Tag Archives: discrimination

She Shoots! She Bores!

women-sports

Getting ready to bore you.

I used to live in a small rural conservative town. Against impossible odds a few dozen acres of prime real estate were somehow exempted from feverish development for a “sports park.” The community took understandable pride in what they had built: a crowning jewel featuring baseball diamonds, fishing ponds, soccer fields, tennis courts, volleyball and more.

Finally the local amateur sport leagues had a place where they could shine and participate in the time-honored activity of athletic competition. The facility was promptly used as a means of gender-based oppression by giving all the best time slots to the boy leagues. Girl leagues were relegated to sloppy seconds.

Thanks for playing.

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Ignited We Crammed

us-v-themIt came to light that a business had taken a hardline position on a hot potato political issue. The story went viral in the social media. Soon, something that had been around for a while, perhaps even years, was on the top of Google News and the blogosphere leapt into the fray and whipped things up to a nice frothy frenzy.

The reaction was fierce but equally split. About fifty percent of the response from vocal net denizens was to grab pitchforks and torches and take up cries of, “Boycott! Boycott!” The remaining half, however, rallied round, filling caldrons with hot burning lead and chanting, “Defense! Defense!” and holding impromptu bake sales to support their newfound friends.

Alas, it wasn’t merely a rousing and violent game of football.

Meanwhile, a lone solitary figure stood far to the side waving a flag that read, “United We Stand.”

Methinks it must be our manifest destiny to be as divided as second generation stem cells in a petri dish. Disgusting.
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Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Demerit Badges

you-dont-sayBoy Scouts of America (BSA), under fire for a policy which prohibits membership for homosexuals, has come up with a jaw-dropping and breathless proposal they feel just might remedy the situation:

“No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.”

–Boy Scouts of America, excerpt of proposed resolution

Wow! That sounds pretty damn compelling, right? Finally! No more unfair and unfounded criticism for this piece of Americana organization which is a fine and upstanding part of our community and never does anything wrong. This will finally shut up those annoying critics.

Alas, as the rest of the internet has noticed, the proposal only applies to “youth.” Homosexuals are still prohibited from serving as scoutmasters and den mothers.

Oops.

However, something else about the line of text caught my eye. Do you see it, too? I may very well be the only son of a bitch in the universe to have caught on. Aren’t you lucky to know me? Membership has its┬áprivileges.
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Sally Ride

Sally Ride. Source: NASA, circa 1984.

The news of Sally Ride passing was something that hit me harder than I expected and took me by surprise. It had been a while since I had heard about her.

As a NASA booster and a fan of the space shuttle program since it began, Ride was a hero of mine. (According to Ride’s sister she “hated” labels of every kind, including the word hero.)

Described as a “private” person, Ride kept details about her pancreatic cancer from the public eye. She also chose not to reveal that she was gay. She lived the last 27 years of her life in a same-sex relationship.

Ride is often described as “the first American woman in space.” (A Russian woman named┬áValentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space way back in June 1963.) Twenty years later Ride did it aboard the space shuttle Challenger in 1983. (The same shuttle that claimed the lives of seven astronauts just three years later.)

Ride also had a Ph.D. in physics from Stanford University and took that brain into space, logging 14 days, 7 hours and 46 minutes of flight time away from the Earth.

Sadly, Sally Ride was prohibited in this country from marrying the person of her choice. And because she was in a same-sex relationship, Ride’s partner of 27 years is not entitled to death benefits or Social Security payments.
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