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S/he said: Harassment, Haiti and banned books

By |2018-01-16T10:24:46-05:00February 4th, 2010|Opinions|

by Howard Israel

“It wasn’t a group of female workers who were compensated by the popular eatery: it was a group of male employees who claim they were sexually harassed by other men in the workplace. As new EEOC filings show, this situation is not unusual. Between 1992 and 2008, the percentage of sexual harassment charges filed by men with the EEOC doubled from 8 percent to 16 percent. While some people may think sexual harassment of male employees is a joke, the issue is real. We are seeing more of it, and such conduct has serious legal consequences for employers. There are instances when women sexually harass men, but the increase is due mainly to reports of men harassing other men, also called same-sex sexual harassment.”
– David Grinberg, spokesperson, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, in an article titled “Abuse of Power,” about the increase in male-on-male sexual harassment in the workplace, http://www.newsweek.com, Jan. 13.

“Is Madonna Asian now? Either her eye liner or those new alpine cheekbones make it look like she’s moved on from Italian to Hebrew to English to Asian. OK, fags, before you start crying, I’ll admit she DOES look pretty and youthful. Justin Timberlake’s gay rumors can stop now. His close-ups revealed cracked and chapped lips. No self-respecting gay is without at least one tube of lip balm at all points.”
– Lady Bunny, on her blog titled “Haiti Live Recap,” about the Hope for Haiti Now Telethon, http://www.ladybunny.net, Jan. 23.

“Significant policy decisions have been swayed by the misconception across party lines that children need both a mother and a father. Yet, there is almost no social science research to support this claim. One problem is that proponents of this view routinely ignore research on same-gender parents. That a child needs a male parent and a female parent is so taken for granted that people are uncritical. (We) found no evidence of gender-based parenting abilities, with the partial exception of lactation, noting that very little about the gender of the parent has significance for children’s psychological adjustment and social success. The bottom line is that the science shows that children raised by two same-gender parents do as well on average as children raised by two different-gender parents. This is obviously inconsistent with the widespread claim that children must be raised by a mother and a father to do well. The family type that is best for children is one that has responsible, committed, stable parenting.”
– Timothy Biblarz and Judith Stacey, authors of a study titled “How Does the Gender of Parents Matter?” reporting on research on single-mother, single-father and same-sex parent households in the February issue of “Journal of Marriage and Family,” as announced in http://www.medicalnewstoday.com, Jan. 23.

“Equal means getting the same thing, at the same time and in the same place.”
– Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, when asked to define “equal;” Marshall was the first black man to serve on the Supreme Court, serving for 24 years. http://www.myhero.com.

“The 9,000-student K-8 school district has pulled a book from all school library shelves because of its racy content. And what lust-drenched book might the Menifee school folks have found morally problematic? The Merriam-Webster’s 10th edition dictionary. Its offense? It includes somewhere in its pages the term ‘oral sex.’ Evidently one – count ’em – one parent complained so, rather than choosing a thoughtful and measured response to calm the histrionic parent, the local district officials instead swooped in and purged all the district’s schools of the dictionary. Without consulting the school board, I might add.”
– Celeste Fremon, in her column titled “Oral Sex, Merriam-Webster and the Madness of School Districts,” http://witnessla.com, Jan. 25.

“Most Asian countries don’t welcome gay visitors, so we can have the maximum benefit for the Nepal economy, which is fragile after years of war. The government is hoping to increase the number of tourists from 400,000 to one million next year and has taken a positive attitude to welcoming gay and lesbian visitors to help meet their ambitious target. The choices for gay tourists in this region are very limited, and there is really no competition from China or India. Nepal is one of the few places where adventure tourism is available to people.”
– Sunil Babu Pant, Nepal’s first publicly gay lawmaker and a leading gay rights activist, announcing his new travel company called “Pink Mountain,” aimed at promoting Nepal to gay and lesbian tourists and same-sex wedding planning, http://www.telegraph.co.uk, Jan. 19. Same-sex marriage is legal in Nepal since 2009.

“The issue of how performers are depicted in pornography has always been a sensitive topic for me, primarily (because) I believe that it has real world consequences that further perpetuates and reinforces stereotypical notions of African-American men within the gay community. The conventional argument in defense of the status quo is that it is just a fantasy, like all pornography, and its impact is should not be exaggerated. While pornography inherently objectifies its performers and is presented as a fantasy, the way in which, and degree to which, the brute caricature is recycled in gay pornography suggests to me that there is more at hand than just fantasy.”
– J. Clarence, blog author, in his blog titled “In the U.S. there are big dicks, and there are ‘big Black Dicks’,” about the image of African American men in U.S. gay male pornography, http://clipsandchips.blogspot.com/, Jan. 3.

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.