Presidential Equality.

By Isis Win

This past Sunday, I watched Vice President Biden candidly say on “Meet the Press” that he has no issue about gay couples and their desire to marry.

Coming from the second highest office, this is something that cannot be taken lightly. As well, he mentioned that he believed President Obama has been supportive of LGBT people, although Biden did not compromise and assert Obama’s position. This was followed by all the news services and of course, the questions about: “A political mistake? Compromised the upcoming vote? Political maneuver?” popped wildly. However, the press had no clue in regard to the presidential take and position on this issue that had become almost as important as the economy in recent days. Previously, the press reported Obama does not support Marriage Equality.

See excerpt of this interview here: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/video/obama-sex-marriage-legal-16312940

It is extremely hard to know what is the true level of general support for this effort and as well, the counter movement. Even after the many polls and the numbers skewed to figure the true numbers, there is no true statistic.  This is an issue that covers a spectrum much larger than left-center-right political views. Religion, moral beliefs and the personal state of mind, and as well the feelings of each person have weight in this issue. Homosexuality has been such a stigmatized issue since the earliest days of our history. Although archeological findings have much to say as to how and what changed in certain times, ostracizing homosexuality has grown on its own for centuries.  Homosexuality has been associated mostly with superstition, bad interpretations of the Bible and other sacred scriptures, but as well, through times in our history homosexuality has been considered decadent and sinful, creating a strong animosity against it. Mostly during times when homosexuality was not closeted, many high rank figures were gay and what was considered marriage in those times was common. But as well, those times were times of major tragedy and famine, such as the events during and after the fall of the Roman Empire, both abroad and their country itself. Superstition was used to justify many of those tragedies as well as many of the natural disasters of the times. The “Wrath of God” at work, and of course, religion took part in these times. However, homosexuality before and during those times, if not accepted, it wasn’t fought and committed gay relationships were allowed.

Today, after Obama’s announcement in support of same-sex marriage, this panorama has changed somehow. There is a positive joy going on around not just because the importance of the first US president supporting Marriage Equality, but as well, it is believed that this news will help the movement for LGBT equality. I have a very different take on this and trust me, I am not a cynic in this regard. The very same way discrimination against LGBT people seemed to be fading, discrimination against African-Americans seemed to be a thing of the past.  The reality is that political correctness and politeness were abandoned by many people who in theory were OK with racial equality. Something that somehow changed post Obama’s election. Something that, to my own disbelief, I’ve witnessed personally in many realms walks of life: Many voters despise Obama because he is black. The reality is, while African-Americans were accepted “across the board”, that didn’t include having a black president. A president with different ideology (socialist as alleged by many conservatives), opposition party, etc, is one thing but an African-American that will determine the future of the entire nation? That is unacceptable by many. People do not express openly their views in this regard, unless in the presence of others who they know are in the same place. I heard things such as: The trust and importance of the White House in the world will be severely demerited by a black president. A black person lacks the necessary quality and style of an American president. I even heard people calling him a monkey. The same is the case with homosexuality. Prior to President Obama’s Pro Equality announcement, a lot of people refrained from sharing their opinion openly about same gender marriage. But today, many are infuriated that our president, a Democrat, who in their view “has done nothing for the country and themselves”, has made many serious mistakes and now is supporting something that most people believe is immoral and against the biblical beliefs. I find the hatred against Obama exhibited in many of these conservatives now is a combo of hate against Obama with homosexuality. People seem to fear change more than any previous time in American history and their fear, becomes unproportional to reason and logic. It is no more than shutting the door to both issues, as much as any issue that represents change and tradition that seems threatened.

I liked Obama’s interview and what he said. Particularly when he mentioned the “Golden Rule”: “Don’t do to others what you don’t want to be done with you”. Exactly! Where would the president be if he realizes that one of his daughters is a lesbian and desires a committed and legally supported marriage? What many people fail to see, is that compassion and generosity are some of the most positive and influential forces that make everything better, for everyone. People seem to overlook the fact that freedom is a necessary and mandatory state of life to achieve the best possible growth in life. Denying legal marriage to gay and lesbians, is a form of denial of this freedom. Something that perhaps didn’t matter to them much before, but today is a vital need. Regulations and laws do not permit couples out of legal marriage to benefit from federal and state perks that come along with the accomplishments of their obligations and the necessary requirements to claim legal rights when the partner is unable to decide for her/himself or deal with the legal and necessary rights in case of death, child custody, and divorce. But all unjust civil issues take their place in the roster of what needs to be addressed at some point. Many racial issues somehow have been worked out and only time will decide how much gain comes from it. So far, African-Americans have been able to achieve higher education, predominant places in all industries and fields, including the military, and so having a president of African-American origin definitely changes that perspective for them by many folds. Black people today, especially young generations, increased their aspirations and confidence because America elected one of them.
I’ve heard educated and upper (or more) middle class people wondering if allowing same-sex marriage rights at some point will allow having a gay or lesbian (and couples) elected as an US president. This is a terrible miss and a short-sighted view because what a nation really needs and can benefit from, is having capable people in charge that are willing of giving their very best to the nation. Lincoln was not fully accepted when running for the White House chair because his education and social status. But his mind and heart were much more than brilliant and with his “limited” resources, not only saved the nation in one of the most difficult times in American history, but he pushed the nation better than what many presidents had done. Those shoes will be hard to fill for a long time.
I really hope that this testimony from the President does not do any more harm to his effectiveness and re-election goals, and helps many to persuade themselves that denying a basic civil right to a few – that is supposed to be granted to everyone, does not treat anything or anybody fairly or justly.
Apparently many people opposed to Obama and LGBT rights now – out of the blue – became very vocal and are taking initiative to broadcast their views to fight LGBT equality and president Obama. Perhaps before president Obama’s testimony supporting LGBT people and marriage equality, people who never cared nor believed this right would be granted are reacting to this news, but Obama’s support “awakened” their animosity and in just a few hours past this testimony, they became quite vocal and active to show their true sentiment. The irony of this case is: God didn’t invent marriage. Marriage is a human invention that through centuries and millennia had changed about the reasons to exist. For instance, at some point it was used to halt women from seeking relationships out of marriage and if doing so, they would be executed by law. Men were allowed to do exactly that. As well, during some history periods, this was the tool for fathers to make any claim about their children. Gay and lesbians care for legal marriage simply because they care of having the exact same legal rights all other couples do. Legal rights that will not exist for as long as their marriage is not legally recognized and granting Civil Union rights is not the same. Still is a form of control and discrimination and there is no true reason within the human realm that can justify such aberration. As well, religious beliefs must be left in the hands of the parishes the very same way the government doesn’t have the right to state, regulate, etc, them. The will of the church is free from this. Government and religion are two different and separate entities that by any means should not be mixed, as the US Constitution states. So why do people fight marriage equality as an item of biblical reasons?

The world is not going to become gay across the board because of same-sex marriage equality. There is no way that a straight man or woman is going to turn gay because nondiscrimination laws are in place. The very same way that a gay person cannot switch to being straight, heterosexual people cannot change their sexual or gender orientation; that is innate and unchangeable. Let history speak about this so people can see that homosexuality has existed through our entire presence in the physical realm and never produced any harm to anyone or anything. Nothing has changed, regardless of the many efforts through our history to fight them, and even to eliminate them, such as the genocide of homosexuals in many cultures through centuries. Middle east nations still do that!  Despite these oppressions, no one, absolutely no one is capable of changing what is built-in, what we are born with.

More importantly, it is evident that those who are allowed to be themselves, freely and without concern, have been individuals that fulfilled their role in life and often for the benefit of many others of all ethnic backgrounds, walks of life, social status, etc. regardless of all the limitations and denial of their rights. In fact, this denial is so unfair, unjust, stupid and non-sensical because many of the best contributors in all realms to the American life were (and are) people that had been ostracized by society and their obsolete rules. These people never focused on the unfairness that was imposed in them. Instead, they focused on the talents they were born with and poured all their dedication to render their best to all. And because of their pride of being, they survived all. But no one is “cut from the same cloth”, nor has the same abilities as anyone else. Some need to be supported in order to explore their gifts of birth and to not deal with a lifestyle that needs to fight everyone and the establishment. Let them live freely and join the battle of moving from our ankylosis and bring fortune and well-being to themselves and everyone. Let everyone be free! Everyone must have the right to choose whatever they wish!

I thank President Obama for taking a stand in this issue, although the possibility of making him to lose this coming election now is larger, judging from this reaction. What President Obama has done is to be himself; an honest, fair, compassionate human being and a President to all, including the underdog. Something to celebrate forever.

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Is sex overrated?

 By Isis Win
Sex has been the talk no one “should” ever have for centuries. Good sex, bad sex, no sex at all, lots of it. But certainly everyone without exception thinks about it. Good, sex, bad sex, no sex at all, lots of it. Everyone wants and enjoys good sex, but at some point bad sex comes through the door and we don’t really know what to think about it. Try it again? Or simply ignore it? Men do not think about sex the same way women do. Men do not have sex the same way women do. So what is it with this thing about sex, that regardless of what we do, good sex, really good sex is hard to come by? The puzzling starts by: We find great sex and at some point it goes bad. Like milk! After a long while of having sex with the same partner it becomes monotonous, at times undesirable and often rare among long-term couples. Most couples invariably will fail in their partnership once sex goes bad. Well, that! next to economical troubles. Whys isn’t it that the older sex is, with that partner   doesn’t get better like an old wine? Oh! Old, old wine goes bad too! So what’s the deal with sex?

There are more myths about sex than true facts in the minds of mainstream people. Thousands and thousands of books have been written about sex and most sell like hot cakes. Some books have even survived millennia! When a new book come out with some interesting facts, mostly educational stuff, most people get excited (even aroused?). Just kidding! Many try what they learned from them but as well, all that becomes old at some point. Should we be reading more books about sex all the time to keep it roaring? Who wants to read books about sex when we have videos? The number one industry in the internet is sex! And how about all the millions of photos in the net that one way or another one, are loaded with sexual overtones?
In the old days (40s/50s), a photo that was considered provocative would never made into a family magazine. But today, even the billboards of metropolitan cities contain more than provocative photos. Not to mention many fashion catalogs! Did you have the chance to peruse the early catalogs (80s) of the now internationally famous brand name Victoria Secret? They were sooo sexy! Borderline between provocative and the content of most men’s magazines of today. Isn’t strange that those catalogs made this brand name a staple in the bedrooms of the mainstream world? When sex is so mystified? Many more catalogs and brand names came out after the success of VS. Television and cinema as well, are heavily loaded with sexual and provocative images. Ratings simply describe it “Sexual content”. No wonder why we think so much about sex! Like if we need reminders!

The history of sex is a confusing one. While sex is a normal and needed human activity, sex has been subjected to stigmatizing, ostracism, judgment and all the negative adjectives anyone can throw at it. There is no need to delve into what the reasons are. We all know them quite well. For starters, when young, our parents gave us at least one warning about sex. Some parents even threatened their kids if they would ever knew they were having sex . . . Aah! This is history that will never change. One irony of the case is, many of those parents indulged their sexual life quite well when young. Take for instance, the Baby Boomers. The 60s and 70s were the times of sexual liberation. Not that such liberation never happened before, but this time, it was public and highly eloquent. “Make Love, Not War” was the slogan of the times as a demonstration against the war in Vietnam or was it just for the sake of making love? I betya! Young people wanted to indulge their interest and attraction to sex freely.

We can’t ignore as well that celebrated thinkers had something to say about sex too. Freud was one of them among many. And his words were concerning and alarming to the mainstream. According to Freud, sex represented many not so cool things about the character or psychological issues. I will not get into that. In the 40s/50s, Dr Kinsey had something to say about sex too. But his message was exactly what the mainstream could not manage: The truth. He stated things like: Women and men of all ages, masturbated and fantasized often if not daily, and had at least one homosexual experience. But not your grandmother and mine, right? How can we think about our grandmother playing with herself? And having sex with another woman? Can you imagine finding a dildo in your grandmother’s bedroom? Oh no! That is not possible! This is how confusing sex can be.

Recently we read at xQsi magazine an article by marriage and family therapist Roberto Olivo talking about sex addiction. Sex what? Addiction? Not me! Not you! Not anyone we know, right? Well, it is not easy to understand sex, period, much less to understand what sex addiction might be. Yes, it exist! And what is it? Good sex, bad sex, and lots of it? All of the above? Sex is an act of instant gratification that anyone can indulge in and it can come with the biggest and hardest hangover anyone can experience – when indulged irresponsibly. Hangover? People with the “ability” to drink heavily and regularly can stand a hangover. Can they do the same with irresponsible sex? Oh yes! Just like alcoholics, they must seek for more alcohol to recover from that hangover. Same with sex. More sex takes care of it. So why do people drink again and again? Because of the very same reason sexually addicted people must have more sex. They need that instant gratification, they need their “fix”. However, although one may recover from sexual hangovers, the consequences will not go away! Unwanted pregnancy, venereal diseases, tarnished reputation and many more. As well, such “fix” does not fix anything but creates the illusion, a temporary illusion.
Frequent masturbation, multiple partners, anonymous partners, unprotected sex, all that and lots of it are among the symptoms of sexual addiction. The more the merrier, right? Well, there is a true reason for it and it is not precisely a humorous one. Sexual addiction happens because of an emptiness in-within – at a core level. Sexual addiction becomes a coping mechanism that will allow us to keep going on and on – when things are not right. Things like poor self-confidence and self-love, frustration, guilt and stress, among many others. But it turns our backs to responsible sex once it happens, turns that sexual experience into bad sex. More emptiness, more void happens and we are back to square one. Then, we get hangover! But the interesting part about addicted sex is that most people fail to recognize addiction to sex. As well, they are not able to recognize the hangover, not even bad sex. But they can recognize sex much easier! And always as an imperative need that needs to be fulfilled immediately and regardless of its cost. Is sex just sex, nothing more?

Looking into our inner self is not an easy chore. And there is no instant fix either when we find something that is wrong. The tribulations of daily life, the interpersonal crisis, financial limitations and complications, plain lack of fulfillment and happiness tend to make us seek for that fix somewhere else. There is no difference with alcohol or drugs abuse, greed, an obsessive quest for power or appreciation and an obsessive need for validation. Bottom line is, when we are missing something in within, we seek for it somewhere else. And that is not right! It just doesn’t deliver. But this is the not the problem that our parents warned us about. They just meant not having sex, because our judgment may not be grounded, period!. As well, all those moralistic and religious minds that claim sex is only for one exclusive purpose . . . Give me a break! Clearly when we indulge that is not our purpose. Ours, is to feel good about our own selves (physically and emotionally) and to unwind our pressures, frustrations, stress, etc. But it doesn’t work when it only serves that purpose -> for a quick instant. The Petite Mort as the French call it, is no more than an orgasm, which even though it is almost always nice to have, may leave an emptiness after all. A spiritual and emotional death.

The reality about sex to most, is that we know so little about it. But we seem to act it as if we were experts. We just feel the hormonal call or an opportunity to prove our selves or to fix something that is broken. Even all those books written through history will not teach us the level of importance sex has in our lives and selves. Sex is the most innate intimate activity we can share with someone else. When indulging into sexual activity we fully strip ourselves down to the bare bones! And I am not referring about physical nudity. Sex as well, can be the most gratifying experience one can experience with another individual when done responsibly. We hear about it all over the place and at all times: Making love is generally acceptable – having irresponsible sex, comes with all the wrongs. Making love is an action that we perform with somebody that we respect and love. Someone that we like so much that we harvest and expect having a steady – long-term relationship with. When we make love to that person, we go to a very different place than when we just have plain sex. Don’t get me wrong! Plain sex can be great too! But granting at least some quantity of true personal intimacy, will come with quantity of quality. I bet you that there are some among your old experiences, experiences that you will remember and treasure forever. Yes, that’s it! Intimate loving sex is something that we will always remember so we don’t need to go into more once indulged. We do not need anyone else. As well, we don’t need to have sex with that partner without the proper regards for that appreciated person. For starters, when we make love or have intimate loving sex, we love our own self too. After all, besides of becoming attentive to the needs and desires of our partner, we are taking care of ours. Question: When you masturbate, do make love to yourself or just take care of that need in a brief instant?

Getting addicted to anything is easier than anyone can imagine. And when we get addicted to something, it comes silently and almost invisibly. All we see is a way to fill that hole of void and inadequacy in our selves and lives. The instant fix! Addiction, as you can imagine, is not a good trait to have. Any kind of addiction! Because addiction is dependency. And we should not be dependent on anyone or anything but our own selves. If we become self-sufficient to all of our needs, we will be able to rely on ourselves forever! And we must exercise good judgement and courtesy to others when we exclusively depend on our selves. Although we must observe our independence, we must observe and respect the independence of others. That is the best of all vaccines to anything bad! As well, being self-sufficient/independent will help anybody to determine if she/he is prone to become addicted or not, because she/he are able to face reality as it comes. And that reality always will come with respect and common sense when we responsibly face everything it in real-time and as it comes. But if you are addicted, there is no need to feel worse about yourself, that you are doomed, or your life is finished. Although you should depend on your own self, it doesn’t mean you can’t rely on someone else. Reach out, do the leg work and to whatever it takes to reclaim yourself! There are programs and services to aid everyone with any kind of addiction. And the fun in life will not end if you do so! In fact, fun becomes better, will last longer and you will remember it for as long as you live. When we responsibly indulge into any of our choices, we not only enjoy those much more and better, but there is no hangover or negative consequences once indulgence passed. Then, you can live longer, live happily and live in company of others like yourself.

Sex is overrated and underrated by the standards of that we see in the media, by the myths that circulate around. Indulging in responsible sex requires a level-headed approach, not just like what we see in TV and the movies and we simply throw ourselves into it and all comes out OK. That is fantasy! A pregnant young woman or a venereally ill person is not going to fix the problem as it happens in movies. Although life will not end there, reality will set in and we may end up feeling that our days are over. Yes, this can be a life changing experience and not necessarily for the best. And many of the normal and expected goodies life offers may become much more difficult to reach. Sometimes even becoming impossible to do so. But making love is not the same. Having responsible sex is not the same. Instead of getting fixated in instant gratification, live and love, love and live. That is much better than just having plain sex with anyone and without care and regards. It becomes a lasting experience!