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What Exactly Does It Mean to Achieve (Gay) “Equality”?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 10:04 pm - December 20, 2010.
Filed under: Blogging,Blogress Divas,Gay Politics

In her thoughtful post on a new gay group called “Equality Matters” (wish someone had instead created “Freedom Matters”), Ann Althouse gets at one reason, I believe, Democrats tried to keep DADT repeal on the back burner:

The Democratic Party gets a political advantage by looking like a repository of hope. But would gay people continue to favor Democrats if the Democrats actually followed through and satisfied those hopes? There’d be some gratefulness, but — unless Republicans succumb to the temptation to say mean things — wouldn’t gay people melt into the general population and, from that point on, vote based on what they thought about economic policies, national defense, environmental issues and so forth? Achieving equality would liberate gay people in may ways, but one of those ways would be that they could vote for Republicans if they agreed with them about issues other than gay rights issues.

She’s onto something.  Just read the whole thing.  And as usual, the comments, if you have a moment, are worth your while.

Wise though this blogress diva may be, she leaves out two things (1) the extreme partisanship of many gay activists and leaders who insist that adopting left-wing politics is part and parcel of the coming out experience (lest you remian a “self-hating” homosexual) and (2) the amorphous nature of the idea of “achieving equality” (what does that mean?).

Despite the numerous bills the California legislature has passed at the behest of “Equality California,” that gay auxiliary of the California Democratic Party keeps lobbying for more laws, either mandating more state spending or encroaching ever more on the liberties of individuals and private (and public) associations.

Better than focus on this amorphous notion of equality which seems to require an ever-expanding state, let’s instead focus on protecting our liberty — or in the case of America today, rescuing that liberty from those who seek to take it away in order to further “social justice” (another amorphous concept).

Nieces & the “princess phase”

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:26 pm - December 20, 2010.
Filed under: Family,Holidays,Movies/Film & TV

Last week (on the advice of a legendary Hollywood producer of kids’ television), I watched the latest (and, despite reports, not last) Disney princess movie, Tangled. It was wonderfully Disney, very sweet, very touching and often very funny (e.g., the scene in the “Snuggly Duckling”).

Perhaps, I enjoyed it more because I imagined how my soon-to-be three-year-old niece would love it, recalling how her face lit up when each of the Disney princesses came up to our table at Ariel’s Grotto in Disney’s California Adventure this past July.  I wondered that she, like her sister and each of her cousins once did, is going through this princess phase, getting all goofy over such Disney movies and dressing up in regal regalia.

It’s not just my nieces.  On Saturday, Glenn Reynolds, linking an insightful piece by Virginia Postrel wrote that his “4-year-old niece is getting a princess costume for Christmas, because that’s what she’s into these days.”  “Why,” Postrel asks, “in a society without princesses, does this archetype remain so intensely glamorous to girls with all sorts of backgrounds and personalities?”  Great question.  I’m not quite sure the answer, but I will note that it has been fun watching my nieces go through the princess phase while their brothers and male cousins invariably pass through the superhero phase.

DADT Repeal Strengthens Commander’s Hands?

In an earlier thread, a reader brings up a legitimate beef regarding the treatment of gay and lesbian servicemembers in a post-DADT world. His concern stems from a situation that happened when he was on active duty in the Navy:

It’s been my experience observing Gay sailors when I was in the Navy, that they’re perfectly fine when they’re sober. When they get drunk, they let it all hang out.

One guy [presumably* one of these gay sailors] on our ship got wasted, and decided to suck off some guy who was sleeping in his bunk. Needless to say, when the guy woke up he was rather upset. Created a huge stir on our ship for weeks.

But because of PC attitudes, even way back in the early 1980s, the Gay guy only got a slap on the wrist.

Now, I can’t speak for the commentor’s leaders, but I will say that military commanders (especially aboard a ship) normally exercise a great deal of latitude in dealing with issues of conduct within their units. Sometimes, however, their hands are tied.

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell would certainly have tied the hands of this commander given this incident. Again, I can’t speak for the commander’s decision, or the whole scenario, but it’s altogether possible that something other than “PC attitudes” was behind his choice to only give “a slap on the wrist” to the offending sailor.