May 27 2013

Help Me Understand Why Cannes Winner “Blue is the Warmest Color” is a Triumph for Lesbians

I was a late bloomer. I was a tree-climbing, pet-menagerie-loving, book-devouring tomboy my entire childhood. At 14 years old I still had not reached puberty, and I had begun to wonder if something might be physically wrong with me, since most of my girl-friends had been bona fide sanitary-pad-carrying “women” for many years.

When “womanhood” did finally strike me at 15, it hit with a vengeance. I went from stick-thin to hourglass in a matter of weeks, and I had stretchmarks on my new C-cup breasts to show for it.

I struggled a bit with the transition. The sudden attention. And, as I became increasingly attracted to boys, and they to me, I began to discover that my new womanly parts were some sort of an asset.

Still a virgin and halfway to 16, I met a 21-year-old man who shared a house with his brother in my cousin’s neighborhood. He was gorgeous. He was intelligent. He was chivalrous. He was single.

We got to know each other over neighborhood spades and domino games and we traded flirtations, though we both knew he was too old for me.

It was a sweet fall for me. Uninitiated virgin meets worldly, independent, philosophical  man-friend. After a first  kiss, we decided to be “a couple,” though I made it clear to him that I did not intend to “lose my virginity” until my wedding night. It was the stuff of Disney movies.

We “went steady” for a few months. He picked me up on his motorcycle and took me on mountain hikes and picnics. He wrote me romantic letters and professed his love for me.

He may have really loved me. Or, he may have been grooming me for sex. Arousal is a powerful force, and a body will want what it wants.

But, I was still a child. And, he knew it.

The brief love affair ended in his car one night in my driveway. We were kissing (and suffering from the arousal of it all) and he suddenly stopped and said. “I really care about you, but I can’t do this. I respect you. I respect that you’re not ready to have sex, but I’m a man, and I do want to have sex. I don’t want to hurt you in any way, but I can’t do this.”

And, that was the end of that. I cried for a couple of weeks then moved on to a relationship with a boy my age.

Now, let’s imagine for a moment an alternate universe in which that conversation ended instead with the passionate sexual consummation of our “young love.” Let’s pretend that our subsequent increasingly explicit and adventurous sexual cavorting was captured on camera and displayed to the public as the artistic exploration of an adult man initiating a 15-year-old girl into the physical expression of their “forbidden” love. That, legally, would not be considered art. That would be considered child pornography and my man-friend would have likely been arrested and would now be a registered sex offender.

I suspect a major motion picture about said grown man seducing a child that contains lengthy and pornographic sex scenes would never make it to pre-production, let alone be lauded as artistic.

Which brings me to my admittedly sight-unseen judgments about “Blue is the Warmest Color.”

Here is the description of the film: 15-year-old, Adèle has no doubt : a girl must date boys. Her life is turned upside down when she meets Emma, a blue haired young woman who allows her to discover desire and to assert herself as a woman and an adult. (They left out the part about how Emma is a sexually experienced graduate student in her twenties.)

In the many reviews of this film I have seen online, no one is discussing the age gap between these characters.

Brokeback Mountain was a monumental film about two consenting adults that won accolades for its courage and sensitivity, but had one of those characters been a 15-year-old boy, would that film have been made?

When it comes to sexual exploitation, should it matter that the one doing the exploiting doesn’t have a penis? Does Adele need to be 14 for us to view Emma as a molester? Thirteen?  When adult men do this to young boys, a cry for their prosecution is loud and immediate.

Being a woman and a mother of women, and having been a 15-year-old myself, it’s impossible for me to appreciate or applaud a film in which an adult seduces a child–and that seduction is offered up in graphic detail for voyeuristic mass consumption.

Being a woman it is difficult for me to trust the motives of a male film maker whose 3-hour movie contains long segments of what has been described by reviewers as “extremely graphic” and “absolutely not simulated” lesbian sex. (His red carpet walk with the teen women who starred in the film gave me the creeps.)

Not being a lesbian, I ‘m wondering why this film is being discussed all over the Internet (mostly by men) as a “triumph” for lesbians of which to be “proud.”

Please know that I am not being facetious or sarcastic when I ask for help understanding why those applauding this film do not feel compelled to protect the world’s Adeles from the sexual advances of “loving” adults, regardless of whether the adults are male or female, straight or LGBTQ.

BLOGGER’S NOTE: I have not seen Blue is the Warmest Color and do not want to after reading the reviews. I did not read 50 Shades of Grey for the same reason–because, though it is likely to be titillating, my personal preference is to not be “entertained” by the sexual exploitation of innocents  (and I don’t want those images in my head forever). This has admittedly influenced my opinions about this movie. I welcome other points of view.


Nov 17 2012

Man Sues Wife for Making Ugly Baby: Judge Agrees He Was Victimized

When Jian Feng’s baby daughter was born, he wasn’t just disappointed that the baby didn’t resemble her beautiful mother, he was “horrified” by how “ugly” he found the little girl to be.

Feng was so horrified, he convinced himself there was no way he could be the child’s father–his wife must have had sex with a hideously ugly man to have created such an unattractive offspring.

Feng (a resident of Northern China) took his wife to court to prove that the baby was not his, but was surprised when the DNA test confirmed he was indeed the little girl’s father.

At that point, his wife admitted that she had undergone plastic surgery to beautify her face before she met her husband. The woman’s numerous surgeries cost her over $100,000 and changed her from a person Feng would never have considered marriageable into the beautiful woman he says he fell in love with.

“I married my wife out of love, but as soon as we had our first daughter, we began having marital issues. Our daughter was incredibly ugly, to the point where it horrified me,” he told the judge.

Jian insisted that he had been tricked by his wife and the judge agreed, granting him a divorce, and ordering his ex-wife to pay Feng $120,000 restitution for his troubles.

How would you have ruled in this case?

Although I do agree Feng was “tricked” by his wife into believing she was a so-called natural beauty, for him to be horrified at the sight of his own child (who is actually pretty cute) speaks volumes about him. His ex-wife should file a counter suit  for being tricked into believing she married a human being.

If I were the judge in this case, I would have agreed with him in open court about one thing: His wife did have sex with a hideously ugly man–her husband. He’s the only ugly person in this sad story.

There is no surgery available for that.

 

 

 

 


Aug 15 2012

Florida Governor Rick Scott Lost Access to Welfare Urine, Going After State Workers’ Instead

I posted last September about Florida Governor (R) Rick Scott who pushed a bill through the Florida Legislature which required all welfare recipients to be drug tested. He gained Republican support for the proposed law by insisting that poor people on welfare are using tax payers to fund their drug use.

Scott is a conservative Republican billionaire who used $73 million of his own money and the support of the Tea Party to win his governorship.

The scandal here is that there was a clear conflict of interest for Scott, in that he is co-founder of a chain of drug testing clinics and he would benefit financially from the law. And, when 98 percent of the welfare recipients passed the test at a cost of $178 million to tax payers, there was no legislative move to end the testing.

Cha-ching.

In October, 2011, U.S. District Judge Mary Scriven issued an injunction halting the drug testing, finding that a welfare applicant represented by the ACLU who challenged the law would likely win his case on constitutional grounds.

So what does Scott do? No longer profiting from poor folks, he switches his focus to working class government employees by issuing an executive order mandating drug testing for all 85,000 of them.

U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro ruled on Wednesday that suspicionless drug testing for state workers violated the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment ban on unreasonable search and seizure.

Scott said he would appeal the decision.

Of course, his appeal will be paid for by the very taxpayers whose constitutional rights he wants to trample.

So. Friggin. Absurd.

Why has this guy not been recalled?


SEPTEMBER 2011 STORY:


Florida Governor Rick Scott was so sure people on welfare use drugs at a higher rate than the general population, he insisted anyone receiving help from the Department of Children and Families be tested.

Under the sponsorship of Republican state Senator Steve Oelrich, a bill was presented to the Florida Legislature that Oelrich said was, “all about trying to break the cycle of drug dependency and using taxpayer dollars to buy illegal drugs.” The bill passed over objections from Democrats.

In July, 2011, the state began implementing the policy that requires all applicants for temporary cash assistance to pass four drug tests per year, which the applicant must pay for, before any funds can be disbursed to them. If the applicant tests negative for drugs, they are reimbursed for the test. If the result is positive, they are barred from the program.

The results: 98% passed.

The cost to the State of Florida: $178 million annually.

OK, so Rick Scott appears to have been publicly embarrassed after supporting a failed policy that is estimated to cost $5 for every $1 it saves. But, there’s more to the story.

Of course.

This is the same Rick Scott that was forced out of his CEO position at health care giant Columbia/HCA just before the company admitted to 14 felonies and agreed to pay the federal government over $600 million in welfare fraud restitution. This is the same Rick Scott who somehow (his friendship with George W. Bush, perhaps?) avoided any criminal prosecution in the federal indictment against Columbia/HCA, a company Scott co-founded and led. This is the same Rick Scott who then co-founded Solantic, a chain of urgent care centers that provide drug testing for the workforce.

In his support of the drug testing bill Scott said it is “unfair for Florida taxpayers to subsidize drug addiction.” Apparently it is not unfair for them to subsidize shady politicians and their business partners.

Scott is a conservative Republican billionaire who used $73 million of his own money and the support of the tea party to win his governorship.