A new form of government

In the US, there’s much conflict between the interests of the states and the interest of the union. So let’s build a system to help bridge this gap.

We can choose representatives at regular intervals to help shape the federal laws we don’t like into something better. We could call it something like “representative democracy.”

Of course, these representatives would have to be intelligent and worldly. Otherwise, they may forget they also represent the people who didn’t vote for them and be prone to negative populism. We wouldn’t want fascists, theocrats, capitalists, or other narrow interests to have excessive influence.

Perhaps we could create a second system where a smaller number of representatives are elected by a greater number of people to attenuate the negative effects of populism. Perhaps two per state, elected by the entire state’s population. We could model this after the Roman Senate. Hey! That’s a great name for it.

And even that would be problematic due to the outsized influence of senators from smaller states. We can create a weak Executive with a head elected by the entire nation, and empower them to veto bad laws, while still giving the Senate override power with sufficient votes.

We should probably create some sort of judicial system jointly maintained by these two branches of government to ensure we don’t deviate too far from the founding documents without good cause.

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Why a lot of people hate feminism

Feminism is a big, diverse thing with a billion different sub-movements. But when most people discuss it, they’re generally referring to one of three varieties:

1: Feminists who recognize the intersections of oppression and realize their feminism has to be for more than just straight white rich women. Some of these intersectional feminists will use tortured logic to explain away any possibility of men being oppressed, but most see we’re all in this together.

2: Patriarchy Lite™ feminists who shame men for not performing hypermasculinity. A common trait is that they demand men risk their lives to save women. They say something like “men should intervene when they see an assault,” ignoring that most men are poor and don’t have insurance to cover the hospital bill/funeral.  More generally, they say things like “men should make other men…” and then some commandment. Of course, men can be super effective at getting other men to do things, but shaming just annoys men who already get enough of that from the people in their lives.

3: Maleducated goofballs who actually hate men and fly the banner of feminism as a shield.

You can probably guess what happens here. 2 and 3 make a lot of noise while 1 retreats into obscurity when they realize how futile it is. So most people don’t know group 1 exists. All they see is 2 and 3.

What’s all this about “straight pride?”

When gay pride week rolls around, someone always asks why there’s no straight pride week.

I was watching “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World” last night when it got to the scene with that apocalypse restaurant party. They had the waitress kiss Linda. Which, of course, didn’t do anything for me.

Then I see the waiter acting like he was about to do the same for Dodge, which would have been hot. And I waited. And…nothing. Why not? I’ll tell you why: ‘lesbianism’ is fetishized by a culture built around the hurtful stereotype of sex-crazed, womanizing straight men.

It was just another on the pile of instances where a mainstream-approved homosexuality got shown in the mainstream, while leaving actual gay/lesbian people out in the cold. Anything resembling gay romance is reviled and rejected. Only a fake lesbianism (not even romance) gets shown. Only straight women fetishize male gayness, and only in written fiction (M/M ‘romance’ novels). Outside that, it’s reviled. Gay pride is about refusing to be erased and silenced in this way.

So this sucks for everyone! The average straight dude hopes his buddies don’t notice him facepalming it. The average straight woman is bored to tears. Gay guys are waiting for the dudes to smooch, knowing it’ll never happen. I don’t even know what nonbinary and agender people are doing, but I doubt they’re having a good time.

So what’s a straight person who doesn’t subscribe to this reality to do? Say you’ve found a way to express your heterosexuality healthily: hetero love and passion. Being cool with gay people. Not freaking out when you see the rare gay smooch on TV. Throwing off the shackles of gender roles and hypermasculinity. Respectfully checking out women, but not leering like some creep.

You know what? You can be proud of that. Someone’s going to give you crap for it, and you don’t have to stand for that. Be proud of the socially responsible, kind, peaceful, and accepting straight person you are.

And find your own week, please. Thanks.

James Buchanan was not the first gay president

It frustrates me when people call James Buchanan the “first gay president” because it misses the point of wanting to see an openly gay president.

Identity is not something given (or forced) by someone else. He may have had same-sex attractions, but that’s different from taking on the identity we call “gay.”

For all we know he would have identified as bi, pansexual, bisexual-heteroromantic, or any number of identities. Until his zombie shambles up here to tell us, it’s not our place to say.

What’s important, and what people who ask this question are really getting at, is when we’ll get someone who identifies as gay in a culture where people with that identity are violated and persecuted by law and culture.

Lena Dunham is bad at PR

Four things happened:
1. Lena Dunham admitted to sexual abuse of her toddler sister.

2: Partisans on various sides had a field day.

3: She went on a rant (see: Buzzfeed article in #1).

4: Her sister said she was okay with what happened.

I experimented with other boys at that age, but we all understood what we were doing and wanted to do it. And we all knew the significance of age differences. If, at 7, a 1 year old had asked me to do sexy things with them, I would have told an adult, because where did a 1 year old learn about that? And I certainly wouldn’t have been the one to offer.

And then there’s the bribery and manipulation. That would be unacceptable even if they had been the same age with the same knowledge. A ~20 year old can decide to be okay with what was done to her as a toddler (#4), but that doesn’t mean it was okay for her older sister to do it.

No one would still be talking about this if she’d accepted it was problematic and made some gestures toward abuse education. Instead, she went on a rant about conservatives and threatened to sue (#3).

(In fairness to Lena Dunham, the conservative blogs that kicked this off are garbage, so the knee-jerk reaction is understandable, if not advisable)