Just Like Them

Reflections on a conversation had today at Pride...about choice, about equal marriage, about feminism, about equal rights.....though they've actually been brewing for some time.  Another coming out, of sorts.  Of different sorts.  Just as scary, though.

Here's the beginning---check out the rest on my blog at http://hereswhatidontget.blogspot.com...there's a lot more to it.

"Lesbians aren't edgy." (I actually heard "lesbians aren't edgy anymore", but that isn't what was said.)
It was said in a moment of jest, a friendly kidding around between friends. It wasn't meant to be a big deal, nor particularly taken as such. But several hours later, I am realizing that it was one of the saddest things I've heard in a while.
I mean, who knew? Here I was thinking that while we aren't exactly on the fringe of the fringe, we're still out there in the fringey little things somewhere. Apparently not. That must have been "before".
Because...well, because I'm me, I've been stewing. What does it mean?
I'm pretty close to an answer, at least one that feels satisfying. I'm thinking what it means is that we're assimilated. So now I just want to scream.
I am not such a fan of assimilation. That's an understatement. There is so much lost. I'm more like "I'll take the old days minus the fear and violence".
Don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating the good old days of no equal rights and oppression. This is where it get tricky. Probably the simplest way to explain my position is that I believe a social transformation was (and is) critical. Just not this one.
As you may or may not know, I have spent the last six months, and most intensively the last month, planning, coordinating, fundraising, rehearsing, singing about and performing music in celebration of the fifth anniversary of equal marriage in Massachusetts. Today, I walked nearly an entire parade route singing "Going to the Chapel" amidst enthusiastic applause. It's been a wild ride (not to mention unbelievable) and one that required me to stand up in front of people and ask them to help us celebrate this historical event. It's also put me in the unlikely position of cheerleader as, while we were rehearsing, four states joined Massachusetts, and the Supreme Court decision on Prop 8 in California was released. So it was a little odd to walk around all of that time with the voice of one of my friends in my head, asking me "So, why are you against same-sex marriage?".
No, I straightened her out. I'm not against same-sex marriage. I think it's a no-brainer. I think it's just another one of the equal rights that gay and lesbian people should have as a matter of course. But then again, I thought the equal rights amendment was a no-brainer too, so you probably shouldn't pay any attention to me.
Imagine--Equal rights for women guaranteed under the constitution. Just in case you weren't paying attention, it failed. And just in case you still weren't paying attention, it has been reintroduced every year. Still nothing. And in the event that you STILL weren't paying attention, yes, women's rights and gay and lesbian rights are, in fact, related (since the opposition to both has a whole lot to do with misogyny). I don't know. Call me crazy. I'm thinking that maybe, just maybe, full equal rights for half of the country's population might be a good place to start.
Yeah, I'm an old time feminist. Oh, yeah. I know. You're a feminist, too. Here's a tip. The feminism of today is unrecognizable by the standards of 70's and even 80's feminism--the stuff I cut my teeth on. It's really a whole different animal.

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