A reminder that all rights are human rights

Last week was International Women’s Day, which I had meant to write about, but frankly became distracted and forgot. I’m not a woman, of course, but my feeling is that pioneers of human rights — women’s rights, gay rights, civil rights for African-Americans — should be part of our consciousness, if we expect the populace to treat our cause with respect. (I’m often frustrated by those who deny that gay rights are the equivalent of rights for women or blacks. “They don’t choose to be black/women,” indicating an entirely appalling misunderstanding of the nature of sexual orientation.)

Then I saw this on Facebook: A link to a story in the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper about a Twitter thread showed the depth of inequality out there (as well as many people who are satisfied with ignorance, with characterizing the “new freedom” as a right to be a bigot — I’m looking at you, Piers Morgan!). (“What gives you the right to criticize anyone, you dumb queer?” is a message I have gotten many times after posting a review. I think, “At least every criticism I’ve ever posted of someone had my name attached; your hate mail is always unsigned.”)

Just yesterday, Phyllis Schlafly was on NPR stating categorically that feminists hate men and always have. Well, I’m a feminist, and I love men. Feminism isn’t a movement, it’s a belief in the equal rights of all people. Feminism is humanism.

Anyway, here’s the link to the Guardian story. Read it. And think about what it means that 40 years after the ERA NOW slogan, we all still have a very long way to go. (In other news, Mad Men starts up next month. Can’t wait.)

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Person in media I hate most today: Piers Morgan

By now you’ve certainly heard the comments made by irrelevant-former-sitcom-star-cum-bad-all-around-Jesus-freak-actor Kirk Cameron about gays. That he was even given a forum on a national show kinda surprises me — what could Cameron have to say about anything at this late date that could be of even passing intellectual/entertainment/political relevance? They might as well book Squiggy.

But what I really find distasteful is Piers Morgan defending Cameron for being “brave” in saying what he thinks.

Hmmm. Now, Piers: I know you’re not an American. I know you think a gossip peddler like Rupert Murdoch defines good journalism (which, in England, it probably does). I know with a name like Piers Morgan, you probably have some Frenchman in ya, and thus are unaffiliated with what bravery really is. But please, spouting off ignorant bigotry doesn’t make you brave; instead, it makes you — what’s the term? — oh, yeah: An ignorant bigot. I wonder if you would describe James Earl Ray for being brave for assassinating a man he really didn’t agree with. Or Orville Faubus for being brave for bullying black teenagers and defying the U.S. Supreme Court for wanting to end segregation. Or how about those kids in Wyoming who beat Matthew Shepard to death because they sincerely felt it was inappropriate for him to hit on them. We, sir, have different definitions of bravery.

For instance, I don’t consider you brave in defending Cameron. I consider you a moron. I guess it’s brave for a moron to go on TV every night and hope people don’t see through his ignorance. But I prefer to save to term brave for my grandfather, who ran up the beaches of Normandy on June 3, 1944 to stave off the exact kind of hatred and misinformation that, 70 years later, Cameron and his ilk seem to still believe. You disgust me, Piers Morgan, if you think spouting off homophobia is anything other than pathetic and misinformed.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones