Posts Tagged ‘ gay ’

Obscene Words Our Kids Can’t Use… Even If We Used To

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

21 months.

You can no longer say the “m-word” on TV.

No, green slime will not fall on your head if you do, but the censors will bleep the word out, even on Comedy Central: It’s “little people” now.

But when I was a kid in the Eighties, there was no chance of being reprimanded or corrected if you used the “m-word.”

Similarly, the “r-word” is dangerous to use as well. I remember back in 2008 when Ben Stiller’s Tropic Thunder drew controversy and even inspired a petition that was circulated through Facebook encouraging people not to see the movie because of the way it portrayed those with special needs.

It’s wallpapered in our brains as today’s parents of young children to know that one of the worst things to be in our society is a bigot; any type of person who looks down on or makes fun of other people for being different.

(To be honest, I’m actually a tad paranoid to even be covering this topic today for fear of being misunderstood or misquoted as one myself. What if I ironically make myself look like the kind of bully I am speaking against here?)

And that brings us to another especially unacceptable and obscene term; the “f-word.”

No, the other “f-word,” as well as the “q-word.” These days, when one of your friends from high school officially “comes out of the closet” on Facebook in a status update, you can expect to see a flood of “likes” and “hugs” and “You go girl!” comments, definitely not criticism or name-calling.

As if I needed to say it, I’m glad to see these words become demonized. I like knowing our society is reaching such a state of “bullying awareness.”

What I am seeing about our Millennial generation (born from 1980 to 2000) and our concept of vulgarity is that we’re more offended by slurs directed at minorities of every kind in society; as opposed to cursing and cussing in general.

Interestingly, we’re much less offended by the classic extreme offenders, like “g.d.” or “a-hole” or even the original f-word. In fact, it’s not even a big deal anymore to hear those words spoken on cable TV from time to time.

We’ve heard them so many times that I’m wondering if they actually are profane anymore or if we just pretend they are because it’s what we’re used to thinking.

Here’s what I know. I have a responsibility to teach my son what is and is not appropriate to say, largely based on which words I do and do not say.

It’s not up to the rating of a movie or a TV show, or which words the censors bleep out, or even which words that society deems as offensive for whatever reason.

Since a lot of my son’s future vocabulary is indeed up to me, I will guide him and strive to be the example he needs to see and hear.

I will be that person in my son’s life; to teach him not only how not to hurt others with his words, but also, how to build people up with his words, especially to those who need it the most.

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How Gay-Friendly Ads Affect What You Buy Your Kids

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

20 months.

Rainbow is the new pink. Literally.

I’m not against raising money and awareness for cancer, but for the past couple of years now, I feel like I’m one of the only people willing to point out the irony of buying junk food with a pink ribbon on the package.

Yes, some of the money goes to find a cure for cancer. But also, eating junk food doesn’t help prevent cancer. Quite the opposite.

Even if it’s pop culture heresy, I’m willing to say it: Pink sells. It’s a convenient marketing strategy that most people aren’t willing to criticize.

Turns out, selling cancer awareness with the color pink has inspired a new trend that’s starting to pop up: Gay-friendly ads.

They’re perfect because they create a lot of buzz among the exact demographic they are going after:

Eighteen to 34 year-olds; most of whom are Generation Y, a group of young adults who likes to be known for being open-minded and accepting.

Sure, there are those who are personally offended by seeing JC Penney’s “Gay Dad Ad” or Kraft’s Oreo ”Rainbow Cookie” ad.

But the percentage of those who are upset enough to actually not buy the product is evidently irrelevant in comparison to all those who will either deliberately or subconsciously prefer a brand or product because of a gay-friendly ad.

Somewhere between 1% and 3% of Americans are gay; about 4 million people. But that’s enough to culturally divide the rest of us over it.

Here’s where it gets tricky. It’s gotten to the point now where it’s clearly politically incorrect to not support gay marriage.

What does gay marriage have to do with chicken? Ask the people banning Chick-fil-A.

The funny thing is, I can’t find where Chick-fil-A’s President Dan Cathy actually even used the phrase “gay marriage” in an interview. (Will someone please link proof of it in a comment for me?)

Yet Chick-fil-A is apparently being banned by the Muppets and the mayor of Boston, Thomas Menino, over this.

I find it extremely ironic that people are banning Chick-fil-A in the name of accepting others when they are not accepting of those who do not endorse gay marriage.

At the same time, I’m cool with gay-friendly ads. Nor do I oppose gay marriage; as recognized by the State.

But let’s be honest about what this really is.

These gay-friendly ads are a marketing strategy. That’s why more brands are using them. And they are evidently working.

What can we expect in the future? More gay-friendly ads.

Especially advertising products to parents who do the shopping for food and clothing for the household.

Will you buy your kid Oreos because you saw their rainbow ad? Kraft thinks you will. Same thing with JC Penney.

I predict that it’s only a matter of time before we see a gay-friendly diaper ad. I give it until the end of the year.

Instead of a faux denim diaper, why not a rainbow diaper?

Update since original publishing…

Here are two links that give more background on what Mr. Cathy actually said:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/26/us/gay-rights-uproar-over-chick-fil-a-widens.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/17/dan-cathy-chick-fil-a-president-anti-gay_n_1680984.html

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One Million Moms Vs. The New Normal

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

The organization One Million Moms is calling for a boycott of the upcoming NBC drama-comedy, The New Normal, which features a woman who chooses to become a surrogate mother for a gay couple.

My question is, “Why can’t those one million moms be in control of what their kids watch in their own house?”

Coincidentally, Jim Henson, Co. and the mayor of Boston, as well as at least 4,000 people so far have signed a petition to boycott Chick-fil-A, after President Dan Cathy made a remark in an interview confirming his stance on the traditional model of marriage: one man and one woman.

(For many, that apparently translates as “our entire restaurant chain disapproves of gay marriage and homosexuals in general.”)

That’s right. Sorry, Elmo. No more Chick-fil-A for you.

These similar and yet opposite news stories remind me of a quote by Henry Steele Commager:

“The fact is that censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates, in the end, the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion.”

I’ve never been a fan of censorship or boycotting anything. I’d rather let the free market decide. Because it does.

Back in March, I correctly predicted that ABC’s “GCB” wouldn’t last, as it seemed to offend the very audience it needed to survive.

It lasted 6 episodes. No one had to ban the show because mainstream America decided on their own not to watch it; whether deliberately or subconsciously, we’ll never know.

I curiously think about the best case scenarios for the boycotts endorsed by both One Million Moms and those who oppose Chick-fil-A.

If The New Normal ended up being cancelled because enough people didn’t watch it, would it change the fact that homosexuals are still raising children in the real world, whether those gay couples are “legally married” or not?

And if Chick-fil-A suffers greatly as a business because its President opposes gay marriage, will he suddenly change his religious beliefs, even going as far as to open his restaurants on Sunday in honor of same-sex parents?

Imagine the great responsibility of only being able to consume the products and receive the services of the companies and organizations who share and reflect your exact belief system in every way.

So let the people watch The New Normal. If it’s a good show that happens to feature gay parents, like Modern Family, then it will last because people will naturally watch it on their own.

And let the people eat at Chick-fil-A. I personally won’t be participating, but that’s only because I’m a vegetarian.

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The Real Threat To The Sanctity Of Marriage

Friday, May 11th, 2012

17 months.

I don’t feel threatened by how the government defines marriage because I firmly believe in the importance of separating church and state.

Do certain conservative believers in the Christian god have exclusiveness over the right to marriage, as recognized by the American government?

If so, then it’s time to start converting any non-Christian couples before they wed.

There is marriage as recognized by the nation I am a citizen of; then there is marriage as recognized by the particular religious faith I belong to.

Two separate things… and the first one is not something I’m too concerned with.

Though it makes me feel good that my wife took my last name.

It’s actually pretty funny to me when the same people who complain about the Ten Commandments not being displayed in government buildings can not even name all ten of the commandments.

And I always think it’s ridiculous when I hear that “they took prayer out of schools.” No. No they didn’t.

(I’m assuming “they” is referring to Communists and this is the year 1985?)

As the dad of a toddler and the husband of a Christian woman, I pray while holding them both each morning before we go our separate ways for the day. When my son Jack goes to his daycare, I don’t expect them to have prayer for him there.

If I want to teach my son to pray or to learn the Ten Commandments, then it’s my responsibility as his dad to teach him in my home.

I laughed pretty hard recently when I heard a guy complaining about the Presidential support of “legalizing gay marriage,” saying that it threatens the sanctity of marriage and the future of America.

The most obvious reason his viewpoint was invalid is because he unashamedly admits to watching pornography regularly and says there’s nothing wrong with flirting with other women in bars because at the end of the night he’s not going home with them, he’s going home to his wife.

Here’s what I know:

I’m protecting the sanctity of my marriage by loving my wife the best way I know how. That includes not coveting other women, keeping strong and open communication with my wife, spending quality time with her, and being the best dad I can be to our son. Oh, and prayer, too.

But not the kind endorsed by the government… because, you know, the government took away prayer from us.

Here’s the video I stole from a friend on Facebook that inspired this article. Now handing the mic to Julie Borowski:

 

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Can A Heterosexual Dad Legitimately Be A Feminist?

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

14 months.

It was a sort of liberating experience a few weeks ago at the Nashville Zoo, to realize A) that in addition to carrying around my son’s diaper bag, sort of like a purse, I was also actually toting my wife’s purse and B) I was strangely okay with that.

If you know me in the least little bit, you know how it’s simply my nature to ask deep, random questions both in real life and on Facebook, like “What is the male equivalent of a feminist?

The first answer I received confirmed my own preconceived answer: “Wouldn’t that be a male chauvinist?” (It was a female who said that.)

The second response I got confirmed my own understanding of what feminism simply is:

“Good feminism: a movement to eliminate gender-based discrimination against females; promote fairness and equality previously not experienced by females in society; and expand the gender roles of females beyond traditionally accepted roles which previously limited their contributions, productivity, and value to society.”

By the way, it was a guy, Mike Zeigler, who gave that answer. He went on to further explain my frustrations with the kind of feminism that annoys me:

“Bad feminism: a movement to revolt against the male gender and usurp their position of dominance to the extent that women achieve complete dominance and precedence over men, thereby emasculating and feminizing men in the process.”

Meanwhile in the land of Twitter, fellow daddy blogger Zach Rosenberg of 8-Bit Dad gave an answer that caught me by surprise. I never thought of this, but I think he’s on to something:

“A feminist. Men, especially fathers, make the best feminists.”

What if the answer to my question is that simple? The male equivalent of a feminist is a man who himself is a feminist.

Look back to that paragraph defining “good feminism.” That’s what I believe in, support, and depend on. How can I not back feminism like that? I’m married to a woman and we have a son together.

If that’s not the kind of movement I am a fan of, then I am simply irrelevant as a modern dad. Therefore, in all seriousness, I consider myself a feminist.

Let’s back up again, though- all the way to the title. Why was it necessary for me to specify “heterosexual” dad?

The main reason is that as a heterosexual man, I can not relate to the social injustices that women, as well as homosexuals, have encountered throughout history.

To make matters worse, I happen to be middle class and white. Clearly, I do not represent a minority in any traditional sense: not for my gender, race, income level, nor sexual orientation.

Quite possibly, I am demographically the most unpitied stereotype in America. So for me to claim to be a feminist, it’s natural to assume I’m joking or making light of the subject; attempting to be ironic for a canned laugh. But I’m not.

It may not count for much, but for the simple fact that corporately sponsored daddy bloggers are extremely rare and I just happen to be one of them, representing the many dedicated dads out there who truly aren’t male chauvinists, maybe I actually do know a thing or two about being part of a minority.

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