or someone. Thank someone.

  30. Chiroptera

    Unfortunately, even in defense of the right of same-sex couples to marry, slut-shaming is the name of the game: http://bgalrstate.blogspot.com/2008/11/okay-let-me-get-this-um-straight.html

  31. The Hedonistic Pleasureseeker

    My reaction to the vote: “There must be some mistake.” Oh well. If it weren’t for the stupid rules pertaining to health care and inheritance I’d say scrap marriage entirely. Even civil unions are too invasive. Why should the State give “permission” for ANYTHING having to do with our family lives? Why should the State dole out benefits for conforming to a social norm, and then deny it to others, if no one is being hurt by it?

    I think unrelated people whose “sex” or “gender” identification or “sex lives” are contrary to a norm, indeterminant or even non existent should be able to say “We are Family” and just HAVE IT BE SO. Have a handful of witnesses attest “Yup, they’re family.” Write it down. Get it notarized and file it somewhere (informing the state, not asking it for permission). Have a party or don’t. Sign up for health care as a group and pay the group rate. Write a will. And in the case of a medical emergency tell the ICU nurse to STFU and move over already, because You Are Family.

    These things seem self-evident to me. Maybe it’s my libertarian streak. I don’t like Authority. Maybe that’s it. Why can’t everyone just do it MY WAY? I want to be Queen and off the State’s head. Harumph.

  32. Ugly In Pink

    If it’s any consolation – this vote is going to get reversed. The ACLU’s appeal is on its way, and it’s a good one. They found a provision in the California constitution that says that any major changes to the constitution have to be passed by a 2/3 majority. Their argument is that creating exceptions to the equal protection and freedom of religion (they are also stopping liberal churches from marrying gays with the force of the law – that’s religious discrimination) provisions are major changes. And since it’s the California constitution, the people who get to decide whether they agree that those are major changes is the California Supreme Court, who made the decision that gave us gay marriage there in the first place.

    Hug a lawyer today!

  33. Blue Gal

    OMG have I been outed a shamed slut? Dang, now you know all my kinky proclivities.

    Making fun of a woman who exposes her breasts at her own wedding is not sexism. Please, we have come so far, let us NOT go back to the awful days when the word feminist was defined for us as “dour, humorless, anti-sex concern troll.” Twisty has done so much herself to erase that stereotype, I would hate to see it unearth itself in this of all places.

    If you want to engage me do it over at my place. I have too much respect for this here blog to use its threads as a debate platform.

    The post in question is linked above at Chiroptera at 8:31. Thanks for the traffic, hon.

  34. Ugly In Pink

    Also I love you Twisty – welcome back.

  35. tinfoil hattie

    I heard people I know who were not against genderless marriage thoroughly convinced that their young children would be taught about gay sex in school.

    And teaching kids about gay sex would be bad, why? That’s one question I’ve always had. They learn about het sex, in schools where sex ed is taught. In fact, the entire definition of sex is “man sticks penis in woman’s vagina.” Everything else is deviant, unless it’s something a het man wants. You know, like hot girl-on-girl action, or anal sex (with a woman, not a MAN, that would be GAY) or a blow job (from a woman, not a MAN, that would be GAY!).

    Also: so what if someone “turns” gay? What does that even mean? What if we posit that sexual response is sexual response, and in a non-patriarchal world, we’d all find ways to feel good sexually, whatever floated our boats? There wouldn’t be sexual shame & trauma, because in a non-patriarchy there wouldn’t be any reason to keep the “lessers” down. Because there wouldn’t be “lessers.”

  36. PhysioProf

    Civil bar mitzvahs for everyone!

    And let’s drink Jameson and do the motherfucking hora!1!111!!! w00t!

  37. AngryJules

    But Twisty, the good people of California have spoken! Isn’t it oppressive to silence the voices of our noble voters?!

    I heard some horseshit along those lines on CNN.

    Our leaders only care about popular opinion when it maintains the existing power structure.

  38. Omair

    In complete agreement with Hedonistic. Marriage is a socio-political institution of patriarchy. I don’t think that it can ever be degendered, even in a gay context. And then there’s the nuclear family…it is exploitative, it’s where gender conditioning starts, and child abuse happens.
    Besides, lately, I find myself agreeing with people who say that marriage destroys love. And there’s also the idea that a monogamous relationship can make you complacent and stop you from growing as a person. I think I read that in Jill Tweedie’s book ‘In the Name of Love’

  39. Omair

    In complete agreement with Hedonistic. Marriage is a socio-political institution of patriarchy. I don’t think that it can ever be degendered, even in a gay context. And then there’s the nuclear family…it is exploitative, it’s where gender conditioning starts, and child abuse happens.
    Besides, lately, I find myself agreeing with people who say that marriage destroys love. And there’s also the idea that a monogamous relationship can make you complacent and stop you from growing as a person. I think I read that in Jill Tweedie’s book ‘In the Name of Love’


    Oh Twisty it’s so good to have you back !!!!


    “Vaginatariat” !!!


    Y*O*U A*R*E* *A* G*E*N*I*U*S

  41. Kay

    Zooeybiz (and anyone else), check out a really interesting implementation of that litmus test here (sorry I can’t link it properly): http://www.cs.virginia.edu/~evans/cs655/readings/purity.html

  42. K

    Kay, that’s great! “Authoroon”! I love it! Thank you!

  43. Siún

    It’s lovely to hear you’re back, Twisty, especially because I’ve been wondering what you’ve thought of the US election ever since it happened. I think someone should mention (so I will!) the relief of the vast majority of the world, that while not participating in your (waggles fingers) ‘democracy’, is subject to it, that your alternative ‘fictional character’ has not been invested with the authority to kill whichever foreign civilians don’t look innocent enough to get on the domestic news. I’m still elated at your election result! While it’s obvious to anyone with half a brain that your leaders and ours are as capable of fucking everything up still further as they ever have been, the news that America has not once more obediently lined up behind the guy who promises to finish off the most other guys is a welcome surprise.

    And yeah, it’s still an all-guy game, with vagina-holders relegated to the cheerleading squad, to prance about within spitting distance of supporters of both teams. I’m still delighted to celebrate the first black US president. That does help me hope, for many things. One is that the process of getting to this point from a uniform parade of white guys has made the bullet-proofness of misogyny harder for many people to ignore.

    The willingness of so many people to ignore it indefinitely, and to accept unquestioningly statements about gender that they would recoil from if they were about race, is connected to the fact that your ordinary, ‘decent’ white guy now thinks he can imagine what it’s like to be black, but it’s still an extremely unusual man who can bear to seriously think of himself as a woman for long enough to consider the ramifications.

    Keep on blamin’


  44. MissPrism

    But Twisty, see what gay marriage has done to the UK. People have got it in their daft girlie heads that marriage is about partnership rather than ownership, and now look. Soon, you won’t even be able to murder your wife without being charged with murder!

  45. phiogistic

    That was a good paper, Kay. I am tired of the Mrs./Miss/Ms. thing, I don’t appreciate being forced to choose an honorific that refers to my status as being owned by a dude or not. I think from now on, I will check the box that says “Mr.”

  46. Buffy

    I must ask if anyone thinks the news reports stating that because black people voted in mass for Obama, and they’re all clearly homophobic (sarcasm on my part), they’re the reason Prop 8 passed.

    I am not sure if this was brought up before in the comment thread, but considering several other amendments banning civil rights to same sex couples passed throughout the nation, I am not sure the news story holds any water.

    I suspect it was reported to pass blame and force two minority groups to look at eachother with suspicion, when they’re still clearly thought of as less than by the god fearing white man/woman.

    Or maybe I am just drinking the koolade…

  47. niki

    Yay on ‘chillax’. If you’re in N. California, it’s ‘hella chillaxin’.

  48. larkspur

    I’m with PhysioProf. There are lots of good reasons for civil unions. We don’t live in an anarchy or a libertarian dream, we live in a society which has stuff and laws and procedures and OMG probate. Civil unions ought to be a matter of civil law, and separate from religious festivities. You can have your big wedding, your holy folk showering blessings upon you, but that’s all party stuff. The civil union paperwork, officially on file, is what counts, and them what has it is married. Or unionized. Nobody can go to court whimpering, “Ooh, but lookit, I have a fancy note from my priest!” because your priest is church, not state. The state can’t tell your priest to shut up, and your priest can’t tell the state what laws are kosher.

    Prop 8, I think, also served as an anxiety release valve. “By god, here’s something we can do to take back our lives which are spiraling out of our control ’cause of money and the recession and we’re torturing people oh noes we’re not, we’re not like that, are we? OMG GAYS!” Catapulting the school propaganda was some cold, sick shit. The “field trip” taken by a San Francisco class to be (cough) indoctrinated in teh gay? It was a surprise appearance at City Hall by children who were thrilled that their beloved teacher was getting married that day.

    Harvey Milk pointed out, back in the Gann Initiative days (when they were trying to keep gay teachers out of the classroom altogether), that if the lifestyles and choices of teachers were really that influential, there’d be a whole lot more nuns running around.

    It occurs to me that I might have written this exact thing on this exact same blog. Oh well. Here it is again.

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch: how’s our guy Stanley doing, Twisty?

  49. blondie

    This saddens me. Not living near Cal., I never dreamed Prop. 8 would pass. If it passed there, where wouldn’t it? (long sigh)

    Why are U.S. citizens so fearful?

  50. Paul Eddie

    I’ve been doing a slow burn for the last week over this Prop 8 stupidity. I thought it had a good chance of passing, because some part of California are very conservative. The more I’ve read about how out-of-state religious organizations went all out to make sure it passed, the more outraged I have become. It’s also very troubling since, now that they’ve pulled it off once, repeat performances are sure to follow.

  51. MarilynJean

    REALLY good analysis about race and the Prop 8 fall out can be found here: http://www.thetaskforce.org/blog/20081112-movement-building-post-mortem?tr=y&auid=4225368

    I think this is the same dilemma (among others) facing the feminist community (if that is the right word).

  52. Cycles

    First: Thank the everlovin’ sky cat! You have no idea how much I missed your posts.

    Next: By now you may have heard of this, but No on 8 folks, and their analogues in other states, are gearing up for Saturday marriage-equality rallies at city halls across the country. http://jointheimpact.wetpaint.com/

    I hope to roust many friends to show up and be counted. I plan to entice them with the prospect of an arts ‘n’ crafts session for making the signs. Everybody loves glitter.

  53. goblinbee

    Phiogistic, I thought the Ms. thing was so that you DIDN’T have to announce your dude-owned or not-owned self.

  54. MaryK

    Goblinbee, unfortunately, there are those that still hold to the idea “Ms” refers predominantly to a divorcee.

  55. The Hedonistic Pleasureseeker

    MaryK, the phrase “gay divorcee” just popped into my head. Maybe the meaning of “gay” and “Ms.” could be co-opted (again) to mean “I’m not owned, and that’s why I’m so happy.”

  56. givesgoodemail

    What dismayed me particularly about the Prop 8 vote is that a majority of Californian minorities, who have fought American societal “norms” for decades in an attempt to gain legal equality, were the same ones that denied such equality to yet another minority.
    BTW, fuck the LDS. And the Catholic Church.

  57. EfrAnnon

    homophobia is a sub-species of misogyny.
    Isn’t gay marriage also misogynistic, though? It is piggybacking on het marriage, the institution that has impoverished, enslaved and abused billions of women over the past millennia. All those rights, benefits and other accoutrements are attached to marriage specifically so that men could show off their wealth with their own private stay-at-home maids/nannies/sex slaves.

    But the financial goodies aren’t the only attraction; there’s a status that goes with being a married person–because in our society relationships are still not seen as “real” unless marriage is involved–and that goes back to women being possessions. Thus we still have the virgins and the whores. The women you marry are virtuous and valuable, and the women you sleep with are inferior and disposable. Gay marriage doesn’t change any of this; it just creates a class of gays privileged over other gays.

    I get that a lot of people spend a considerable amount of their adult lives playing the mating game, but it’s very troubling that a person’s worth and entitlements are still tied to who is officially sleeping in her bed.

  58. Spiders

    “Ms” definitely means you’re either divorced or an old maid, it still makes a statement about marital status, whereas men get to keep that to themselves cos it doesn’t matter.

    I’d like to do away with prefixes altogether. Try getting an officious clerk or an online form to let you skip the prefix box. Impossible.

  59. Orange

    Really? I was Ms. when I was single, and I’ve been Ms. the whole time I’ve been married. I’ve never once heard that Ms. connotes “divorcee.”

    Whenever I make a donation online, it’s just in my name alone because there’s no “Ms. and Mr.” option (and of course, no “Ms. and Ms.” or “Mr. and Mr.,” or space to write two names).

  60. Emily

    I’ve never heard the idea that Ms. = divorcee or old maid (about which term: blech!). I’ve always understood it to be the honorific that makes no statement about dude (or lack thereof) – a feminist creation for that purpose specifically. Hence “Ms.” magazine, you know?

    Is this a generational difference? A regional one? It’s curious, at any rate

  61. Vinaigrette Girl

    I need to look up the citations but I gather that the Prop 8 pass was more due to older voters, as a class, than to people of colour as a class. The 18-to-34 demographic across the races voted against it.

    I do think that the LDS should be stripped of its tax-free status for engaging in a political campaign in violation of the rules granting it its exemption. Hit ’em in the pocketbook, it’s the only language they understand.

  62. speedbudget

    I’ve always thought Ms. was way of saying Mr. for women.

    I had a teacher who insisted that women came up with Ms. out of fear, not wanting predatory men to know if they were married or not. I tried to discuss that idea with her and mentioned that it was a way for women to avoid the “I’m his bitch” label, but she was adamant.

    I like the idea of just using Mr.

  63. Twisty

    I use “Dr.”

  64. Dr. Steph

    Your description of “fictional dude in the heavens” kept making me think of Lando Calrissian and that makes me smile.

    I’m Canadian and gay marriage (and divorce) are legal here. We’re staying out of the nation’s bedrooms so to speak.

    As far as I’m concerned until there is no marriage in the current legal framework, everyone should have it. It is probably one good way to hasten its demise.

  65. Ron Sullivan

    Just to conflate things: I have here on my desk a piece of pro-Prop 8 propaganda addressed to me as “Ms Veronica Sullivan.”

    I suppose it’s reasonable to assume that the thing was entirely machine-processed all the way from whatever accursed institution sold them whatever mailing list that came from, alas. I’d’ve liked to have given some godlicker just that tiny mental wedgie, you know?

    I’ve called myself “Ms”—when I’ve had to call myself anything—since the first time I heard the word. Or read it, I guess. For richer, for poorer, for single, shacked-up, and feet-to-the-fire legally married.

  66. Spiders

    I’ve used Dr and Mr, although using Dr when you’re not one can raise ethical issues.
    I would rather have the option of not using a prefix but that can send people into a real flap if you’re trying to buy car insurance over the phone, or open a bank account, because computers insist that one of the boxes be checked and you know, we’re all terrorists until proven otherwise these days.
    Seeing as it has been illegal on paper to discriminate based on gender or marital status for quite some time now, I really resent having to disclose either of them, and the option of Ms just isn’t enough I’m afraid.

  67. caitlinate

    I use Mr. most often but also occasionally Miss, Ms, Mrs, Dr and Sir. I’ve never been married and I’m female identifying but the whole ‘choice’ just seems stupid. I don’t understand why I need to have a prefix at all so I mix it up depending on what mood I’m in. Why does the person/machine/corporation taking my details needs to know what gender I am?! Is it going to change the manner in which my mail is delivered?! Change how my credit card is charged?!? Pfff!

  68. Maddog

    Oh, odious prefixes. I had a form that gave only Miss, Mrs or Mr as options(and you couldn’t opt out!), so I checked Mr because otherwise it irritated me too much.

  69. Twisty

    “using Dr when you’re not one can raise ethical issues.”

    Really? Why?

  70. Famous Soviet Athlete

    an invisible, immortal male superdude who lives in a cloud palace

    Is this the Superdude with the Kung Fu grip or the one with the Invisible Hand?

  71. Spiders

    “using Dr when you’re not one can raise ethical issues.”

    Really? Why?

    If you’re working closely with disadvantaged/disempowered people there is already a power differential, so if you’re attempting a non-oppressive practice perspective, then calling yourself Doctor isn’t exactly ethical.

    Also, even though I associate doctors with a particular socio-eco background, privileged middle class white male, there might still be that woman who has struggled against the odds to get herself through university and earn the title, so I’m a bit weird about just appropriating it, whereas I think nothing of calling myself Mr.

  72. Twisty

    Ha, I see what you’re getting at. I was referring to those instances when you’re filling out a magazine subscription form or something, and “Dr” is the only gender-free option. I assure you, I don’t swish around homeless shelters introducing myself as Dr Faster.

  73. emallina

    Ms. doesn’t imply divorcee or ‘old maid’ – it’s the standard prefix for most women these days, whether married or not. For all of you (women) who say you use ‘mr.’ or ‘dr.’ – what do you do at work? All of my work mail is addressed to “Ms. emallina.” Also, I would never use “Mrs.” or “Miss” in a professional setting. nope. Always ‘Ms.’

  74. jezebella

    “Ms.” means neither divorced nor aged & single in the U.S. The term “old maid” is repellent, by the way.

    I like to check Ambassador or Colonel whenever possible.

  75. Azundris

    «We’re staying out of the nation’s bedrooms so to speak.»

    Maybe it’s just me, but that always sounds like «If hubby violates you, you’re on your own» to me.

  76. caitlinate

    A friend of mine booked a flight with her “real” title of Dr. Someone on the plane got sick and they asked her if she could help. Too bad she was a Doctor of Critical Theory…

  77. Janet

    I was sorely tempted to tick “Bishop” when signing on a new mobile phone the other day.

  78. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    Azundris says:

    Maybe it’s just me, but that always sounds like «If hubby violates you, you’re on your own» to me.

    Hey, when I make the law, it’s gonna say «If hubby violates you, pick your favorite episode of ‘Snapped’ and just go with it.»

  79. Spiders

    “The term “old maid” is repellent, by the way.”

    I meant it as in the eyes of The Patriarchy. The same way we use “meat sock”.

    As far as using “Ms” maybe it is a generational thing, maybe it’s regional, or both.
    Either way, its not acceptable to have a different set of options to men, and I don’t think its even acceptable to have to use a prefix at all.

  80. MightyAxon


    Twisty, I had an ironic experience after reading your (as usual) riveting prose about godbagism, etc. In another browser window I was shopping for a new shower curtain…yes this sometimes must be done.

    Lo and behold, I found Jesus on a shower curtain. Here’s the link, but it probably won’t be active after 11/26:


    or you can search for “Face of Jesus on shower curtain” on ebay.

    Here’s the description from ebay, altho’ you really have to see the photos to get the full effect.

    You may, as I did, ask yourself: What??? Soap Scum Jesus is only worth $2500????


  81. MightyAxon

    Forgot the description from ebay:

    “The face of Jesus, on a shower curtain. Face appeared in soap, that was dried onto the curtain. The image is about 3 inches big. Face shown in a 5×7 frame, the other picture is of the shower curtain it was cut out of. Email for more info.”

  82. Woman Voter

    “Banning same-sex marriage is a form of gay bashing” -Coretta Scott King

    Dolores Huerta on Equality in Marriage, Human Rights and Choice

    and the opposition:

    Delegate Selection (LGBT inclusion as delegates…”Influential individuals” Donna Brazile took the position that there be no change…video tape 10:58)


    I agree, misogyny is bullet proof in our society. Women and the LGBT communities were thrown under the bus in this election cycle.

  83. Matthew Hayden

    Methinks humans of both genders are permeated by laziness and fear, with perhaps a powerful emphasis on the former, giving them in their minds something of that justification they wish their life choices could ever illicit. Patriarchy is ingrained in many things that it actually doesn’t have to be, simply because it was the practice of the last generation, and so on, and by those mind-numbingly frustrating mechanisms of history has been powerful to the Nth power ever since European thought was hi-jacked by Christianity – not that the Celtic and Germanian pagan cultures were blameless, but there was no imagining, or fetishising, of women so far as can be extrapolated from where we stand in the century de la twenty-first.

    Laziness to me equates to acceptance of what is around one simply because it is around one. Perhaps that “good” upbringing described in other posts on this site had its part to play in that. People are very accepting of things that last, even if those things are a slavery.

  1. last word on the election

    […] man as president because he is still a man, whereas women in power seem unnatural to many.  Twisty posted this after the election on her blog: A black dude can get elected president, but a woman? When swine […]

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