Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Short Play About Why Kids Are Better Than The Rest Of Us

Hi, NWFers! SORRY I haven't been around lately. I'm going to try to do better. There is obviously a lot of stuff going on in the world that I want to talk to y'all about, but let me tell you, dissertation work + conference papers does not equal lots of free brain time for writing.

I want to tell you about this conversation I had today with a six-year-old kid. He's my friend's son, and I was babysitting. The plan was to go to a really cool trail in our town and see some alligators and then go get a happy meal or whatever. My friend C, who is also gay, went with us. So we were all in the car and heading to the trail and he was already on about lunch, asking if we could go to Chik-Fil-A.
Jess: No, because C and I are both gay and Chik-Fil-A doesn't like gay people.
Kid: What's gay people?
Jess: It means that I'm a girl who likes to go on dates with girls but not with boys.
Kid: Why does Chik-Fil-A have a problem with THAT?
Jess: Because they're not very nice.
Kid: ... But they give me free refills on my soda?
Jess: Well, sometimes you can't tell whether people are nice based on what they give you.
Kid: Okay. Just, can we go to McDonald's or something so I can still get a toy?


But seriously, humans? Stop eating at Chik-Fil-A. Even though someday somebody's gonna make you wanna gobble up a waffle fry, just love your queer friends more, k?

Image via.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Doors and Suitcases

So, I started the new job, it sucks, whoops.  I'm back on the job market (wish me luck), but in the meantime I've got plenty of grossness to tell you about!

For instance: I fly to Jacksonville weekly now.  As you may already know, Jacksonville is definitely more Deep South-y than Gainesville, which means (among other things, like grits in the cafeteria) plenty of men awkwardly scooting behind me and wresting the door from my grip instead of just walking through like a polite human being.

Just today, on my flight home, a fellow passenger grabbed my suitcase and went to stow it overhead for me.  Slightly irked that he did so without asking, and, at the end of my weekly trip, very tired of people carrying my stuff for me, I kept my grip and said, "no, that's all right."  You guys.  He ignored me and kept pulling on my suitcase.  In what world is this ok?

After a, "DUDE, I've got it," he finally let go, making a big show about how unreasonable I was being.  See, this is why I hate chivalry: it's often just a facade for rampant assholery.  Maybe he got a kick out of playing the role, maybe it was some sort of "Gift of Fear"-type boundary-testing.  What it wasn't was being considerate of others, since the other in this case was clearly resisting.

When you think about it, chivalry basically consists of a bunch of one-way favors.  The exchange of favors builds good-will and social ties and all that good stuff; I suspect a cultural standard of men doing these favors for women, but not vice versa, arises from the desire to build a sense of gratitude -- and, I don't know, maybe feeling beholden? -- to men on the part of women.  That's not nice; that's actually kind of evil.

And it's not like I'm saying you can't hold a door for anyone, dudes.  But if you're making a big show of it (or trying to yank someone's stuff out of their hands), I bet your motivations are suspect.  That's all.