In short, we have been held and sustained by community before, during, and after our wedding. This community is not our “right.” It is our blessing. And our wedding could not have happened — not in any way resembling the awesome, precious way that it did — without the blessed love of that community.
Despite being quite out of the closet myself, ready to TELL anyone that I am gay, married to the man I’ve loved for 26 years, until today I’ve always been squeamish about SHOWING that side of myself, with signs of affection like holding hands and kissing. Now, I think, that needs to change. Seeing two men, two women, or two people whose genders you can’t easily guess share a brief hug, kiss, or hold hands should be as common as seeing two people who are clearly of opposite genders doing the same. No one should be shocked, surprised, afraid, repulsed, or thrown into a murderous rage over that.
The night after Purim the two of us sat feasting – a queer Hebrew bible scholar and a trans woman activist. The book of Esther was on our minds, as we read Esther every year on Purim, the festival when we celebrate the brave Jewish queen who saves her people from annihilation in Persia. Also on our minds was the “bathroom panic” gripping the nation over the perilous prospect of transgender women using women’s restrooms. To address the threat, state legislatures are being flooded with proposed measures to deny transgender people access to restrooms and facilities in accordance with their authentic gender identity, instead forcing them to use the restroom matching the inaccurate gender assigned to them at birth. To those who may have missed the news, the rallying cry of these bills is “no men in women’s restrooms.” Since the trope that transwomen are actually men is patently absurd, we sought to delve into the mental plumbing of the cisgender men who craft these “bathroom panic” laws. What is it that compels them to enact such draconian measures? What is the source of their unrighteous anger?
If I asked you to name a prodigiously talented, extravagantly flamboyant, African American, sexually fluid musician with a body like an exclamation point and a taste for the rococo whose premature death left the world a little grayer, of course you’d say “Prince,”and you’d be right. Or half-right.
Every since Prince’s April 21st death was reported – ever since a tidal wave of mourning began to gather force, leaving testimonies and tributes and tall tales in its wake – I’ve been thinking surfing the Zeitgeist, thinking about James Booker.
In “Not Their Mother’s Candidate,” in last Sunday’s New York Times, Susan Faludi purports to situate the difference between women who support Clinton and women who support Sanders in terms of the history of American feminism. According to Faludi the conflict is one between “mothers” and “daughters,” which first appeared among feminists in the 1920s. The “mothers” of today (Madeleine Albright, Gloria Steinem) call for loyalty among women; the “daughters” (the flappers then; unnamed today) pursue personal liberation rather than group loyalty. One is almost finished with the article before one realizes that in fact it is another twisted pro-Clinton intervention, based on the assumption that Sanders is not electable.
These online exclusives are freely accessible articles that are part of an ongoing special series associated with Tikkun’s Winter 2016 print issue Intimate Violence, Societal Violence. These pieces represent a range of sophisticated, multi-faceted perspectives on intimate partner violence. Taken as a whole the pieces work to challenge the dogmas and ideological blind-spots that silence victims, while opening up space for creative and nuanced approaches to healing for both the abusers and the abused. In her piece, “An Invitation to Community: Restorative Justice Circles for Intimate Partner Violence,” Emily Gaarder describes the empowering process of restorative justice and the profound effects of drawing upon community support for assistance in conflict resolution. In “Intimate Partner Violence & Intimate Partner Justice: How Spiritual Teachings Impact Both” The Reverend Al Miles challenges what he calls a “misuse of spiritual teachings,” noting that spiritual texts that support the oppression of women appear to directly contradict teachings within those same traditions which profess love, dignity, and mutual respect in intimate relationship.
There’s a scandal swirling around progressive organizing circles right now.An impressively large number of women have come forward to accuse Trevor FitzGibbon, principal of a large and widely respected public relations firm employed by countless movement organizations, of sexual harrassment and sexual assault. Find the story on Vox and elsewhere. The FitzGibbon charges have stimulated lively and painful discussions online and in person. Over the last few days, I’ve read dozens of posts from women who now feel invited, even impelled, to share stories of offenses committed against themselves and their colleagues. I’m certain the patterns will be familiar to you, dear readers: women who endured repeated humiliation but feared speaking out because of reprisals; women who spoke out and were ignored; women who rebuffed advances from men at work who had power over them, and found themselves tacitly stigmatized and denied opportunity until they moved on; women who were fed up to the breaking point with the daily repetition of mundane offenses – men who steal your ideas for their own, being ignored in meetings, casually offensive comments on one’s body or dress, and so on. Before I move on, let me stipulate that women can be abusers and men can be victims too.
(We) all have a responsibility, indeed an opportunity, to join together as allies to construct protective shelters from the corrosive effects of prejudice and discrimination while working to clean up the cissexist environment in which we live.
Last Sunday, at the United Nations, world leaders marked the 20th anniversary of the landmark Beijing accord on women’s rights. They celebrated women’s progress—especially in education, health, and labor—and underscored ongoing gender inequalities.