Showing posts from January, 2011

When the Right Claims that Words Don't Matter

When gay-bashers around the country torture, torment, and kill lesbians, gay men, transgender people, and those perceived to be, they often are repeating words spoken from pulpits. While sitting on a panel of religious types, that was the response I gave when asked if I blamed anti-LGBTQ ministers for persecutions and deaths that take place around the country – after I said: “Yes, I do.” I added: “If you want to prove otherwise, tell me how often you’ve joined a march or rally, or spoken from the pulpit telling people it’s a sin to treat LGBTQ as less than human.” The response: silence, and acting as if they were the victims of my words. Anyone who’s studied these things knows that words matter. The right-wing talkers, including FOX News and Republican Party operatives like Frank Luntz, know they do because they craft their talking-points to move people to action, to make their words matter. Religious leaders know that, too. Otherwise why even give a sermon, spend hours crafting it, o…

When Can a Speak of the House Cry?

Some are calling right-wing Ohio Republican John Boehner “The Weeper of the House,” as he strengthens his control over the US House of Representative’s agenda. New Speaker Boehner openly tears-up when he talks of his own working class background and his personal success in achieving “the American Dream.” Speculators say he’s mentally unstable or that this reflects trouble with alcoholism. I wouldn’t be surprised if both were true. But there’s a larger issue too. John Boehner has to navigate its waters as carefully as any other male. What he’s doing when he sobs in public is pushing the boundaries of an exacting and complicated code of masculinity regarding the expression of emotions other than anger and “righteous” indignation. How can a man get away with this without being put down as weak, feminine, or gay? Imagine the chorus of criticism if Nancy Pelosi reacted with tears. There’d be little pity. Her ability to lead would be suspect. She’d be labeled a hysterical woman unable to co…