Thursday, June 16, 2005

Train wrecks are so inspiring

The first is Bru, a/k/a "the Bore", who I found out has a website about "gender diversity".

I e-met the Bore at the other train wreck, Stephen Bennett's blog. It's people who live in plywood houses who fear a light wind...that's all I'm sayin' about him.

Anyway. The Bore decided to ask a gay man who is celebrating his anniversary with his husband whether he is "the wife." It brought back a lot of bad memories for me. I hate those questions, and the assumptions behind them, so much. First of all, I was raised to believe that gender expectations are simply a matter of context. My mom is a former tomboy with lots of protective male friends who works in a male-dominated industry. She taught my brother and I how to fix things, how to cook, how to do everything we needed for ourselves--having been widowed, she thought those were important lessons for us, and she was right. My brother is a great cook, loves cooking for his wife and fussing over her, and coos over babies and cute animals. And they're both straight. I, the same-sex-married bisexual woman, am probably more "gender-typical" than they are.

People who ask that question not only think that all households and all people in a given group must function the same way, but miss the point of what we and our relationships are entirely. If I wanted a boy, I'd be with a boy. I'm 50/50 bisexual and I don't need to trap boys at spearpoint. Hell, my all-the-way-gay wife doesn't need to, for that matter--acquaintances of ours joke that they know she's totally lesbian because she's surrounded by good-looking men who like her very much and hasn't been tempted by any of them. (It's like watching a person who has no ability to taste or be affected by chocolate visit the Hershey factory!) Asking us "Who's the boy/man/husband?" is a way to state that our relationship is lacking and that we are not sufficient for each other. And nobody likes to hear that, not even "the homosexual."

The other thing I thought of was how, when I was in the Assemblies of God church, I used to think that the leaders there credited Satan with more creativity than God. Hear me out on this. There were only so few acceptable ways to worship God, right? Yet Satan was responsible for Islam and Wicca and atheism and all manner of other "false" religions. There were many ways to dress in an "ungodly" manner. There were many forms of "ungodly" music--everything from Sinead to Nirvana to Public Enemy to De La Soul to Garth Brooks to stuff that even I didn't listen to (*smirks*) was considered to be detrimental to the Christian walk. Satan was responsible for lots of books and magazines, but the "Godly" selection was much more limited. There was only one acceptable way to have sex and many that were unacceptable. Et cetera, et cetera.

It seemed like a resounding slap in the face to the ultimate Creator of all that we were supposed to be worshipping, to credit him with creating so little and Satan with creating so much.

And now that I believe in the possibility of multiple Creators, it still does.


annie said...

hi! wow, a really excellent and thought-provoking post. i am raising and have raised my children with many of the principles i hear you echoing via your mom. the gender trap is just that. i am a straight, almost-50-year-old woman who refuses to be stereotyped according to whom or what i sleep with, and likewise i refuse to judge people based on their gender or sexual preference(s) as my own mother used to say "what has that got to do with the price of bread?!" (huh?)
thanks for visiting my blog...peace to you and yours.

Christine said...

I've gotta' admit, I think Bru's comment had everything to do with being tacky, and very little to do with actually caring about the gender roles in that situation. I've noticed he likes a good confrontation.

Of course, that's the HARD part of the written word. We read into it - the tone of voice, the sarcasm (or lack thereof). I may be reading him completely wrong. I wonder many times, if my sense of humor comes across as being offensive to some people (or they just don't get me!!).

Thanks for visiting my blog. I enjoy yours and will pop back over time to time.

Oh, and I hope you hang around Stephen's site. He really does ooze love. He doesn't ever bend on his convictions, but he sure does care about people. He's the kind of guy you can be friends with ... but totally disagree.

Love your hair.

Qivan said...

Hi Cracker,

Well, I guess my user name may be fueling Bru's comments, but it's tongue in cheek. I don't think Bru gets irony at all.

Thomas said...

Do you think Bru gets anything at all?