Mouse rant blog vent mouse.

Friday, November 05, 2004

First I trash my fellow Texans and then some clarification

The school book battle heats up today, as my wingnut fellow Texans start to push not only for teaching kids that there's no such thing as birth control, but that "family" means "married heterosexual couple" and nothing else.

Board member Terri Leo said Thursday that wording in a sixth-grade Holt health textbook should be changed from "couples, partners and families" to "husband and wife," saying Texas does not recognize same-sex marriages.

Though Holt's high-school books identify marriage as between a "husband and a wife," Leo said neutral wording in the sixth-grade books misleads students.

"The purpose of neutrality is to be inclusive of homosexuals," Leo said.

Everyone got that? Our textbooks already describe marriage in strictly heterosexual terms, but they tacitly admit that couples, partners, and families exist anyway. I can only imagine what Ms Leo thinks of people having friends! Of the same sex! Or the opposite sex!

Using the same logic, I could argue that there's no point in telling kids to wait until marriage to have sex. After all, that's pretty much admitting that it's possible not to wait until marriage which is being inclusive of those who don't. Avoiding inclusiveness seems to be the number one goal. Of course, it looks remarkably like ignoring something you don't like thinking that will make it go away. I wish the Christian right would decide already if they want to ignore us sinners completely and let us go about our business or focus intently on condemning us and our actions every second of the day.

Alright, some clarification. I don't hate Texas or the South and I think all this talk about secession is nonsense. First of all, the notion that political differences are geographic is nonsense. Yes, I linked to the slave/free state map awhile ago, but I think it's safe to say that map isn't the final word on the issue. And yes, I used the term "Southern strategy", but that was Nixon's term, not mine. I call it "race-baiting", and as anyone who likes Archie Bunker can tell you, the Southern strategy worked nicely on Northern whites as well. Liberals and conservatives and all their ilk and spread out nicely around the country, though in different concentrations in different places.

Frankly, the latte-sipping East Coast elitists unnerve me as much as they do my Neanderthal fellows down here. The only difference is that I thought that was pretty much just a stereotype, and now I'm not so sure with all the talk of secession. My fellow Austinite Neal Pollack made me even more nervous about the stereotypes of the heartland getting intensified.

That's why I made that crack in the comments about a guy being from the country Homophobia. There is no place to hide from the wingnuts, people. A nut like Terri Leo may sit on the school board of Texas, but I guarantee someone like her is trying to get on the school board in your state, too. Blue state liberals need to turn to us red state liberals in times like these for solace. We know how to manage under the rule of the right wing. We can help you.

Anyway, the biggest distinction still seems to be urban/rural, not North/South.

39 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with your whole post, with only one criticsm:

I live on the east coast; I'm liberal; I'm educated; I don't drink any form of coffee; I believe secession is silly and unreasonable; I think you have to be at least a little dumb to vote for Bush; and I just. don't. understand. what drinking a latte has to do with anything. Wouldn't real liberals drink tea?

11/05/2004

 
Blogger amblongus said...

Looking around for information on Terri Leo (as if her website isn't scary enough), I came across Texans for Better Science Education. I think you can guess what "better science" means. All I can say is that we better start building a wall around Austin real soon. It's getting dark out there in the rest of Texas....

11/05/2004

 
Blogger La Lubu said...

So family means "husband and wife". Gee, what does that make me and my daughter then....strangers? Perhaps...acquaintances?

Fuck these people. Damn! How the hell do you reach out to morons??!! They want part of the definition of marriage to include "lifelong commitment"; which is a complete joke considering the fifty-percent divorce rate. What's next...defining unmarried mothers like me as "whores" and our children as "bastards"? Sure. I've seen calls for that on the 'net even before the election on conservative blogs....and not the real rabid ones either....the ones who consider themselves moderates....cries for a return to the shame of the past, not just in name calling, but legally preventing unmarried women from getting an education or obtaining a job....that'll teach us!

11/05/2004

 
Blogger zuzu said...

Frankly, the latte-sipping East Coast elitists unnerve me as much as they do my Neanderthal fellows down here. Amanda, after reading your blog, I expect better of you. "Latte-sipping East Coast elitists" is a Rove construct I would think you'd know better than to buy into. Not to mention, I do believe Starbucks hit the heartland before it ever hit the East Coast. I know I saw it in Michigan before I ever saw it in New York.

Yeah, I'm from the East Coast, a dreaded New York liberal. Yeah, I have the odd latte now and again. Yeah, in my frustration with the failure of consistent swaths of the country to Get It, I talk about secession (and believe you me, with the blue states generating the income and providing welfare to the red states, they'd change their tune right quick if we did that).

I'm sure I'm guilty of assuming that people in the red states are as informed as I am, since I haven't had the experience, by dint of population density, of knowing people who are so isolated that they aren't aware of an outside world.

But you know what? I'm sick to fucking death of being portrayed as somehow not a "Real American." Somehow lacking in moral values. At being derided as "money-grubbing" by those fine Heartland folk after my Congressional delegation had the temerity to ask for the money promised us after 9/11, which I experienced up close and personal, despite all the weeping and wailing and rending of garments about how "we're all New Yorkers now." At being mocked openly in the media and in the rest of the country even as it would be "elitist" to criticize those who mock us.

We're not going to get anywhere if we allow the Republicans to define us, and that's exactly the trap we fall into if we let the red/blue thing color (NPI) our perceptions. So, please, don't contribute.

This rant brought to you by liberal anger and Bonny Doon Vineyards.

11/05/2004

 
Blogger Amanda said...

Hear hear! Latte-sipping liberals live everywhere, see?

I guess my point is that I understand why some of my fellow Middle Americans feel resentful, something that Rove & Co definitely exploit. Most people I meet everywhere I go are super nice, but I have definitely butt heads with a few snooty, superior acting people who think Texan=ignorant hick.

All this talk of secession does hurt my feelings. You'd miss the South, I swear. We gave you Elvis. :)

11/05/2004

 
Blogger zuzu said...

You gave us Elvis, but we gave you Bruuuuuce.

We really need to reject the model that Turd Blossom has been cramming down our throats. It's as facile to write off the entire South as benighted as it is to deride the Northeast as full of snobs. I can't tell you how many times I've had it assumed by people from other states that I, as someone from Connecticut, lived in the equivalent of Greenwich (though, frankly, it has served me well from time to time to pull rank in a way when someone got a bit too elitist. Anywhere in Connecticut still outranks various chichi Michigan suburbs in snotty quotient if you don't realize that Connecticut has large swaths of Camaro-drivin', mullet-wearin' folks).

Tonight, I was reading an interview with Amos Oz, the liberal Israeli novelist, in the New Yorker. He said something very interesting about trying to convince Israelis to accept a two-state solution: "In my political articles, I think of my audience as Edith Bunker. I can never convince Archie Bunker. He is beyond me."

We're in the battle for the Edith Bunkers of the world.

11/05/2004

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was amused to see Austin as one of the very few blue dots in the TX county map, the others being counties along the Rio Grande.

Urban, or college town, or brown seems to be the Blue zone.
Rural, or suburban, and white seems to be the Red zone.

NancyP

11/08/2004

 
Anonymous Travieso said...

NancyP,

Thank you for noticing the distinction in the map. Texas is so huge and so culturally diverse. I grew up in one of those blue counties and live in Blue Austin.

I remember when I went up north, that people actually despised me and hated the fact that I challenged their stereotypes of Texas as some scene from a Tennessee Williams play. I grew up near the border! I speak Spanish!!

I think that this is why the Repugs in Texas redistricted. They now that Texas will become democrat again.

And to my northern friends. I agree, politics in Texas really stink, but this is my home, and it is possible to be "Blue" in a Red State.

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