Care Bear Villains

“If two people can attack you by loving each other you’re not a “real man,” you’re a Care Bear villain.” via 5 Reasons Homophobia Is Unmanly « Man Cave Daily.

I’m not in love with this website but this is one of the funniest “don’t be a homophobic d-bag” one-liners I’ve seen in a long time.

Gay Marriage Bill: This has been a wonderful day. I only wish the 14-year-old me could have seen it – Comment – Voices – The Independent

“Cold terror was entirely rational for a gay kid in the nineties. Only two weeks earlier Freddie Mercury had died of an Aids-related illness. One of thousands. Derek Jarman. Keith Haring. Rock Hudson. Rudolph Nureyev. Even the ethereal were doomed. What hope would I have? But it wasn’t just HIV/Aids, it was the law – the very mechanism designed to protect and defend loomed down unjustly, ensuring my vision of the future was Chekhov-bleak.

What did it feel like to be a gay teenager back then? The following thoughts ran in a depressive loop: I will not be able to have sex legally until I am 21. My teachers are not allowed to talk to me about being gay. Any business can refuse my custom. Future employers are free to fire me. Violence and hatred will stalk me, a prison for no wrongdoing. Aids could well bring a gasping, early death. I will never have children. I will never enjoy the family life I was raised within. I will never marry.

Imagine inflicting those thoughts on a child.

No one can go back and comfort me – or anyone from my generation. But at no time since then have I wished more desperately that I could return brandishing a newspaper to bring the Good News: Look! In 22 year’s time the law will be completely on your side! Protection and equality! Teachers can talk to their pupils. Drugs give people with HIV near-normal life expectancy. You can have children. And the change that would have meant the most, because we all lean towards love’s light like saplings: you can get married.” via Gay Marriage Bill: This has been a wonderful day. I only wish the 14-year-old me could have seen it – Comment – Voices – The Independent.

Other important stuff that happened today- “How Wendy Davis spearheaded the first crowdsourced filibuster”

Wendy Davis, after the end of the epic filibuster

“Last night, Texas state Senator Wendy Davis led a 13-hour filibuster that concluded with what may be the first time in history intense crowd-participation directly and immediately influenced legislation.

In other words, Davis was the lightning rod for the world’s first crowdsourced filibuster.

It’s hardly the first time a government body in the U.S. has tried to legislate on abortion, and hardly the first time someone engaged in a heroic effort to stop it.

So why Wendy Davis, why Texas, and why now?

From the beginning, Davis sought crowd participation, as she urged her constituents and supporters to share their experiences with abortion via her website so that she could read public testimonials on the senate floor. Her pre-filibuster war cry, delivered via Twitter, was retweeted more than 9,000 times.”  via The Daily Dot – How Wendy Davis spearheaded the first crowdsourced filibuster.

Senator Wendy Davis led a filibuster which prevented the passage of one of the most restrictive anti-choice bills in the country.  During the 13 hour filibuster she could not stop speaking, and was required speak only on the topic of the bill.  She could not sit, lean, eat, drink or use the bathroom.  She wore sneakers and a back brace, but I can’t imagine how exhausted she must have been afterwards.

Leticia Van de Putte

I don’t want to forget the contributions of Senator Leticia Van de Putte.  Earlier Tuesday she attended her father’s funeral, but still made it to the filibuster.  Late in the evening, after her motion was either not recognized or adjourned, she asked “Did the President hear me or did the President hear me and refuse to recognize me?… At what point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over her male colleagues in the room?” Source  Her commentary kicked off a standing ovation and an even more epic crowd-based filibuster (see move about that below).

More info on how “the people’s filibuster” went down is here, here and here.  I’d write a rich piece about why this matters, but this piece written by an activist who was in Austin for the filibuster does it far better than I ever could. (Emphasis is my own.)

“1. Senator Wendy Davis read countless stories into the official record – and on live stream –  from women who were not allowed to testify in the House, or who sent their stories in specifically for the filibuster. This is an unprecedented airing of women’s experiences with abortion, and I cannot emphasize enough how crucial it is that these stories are shared widely.
2. The night, and the session, already extraordinary, culminated in what I can only describe as the people’s filibuster. With just over 10 minutes left in the special session, and with efforts to derail Sen. Davis’ filibuster in full desperate swing, the packed gallery erupted in applause and then a standing O when Senator van de Putte exasperatedly asked if a female legislator needed to raise her hand to be heard over her male colleagues. Then collectively, the people realized their power and simply DID NOT STOP CLAPPING. It’s as if we realized together, all at once, that we could disrupt business as usual, and that we could keep it up until the clock ran out. AND WE DID. This is the kind of collective and mass action that has been missing from American politics. It’s crucial that we realize that WE did this. Yes, Wendy Davis is amazing and inspiring. But so are we. 
3. This brings me to my final point. The TX senate tried to cheat their way into passing the bill illegally after the session had officially ended. But the thousands of people in the Capitol, and the hundreds of thousands following via the Internet made it impossible for them to get away with it. They clearly were pushed to the point of having to decide how scared they were of the people. Despite the deafening crowds, they thought they could still pull it off. They were wrong and within a few hours they had to concede that their illegal passage was indeed defeat. Again, WE did that. And we have to continue to do that. Sen. Davis was indeed phenomenal today. But we need to understand that we have the power; we can’t hand it over to legislators, no matter how cool. Don’t relax with this victory. It’s not over. Far from it. Let this buoy you into more action.” The People’s Filibuster

On the 10th anniversary of the Lawrence v Texas decision

“In a pair of major victories for the gay rights movement, the Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that married same-sex couples were entitled to federal benefits and, by declining to decide a case from California, effectively allowed same-sex marriages there.” via Supreme Court Bolsters Gay Marriage With Two Major Rulings – NYTimes.com.

Kickstarter stands up against rape and sexual coercion, aka “Two quality apologes in one week”

Earlier this week notorious “ex-gay” organization Exodus International’s Alan Chambers made a quality apology, and yesterday Kickstarter did the same.  Two major apologies that both avoided the “I’m sorry you were offended” squirrely apologies cliches.  Kickstarter fucked up, and then they did a great job of fessing up.  They owned their wrongness, apologized, explained what they will do differently going forward, and then donated $25,000 to RAINN.

For those of you who haven’t heard about the Kickstarter kerfuffle, it involved a campaign to publish a “seduction guide” which was (in my opinion) basically a guide on how to become a rapist, or at the very least encourages men to ignore women’s clearly stated boundaries.   The author disagrees, and I think that his disagreement is either a deliberate load of hooey, or shows a basic lack of understanding of consent culture. Here are some choice pieces of the text:

Even when a girl rejects your advances, she KNOWS that you desire her. That’s hot. It arouses her physically and psychologically….

From now on you must ASSUME that she is attracted to you and wants to be ravished….

Physically pick her up and sit her on your lap. Don’t ask for permission. Be dominant. Force her to rebuff your advances….

If at any point a girl wants you to stop, she will let you know. If she says “STOP,” or “GET AWAY FROM ME,” or shoves you away, you know she is not interested. It happens. Stop escalating immediately and say this line:

“No problem. I don’t want you to do anything you aren’t comfortable with.”

Memorize that line. It is your go-to when faced with resistance. Say it genuinely, without presumption. All master seducers are also masters at making women feel comfortable. You’ll be no different. If a woman isn’t comfortable, take a break and try again later.

All that matters is that you continue to try to escalate physically until she makes it genuinely clear that it’s not happening.  Source (Bolding is part of the original text.)

This isn’t seduction, this is boundary crossing.  Knowing a man desires me is not always (or even usually) arousing; it’s neutral if done well, sweet and a little sexy if done VERY well, and scary and threatening if done badly.   “Try again later” is the wrong fucking message.  “GET AWAY FROM ME” does not mean “I’m unsure”, it means “GET AWAY FROM ME”.  “STOP” does not mean, “I want you to try again” it means “STOP.”    Shoving you away does not mean “make me feel comfortable and then I’ll say yes” it means “you have made me feel UNCOMFORTABLE, IT’S NOT HAPPENING.”  The recommendations in this guide are built on a coercive, antagonistic model of seduction which is antithetical to honest, safe, loving relationships.

And to their credit, Kickstarter listened to objections, looked at the situation, realized they were in the wrong and apologized.  Yes, they probably did so partly to mollify their audience and make the hooplah die down, but they also stood up against violence against women and gave a sizable chunk of cash to an organization that does important sexual assault prevention and survivor support work.  Here are my favorite bits of the Kickstarter apology post:

We were wrong….

Let us be 100% clear: Content promoting or glorifying violence against women or anyone else has always been prohibited from Kickstarter. If a project page contains hateful or abusive material we don’t approve it in the first place. If we had seen this material when the project was submitted to Kickstarter (we didn’t), it never would have been approved. Kickstarter is committed to a culture of respect….

(T)oday Kickstarter will donate $25,000 to an anti-sexual violence organization called RAINN. It’s an excellent organization that combats exactly the sort of problems our inaction may have encouraged.We take our role as Kickstarter’s stewards very seriously. Kickstarter is one of the friendliest, most supportive places on the web and we’re committed to keeping it that way. We’re sorry for getting this so wrong.

Plug and Play Organizer

Angie Tupelo:

A fantastic example of a modern love letter, and as everyone knows I’m a sucker for flattery. Thanks love.

Originally posted on your passport to complaining:

i’ve organized lots of different types of events: conferences, arrest actions, political campaigns, social gathering, work parties and festivals.  The job of organizing often splits into two broad parts – logistics and content.

puzzle-pieces-300x225

Logistics organizers make sure that all the registration fees are paid, that ride shares are organized, that the site is prepped, that speakers or workshop givers are picked up at the train station, that the press releases goes out and the promotion is done, that the event program or action fingerbook is compiled and proofed, that the dry erase board has working markers or the participants know their rights and have lawyer numbers written on their arms, that the food is prepared or the pot lucks don’t have 16 deserts and no main course, and that there is bail money somewhere to get our people out of jail if needed.

Content organizers figure out who is going to…

View original 319 more words

Charles Ramsey is still a hero – Salon.com

“(T)he fact that a convicted abuser intervened to stop abuse is a good thing, not a scandal….To dismiss the character Ramsey showed in rescuing Berry isto suggest that nobody who’s ever done something bad should try to do something good, because the bad will always matter more….He did something heroic, and his past can’t change that. It only makes it more remarkable.”  Charles Ramsey is still a hero – Salon.com.