Menstuff® has compiled information and books on Gay, Bi, and Transgender issues. This section is Robert N. Minor's weekly column featured daily on our homepage. Robert is the author of Scared Straight: Why It's So Hard to Accept Gay People and Why It's So Hard to Be Human and Gay & Healthy in a Sick Society and Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. He may be reached through www.fairnessproject.org or at E-Mail.
Tis the Season to Examine Myths
Whatever its real, less fanciful history, and however dysfunctional family get-togethers really are, this holiday season beginning with the American Thanksgiving is the perfect time to remind us as we count down to a major election in less than a year that nations promote many myths that sustain them.
In the field of religious studies, identifying a myth is not a comment on the historical accuracy of the story in question. History happened back then. But a myth is any story that says something meaningful to someone today.
It can be historically accurate (or not), but its power and meaning is that it informs, directs, justifies, and touches emotions about framing the present. And all countries have myths that teach from childhood what loyal citizens of the nation are supposed to believe about what it means to be American, French, Chinese, Egyptian, or whatever.
Beyond the religious myths of this season are the national myths that sanctify ideals that the powers that be want represented as part of national identity. Theyre taught by schools and other institutions so incessantly that they become unquestionably so.
Whether or not George Washington ever really chopped down any cherry tree, were to understand that honesty is American, while those who teach it might be as dishonest as it takes for them to maintain privileged societal positions.
The power of these dominant myths can obscure any historical inaccuracy. And if so, they can teach ideas that are good for enforcing the way things are, with the current powers, prejudices, and expectations in place.
They discourage as hopeless the chances of anyone who wants to change the system and its power structure. And doubters and questioners are suspect of something like treason.
LGBTQ people, people of color, and others whove missed out on mainstream privileges, know the dominant myths about their communities that support prejudice. They stumble over them regularly -- running into those whove accepted myths about them without question and hearing them repeated in the media.
How fitting, then, when celebrating a season tied to Americana, to remember two major national myths that keep people disempowered. Myths that a deep reading of American history -- not the official history of our schools -- proves are historically false. Myths that if exploded would no longer hinder everyday people from believing that they can change things.
Myth 1: The salvation of this country is in electing great leaders who will solve our problems because presidents and other big heroes are responsible for Americas progress.
There are people who continue to expect some outsider from the business world to be some special savior. So they think that just supporting the right person would produce progress.
They didnt want to believe that he too was already actually a part of an established system. They wanted to believe that he would be different enough in some heroic way to somehow change the old ways that transcend the two entrenched political parties, including the party in which he was skillful enough to climb to the top.
The historical reality is that this is not how populist change has ever taken place in the US no matter how much we think the solution would be the election of even another Lincoln or FDR.
Its the social movements of the everyday people that moved our leaders. When so moved, leaders then took credit for what was accomplished as a result: There go the people, let me get out in front of them and look like Im leading.
American historian Howard Zinn concludes from his exhaustive study that American mythology downplays, even omits, the importance of everyday peoples social movements and thus -- a fundamental principle of democracy is undermined: the principle that it is the citizenry, rather than the government, that is the ultimate source of power and the locomotive that pulls the train of government in the direction of equality and justice.
Myth 2: The wars we continually enter are forced on us by the needs of the American people but ended because of the heroics of great leaders. Yes, there might have been a few bad wars, but they were necessary.
Historically, its the exact opposite. Zinn shows that war is manufactured by political leaders, who then must make a tremendous effort by enticement, by propaganda, by coercion to mobilize a normally reluctant population to go to war.
In 1917 the government sent 75,000 lecturers around the country to give 750,000 lectures to persuade the people that it was right to enter World War I. Thousands of people were put on trial and imprisoned to suppress opposition.
FDR, as James Polk before him for the Mexican War, Lyndon Johnson after him for the Vietnam War, and George W. Bush for the Iraq War, had to lie to the American people to convince them to support entrance into World War II.
Historian Thomas Bailey, portrays this in what he thinks is a positive light: Franklin Roosevelt repeatedly deceived the American people during the period before Pearl Harbor like a physician who must tell the patient lies for the patients own good... because the masses are notoriously shortsighted and generally cannot see danger until it is at their throats.
Wars begin for business reasons and end when the people have had enough. Everyday people and their movements force an end when they rise up, realize their power, and demand change.
The fact that these two basic national myths (there are others) are untrue is a reminder that, yes, were not stuck with the present. We can make change.
Its not hopeless if we choose to act in hope. We dont have to even wait for the right leader, Democrat or Republican, to do the right thing.
Zinn: no pitifully small picket line, no poorly attended meeting, no tossing out of an idea to an audience or even to an individual should be scorned as insignificant.
Before the election season is in full swing, the holidays
are a good time to prepare by rereading the history beneath
our national myths. How about, Howard Zinn, A Peoples
History of the United States: 1492 Present?
Can I Have A Conversation
with You Anyway?
Though wed prefer to believe that facts matter to people and that a good-faith conversation with those with whom we disagree will produce something constructive, the odds of so many conversations with those who disagree with us producing agreement are slimmer than ever.
Over the years, book after book have appeared advising how to navigate difficult conversations. The most recent was published in September entitled How to Have Impossible Conversations: A Very Practical Guide. Its well worth the read if youre committed to work with those around you.
One reality to face first is that such informed conversation attempts are unlikely to represent a two-way street. Its going to be at the behest of the liberal in the dialogue.
Likewise, its likely that the people from the ideological right-wing who should read this book, wont pick it up or see any need to do so. Their intent is often to add numbers to their entrenched position because thats confirmation that theyre right.
Liberal people who are willing to challenge prejudice are far more interested in understanding how to have such conversations because theyre more likely to have faith that dialogue is effective and valuable. Such hope comes out of a view of human beings that doesnt easily give up and a worldview that is open to nuanced thinking.
One of the difficulties of such conversations today, then, is how many people are not ready to engage, to learn, and to consider alternative opinions, especially if holding their current position enforces the fact that they have not been duped or couldnt be wrong. We talk often of a moveable middle as opposed to those who will remain stuck, but even that middle has shrunk.
People who hold prejudices have built their thinking and self-definition upon them for years, decades. So the very existence of someone standing in front of them who does not agree is a major threat to the comfort of how they define their world and themselves in terms of their prejudices.
It takes an openness and fellow-human-feeling of compassion to hear, weigh, and be open to the truth of a challenging position. These discussions, then, arent about facts, differing opinions, and philosophical options, but about self-definition and self-worth.
Theyre about the willingness to change without fear of losing oneself. And especially arguments that invoke religious justifications are about those very things who am I, what does the Divine think of me, what must I sacrifice of my worldview to change?
If someone believes they are a better person because of the position they hold, its difficult to go on. Morality binds and blinds. And thats what religion enforces.
"If youre engaged in a moral conversation, the authors remind us, your discussion is alwayswhether overtly or covertlyabout identity issues. When youre talking to an ideologue (or anyone else), it might appear that the conversation is about facts and ideas, but youre inevitably having a discussion about morality, and that, in turn, is inevitably a discussion about what it means to be a good or bad person. Decoding this connection is vital."
If we are interested in discussion with someone in that moveable middle as opposed to someone the authors call extreme, we enter an ambiguous place because that very middle maintains a spectrum of beliefs with differing possibilities for change.
What might begin as a helpful dialogue with someone using the techniques that the authors recommend can reach am impasse that means its time to end the conversation.
As the authors point out, for example: If someones reasoning makes no sense, theres a good chance they reason that way to justify a (moral) belief that cannot otherwise be justified.
Any such attempt at dialogue must first of all mean we are clear about our goals. These vary as to whether we are talking with someone who is a relative or friend who will be in our lives even in disagreement. Well have to ask how much the relationship means.
It will also depend upon the time and energy we are willing and able to put into the conversation in front of us. Does it distract from encouraging those who are already in the choir who need to be encouraged to sing? Or does the time it involves affect how much is left for others who need our support.
Remember that no conversation is the one that societal change depends upon. Often its best to walk away without guilt.
But just being there as a living, breathing human being who is clear about the beliefs we hold firm in contrast is the best challenge we can make for those who think everyone must surely agree with them. And then, its important that the person know that we disagree without apology for the disagreement.
Above all, being a model of how a human being should be is important. This not only means common moral decency and reasonable reactions, but taking personal responsibility for our own positions and expecting others to do the same.
We expect people to believe what they believe after thinking about the facts of a matter, but when their reasoning is based on a prior-ideology which claims that it came from God, the Bible, tradition, an institution, or some leaders opinion, belief in that gets blamed on that other and their responsibility for its acceptance is forgone.
No longer are they in a responsible conversation with you. They are pushing the discussion into something not discussable. They are no longer moveable by discussion.
There is no argument. In fact, getting into an argument is likely to enforce the opposing position.
So our sole responsibility becomes to say merely: I
want to be clear that you and I disagree about that.
And repeat as needed.
These Trump Years Expose a Class of
the Psychopathic Rich and The Game They Play
These are the people whove been admired by Capitalism for playing a rough and tumble game of high-stakes poker that takes no prisoners, leaves other players devastated, and cares nothing about any collateral damage (human or otherwise) thats left in its wake.
Progressives dont play the game well because theyre not into amoral war games. They want authenticity, community, honesty, and shared wealth instead, and dont even want to believe anyone would play so cold-bloodedly.
But it is ruthless -- a mans game. Those who wont play it must be prepared to have their masculinity questioned.
Its a game of the good ole rich white boys club. It lays down race, gender, class, and power cards.
And its been shown that those who play it best are psychopaths. Troubling research indicates that in the ranks of senior management, psychopathic behavior may be more common than we think more prevalent in fact than the amount such seriously aberrant behavior occurs in the general population.
Or as Jon Ronson, author of The Psychopathic Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry summarizes: I think my book offers really good evidence that the way that capitalism is structured really is a physical manifestation of the brain anomaly known as psychopathy.
Its a game that those working class people who admire such manliness aspire to play. Theyll cheer and vote for its winners in spite of losses these admirers have already suffered.
Its played in boardrooms and stock exchanges, a game that admires CEOs who personally win when their companies lose. Its a game of wheelers and dealers who outsmart, outplay, and out-power.
Its a game that values rogues like playboy, frat boy, sowed-his-wild-oats, strutting George W. Bush and braggart Donald Trump.
Its players are womanizers who know how to play, and treat women the way good ole boys do. Women must play their game. So pointing out how they use women actually furthers their hero status in the locker-room stories of the other boys.
Think of Bret Maverick, the gambler of the 1957-1962 TV series of that name. He never settled down, knew how to take other men for their holdings, flimflammed adversaries, charmed women and left em.
Think of Tom Cruise in Top Gun, whos handle was Maverick because he was a hot shot. He knew how to be a player, valued the play over the consequences, and was admired not for his integrity or compassion but as a mans man.
These are the good ole boys the game crowns its winner. They lie, cheat, and even steal as if there is nothing wrong with any of it as long as they come out on top.
What would bring a guilty conscience and even overwhelming feelings of disgrace to others is considered business ethics to them. As Ronson says, these are dangerous predators who lack the behavioral controls and tender feelings the rest of us take for granted.
These players admire the man who makes a killing in the stock market while others suffer, works the system to come out on top, lets the rest eat his dust, wins while others lose.
Usually others lose so that he can win the whole pot. Their destruction makes it all the sweeter.
They admire the man who knows what the game is, knows its a game, and gets his kicks by playing. He keeps a poker face. He lets people know only what he wants them to know, not what they need to know.
He knows when to hold em and when to fold em. Hes good at reading other peoples faces -- not to empathize with them and their plight, but to use their weaknesses, misplays, fears, and insecurities for his own victory.
And they like women who know what the rules of the game played by good ole boys are; women who are willing to take a womans place at the table. When the maverick finally settles down, its with a looker, not just any woman: like a beauty pageant contestant who knows how to play by, not question, the rules.
She is more than just a trophy. She fits the motherhood images, fusing the old right-wing idealism of a mom who appears to put husband and family first, but not the reality most right-wing families face the mother juggling this ideal with work outside the home to make it financially.
The good ole boys are proud of the way as real men they can protect their woman while still reminding us they theyre just women. They discovered a new word to bandy about at every criticism of her: sexism.
They know how all of this gamesmanship can appeal to those white working class voters who aspire to be a Maverick, or Cruises flyboy. That version of the American dream was applied to politics by Karl Rove and his disciples since.
Its tied to a ruthless, kill-or-be-killed image of manhood that feminists of all genders have questioned.
Its hard to believe that a class of people like this exist, but now we have seen it played out as theyre exposed as ruthless, cruel, misogynists and pedophiles for whom the only measure of goodness is getting what they want.
Certainly now we should recognize this game, face the
fact (against all our liberal fantasies) that its
real, ruthless and heartless, notice how it destroys the
vulnerable around us, never miss an opportunity to expose
it, and, most importantly, stay on task by speaking from the
real values we hold in contrast, values we take too
seriously to play games about.
Are These the Deep, Dark Secrets
of Those Who Cant Quit a Cruel President?
Wed rather deny it. Were assuming its getting better. But Miller was deadly serious.
But are the extremes of this pedagogy what lie beneath the cult of a cruel president?
Millers writings were extensive and important, including For Your Own Good: Hidden Cruelty in Child-Rearing and the Roots of Violence (1990), Thou Shalt Not Be Aware: Societys Betrayal of the Child (1998), and The Truth Will Set You Free: Overcoming Emotional Blindness and Finding Your True Adult Self (2001).
In each she challenged what was considered normal parenting in past generations.
Miller called for a total revision of the methods we use and how we view children. She described how parents, who havent dealt with the effects of the poisonous pedagogy of their own parents, project their ideas, feelings, and dreams on their children.
Children then learn that to survive they must honor and obey their parents while repressing memories, feelings, and attempts to be themselves. They must learn to conform, suppress their curiosity and emotions, and become intolerant, even afraid, of deviations from what theyve learned.
This parenting, we sincerely believed, is for their own good. In order not to face the pains, humiliations, disappointments, tragedies, and abuses of our own up-bringing, we wont look deeply at the issue, but refuse to take our own childhood feelings and experiences seriously.
As a result, we become unaware of what really happened. Were convinced that anything we went through was good for us, character-building, or necessary training to get along in the real world.
My childhood wasnt that bad. I turned out okay, we respond, even if our childhood was frankly abusive.
Our culture still tends to teach children to blame themselves as if adults are innocent and children born guilty. And as the magnitude of child abuse in our culture continues to come to the surface, we prefer to deny it.
We learned to defend our parents and blame ourselves for any negative things they have done and our inabilities to rise above them.We want to protect parents, to let them off the hook.
We want to say they were well-meaning, even if they were screwed-up. We want to tell adult children that they must forgive their parents.
And the worst Commandment - used to support the illusion that parenting is just fine and children need to get over it - Miller adds, is Honor your father and your mother.
So, as adults we deal with depression, surprising amounts of anger, self-defeating internal messages, low self-esteem, and patterns of actions through which we constantly attempt to prove were really not stupid, insignificant, abandoned, or worthless.
Were still not supposed to add to Well my parents did the best they could (given their own upbringing), the realization that actually they might have been incapable of giving us all we needed as children.
Parents so needed their children to fulfill their own unmet childhood needs that they couldnt love them unconditionally, couldnt let them grow in their own ways, couldnt always fully be there, couldnt take childrens feelings seriously, or couldnt affirm, respect, and believe their children.
And when children learn to suppress their feelings, they learn not to feel whats really going on around them. They often become violent.
Lets not blame violence on TV. Children who have really been loved and protected, Miller asserts, are uninterested in violent movies and video games!
The child who was hurt and humiliated, maybe not by parents but at school, will seek an object to hate and on which to take revenge. The abuser was always abused. Violent people were brought up violently.
And often they were also taught to deny their histories. These memories are unbearably painful and one way not to feel the pain of childhood is to hurt or kill innocent people.
This is not to blame parents. They dont get much help either.
Much of the mainstream thinks this is the way it should be as long as parents dont go to extremes. It doesnt take alternative ideas seriously.
It just doesnt want to face the hurts many of us felt as children. Parents are left to pass along the methods of their parents, though they often improve them somewhat. And fixing this through permissiveness will not be the answer either.
Parents are given little support. Theyre taught to rely on an inadequate consumer-driven nuclear family model thats guaranteed to exhaust them. Theyre told to discipline children by hitting, yelling at, and humiliating them.
But Miller is blunt. Research, she said, proves conclusively that no one learns anything positive from punishment. They only learn how to avoid more punishment through lies, pretense, and diversion. They also learn how to punish a child later.
Little children are naturally tolerant. They think its wrong to be hurt. It makes sense to them that people who are hurting or left out should be helped.
They have a sense of fairness. They dont object to showing affection to others of either sex.
They expect human beings to cry out when theyre in need. They look intently at others until theyre told not to stare.
They expect the best of other humans until theyre taught not to trust. They laugh more, cry more, observe more, and dream more.
They do things that are inefficient, unproductive, and outside of box defined by our Capitalist society. The world is theirs for exploring and loving.
Children arent naturally homophobic either. They dont naturally think that sexuality is dirty.
They arent naturally racist. They have to be taught this.
Childishness, of course, ends. We call it growing up.
And it continues to end sooner than ever as we push younger and younger children to be like us adults -- the adults who seek to buy fulfillment, use addictive coping mechanisms, are unhappy with their looks, and read books to improve their self-esteem and the many things they dont like about themselves.
When children enforce on each other the prejudices and inadequacies they were taught by grown-ups, we call it peer pressure.
Not surprisingly, this poisonous pedagogy installs and enforces homophobia and prejudice against LGBTQ people. As generation after generation moves away from its methods, were slowly also moving away from the search for others to blame for societys problems.
Still, were seeing those who wont face the deep personal hurts of their parenting. They couldnt bear to tell the truth about their parents.
They might be right-wingers, ultra-conservative evangelists and politicians, anti-gay leaders, or others who prefer to blame LGBTQ people. They say, I was hit, hurt, etc. and I turned out okay. Anti-LGBTQ efforts are less painful to them than feeling the pains of their childhood.
Theres probably no anti-LGBTQ person who has fully faced their own up-bringing. One way to avoid doing so is to focus hate, prejudice, arrogance, and disgust on LGBTQ people.
So, Ill bet, thats what their problem is. Its not LGBTQ people or the others they scapegoat.
Its their inability to face their childhoods. They
really need therapy.
These are Uniquely Perilous Times
for Equality. So What Now?
But this time is dangerous because anti-LGBTQ remains a major factor in the playbook of Republican politics as conservative politicians continue to court the extreme religious right-wing; because the Party as a result has put the convinced in the legislature and judiciary who actually do believe that LGBTQ people deserve a second-class status at most; and because its tempting to let things slide by with some false hope of future security.
Likewise, many leaders who became heroes in the right-wing religious movements by gaining their notoriety with anti-LGBTQ rhetoric know that an anti-LGBTQ position is the only thing that will continue to keep them in the spotlight. To give it up is to lose attention and likely the sheep who adoringly follow them.
Though rational responses have been repeated for almost a half of a century countering all those arguments that the right-wing uses to keep anti-LGBTQ bigotry going, those same tired anti-LGBTQ arguments continue to be regurgitated because they enforce a prejudice that feels familiarly comfortable in those who are used to them and reject changing their minds. Changing ones mind means admitting one was wrong and even that ones wrong view hurt many human beings.
In 2015, back before the radical reversal attempts of the Trump-led Republican Party, Michelangelo Signorile warned activists in a book that still is must reading, that even with wins such as marriage equality the fact is that Its Not Over. The narrative that LGBTQ people have produced, he said, a victory blindness that seduced many to pull back as if equality has really been attained, is dangerously shortsighted.
The reality he documented is that in the midst all those victories, forces ramped up their strategies to roll back gains and prevent full equality. And the answer is not to sit on our laurels or accept mere tolerance.
In fact, its time for us to be intolerant intolerant of all forms of homophobia, transphobia, and bigotry against LGBT people, he warned. Its time that all of us who support LGBT equality no longer agree to disagree on full civil rights for LGBT people. Anything less than full acceptance and full civil rights must be defined as an expression of bias, whether implicit or not.
With the current administrations active, relentless, and hateful rolling back of any gains, much less its prevention of any further wins, with the current administrations population of the federal judicial system with those whove been outspokenly against LGBTQ equality, we cant just sit around and wait for new generations to take over. We need a strategy for these times before all that the right-wing has on its agenda is firmly reestablished.
Recognize the affect of the rise of power of the religious and nationalist right-wings.
Power has always been their goal. By empowering them and modeling their bigotry, this administration has brought them into the open so that they can act to hurt others with a righteous feeling that theyre on a government-approved and Divine cause.
Hate crimes are rising across the board. LGBTQ people are just one of the scapegoats for their anger. And doing nothing means hate crimes will continue to increase even in locations we thought were safe. Real human beings will continue to be destroyed.
Everyone needs to realize what is now being chipped away and that it can eventually be virtually gone.
Nothing is as settled as we thought it was. The forces working to undo rights are on a well-funded and militant crusade. Corporations that wave rainbow flags to get our money are still funding those who hate LGBTQ peoples.
Their model is how theyve been eating away at Roe v Wade. It would be nice to rest on our laurels, but we dont have that luxury today.
Silence now is not only consent, but an act of privilege.
Not acting, advocating, and demanding action from our politicians contributes to the hurting other people. Playing down who we are or ignoring what is happening to others will eventually come around to bite us.
Those whove forgotten, or never known, what it took to get LGBTQ people to the place they are now, need to be educated. And that needs to take place by example, not shaming.
There are generations now who dont realize what it took to get here and what it will take to keep us here.
We need to galvanize people in a way that makes them invested in changing our schools, Signorile wrote, and making sure that LGBT history and culture are taught in an age-appropriate way as part of the curriculum from kindergarten through twelfth grade.
Now is not the time to disable the institutions that we have put in place as if theyre no longer needed.
We need organizations like PFLAG, local community centers, and national advocates like the NLGBQ Task Force more than ever even if were privileged enough to feel we personally are above discrimination.
Working with other movements should be the standard by now.
That all oppressions are related can only be denied by people who dont see the inter-connectedness of all discrimination and bigotry. Not only do we need allies when our issues are at stake, but we need to see how fighting racism, anti-immigrant policies, sexism, transphobia, able-bodiedism, classism, and even environmental degradation benefits the LGBTQ community.
The academic word is intersectionality. Defined by Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw it is a lens through which you can see where power comes and collides, where it interlocks and intersects. Its not simply that theres a race problem here, a gender problem here, and a class or LBGTQ problem there. Many times that framework erases what happens to people who are subject to all of these things.
The reality is that these are uniquely dangerous times.
Denial, settling, and crossing ones fingers wont
The Religious Right-Wings
Sexual Sickness Destroys Their Lives But Remains Central to
Their Religion Addiction
Without making any moral claims about pornography in general, Perry concludes that pornographic use seems to be uniquely harmful to conservative Protestants mental health, their sense of self, their own identitiescertainly their intimate relationshipsin ways that dont tend to be as harmful for people who dont have that kind of moral problem with it.
Can we say cognitive/emotional/religious dissonance? And the problem isnt in the pornography itself. It becomes manifest in conservative Christians hypocrisy which is rooted in the poor self images its ideology thrives upon.
Perry: What Im able to show is that a lot of that negative association between your porn use and your relationship quality hinges on whether or not you think its morally wrong. Or whether you think the Bible is the word of God. Or how often you attend church.
Right-wing Christian ideology, remember, begins with the lowest of what therapists might call low self-images. You, because youre a human being are thoroughly sinful and lost youre so inherently bad that the model of righteousness and love in the universe (not surprisingly a Heavenly Father) thinks you deserve unimaginable and eternal punishment.
As a reliably common activity, sexual actions are easily used to preach that this is true. Canonized sexual obsession goes as far back as the so-called father of Christian theology, Saint Augustine, who basically recommended repression.
This repression and demonization of sexual activity is a major reason why what many call sexual addiction, or at least the inability to be comfortable with ones sexuality beyond denial and suppression, is tied to people trying to substitute another addictive activity religion - to cover over any resulting issues.
The fact that this is just not healthy, and the belief that it evidences how bad one is, lead to obsession with it under the cover of divinely required moral purity. No wonder why those who are most critical of other peoples sexual lives are often exposed as overly-obsessed themselves with the very sex they condemn.
And hypocrisy that condemns others so as not to face the inner demons that plague much of the right-wing is well-known. Harvard Business Schools Benjamin Edelman spoke of this in a 2009 study of pornography users: Some of the people who are most outraged turn out to be consumers of the very things they claimed to be outraged by.
The surprise would be that anyone is surprised by that.
His study looked at credit card data from 2006-2007 that indicated online purchases of pornography. Thus, it measured not merely those who consume porn online but those who actually subscribe to it, the more dedicated users
Eight of the top ten pornography subscribing states voted for the Republican presidential candidate. Six of the lowest ten voted for the Democrat. Residents of Mormon-dominated Utah were the largest per capita subscribers to porn.
Residents of twenty-seven states that had gay marriage bans back then had 11% more pornography subscribers than those that didnt. States where the majority of residents agreed with the statement: I have old-fashioned values about family and marriage were higher subscribers than those where the majority disagreed.
Edelman tied the results to previous studies of attitudes toward religion. It was almost humorous to hear that church-goers bought less online porn on Sundays whereas their expenditures on other days of the week were in line with everyone else.
Its not hard to find explanations for the hypocrisy displayed in these and other more recent studies, such as those surveying which states have the highest divorce rates.
Edelman speculated: One natural hypothesis is something like repression: if youre told you cant have this, then you want it more.
Bingo! As addiction specialists know: repression leads to obsession.
In the middle of a culture thats sick about sexual activity, and a dominant right-wing religious message that sex is dirty (So: Save it for the one you love.), theres much more involved.
Railing against sex is popular. Its proven religiously lucrative as a result. The cultural sexual anxiety fomented by the right-wing also provides the guilt and shame it needs to recruit its victims.
Religious addiction leads the right-wing to fantasize against all evidence, including their sexual experiences, that abstinence-only education promotes their sectarian values and discourages sex.
Then again, projection of ones sexual insecurities and shame on others is a time-tested way to suppress ones own issues. Note the simultaneous fundamentalist condemnation of and obsession with same-sex sexual activity.
Religious addiction is also a standard way to repress (not heal) sexual anxiety, guilt, shame, and addiction. Then it labels the sexual activity of those without sexual anxieties sick and sinful.
Amanda Marcotte, in her witty classic Its a Jungle Out There: The Feminist Survival Guide to Politically Inhospitable Environments, underlined another issue - the main selling-point of straight porn is its basis in gender stereotyping.
Its geared toward men, not women, and the right-wings own worldview tells men to marry a good girl. You know shes good because shes not enthused about sex, especially sexual experimentation.
But males, the gender stereotype continues, are obsessed with sex and experimental sexual behaviors. You cant do that with your good wife. So, youve got to turn to the bad women online.
For some it goes further, Marcottte notes, with the appeal of porn that shows men insulting, spitting upon, raping, or coercing women. A sexually liberated, feminist culture, she argues, would have less need for huge amounts of porn.
Before that happens, what well continue to see and, I hope, be non-enabling enough to call out, is the scapegoating of everyone else for the sexual sickness of the right-wing. The more miserable they are, the more their denial must, and will, produce lies and hypocrisy.
Now we know that to confront them as an intervention,
rather than be enablers, would be the best thing we could do
for the right-wings own health.
How to Win the Next Election By Not
Feeding the Mainstream Media What It Wants
What this means is that some people feel they must answer questions in a media world thats looking for fifteen-second sound bites, a 24/7 corporate cable-news driven media that is looking for controversy, especially anything that will fit their current meme: the Democrats are in disarray.
(Im not talking about the thoughtful, dedicated, low-paid, usually local reporters that work hard to get their stories right and with some nuance.)
What surprises me is how some of the top national Democratic personalities fall for this and cooperatively stir the pot. Im not sure why leaders do this so regularly, but am convinced that in doing so theyre isolating many who would otherwise work for, and get out to vote for, Democrats, splitting the vote further, and making it easier for the current presidential office holder to win a second term.
There must be some highly-paid and highly regarded, old-boy consultants encouraging Democrats to do this in spite of the fact that it hasnt brought the kind of consistent success in presidential elections that a party with the best middle-class policies should have. And in 2016 it brought us the current mess.
We cant change the minds or win over the 20-30% who are authoritative personalities and religious addicts. They need an egotistic dictator for president no matter how those media pundits continue to act wise by repeating that Democrats must appeal to them. Trying to do that turns off a base that is more likely to vote if enthused.
So, not that anyone listens to me I am refusing to get into the destructive online candidate criticism game at this point -, here are just some principles that will control the national media and ultimately bring out the wide spectrum of people that make up potential Democratic voters.
Ominously, from what Im reading, this is already counter to what Democratic leaders, and some of the rest of us, are doing.
Dont answer questions about what youre going to do unless youre a presidential candidate talking about policy proposals you plan to implement when youre in office.
Whether its impeachment or investigations, keep the opposing party and the media guessing. They dont need to know, but answering these questions diverts the discussion to where the media loves it - the debate itself and the disagreements, rather than focusing on the crimes and offenses of a current administration.
All questions should be answered with Everything is on the table. Message discipline is important here.
This can be repeated without explanation. And, actually, it should be the truth because the issues are complex so we dont know what will develop.
Never put down another member or a branch of your party publicly.
Ronald Reagan popularized an Eleventh Commandment: Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican. It's a rule I followed during that campaign and have ever since.
Its good advice today as well. As a Party leader, dont publicly make any statements that put down the leftists or centrists in the Party.
Every elected official has a constituency. By criticizing that person, youre dissing all who voted for them and probably losing influence over them forever.
This means dont give advice to the Party that its going too far to the left. Thats not taken as constructive or valuable just because one of the Party bigwigs says it. To believe that you saying it is going to change those others is hubris.
Such putting down others is instead taken as something meant to stifle free thinking, something that tries to get everyone to fall in line behind some great leader. It only impresses those who already agree as well as those who are authoritative personalities most of whom are stuck in the other Party.
Refer instead to the exciting variety of opinions in the big tent of Democrats who encourage free and creative thinking. Talk about the wide field of talent available for the primaries while the other Party is moribund and stuck.
Allow the primary process to go forward. To try to manipulate it with putdowns manifests fear that the majority doesnt actually agree with you. Thats playing the Republicans own shameful game of voter intimidation and disenfranchisement.
Speak as if you believe in what youre doing and as if you can do it.
Everyone knows that things come up that mean our plans must be adjusted. But in this day and age, people want forceful leadership not ifs, ands, and buts.
Impress us with bold ideas that express your values. Talk as if you really believe in them.
Thats what will convince us that you do believe in them.
Everyone remembers the phrase Its Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve but few can recite an equivalent from the other side. Was it because liberal ideas were so loaded with qualifications?
Or was Hate Is Not a Family Value scared out of us because some right-winger responded: Are you accusing me of hate? And we couldnt take someone disliking us?
Sometimes doing things incrementally will have to be done, but dont let us think that your incremental change is all youve got. If you really mean it to be incremental, let us know where you go after that.
Assume that what you hear online and in social media is meant to divide potential Democratic voters - even if the story is true.
We know that foreign influences are not only spreading falsehoods and interpreted stories to targeted folks on social media but that theyre also targeting Democrats with reputable stories to affect those demographics of social media.
Spreading these stories, even if true, might feel just and righteous, but doing so aids in their divide and conquer strategies and separates us from those we want to influence. Few candidates followers are going to be changed, especially if they already know whom we support.
Promote your own candidate or candidates, if you have made a decision, but remember that the goal of the other party and its foreign bots is for us to pass along negative stories about the others. Analyses have shown that negative campaigning does not gain support for your candidate but only discourages others from voting at all.
And sometimes all of us (even our leaders) need to
remember: the best thing to say is nothing.
Dialogue with Right-Wingers?
Wouldnt It Be Nice?
That must be disheartening to moderates who really want to believe that sitting down in discussion with those who disagree is one of the few hopes for civilization. And liberals have bent over backwards to work along side right-wing exteremists and struggled to bring conservatives into discussions.
Some take any conservative consideration of more moderate positions as a sign of legitimacy. And they work really hard to see that right-wing views are included.
This desire to believe in the power of dialogue, conversation, and working together is a desperate one. Should moderates have to face the idea that times changed back in the Newt Gingrich era so that putting all ones eggs into the dialogue basket is futile, theyd probably fall into depression, denial, and hopelessness.
The times, however, have changed whether we like it or not. As Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning playwright, Tony Kushner observed: "What used to be called liberal is now called radical, what used to be called radical is now called insane, what used to be called reactionary is now called moderate, and what used to be called insane is now called solid conservative thinking."
Right-wing leaders have become a stubbornly immovable force. Since Gingrich, theyre politically so uninterested in collegiality and compromise that they turned Congress into a hostile club uninterested in dissenting viewpoints. Any hint of resistance through filibusters were countered with threats of a "nuclear option" and accusations of treason and collusion with terrorism.
Theyre used to right-wing religious leaders sanctifying the existence of polarity and partisanship in Gods name. The Dobsons, Robertsons, Grahams and Falwells paint anyone who disagrees as satanic, evil, intentionally destructive enemies whose only hope would be full embrace, without compromise, of their sectarian religious standards.
Merely making room for consideration of disagreement is evidence that one is on the side of the enemies of Truth. Right-wing Focus on the Family boss James Dobson, for example, back in a 1996 condemned tolerance as: kind of a watchword of those who reject the concepts of right and wrong . Its kind of a desensitization to evil of all varieties.
Their followers range from those who have too much at stake in these uncompromisingly either/or, us/them fortresses to consider change, to those who arent sure whether theres even a place for other viewpoints. Conservative media continualluy reinforces for them that all thinking is in black and white.
Waking up to the fact that in many cases were no longer ready for dialogue means that moderates and liberals have things that need to be done before dialogue can take place. Yet doing what it will take to prepare for dialogue often seems not to be in liberal genes.
Its not that there isnt a moveable middle for whom dialogue could seem sensible. That middle is probably the largest group of people in the US.
Its just that the middle must still to be convinced that theres a real dialogue to be had. The right-wing perfected the technique of bombarding people with the idea that theres only one sane position.
Liberals, leftists, socialists, and even moderates have nothing worthwhile to say. Their positions, the right-wing teaches, are not worth considering.
Those who think dialogue alone will save us sstill havent faced the fact that they first need to gain a hearing for their own beliefs. Theyre still surprised when right-wing debaters dont respect them enough to give them a chance.
Right-wing representatives shut them out, shout them down, fabricate data, butt in, name-call, and do everything else that to liberals doesnt seem like the actions of nice ladies and gentlemen.
There was a day when such bullying tactics were seen for what they are absence of evidence, logic, or credibility in the user. They turned off outside observers as actions of someone who just isnt nice enough to be respected.
Today, however, these uncivil techniques are seen -- outside aghast liberals --as proof that the right-winger has conviction. In a nation where many are on the verge of exploding with deep-seated, poorly-focused anger, even angry outbursts gain respect. They touch the emotions.
Polite, deferent, unemotional liberals, in contrast, appear too caught up in their manners (civility) to care about the issue at hand. They come across as so privileged that they can look down upon anyone for whom these issues matter on a gut level.
That means a desperation to compromise and find common ground are no longer first options in the broader debate. Dialogue, trialogue, or other give-and-take processes can only take place effectively once the view one holds has established itself in peoples minds as worthy of consideration, as a valued option, as something to even notice.
Convincing people that there are other passionately held positions doesnt require repetition of the offensive tactics of the right-wing. It calls for assertiveness and, at least, the appearance of sustained conviction and passion.
It means, actually, that we must not appear too quick to compromise.
It means that we must first learn to argue effectively for what we believe. It requires actions that convince others we really do believe in what we believe and that we are passionately convinced that what we believe is true and effective.
It means the end of looking wishy-washy in any way.
People need to see evidence of conviction. They want to know that we believe as much as what we believe.
They need time to be convinced that progressive views are respectable again. They need to sit for awhile with the sense that what progressives believe is uncompromising and that we passionately disagree with the right-wing.
Then theyll be ready to become a working part of a
gathering of people who want representatives of all viable
views to sit down around the table and work something out
for the sake of the community. Theyll see that there
is an advantage to consideration of more than one
Im ___________ , youre not, so how can you know what being my group experiences?
These words surely remind us that we should hesitate to speak for another and that no two human beings have the exact same life stories. They should evoke humility when conversing with and responding to another human being.
They can be spoken from the depths of the systemic oppressions that are a part of the warp and woof of our culture. One of the characteristics of any of the privileged statuses that remain endemic to society is the feeling that the privileged group is the one thats entitled to define those without that privilege and to interpret their experiences what is and is not really privilege, oppression, offensive, normal, and significant enough is taken more seriously when described by the privileged group.
LGBT people know the feeling. People of color know it. Women know it. The physically challenged know it. The poor know it.
Taken to the extreme, though, these words also prevent progress in the healing of the various isms that separate us. They can divide us more, promote isolation, and keep us from being allies while they cement almost impenetrably the actual oppression in our minds.
They neglect what we do have in common as human beings well call it whatever we mean by our common humanity. And they render hopeless any attempts to understand another.
In its extreme this leaves us in the pickle that no one can understand anyone else. It means the oppressed cant really understand the oppressor either and thus cant knowingly talk about what oppressors think or feel.
It means theres nothing to be said on either side a straight man, for example, cant understand a gay man, but the gay man cant understand whats going on with the straight man either. It means that since no two experiences even in our group are alike, we cant even generalize our experience to anyone else in our category or speak for the category and know someone outside it cant understand.
It means that the claim itself - that someone in another category of humanity cant understand me - is invalidated by the fact that the very criticism falsely claims to somehow understand that theres a misunderstanding in whats going on in the mind of the person not in ones category.
Its a vicious, even absurd, circle of isolation encouraging a downward spiral for humanity. Yet, the idea has become widespread for a number of reasons.
Modern pop psychology has pushed the thought that each human being is unfathomably unique, even a miracle. It has proclaimed that no two human experiences are exactly alike to the neglect of any similarities. So no one else can understand me.
The discriminations and oppressions in our society have also caused a backlash to a dominant group claiming to speak for a non-dominant group. Rightly so, the members of non-dominant groups have often become fed up and interpret their identities as more basic than what we all might have in common.
Who can blame people whove continually been hurt by a society for acting out of their hurts? It takes a long time to heal enough from hurts around someones self-identity to allow oneself to focus on what humans have in common beyond those identities.
But if theres going to be any chance for us to heal from the interwoven oppressions of a society that is full of division and hate, a culture based on fear, those of us in the struggle must think clearly about this issue. We must have some commitment to the idea that there is a common humanity that should enable all of us to be touched deeply by the realities of the struggles of those around us.
We recognize that there are those on all sides of oppressions that have been so abused and hurt that they arent in touch with their human nature and therefore unable to identify with it in others. At this point, it looks as if we have a U.S. President who is a glaring example of such a destructive, out-of-touch-with-his-humanity sociopathy.
Our task is not to think of understanding dualistically as if one either can or cant understand someone who isnt in a category we apply to ourselves. Such a dualistic idea arises out of unhealed hurt and pain because it provides a protection from being hurt further.
Healing our society means a commitment in the healer/activist to the idea that there are levels of understanding and depths of comprehension. Understanding is possible and achievable if we realize that even though we might never understand another fully, we can relate to and even identify with some of their struggles, feelings, hurt, pain, and victories.
This isnt to downplay differences such as claiming when confronted by racism that we are colorblind. Unless one is optically impaired, we will always see innumerable differences in shades of human skin, but in so doing will we also see that, like ours, that surface is still very human skin?
And as someone who is light-enough to be called a White man, I will never know the full hurts of those who have lived for generations as targets of White racism. But I will be able to know a bit about how, as a fellow human being, that hurt can affect ones outlook on life, and become a barrier to being in touch with anyones whole and complete humanity.
To do the work we must do to make the culture a place of justice, love, and acceptance, requires the regular reminder of what its like to be a human being even in circumstances so much more challenging and destructive than we have ever experienced.
It calls us to do whatever internal journey work we must to make sure we ourselves are in touch with what we can call our common humanity. It means getting beneath our own hurts from the past, our own ignorance, and all else that prevents us from feeling with the lives of others who dont look like us, act like us, love like us, live where we live, or have the privileges we have.
And it requires us to move beyond the idea that no one
else can have any understanding of me and my life. That idea
will isolate allies and kill our movements for equality,
fairness, and acceptance.
A Reminder About Our Reactions to
the Religion Addiction That Got Us Here
Enforce such messages with political leaders whose solution to problems is more punishment. The result: adults desperate need for a fix to provide relief from self-denigrating, self-abusive feelings.
Thats what makes the high of being righteous so addictive. And with the past (and present) political success of the right-wing and the enabling of FOX news, people who use religion as an addiction cant give up their fix: the high of winning politically that proves theyre righteousness.
The religion addicted cant give it up even in the face of the blatant hypocrisy and con-like pandering of a president* who in his personal life embodies everything right-wingers have spent decades criticizing in others.
Back before the rise of their political aspirations with the Moral Majority, Marches for Life, and politicized televangelists, huddling together in congregations seemed enough for the addicted. In their meetings and services they could be with those who felt the same misery and heard that there were no works they could do to be saved.
These meetings werent recovery groups, providing support to overcome the addiction. They were more like opium dens and highly orchestrated sales meetings.
Their preachers dealt the high. They did nothing to make people feel as if they were, or could in themselves become, worthwhile. In fact, they convinced them that they were so evil that they shouldnt trust their own intuitions, thoughts, and positive feelings about themselves. Trusting onedself was put down as New Age.
Their preachers and theologians told them they could only be acceptable because another Being really, really, really would accept them in spite of their inborn evil. If people bet on that notion, it became okay to feel joy.
They could also feel as if the lost people out there, were the ones with problems, not them. Theyd lap up prophecy, which would assure them that theyd come out winners in the end and that those who didnt participate in their addiction would be proven wrong by being Left Behind.
As they became more addicted, the fix became more desperate. Services were the gathering together of addicts for another drink, another line. But addictions are progressive, so where would they get even heavier doses?
The movement of the religious right-wing into politics, which most previously had rejected as too involved with the world, was a new drug, a stronger drink. Righteous political wins for their religious position became the new blessed relief from facing the painful notion that they are, as their hymns reminded them, wretches, worms, without [even] one plea, and deeply stained within.
Logically, one would think that believing theyre so evil would cause them to be less judgmental, more sympathetic with others. After all, one can actually find that notion in their Bible. So, in the midst of their righteous wins, they do sometimes talk sympathetically, saying to LGBTQ people: Were all sinners.
But addictions are not logical, and looking for the logic in them, Al-Anon members know, is a waste of time. What drives this need for winning is the high: taking political victories as the proof of their righteousness.
They cant face what they believe about their rotten selves too long or they just couldnt handle it its bad enough to probably require anti-depressants and hospitalization, but taking them would be seen as a righteousness failure.
When they win government and electoral approval for their doctrines, then, those arent acts of faith at all. Their trust is not in their Higher Power.
Its in government and the electorate. Its in the feeling that they have approval of a majority of voters. None of that has to do with What Would Jesus Do?
The fix of these wins has thus become an obsession. And threats to that poltical fix make them even more desperate because past wins meant to them theyre right and okay.
And a high can never last. Theyd fall back into their feelings of fear and loathing.
The need for a cause to win is still the seeking of approval by projecting their evil onto the other. Its never the addicts fault.
Addictions remove the sense of responsibility. Feminists, activist judges, LGBTQ people, liberals, atheists, wiccans, whomever, must be understood as the real causes of the addicts problems.
Addicts must be convinced theyre right.
Sadly, many addicts never come to until theyve hit bottom and destroyed their lives and the lives of their families and acquaintances. Some go into recovery - there, after all, have even been groups such as Fundamentalists Anonymous.
Now, its going to take a while for addictive religion to hit bottom. Its still on its drug with user activities such as protests and angry confrontations, and it has mainstream approval.
Remember, then, that dealing with addictions requires saving oneself first, not the addict. It often involves the sadness of watching the addict crash and burn.
But we the enablers? Are we still making excuses for the addict?
Are we still trying to find the logic in what they do? Are we wasting time trying to understand their real motives and intentions? Are we covering up for the addict?
Are we emotionally unable or unwilling to speak truth to the addict, saying the addiction is wrong, sick, and destructive? Are we unable to separate from the addiction?
Are we unwilling to envision the equivalent of support groups like Al-Anon or to form Mothers Against Abusive Religion?
Do we ourselves have a positive enough self-image to refuse to be abused by others who wont face the addiction -- such as politicians who treat us like crazy but rich relatives they come to for support but hide out of the way in the closet when people want to know who those relatives are?
Are we willing to face the fact that well still be affected by the addiction and, therefore, have to live our lives in the light of that fact, that we have to protect ourselves and our safety? Are we able to affirm that they, not we, are the problem?
Once weve named an addiction, its our choice how we live with an addict. Its our choice about whether we seek an addicts love and support.
And its our choice, knowing that addictions can be
hard to overcome, whether of not were in it for the
long haul because, in the end, we want to stop addictions
from hurting everyone.
The Ubiquity of that Imposter
Syndrome: It Doesnt Go Away
By openly raising the issue in her book and on tour, shes again unmasking the common, nagging, dogged sense of doubt felt by anyone who was raised as member of a non-dominant, victimized group in a stratified society that raises its ugly head when that member rises above the limits that a culture teaches are inherent in their group. Though they thereby should be an example of the fact that those limits are artificially constructed and down-right discriminatory, the culturally-taught role lingers within.
Two psychologists labeled this phenomenon imposter syndrome in a 1978 paper that identified it in women who are expected to take on a victim role in a male-dominant culture but who instead break through glass ceilings to enter levels historically dominated by men.
"Despite outstanding academic and professional accomplishments, women who experience the imposter phenomenon persist in believing that they are really not bright and have fooled anyone who thinks otherwise," the psychologists wrote. "Numerous achievements, which one might expect to provide ample objective evidence of superior intellectual functioning, do not appear to affect the impostor belief."
There are many who cant be as open about the syndrome as Michelle Obama. But that doesnt mean that it isnt there in the depths not just of women but of anyone who was taught by their culture that their race, sexual orientation, gender, economic status, able-bodiedness, etc. is somehow lesser and not the norm of a culture that has thrived on oppression.
Its installed in anyone who has experienced, or watched others of their group experience, being a victim of overt and covert discrimination on devluation on the basis of something inherent or crucial to them.
In a culture where a variety of oppressions exist and overlap, its not surprising then that researchers observed in a 2013 paper that as much as 70 percent of the population experiences what these psychologists call The Imposter Phenomenon - intense feelings that their achievements are undeserved and worry that they are likely to be exposed as a fraud at some time in their lives.
No matter how much one has accomplished, how many books theyve written, how high theyve moved up on the economic ladder, how theyve entered the board rooms of America, how much theyve fought for justice, how they have achieved rights such as marriage equality, how many people look up to them or tell them, or how accomplished they are, there remains in their depths the sense that at some time, somewhere, somehow, someone will unmask them as not legitimately belonging to the privileged group.
Of course, these internalized messages are false and irrational. And thats nice to know, given the misinformation everyone receives as part of the cultural conditioning regarding groups of people from the day they were born into our culture.
But the conditioning that installs these messages as a part of our cultures intersection of oppressions, defining some groups as more worthy than others, isnt installed intellectually. Its effectiveness and persistence are due to the emotional basis of conditioning, especially the feeling of fear that not to go along is to experience negative consequences.
In Scared Straight this is analyzed frankly, using classic oppression dynamics, as crucial to a victim role that those who are not in the dominant group of an oppression are expected to internalize and perform to keep the overall cultural hierarchies going. Those conditioned into any victim role are conditioned by the fearful means analyzed in the book to believe at a deep, emotional level that:
1.the dominant role is the ideal that is preferred, natural, human, moral, healthy, pro-society, pro-human, pro-God;
2.people who live this dominant role are the ones who correctly define, and are most qualified to define: a) the oppressor and victim roles, b) what oppression and prejudice really are regarding the roles, and c) what values go with the roles;
3.those who are not a part of the dominant group should live to emulate that dominant role as closely as possible, no matter how difficult doing so might be for these outsiders;
4.there is something inferior about members of the non-dominant group that will make it impossible for them to actually succeed at the dominant role;
5.this inferiority consists of everything that makes members of the non-dominant group inherently different from members of the dominant group who can easily act out their inherent, better characteristics;
6.anything in the non-dominant group that does not match the dominant role should be hidden or corrected if possible because it is inferior, shameful, unnatural, immoral, inhuman, dirty, unhealthy, uncivilized, destructive of society, and anti-God;
7.the successful embracing of this victim role means that members of the non-dominant group should enforce the victim role on each other.
None of this is inherent in the members of any group of human beings. Its taught.
And whats taught can be untaught. But that doesnt mean that this phenomenon or syndrome wont raise its irrational head at the most irrational times.
Those who experience it must then remind themselves with Michelle Obama of its untruth. But we must be clear that its not just an individual emotional problem (as if it's just something wrong with you that can be fixed by reading the right self-help book) but inherent in a hierarchical system.
They must think, act, and decide in the light of its falsity no matter how that might feel as if doing so is rejecting values of a the larger culture. Because the truth is that they are, and that theyre choosing courageously to thereby reject any lingering imposter phenomenon.
Michelle Obama told those young women who might feel as if they dont really belong to "start by getting those demons out of your head." The reality of those in the dominant group, she said is different than how we might feel:
"I have been at probably every powerful table that you can think of, I have worked at non-profits, I have been at foundations, I have worked in corporations, served on corporate boards, I have been at G-summits, I have sat in at the U.N.; they are not that smart.
© 2019 Robert N. Minor
Robert N. Minor, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus at the University of Kansas, is author of When Religion Is an Addiction; Scared Straight: Why Its So Hard to Accept Gay People and Why Its So Hard to Be Human; and Gay & Healthy in a Sick Society. Contact him at www.FairnessProject.org
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