Now that I have your attention, enjoy this article about sex. So, come to think of it, I guess I didn't need the teaser. Oh man, did I just say "come" in a sex article? Damn, the funny is already off to one hell of a start today!
Normally when I reference an item from the news in one of my articles, it's because I'm low on ideas / too lazy to come up with an idea / strapped for time / being paid off by CNN.com (for the news you need to know and reporting you can trust, turn to CNN.com!). Today, however, I'm referencing a news item because I feel partly responsible for the events contained therein. No, it's not another drug bust, but thanks for remembering! Recently I've heard from friends across the country who read about my school in their local newspapers. You see, I attend a particular small New England liberal arts college that happens to have a reputation for being the spawning ground of hundreds of Political Correctness buzzwords. If you've ever seen the movie PCU, Port Chester University is based on my small New England liberal arts college. Truth be told, it's barely exaggerated at all, except we have less meat-flinging and the P-Funk concerts are much more infrequent than the film lets on.
None of this, now. It's a shame, really.
My school made a bit of a stir in the last few weeks when it announced to the world that next semester it will house a gender-blind dorm. Under normal circumstances, little freshman males room with other little freshman males and little freshman females room with other little freshman females. It's a pretty popular system, and no one's knocking it. Well, I guess actually we're knocking it. We're knocking it pretty hard. Really, it's less of a "knocking" and more of a "severe beating, resulting in massive hemorrhaging and a nasty lawsuit." In the gender-blind dorm, anyone can room with anyone. To most normal, well-adjusted, people, this conjures up a series of mildly comical, and yet mildly arousing images of various mishaps occurring as a result of a little freshman male rooming with a little freshman female. This is because most normal, well-adjusted people have never set foot on the campus of my particular small New England liberal arts college. In fact, most normal, well-adjusted people have never heard of my particular small New England liberal arts college. Maybe you and your buddies can get a couple laughs out of trying to imagine what it would be like to room with a member of the opposite sex your freshman year. The student body of my school would not only not laugh about it, they would hold a protest around you for automatically assuming the stereotypical gender binary applies. I don't mean that they would hold a protest based around that singular issue. I mean it in the sense of seven hundred sign-waving, drum-pounding, pot-smoking, kinky-sex-having hippies coming at you from all sides and screaming at you until you admit your latent homosexuality. They would probably let you go for admitting that you're gay, but they'd all be secretly disappointed that you didn't turn out to be something a little more creative.
I honestly don't want to make fun, but it's so damn easy!
Here's the deal. My school is establishing a gender-blind dorm to help eradicate the hated gender binary. When I say "gender binary," I mean the bigoted, outdated, evil concept that a person is born either male or female, with the exception of the occasional person who is born both and will have a lucrative career in freaky porn, but they don't really count. Either you're male or you're female. That's the way it goes. It's got nothing to do with sexual persuasion. Harbor whatever pointless prejudices you want against homosexuals, physically speaking, a gay man is still a man and a lesbian woman is still a woman, and anyone who thinks otherwise is an idiot. Now, if a gay man or lesbian woman thinks otherwise, that's another story, but that's getting into a sort of gray area, and we're not adequately prepared to go into that territory just yet. Stick with me, though, because things are about to get a whole lot more complicated.
Most schools have at least one or two active queer groups these days. My school has twelve. Twelve active queer groups. And that's just the active ones! If you want to include the lazy, mostly useless queer groups, then I'm pretty sure we have more queer groups than students. I should note at this point that "queer" is the term that the groups decided to apply to themselves, so I'd better not get any angry emails about it, you fags. The twelve main groups all have names that include either the word "queer" or an acronym like "LGBTQ" and a word that means "group," but sounds more proactive, like "coalition" or "faction." All of these groups belong to the umbrella organization, the Queer Alliance. The thing is, the Queer Alliance technically broke up at the end of last year, splintering into the aforementioned twelve groups. This year, they all decided that they wanted to still have their own groups, but belong to one huge group as well, so they resurrected the Queer Alliance. The thing was, they didn't want to call it the Queer Alliance anymore, because the Queer Alliance was dead and an obvious failure, and no self-respecting transsexual-who-is-going-through-a-phase-where-he/she-likes-boys-but-may-go-after-this-one-girl-because-she's-pretty-hot would want to go near it. So they spent the rest of the year bickering over what the call the new umbrella organization. Literally. Those of us who were not actually involved in all this just kept on calling it the Queer Alliance, because it was a bunch of queer groups and they were allied with one another. To be honest, none of us actually cared what they called themselves, but we couldn't tell them that because we'd just be spreading the hate and they'd beat us into a potentially life-threatening, but exceptionally tolerant coma with their picket signs.
Ah, now I'm back on safer territory.
In addition, the twelve groups were always changing their names. They even switched names sometimes, because the Queer Person's Liberation Front really limited it's scope to LGBTQ issues and the LGBTQ Cabal would take just about anyone they could get so long as they weren't straight, so everyone thought it was a pretty good change. You see, "queer" refers to any sort of sexual orientation other than heterosexual. So Bob, who likes guys, and Ru-Steve, who has a penis but doesn't want anyone to know about it, including his girlfriend, are both queer. However, Bob fits into the LGBTQ crowd, and Ru-Steve... well, I don't know what the hell to do with him - uh, her - uh, them. The whole acronym thing started off with just "gay." We don't know exactly where that term picked up its homosexual meaning, but we're the ones who made it socially acceptable to use it to refer to homosexual people. It was good, a one-syllable word that was easy to remember. But then people started getting confused because it applied to both men and women, so they added in "lesbian" to differentiate. "Gay and Lesbian" took a little longer to say, but at least everyone knew that a group included gay men and women, not just gay men. Everything was fine for a little while, until a bunch of people decided they were a little gay, but they weren't all-the-way-gay. They wanted to join some groups because it seemed like a trendy thing to do, but they didn't want people thinking they were off the market to either gender. That was fine, because until then a gay guy who slept with a woman was just a gay guy who hadn't quite gotten the hang of it yet. So they added the word "bisexual." "Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual" was definitely too long to go around saying all the time, so they shortened it to "LGB," because "GLB" would have been chauvinist, and it sort of sounds like a pesticide.
After a while, the LGB groups stopped fighting the valiant crusade for acceptance on the campus. Everyone accepted them, and most people were tired of hearing about their problems while they were trying to do their drugs in peace. That was when the transsexuals decided to strike. They didn't quite fit into the L, G, or B categories, so they got to add their own letter. It looked like the LGBT groups had everybody more or less covered, but they thought the acronym sounded too much like some sort of complex sandwich, so they decided to add another letter - Q, for "questioning.". You just try to name a commonly-used sandwich stacker that begins with "Q." Go ahead. I'll wait. Got one? Of course not, because there isn't one, and if you did come up with one, it's most likely a stupid idea, so don't tell anyone about it or they'll laugh at you and won't invite you to their sexy parties. The problem was, if they were going to add another letter, they needed people to justify it. So, the groups started pressuring straight people into coming to their meetings, then tried to convince them that a person could change his or sexual orientation at any point, so how secure can anyone be in their sexuality, really. This worked on enough people that it became acceptable to declare your sexual orientation to be "questioning," although no one actually knew what this meant, so there was a great deal of confusion about whether or not it was okay to hit on those people. Most questioning people either have a lot of sex, or none whatsoever, and neither extreme can figure out why. So there you have it, LGBTQ. Being the sensible person that you are, you are probably wondering, "LGBTQ seems to cover everything there could possibly be? Why do we even need another word?"
Oh, I get it now! The genders are equal! Well, that clears it all up, then.
Of course you're wondering that. You may be sensible, but you're still a disgusting gender bigot. According to the Queer Alliance, gender is not limited to male or female. Not by a longshot. And that, my prejudiced friend, is where things start getting fucked up. Or fucked down. Or quite possible fucked sideways. If there's one thing I learned from my year at my particular small New England liberal arts college, it's that it's not my place to say which direction things should get fucked, and it sure as fuck isn't yours. The trouble really began when the Transsexuals started getting pushy. Their basic argument was this: say a bisexual male gives up on women altogether? He's gay, no problem. Now, what if a transsexual want decides he/she only wants to be identified by one gender? And what if that gender is not the one that he/she most closely resembles? What then? The community at large responded with a resounding "We don't want to know," but by that point, the people in charge of the LGBTQ alliance were ready to buy anything. Plus, it got the questioning people thinking, and once they got started, they wouldn't shut up until you finally told them exactly what conclusions they should draw, which were always what they wanted in the first place. It was easier to just agree that LGBTQ excluded some people and adopt the all-inclusive "queer," which used to just apply to gay people.
That brings us to the whole gender-blind situation. The one thing the members of the Queer-Organization-Formerly-And-For-All-Intents-and-Purposes-Known-As-Alliance managed to get done in between changing their name and desperately trying to figure out who they were actually allowed to have sex with was coming to the conclusion that male and female didn't quite cover it. No, the gender binary - all this he/she crap - it had to go. The thing is, creating a new category for sexual orientation is tough enough, but creating an entirely new gender is something else altogether. And they weren't just talking about creating one new gender. No, they were talking about a whole freaking load of them. It would be easier to say that they wanted the rest of the school and eventually the world at large understand is that either there are infinite genders, or that the concept of gender as a whole is unnecessary and politically incorrect. Not surprisingly, a lot of people thought that was a load of crap. The vast majority of people do assign themselves to one gender or the other, and they don't take very kindly to being told that they can't do that anymore. So rather than trying to tell people that they couldn't call themselves one gender or another, the Queer Alliance rallied it huge number of troops for the creation of the gender-blind dorm.
I have no idea what this graph is supposed to mean, but considering the ratio, it's probably something bad.
What it boils down to is yes, a guy could very easily room with a girl, but only under the condition that he doesn't think he's a guy and she doesn't think she's a girl. If the guy calls himself androgynous and the girl wants to be a man, the two of them can live together and have all the sex they want, just so long as they don't get caught pretending to be the genders that they physically are. Let me tell you, the comic possibilities of that are actually far greater than what you originally thought, but they're a lot more confusing and you can't talk about them because the Queer Alliance will get mad and change its name at you.
I said earlier that inventing a new gender is a complicated thing, and the same most definitely holds true for making everyone blind to gender. Sure, there are housing issues to consider, not to mention casting plays and holding auditions for all-male or all-female a capella groups and various other college-type things, but more importantly, there's the issue of pronouns. Personally, I like pronouns. Of all of the parts of speech, pronouns are in my top five for sure. Well, probably. The point is, I use them all the time. Now, being a college student and most likely a future English major (which means I'll basically be living off Something Awful money for the rest of my life), I have to do a lot of writing for school. I like to use pronouns in my writing there, too, because it clutters up a paper and sounds stupid to use a person's name every time you refer to them. For instance, take this stanza from Gloria Gaynor's disco hit, I Will Survive.
At first I was afraid, I was petrified,
Kept thinkin’ I could never live without you by my side,
But then I spent so many nights thinkin’ how you did me wrong,
And I grew strong, and I learned how to get along
Not too bad, right? You can already feel the female empowerment coming through. Now, if you were to replace the pronouns altogether, the same stanza would look something like this:
At first Gloria was afraid, Gloria was petrified,
Kept thinkin’ Gloria could never live without Bill by Gloria's side,
But then Gloria spent so many nights thinkin’ how Bill did Gloria wrong,
And Gloria grew strong, and Gloria learned how to get along
Hey, I just typed "sexuality" into the Google image search. This was on page three. Now it's society's problem.
Somehow it doesn't pack quite the same punch, to say nothing of fitting the rhythm of the song. Also, I had to make up a name for the guy, since I don't actually know who the song is about. "Bill" was alright, but just imagine if it was about someone named "Heironymous!" I think I made my point. Now, technically the only pronouns that would have to be done away with would be the gender-specific third person pronouns, so "I," "you," and "me" would actually be fine, but I wanted to use an example that everyone was familiar with, plus it was late and I was tired. However, if the song actually had been written in the third person, then there would have been trouble, believe me.
My religion professor first semester this year was a great guy. He had a terrific sense of humor and seemed like a perfectly well-balanced individual with no fanatically rampant beliefs of any kind. Beliefs are great until you start getting carried away with them. So it came as something of a shock to me when he announced as he was assigning the final paper that, "if you use 'he' or 'she' in your paper, I will fail you." Personally, I believe that keeping the rhythm of a paper intact is more important than appeasing every PC fiend out there, so I have a tendency to use 'he' when I actually mean 'he or she.' I'd have had no problem using the female-specific pronouns instead, if that would make me look like a sensitive, gender-blind sort of guy, but obviously we were way past the point where that was going to cut it. When I asked what we should use instead of the gender-specific pronouns, my professor replied that we could use "he or she" or "s/he." Likewise, "his or her" or "hir" (I swear to God on that last one). For a few seconds I tried to determine where he was putting the quotations when he said "'he' or 'she'" versus "he or she," then my blind hatred toward the term "hir" took over and I killed everyone in the class. I'm kidding, of course. Actually, I wrote a very nice paper on the different prominent branches of Judaism in America during the Twentieth Century and I used "he or she" throughout the whole thing (except for the part where I talked about the role of women in the different branches, where I used "she" and hoped for the best).
Then I tried typing in "hir" and this was the first picture. Actually, I think it sums it up pretty well.
I had encountered "hir" only once before, but it lingered in my memory like that last bit of poo that you can't quite get to plop into the toilet, but is too large to wipe way with toilet paper without getting some on your fingers. At the very beginning of the year, everyone who was gender-biased (which is to say, the entire freshman class and nobody else) had to attend a sensitivity workshop. There, among other activities that were designed to make us question our own sexual orientations and go back to our rooms now not entirely sure what to think of our roommates, we were all given sheets of paper with a list of new terms we had to learn on both sides. That's two solid pages of new terms that we supposedly couldn't survive on campus without memorizing, unless we wanted to be labeled as troglodytic bigots. Most of the terms applied to such specific combinations of circumstances (a person who is born with the physical characteristics of one gender, but wants to be another gender, and acts like that other gender, but wears the clothes that are typically associated with that person's physical gender is called...) that I seriously doubted that out of a school of 2700 students they could possibly apply to more than three people. For the record, I never met any of those three people. Also, almost all of the terms were defined using the two-gender structure, which just made things all the more confusing. One of the terms we were supposed to learn was "hir" to replace "his or her." There was also one to replace "he or she," but I don't remember it. In all honesty, I think it's "ze." I'm not joking. Other than the pronoun switches, I can only actually remember two terms:
Flexual - "Bisexual" is naturally no good, because it reinforces the concept that there are only two options. So now you can only be bisexual if you are only attracted to people who consider themselves absolutely male or absolutely female. If you can see yourself with someone anywhere in between, then you're "flexual." Like "sexual," but with a "fl." Go ahead. Say it. Shout it out. Now admit it, don't you feel stupid? Of course you do. It's a stupid-sounding word. That's the problem with coming up with new words. The Queer Alliance can never agree on creating an entirely new word, so they end up just modifying old ones. At least they're not just taking real words and giving them additional meanings anymore. God only knows how many works of literature changed from compelling classics to four hundred page excuses for eighth-grade boys to giggle in class when people started using "gay" to mean "homosexual." So, flexual. Have fun with that one. Use it at parties to get a laugh.
Genderfuck - I have to hand it to the Queer Alliance on this one. You don't forget a word like "genderfuck." I did kind of forget what it means, but I think it's someone who has the physical characteristics of one gender and believes fully that he or she is that gender, but who wears the clothes of the other gender just for shock value. You could call that guy in P-Funk who wears the wedding dress a genderfuck, but I wouldn't do it to his face unless you want him to slap you a funky one. Genderfucks tend to be angry all the time because they don't like wearing the clothes of another gender. But if they don't do it, how will we all ever learn tolerance? Here's the thing: I'm vehemently anti-censorship. I mean, just look at my ninth paragraph today (that's including the initial "SEX" as a complete paragraph)! The rest of my school's campus is mostly down with the anti-censorship cause, too. But the rest of the country is, by and large, not. Now, I would love to get everyone in America to accept "fuck" and the other swears as acceptable language. I don't see any reason why they shouldn't be. But let's face it. The Bible Belt is not about to accept a new term for some unnecessarily complex sexual deviance and approve the use of the word "fuck" at the same time. Hell, no matter how liberal the location, that's an uphill battle. So is it possible that maybe, just maybe, it was a really, really stupid idea to ever think that "genderfuck" would really catch on? Just maybe? Fuck it, IT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.
Like I said, I've forgotten the rest of the list, so either I never met people to whom those terms applied, or I pissed off a lot of people back at school. In any case, let me just apologize on behalf of my institution of higher learning. We mean well, I swear. I guess all I can really be sure of is that I'm a straight male - that is to say, I'm a heterosexual who is male-identified. Uh, what I mean is that I'm a Y-chromosome bearer with an attraction to heterosexual females who are in turn attracted to...
Ah, screw it. I'm the man, baby. But then, we knew that all along.
Please State Your Name, Rank, and Og
You know, the high point of my week is always when we hear from our friendly State Og representatives. And that's not just because of Be-Glad-To-See-Us-O-Matic chip they implanted in the base of my skull! At least, I think it's not. What matters is, we've got all the Og you could want, at just a fraction of the price (specifically, 1/1)!
For too long the wealthy have been able to look down their noses at the homeless. State Og says it's high time that the world's less fortunate got their piece of the ridiculing action! For a limited time only our highly trained and rightfully feared shock troops will put down their magical singing clubs and pick up deadly spiked ladles at soup kitchens worldwide. Then our Black Hand will ladle out heaping helpings of comeuppance in the form of our special Payback Packs!
The contents of each Pack are guaranteed to elevate any slobbering wino to his highest and mightiest in minutes! Every Payback Pack contains a limited edition glass jar manufactured by Lexus. Now you can store your urine in luxury, and possibly throw it at those rich jerks! The fun doesn't stop there! Enjoy the high life by settling down to a fancy meal, specifically your very own can of Fancy Feast! Unlike dry cat foods, Fancy Feast is loaded with delicious rat blood and dead ticks! That's good eating! Wash down that treat with the subtle flavor of imported mash whiskey, fresh from the exotic locale of Salt Lake City! Only the upper crust can truly appreciate the fine quality of Mormon hooch! Finally, no well-to-do bastard would be complete without a monocle, perfectly poised to leap from your face at the slightest affront. However there was a problem at the Payback Pack plant so you'll have to make do without one.
Dead ticks? Man, that's luxury! There's only one way to find out what other surprises State Og has in store for us, by which I mean the poor, unsuspecting populace, and that's by reading their latest update! And believe me, you do want to know what surprises they have in store for us. Believe me, you don't want to be caught unawares when they unleash... well, I've said to much already.
The Remains of Bidet (James Ivory, 1993)
We might find we have more in common than we think if we just stop fighting long enough to combine our bodies into a singular organism.
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