Showing posts with label Behavior. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Behavior. Show all posts

November 25, 2014

How Do a Homophobe Hugs Gays (video)

A video called “First Gay Hug: A Homophobic Experiment” with the caption “We asked homophobes to hug gay strangers for the first time” went viral when it was posted on YouTube last March.
Presented as a “social experiment” by The Gay Women Channel, the video garnered over 5 million views and was heralded as barrier-breaking by numerous media outlets. 
But it was a fake, says a woman who appeared on the video. She tells FOX411 that the “real homophobic people” in it were actors directed to create characters and character names, and they were told to improvise their scenes over several takes.
April Lee, an advocate for the LGBT community for 20 years, also says that while The Gay Women Channel head Sarah Rotella told USA Today in March that some actors were involved, it was never mentioned in any of The Gay Women Channel’s social marketing for the video, or on their website.
Lee says she played the role of a Catholic woman who believed being gay was a sin. Lee’s prior involvement with The Gay Women Channel — she did a voiceover in the Web series “The Unsolicited Project” — led to her being cast in “First Gay Hug.”  
“We did a Web series called The Unsolicited Project for two episodes and they credited me as this character. I thought it was clever and was dying to work with them again,” Lee told FOX411. “Sarah Rotella (the director of The Gay Women Channel) reached out to me and said, ‘Are you ready to be in a gay women video?’
“I said, ‘Oooh, sure! What character?’ Rotella responded, ‘We’re doing a version of a gay equality version of this video (“First Kiss”) that got 40 million views in three days. Ours is about homophobes being asked to physically connect with gay people.”
Lee says she was told to bring her six-year-old daughter to the taping, and the girl was given the role of the homophobic mother’s daughter.
Lee says she told her daughter on set that they were playing people who do not like gay people, and they did not believe that, but the video would help others open their eyes.
While on set, Lee says she was instructed to make the sign of the cross upon meeting a gay woman.

When the video was posted on March 15, 2014, the response was immediate. Lee says she received several phone calls and emails from friends and family saying, “What the hell are you doing? This isn’t you.”
Lee emailed Rotella to ask why the video was presented as a social experiment and did not clarify that the “homophobic” people in the video were actually actors. She says Rotella replied that letting people know it was done with actors would take away from the video’s message.
Lee continued to reach out to Rotella, requesting that The Gay Women Channel issue a statement saying the characters were portrayed by actors. Lee said she received hate mail from people who thought she was a homophobe, and that she was close to having a nervous breakdown. 
“I kept asking myself, ‘Was I that stupid? How could I have been duped like this?’ Everything I have worked for in terms of my self-identity was torn away,” she said.
Lee said she pleaded with Rotella for a public apology, but the director refused and told her to stop writing on social media that the video used actors.
But at least one viewer wasn’t fooled. Rob Dyke, a YouTube content creator, noticed that the viral video appeared staged. He said it was the religion-bashing that set him off. 
“It went from, ‘Hey, let’s make a feel-good video into a let’s kind of crap on people of faith, and religious people hate homosexuals,” he said. “They set a false precedent for how things really are.”
Dyke reached out to Lee when he saw her messages on social media, and together they made their own YouTube video, “Homophobic Mother Speaks Out: First Gay Hug,” to clear Lee’s name and expose the truth.

December 8, 2012

Air Force Connects Sexual Harassment and Sex Images on Display

  The Air Force is cracking down on public displays   objectifying women a mere thirty years after other  employers.
Air Force Times (“Air Force-wide inspections begin today“):
Commanders and supervisors in all corners of the Air Force will conduct a widespread sweep of all work spaces and public areas started Wednesday, December 5, looking for pictures, calendars and other materials that objectify women.
The order covers all active, reserve and Air National Guard units and must be completed by Dec. 17.
Pictures of scantily clad women in calendars, posters or in briefing slides have no place in a professional workplace, said Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh, who ordered the service-wide health and welfare inspection.
Welsh has emphasized the need to stop sexual assaults and harassment in the workplace since coming to office in August, and he told Air Force Times he had received multiple complaints about images, jokes and comments that made women and some men uncomfortable. The complaints indicated that many women felt they had to “go along to get along” with offensive images and comments if they wanted to steer clear of trouble.
“In my view, all this stuff is connected. If we’re going to get serious about things like sexual assault, we have to get serious about an environment that could lead to sexual harassment. In some ways this stuff can all be linked,” Welsh said Dec. 4. “I’m not saying every case is linked, but it could be linked, and why would we want to tolerate there even being a chance of that?”
Welsh said Air Force Secretary Michael Donley issued the inspection order at his request.
“After talking to a number of our female officers and NCOs, I believe that there is a potential that this is a problem in more than those isolated areas,” Welsh said. “Quite frankly, if we have 20 percent of our people who don’t feel that they are fully respected and valued for all the incredible talents and the dedication they bring to the job, then that’s just not the Air Force we want to be.”
I remember when this sort of thing was controversial in firehouses and other male-dominated workplaces that were beginning to integrate women. It was deemed “politically correct” and the argument was that calendars of scantily clad (or even unclad) women was just a matter of “boys being boys” and that the women whining about it should just lighten up; after all, it was their decision to enter a male-dominated field.
Ronald Reagan was in his first term then. A quarter century plus later, it’s shocking that it’s even still an issue. A generation has passed.  Aside from a few grizzled old chief master sergeants and senior officers, nobody in the current Air Force was alive, much less in the workplace, in that old era. How the hell do they not know better than this?
Yet, clearly, the problem is so rampant that the Chief of Staff is having to spend his time addressing this more than a decade into a shooting war. This is, sadly, yet another manifestation of a leadership crisis in the Air Force, specifically dealing with women’s issues, that’s been apparent for twenty years.

November 19, 2012

The Dangers of Calling Behavior Biblical, Like Marriage or Polygamy


On "The Daily Show" recently, Jon Stewart grilled Mike Huckabee about a TV ad in which Huckabee urged voters to support “biblical values” at the voting box.
When Huckabee said that he supported the “biblical model of marriage,” Stewart shot back that “the biblical model of marriage is polygamy.”
And there’s a big problem, Stewart went on, with reducing “biblical values” to one or two social issues such as abortion and gay marriage, while ignoring issues such as poverty and immigration reform.
Opinion: What Jesus jokes tell usIt may come as some surprise that as an evangelical Christian, I cheered Stewart on from my living room couch.
As someone who loves the Bible and believes it to be the inspired word of God, I hate seeing it reduced to an adjective like Huckabee did. I hate seeing my sacred text flattened out, edited down and used as a prop to support a select few political positions and platforms.
And yet evangelicals have grown so accustomed to talking about the Bible this way that we hardly realize we’re doing it anymore. We talk about “biblical families,” “biblical marriage,” “biblical economics,” “biblical politics,” “biblical values,” “biblical stewardship,” “biblical voting,” “biblical manhood,” “biblical womanhood,” even “biblical dating” to create the impression that the Bible has just one thing to say on each of these topics - that it offers a single prescriptive formula for how people of faith ought to respond to them.
But the Bible is not a position paper. The Bible is an ancient collection of letters, laws, poetry, proverbs, histories, prophecies, philosophy and stories spanning multiple genres and assembled over thousands of years in cultures very different from our own.
When we turn the Bible into an adjective and stick it in front of another loaded word, we tend to ignore or downplay the parts of the Bible that don’t quite fit our preferences and presuppositions. In an attempt to simplify, we force the Bible’s cacophony of voices into a single tone and turn a complicated, beautiful, and diverse holy text into a list of bullet points we can put in a manifesto or creed. More often than not, we end up more committed to what we want the Bible to say than what it actually says.
Nowhere is this more evident than in conversations surrounding “biblical womanhood.”
Growing up in the Bible Belt, I received a lot of mixed messages about the appropriate roles of women in the home, the church and society, each punctuated with the claim that this or that lifestyle represented true “biblical womanhood.”
In my faith community, popular women pastors such as Joyce Meyer were considered unbiblical for preaching from the pulpit in violation of the apostle Paul's restriction in 1 Timothy 2:12 ("I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent"), while Amish women were considered legalistic for covering their heads in compliance with his instructions in 1 Corinthians 11:5 ("Every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head").
Pastors told wives to submit to their husbands as the apostle Peter instructed in 1 Peter 3:1, but rarely told them to avoid wearing nice jewelry as the apostle instructs them just one sentence later in 1 Peter 3:3. Despite the fact that being single was praised by both Jesus and Paul, I learned early on that marriage and motherhood were my highest callings, and that Proverbs 31 required I keep a home as tidy as June Cleaver's.
This didn’t really trouble me until adulthood, when I found myself in a childless egalitarian marriage with a blossoming career and an interest in church leadership and biblical studies. As I wrestled with what it meant to be a woman of faith, I realized that, despite insistent claims that we don’t “pick and choose” from the Bible, any claim to a “biblical” lifestyle requires some serious selectivity.
After all, technically speaking, it is “biblical” for a woman to be sold by her father to pay off debt, “biblical” for a woman to be required to marry her rapist, “biblical” for her to be one of many wives.
So why are some Bible passages lifted out and declared “biblical,” while others are explained away or simply ignored? Does the Bible really present a single prescriptive lifestyle for all women?
These were the questions that inspired me to take a page from A.J. Jacobs, author of "The Year of Living Biblically", and try true biblical womanhood on for size—literally, no “picking and choosing."
This meant, among other things, growing out my hair, making my own clothes, covering my head whenever I prayed, abstaining from gossip, remaining silent in church (unless I was “prophesying,” of course), calling my husband "master,” even camping out in my front yard during my period to observe the Levitical purity laws that rendered me unclean.
During my yearlong experiment, I interviewed a variety of women practicing biblical womanhood in different ways — an Orthodox Jew, an Amish housewife, even a polygamist family - and I combed through every commentary I could find, reexamining the stories of biblical women such as Deborah, Ruth, Hagar, Tamar, Mary Magdalene, Priscilla and Junia.
My goal was to playfully challenge this idea that the Bible prescribes a single lifestyle for how to be a woman of faith, and in so doing, playfully challenge our overuse of the term “biblical.” I did this not out of disdain for Scripture, but out of love for it, out of respect for the fact that interpreting and applying the Bible is a messy, imperfect and - at times - frustrating process that requires humility and grace as we wrestle the text together.
The fact of the matter is, we all pick and choose. We’re all selective in our interpretation and application of the biblical text. The better question to ask one another is why we pick and choose the way that we do, why we emphasis some passages and not others. This, I believe, will elevate the conversation so that we’re using the Bible, not as a blunt weapon, but as a starting point for dialogue.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Rachel Held Evans.
Editor's Note: Rachel Held Evans is apopular blogger from Dayton, Tennessee, and author of “A Year of Biblical Womanhood.”
By Rachel Held Evans, Special to CNN

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