Transgender Sportsmanship

By Dave Granlund

By Dave Granlund

In another step forward for transgender rights, the ability to play on sports teams matching their gender is spreading across school districts.  Recently in Minnesota a school voted in a landslide victory to let their athletes play on their gender team.  This is something that increasingly is being done, but in this particular case, a little more spotlight was shed on the issue thanks to the Governor of Minnesota, Mark Dayton.  Governor Dayton chose to address not only this issue, but people who voted against the measure.  He had seen an advertisement printed by the Minnesota Child Protection League in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.  The advertisements contained not only false claims about what exactly the measure meant, and who it would impact, but used an overly emotional argument to influence people’s opinions before the vote.  The Governor addressed the ad by saying

“I think some of the hate-mongering that was going on was just despicable…I can’t comprehend how some people in this state can want to spend their time on something that’s that destructive to other people’s lives and misstate it in such a way that is really appalling.”

The more that we see people who have a public audience stand up and express their support for not only transgender rights, but LGBTQ rights and human rights in general, the more exposure and gravity these movements gain.  Every speech, blog, conversation, and comment helps.

Who Put You in Charge?

With all the discussion happening regarding Universities and Colleges [mis]handlings of on-campus rape cases, many people have never stopped to consider an important question.

Why is that their responsibility?  Why isn’t it taken to the police?

It’s a fair concern.  After all, rape and sexual assault are serious charges.  This article by Politico details not only why, but how it came to be that campus assaults became handled this way.  It’s an incredibly informative piece.

Blood Laws

referenced from explosm.net

referenced from explosm.net

Today I read something that really made my blood boil.  Yes, it’s literally about blood.  I had no idea that currently homosexual men are not allowed to donate blood.  In fact, when I read this story I went and did my own research to confirm that was true.  I couldn’t believe it.  Yet, according to the Blood Centers of the Pacific website, it’s true.  American Red Cross confirms it on their website.  I suppose a homosexual man could technically donate under these rules, but only if they haven’t had sex with another man since 1977…

The content of the article I read was basically detailing a new proposal by the FDA that would allow homosexual men to donate blood, providing they hadn’t been sexually active in at least a year.  I had to double-check the source, because I initially thought this had been posted by The Onion or another satirical site.  It’s hard for me to understand why and how this kind of regulation could possibly still exist.  The article points out that there are tests which can detect HIV within two weeks of contraction.  It points out that allowing gay men to donate blood contributes significantly more of the life-saving resource to people who greatly need it.  It points out that the government assuming that assuming every single gay man has AIDS/HIV IS RIDICULOUS.

I’m very rarely at a loss for words.  Here I find that I’m pretty close.  To me, this falls under blatant discrimination of gay men, bordering on plain homophobia.  We have the resources to test for this disease.  It should be treated like every other blood disease that could be accidentally donated.  Screen as best you can, test the blood before it’s sent in, and THANK THEM FOR DONATING.

Underage and Over-Criticized

referenced from alicevega.com

referenced from alicevega.com

I’m sure many of you have seen this story already.  Sasha and Malia, America’s First Daughters, were criticized by a GOP aide for their attire choices.  She resigned shortly after.

Now, I realize that sounds harsh, but allow me to elaborate.  GOP aide Elizabeth Lauten specifically said

“Dear Sasha and Malia, I get you’re both in those awful teen years, but you’re a part of the First Family, try showing a little class. At least respect the part you play. Then again your mother and father don’t respect their positions very much, or the nation for that matter, so I’m guessing you’re coming up a little short in the ‘good role model’ department.  Nevertheless, stretch yourself. Rise to the occasion. Act like being in the White House matters to you. Dress like you deserve respect, not a spot at a bar. And certainly don’t make faces during televised public events.”

That is quite the quote. Even if we ignore the blatant disrespect dished out towards the President and First Lady, it’s still a bit shocking (at least to me).  Sasha and Malia are respectively 13 and 16 years old.  I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t have been able to show half of the maturity they do every day when I was that age.  So they made some faces.  So they showed their knees.  Elizabeth Lauten is an adult, and the lack of sympathy and harsh judgements she showed these young girls is awe-inspiring.

So why do I care?  Why is this being talked about on Carnal Politics?

It’s just another manifestation of rape culture, in my eyes.  Women in short skirts/shorts are sluts.  Women with low tops are sluts.  Women who spend too much time focusing on their appearance are sluts.  Apparently, now underage girls wearing perfectly sensible holiday-wear are also sluts.  “A spot at the bar?”  THEY AREN’T EVEN OLD ENOUGH TO HAVE BEEN IN ONE.  Why is it that, especially in politics, women are judged so harshly?  Even the women on the sidelines who aren’t there to be judged or assessed?  They didn’t ask for dad to be one of the most visible men in the world.  They aren’t thinking about whether their outfits ask for the right kinds of attention.  They got dressed for Thanksgiving, had to stand on national TV for a couple hours, and made a few funny faces in the process.  Good for them.  They deserve to be kids.  Why can’t we, for once, remember that’s exactly what they are?

Teach Us Something We Don’t Know

By Mikhaela Reid, referenced from mikhaela.net

By Mikhaela Reid, referenced from mikhaela.net

Salon.com posted an article recently about sex-ed, and it’s definitely worth looking in to if you’re interested (or plainly enraged) by the topic.

Here is a very in-depth look at what exactly is happening (or rather, not happening) in the US school systems in regard to sexual education, and why.  It highlights the use of abstinence-only programs, and why that can be so very damaging to teens, and anyone else exposed to it.

Looks Like We’re Not [bigoted] in Kansas Anymore…

by Justin DeFreitas

by Justin DeFreitas

Well folks, Kansas is finally getting there.  County by county, they’re beginning to issue same-sex marriage licenses.  I am happy to announce that Olathe, Kansas began officially issuing same-sex marriage licenses after several stop-start decisions because of legal holds and petitions.  I was fortunate enough to talk with one of the couples that initially applied for a license on October 9, 2014.  They even had an informal ceremony performed by a minister offering his services to couples on the courthouse stairs.  Soon after, the Kansas Attorney General put a hold on all same-sex marriage licenses, although applications were still being accepted.  Kaci Campbell and Kim Garner filled out an application on October 9th, but by October 10th the Kansas Attorney General had already blocked any licenses from being issued.  Kaci said after the first delay that the attorney general “…thinks that the judge that allowed us to get marriage license is not qualified to make that kind of decision…If not for activist judges, women would have no rights, right? Slavery would not have been abolished, right? Thank you, Judge, for standing up for ALL individuals’ rights.”  Kaci and Kim were finally able to receive an actual license recently, on November 19.  She contacted me the night before and said “They lifted the ban today in Johnson County, so tomorrow I will finally go get license and be married by the end of the day. The news called and interviewed us tonight, on channel 9 tonight…”  She and Kim still plan “to have another ceremony because the last one wasn’t technically legal.”  I’m so excited for them to have the most fun, creative, and LEGAL ceremony they possibly can!  They are both beautiful, unique people, and I wish them all the best.

Now, while this is certainly great news, it’s not the end of the battle (even in Kansas).  The state of Kansas is still appealing the rights to same-sex marriage.  Although this probably won’t amount to any changes, it’s still something to be concerned about.  Until same-sex marriage is at the very least respected by everyone, it won’t be an easy world for any of us to live in.  Why is it so hard for people to just see love instead of gender and sex and all of the other things that should be secondary?

Abortion Evolution

By Joel Pett

By Joel Pett

I think that with a new republican majority, it’s expected that there will be a lot of new legislation reflecting more conservative ideas.  One of the big topics I am concerned about it birth control and abortion.  This article does a good job of explaining what exactly could begin happening.