Chained

Am I chained by gender rules
To this private womb
Made public by morals
Not my own.

Imprisoned in femininity
By a public entity
Poisoned by power
Demanding dominance

Am I to be
Prisoner to pregnancy
Denied choices, living
In forced dependency.

Endangered Species

Watching the outrage on Facebook is often frustrating. It amazes me how many people make assumptions that are complete fallacies and they have no idea they’re doing it. They think they’re using logic. Fallacies however are not based in logic. They are a stretch at best.


The recent outrage over the death of Cecil the Lion has spawned a whole new wave of such assumptions and conclusions. On the one side, you have those who are outraged because a hunter took unfair advantage of an animal, depriving it of its life with a man-made weapon in a simple Peta-esque sort of way. On another side of it, those who are enraged that a man who by all appearances seems to think he’s entitled, killed an endangered species without regard to the fact that the species is dying out and contributing to that fact. On a third side, there are those who assume that those who are outraged over Cecil’s death are not outraged over the deaths of black women in police custody or black men being killed in the streets by cops for non-death penalty offenses or trumped up offenses.


The truth is that those of us outraged over Cecil’s death are also outraged over the deaths of black men and women who should not be dead. And while this fallacy was presented by one or more sources on Facebook, its comparison is not really that far of a stretch. It involves the fact that neither the people, nor the Lion did anything that warranted their deaths. And in this liberal’s humble opinion, both are endangered species of a sort.


Now don’t go assuming I just called black people animals. I have way more respect for human beings to do such a thing. The truth is, however, that black people are in danger at all times by the simple reason that they have dark skin. Sadly, this is true of being inside their homes as well as being out in public. They’re endangered by the system itself. People who have not lived as black or lived among them and witnessed it for themselves don’t fully grasp it, and most who HAVE lived among them don’t see it either. At least those incapable of empathy can’t see it, but when you watch a friend mistreated just because of the color of their skin, it tends to change you. It opens your mind to just how much they’re mistreated. You start seeing other ways that other people mistreat them.


I had a friend in Syracuse who was pulled over because she was black and in a nice new black SUV. The officer pulled a gun on her for taking the time to calm her very sick sister down before letting down her window. She even asked the officer nicely to please be patient as her sister was hysterical. He wasn’t listening. She survived the incident without being shot, but it could have gone much worse. This same girl was being abused by her white nurse coworkers and was told by the union she went to in order to seek help with the situation that it wouldn’t be worth fighting because they’d make her miserable until they pushed her into quitting. When is it enough? How far will they take it before they realize they’re contributing to the problem?
During the 4 years I lived in Syracuse, a black toddler was killed in the crossfire of competing drug gangs. The toddler was sleeping in his own bed, in his own room when a bullet penetrated the wall by his bed. As I said, not even safe inside their homes. And none of them are safe.


Our society has taught white people to be afraid of black people. They’ve done so through the use of the media. They report on black on black crime and racial tension events, ignoring the indiscretions, crimes and discrimination of white people toward black people. They create an illusion that black people are lesser people by using their success rates in life itself all while creating the roadblocks that contribute to their failures. And Heaven forbid a black man or woman be successful. It can’t be because they’re very intelligent and worked hard, it MUST be about the laws in place that force companies to hire equally, to admit to colleges equally, to treat black people equally to whites. Sorry to burst your bubble GOP, but some black people are just smart and work hard and break the stereotypes you’ve created and feed on a regular basis. The right wing insists on believing Affirmative Action is the only way black people can get into good schools and get good jobs and that their abilities have nothing to do with it. But it is just as common for there to be intelligent black people as intelligent white ones. And it’s just as common to have ignorant white people as black ones. The fact is, intelligence has nothing to do with race or gender. So the right wing has fabricated these ideals to appease their insecurity. And those not smart enough to create these stereotypes buy into them and parrot them; all to make themselves feel superior to people that don’t look like them.


It is possible to end these systemic issues but it will take more than black people standing up and fighting for their rights. As a single black person, they put themselves in danger just suggesting their rights are being violated, which is what got many of these men and women who have died in police custody killed. There are those who suggest that #blacklivesmatter protests are just black people demanding more rights than others, but all they’re asking for is the very same rights so many white people take for granted. And they’re asking for justice that they’re not getting. And these protests are a people trying to stand up and say ENOUGH. They’re trying to be heard in a system that suppresses and oppresses their voices and their very existence. What it’s going to take is for people of all races to come together and say THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE. It’s going to take us voting together as one to eliminate those who feed these stereotypes and eliminate the laws that are designed to protect them, to remove those who refuse to enforce the laws that are still on the books evenly, fairly and correctly. It’s going to take white cops standing up to other white cops and saying “what you’re doing is wrong”. It’s going to take us standing together and saying we are all human and as such, all deserve to be treated fairly and equally. We can no longer remain silent and ‘not get involved’. To do so is to condone these behaviors that cost black lives. To do so is to allow cops to continue to murder people and cover it up by calling it justified despite video that says otherwise.


I’m not saying that as a white woman with only daughters that I understand what black mothers face when they have children. But I know that I would be devastated to lose one of my children and cannot imagine what it must be like to have to teach my children to just do as they’re told and to avoid any kind of confrontation with the law because their lives are at risk in any given situation. I can imagine what it’s like to worry about what the adults and adolescents in my own neighborhood are doing because their actions put my children at risk. I’ve lived among them and that part I fully understand. But I did not live with the fear that desperation would drive my children to join their ranks. I didn’t have to live with the fact that hormonal teenagers harbor resentment for that kind of life and that surviving with those resentments is a major hurtle for many of them. I can see why so many of them are so angry. They have every right to be. I’ve also lived among rednecks who are quick to say “they’ve never been slaves themselves so what are they angry about?” How can one be so sure of that? They may not be calling anyone master and they may not be living on a plantation. They may be getting paid when they do work, but that doesn’t make them less of a slave to the system. That’s not to say that none of the white working poor are any less of a slave to the system but it’s much more common among black communities. And the system feeds the poor white communities the idea that it’s in their hands to change their situation but that they’re poor because blacks or immigrants are taking their jobs when that’s simply not true. Good paying jobs are not being taken from poor whites and given to poor blacks or immigrants, they’re being outsourced. Yet these poor whites believe the lies they’re being told and continue to vote against the best interests of all the poor in this country because they’ve been force fed these lies and believe them because their education has been cut to the bare bones. They’ve been taught to pass tests instead of to question what they’re told and to think for themselves.


The only way to change is to come together as one and speak in once voice. The best way to do that is to vote. But it can also be done by participating in community events. We can stand, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American hand in hand and speak in one voice ENOUGH. We as a nation must stop fighting amongst ourselves and stand together to fight for all of us against a system controlled by Corporations. This is the only way revolution can happen. It’s the only true path to change. We must realize and accept our differences but to stand together in our similarities. We all want the same things; peace, fairness, opportunity, stability, and better for our children. And if we decide that animals are suffering and dying at the hands of the same people that humans are, we stand up for them too.

EVOLVE.

“Far too many people out there think evolution is a bad thing, and they REFUSE to participate.”

evolution
[ev-uh-loo-shuh n or, esp. British, ee-vuh-]
• Synonyms
• Examples
• Word Origin
noun
1.
any process of formation or growth; development:
the evolution of a language; the evolution of the airplane.
2.
a product of such development; something evolved :
The exploration of space is the evolution of decades of research.
3.
Biology. change in the gene pool of a population from generation to generation by such processes as mutation, natural selection, and genetic drift.
4.
a process of gradual, peaceful, progressive change or development, as in social or economic structure or institutions.
5.
a motion incomplete in itself, but combining with coordinated motions to produce a single action, as in a machine.
6.
a pattern formed by or as if by a series of movements:
the evolutions of a figure skater.
7.
an evolving or giving off of gas, heat, etc.
I find that the more I speak publicly and the more blogging I do, the more people I find that just skim over and don’t really know what we’re saying when we speak. And more often than not, they jump to a response without fully thinking through what was said and what it means before deciding how to respond. I found that to be the case when I posted the comment about people refusing to participate in evolution. It spawned a long conversation on my Facebook wall that I let go on for a couple of days but finally called a halt on because I believed that any progress that could have been made had played out. I’m not sure anyone truly learned anything during the conversation either.

I knew when I posted it that someone would take offense to it not in that I was saying they refused to evolve which SHOULD be what they should consider an insult over what they got upset about. The person that did speak up reacted because he doesn’t ‘believe in evolution’. He automatically jumped to the creationism vs. evolution interpretation of the word. But the very wording of my comment should have clued him into which definition I was referring to. Throughout the conversation, he kept returning to his interpretation and essentially avoided addressing the interpretation I was referring to. And yes, I was frustrated with him. But this kind of thing is common. Evolution, as explained in its dictionary definition also means to adapt to change. His reaction, however, proved my point. While he vehemently held on to the old Evolution vs. Creationism argument, he was not moving forward to adaptation to change that was being alluded to in the conversation. He wanted to argue his religion and not the nature of human beings and whether or not they learn and grow and the fact that some refuse to learn and grow.

This is a lot of the problem we’re dealing with in politics today. We’re all talking, but we’re not necessarily communicating. There are those that have a well-developed grasp on and use of the language and those who simply don’t or perhaps are too lazy or just don’t fully think about what’s being said. Those who don’t tend to grasp and hold on tight to the definition they know and refuse to let go and try to understand that there are more meanings to what they believe to be exclusive. Unfortunately, there are politicians out there that recognize this trait and have bastardized the language so that it’s easier to manipulate these people into voting against their own best interests. It’s easier to convince people of a lie than to convince them they’ve been lied to. Tell them the evil activist is attacking your religion and they’ll vote against said activist’s cause every time. Speak certain key words and you lose them forever.

As a writer, this frustrates me deeply. I have tired and continue to try to open people’s eyes about this problem. Its wide spread, from my mom posting the dictionary definition of liberal and having family members saying it was the most ridiculous thing she’d ever seen because that’s not what a liberal is as she speaks this nonsense to a life-long liberal….. To a conservative family member who I asked to define the same word and she came up with the most absurd definition I ever heard and admits to having discussed it with her husband and that this was what they came up with. They weren’t even bothered with looking it up. She even went on to say that for the record, they do not believe that President Obama is liberal because he didn’t fit into their definition of the word. She was shocked when I informed her that my parents, sister and I all identify as liberal. She didn’t understand. She’s still at a loss. I gave up trying to help her understand because it didn’t matter what I said; she was not going to change her opinion of what the meaning of the term is.

So this is my mission. From here on out, I do not intend to let people get away with using words that mean one thing while defining them another way,” Pro-life” for instance. The prefix pro means for, so pro-life means “for life”. If you’re for life, you cannot support the death penalty; you cannot support war. If you’re “for life”, you have to be for quality of life, so you can’t be against programs that improve life such as food stamps, welfare, unemployment benefits, Medicare, Medicaid or SSI and disability benefits. You can’t be for forcing a child who has been raped and whose body is not physically ready to bear children to have the baby of her rapist when it will likely kill her. So if you are against these things, you no longer get to call yourself pro-life in my presence. If by the term, you mean against abortion, then you are anti-choice or a forced-birther. You are not pro-life.
Then there’s Tea Party Patriot. The original Tea Party Patriots were real patriots protesting taxes levied by a king that wasn’t even on American soil. They were protesting being ruled with an iron fist from a distance without regard to their ability to support themselves and their families and make a living, something we all should be protesting today and many of us are. But the problem begins at being divided by racial lines, gender lines, gender identity lines and party lines. ONE of these lines could be eliminated by communication and education. Which one, you ask? PARTY LINES. You are supporting self-identifying tea party republicans who are the very people in the pockets of the rich who are making a fortune off your backs. The actions they’re taking are to benefit the rich at your expense. And because they call themselves patriots and tell you what you want to hear regarding whose fault it is that you’re in the predicament you’re in, you support them and it only gets worse. Well guess what, they’re exactly the ones who are not only making the poor even more poor by cutting the very safety nets that were designed to help them get OUT of poverty, they’re ALSO putting YOU in the very same poverty lines. So today’s “Tea Party Patriots” are an oxymoron. They’re working against the very fabric of what made this nation great. So if you’re supporting candidates like Rand Paul and Ted Cruz and all the other Tea Party “patriots”, you don’t get to call yourself patriot and neither do they. Because they’re actions are not patriotic.

Then there’s the term Conservative. Just what is it you’re conserving? Not a damned thing. You are trying to preserve the traditions you think made this nation great. But the old ways that are outdated, like women and minorities not getting to vote are the opposite of what made this country great. You know what made this country great? EQUAL OPPORTUNITY. And with the Tea Party in charge, equal opportunity is going down the tubes. It’s doing so because they are giving the rich more power to control things….and people. If you work for one of these rich people, you now are affected by their religious beliefs regardless of your own. And until they overturn Citizens United, your rights will continue to be whittled away by law suits claiming suppression of some rich guy’s business’s religious freedom being denied by him being forced to be fair to you. I think the acronym GOP fits you better….standing for Grumpy Old Party; or perhaps Grumpy Old Prudes when it comes to women’s rights and equality.

Now I could go on and on about the language being used and how it’s not what it appears to be. Right to work states actually being right to work for less states since these states don’t make nearly as much as states where workers can unionize. Citizens United…..what citizens? Why the ones with the most money of course. Sure as hell wasn’t me and my peers. Religious Freedom Restoration Act…..restoring poor peoples and working peoples religious freedom to their slave owners….the ones that don’t pay them enough to survive but who they’re still dependent on.

Someone once said “when you stop learning, you start dying.” I am a firm believer in that. Because when you stop learning, you start being taken advantage of. You start being lied to, cheated, and taken advantage of. You get your food poisoned, your body poisoned with chemicals they call medicine made of synthetic materials that are causing more symptoms than they cure. They poison your water and air. They let working conditions get worse they let infrastructure get worse and people start dying in droves due to ‘accidents’ and ‘illnesses’.

Do yourself a favor. Start researching on your own. Don’t use google. Don’t use bing. Don’t use search engines and especially not Wikipedia. Use well known sources of information. Use college websites and law school websites. Use library websites. Use Meriam Webster. Learn what they’re really saying and doing out there. They’re cheating us all. Websites like factcheck.org and Politifact.org and Punditfact.org are trying to tell you when things that are said are lies or wrong or partial truths. Stop assuming because someone that tends to agree with you says don’t go there, they aren’t dependable, that they speak the truth. Look for yourself. Ask questions. COMMUNICATE. Don’t read the highlighted excerpts and titles and assume what the article says. It’s not always what it appears to be. Some of the politifact.org findings are more along the lines of “well it’s partly true but they left out certain important facts.” Turn the tv channel from Faux News Network to C-span.

Don’t assume all scientists are of the same opinion on Evolution. Ask as many scientists as you can find. Don’t assume liberals are what Rush Limbaugh tells you they are. Ask us. We’ll tell you how we feel about things. We’ll tell you what we think is needed. I guarantee you every liberal out there will tell you a big missing piece of the American puzzle is the absence of compassion. Talk to people. Really LISTEN to their answers. If you’re not sure what it is they’re saying, ask questions. Don’t assume they’re insulting you. Find out what they mean.

I’ve seen a lot of nastiness in conversation lately. I doubt people are that nasty to everyone all the time. But I think often it’s because they’re not really communicating. They’re jumping to conclusions and getting offended with one another. I’m not saying it’s just right wing voters. Both sides likely do it; so, to both sides, stop being so defensive. Keep the conversations civil and open and productive. Communicate. Help each other. And trust each other. Stop trusting politicians who will tell you anything to get a vote. They don’t care about you. They care about money. The only way things are going to get better is for people to stop letting themselves be divided by our own elected officials. We all have the same needs. We all can see what’s wrong in this country for the most part. But no middle ground can be reached if we don’t work together and truly communicate.

Marriage Is What You Make It.

MARRIAGE
[mar-ij]
noun
1.
(broadly) any of the diverse forms of interpersonal union established in various parts of the world to form a familial bond that is recognized legally, religiously, or socially, granting the participating partners mutual conjugal rights and responsibilities and including, for example, opposite-sex marriage, same-sex marriage, plural marriage, and arranged marriage:
Anthropologists say that some type of marriage has been found in every known human society since ancient times.
See Word Story at the current entry.


2.
1. Also called opposite-sex marriage. the form of this institution under which a man and a woman have established their decision to live as husband and wife by legal commitments, religious ceremonies, etc.
See also traditional marriage (def 2).
2. this institution expanded to include two partners of the same gender, as in same-sex marriage; gay marriage.


3.
the state, condition, or relationship of being married; wedlock:
They have a happy marriage.
Synonyms: matrimony.
Antonyms: single life, bachelorhood, spinsterhood, singleness.


4.
the legal or religious ceremony that formalizes the decision of two people to live as a married couple, including the accompanying social festivities:
to officiate at a marriage.
Synonyms: nuptials, marriage ceremony, wedding.
Antonyms: divorce, annulment.


5.
a relationship in which two people have pledged themselves to each other in the manner of a husband and wife, without legal sanction:
trial marriage.


6.
any close or intimate association or union:
the marriage of words and music in a hit song.
Synonyms: blend, merger, unity, oneness; alliance, confederation.
Antonyms: separation, division, disunion, schism.


7.
a formal agreement between two companies or enterprises to combine operations, resources, etc., for mutual benefit; merger.

Politically, we’re talking about words as legal terms, and some are trying to ban one demographic from the right to utilize the term in the way they deem best for themselves. However, all words are subject to interpretation.

We didn’t have courthouses in the beginning, nor did we have church buildings. Man built churches and courthouses and even religion itself. Now I know many would be offended by those words, but think about that for a moment. According to the bible and multiple other religious texts, people were directed by a deity to live a certain way. Man created the structure of religion as much as he did churches themselves. The one aspect of religion man did not create was faith. Everything else man created around that faith. And when man decided that those he put in charge were straying from what he believed to be the right way to run things, he branched off into a new variation of religion.

And so it is with every aspect of life. Things are how we interpret them to be. So it is with marriage. Even before recorded history, marriage was a contract. As such, women most often did not have any say in this contract. Often the marriage was of a child to someone that could advance the bride’s family in social, political or financial standing or all of the above. Her feelings on the matter did not factor in. She was nothing more than chattel, and love had nothing to do with it, nor did religion. This idea does not fly in the United States of America, though some would like to go back to that. The laws in this country do not support such a regression, nor does the general population’s mindset. And that cannot be reversed. People will not move backward no matter how hard well paid politicians push.

Each human being lives life and believes in his own perception of life based on his experiences. His perception changes with each experience. For this reason, man, as he evolves with these experiences is capable of changing his mind and his views. With knowledge and experience, views and perception can go in any direction. Unfortunately, some hold so strongly to what their past perceptions led them to believe that they refuse new information. They refuse the natural progression of evolution. And no, evolution is not an evil concept that says we evolved from monkeys. It’s much more than that. It says we change with knowledge and that we adapt to our environment. As time goes on and we continue to overpopulate our environment, nature will do whatever is necessary to adjust to these changes.

Those of us with our eyes wide open can see these changes as they happen. We are open to these changes and accept them and adjust accordingly. To adapt to change is essential to survival and the changes happening right now in politics and in society are reshaping what we are as a society. Those who do not adapt will begin to flounder as they’re left behind. As nature has taught us, they will soon become the minority and eventually will die off.

Opponents of same sex marriage talk of the idea that procreation is impossible in such a union and therefore a factor in the validity of the union. But people marry every day that can’t have children for one reason or another. Are the marriages of people who are too old to procreate to be nullified because they’re “too old”? Are the marriages of people who are infertile to be nullified? Too many people in this country get married for the wrong reason and wind up divorced. A large percentage of those same sex couples that want to marry have been devoted to one another for many years. Not allowing them to marry does not keep them from having sex. It keeps them from being able to take care of one another like other caring couples do. To be married means that they will be each other’s legal representation in the event they can’t speak for themselves. It affects their being able to be present for and sign for treatment for their loved ones in the event of an Emergency. It keeps them from preparing for the event of their death and allowing their loved one to be taken care of after they’re gone. These are legal protections that hetero couples take for granted. Who are we to deny them access to these same protections?

Those most vocal against same sex marriage call themselves Christian, but nearly every single argument against homosexuality they offer as testament to their hatred comes from the old testament, not from the teachings of Christ. Therefore, that hatred does not come from Christianity nor does that opposition. Christ taught love thy neighbor as thyself. He taught caring for the sick and feeding the hungry, not judging whether or not they deserved the help. He taught tolerance and acceptance of our fellow man.

And then we need to consider that while opponents of same sex marriage often support their arguments against homosexuality as that it’s not natural, sex among same sex animals is often seen in many species. There is nothing unnatural about any living creature. Nature creates an abundance of diverse beings and it does so based on the environment. But these very same people turn around and argue that science is a hoax so nature doesn’t really do the things we have documented it doing. I often wonder if they’re ever going to wake up to the reality of what life on earth is. These are human beings who have the same wants, needs and desires in their lives as anyone else. And they’re being denied the right to act as two hetero people do in taking care of one another because they don’t fit into the ‘normal’ range of what someone they don’t even know thinks they should fit into. But here’s the thing, its normal for them.

Marriage is what you make it. Over the years in the western world, marriage has evolved into a legal arrangement, a binding contract between two people who love one another. For many, religion and religious beliefs do not come into play in their relationship. They go strictly to the legal end of the union and the loving aspect of the relationship. They put more credence in the relationship’s emotional connection and the legal aspects of it. They devote themselves to one another and promise to take care of one another. One does not have to be religious to experience such devotion. That’s not to say they can’t make religion a part of their marriage, but it’s not something that is an essential part of the relationship and many relationships survive quite well without it.

People in the United States are supposed to be guaranteed life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is not our decision to make as to what makes our neighbor happy any more than it is their decision as to what makes us happy. If you don’t want someone else’s ideals of what your life should be forced on you, don’t force yours on others. Let your neighbor make his marriage what he wants it to be and you focus on your own. We’ll all be happier when we can find our own happiness without the interference of strangers.

You don’t know what its like to be us

I was recently talking to a fellow writer and friend of mine about his travels. I was telling him I was envious of his travels and how I’d love to be able to live my life that way but that its more dangerous for a woman to travel alone than for a man. His answer was that it’s not as dangerous as I think. My response was that he doesn’t know what it’s like to be a woman. We must be ever vigilant for our own self-preservation. I think that most men make assumptions and judgements on how they see the world as they are unable to see it from a female perspective. They are often dismissive of the dangers we face because they’ve never faced them. Unfortunately, I think the only way for them to truly see it is for them to see it first hand with someone they care about. And even then, they can’t fully appreciate the impact of these experiences.

Women are constantly exposed to the possibility of being assaulted any time and under any circumstances outside of being locked up in their own homes. And even then, there is the possibility that someone will compromise their protections to get at them. And their clothing is not a factor in that in most circumstances. That’s a misogynistic idea at best. If a man decides he wants a woman despite it being against her will, he will act. Many think they’re entitled and are taught that not only by society but often by religion.

When I was in New York City with a group of people on a college trip, I was sexually assaulted. It wasn’t a brutal assault but it made me feel just as violated. Knowing myself and knowing how I react to things and how I best handle them, I redirected my mind to the protection of someone else.

The assault happened on the subway in broad daylight (or as daylight as the subway can be). It happened on a crowded train. The perpetrator took advantage of the crowded train to press his body against mine from the backs of my knees to my shoulders. When the train stopped and some people got off, he didn’t move. I turned and realized he was taking advantage and I told him firmly, I AM MOVING NOW, as to discourage him from following. I didn’t say anything about his assault as I was surrounded by younger women and I felt that I could take this assault better than they could. Had I moved sooner, he might have turned on one of them. As it happened, He had attempted to assault one of the girls, a 15 or 16 year old girl that was with us, by holding his hand opened in the general vicinity of her genitals in the hopes that a bump or shift would allow him to cop a feel. Once we left the train, I made my way to her father and notified him that he needed to check on his daughter. I remained close by because, knowing how I am, focusing on her well-being allowed me not to crumble to my own emotional panic. As a mother, I focused on the child’s well-being. Her father noticed my hovering and snapped at me, adding insult to injury. He unknowingly shattered my resolve.

Upon leaving the subway, I was shaking in the knees. I went to the nearest wall of the building and watched as the rest of my group ascend the stairs as I tried to hold it together. I wasn’t completely together when the last of us emerged so I followed despite feeling on the edge of panic. I at least had the presence of mind to know that if they left me, I’d be alone and in a panic in the middle of New York City. We were headed to The Guggenheim where I knew I could sit and calm down safely. I had been there before so I was comfortable with it. I knew that we’d be there a while. I told two close friends what happened but that was it for that day. Later that week, I did tell one of the professors what happened. I distanced myself from the father. It destroyed my ability to concentrate, affecting my ability to stay with working on my thesis. I ended up completing my thesis the next semester. While the father did apologize for snapping at me, I doubt he fully realized the impact of what he’d said. And I was not about to clue him in on how truly vulnerable I felt. I was angry at not only the perpetrator, but at him for his lack of insight and at myself for feeling so weak and vulnerable.

While the perpetrator did me no serious harm physically, I emotionally went to pieces. I had a panic attack in the middle of New York City. When men dismiss sexual assault as not harmful, they’re wrong. Until they experience it themselves or witness someone they love experience it, they cannot fully understand its impact. That was not the first sexual assault I’ve experienced. The first was at age 4 and was perpetrated by a family member. I’ve also experienced sex with someone because I felt it was safer to submit and survive than to fight. You don’t know what women face if you are not a woman. And you can never fully appreciate it even when a woman or girl you love is assaulted. So what right do you have to judge us in these matters? None.

Homosexuality: A new perspective

Disclaimer: Its not what it looks like.

Homosexuality is a sin! And like all sins, it should be punished in every way a good Christian can come up with. No holds barred! So deny them their humanity. They are less than human, so deny them basic human rights. Put them all in concentration camps so their disease won’t spread. They are unnatural, they go against nature and we should pray the gay away or send them to gay conversion therapy. They must be fixed or condemned. There is no other answer. This is a horrible sin and they must be taught better or punished.

Matthew 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 7:1-2 Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged. And with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

That young girl that looks more like a boy than a girl is struggling with who she is. She does so in the face of bullying and abuse, both at home and at school. And that young boy who always wears black and lets his hair grow long to cover his eyes , the one who never looks you in the eye, perhaps he’s suffering abuses that you don’t see. Perhaps his father would kick him out if he knew who he really was. Does this not place them both firmly among the meek? Just because you don’t approve of them does not mean they are monsters. They’re human, just like you.

There have been many documented cases of hermaphrodites. People born with both male and female organs are not unheard of. It’s a genetic anomaly. Simply something that occurs naturally but is outside the norm. Those who don’t understand this call them unnatural, but it has not been explained as being the result of any cause. It just happens. Therefore, it’s a naturally occurring phenomenon. So we acknowledge it as unusual but part of the natural world. So why it is so hard to believe that homosexuality is also a natural occurrence? Why is it impossible to accept that, sometimes a person can have a male brain in a female body or vice versa?

Perhaps homosexuality is nature’s way of slowing human population growth. Of course their bodies are capable of reproduction, but it is physically impossible for two men or two women exclusive to one another to reproduce without stepping outside of their perspective relationships. If they are committed and devoted to one another, they don’t want to hurt one another by doing such a thing. So their reproduction is carefully planned. There are no accidental children in gay families. (except the possibility that one of the two moms could be raped)

Being gay is no different a trait than being a reader, a musician, a math geek or an artist, except for one thing. People aren’t abused, neglected, subjected to cruel ‘therapies’ etc. for being any one of these things. And they certainly are not denied their civil rights. No one demands that musicians be kept in camps to pray their talents out of them. No one suggests psychological torture to change any of these traits.

Just because they aren’t like you does not make them less human. It does not make them sick, deranged or freaks of nature. It does not make them pedophiles. (that is a totally different breed of creature)

Jesus never spoke of homosexuality. He spoke of loving thy neighbor as thyself. He spoke of understanding and love of thy fellow man. He spoke of caring for the sick and feeding the poor. I doubt he would approve of denying anyone the comfort of these commands because you deem them unworthy. If you’re going to claim Christianity, you don’t get to quote the Old Testament as reason for you mistreating any fellow human being. Christ presented a whole new set of rules for you to follow. And while there are perhaps lessons to be learned in the Old Testament, the rules set forth by Jesus are the ones the Bible commands that you follow.

Chew on that for a while.