Gear Shift

When I get a boyfriend, we will not follow traditional gender roles. Neither of us will be the bitch or the butch, and if he even asks to go into a photo booth with me, I will never suck his dick again. I enjoy cooking, and wouldn’t mind making dinner so long as he learns a recipe or two and alternates with me. Some couples follow the traditional roles, with the man being the breadwinner and the woman staying home with the kids. If that’s what works, more power to them. If they do the opposite and are satisfied with that, then I support them in doing so. But I never really cared much for anything so rigid. I like the idea of taking a wrecking ball to the outlines that society tries to make couples fit into, even though I can’t say I have any desire to turn my life into a political statement. Let others determine what I “represent” and what I “stand for”. I’m too busy trying to get laid. With that out of the way, let’s talk about Mitt Romney. Man, this has not been his week, has it?

I’m still trying to figure out if he is just a terrible person or not a person at all. He seems to have accomplished most of what he wants to in life, and looks at the presidency as a chance to share his borderline-nonexistent values with everyone, including the people who find such beliefs abhorrent. Why does he want to be President of the United States? So he can be President of the United States, obviously. I’m getting tired of hearing nonsensical justifications about why he’s not that bad of a guy, why he doesn’t actually believe that 47% of the country are moochers, why 47% of the country actually are moochers so he’s just speaking the truth…look, just vote for the guy so we can get the black dude out of office, okay? We’ll worry about what all of this means later. And despite the troubles and bitter partisanship of the past four years, I still believe that not all Red Staters are bad people, that there was at one point a Republican Party that stood for something other than oppression of people who are different, and that the GOP can, with a massive realignment, once again stand for true American values. In the meantime, pretty much every Republican politician I can name is a jackass who will say or do anything to keep his own people in power and prevent the president from accomplishing anything at all. In spite of their best efforts, he’s done quite a lot, hasn’t he?

I think I’m starting to understand why I butt heads with feminists so much. Whenever I argue about anything related to sexism and gender politics, someone has to point out that I’m a man. Yes, I know. When I talk about racism, nobody says that since I’m white, I can’t possibly know what I’m talking about. When I talk about anti-Semitism, no one tells me to shut up just because I’m a Gentile. Yet whenever I argue with a woman over, let’s say, that wonderful Christopher Hitchens article in which he explained that women have the potential to be as funny as men, but society trains them not to be, she always has to remind me that I’m a member of an extremely privileged group of people. Well, in a way, so are you, bitch. You get to use your genitalia as a Get Out of Jail free card every time somebody calls you on your bullshit. Never mind if what you’re saying makes no sense, never mind if you’re basically bashing somebody else for not reading your mind and realizing how difficult it is for you even though you constantly talk about how no one can possibly understand you, you’re the noble, embattled Woman and I’m the wicked, chauvinist Man. Any questions? What’s distressing is that men often take the Woman’s side simply because they don’t want to be accused of misogyny. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Labels are just labels. Logic is universal.

I don’t think I’m the only one who was baffled by Ann Romney’s comments that what she and Mitt have is a “real marriage”. What, exactly, is a fake marriage? As long as the contract is binding and the participants are sentient adults, wouldn’t any marriage have to be real? Dan Savage pointed out, correctly, that in the eyes of Republicans, a fake marriage would be a gay one. Hell, the producers of Modern Family, which Ann cites as her favorite show, have asked if she’d like to officiate Mitch and Cam’s wedding. Somehow, I don’t think she’ll be interested. Pity. I keep trying to believe we’re not so different.

The 46th anniversary of Star Trek passed not too long ago, and while it’s tempting to see the Federation as a ruthlessly conformist organization that wants to impose order no matter what, that really isn’t the case. It’s a society that we all might like to live in, provided that we can achieve it without stagnating. As George Takei pointed out on his Facebook page, it isn’t about forcing people not to recognize their differences, but learning to see the uniformity in diversity. Or something like that. I still believe what Barack Obama said at the 2004 DNC about seeing no liberal America or conservative America, but the United States of America. Whoever gets elected in November, let’s hope he believes that, body and soul.


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