NC Passes the Marriage Amendment

I remember the blazing disappointment when Dubya was re-elected. You see, I lived in Durham, worked in Chapel Hill; my perspective of reality was blurry.

By the way– it’s late, and I’m sad and angry. Raging, actually. I remain convinced that the intent behind passing the marriage amendment was always devoid of religious conviction, the purpose only for re-election. I see what conservatives mean about too much government because their power? That sort of extremist-fly-a-plane-into-building-mentality? Horrifying.

Protecting the rights of even the least individual among us is basically the only excuse the government has for even existing. Ronald Reagan.

Even Ronald Freaking Reagan wouldn’t be down with this nonsense.

I saw the For signs decorating too many surfaces today. I suspected the outcome. But I was hopeful, mostly that many closeted homosexuals would say “for” and vote “against”. But it didn’t turn out that way.

But what made me pull over and park after carpool was my 5 year old saying, “don’t worry, Mom. I’ll fix it [discrimination] when I’m a grown up”. There you have it everyone. Even a 5 year old sees it as broken.

Perhaps the zealots plan to attack my atheist marriage? After all, if the origins and definitions of marriage are purely biblical, then my marriage doesn’t apply. Right?

Thanks to facebook I felt a little less alone, less isolated in my horror.

But then… then someone decided to point out that the people had spoken. And that I should just get over it. After mulling over what I wanted to say, it occurred to me. I had already written it.

Being a bigot is wrong. Complaining about big government, socialist spending, and then supporting an amendment to the constitution because you are terrified of homosexuals is WRONG. Racism, sexism, animal abuse– wrong, wrong, wrong.

Amending the constitution to restrict equal rights isn’t like disagreeing over whether McDonad’s or Burger King has the best hamburger It’s about people, who claim to be conservatives, supporting small government, only to turn around and vote for legislation that puts government ALL UP IN PEOPLE’s business. The children that will lose their health insurance? Guess who’s going to pay for that? Yup. those social welfare programs (also biblical, by the way) that no conservative likes to fund.

All those people who love each other, love their families, living a low-key life, just like me? Just trying to enjoy their life, here on earth? Thanks to this amendment NC just said, “screw you– there is something *wrong* with how you were born”.

You know what? I have one kid with brown eyes, and one with blue– determined because of biology and genetics– just like sexuality. Oh– and if it’s a biblical thing, then I’d like a constitutional amendment banning shellfish, pork, and wearing polyester (three of North Carolina’s very favorite things)– because all of those? Sins in the bible, too.

But, if either of my children–my sons– are gay– I stand proud in the fact that I will never, ever, never, ever have to look them in the eye, and say that I was once a bigot. Instead, they will always be secure in knowing that I LOVE THEM no matter whether they date/marry an Ann, or a Stan. And that feels good.

Yes, I truly can be mad that 61% of this state voted on bigoted legislation, especially considering my gender hasn’t enjoyed equal rights for very long. Are y’all going to take those back now, too?

I truly can BE FURIOUS that the biggest pushers of these flavors of religious legislation look exactly like the people who talk themselves blue in the face about government waste on social programs, lazy bums that won’t work, etc. Only to end the rant, complaining that the government has too much power!

Why does this attitude, in particular, raise such fury? Because it’s fucking idiotic to DENY things like universal health insurance in the “name of small government”, only to vote for a law intended to be a morality litmus test, based on some words in a book.

Cognitive dissonance (google it) Just Pisses Me Off.

Even worse is that the whole thing– ALL OF IT– is red herring legislature designed to get these folks re-elected. Can’t fix the economy or unemployment? Let’s attack the gay folks!

Go talk to a teacher– ask them how they feel about the frozen pay raises, lay offs and increased work load.

Instead of money for that, NC legislators spent it on a constitutional amendment to “protect” us from something that was already illegal. I mean, really– did y’all even read this thing?

“I AM NOT A BIGOT” A common refrain from the pro-side. I get it, I understand that saying that to another human makes them all itchy and twitchy. They stop listening to reasonable discourse, get all angry and defensive.

The problem? None of them were listening to reasonable discourse to begin with. So, why not calls them as I sees them.

I am baffled by the people duped into saving marriage by disallowing it for an entire population. But I don’t hate them. I am disgusted by their actions; I feel sorry for their ignorance. Mostly I wished all of them would have stayed home today!

Then again, I READ the words. I searched the history of the bill. Not on huffington post or fox news. I read it straight from the general assembly website.

I can honestly say, with complete conviction that I don’t respect a damn thing about someone that supports this law. Which makes me sad, because for every person that I stand with, in agreement, I’m probably related to someone that would support it. Which means all my biting-my-cheek-don’t-say-anything-is-all-used-up.

I can agree to disagree on politics, on religion, on parenting strategies, on whether or not red dye is unhealthy. But I cannot find a single reason to respect those that participated in this political maneuver.

Later, when their kids kill themselves because they are gay and alone; or when the police won’t press domestic violence charges on boyfriend Jimmy John when he beats her up again again– well, surprise, surprise Goomer.

Also, as an aside? If I hear the statement: “I don’t hate gay people; I have gay friends” one.more.time… Double shame on those of you with that positive exposure to that which is different from you, only to then vote in an amendment that purposefully and maliciously denies those friends equality under the law. Sounds similar to the old days (you know, about 40 years ago) when a similar type person might talk to one of their “colored friends”, and then go home and pull the white sheet and pointy hat out the closet.

Once upon a time, interracial marriage was illegal.

Once upon a time–for a LONG damn time, I was considered property because I had a vagina. I’m still not quite equal, what with that pesky pay inequality thing, but I’d like to keep moving forward. Are you planning to write me back into the kitchen? Will that be before, or after, you take away my birth control?

There are PLENTY of christians, conservatives, purple people eaters– friends of mine, that do not, and did not support this hate bill. They are the type of christians that I wish the rest of you could/would be; the ones that use faith as a personal enhancement rather than a weapon.

Oh, and celebrators? You might have won tonight, but I wouldn’t get too comfy. This action motivated all of the smart people I know. And I don’t mean, Jeopardy-smart, I mean Sheldon-smart. So, good luck with that.

The End of Men?

Hanna Rosin’s recent op-ed, The End of Men, is (in my opinion) a slightly over-optimistic piece on the professional advancement of women. If you follow her argument, she is suggesting that culture is following economic gain—and women are finally gaining economically, and thus the culture is shifting from the male advantage to a female advantage.

She noted that more women in 2003 (>15%) said that they “must have a son”, down from about half in 1985. Of course, this should be seen as a boon to women! But before I can form an opinion about its relevance I’d like to know what the difference between 1985 and 2003 for the question “wants any children”. The decreasing trend of “must have a son” could be mostly attributed to the falling rate of women wanting children, period. And still, what did the fathers say–then and now?

That said, women are starting to gain an economic foothold, which means we are increasing our societal worth. Women are smart and we proved it to ourselves, and to men, by going to work. That we had something real to contribute appears to still shock some people.

Many of the new jobs, says Heather Boushey of the Center for American Progress, replace the things that women used to do in the home for free.

Well that makes perfect sense. Food service, cleaning service, child care, and many other homemaker chores are being outsourced. As a group, the women entering the workforce created more jobs. Not only did they create more jobs, the ones that are rising in demand are the more nurturing/service careers: care-giving, nursing, food-service, teaching, etc. However, nurturing careers don’t usually provide equitable wages. Again, our gain still manages to be our loss.

For example, if you look at Bureau of Labor’s “Women in the Labor Force and compare the percentage of earnings—women to men—you won’t see many categories that are equal. Just looking at the broad category of “Management Occupations” one can see that women are still only making 70% of a man’s salary. And a female physician or surgeon is only making 64.4%.
What. The. Hell.

And how sad is that under “Office and Administrative Support Occupations”, our earnings are only about 90%. It’s a female-dominated field and we still suffer from pay inequality?

I’m feeling less advantageous.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women now hold 51.4 percent of managerial and professional jobs up from 26.1 percent in 1980. They make up 54 percent of all accountants and hold about half of all banking and insurance jobs. About a third of American physicians are now women, as are 45 percent of associates in law firms, and both those percentages are rising fast. A white-collar economy values raw intellectual horsepower, which men and women have in equal amounts.

The assumption here seems to be that we can determine an increased corporate value for feminine traits by noting this increasing trend. I don’t think so. I think the managerial position increases are a natural result of the progression of time. Women entered the workforce later. Career advancement normally follows experience. Thus couldn’t the gain be explained as the natural progression of career advancement over time rather than an increased desirability of female workers? When looking at gender gaps, I find it the gap in the number of male versus female Chief Executives, 251 and 793, respectively (though the pay gap is better at 80%). Then there is the pay gap for women in the Financial Manager occupation, 64.9% even when there are more women than men employed.

As I dug deeper into the just the numbers of women employed in a specific occupation and the ensuing pay gap, I looked at jobs that have been more traditionally male. The obvious choices for me were the broad categories of “Installation, maintenance and repair”, and “Construction and extraction”. Despite being very heavily male-dominated, there pay gap was in favor of women, 100.6 and 108.6, respectively.

That was shocking. That pay equality is demonstrated more in jobs where gender inequality is also the highest? That makes the rest of it seem a little less progressive.

On a macro level, I think a lot of our gains can be explained by simple economics. One cannot ignore the fact that employing a woman is still cheaper than employing a man to do the same job. Once we proved to be of equal intelligence, why wouldn’t a business chose the economic advantage of cheaper labor?

So perhaps our employment gains are really masking a loss–of equal pay.

One would think that if men were acting in a rational way, they would be getting the education they need to get along out there, says Tom Mortenson, a senior scholar at the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education. But they are just failing to adapt.

When we say men, man, manly, manhood, and all the other masculine derivatives, we have in the background of our minds a huge vague crowded picture of the world and all its activities. To grow up and “be a man,” to “act like a man” — the meaning and connotation is wide indeed. That vast background is full of marching columns of men, of changing lines of men, of long processions of men; of men steering their ships into new seas, exploring unknown mountains, breaking horses, herding cattle… of men everywhere, doing everything — “the world.” –Vandyke Jennings, Herland, Charlotte Perkins Gilman.

The continuing theme is that the fall of man is imminent simply because men are not showing an interest in the future, high-demand jobs, like nursing. That it is the cultural stereotypes that will prevent men from being successful in the future. I would imagine that the lure of higher pay will convert enough men to prevent the annihilation of the Y-chromosome.