Last year I did a series of interviews and other presentations about the challenges a lesbian can face in trying to obtain competent care from healthcare workers. Including some of the whoppers some idiot doctors have confronted me with such as, yes, I’m sure I’m not pregnant. An argument I had with an idiot Middle Eastern doctor in the ER who insisted I could be pregnant and not know it. Uh no! While my partner and the gay x-ray tech howled with laughter.
There is always someone calling names. For some of us it started when we started school
FOUR-EYES! SHIKSA! BLIND AS A BAT!
My first memories of first grade are the boys calling me names. I was the only kid in glasses. I was the only kid with disabilities and the only non-Jew in my class. That area of North Hollywood was almost exclusively Jewish. Teachers that were Jewish made it clear that I wasn’t wanted too. I remember an older boy running up behind me while I was waiting in line to go into my first grade class and knocking me down and stepping on the back of my head and breaking my glasses. No one did anything about him or did anything to stop him. Thank you, Mrs Soloman!
Or the time in 3rd grade the teacher announced to the whole class after state testing that I was reading at 10th grade level. It took all of 30 seconds at recess for the pinches and punches to start because the teacher added that the rest of them shouldn’t let a Gentile do better than them. So Thank you Mrs Camp!
EGGHEAD! KNOW IT ALL! SHOWOFF!
It’s no different now. Boys and men call names. They do it to hurt and to control. There are so many names they call women to hurt.
BITCH! WHORE! CUNT!
The problem with name calling is that eventually you get de-sensitized to it. When most people start getting called names in Junior Hi or now, middle school, they can’t handle it. This caused a weird problem for me when I was called names again in Junior Hi. I had been so bullied in my elementary school before we finally moved that I didn’t recognize it or pay attention. This lead to a weird sort of admiration on the part of some people because I didn’t react. They didn’t know that I by then had learned not to hear it.
TOOTHPICK! WASHBOARD! THERMOMETER!
Oh those were so original. Yeah, I knew I was skinny and flat chested but I’m smarter than you. So what! It went in one ear and out the other. Are the names supposed to tell me something I don’t already know? My dad was fond of teasing me at that point. He’d say “two peas of a washboard” but I could wear an undershirt and not one of those awful contraptions with stays like my gym partner who was a 40d in 7th grade and always had bandaids under her bra.
DYKE! LEZZIE! And from the really stupid, FAGGOT!
Words used by men again to shame and control but what if there is no shame? I’m not ashamed to be an out lesbian. I have been since 1979. There is nothing wrong with loving people who are like yourself and look like you do.
WITCH! HAG! CRONE!
More words to control women, Heaven forbid we show that we are aging. We are all supposed to look 20 forever? Hell no! I wouldn’t go back to be 20 for anything. I like that I’m aging! I like that I have grey and white hair. Not so found of the things like arthritis but then I got that diagnosis when I was 9 and had already been in dance and gymnastics for 3 years. And yes, I’m a Witch, I have been for over 30 years. Tell me something I don’t know. Names again to control how a woman behaves and lives. Even the worst word a boy could be called in grade school made sure the other boys thought he was feminine. “Sissy!”
TERF! CIS! SWERF!
So now we have the latest words to come along and again they are being used on women by men to shame them into behaving. This kind of male, when they were six, were mean and evil and now when they are grown and claiming they have the non-existent “laydee brain” are still mean and evil and they need to grow up. It didn’t work then and it ain’t going to work now.
I’m rubber you’re glue, what you say bounces off me and sticks to you!
The Indiana law and the 18 other states who have passed similar legislation are allegedly trying to prevent wedding providers from having to provide service to gays and lesbians and as far as that goes it would be fine, but that isn’t the only way it will be applied. Humans being humans can be evil to one another and if it was just about weddings it would be as simple as getting on Yelp and saying this person doesn’t’ want to serve gays, be aware and let the business rise or fall on its own bigotry.
The only problem is that isn’t the way it will be applied. It will become the Jim Crow laws of the gay community. Don’t think so? How about the neurosurgeon who when my brother was brought into the ER when he had his first seizure, who refused to treat him because it was AIDS and he wouldn’t treat him and walked out? He didn’t have AIDS he had a multiform gliomablastoma but that didn’t stop the doctor from saying, he’s gay so it must be AIDS. What happens when the two gay parents bring their child to the ER with a broken arm and someone says it must be child abuse because their gay?
What happens when someone says I can’t serve a Hindu or a Muslim? When a white supremacist says they can’t serve anyone of mixed race or colour? If they can, they will because bigots are bigots. Generally if you hate one group you hate others too.
The only good thing is that gay people and other minorities don’t operate in a vacuum. They have straight friends and family members that support their gay family members and friends. Example? Once my mother got over the shock of having gay kids which took a few years, she started voting Democratic for the first time in her 70 years and did until the day she died. Why? She may not have liked having gay kids but she was damned if someone would pass legislation that would hurt her kids.
Now multiply that, one gay kid has two or more parents. They have at least 4 grandparents who love their grandkids. They have aunts and uncles like I did that supported me even when my parents didn’t. They have family friends and they have the families of their own friends and research has shown once most people are exposed to a gay person they know and love, they become more open minded. Sooner or later bigots fall and this is already backfiring big time on Indiana.
Wait until a lesbian or feminist refuses service to someone prolife? They can if they are, say Unitarian and they don’t like Prolifers. Or the Druid who refuses to serve someone who destroys the environment or mishandles it. Personally there are certain tree trimming companies I’d refuse to serve. Why not? It’s within my religious right to do so?
The problem is surviving the new legalized bigotry because I guarantee the first time it gets used on straight people there is going to be some yelling about that’s not what it was meant to prevent and then it will be the law of unintended consequences taking over.