Friday, February 15, 2008

Can I get a ticket outta here?

Not Memphis -- Midtown and I get along just fine. I continue to fear and loath Nashville. And seriously, I want the hell out of Tennessee.

Like, now. Like, five months from now ain't soon enough. Like, I seriously want Midtown Memphis to secede from the rest of the state, citing irreconcilable differences.

As reported by feministe and feministing, Tennessee State Senator Doug Henry thinks that rape just really isn't what it used to be:
"Rape, ladies and gentleman, is not today what rape was. Rape, when I was
learning these things, was the violation of a chaste woman, against her will, by
some party not her spouse. Today it's simply, 'Let's don't go forward with
this act.'"

Wait -- what?
What? You, sir, are a misogynistic creep. No, creep is not strong enough for what you are. I don't know if we have a word strong enough for what you are.

*begin the Southern Belle accent* Oh, I'm sorry, ignore that bit above. I keep having these strange delusions that I'm a actual individual person with some sovereignty over my body. Silly me! I don't have spouse, so I guess I'm just fair game until it's established which manly man owns me. Maybe I should start looking into getting that lobotomy. *end the Southern Belle accent*

Yeah. Right.

(P.S. I misspelled "secede" the first time around. This makes me a bad southerner. That makes me grin today.)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Ooo...can I be a part of this agenda too?

Given my last paper was titled originally Origen and the Angry Inch, and then retitled Breaking Both the Vessels: Narrating the GenderQueer Kingdom of God, I think I'm already there.

Via Peterson Toscano (who will be in Memphis this month!), Christianity Today's take on the "Transgender Movement."

This article demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of gender identity, overlooks transgendered persons who do not feel the need for SRS, as well as genderqueer persons, gender outlaws, and any other persons floating about in the gender spectrum.

Further, anyone who is paying any attention at all when they read the Bible should be able to pick a cue here and there that gender is constructed in different ways in different times and places. Elements of gender queering remain in the New Testament -- eunuchs for the kingdom of God anyone -- even if J.C. didn't mean that statement literally, the implication of saying that in a society which considered eunuchs to be walking the line in between women and men, is certainly a striking idea. Mary of Bethany is praised for ignoring her traditional womanly gender role and taking up a studious masculine gender identity. Early church hagiography is rift with gender bending saints. The early church didn't seem to have much of a problem with "glorifying wierdos." And this is only what made it past the canon redactors.

Do a bit of digging and a lot of other stuff pops up! Joseph's "technicolor dream coat" -- yeah, the only other time that Hebrew word is used in the Bible -- it refers to the garment worn by the virgin daughters of King David.

Suggested Reading:

She's Not the Man I Married, Helen Boyd, of (en)gender -- I'm only about halfway through, but this is both clear and nuanced introduction transgenderness.
Homoerotic Narrative in Hebrew Bible, Theodore W. Jennings, Jr.
The Manly Eunuch, Matthew Kuefler
Love Between Women: Early Christian Responses to Female Homoeroticism, Bernadette Brooten

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Radical feminist I may not be, but damned if they don't have an amusing since of humor.

Today's exhibit: Mary Daly's Website.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Update on Columbia Mosque Arson

Three people ranging in age from 19-32 have been arrested.

Also, this article contains responses from a couple of area churches. I'm glad to see churches calling for respect for all religions. Unfortunately, the comments at the end of the article are reviving my desire to leave Tennessee and never look back.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Home Grown Terrorism

The neo-nazis in Maury County burned the Islamic Center in Columbia, TN to the ground. Thank the Divine in all the forms and faces that no one was injured.

It's a hate crime, which means the FBI is involved and hopefully the good ol' boys won't be able to sweep this under the rug if they were so inclined. I hope they catch the bastards and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law. Those bastards are terrorists.

They intended to spread fear through the Muslim residents and citizens of Maury County, Tennessee, and the United States of America. They intended to reassert their sense of being powerful and being able to oppress others. To violently assert their mistaken sense of superiority and self-righteousness. To communicate what they would like to do to every person who doesn't share their skin color, religion, etc.

This is the result of the anti-Islamic rhetoric that has taken over the Republican party. This is the result of people who believe the lies that the television is feeding about Islam -- usually, without ever having met a single Muslim individual. That mindset allows the hatred and the misunderstanding to grow, until it does become violent. Words can and do support terrorism, and every slur against Islam, every misrepresentation of Islamic culture does just that. It supports and undergirds the mentality that leads people to do things like this.

I expect to see and hear a number of arguments that this doesn't reflect the actual attitudes of people in Maury County, and on a certain level it doesn't -- most of them wouldn't actually go out and commit a violent crime. However, the people of Maury County, the people of Tennessee, and the people of the United States as a whole, have to realize that incidents like these don't form ex nihilo in the mind of a racist redneck one night. They grow out of, and are supported and informed by, a cultural context and a cultural rhetoric, and when something like this happens, it's time to take a look at the social constructs that fostered and gave birth to it.

The rhetoric of hatred is a problem anywhere it is found.