Category Archives: Misconception
“These assholes always get away.” – George Zimmerman
The outrage surrounding the murder of Trayvon Martin–an unarmed Black teen visiting his father in Orlando–is reaching a boiling point. Many are justifiably outraged by the fact that, up until this point, the criminal justice system has failed to even initiate justice for the victim or his family. The release of the 911 tapes from that night has been released, and the contents of the tapes have left the parents of the victim, the Sanford community, and many around the world infuriated.
One of the most disturbing elements of the 911 tape is the moment when George Zimmerman launches into his racist diatribe. Zimmerman states, “These assholes always get away,” and the racial animosity in his voice is palpable. It is at this point, that the linguistic murder of Trayvon Martin takes place, and Zimmerman, poisoned by racism, needs only to act out, physically, the racial violence he has already perpetuated linguistically. For as Toni Morrison says, “oppressive language does more than represent violence; it is violence.”
When I heard Zimmerman utter on tape “they always get away,” my mind instantly fixated on the irony of the statement. I am well aware of the ways in which racism distorts the abilities of White people to think rationally, but this particular utterance made this fact clear in a very sobering way. Zimmerman’s statement is laced with racist stereotypes about Black people, and is a clear reminder of the ways in which White privilege functions to blind White people to the history of not only Blacks, but themselves. What other than the White racist imagination would convince White men that they aren’t the assholes who always get away? I ask these questions.
The very foundation of this nation depended upon White male assholes always getting away. From Plymouth Rock to The War in Iraq, White men have been able to a. be assholes, and b. get away. Were White men not being assholes when they decided upon themselves to force Native Americans off their land? Were White men not being assholes when they decided to make it illegal, following Bacon’s Rebellion, for any Black to own a firearm? Were White men not being assholes when they crafted a constitution espousing equality of all, but deciding that this did not extend to Blacks or women? These are but a few of the examples of White men being assholes, and, yes, they were able to get away with this. The White racist imagination would like to believe that Black men “always get away,” but the historical record tells otherwise.
According to Digital History, “the Census Bureau estimates that 4,742 lynchings took place between 1882 and 1968.” The White racist imagination conveniently overlooks data like this, because it would mean coming to grips with the truth that it is not Blacks who “get away” with crimes, but rather Whites. Most, if not all, of those lynching did not result in criminal charges for the White perpetrators. A more recent example of White men continuing to “get way” with crimes is The War in Iraq. George Bush–by all accounts an asshole– was able to get away with falsely leading a nation into war and killing thousands of innocent people in the process. As of today, George Bush has not been arrested for war crimes which only underscore the fact that it is Whites, and not Blacks, who always get away.
It should be noted that Zimmerman, himself, became the embodiment of his on racist imagined reality. As of today, no charges have been filed against George Zimmerman for his brutal murder of Trayvon Martin, and he has not been arrested. Zimmerman, in a most asshole-ish way, got away with–for too many weeks–the murder of an innocent, unarmed Black teen that had only a bag of skittles and a can of tea on him. He follows in a long tradition of White assholes getting away with the maiming and killing of Black people, particularly Black men. A more accurate claim would be that Black men are all too often gunned down for simply appearing “suspicious.” We can only hope that Zimmerman gets a taste of what it is like to not get away, a taste of what happens to assholes when they are caught and brought to justice.
Not having a lot of money isn’t the same as not living in America. The same consumerism is peddled to all of us. We all want junk. At least, we are all told to want junk. Those messages aren’t magically filtered out for people without money. No need to single them out. ___ person living on welfare wants a flat screen TV for about the same reason that a person with $50,000 wants one: we are messaged it. Do either really need a flat screen TV? No, but the advertisers and media say that television is, now, best viewed on flat screens. We seriously need to stop demonizing poor people for A. being alive, and B. wanting the same stuff everyone else wants.
In short, yes. But not how you would think.
I’m currently reading a journal article by the American Sociological Review by authors Judith Stacey and Timothy J. Biblarz and their findings are really illuminating on the ways sexual orientation of parents influence children.
CHILDREN’S GENDER PREFERENCES AND BEHAVIOR
Daughters with lesbian mothers report higher aspirations to nontraditional gender occupations. For example, 53 percent (16 out of 30) of the daughters of lesbians aspired to careers such as doctor, lawyer, engineer, and astronaut, compared with only 21 percent (6 of 28) of the daughters of heterosexual mothers.
Sons appear to respond in more complex ways to parental sexual orientations. On some measures, like aggressiveness and play preferences, the sons of lesbian mothers behave in less traditionally masculine ways than those raised by heterosexual single mothers. However, on other measures, such as occupational goals and sartorial styles, they also exhibit greater gender conformity than do daughters with lesbian mothers (but they are not more conforming than sons with heterosexual mothers). Such evidence, albeit limited, implies that lesbian parenting may free daughters and sons from a broad but uneven range of traditional gen-der prescriptions.
CHILDREN’S SEXUAL PREFERENCES AND BEHAVIOR
A significantly greater proportion of young adult children raised by lesbian mothers than those raised by heterosexual mothers reported having had a homoerotic relationship (6 of the
25 young adults raised by lesbian mothers-24 percent-compared with 0 of the 20 raised by heterosexual mothers).
The young adults reared by lesbian mothers were also significantly more likely to report having thought they might experience homoerotic attraction or relationships. The difference in their openness to this possibility is striking: 64 percent (14 of 22) of the young adults raised by lesbian mothers report having considered same-sex relationships (in the past, now, or in the future), compared with only 17 percent (3 of 18) of those raised by heterosexual
Of course, the fact that 17 percent of those raised by heterosexual mothers also report some openness to samesex relationships, while 36 percent of those raised by lesbians do not, underscores the important reality that parental influence on children’s sexual desires is neither direct nor easily predictable. If these young adults raised by lesbian mothers were more open to a broad range of sexual possibilities, they were not statistically more likely to self-identify as bisexual, lesbian, or gay.
Relative to their counterparts with heterosexual parents, the adolescent and young adult girls raised by lesbian mothers appear to have been more sexually adventurous and less chaste, whereas the sons of lesbians evince the opposite pattern-somewhat less sexually adventurous and more chaste (the finding was statistically significant for the 25-
girl sample but not for the 18-boy sample). In other words, once again, children (especially girls) raised by lesbians appear to depart
from traditional gender-based norms while children raised by heterosexual mothers appear to conform to them.
CHILDREN’S MENTAL HEALTH
Studies find no significant differences between children of lesbian mothers and children of heterosexual mothers in anxiety, depression, self-esteem, and numerous other measures of social and psychological adjustment. The roughly equivalent level of psychological well-being between the two groups holds true in studies that test children directly, rely on parents’ reports, and solicit evaluations from teachers. The few significant differences found actually tend to favor children with lesbian mothers.
Given some credible evidence that children with gay and lesbian parents,
especially adolescent children, face homophobic teasing and ridicule that many find difficult to manage the children of homosexual couples seem to exhibit impressive psychological strength.
Heterosexual single mothers are significantly more likely to prefer that their boys engage in masculine activities and their girls in feminine ones, while lesbian mothers have no such interests. Their preferences for their children’s play were gender-neutral.
PARENTING PRACTICES: DEVELOPMENTAL ORIENTATIONS AND PARENTING SKILLS
Lesbian social mothers (non birth mother) scored significantly higher than heterosexual fathers on measures of parenting skills, practices, and quality of interactions with children. Lesbian social mothers (non birth mother) also spent significantly more time than did heterosexual fathers in child-care activities including disciplinary, control, and limit-setting activities.
Lesbian social mothers report feeling closer to the children than do their heterosexual male counterparts. Children studied report feeling closer to lesbian social mothers as well as to lesbian stepmothers than to either fathers or stepfathers (measures of emotional closeness between birth mothers and children did not vary by mother’s sexual orientation).
Children of lesbian mothers also report feeling more able than children of heterosexual parents to discuss their sexual development with their mothers and their mothers’ partners.
HOW THE SEXUAL ORIENTATION OF PARENTS MATTERS
Homophobia and discrimination are the chief reasons why parental sexual orientation matters at all. Because lesbigay parents do not enjoy the same rights, respect, and recognition as heterosexual parents, their children contend with the burdens of vicarious social stigma. Like the children of many African American parents had to contend with in the past.
Likewise, some of the particular strengths and sensitivities such children appear to display, such as a greater capacity to express feelings or more empathy for social diversity are probably artifacts of marginality and may be destined for the historical dustbin of a democratic, sexually pluralist society.
Children share most of the social privileges and injuries associated with their parents’ social status. If social prejudice were grounds for restricting rights to parent, a limited pool of adults would qualify.
Granting legal rights and respect to gay parents and their children should lessen the stigma that they now suffer and might reduce the high rates of depression and suicide rates among closeted gay youth living with heterosexual parents.
This is a really powerful study and could be a great weapon for LGBT parents and LGBT persons dealing with those who insist that homosexuality is a detriment to raising well adjusted children.
I’m so tired of this misconception that homosexuality begins and ends with anal sex.
Anal sex is not a requirement of homosexuality.
Anal sex is not a requirement of homosexuality.
Since when does having sex with someone opposite or same gender determine your sexual orientation?
As a matter of fact sexual behavior has nothing to do with homosexuality or heterosexuality.
A person who is paralyzed from the neck down with no capacity to control their body or their sexual organs is still gay or straight depending on their sexual desire.
And you people are so quick to embrace anal sex as exclusive and unique to the gay community that you completely forget that 50% of the homosexual sexual orientation is comprised of WOMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Who don’t even have a penis to insert into someones ass.
So please gentlemen stop perpetuating the misconception that anal sex is somehow a “gay” thing because it is not.
Tons of heterosexuals engage in anal sex and tons of gay men do not.
ITS NOT A “GAY” THING!