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Getting On : All My Politics

Ban Heterosexual Complacency

from smashingrrl - Saturday, July 29, 2006
accessed 1045 times

Congrats, you are now the sexually oppressed majority.

Straight is the new gay.

I don't mean in the sense that we heteros have become a race of fanatically groomed, eyebrow-plucking, Diesel-jeans-wearing androgynes. I mean that while the gays were out winning the culture wars, we straights started taking our hetero entitlements for granted. And while we were taking them for granted, the American Taliban started taking them away.

Consider: In the last year, Ohio lawmakers held hearings on a bill that would ban abortion in all cases, including to save the life of the mother. The same bill has now become law in South Dakota. The federal Centers for Disease Control adopted new guidelines that advise all women capable of conceiving a baby to regard themselves as "pre-pregnant." (From now on, according to the federal government, I'm living for two: myself, and my pre-baby.) At least 31 states have sex-ed policies that emphasize abstinence for (pre-married) straights. Yet, again and again, it's been proven that abstinance education does not work. At most, it prevents teenagers from having vaginal sex but makes the more likely to participate in other forms of sex. Use your imagination. Thirty-six states have full or partial bans on abortion. Twenty-four states make women wait at least a day after "abortion counseling" (counseling is required by 32 states and includes, in some cases, information about the purported "link" between abortion and breast cancer, and, occasionally, an offer of anesthesia—for the fetus). Forty-three states allow health-care institutions to refuse to provide abortions. Forty-seven states and Washington, D.C., allow health-care providers to deny women reproductive services or information of some kind.

Need more? It isn't enough for the American Taliban to oppose our right to have abortions, or even premarital sex. They're against our right to have any sex at all—except the kind that has devastating consequences. Want to use emergency contraception (EC) the morning after you have unprotected sex? Sorry—it's against your pharmacist's religious beliefs. (Eight states have adopted restrictions on EC, which prevents a fertilized egg from being implanted in the uterus; fundies believe EC causes an abortion, because it works after an egg has been fertilized—just like IUDs, and breastfeeding, and ordinary birth control.) Want to take regular birth control? Nope—if you want to have sex, you have to pay the consequences. (Thirteen states allow health-care providers to deny women access to contraception.) Want a vaccine for HPV, the virus that causes cervical cancer? Sorry, slut: You had sex, you deserve to die. (Conservatives argue that the HPV vaccine that was just approved by the FDA will lead to premarital promiscuity, and advocates are bracing for a state-by-state battle on vaccine bans. Meanwhile, 80 percent of American women have the virus by age 50.)

Here's what the American Taliban has to say about our right to have sex, in their own words:

• According to the website of a group called No Room for Contraception, the wide availability of birth control puts women at a “competitive disadvantage” if they choose not to “give in to their boyfriends’ entreaties for sex.” If you follow their logic, birth control leads to divorce, too, because women can no longer hold the threat of pregnancy over their husbands’ heads, allowing men to more easily abandon the relationship. (And forget about the idea that women might want to have sex: We can only “give in” and grudgingly do our unpleasant duty to our husbands.)

• Bridget Maher, spokeswoman for the conservative Family Research Council, argues that “giving the HPV vaccine to young women,” when it is dramatically more effective, “could be potentially harmful because they may see it as a license to engage in premarital sex.”

• Patrick McCrystal, a “researcher” for Pharmacists for Life International, says, “There is a high degree of certainty that tiny human embryos die during contraceptive drug use… Given the dignity and preciousness of all human life at all stages of existence, the abortifacient nature of contraceptive drugs poses serious ethical and moral problems for all doctors and pharmacists involved in their promotion.”

It's time for straights to speak up and say we have rights too. The gays should be a model for all of us: We can organize, we can form coalitions with one another despite our differences, and we can prevent the fundamentalist minority from imposing their antisex agenda on all of us. The American Taliban may have the ear of the Bush administration, but they don't control the country—yet. If heteros stay complacent and refuse to speak out about their rights, they will.

-Erica Barnett,

Reader's comments on this article

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from colden
Friday, November 14, 2008 - 16:16


fact: your location has no effect on  your humanity ie: are you are no more or less a person where you are now than on the tallest mountain, the moon, or a cave at the bottem of the ocean! your humanity is with you always! where ever you go. If you have an abortion where the fetus could survive in a incubator (past the first trimester) you are denying it the rights that you would give to any other child. if you drink (to excess), smoke, or otherwise abuse your body (your choice) while carrying. You are damaging the child, your child! children don't get to choose, they have no say. You (the parents) are supposed to protect them! the whole "its my body I'll do what I want"  arguement denys the existance of this other human who while dependant on you is a seperate being! these laws have nothing to do with straight or gay. If we were fighting any one it would be our potential ofspring. The fact that you draw parallels with the taliban on this issue sujusts you may be an angry closet male hater. I'm sure you have your reasons for thinking the gay model would work for you, so march on sister! but I think I'll sit this one out :)
(reply to this comment)

from innocent
Thursday, November 09, 2006 - 20:23

I am just going to make this plain and simple. I left my ex-husband a little over two years ago because he has problems being faithful. I was only with him. Im not a slut because I had sex with him. I am however going to die because I had sex with him. Stage 4a cervical cancer from hpv-16 is what I am faced with now. Doctors are not treating it. I do not know what was meant by the statement in this article "sorry slut, you had sex." Me only being with one man for 14 years and he was my husband I do not believe that makes me a slut. I am suffering the consequences for his actions. I did do some research though and what turned up is that the kind of cancer he will get from hpv is far more degrading. Fellows research it. Remember when mom and dad told you that you can get something that will make it fall off. Penile cancer will.
(reply to this comment)
from Rain Child
Sunday, August 20, 2006 - 04:23

Only vaguely related but entertaining nonetheless:
(reply to this comment)
from Repost from The Times
Saturday, August 05, 2006 - 15:10

The Times August 05, 2006

Are you gay or straight? Admit it, you are most likely an in-between
Matthew Parris
Sexuality is a supple thing, and sometimes can be influenced, even promoted

SOMETIMES IT IS only after a period of absence that, on returning, we can see something — a room, a face, a place — for what it is. Perhaps we used to be too close to look properly, but now we see clearly what we never saw before. So it can be, also, with an idea.

Earlier this summer a television researcher making a programme about homosexuality and politics asked me a question that I must have heard a hundred times during the past couple of decades, but had not for some reason been asked recently: not for a year or two. “How many gay MPs would you estimate there are in Parliament?”

All at once it struck me that the question was absurd, like asking “how many merlot drinkers are there in this room?” Does the questioner mean heavy merlot drinkers, exclusive merlot drinkers, drinkers who wouldn’t exclude merlot if offered it, or drinkers who might like merlot if they were to try it? The answer to the question of how many gay MPs there are is “between five and two hundred, depending on what you mean”.

In my Notebook column in The Times I have been recording, in an occasional way, candidates for inclusion in a speculative list of truths or nonsenses staring us in the face that we somehow cannot see: things future ages may dismiss with a snort — just as we look with incredulity at our forebears’ faith in the theory of the four bodily humours or possession by demons. Here is another modern candidate: the idea that there is a set of males called homosexuals, and another called heterosexuals, plus a handful in the middle called bisexuals who can’t decide. This, we shall one day realise, is a distorting glass through which to look at male sexuality.

Let me suggest, first, what I think is the truer picture; and secondly my evidence for it. Thirdly, I shall explain why I believe such evidence is being rejected by an unwitting conspiracy between opinion-formers in the male “gay community” and moralisers in the heterosexual world.

Make a horizontal line whose left margin represents a sexual orientation so completely heterosexual that such men have never felt, however fleetingly, any sexual attraction to another man; and whose right margin represents gay men utterly unteased by any other interest. Mark 30 million dots between these two poles, representing each of us men in Britain, located towards left or right depending on the balance of the attractions we’ve felt in our own life. How will the resulting scatter look as a shape?

If popular talk is to be believed, the shape would trace the silhouette of a wine glass lying leftwards on its side: long, thin stem in the middle, opening out to a big bowl on the left and a small base on the right. The large cluster (at least 80 per cent, the bowl) would be the “straights”. A much smaller but distinct cluster (perhaps 5 to 10 per cent, the base) would be the “gays”. The stem would be a thin scatter of “bisexuals”.

But if only we knew it, the true shape, I believe, would be closer to that of a champagne bottle lying rightwards on its side, its base to the left, tapering gently towards its mouth at the right. I think a substantial preponderance of men are more heterosexual than homosexual, but scattered fairly evenly between 100 per cent and half-and-half; and that the smaller number who think of ourselves as gay are likewise quite evenly distributed along the spectrum from the halfway point.

My evidence? Direct experience and personal observation. I’m the type who calls himself totally homosexual, but I know from dreams and from occasional involuntary physical responses that some small heterosexual part of my nature, though elbowed aside, is still there. My sexual sample is less prolific than I would once have wanted, but I reckon about a third of the men I’ve slept with were what you might call “viable heterosexuals” — in the sense that they wanted and got girlfriends, believed themselves to be more straight than gay and in many cases ended up (unforced and happily) married. I’ve also known a fair few men who seemed quite contendedly gay, then changed their lives and went straight. And, of course, vice versa. We all know that plenty of married men dabble in homosexual behaviour; but plenty of gay men have flings with women too.

I talk to people. This is an area notoriously difficult to access through professional polling, but late-night conversations between people who trust each other are different. They suggest to me a world where men do not find their own actions and feelings neatly fit the categories that language furnishes for us. We end up saying, effectively: “Well, I am this but I did that — don’t know why really.” I doubt our age is supplied with the right language or conceptual framework to talk about these things. Perhaps Europe before the 20th century was not so wrong as we now think to have adopted no category of “homosexual” (or indeed “heterosexual”), and to have talked only of urges, acts and “sins” to which all human flesh was prone.

If I am right, why have both the gay and the straight worlds so fiercely resisted the ambivalent and perhaps fluid analysis I propose? Reasons why those we might call “hetero-evangelists” might resist it are obvious. It suits their view to see homosexuality as a deviation and to think in terms of “normal” and “abnormal”. The wine-glass silhouette suits this view much better than the champagne bottle.

Gay reasons for rejection of my “even scatter” theory are clear to me too, however. First, we who call ourselves gay know well that most men who call themselves “bisexual” are more gay than straight, but afraid or unwilling to say so. But what we overlook is that for every gay posing as a bisexual, there are probably a dozen bisexuals posing as straight.

Secondly — and this is very important — the idea that many of us have a potentially variable sexuality opens up the uncomfortable possibility of personal choice; and we gays have lived in a transitional era in which we have very much wanted to believe and claim that “God made us” like this, and “we can’t help it”. Whether or not this is true, it is comforting for those troubled by suppressed guilt, and has provided a knock-down argument against those moral conservatives who say we could choose, and therefore should choose, not to be gay. It has also seemed to rebut the complaint that homosexuality could be “promoted” or that gay men might “corrupt” potential heterosexuals. What, however, has not yet dawned on still embattled crusaders for equality is that true equality — equality of self-regard as well as public esteem — will have arrived when we are as careless as a blond or a redhead might be whether or not we were made that way.

Does “I can’t help being black” strike you as a self-respecting argument against racism? That “I can’t help it” is a subtly self-oppressing argument for acceptance does not seem to have occurred to supposedly liberated gay activists, for whom it has always been the easiest way of ending the argument.

But it is intellectually sloppy (would you accept it from a child molester?), calculated to close off troubling thoughts about might-have-beens, and no answer to the Christian evangelists’ insulting talk of cures for our “affliction”. We retreat into a simple, bipolar world of can’t-help-it straights and can’t-help-it gays. We push these feelings and people into closets marked “latent” homosexuality, “in-denial” homosexuality and “confused” homosexuality.

I think sexuality is a supple as well as subtle thing, and can sometimes be influenced, even promoted; I think that in some people some drives can be discouraged and others encouraged; I think some people can choose. I wish I were conscious of being able to. I would choose to be gay.
(reply to this comment)
From AndyH
Saturday, August 05, 2006, 15:57

*yawns(reply to this comment
From femme
Saturday, August 05, 2006, 16:16

Andy, IM me on myspace when you get the chance, ok?(reply to this comment
From femme
Saturday, August 05, 2006, 16:25


On second thought, I'm going to get myself to bed. Have a good afternoon/evening/night, dear. Hmmm, there's email for this kind of thing, isn't there. Oh well.

(reply to this comment

from BreakingNews
Saturday, August 05, 2006 - 04:56

Heterosexual activist becomes life-or-death bet on Internet

By Rachel Yokelstein

Topeka (Reuters) - When will Fred Phelps die? If you want to, you can place your bets.

Since the Westboro Babtist Church minister, one of the world's longest-serving heterosexual activists, announced on Monday he was handing power to Ned Phelps due to unspecified health problems, online wagering operations have offered action on the heterosexual leader's fate.

BetUS posed the question bluntly, giving bettors a chance to pick the month, or the day of the week, that Phelps will die.

"We don't want to profit on someone's death. But Phelps is unique," said Christopher Bennett, media relations director for BetUS.

"I personally wrestled with it. But ... this could have a huge effect on local property values and jobs. It's more than just someone passing away."

Another gaming site, BetCRIS, chose a less-direct route, giving bettors a chance to wager on whether Phelps will make a public appearance by August 13, the 51st anniversary of his induction into a secretive heterosexual activist group at Floyd's barbershop.

Asked why his company didn't ask a straight "live" or "die" question, BetCRIS chief executive Mickey Richardson said: "I wouldn't want to be a part of anything that supports the heterosexual agenda."

On another site, the question is: "Will heterosexual activist Fred Phelps reassume control of his church by October 31st, 2006?"

Phelps's health is the latest unusual wagering opportunity on Internet gaming sites that in the past have offered bets on whether Britney Spears was pregnant, whether Jimmy Hoffa's body would be found, how low President George W. Bush's approval rating would go and other water-cooler gossip issues.

"We've been putting up popular culture, current events styles of wagering for the last two years," said Richardson, whose company had taken about 100 bets on the heterosexual activist. "Fred Phelps is a pretty dynamic figure that people are attracted to."

BetUS has taken nearly 3,000 wagers on Phelps so far, making his future one of the hottest bets ever, said Bennett. About 65 percent of them were placed from Internet addresses in the Topeka area, home of some 650,000 people of homosexual descent, most of whom despise Phelps and his heterosexual revolution, he added.

"It's been quite explosive. It's an emotional hot-button," he said.

Bettors are predicting Phelps will die in September or October, Bennett said, with Topeka-area hot money on September.
(reply to this comment)
from Rain Child
Sunday, July 30, 2006 - 03:05

If they don't allow birth control and abortion there will probably be more marriages ending in divorce, because more people will marry simply because of pregnancy and end up divorcing, to the devastation of the children. The old family unit is drifting away from us, it's part of a bygone era, and society is coming to recognise this slowly. I read something interesting about single women being a new power force - I'll see if I can find it on line and post a link.
(reply to this comment)
From smashingrrl
Sunday, July 30, 2006, 09:13

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)
What they never seem to understand is that the choice isn't legal abortion of no abortion. The choice is between safe abortion or back-alley, dirty knife, coathanger abortion. Nobody is "pro-abortion". Some of us just realize that it's a necessary evil. It might as well be done safely, in a manner that protects a woman's health.(reply to this comment
From smashingrrl
Sunday, July 30, 2006, 09:14

can't type on this damn laptop(reply to this comment
From AndyH
Sunday, July 30, 2006, 11:38

And I can't drive nails with this damn hammer! (reply to this comment

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