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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Social Conservatism and Intolerance

I've decided to break out my oft-neglected blog to put down my thoughts regarding the recent so-called J. Crew controversy. Jenna Lyons, president and creative director of the clothing company, posted a photo in their most-recent catalog of her Saturday afternoon activities with her son. In the picture, her little boy has pink nail polish adorning his toes. Social conservatives are, essentially, throwing a hissy fit. J.Crew is attempting to push a "transgendered liberal agenda," they say. My thoughts? That is complete bullshit. Nobody is trying to push anything.

Men at work, women in the kitchen - boys are blue, girls are pink - boys are tough, ladies are dainty. These are all antiquated gender roles. Every person in this world is capable of being who he or she wants to be. If that little boy wants to wear pink nail polish, so what? It does not make him any less special or any less normal than anyone else in this world. And when he is older, it will not make him any less of a man. Social conservatives are comparing Ms. Lyons to some sort of villain whose abnormal child will need years of psychotherapy to recover from his tormented and unjust youth. Her little boy is probably thinking, "Hey, this is fun!"

We need to learn to accept each other for who we are, no matter what. I find it absolutely hypocritical that most of these social conservatives pushing their hate agenda are also so-called devout Christians. As an atheist I'm seen as lacking a moral center when, in fact, I am far more morally grounded than any person who condones intolerance and hate. Yes, hate. They may not think of it as hate, but it is. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. This is political bullying and it needs to stop. Newsflash. Jesus wouldn't want you to spread words of hate and to pass such judgment on a little boy. He hasn't done anything wrong. He is just being who he wants to be. And, that's okay.

As more and more judgment is passed on young Lyons and all those others who are labeled as "abnormal", he'll feel forced to hide himself and become someone who is nothing but a ghost of his true self. Every time a kid is laughed at or told he can't do that because it doesn't make him/her a true boy/girl, it exacerbates the problem we have in America. So, today I am challenging every person who reads this. Open your minds and open your hearts. If you consider yourself open minded already, try to open it further. Accept everyone for who they are. Help our country become united, rather than divided. Make this place be about love and acceptance. Banish the hate, the labels, the feeling of being a second-rate citizen. We are all worthy of being ourselves without being looked down on. Now is the time to make the change. Be like the Kool-Aid Man and break down the wall of inequality and social injustice.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Iron Queen Contest - Julie Kagawa

I follow several book bloggers on Twitter and many of them retweeted a contest hosted by author Julie Kagawa of the Iron Fey book series (rules and information here).  Go enter! The grand prize is signed copies of The Iron King, The Iron Daughter, and The Iron Queen, which is set to release in a month.  I have an eleven-year-old niece (well, cousin, but when you're a whole person who can drive older than she, you tend to think of her as a niece), who loves reading and would love this series.  So, in my attempts to win for her, here is my  creation.  And, yes, I realize my Photoshop skills are severely lacking!  Also, many thanks to Gail over at Ticket To Anywhere for her input! I decided to go with a tribute to the covers of the series (see below), so, I give you...

The Iron King, The Iron Daughter, The Iron Queen, and... The Iron Cat!