Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Another civil rights movement?
Quietly it seems that another civil rights movement has been snow balling. Lately it seems that gay rights activism is everywhere. The twenty year old Don't Ask Don't Tell policy is finally in the spotlight and a federal judge recently ruled it unconstitutional. Vince Vaughn was in a movie trailer from a new movie where he was making fun of a car and he called it "gay." That scene was cut and different dialogue was added in its place. Popular television shows on prime-time network stations have been highlighting same-sex relationships like on Grey's Anatomy, Brothers and Sisters and Modern Family. Closer to home, our school had rally of sorts to promote acceptance and draw attention to the problem of bullying, especially for homophobic reasons. And, Dan Savage launched the it gets better campaign to help combat the rash of suicides by gay teens. Sociologically, it is an important insight that all of this activism is questioning the social construction of gender and our reaction to sex and sexuality. Nearly all professionals and people who study people will tell you that sex and sexuality are determined for each of us. But, gender is a social construction. Think about about you have been shaped to think about gender - what have you learned to consider acceptable and what not? How have you been shaped to think about homosexuality? Even if you personally understand that being gay is not a choice, how difficult is it for you to speak out for gay rights and equality ? Here is another resource for students dealing with issues related to sexuality: The Trevor Project.
And here is Sir Charles Barkley speaking candidly about Jason Collins, the first professional athlete to be openly gay.