I’m having an argument with a (straight) friend who, while she calls herself an “ally,” objects to several of my beliefs. They are:
- Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis belongs in jail on charges of civil contempt for willfully and flagrantly violating the rule of federal law.
- It is ironic that Kim Davis has the sexual morals of an alley cat, having been married and divorced and impregnated in all manner of combinations, and yet created a impediment to other people’s right to marry.
- Kim Davis wears an unattractive, scraggly, partial-updo hairstyle that I like to call “The Sister-Wife.”
My friend’s objections:
- But, but, we’re so quick to punish with mass incarceration in this country! Can’t she just be fired or impeached or forced to do community service with LGBT youth? Breaking the law means jail, but we have all kinds of laws that aren’t right – stop-and-frisk; war on drugs, etc.
- Slut-shaming is wrong!
- We shouldn’t ever attack a woman’s looks when we fight not to be judged for our looks! Is our anger such that we feel OK making anti-Mormon comments about hair?
Let’s address point o’contention #1. Imma bring Louis Brandeis into this argument, because Louis said it best in the early part of the 20th century:
“Our government… teaches the whole people by its example. If the government becomes the lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.”
Kim Davis is an elected official. She can’t be fired. She was given the chance to resign. She didn’t. She chose jail. She considers herself and her beliefs above the law. And she embraced the chance to become a front-page martyr in the Christian persecution complex becoming stronger every day in America – a 21st century apocalyptic political fantasy about “religious freedom” and being “in chains for Christ.” Certain verses from the Bible, removed from their true, wise and righteous context, are being used by theocrats to craft an ugly and dangerous narrative in which homosexuals and judicial tyranny are ushering in the End Times.
So it is with Kim Davis, and the only bummer re: her jail term is that it bolsters this persecution narrative. Her jail term is appropriate, because Kim Davis isn’t within shouting distance of, say, mandatory minimums for simple drug possession – and the light leaving from stop-and-frisk will not reach her for another several billion years. The comparison is as disengenuous as it is insulting.
I wouldn’t expose “LGBT kids” to this person for any reason. Why should they have to suffer her company? Their lives aren’t hard enough?
And finally, impeachment – even if possible in this case – takes forever. Fuck that. People in Rowan County, Ky., shouldn’t have to put off their weddings for even ONE DAY because of Kim Davis.
Point o’ contention #2: “Slut-shaming,” along with “triggering,” “umbrella,” and “demisexual” are on the list of meaningless neologisms I never want to see again. (I will, however, keep “microaggressions”.) Nobody’s calling her a slut; just pointing out the hypocrisy and hetero-normative double standard.
Point o’ contention #3: My friend could be right on this one; the “looks” thing and not being anti-a-whole-religion, although you know what? Even if I was “anti-Mormon,” or anti-fundamentalist, I’d have good reasons: Please see Prop 8, Mitt Romney, and the summer of 1989, which I spent shucking corn in the blazing heat of Mesa, Arizona with approximately 2,843 of my LDS relatives. My aunties did an awful lot of work and not one of them had a college education and what I mean is that I’m not personally unfamiliar with Mormonism and fundamentalism and what both entail for women and gays, so I can mock Kim Davis’ backwoods, retro, willfully-fugly hairstyle until the cows come mooing home. Because that hairstyle is code, baby. That hairstyle is to coiffure what the phrase “family values” is to political rhetoric.
Above and beyond all this, though: Why am I, a lesbian; a female, consistently asked to be so goddamned nice to everyone – no matter how doggedly they try to deprive me of my rights? Why is my response to Kim Davis under such scrutiny; measured against such lofty standards? Why is my liberal Facebook friend, my “ally,” more troubled by the way I respond to Kim Davis’ actions than about those actions themselves? Why does a straight woman feel she can give me the same “two wrongs don’t make a right” lecture I got from my middle school headmaster when I fought back a kid who was bullying me? “Two wrongs don’t make a right,” he said, and then shut himself safely inside his office, where no one was calling him “Toad” or spraying shaving cream into his locker vents. This position – I never understood it. I didn’t then, and I don’t now.
But it’s because I’m a lesbian; a female. I’m supposed to be careful about what I say, because everyone else’s feelings come first.
No. I’m not doing that anymore. The Fuck-Off Fairy visited me last night when I was sleeping and waved her magic wand over me. Kim Davis belongs in jail; she is no moral Oracle at Delphi, she isn’t being persecuted, and her hair looks like ass. LIKE. ASS.