Monday, July 18, 2011
Ruth and the Handmaid's Tail!
In 1985 Margaret Atwood published a brilliant dyostopian-era novel called The Handmaid's Tale which was later turned into a film (in 1990) and an opera which premiered in 2000. (Indeed, it would make a brilliant musical for the Broadway stage!) The plot revolves around a future Theocratic society in which human fertility has declined to the point that any woman still capable of conceiving is compelled by law to do so for the sake of preserving the species in a monastic life; they are the featured public entertainment when they bring a new life into the world, and they can be purchased to conceive an heir by the wealthy and the powerful. Fornication - that is, consensual intercourse with any man other than he who has purchased a Handmaid - is punishable by hanging!
This novel presents a reality - albeit fictitious....for now! - that may come to pass through means that are all too easy to achieve! A reality that, sadly, the anti-Gay Ruth Institute seems to want to impose onto society in general; that marriage is a primarily conjugally public act intended for procreation, and any other message is a threat to those value systems, in particular the FAIR Act that was recently passed in California allowing for the inclusion of Gay Americans in history and social studies courses. At the moment the Ruth Inst. and "Dr." Jennifer "Jenn" Roback Morse (QED) is railing against it by citing the testimony of one Dr. Miriam Grossman (it is also worth noting that this video - which the Ruth Inst. has cross-posted on their official Blog - was put together by, and bears the water-mark of, the active anti-Gay Hate Group, Mass Resistance):
"Dr." Grossman is a media darling for the extremist Far Right, and she has been a featured guest working in tandem with both the Ruth Inst. as well as "Dr." Jennifer "Jenn" Roback Morse's (QED) podcast! Indeed, she seems to wear numerous hats - in one instance she is a child psychiatrist (according to Ruth and the above video clip), or she bills herself as a physician! Ultimately, "Dr." Grossman doesn't want children taught Sex Ed. of any form, believing it to be harmful to children, under the misguided belief that marriage should be the only vehicle for sexual intimacy of any kind; however, many adults will now tell you that without appropriate Sex Ed. kids are susceptible to a whole variety of STDs. Also, we must look at this testimony by "Dr." Grossman - and Ruth's endorsement of it - from another angle: they are attempting to insist (albeit speciously) that any mention of Gay people, our historical contributions to society, as well as how we have been historically oppressed and marginalized by society is supposedly a mere pretext to teaching our kids about Gay sex in a public school environment! Certainly, it can be said, that many people do not make this sort of distinction, and Ruth may be attempting to play to this xenophobic base! They are also evidently playing to irrational parental fears - by underscoring sex education and Gay social studies/ history - that Gay people are simply an inappropriate subject for kids, as though we are somehow a threat. This is an old hat form of discrimination! However, Ruth, NOM, and various other sorts of so-called "Family" groups yield to these methods in order to maintain their grip on American culture, values, and society! Although, in reality, it is the values of the Ruth Inst. and the National Organization for Marriage that is a threat to the freedoms and secular values of the American people (as in Atwood's brilliant novel)!
Indeed, what harm would it be for parents - even Theofascists - to take their children to the side either before or after school in an effort to reaffirm their own moral guidelines, whether or not their children will end up believing them? After all, isn't this the job of a parent, to reinforce their personal values in the home? This should, in all honesty, be enough to satiate NOM and the Ruth Inst., though it clearly is not. This guy (albeit he's a clear bigot) has the right idea:
Can't NOM and the Ruth Inst. learn from him?