Lanae and I just finished an episode of Sexxx Talk Radio with Lara Riscol. The intent was to talk about the twisted, outright upside down, relationship that the United States has with sexuality and violence. We have it wrong. We accept and promote violence. We shame and repress sexuality. Genuine sexuality that is. Rather, we use sex as a tool to manipulate others, shame others, intimidate others, entrap others. We use it to define “others,” and allow that otherness to eliminate compassion and justify violence. We just have it wrong.
But we wound up talking about politics instead. Or because, as I have come to realize recently, our political system is the embodiment of sexually justified violence against “others.” Unfortunately, in the eyes of the Republican party, most of us are “others.”
Let me be clear about something first: I generally resist party politics at all costs. I think they create a false dichotomy in which it is possible to win for your party at the expense of actually dealing with the real issues of building a nation. I do not love either party. I try very hard to vote on issues, not on parties. I have voted both republican and democrat in the past – though never in the presidential election, because, really, they have yet to put up anything but an asshat.
That said, the Republican party has made this personal. They are not dealing with issues of economy and infrastructure, they are systematically working on denying an enormous percentage of the population some very basic human rights. They are using religious dogma to justify something that is nothing short of a sexual holocaust in the United States. One that denies basic human rights to anyone who is gay, bi, trans, queer, poly, or female. In so doing, their policies would deny access to healthcare and other rights to many people who happen to be poor and “other colored” as well.
Lest you think I am joking, let me do here what I did on the air today, and make this very simple. Let me change a word or two to see if you understand how wrong what they are doing is.
They have written into their official party platform that gay people are not allowed to marry. Imagine if they said, instead, that Black people aren’t allowed to marry. You can see why that’s wrong, right? Hell, even when we were backasswards and didn’t allow interracial marriage, we still allowed black people to marry each other! They won’t even allow gay people to marry each other! They are institutionalizing that gay people are less human than other people. Just like we FINALLY stopped doing (at least legally) with “coloreds.” Do we want to go “back,” as their slogan colloquially croaks, to that kind of institutionalized bigotry?
From their official platform: We reaffirm our support for a Constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.” Change it to ” We reaffirm our support for a Constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of only white people.” Ouch.
The GOP is seeking to institutionalize the designation of gay people as not deserving the same rights as straight people. Imagine institutionalizing that Black people do not deserve the same rights as white people. Same thing.
They have written into their official platform pro-life language that denies women the right to make decisions about their own reproductive health. Not JUST abortion, as if that wasn’t bad enough. But access to birth control. Further, their funding cuts would hit ANY institution that provides an abortion, regardless of the other services they provide. No more low-cost mammograms for the poor, or pap smears, or….They would create a system in which women didn’t have unfettered access to their own healthcare, but men do. Men can get Viagra, but women can’t get birth control. Imagine a system in which we said that Black people couldn’t have access to the same health care as white people. You can see how wrong that is, right?
As Sandra Fluke said in her speech at the DNC, “It would be an America in which you have a new vice president who co-sponsored a bill that would allow pregnant women to die preventable deaths in our emergency rooms. An America in which they humiliate women by forcing us to endure invasive ultrasounds that we don’t want, and our doctors say that we don’t need.”
The GOP is seeking to institutionalize the designation of women as not deserving the same rights as men. Imagine institutionalizing that Black people do not have the same rights as white people. Same thing.
They have written into their official platform that, regardless of marriage, there should be no same-sex benefits for men and women who serve in the military, or any other spousal benefits like Social Security in the private sector. So, a couple can live together for 30 years, raise kids together, own a house together, and if one of them is ill, there are no rights for hospital visitation. If one of them dies, their partner does not collect social security. Even in the military, a solider could die in combat and their same-sex partner would not receive the same benefits as if the dead solider had been straight. When Sally Ride, the first woman astronaut in space, died, Mitt Romney called her an American hero. But he also said that her partner of 27 years will be denied all of her spousal benefits, because bigoted policies kept them from being legally married – though it didn’t keep them from being as committed and in love as any other couple.
The GOP is seeking to institutionalize the designation of gay families as not deserving of the same rights as straight families. Imagine institutionalizing that Black families do not have the same rights as white families. Sorry if your black daddy died, your black mommy is just going to have to make do without any Social Security or pension benefits that your black daddy earned in 27 years of work and devotion. Same thing. Sorry if your gay daddy died, but he just didn’t really count as a daddy.
I could go on. But I hope I don’t have to. THIS is why I, for the first time in my adult life, am voting entirely on “pet” issues of sexuality and sexual health. Not because I want politics to be about sex, but because the GOP has made sexual politics a matter of human rights. And I cannot ignore a battle for fundamental human rights that impacts everyone in this country who is not a rich white man.
Because when you take away the rights of people who are gay, bi, poly, trans, queer and female, the ripple effects spread even further than that. They spread to everyone who loves them and supports them. When you take away the rights of my gay father, for instance, you put that burden on me, because unlike the GOP, I will not turn my back on him. When you take away the programs that provide reproductive health care to women, you also take away the programs that provide reproductive health care to people who are poor and can’t afford private insurance. When you take away the rights of any group of “others,” you set up a system in which we can all, someday, have our rights taken away for being “other.” That is a slippery slope that we cannot afford to sit down on.
How did a show on sex and violence slip into this particular talk? Very easily.
I define violence as any act that causes another person to put up their defenses. Violence is a tool that is used to oppress or manipulate others into submission. When you punch someone, it is to stop them and hold them down. When you deny someone their basic human rights, it is to stop them and hold them down.
Worse, when you deny them their human rights under some bullshit guise of fiscal policy (which is utter nonsense) then you are saying that you value money more than human rights.
I hear you. The democrats spend too much. I get it. I even partly agree. But so do the republicans. One man’s entitlement equals out another man’s tax break. They’re both corrupt on different ends of the spectrum and I’d like to take a red pen to both of their budgets. That said, this year, the difference between the parties is finally crystal clear.
One party is about guaranteeing fundamental human rights to all people, and one is about denying the fundamental human rights of most people. It is that simple.
You will never be able to convince me that you can vote Republican in this election and have a decent human soul. Even if I bought the idea that it was possible to be pro-business without being pro-education, or that your god had any role in decisions of the state, which I don’t, I would still believe that YOU CANNOT FIGHT FOR FREEDOM WHILE OPPRESSING THE MAJORITY OF YOUR POPULATION.
We may not be putting gay people in literal shackles, but the economic and systematic oppression is the modern-day equivalent. It is inhumane and it is wrong. We may not be holding women down and forcing them to have children against their will, but what the GOP is proposing is not far off.
Worse yet, we are perpetuating they myth of “otherness.” That some how THESE people are better than THOSE people. That some people deserve human rights and others do not.
Seriously, read their platform, and every time you see “woman” or “same-sex” substitute the word “Black” and see how it feels. IT IS THAT BAD!
If you are black, or a woman, or gay and are even considering voting for Mitt Romney, you are delusional, plain and simple. It is a twisted Stockholm Syndrome in which your oppressor appears to be your savior. These people are building up for a sexual holocaust that is unprecedented in the developed world. As one country after another ratifies the rights of women and gay people, the GOP is trying to take us backwards. They are taking away the rights of women and gay people. LITERALLY. They are saying women have fewer rights than men, that gay people have fewer rights than straight people.
And they are using sex to do it. You have no reason to care, much less fear, how other people are having sex. Really. That person in the cubicle next to you may well have been tied up and beaten last night, and it didn’t impact you. The person in the house next door may have great group sex every weekend, and it didn’t impact you. You may have the most boring sex imaginable to me, and it won’t impact me.
The only thing I care about is that you are a decent and kind human being who is doing your best to make the world better for you and the people you love without infringing on the rights and freedoms of anyone else. How you have sex, and with whom, will not impact that at all.
If you’re a Republican, and voting with your party out of habit, please don’t. Stand up for what’s right. Stand up for human rights. Tell them you’ll get back to them when they step away from the Dark Ages in which we tortured and ostracized people who weren’t like us. It’s fine if you want to be a Republican, but be a good, strong, moral and ethical republican who takes a stand against the direction your party is going.
Hitler was a bad guy. Really bad. But do you know why he got away with what he got away with? Because for too long, too many people stood silently and didn’t stop him, until it was too late. They went along with it. Don’t be those people. Stand up to Romney. Stand up to the GOP machine, before it really does create a sexual holocaust that will be looked back through the long-lens of history as a horrifying abomination against millions of people who were no less human than you and I.
Hell, I may join you. Because in truth, my fiscal policies are generally more in line with the Republicans. But I will never sell out the human soul, not mine, not anyone else’s.
This is nothing short of a war for the human soul now. They brought it on. We have to bring them down.