Sunday, June 27, 2010

Dyke March

Yesterday was Dyke March Chicago, the second one I've attended - the first in 2006. Since I have to work during THE Pride Parade, I went to this.

The march itself was fantastic. A few hundred people enthusiastically chanting in political, semi-hipster gear. The '06 march was rather different: whiter, younger, wealthier, more exclusive/separatist, more academic. Trans was not a part of it at all. This year's march was much more trans-centric and diverse (although it was still predominantly white and young). So that was great!!

A lot of things went wrong, though, with my experience, and a couple of these things were on behalf of the march organizers...

- it took me nearly 2 hours to get there. Not only did the march happen in a very inconvenient place for car-free north-siders, but the CTA fails at everything. The organizers obviously can't help that. The south side was chosen because it's "untraditional", and that particular area was chosen because it's busy and a great public space...that doesn't ameliorate that the site was miles away from the L and the bus service is shit.
- the march was very late. I was over a half hour late because of the shitty transportation and the march still had not started by the time I got there.
- I've had a falling-out with one of the groups involved in the march. Nothing big, just personality clashes that could have been avoided had the leaders been inclusive in practice, not just in theory. It was just unpleasant to be with those people again, only one of whom acknowledged that I was there (one of the people who was always super-nice to everyone).
- the post-march rally was...cliquey. This issue ties in with the one above.

Moral of the story: I spent 4 hours traveling today to participate in a late, great march and then be reminded that my company isn't wanted. Fantastic

Thursday, June 24, 2010

We Need a Hero

I've been paying more attention to non-queer news lately. The oil spill has been all up in everyone's face 24/7 for many weeks with no end in sight. And now there's the McCrystal issue. It's not pretty. Obama's approval rating was already low, neither of these situations have helped. Nobody's saying that he's handled the oil spill as poorly as Bush "handled" Katrina (ok maybe Glenn Beck, but his bile doesn't count), but he isn't a hero about it either. Two messes on top of broken promises aren't making the 2012 election hopeful.

A lot of people are calling for a Teddy Roosevelt president, not this current Calvin Coolidge. Most people don't realize that Teddy Roosevelt was a horrible bigot, but their point is clear: we need an active hero. Obama was that hero for unprivileged people the world over up until shortly after Inauguration Day when NOTHING HAPPENED.

It seems to me that Obama knows what's at risk through his presidency and that he's so afraid of making a mistake that he just won't do anything.

Women's Place: Kitchen, Boardroom and D-cup

I apologize for having been gone, my computer and my internet have been fussy for the past many weeks.

The Atlantic Magazine, Bloomburg Businesweek and Newsweek have all had major articles about Western women in the past couple weeks. The first that I read was Newsweek and it was about Sarah Palin *VOMIT*, mostly that she's gaining a huge following of upper-middle class, Christian, straight, white women. These women are a formidable political, religious and economic force. The second I read was Bloomburg Businessweek's article on La Barbe, France's political Guerrilla Girls. Finally, The Atlantic has a looooooonnnnnnnnnnggggggg article about women outperforming men in school, workplace, and the changing economy.

These three major magazines claim that Western women are gaining more power than we ever have before.

In Enlightened Sexism by Susan J. Douglas, American women's current status as a media audience, social group, etc. is mulled over. Plastic surgery is at an all-time high, reality shows and the general media depict women as catty bimboes, and the sex double standard is both more powerful and reaching younger girls.

According to all of this, women are a force to be reckoned long as we're white, at least middle class, heterosexist, able-bodied, Christian, and hot.

As women become more powerful, the only way we can battle these ridiculous standards is through sisterhood. For those of you who don't like such a lovey-dovey word, think of SOLIDARITY

Friday, June 4, 2010

Living with Catholicism

A few months ago, I read "Catholicism in America" and, subsequently, most of the pieces of my Catholic childhood came together. Now that so much makes sense (the teachers/clergy/administrators discouraged questions and encouraged blind obedience because they thought that Vatican II never should have happened...knowing the long history, this is a logical conclusion), a lot of my anger and bitterness is gone. I pity Catholicism more and it's easier to understand wtf they're doing...except that the sex scandal will never make sense.

I've come to accept that, having spent 18 years in Catholic/Jesuit schools and coming from a very Catholic family, I'll probably always have a soft spot - or at least a few scars - for Catholicism. Sometimes, I translate catechism, the hierarchy of the Church, what they do and why to those without this long background. I'll probably never understand why Catholicism seems so alien to others (it doesn't make any logical sense to me either and it makes me uncomfortable, but it has a semblance of home)...but now I can say "Protestantism is very alien to me because it's so different from Catholicism. I expect certain things to be there and done in a certain way; without those things, Protestantism seems empty and bland...which is really ridiculous because Protestantism makes MORE SENSE to me!!"

With the current sex scandal and this shitty pope, the Church itself isn't changing THAT much but the way people (in the developed world. Don't even get me started on how successful the Church has been in brainwashing third world countries) approach Catholicism. When I read articles, particularly the recent Time magazine article, I wonder if people without 2 decades of Catholicism can read between the lines like I do.

Here: the reason why the Church has been so slow to respond - and to not really respond anyway - is because, without millions of semi-obedient people the world over, it won't exist. If things continue in this direction set by the sex scandal, the Church will have only its history and the poorest people in the world to support it...and why would they want them?! Once Catholicism came to the Americas, it shifted to rely more on foreign laymen than on clergy alone. Now, they may have to shift back in a world that doesn't have the same respect for clergy.