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Thursday, July 02, 2009

New Beginnings

So for months now, I've been promising "exciting news." And, sadly, in preparation for this new beginning, this blog has suffered.

But after months of anticipation, I'm proud to present my official website, www.eric-jost.com.

The Official Eric Jost website (how pretentious sounding) is pretty much going to be a resource for all of my writing -- rather than having it sprawling throughout the internet.

It will also be the location of my new blog. Although it will be a different entity than "Confessions of Gay Male Feminist" -- hopefully allowing my a space to do more varied writings/postings -- I am not throwing my identity as a gay, male feminist to the wayside, and it will still pervade all of my writing in one way or another. I will also keep this blog active as an archive for all of my past writings.

So thank you for sticking with me throughout the past three years (almost to the day), and I hope you will come with me on new adventures.

Peace and Love,
Eric Jost

Friday, June 12, 2009

DOMA Reigns Supreme

Continuing Obama's policy of ignoring the LGBTQ community -- minus that press release supporting pride -- AMERICAblog has dissected a brief coming out of Obama's Dept of Justice invalidating a challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act.

Essentially, the Obama-appointed DOJ says that DOMA is constitutional; same-sex marriage is not the same as interracial marriage and is more closely aligned with a marriage between child and parent; and does NOT discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.

WTF?

This is going to be a fun three and a half years for the LGBTQ community!

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Monday, May 18, 2009

This is Oz

In honor of the International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) held on May 17, Australian LGBTQ people and their supporters started an online art campaign to speak out against hateful speech. This is Oz features photographs of notable Aussies supporting a diverse and inclusive Australia, and by extension, world.

In (belated) honor of the event, I thought I would post the pics of two of my favorite Australians. The first, Mitzi Macintosh, Sydney's legendary and extraordinary drag queen (whom I sorely miss seeing perform); and the other is Olympic gold medalist, Matthew Mitcham.

Speak out against homophobia.

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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

F*** You

Cute video. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sex Ed

Note: I wrote the following piece for an online magazine that I occasionally work with; but in an ironic twist, they deemed it inappropriate and chose to censor it. So I've posted it here for you all to enjoy.

Also, I know I said I had big news, but its delayed a bit, but I will announce it very soon!

The University of Maryland, College Park, found itself in a bit of hot water recently when word got out that officials planned on screening the hardcore film, Pirates II: Stagnetti’s Revenge, as part of a college-wide discussion on pornography. However, Maryland state senator, Andrew Harris (R-Baltimore County), was not going to stand for this and immediately introduced a bill to the Maryland Senate that would revoke state funding from any public college or university that sponsored the screening of a hardcore pornographic film.

Since Harris’ threat, UMD cancelled the screening, resulting in students organizing a new viewing of the film in defiance of Maryland’s conservative legislators; and a chance to speak out against censorship. Sen. Harris has said that he will push his amendment through if the film is allowed to be shown on College Park’s campus. The film is set to air Monday, April 6.

Sadly, this tactic by state legislators to impose their ideals upon college students seems to be only the latest in a growing number of similar incidents. In February, Georgia’s state legislators threatened to revoke funding from Georgia State University because of several sociology classes that dealt with sexuality, queer theory, and sex work. It seems that conservative statesman have found a new way to impose their ideals on the masses under the guise of eliminating “wasteful spending” and protecting youth.

Regardless of what you feel about pornography, you can’t help but be a little frightened at the prospect of a government strictly controlling what you can or cannot be exposed to at a college that you chose to enroll in and pay for.

I’m surprised that university officials and Sen. Harris’ counterparts didn’t take count of the multitude of events and courses that might very well offer sanctuary to those on campus looking to escape the hedonistic Pirates II. I’m sure that at any given time UMD sponsors several religious meetings of varying denominations, many of which probably preach that pornography is immoral. Certainly the student center has a Young Republicans club in addition to the Young Democrats. And let’s not forget that for every sex positive feminist like Gayle Rubin and Patrick Califia, there are numerous sex negative texts that I’m sure a few of UMD’s women’s studies courses are built on.

Many of the politicians hoping to ban porn from college campuses or eliminate the word “queer” from students’ vocabulary would do best to realize that they are heading down a very slippery slope that could hinder their own ability to indoctrinate young conservatives. After all, how long before a non-Christian legislator demands that all theology is removed from university curriculums on the basis of a separation of church and state?

Just because Pirates II isn’t your bag doesn’t mean you have the right to make everybody watch The Greatest Story Ever Told.


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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Driftwood

Nathan Manske recently started the website, I'm From Driftwood, as a means of collecting stories from LGBTQ people around the world. Manske hopes that the site will provide LGBTQ people, specifically teens, an opportunity to feel less alone in the world. That no matter where you are, you are not the only queer person around.

A short story I wrote about living in Kansas City, Kansas recently went up, so if you get a chance, check it out.

Also, I will have some major news to report in the next couple of days.

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Thursday, April 02, 2009

Women Firefighters

The international community has been in an uproar over reports of a new Afghanistant law, supported by US-backed President, Hamid Karzai, that severely hinders the civil liberties of Afghan women. However, despite the backlack, the US has remained relatively silent on the issue.

The law panders to Afghanistan's Shi'ite Muslim population (about 10% of the population), making it legal for men to rape their wives, and requiring women to seek their husband's permission before leaving the home. It was signed last month with relatively little fanfare.

Since the law's passing, the UN and human rights agencies have pleaded with President Karzai to overturn the law with no success. Additionally, the text of the law has not been made publicly available, so much of its content is actually unknown or speculative.

Afghanistan MP, Ustad Mohammad Akbari, has actually come out in defense of the law, delivering one of my favorite sound bites on the issue. "Men and women have equal rights under Islam but there are differences in the way men and women are created. Men are stronger and women are a little bit weaker; even in the west you do not see women working as firefighters."

Coupled with these gross human rights violations, I think possibly the most shocking aspect is the near absolute silence on this issue from US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. Reports have surfaced saying that while she has privately reprimanded Karzai for the law, neither she nor President Obama have yet to publicly condemn this horrific piece of legislation.

It's interesting because, during my time studying anthropology, we learned about the notion of "cultural relativism." Popular in the middle of the 20th Century, it argues that every culture is unique and should be respected for its individual ideals and values without judgment. As anthropological research methods evolved, however, it was decided that there are certain universal tenets that all cultures must adhere to. Things like murder, incest, and cannibalism are generally frowned upon regardless of context.

And although some may argue that we should respect the Shi'ite's customs this law attempts to "protect," there should never be an instance where the world stands idly by while one group maliciously and vehemently degrades another.

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