Jul 18, 2015
Mad Max: Beyond Homophobia
With an obvious good vs. evil plotline, and guess what? The good guys are all patiently described as straight, and the bad guys as over-the-top gay.
Mad Max (1979), set in an Australia that just started to break down, pits good, noble, uber-heterosexual Family Man Max, who has a wife and daughter, against an outlaw gang of mohawk-haired gay guys who hug and kiss all over each other.
Oddly enough, Max wears a leather-fetish outfit that looks like it belongs on Folsom Street.
There's also an explicit gay couple, the psycho Wezand and his boyfriend//slave, the Golden Youth, who gets killed.
The heterosexuals escape and flee north to a heterosexual future.
By now AIDS is in the news, so the gay men are all diseased, like this leather-clad, tattooed Angry Anderson with his drag-queen totem.
How many different ways are there to demonize gay people?
Looks like three.
Jul 13, 2015
The Sacrifice of Isaac
You probably remember it: God tells Abraham to kill his son. So he takes Isaac out into the woods, ties him up, raises the knife -- then, at the last moment, an angel appears and says something like "Hah, hah, fooled you -- God was just kidding! Here's a lamb for you to kill instead!"
When I was a Nazarene, no Sunday school teacher or preacher ever tried to explain the historical/cultural context of the story, how human sacrifice was commonplace, and some gods, such as Dagon, actually did demand children.
They didn't try to distinguish Abraham's act from the many crazy things people did today because "God told me to." Or wonder about what kind of God would play such a dirty trick.
Instead, they just praised Abraham for his unquestioning obedience, and drew a parallel with Jesus: . God wants to kill every one of us, but Jesus offered to take our place, so God killed him instead.
I found it a example of the savagery beneath the heterosexist imperative: everyone said that fathers were wise, loving, and benevolent, but at any moment they could turn violent. And then say God told them to.
That didn't make me feel more comfortable, either.
I preferred the illustration in my Children's Story Bible (top photo): a very muscular, grown-up Isaac with a handsome teen-idol face, naked except for a little white cloth, tied up with his arms behind his back, like Bomba the Jungle Boy.
See also: Bible Beefcake.
Jul 12, 2015
The Princess: Sometimes Boys are Girls
Eight-year old Sarah may have male physiology, but who cares? She has been telling her family that she is a girl since she learned to talk.
Her father and aunt are ok with the dresses, the female pronouns, and the name "Sarah." Her mother, not so much; she insists on boy-clothes and the name "Seth," hoping desperately that "it's just a phase."
Nope, not a phase. Sarah is a girl, and every girl has a right to be a Princess.
She has a coterie of friends:
1. Irma, a cisgirl who likes superheroes, monster movies, and wearing boys' clothes (cis means that your physiology and gender identity match).
2. Jordan, a teenage transboy who sometimes babysits (Mom doesn't realize that he's trans)
3. Chuck, a cisboy with a crush on Sarah.
This is one of the funniest child-oriented comic strips out there, on a par with Soup to Nutz and Frazz.
And, with its G-rated humor, perfect for gender-atypical kids of any age (and gender-typical kids, too).
Christine Smith has been publishing the webcomic The Princess twice a week since 2009 (older strips are archived on The Duck). There's a collection available through Prism Comics.
See also: Dykes to Watch Out For.
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