Pope Francis on Monday continued to recast the Catholic Church’s image by focusing on its inviting, merciful aspects, this time shocking a planeload of reporters by saying of homosexuality: “Who am I to judge?”
“If they accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them?” the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics said in a remarkably candid and off-the-cuff news conference en route to Rome from Brazil. “They shouldn’t be marginalized.”
The pope’s seemingly casual remark was another example of his approachable style, which was on full display during his visit to Rio de Janeiro for World Youth Day. He carried his own bag onto the plane and traveled around Rio in a small Fiat without being shielded by hordes of security. He met with recovering drug addicts in a hospital and condemned inequality in a visit to crime-ridden slums.
He made his comments about gays, signaling that the church looks on them as brothers and sisters, as he fielded questions from reporters for an 80-minute stretch, at times leaning on the back of an airplane seat as if he were just another passenger. With his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, reporters had to submit questions ahead of time, and the Vatican decided which ones the pontiff would answer.
… His predecessor made remarks that many gay Catholics interpreted as hostile. Even though Benedict called on Catholics to show “great respect for [gay] people,” he oversaw the publication of a church document that called homosexual inclinations “disordered” and called for men with “deep-seated” gay tendencies to be barred from the priesthood. He also said same-sex marriage was insidious threat to the common good.
As women (and men) battle old politicians over control of their own bodies, it’s quite clear that the very real War on Women is in full swing. With many like-minded individuals following and reading this Public Shaming Tumblr blog, I would like to try something a little bit different here. Let’s raise money to help fight that fight and defend women’s rights together.
Thanks to a great female designer, who is a friend of this site, we’re setting up a Teespring campaign. For $15, you’ll get this Defend Women’s Rights t-shirt with Wendy Davis’ now iconic sneakers which have come to represent our weapon of choice: taking a stand and letting our voice be heard. This site will donate 50% of everything we make to Planned Parenthood so they can defend those rights. The rest will go towards work on (hopefully with your help) putting together more campaigns so this site can continue to positively help raise money for more causes. Via a Teespring campaign, you will only be charged and the shirts will only be printed if we sell at least 150 of them.
“Can people of color be racist?" I reply, “The answer depends on your definition of racism." If one defines racism as racial prejudice, the answer is yes. People of color can and do have racial prejudices. However, if one defines racism as a system of advantage based on race, the answer is no. People of color are not racist because they do not systematically benefit from racism. And equally important, there is no systematic cultural and institutional support or sanction for the racial bigotry of people of color. In my view, reserving the term racist only for behaviors committed by whites in the context of a white-dominated society is a way of acknowledging the ever-present power differential afforded whites by the culture and institutions that make up the system of advantage and continue to reinforce notions of white superiority. (Using the same logic, I reserve the word sexist for men. Though women can and do have gender-based prejudices, only men systematically benefit from sexism.)”—Paula S. Rothenberg- Race, Class, and Gender in the United States, eighth edition (via preciouslittlespitfuck)
“No, you can’t deny women their basic rights and pretend it’s about your ‘religious freedom.’ If you don’t like birth control, don’t use it. Religious freedom doesn’t mean you can force others to live by your own beliefs.”—
We [Fraction and his wife, Kelly Sue DeConnick] were pregnant at the time, and while I was out there I started to realize that if I had a daughter, there would come a day when I would have to apologize to her for my profession. I would have to apologize for the way it treats and speaks to women readers, and the way it treats its female characters.
I knew that if we had a daughter, because I know my wife and I know the kind of girl she wants to raise and I know the kind of girl I want to raise, she was going to look at what I did for a living and want to know how the fuck I could stomach it. How could I sell her out like that?” Fraction continued. “That conversation is still coming, and I’m bracing for it in the way that some dads brace for their daughter’s first date or boyfriend. I became acutely aware that I had sort of done that thing that lots of privileged hetero cisgendered white dudes do. ‘I’m cool with women, and that’s enough.’ It’s not enough. It’s embarrassing to say, because we somehow have attached shame to learning and evolving our opinions, culturally, but I became aware that there was a deficiency of and to women in my work, and all I could do at that moment was take care of my side of the street.
Writer Matt Fraction on his role on expanding the profile of female characters in the Marvel Universe. (via goodmanw)
“‘I’m cool with women and that’s enough.’ It’s not enough.”
What we now know as Memorial Day began as “Decoration Day” in the immediate aftermath of the U.S. Civil War. It was a tradition initiated by former slaves to celebrate emancipation and commemorate those who died for that cause.
These days, Memorial Day is arranged as a day “without politics”—a general patriotic celebration of all soldiers and veterans, regardless of the nature of the wars in which they participated. This is the opposite of how the day emerged, with explicitly partisan motivations, to celebrate those who fought for justice and liberation.
The concept that the population must “remember the sacrifice” of U.S. service members, without a critical reflection on the wars themselves, did not emerge by accident. It came about in the Jim Crow period as the Northern and Southern ruling classes sought to reunite the country around apolitical mourning, which required erasing the “divisive” issues of slavery and Black citizenship. These issues had been at the heart of the struggles of the Civil War and Reconstruction.
To truly honor Memorial Day means putting the politics back in. It means reviving the visions of emancipation and liberation that animated the first Decoration Days. It means celebrating those who have fought for justice, while exposing the cruel manipulation of hundreds of thousands of U.S. service members who have been sent to fight and die in wars for conquest and empire.
Mr. Carson’s killing was the first in the West Village precinct this year. In all of 2012, one homicide was reported there.
But through the first week in May, there were 57 assaults, a sharp increase over the same period last year, when there were 33. According to police statistics, the number of violent altercations is higher this year than it was a decade ago but lower than in the 1990s, when citywide crime was higher.
“Things seem a little more hostile in the Village lately,” said Glennda Testone, the executive director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center on West 13th Street. “People have been saying it’s especially on the weekends, when there is more of a commuter crowd. Perhaps what we’re seeing is that the growing approval of the L.G.B.T. community and the increasing equality isn’t reaching to every single street.”
Sharon Stapel, the executive director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project, said antigay violence had been worsened by the forces that are reshaping the city. “The Village has always been a place where L.G.B.T. people have felt accepted and respected,” she said, “but the Village is not immune from this vitriolic anti-L.G.B.T. violence. And we are not a homogeneous community. If you talk to young non-gender-conforming kids of color, they’re going to have a very different experience than older white L.G.B.T. people.”
The police say they have moved to stem felony assaults in the West Village that can often be traced to bar fights and late-night confrontations.
“That’s why there was an impact officer on duty there in the first place, the one who captured the shooter,” said Mr. Browne, referring to officers assigned to areas in need of additional policing. “The Village attracts crowds of visitors, especially on weekends, and impact officers are assigned there as a result.”
It wasn’t the substance of the AP story that has exasperated the government, but that the AP found a source or sources that spilled information about an ongoing intelligence operation and that even grander leaks might surge into the press corpsâ rain barrels.
“My mother said I must always be intolerant of ignorance but understanding of illiteracy. That some people, unable to go to school, were more educated and more intelligent than college professors.”—Maya Angelou (via loveyourchaos)
When we talk about the recent victories in Delaware and Rhode Island or the hopefully impending repeal of DOMA and Prop 8, are we talking about “gay marriage” or “marriage equality”? Or both?
LGBT activists have taken lately to using the latter term over the former, myself included. The standard argument is that all marriages should be treated equally, so there’s no sense in distinguishing “gay” ones from straight ones. But HuffPo columnist Murray Lipp doesn’t agree, arguing that there is value in specifying which marriages are between couples of the same sex.
His primary argument in defense of the phrase “gay marriage” is that it brings visibility to same-sex unions, upending the assumption that marriages are inherently heterosexual. Plus, the term is well-known and easily recognizable. Here’s why he wants us to use both “gay marriage” and “marriage equality”:
“Gay marriage” refers to the actual phenomenon of same-sex marriage, the legal union between two people of the same sex. It’s something which is legal or not in any given part of the world. “Marriage equality,” on the other hand, refers to the equal allocation of rights and benefits to all married couples, regardless of whether those couples are opposite-sex or same-sex. It does not describe a type of marriage. It describes an outcome, an achievement or goal, that being the attainment of equality.
When a same sex couple marries, yes it’s a “marriage,” but it can also be described as a “gay marriage” — the adjective “gay” adds further descriptive value which may have significant communicative utility depending on the context. Using the word “gay” helps specify difference but it does not imply “better than” or “less than.” Furthermore, when a same-sex couple marries that marriage is not called “marriage equality” — the term does not describe a type of marriage.
The attainment of “marriage equality” is impossible without “gay marriage” first being legalized. When a given state or country legalizes same-sex marriage and additionally provides equal rights and benefits to all married couples irrespective of whether a couple is same-sex or opposite-sex, then it can be said that “marriage equality” has been achieved in that region. While “gay marriage” is now legal in various states of the USA, “marriage equality” has not yet been achieved in the USA nationally as the federal government does not recognize same-sex marriages.
I’m not certain I totally agree with this, mostly due to the portion I bolded above. I am hesitant to focus too explicitly on the difference between a “gay marriage” and a “straight marriage,” particularly because the premise of the fight for marriage equality is that all marriages are the same, gay or straight. Or is pointing out the existence of these “different” marriages key in eventually having them treated equally?
Clearly I need to better organize my thoughts, but only because there’s a lot to say about this. What’s your take on this topic?