The Westboro Baptist Church

I have heard SO many things about this church, and I just read an article about it that shocked me. Rush Limbaugh, an American radio talk show host, political commentator, and an opinion leader for American conservatives (according to wikipedia), is a part of this church. During one of his programs, he said, ”

“If you wear a dress that is strapless with a brassiere that isn’t, you might be a slut,” 

“If you are an anchor bimbo for Fox News and your name is Kelly or Julie, you might be a slut.”

“If you think it’s OK to have sex with men outside the marriage bed, you might be a slut,” the commercial continues. “And if you fornicate your brains out and you think the government ought to pay to kill your baby, well, sounds like a slut to me — and God hates sluts.”

So, what ever happened to “God is love?”. I have a problem with the previous statements for various reasons. Here are some of them.

  • For one thing, I don’t believe sluts exists. I believe people can be sexually liberated. People can have  a lot of sex, or show a lot of skin, but thats their own choice, and they don’t deserve to be labeled a “slut” for it. People can do whatever they want.
  • People should be able to dress however they are comfortable without being put down for it. Dressing is a personal matter and it is no one elses buisness.
  • Sex is also a personal matter. Whats wrong with having sex outside of the marriage bed? Just do what makes you happy, jeez.
  • So, if you get an abortion your a slut? Umm, how does that even make sense? For one thing, every person should have the right to make the decision they want to, it is not “murder” and for another thing, how does getting pregnant and than not being able to keep the child make someone a slut? It can happen to anyone.

This isn’t the only thing about Westbouro Baptist Church, check out these videos!

What do you think? Comment below and let me know!

 

Photo from Google Images!

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“Sluts”

This is the quote of the day! It is by Elissa Sursara:

“If someone calls you a slut, there’s nothing you can say to refute the claim because it never had any cognitive content anyway. Even virginity is not a defense against alleged sluttiness. Virgins can be sluts if they dress the wrong way, walk the wrong way, or even instill the wrong thoughts in other people. Some people will convict you of sluttitude because your body is the wrong shape, or the right shape. What determines sluttiness? Is it number of partners, or the number of sex acts, or the kind of sex, or whether you enjoy it, or what other people infer about your self-esteem based on what they assume about your sex life? It’s all of the above, or none of the above. Either way, you lose. Maybe it has nothing to do with you at all. Maybe it’s because your accuser is racist or classist and your “sluttiness” is built into some stereotype that was clanking around in their head before they ever met you. If you try to argue that you’re not a slut, you’re implicitly buying into the idea that there are sluts out there. If there’s some criterion that will set you free, that standard will indict someone else—someone with a higher “number,” or shorter skirt, or a later curfew. So we get bogged down in slut/non-slut border skirmishes over a line nobody should have tried to draw in the first place, and we all lose. The only “refutation” is to laugh in your accuser’s face and get on with your life, however you choose to live it.”

I LOVE this quote. What do you think about it? Comment below and let me know! (:

What is beauty?

This is something I wrote during the summer, when I was feeling judged for my lack of “femininity” and my choice not to shave. ENJOY! Image found on: http://weheartit.com/entry/20787414/via/imaginepeace (:

It seems like nobody ever questions what they are doing. Why am I wearing makeup? Why do I shave? Why do I want to be skinnier? Whenever I ask someone to think about these questions, their immidiate response is usually something like “I do these things because thats what girls are supposed to do”. Well, says who? Society. The reason so many women/girls do these things is because of socially constructed ideas of beauty. We are socialized to believe there is only one way to be beautiful. We see it everywhere. So many of us do change, or wish we could change the natural state of our bodies just to conform to what is considered to be the right thing to do.

When we do these things, it is like we are saying it is okay to oppress us in this way. It is okay that we are made to feel like we are not good enough. It is like we are saying all we are good for is “being beautiful”. I am a girl and I deserve respect. I am not my body. I am not my bra size or the size of my jeans. I am not a shade of lipstick. And i am not here for you. I am not here to please you and look the way you want me to look. I am sick and tired of having other girls ask me why I dont shave, or why I dont wear more makeup, or why I dont dress differentely. I dont do those things because, why should I? I am me. I am not a product of the media and the messages I get around me.

I am my own person and I will do whatever I am most comfortable with. I am not my appearence, I am my mind. I am my thoughts. I am my feelings and ideas, not my clothes or my hair, or any other part of my physical appearence. I have a voice and i refuse to be silenced simply because I am a girl. I refuse to be seen as nothing but boobs and a vagina. I refuse to be seen as a sex object. I am a person and I have views and ideas I want to share. I am tired of being looked down upon by girls who think and act the way a socially-stereotyped girl is supposed to. Those girls are not any better than me. I am just as much of a woman as they are. I’m tired of people making a big deal about me not shaving my legs. I am tired of being laughed at. Because you know what? The joke is on you, I am fighting against sexism and stereotypes and I just want to be me. Whoever that may be.

Our gender “norms” are fucking us over, because not all women are the same. We are all so different and we are all so beautiful. I hate hearing girls talk about other girls who dont dress “girly” or dont wear makeup, or dont shave. And saying they are “guyish” or making the assumption that they wish they were a guy, just because they dont look like a socially-stereotyped women “should”. I wish these people would open there eyes and realize that we are not meant to be alike! Being different is beautiful. And beauty is not makeup. Beauty is not long hair. Beauty is not having shaved legs or wearing a dress. Beauty is not your body, but the volume of the soul that it carries. It breaks my heart to see so many girls struggling with low self-esteem or feeling like they are not good enough. Fuck what people say! Your not to fat. Your boobs are not to small. Your not to loud. Your not ugly. Your not to emotional. None of that. You dont need to change. EVERYONE is beautiful!!!! And for someone to come and tell you that your “ugly” or “not good enough” is just so wrong. Because no one has any right to define what beauty is and tell you that you arent it. Everyone has beauty in them. No one has the right to tell you to “act like a lady” or to change the way you look. Because not all women are meant to be the same. You are all so beautiful, i promise.

Classism: How it plays out

First of all, I am going to define the word classism. Classism is the institutional, cultural, and individual set of practices and beliefs that value people differently based on their socio-economic class, privileging people who are wealthy and targetting people who are poor or working class.

Our society gives power to those who are wealthy, for 1%, yes ONE PERCENT of the U.S population holds 48% of the wealth. Crazy right? That means the majority of us, 80% to be exact, hold only 6% of the U.S wealth. Talk about an uneven distribution of wealth.

During the summer, I went to a camp called CLI, Community Leadership Institute. It focused on issues of oppression and social justice. One thing we talked about, was classism, and how we see it play out. This is what we came up with :

How classism plays out at school

  • The cliques. We noticed that often times wealthier students stick together, building a wall between the upper and lower class students.
  • The extra cirricular activities, which are often times expensive.
  • College prep tend to have more minorities. (racism as well as classism).
  • Teachers make assumptions about lower class people sometimes, and expect more from students of higher class.

How classism plays out in the community

  • People of higher class “showing off” their cars.
  • Some sales people make assumptions about people they perceive as lower class and assume that they won’t buy anything.
  • If a sales person assumes you are lower class, they suspect you of stealing more
  • Sales people tend to be friendlier towards people they perceive to be wealthy, because they are more likely to purchase something.

There are literally thousands of ways classism plays out, but these are just a few examples we came up with. What can you do to stop classism in your community?

  • Try to organize events that are free!
  • Don’t ask people questions about how much money they have.
  • Try to set up financial aide in schools for students who can’t afford books, field trips, prom, etc.
  • Try your best to see people for who they are, not the money they have.
  • Be friends with people of all socio-economic classes, and encourage your friends to do the same.

If you have any examples of how YOU see classism play out, e-mail me or comment below! I would love to hear what you have to say (:

This is an example of unequal wealth distribution! Photo from: http://www.streetartutopia.com/?p=4334

Born this way

A question many of you might have is, why does social justice matter? Or, how does it affect me? oppression effects ALL of us in some way or another. We all hold privilege for one reason or another, but on the other hand, we are all marginalized at some point. Being an ally and an activist isn’t about thinking about comparing who has it harder. Its about understanding that we ALL perpetuate harmful stereotypes and generalizations. Weather its for our appearance, sexuality, gender, race, religion, ability, or class, we have all been affected by oppression. Another question you might have is, What is oppression? Oppression is an unjust or cruel exercise of power. Our society gives the privilege to people who are white, rich, heterosexual, cisgender, male people. We should all have the same power and privilege regardless of any of those things. Social justice matters because if we learn about the ways we hold power, we can learn how to be an ally to others who don’t hold as much power, and be a good ally. Its about changing the stereotypes that are klinking around inside our heads, and fighting the internalized sexism, racism, or whatever it is that we have been socialized to turn in ourselves. Have you ever been put down? Or felt bad about yourself because of something that is beyond your control? That is internalized oppression, and on this blog I am going to talk about how to fight it, as well as how to stop judging others, and the little things we can do to make others feel included. Why does social equality matter to me personally? I am a lesbian,lower middle class teenager, and I have a twin brother who has a disability called Down syndrome. For these reasons, I have experienced discrimination. I believe that we should ALL have the same rights, and if we all do what we can to be respectful and accepting of one another, we can make this world a better place!