Friday, January 09, 2009

An anonymity quizzical…

Happy Friday, y’all!

Let’s jump right the fuck it.

A bitch read that opponents of marriage equality in California want donors in support of their efforts to remain anonymous claiming that folks have been harassed and businesses have been threatened with boycotts.

This bitch is tempted to point out that a pot is trash talking a kettle here, since the campaign against marriage equality in California was pretty damned harassing it’s damn self. But this call for anonymity is alarming and worthy of further exploration.

Shall we?

California’s Political Reform Act has been around since this bitch was a year old. Established in 1974, it requires disclosure for donors to candidates and political committees. A bitch thinks that’s a good thing…and so did the anti-equality groups that are now fussing about that shit. Opposition groups used donor records to threaten…wait for it…boycotts (gasp!) and attack individual donors (gasp again!) who support marriage equality.


Now, this bitch is willing to acknowledge that there is a line and that it should not be crossed. People should not fear for their lives or safety…violence will not win this battle.

But the fear of violence is not what this move is really about.

What the opposition is…umm, opposing...are the financial and social ramifications of taking a stand. Trust that my activist ass knows them well. Activists have their homes and businesses picketed, their family and friends taunted and their jobs targeted…all because they have been identified as a donor or supported of a cause someone else is fighting against.

And knowing that a business seeking your money is also seeking to deny you rights is pretty fucking important. Boycotts are painful and powerful…that's why we do them, along with the fact that a bitch isn't interested in spending money with businesses that donate money to bullshit.

People have the right to donate in support of whatever political campaign or group they want to and the masses have the right to know that shit and adjust their spending accordingly.

Anonymity, my black ass...


SagaciousHillbilly said...

Wow, that's a tough one.
I just don't understand what motivates these people. All I can figure is that they fear their own sexuality.
Very strange. That they call their effort "defense of family" is simply ludicrous and should be treated as such.
Now, about anonymity. . . whew, that's a tough one. Should all my political and social contributions be part of the public record? Are there privacy issues there?
Should these irrational hate mongers be able to manipulate the law to suit their agenda?
Hell no.

dinthebeast said...

So it turns out that the gay folks and their supporters who opposed proposition 8 have opinions and wallets just like regular human beings... And, damn, there's a LOT of them. What's a poor, bigoted business to do?
-Doug in Oakland

Anonymous said...

Remember when gay men and lesbians arrested in bar sweeps had their faces and contact information plastered in the news that essentially their lives were publicly ruined? Economically boycotting the Yes On H8rs by comparison is a slap with a glove.

Miss Trudy said...

Isn't that interesting. They are so strongly invested in their beliefs they want to hide their faces while they uphold them. Seems more like an issue of shame to me. Such archaic views are increasingly less "acceptable" and those who espouse them will be exposed (and rightly so) for the bigots they are. I seriously doubt their lives are in any danger. Their businesses might be boycotted, though, and clearly they aren't willing to suffer any economic hardship for their beliefs. Moreover, those that have fought, past and present, for civil and human rights have not had the luxury of such considerations for their personal safety. I'm glad you brought this issue out in the open.

Anonymous said...

Legal/ philosophical version:
The same people who want to have donations to campaigns kept anonymous want to allow unlimited campaign donations, on the claim that in political campaigns, money equals free speech. You can't have it both ways. The right to free speech applies to an actual speaker, writer, or in this case, donor. Non-people don't have free speech rights. In a democracy, why should "anonymous" have the unlimited ability to buy an election or a legislator? The least that democracy can demand is that citizens can see who bought their legislator. Your vote is private, you can post anonymous graffiti, fliers, or blogposts spending your own money and using your own labor to do so, but as soon as you start buying large amounts of labor and resources (particularly scarce and expensive resources such as TV time) for the candidate to express the *candidate's* opinion (not your *own* opinion in your *own* words), I fail to see why the state must grant the donor the First Amendment absolute protection, including the right to anonymity, of individuals' speech.

Religious version:
Yes on 8 people - most of you contributed money the way you did because you wish to ensure that the state enforces a specific religious interpretation of a legal contractual status. Your religion requires evangelism as one of the duties of the believer, and condemns (but forgives*) those who deny their belief for worldly reasons. So, Yes on 8 donors, don't deny your beliefs even one time - be proud to proclaim your donation-beliefs publicly.


*for example, Peter was given a second chance to serve, after being a three time coward

whatsername said...

I have little sympathy for such people. We have the right to know who we're supporting with our money!

Anonymous said...

Justice for Oscar Grant!!!!!!!!!

Thought you would like to know about the situation unraveling in the Bay Area.

"Dear Family,

If you haven’t already heard, there is a lot of commotion going on right now regarding the death of 22-year old Oscar Grant, a young man wrongfully shot by a BART Police Officer at the Fruitvale BART Station on New Years Day while laying face down on the floor in custody. This is yet another example of unnecessary police brutality and I am joining my community this afternoon to protest at the Oscar Grant rally to show my support. If you are in Oakland or in the Bay Area, please come out. If you are not you can still help: please feel free to spread the word on this story on your Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media links so this story doesn’t go unnoticed."

That was from my friends blog. Look up the videos online...its is horrible, sad, and pointless. Help bring justice for his 4 year old daughter.


Anonymous said...

Here in my home town, a personnel company was alerted that their business would be prominently displayed (in print, I presume) with the notation that they were against prop 8. If that isn't extortion, I don't know what is. I have yet to hear of anyone doing anything about that. The San Francisco Chronicle has a search engine where you can put in a name/locale and see whether that human being voted for or against H8. I saw a councilman I will never vote for as well as some businesses I will never patronize. And the pollsters were worried about the Bradley Effect regarding Obama. Yes, it still riles me up. Thank you for telling it like it is, Ms. Fu.

Anonymous said...

To SagaciousHillbilly
What motivates these people (those that donated to the anti-marriage equality act), is obvious; homophobia.
Why these people don't want the donors list released to the public is also obvious.
California is probably the state most supportive of homosexuals working in businesses and living openly, and California has some of the strongest anti-discrimination laws regarding sexuality. A person with their name of the prop 8 financial support list is like having their name on the KKK donor list in the South.
Who is going to want to hire someone, or keep them on a staff, if that someone is a known homophobe? People who work in government jobs (most prominently cops) or in schools are not going to want to have their names on the supportive of prop 8 donors list, and neither will people who work in public relations, human resources, customer service, or any other job that deals directly with the public (which most jobs these days do).
In these current difficult economic times, and the unemployment rate in California is expected to reach double digits, no one looking for work, or facing a possible layoff, wants to be black listed as a racist or a homophobe.
However, those homophobes should have known that before they decided to contribute to something so hateful as support for prop 8.
When the donors list comes out I am putting it on my computer, and I suspect a lot of people will put it on their blogs or web sites.

Anonymous said...

Well, a lot of the same people who supported Prop. 8 are a enthusiastic part of the anti-choice movement, and as such, know how successfully they have used finding out the homes and businesses of people who provide abortions, or just support the providing of abortions, or provide birth control, to harass people who don't believe the same way they do - with that in mind, I am sure they are freaking out at the idea of being identified in this situation.

For example, an electrician's company was bombarded a few years ago in Austin for contracting work that they were doing for a new Planned Parenthood building - the business received hundreds of calls, some of them threatening, making it to where they could not operate their business after anti-choice activists put their phone number, address and names out on the internet. They withdrew from the project after days of harassment.

So, what if the Prop. 8 supporters/anti-choice crowd were suddenly treated as they treat others? Certainly brings a new irony to "do unto others" concept doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

Why oh why are conservatives so obbessed by other peoples sex lifes? As long as it's between consenting adults, I don't care.
They must fear their own sexuality...

Anonymous said...

Bitch always breaks it down!

My momma taught me to have enuf conviction in my beliefs to accept the ramifications thereof! & I do - everyday. (simply an act up of one!)

These fuckers want to fuck the rights out of those who would benefit from equality without even breaking out the lube!

Now my simple ass dont think that there is much conviction in their beliefs if they cant stand and confront a few boycott'rs.

Rants, Thoughts & Merde

xobekim said...

These must be those folks who love gay people but hate queers.

They feel so bad about protecting marriage and don’t want to lose the economic consortium of their dear gay clients.

Bullshit. They’re trying to hide because they feel guilty.

Keep their feet to the fire, lady.

Anonymous said...

The religious supporters of Prop 8 -- and here I'm thinking primarily of the LDS Church -- have been double-quick about playing the victim card. Other than an angry graffiti or two on church parking lots, I haven't heard about much in the way of harassment directed at Mormons or Catholics or anyone else, and certainly nothing approaching actual threats of physical harm. I will say that in the wake of Prop 8's passage some in the gay community have been a little freer with their shit-talking about those groups, and we could be seeing some backlash to that here.

While I personally have taken some delight in watching the Mormon Church suddenly being thrust into the spotlight as the public is made aware of quirky little idiosyncrasies like the "magic underpants" and the special Mormon planets people go to after death (not to mention the belief that black Mormons turn white when they go to heaven), it's to be expected that they will react to this as unfair religion-based prejudice against them and use it as a pretext for ass-covering, which is what this is.

If supporters of Prop 8 start receiving real threats, they may have a point. But as other posters here have pointed out, allowing anonymous financial support for political campaigns is a huge problem. It basically enables influence-buying without consequence. And consequence is what this is all about, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone. FT/LT and always appreciative of the analysis here. I've done a lot of thinking about where these Yes on H8 knobs are coming from. There's definitely homophobia there, but I don't think that's all it is. From my radical feminist pov, it looks like this: every time their fearless leaders are on TV, they're spouting about how we mustn't "change the definition of marriage." Since they're talking about definitions, it's helpful to know that they define marriage as "between one man and one woman." The next question, naturally, is what do they mean by "man" and "woman." A "man" is an adult, penis-endowed human. A "woman" is an adult, vagina endowed human. I mention the penis and vagina not for shock value, but because having a penis or a vagina is the defining quality of a person's existence. Regardless of any other qualities they possess, the "traditional values" of the conservative Christian community dictate that whether one has a penis or a vagina determines the role one will play in family and society. I'm not just talking about reproduction, but everything, including housework, financial decisions, etc. If a person has a penis, he will be the "head of the household," regardless of any other standards of fitness for that role. If a person has a vagina, she will be expected to submit herself graciously to the decisions of the head of the household, regardless of his fitness to be deferred to. A "marriage"--in quotes because this word is obviously very sacred to them--is an eternal union of one "man" and one "woman" in which the woman fulfills her God-ordained role by submitting and the man fulfills his by dominating. You know I'm not making this up.

So if we can agree that this the the H8ers definition of "man," "woman," and "marriage," the next step is to see what this means for marriage equality. If two penis-people or two vagina-people are permitted to have a marriage, it would not be the biologically-based hierarchy it is now, but a partnership between equals. This is what they're afraid of. Their social structure, world-view, and personal identities are based in this hierarchy, so such a redefinition would undermine the fundamental structure of society. If a man can't even dominate his own wife, who can he dominate?

Christian men are threatened by this for obvious reasons. It takes away a significant portion of their power, and pulls the rug out from under their (deusional) self-definition as God-ordained superiors. Christian women are threatened for more complicated reasons: it messes with their self-identity, too, and they are socialized to invest very heavily in the "traditional" family. For many of them, all their self-worth is tied up in being a wife-and-mother; if marriage is redefined as a partnership of equals, all that submission becomes worthless. So it is about homophobia, but not only about that. Or, maybe, homophobia is about this. Homophobia isn't just about fear of sexual difference, but about the terrifying blurring of categories and hierarchies that comes with it.

Personally, I've long thought that homophobes aren't acting out their own repressed sexuality so much as they are afraid of being looked at the way they look at the opposite sex. If a man thinks of women as brainless, degraded sub-humans who are only good for one thing, of course he's going to be a homophobe.

Blah blah blah. Long-winded theoretical analysis is my specialty. How's that for an intro post?

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