Talk Back Friday: Gay Rights, Obama’s Presidency, Palin’s Take Down, etc.

when I invented “Lurker Thursday” in a conversation with Anxious Black Woman, I knew I did not have the commitment to be still and give up a day of blogging, regularly, on the same day … FOLLOWING RULES!!!!  And as evidence, she did first Lurker Thursday on her own and has done the vast majority alone since. The thing is I like structure and I worry that the lack of structure is kind of like fishing for a compliment, which is nice, but doesn’t really foster conversation.

Then I saw Renee at Womanist Musing do something I found far more interesting: Guilty Pleasures Posts. Once a week Renee admits to something she enjoys and invites readers to weigh in. I love that!

Then I saw BFP’s “Thought Pieces.” Once or twice a week she puts a quick (paragraph) thought piece up with a question. The pedagogical in me loves that even more.

So today, which is normally 80s Friday (sorry I haven’t kept that up lately) I thought I would do a thought piece and see how it goes and then maybe next week we’ll do a Guilty Pleasure. And whatever sticks we have these amazing woc bloggers to thank for it.

The Questions:

Now that the election is over and realities have begun to sink back in, what are you thinking about?

  • While Obama’s historic win should be praised, all of the GLBTQ rights measures failed and some members of Congress were re-elected on the basis of anti-gay and anti-women ads. The juxtaposition of the two has led some to blame black people, or Latinos, for the loss despite statistical evidence to the contrary. Are you worrying about homophobia in this nation? Are you worried about the willingness of some to play divide and conqueer: GLBTQi [presumed white] vs. poc?
  • While Palin proved to be largely ignorant about foreign affairs, tyrannical in her leadership style, prone to anti-gay censorship and anti-affirmative action hiring practices (at least according to a coalition of black leaders in Alaska), and willing to charge women for rape kits, she still became the center of several sexist critiques during her historic run and is now being raked over the coals by political insiders. Does the narrative surrounding Palin make you concerned about misogyny or does sexism against her not bother you?
  • And what about Obama’s win? Just 1 day after he was declared the winner the papers were splashed with caution about his ability to impact or change anything. White liberal blogs and theorists wrote pieces warning people not to be excited or congratulatory b/c Obama really isn’t the hope we had all made him into during the election. While some of this critique is warranted: the economy does still suck, some liberals were using the win to say racism was over, and Obama really is just one man facing a sea of problems we will all need to swim to get to the otherside. But, why bring it all up the very next morning? Why start race baiting (ie blaming Obama’s win for gay marriage defeat), etc. less than 24 hours after his win? Does this trigger alarm bells for you or are you still rocking the happy?

These are the questions and thoughts rolling around in my head – of course in the form of essay questions. 😀  Tell me what you think. I wanna know if these are my own anxieties or if they are shared. Do you have other thoughts on all this election madness that I haven’t even begun to worry about, but should? Here’s your chance.

De-lurk and talk back.


6 thoughts on “Talk Back Friday: Gay Rights, Obama’s Presidency, Palin’s Take Down, etc.

  1. First us het folks just gotta stop getting married. We hear liberals/progressives woe these bans, but do nothing about their own privilege to have the state recognize their marriage. Maybe if enough people stopped, the wedding industry would force the government to remove the bans. Corporate interests generally come before the populous when it comes to these types of changes. I really felt Ms Palin got a bad rap. Alaska has one of the highest rates of Femicide in the country. It is definitively a boys network up there. For a woman to succeed in such an environment I imagine she’s gotta hold on to beliefs that aren’t always popular among folks in the "lower 48". Much was made of the Rape Kits, but similar to LA, Portland Oregon had bunches of rape kits sitting around waiting to be tested. I don’t believe it’s an isolated incident and would be interested to see how other cities handle this.With Larry Summers being considered for Treasury Secretary it seems women interests have taken a back seat once again for more "serious issues" like the economy. *bleh*As for Obama, I’m worried that there will be very few people of color represented in his administration. So far I’ve only seen mostly white people (men) picked/considered for these coveted positions of power. I think his selection will be a testament to the type of administration we’ll encounter for the next 4 years.

  2. Your questions are right on – it’s almost as if you are reading my mind. 🙂 I am so so happy about Obama’s victory. My birthday was on Thursday the 6th and half of my wish came true. Seeing Obama in the White House give me an enormous amount of hope (I don’t agree with all of Obama’s policy positions, but I think he might bring this country more toward the left – at least that’s my naive hope). The other half of my b-day wish was squashed. I live in CA and hoped to see Prop 8 go down in flames. I am incredibility worried about homophobia in this nation. The success of Prop 8 made me cry. But, at this point all I have is hope. Hope that activists will continue to challenge the status quo and maybe, just maybe the Obama administration will take a stand against these types of hate filled policies. Those are a few of my thoughts – thanks for all your amazing writing. I truly enjoy reading your blog. 🙂 Hugs,The RowdyKitten

  3. hi beanphed – you raise an interesting point about capitalism. Perhaps the industry is against gay marriage precisely b/c it funnels extra funds into the marriage industry that would usually go to the church or the state? I didn’t cry, I went numb like shell shock. I think there is a major difference between expecting women to pay for their own rape kits – asking them for billing during the traumatic exam and/or re-traumatizing them with a mailed bill reminding them not only of the rape but also asking them to pay for being victimized and wanting to do something about it – and kits that are paid for by the state and sit on the shelf. In the case of the latter, women are still re-victimized by a system that does not process their evidence and may literally wait so long the samples are too degraded to use, but they are not asked to pay for the privilege of having their rapes investigated as if rape crimes are somehow not crimes at all but civil matters that neither police nor medical providers really have to care about. You don’t pay for finger printing when your home or car is broken into . . . Interestingly, I was so happy to see a woman who I think has been extremely astute during the election season amongst those first chosen, and some "in your face" democrats, that I had not widened my gaze to see the absence of poc – sad, sad, sad – thanks for pointing that out. Given he just called himself a "mutt" on national television, we’ll see.Hey Rowdy Kitten – what a great and sad b-day present indeed. I’m glad you are holding on to the Hope; I hope most people are, even as I start to wallow in cynicism about my fellow citizens (and non-citizens).

  4. 1.) yes. i am worried about homophobia. and i am very worried about the racism being deployed in the explanations of why all of the anti-gay measures passed. (i should say all but in CT. i believe there was actually a proposal on the ballot that was defeated – completely and totally. i also think i saw some where that 95% of all voters in CT voted in this election) it is very dangerous when LGBTQ communities are defined as white.2.) palin. i’ve been pondering this a lot. the palin experience over the last two months has been just so strange. i mean, she was such bizzare vp pick. i’m still digesting it all. but what is clear to me, is that her complete lack of qualifications for the job she was selected for was used to excuse and ignore the ways sexism was deployed in the place of serious critique. it was hard to feel passionately about this, while watching her incite xenophobia and racism and appear to condone racist chants in the crowd.3.) alarmed yes. the larger function of this? i’m still thinking on that one.

  5. Quick response to qgirl’s #1: The CT proposal wasn’t directly about same-sex marriage, but had the potential to affect it. It was a vote on whether to open a constitutional convention, and a central concern about that was that the state constitution could have been altered to ban ssm. So yes, it was definitely a victory for queer rights!I wish the voter turnout were 95%, but the info I’m finding online says around 70%. My precinct, which traditionally has very high turnout (upper-middle-class mostly-white families and grad students), was 69%, 87.7% of which went for Obama.Prof, I just found your blog via Tenured Radical and will be coming back–many of your concerns are exactly the things I’ve been feeling since the election.

  6. gyra – welcome to the blog and thanks for the clarification on the numbers. I find myself thinking that in this age of 24 hour news, exit polls, and projections we will never really nail all the numbers down at the speed we report them.

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