Feminist Friday: NOM shows its true colors, Leymah Gbowee on unlocking the greatness of girls


Hello, there, fellow feminists, and happy Friday! 

As you may have heard, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), which is actually an organization that works against marriage equality, had some of its internal documents unsealed by a federal judge in Maine this week. 


It turns out that their actual strategy, which they were dumb enough to write down on paper, was to inflame hostility between blacks and gays. Apparently the plan was to find African-Americans who would speak out against marriage equality, and then “provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots.” 

Don’t feel left out, Latinos! The creeps at NOM thought you were ripe for manipulation too. Former NAACP chairman and generally terrific marriage equality–supporting dude Julian Bond was thoroughly disgusted

You can read the full document here, and there are lots of treats to be found. For example, on pages 19–20, you can read about how NOM was hoping to reverse the idea that young and attractive people tend to support gay marriage by recruiting “glamorous non-cognitive elites.” 

So if you got contacted by NOM, young celebrity, it wasn’t because they thought you were going to make anything like a good argument. Just shut up and look pretty. (And mean, and dumb.) Yes, of course they have a picture of Kirk Cameron rotating through on their home page

You will be gobsmacked to learn that NOM didn’t seem to have much of a game plan for recruiting smart people to the cause. 

So here’s the thing about this: We can drop the pretense that the anti–marriage equality folks are working for Christian values now, right? I will admit to not being much of a Biblical scholar: Will someone please point me to the passage where Jesus said it’s awesome to stir up hatred as long as you get what you want? Especially if you’re working to make sure that people who love each other can’t get hospital visitation rights? 

And another thing we can drop is the pretense that the members of NOM aren’t bigots. Will news organizations get a little more aggressive about calling bull on that?  NOM routinely posts articles about how wrong it is to suggest that they are bigots. They take great umbrage and make sure to say that they love the LGBT community. It’s just that it’s the kind of deep and profound love that says there’s something fundamentally wrong with us, and that we will destroy society if we are allowed to form stable homes. 

So, yeah: Pretty much what you’d say to beloved children at night before tucking them in. 

Well, now the hostile, bigoted cat is out of the bag. (But still, I suspect, in the closet.) NOM has open contempt for the LGBT community and blacks and Latinos. This isn’t a group of people who love everyone equally and want to spread more peace and understanding (but not marriage) in the world, and this isn’t a bunch of simple, pure souls who simply want to express their deeply held spiritual beliefs. 

NOM carved people into categories and actively worked to spread hostility. Spreading hate was a major part of the plan. That’s pretty much the definition of a hate group, right? It’s time to stop being too polite to call them that. 

Go ahead and follow your fear and nurse your prejudices and work against equality all you want, NOM. It’s your right. But at least stop being such weasels about it. 

You are not against marriage equality because of cherished beliefs. You are against marriage equality because you are frightened, vicious bigots. At least own up to it. 

If nothing else, NOM has done us the very tiny service of reminding us all why gay issues and race issues and general not-being-a-creepbasket issues are feminist issues: Prejudices are intertwined. Falling down in insisting on equality in one area leaves us vulnerable everywhere else. 

Plus, working toward equality is what feminists do. Because we are not creepbaskets. 

On that note, The Huffington Post had an interesting article about Kathryn Lehman, who was once a Capitol Hill staffer who helped write the Defense of Marriage Act. And then she got a girlfriend. She’s now a lobbyist working to repeal DOMA, and the evolution of her thinking is quite interesting, and the fact that she’s still deeply conservative enough to be working to support some anti-LGBT candidates makes the article one you’ll have several responses to all at once. 

I also had some complex responses to this Cracked article on Five Ways Modern Men Are Trained to Hate Women. I support the author’s intent: He does a better analysis of some of the more frustrating aspects of our society on a humor site than I’ve seen in more serious forums – to the extent that those more serious forums address them at all. But a lot of his deep thinking comes back to the trope that men are completely overwhelmed and controlled by their desire to get laid. It makes you wonder how anyone ever managed to mock up a wheel or control fire. He’s actually giving a pretty useful primer to young male readers on the way our culture messes with their heads, but if all comes back to a baseline of “Dudes will always be horny dudes, and there’s no way to control it,” it’s kind of a copout. And a little insulting to my male friends. 

Palate cleanser! Let’s look at this trailer for the International Women’s Film Festival Dortmund. I do not pretend to understand it, but I admire it. 


Is there cheese on your kitchen floor now? Mine too. 

It looks like there’s some cool stuff in store. Anybody have a spare ticket to Dortmund? 

Hey, you know what would be an awesome thing to pick at about Jennifer Lawrence of The Hunger Games instead of focusing on her astonishing performance? Whether she’s too curvy to play Katniss. Fans of the movie have been refreshing in their rejection of that sort of nonsense, including the even worse wave of racists who can’t stand it that Rue and Thresh are played by black actors. Even though the author describes them as such

Again, there’s a reason why bigots don’t try to recruit smart people. 

Smart people do perform self-exams once a month, though. And the good souls at Feel Your Boobies would like to remind you and other boobie-havers with what sounds like a fun flash mob in Union Square in New York City on April 12. Bring a bra or mail one in. That should be in the instructions for invitations more often, don’t you think? 

As always, I like to end with some awesome. Here’s Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee on unlocking the greatness of girls

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