The Pot of Gold

Lindsay Lohan’s recent fake eHarmony profile seemed stupid when I first saw it. 

I then remembered that eHarmony does not allow for same sex coupling. There is no option for a man to search for another man and a woman to search for another woman. Lindsay is attracted to women, so what was she doing making this ad?

We all now know that she was/is/whatever Samantha Ronson. She is a lesbian or bisexual. This alone is a statement and she reminds us of this relationship with this spoof. Lindsay is a prominent figure in the entertainment world and has been followed and loved by many. While her adult career started to take off, she was confirmed to be dating another woman. At first, Hollywood and it’s press went crazy, but now sees it as just who she is and is not surprised by it.

Watching a woman who was becoming a sex symbol not conform to what was expected of her (with the exception of the abuse of alcohol and partying) was I think eye-opening for many who stalk the entertainment world. 

So what does this ad do? 

I think this spoof shows us that many different people oppose discrimination based on sexuality, even if they are afraid to admit their own. I also think that it was a punch in the stomach for eHarmony having a prominent celebrity bash their site and their motives.

I also just thought it was kind of fun that she was able to bash herself and let us see that she understands what she is doing and is really proud of who she is, gay or straight.

Thanks Lindsay.

I have presented my view of humans’ sexuality to many of my peers and have received the same uncomfortable look from nearly everyone. 

I was presented a theory by one of my college professors about humans’ sexuality, and found it to be the most sound idea of sexuality I have ever heard. It just made sense to me.

Innate bisexuality.

Sigmund Freud introduced the term to mean that all humans are born bisexual. Through psychological development, humans become either straight or gay, with their bisexuality remaining latent. His theory is based on a misconception that at early stages, humans experience a period of hermaphrodism.

The term innate bisexuality has transformed through research, and I find Alfred Kinsey’s findings to be the most sound.

Kinsey found that sexuality should not be reduced to binary definitions of simply straight or gay, there is an in between. In a research he did he found that 28% of women and 46% of men were attracted to or sexually active with both men and women.

Kinsey then created what is known as the Kinsey scale, a continuum of sexuality from straight to gay.

My professor presented the idea to me that no one is entirely straight or gay, but somewhere in between. A simple attraction to someone of the same sex can be defined as a gay feeling. And by attraction, I mean simply thinking wow he has a good body (coming from another ‘straight’ man) or, more often heard, she is really pretty (coming from another ‘straight’ woman). I, as well as my professor, would define this as a gay attraction. This does not mean, however, that it will lead to sex as most perceive this to be. Just a small attraction.

I present this to you to see what you have to say. I know that it is a pretty unconventional theory. What is most interesting about it is the reactions the theory receives from people of all sexual orientations. Most are bothered by being defined as something they might disagree with, or even be offended by my thinking. But hey, let me know what you think.

On April 7, 2009, Vermont became the fourth state of the United States to legalize gay marriage, but the first to do so through legislature’s vote. The Vermont legislature overrode Governor Jim Douglas’ veto of a bill that would allow same-sex marriages. Connecticut, Massachusetts and Iowa have also deemed same-sex marriages legal. Bills to allow same-sex marriage are before lawmakers in New Hampshire, Maine, New York and New Jersey.

Being from California, I am a little biased. I always saw our state a one of the, if not the, most progressive states of the U.S. So when Prop 8 happened, I thought that progress would never be made until we, the Californians, made it first. Massachusetts had already legalized same-sex marriage all the way back in May of 2004. But it did not have the impact that a state like California would in terms of legislation in other states. I just hoped that when Prop 8 lost (yes, I was naïve enough to think that it was not going to pass), every other state would be in line to allow love to win for everyone equally.

With every new state that legalizes same-sex marriage I am ecstatic, but am also disappointed. Yes, selfish, I know. But I just wanted California to be the progressive one, the one that bent the rules first and caused change, the way it usually is. I mean, the San Francisco is home to the Castro. It’s jealousy I guess. I just thought that I lived in a state where human rights were something that were valued, but I guess I was wrong. I am just happy that other states have higher standards for themselves. Maybe one day we will too.

In addition, seven countries have legalized same-sex marriages: The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway and Sweden. I wonder when the United States will be added to this list.

Sweden legalized same-sex marriage! It is now the seventh country to do this. The other six are: 

The Netherlands, Norway, Belgium, Spain, Canada, and South Africa

Apparently, raping lesbians is the new trend. And this trend only proves how far we have come. As a participant in the LGBT movement, I look back and see how far the movement has come and the progress we have made. But when raping lesbians is a common thing, in numerous countries, the progress we have made is made small.

I was astonished when I read a report from NGO ActionAid about lesbians being raped in South Africa in order to change their sexuality. Corrective rape, they call it. I couldn’t imagine a country allowing this to happen. But I quickly remembered the story in January when four men were arrested for raping a woman because she was a lesbian in our very own California.

South Africa rapes lesbians and so do we. But what separates us from them is our legal standards. We at least punish the rapists. Still, does that really mean we as a society are any different or better or more socially advanced?

No.

The four men in the Bay Area were eventually arrested for their crime. In South Africa, hate-crimes are not recognized, so authorities do not pursue such cases. In Cape Town alone 10 new cases are reported every week.

So, let’s compare.

In the recent case in California, the woman had numerous rainbow bumper stickers on her car and was open about her sexuality. When the four men approached her as she got out of her car, they made comments indicating that they knew her sexual orientation. The 45-minute assault ended when they left the women naked outside of a burned-out apartment building. The men were arrested a little more than two weeks later.

Gay rights organizations note that LGBT directed hate crimes are one the rise in the United States. In 2006 there were 1,415 and in 2007, 1,460.

In the case in South Africa, the homophobic rapings were not brought to light until female soccer player Eudy Simelane was raped and murdered for being a lesbian. Now, it is reported that 31 lesbians have been murdered in homophobic attacks, but the number is most likely much higher. The harsh reality: only two of the 31 cases have been brought to court with only one conviction.

One lesbian in South Africa explained her experience to ActionAid:

We get insults every day, beatings if we walk alone, you are constantly reminded that you deserve to be raped. They yell, ‘if I rape you then you will go straight, you will buy skirts and start to cook because you will have learnt how to be a real woman.

One other piece of comparison: there are 93,000 rape cases a year in the United States, and 500,000 in South Africa a year.

So it’s obvious that South Africa has a bigger problem with rape and homophobic attacks, but what does that say about our societies?

At first glance I thought, we have come a long way in the United States in terms of homophobia and are doing much better than South Africa. Lesbians, for the most part are able to walk freely and alone without fearing for their lives. When a rape case, especially a hate-crime related rape case, happens in the Unites States, an investigation is quickly started and the suspects are usually found. When the same happens in South Africa, we can expect that only 0.0062% will be somewhat investigated.

So, our legal system is working better. But our morals and values are still the same.

Because of the knowledge that if you rape someone you will go to jail, people are more reluctant to do so. But the fact that people are still doing it, and specifically targeting lesbians, says that we are no different. Our homophobia continues on the same level. It is so strong, that we have members of both societies that feel the need to take away a lesbian’s humanity and abuse her body and mind through rape, the harshest form of abuse.

At first glance it appears that with the large gay rights movement at its peak, the United States has come a long way with its homophobia. It appears that we are more advanced in terms of human rights and respect than places such as South Africa. But as we examine our members as individuals, we are no better or less homophobic than South Africa, where they participate in corrective rape of lesbians.

We do the same; it just has a different name.

It has taken me some days to write this because after the hearing I was left feeling a little unfulfilled.

The hearing of Proposition 8 was on March 5 and lasted about 3 hours. The two sides of the case were the pro-Prop 8, who wanted the court to decide that the Proposition should have been an amendment and that it remains in place, and the against Prop 8, who wanted the court to decide that the Proposition should have been an revision. If the proposition should have been a revision, then the proposition may be overturned if the courts decide to do so.

During the hearing, the courts dug and dug for reasoning from both sides, but seemed to dig a little further with those opposing prop 8. This is understandable, as this is the first case of its kind, but was a little discouraging.

It seemed that the courts new what they wanted and needed a reason to change their minds.

The most painful part of the hearing: Attorney General’s representative. He was asked to define “fundamental rights”, and struggled to do so. He seemed uneducated and untrained to take on this battle. This was very disappointing as it seemed that the courts were very interested that the Attorney General opposed the proposition.

Most of the coverage the hearings had the same pessimism. 

The Mercury News ran a story online with the headline “California Supreme Court appears likely to uphold gay marriage ban.”

The L.A. Times made the claim that

The California Supreme Court strongly indicated Thursday it would rule that Proposition 8 validly abolished the right for gays to marry but would allow same-sex couples who wed before the November election to remain legally married.

And in the New York Times the claim was made that

the justices, who ruled just last May that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right, also appeared reluctant to undo the 18,000 marriages conducted before the ban was passed.

These reactions only reinforced my feelings of the hearings.

And now the issue of whether or not marriage should be included in the constitution at all is coming about. Unlikely.

It will happen eventually, just doesn’t seem that the decision in 90 days will be the right one.

March 2017
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