Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Boy, its great to a be a straight, protestant white guy...
Boy, its great to a be a straight, protestant white guy.
Its pretty cool.
There's a bunch of us and for the most part, we rule the world. Always have and, if its up to us, we always will. Remember that, ok?
Here's just a few of the ways we have an edge up on you "other people."
BIRTH CONTROL: No one's too pushy with us about what, if any, birth control option we use. Yes, my Catholic pals are told contraception's a no-no, but for the most part, the condom police are on holiday somewhere other than their bedrooms. If you think these guys are abstaining, you've lost your mind. Further if you think the only times they've ever had intercourse, even within the sacred boundaries of marriage, was to have a child, again, you've lost your mind. I'm told (anecdote alert!!) Catholics use birth control a lot. Being raised Protestant (Methodist) means the only person who cared/cares if I'm using something is my partner. There's never been a third party involved in this discussion as far as I can remember. And I would've remembered. Further, not once did anyone try to tell me that if I prevented my sperm from entering my partner's uterus, that I'd killed an unborn life. No one ever picketed outside my window with hateful signs. No politician ever seemed too concerned about it. Besides, if they ever said that a less than "proper" disposal of a viable sperm cell was akin to murder, than 95% of all teen age boys would be hauled off to prison for, uh, well, you know. I'm really glad I'm not a woman. First off, I'm not tough enough. Secondly, I'd be pretty upset if my employer could potentially withhold a variety of medical benefits based on "moral grounds" like whether they would cover contraception for Pete's sake.
MARRIAGE RIGHTS: Being a straight, protestant white guy, no one ever actually tried to produce a law that would've prevented me from marrying the person I love. My wife and I decided this all on our own. Eh, we might've kicked it around with our friends, but no legislators were involved. Once we said this is what we wanted, as long as we had $25.00 for the Marriage License, we were good to go. No fuss, no muss. The options to get officially hitched were impressive. We could find almost any "man of the cloth" to perform the ceremony. We could've retained, for a modest fee, the local Justice of the Peace or for that matter, almost any judge licensed in our State to perform the ceremony. Or, we could've asked the local mayor to handle it for us. Plenty of options, no real stress trying to figure this out. Life being married has been pretty straight-forward as well. When my Wife had an emergency C-Section there was no question whether I could be in the room. I was the husband. Period. They even gave me a nifty little gown, a hat and cool booties to wear. Our marriage counts everywhere we could go in the USA. Every one of the fifty States accepts the notion that we're legally married. Gee, how cool is that? Good thing I'm not a gay man, because I'd only be able to marry my partner in six other States and the District of Columbia. More are in the works, but the current mark of 14% of the Country just isn't good enough, is it? Well, being a straight, protestant white guy, I don't have to worry about it, do I?
LIVING ARRANGEMENTS: Again, straight, protestant white guys rule! Anytime I've wanted to rent an apartment or a house or purchase a home, there haven't been any questions in this regard. I've lived in nice neighborhoods and not so nice neighborhoods. I'd fill out the paperwork and applications, give it a few days and voila! I had a new place to call my own. I guess its not the same for everyone though. I was friends with a gay couple about 25 years ago who liked my apartment. They noticed there was another unit for rent in the same building. They made more money than me. They had better credit than me. They had more references than me. They were will to pay for three months in advance. (Something I couldn't afford to do...) Yet they were turned down. Who moved in? Some middle-aged jack-ass white guy who liked to blast Merle Haggard music off his balcony after the bars closed and drink his Jack straight from the bottle. Damn good thing those gays didn't move in. It might've upset the neighborhood.
MEDICAL PROCEDURES #1: I've been pretty healthy for the most part through my first fifty-one straight, protestant white guy years. I have asthma, which is treated by a few daily medications and is under control. I had a deviated septum repaired back in my early thities. That was cool. (The kids still love to pull out the pictures at parties to show our guests what Daddy looked like with a roll of toilet paper shoved up each nostril. Its amazing how far the nose can be stretched. Oh well, a small sacrifice for a major improvement in breathing.) I was asked to cough a few times in high school-no big deal. I also have this weird tumor on my right adrenal gland which, after about forty thousand dollars worth of expensive tests, I've been told is nothing. They call it an "incidental-oma." No one has ever objected to any medical procedure I decided, with the help of my physician, that I wanted to be done. I remember a co-worker who had a fairly severe heart condition and to her surprise came up pregnant about twenty years ago. Her physician told her the chances of carrying the baby to term were almost nil and that if she tried, she'd be placing her own health at great risk. She had three other kids at home plus a husband. She and her doctor decided it would be best to terminate the pregnancy. (You know how sacred that patient/doctor relationship is, right? Remember the Republicans voicing their concerns about this very issue during the debate over the Affordable Care Act, right?) My friend was given a pretty rough ride as she walked into the clinic to have the procedure done that day. It occurs to me that there is nothing that I could experience that would produce the same meanness and harshness toward myself that she was subjected to that day. She was called terrible names as she walked past these creeps. Too bad for her she wasn't a straight, protestant white guy that day.
MEDICAL PROCEDURES #2: Another difference between us straight, protestant white guys is that no one has ever tried to legislate that we be forced to undergo an additional separate procedure performed if we had decided to have a certain procedure done. You might've heard about what's going on in Virginia. Nope, nothing to do with straight, protestant white guys. Just expectant mothers who have decided to have an abortion. (Which last I checked in the United States, was still a legal procedure.) The good lawmakers in Virginia, who are mostly (yup, you guessed it) straight, protestant white guys, are trying to pass a law (House Bill 462) that would require women, even against their wishes to undergo an invasive vaginal ultra-sound before they could receive an abortion. Maybe its like a "two for one special" or something. The fetus would be described in detail to the mother before the abortion could proceed. In seven other States there are similar laws on the books, some of which require the mother involved to actually listen to the fetal heartbeat. It is important to mention that the House Bill was sponsored by a woman, Kathy Byron-R. The boys on the "right" side of the chamber are preparing her "man card" as we speak. Again, there's no equivalent situation for straight, protestant white guys I can think of.
MEDICAL PROCEDURES #3: Boy, our politicians are smart guys. One GOP hopeful named Rick Santorum (please don't GOOGLE search Santorum) has announced he has a problem with pregnant women undergoing amniocentesis because it leads to a greater number of abortions being performed. Does that procedure sometime lead to a termination of a pregnancy? Yes, sometimes they do, but often it does not. This goes back to that sacred ground between a patient and her doctor. Yet again, there's no medical equivalent for straight, protestant, white guys I can think of.
VOTING ISSUES: Voting is easy for straight, protestant white guys. Nothing to it. Truthfully, its pretty easy for almost everyone. Well, almost. If you're a minority and you haven't got a state issued photo-ID card, then that's going to be a problem. Why don't they just use their driver's license? Because many poor minorities don't drive, that's why. Same thing for the elderly. Some have surrendered their licenses because of declining health reasons, but there's almost no medical requirements to vote. The number of hoops for folks like this to jump through is fairly daunting. Not impossible, but difficult.
FREEDOM OF RELIGION: Straight, protestant white guys are the vanilla milk shakes of the universe. If I want to build my own church, hell-START my own church, the local community applauds me. Now if a guy across town named Mohammad would want to start HIS own church, well-we've got a problem, don't we? Same thing if a group of Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual or Transgendered folks want to build a church to enjoy fellowship in the name of the Lord, right? In some cities, these Mosques and GLBT churches get built, but can we agree that their road is more tricky than the road us straight, protestant white guys have to navigate when we want to build a church?
SEXUAL PRACTICES: As long as you stay true to your straight, protestant white guys definition, you can do just about anything you want. (Or should I say "do" anything you want?) We can sleep around, have multiple partners, etc. as long as we don't get caught, its not usually going to be a problem. Just try to do the same thing if you're a single thirty-five year old woman. Remember the rule of thumb is this. A guy with multiple partners is hot and desirable. A woman with multiple partners is a whore. Got it?
SINGLE PARENTING: Society looks upon a straight, protestant white guy trying to raise his family on his own as admirable. Which it is, of course. Taking responsibility for a child isn't easy but when a man is seen stepping up he gets "extra credit." Compared to a single mother, who is too often looked down upon as "paying the price" for her mistake.
SUMMARY: All of the advantages I've described above aren't necessarily applicable to every location every time in the US. There are places where Gays can marry, where minority couples can find safe, affordable housing in a variety of neighborhoods, where people of all faiths are welcomed in the practice of their religion, etc. I take much of what rights I enjoy, both official and unofficial, for granted. I can't imagine any other way.
As we move toward selecting a Republican nominee for President, much of the recent headlines have featured a handful of comments and speeches and in some case, outright legislation that seek to push us far to the Right under the guise of protecting our liberty and personal freedoms. Ironically and probably hypocritically as well, many rights of gays, non Christians and especially woman seem grist for the mill. How is it a political party can lay claim to the banner of "protecting personal liberties" when it seems hell-bent on depriving so many of those exact rights? Its as if the conservative right has declared, "We'll decide what's moral and what's not" which is bullshit and not indicative of the Country that I think we're supposed to be. We'll see how all this plays out. Hopefully, this blows over and the Republican voters of our Country choose a different option (Ron Paul?) than the one so many would seem to have us take. On the other hand, if the voters go along with them and limit other's personal liberties, well all I can say is its good to be a straight, protestant white guy.