Sochi And Stuff

Sometimes I write intelligent essays. Other times I write pieces titled “and stuff.”

The 2014 Winter Olympics end today. I haven’t watched them as much as I have in the past – in 2006 I was glued to the TV, excited because I hadn’t known there was even a winter version – but I’ve seen some of my two favorite events (luge and ice skating), so I’m happy. I bribed my way through last week’s schoolwork by telling myself things like, “OK, after I finish history I can watch this five-minute YouTube video.”

I mean, seriously. Those ice-skaters. They’re, like, fifteen and the best in the world and spin around a lot. When I was fifteen I was putting any ribbons I won in my ears. And if I tried all those spins and twirls, I would fall over and probably throw up.

Anyway. As I was saying, I haven’t followed the Olympics that closely, and have actually tried to avoid reading articles about the event because an irritating number of them aren’t concerned with sports and instead talk about how the games are being used by other countries somewhat as a platform to call out Russia’s anti-gay laws.

Now, I would be the last person to say prejudice is OK – I mean, just the other day I wrote a monstrously long post on queer representation in stories. So why would I object to those articles?

Because most of them are hypocritical.

You probably already know this, but I’ll repeat it anyway: in Russia, you can be arrested for spreading “gay propaganda.” Not good, right? Well, yeah. But consider that in the United States – the country from which many of those articles originate – the government basically ignores transgender people and only thirty-six percent of the states have full marriage equality.

Here, I’ll give you a personal example.

d0f8a75903d8dd37d04afaa3ed37c5cbPretty colors! All right, back on track. The chart above can be found here, and I highly recommend that you click the link because that picture is only a screencapture – the graphic is interactive. Hover over any of the fifty sectors and a text box detailing that state’s LGBTQ+ rights will appear on the left-hand side of the screen. Pretty neat.

You’ll find my state, Indiana, second from the right in the Midwest section. Yeah. That uncolorful little slice. (It sounds like a Shakespearean insult: “Fie, thou uncolorful little slice! Begone!”) This chart was created in 2012 so several states’ information is out of date, but Indiana’s hasn’t changed. I know – I looked it up.

Let’s see what the website says about my rights.

  • Hospital visitation: no protection against discrimination or law is unclear
  • Employment: no protection against discrimination or law is unclear
  • Housing: no protection against discrimination or law is unclear
  • Hate crimes: no protection against discrimination or law is unclear
  • Schools: no protection against discrimination or law is unclear
  • Marriage: illegal and banned
  • Adoption: allows adoption by a single person and joint adoption by same-sex couples

So it looks like I’m allowed to adopt, and that’s it. Wow. So helpful. Let me just grab some kids and be a parent at seventeen.

Sorry for the sarcasm. But I’m not in a very good mood right now.

I have lived in this state my entire life. Not that doing so – or indeed just living, just existing, anywhere – means anything when it comes to my rights. I mean, why would that even be a thing? (Sarcasm.)

Rights. The meaning of that term is right there in the word. I have a right to my rights. I should automatically get them. Stop voting on whether or not I have them. That I wouldn’t have a right to hospital visitation particularly worries me; why would anyone care if someday I visit a sick wife instead of a sick husband? Why couldn’t I visit them? Homosexuality isn’t contagious. (Believe me, I know – I didn’t infect anyone this time last year when I had the flu.)

And you know what I did yesterday? I did my taxes, because I have a job now and there’s official paperwork and whatnot. I pay taxes to this pathetic state and yet I’m still missing some rights? I’m not asking for special treatment. I’d just like the basics, please.

So why is the United States criticizing Russia?

Or rather, why is the United States criticizing Russia and not acknowledging that they themselves have progress to make? Because I don’t see that happening, either.

Yes, Russia should be called out, but the United States isn’t a pinnacle of rights. Something needs to be done about that.

And now for something completely different! I’d like to end this post on a high note, so here are some nice videos. If you want something Olympic-related, try this Norwegian commercial. If you want something else, try this awesome video of a beardy guy singing Lord of the Rings a capella.

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About nevillegirl

Elizabeth. University of Iowa class of 2019. Triple majoring in English & Creative Writing, Journalism, and Gender, Women's, & Sexuality Studies. Twenty-one-year-old daydreamer, introvert, voracious reader, aspiring writer, and lesbian. Passionate about feminism, mental health, comic books, and cats.
This entry was posted in LGBTQ+, Nevillegirl's Adventures!, Non-Neville Posts, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Sochi And Stuff

  1. Artgirl says:

    You saw luge?! Aww, I was looking everywhere for that.

    Okay, about the actual point of the post—I very much agree. It’s been something I was thinking all along. I think it’s so nationalistic of us to call other people out on things we have problems with itself. And what you said about marriage—that it is a right and shouldn’t have to be fought for—is a really great way of putting it. That’s why I annoy my friends by talking about LGBTQA+ inequality issues at every opportunity I get—because they’re rights! Our country has a history of saying “Rights for all! (Limitations may apply)” and it really angers me.

    • Artgirl says:

      *ourselves. Meant ourselves. Itself rather changes the meaning.

    • nevillegirl says:

      Yep, I saw it on TV one day and after that I just looked on YouTube for more videos.
      I love luge. It’s just glorified sledding. 😀
      Here, I found a luge video for you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=effb2JYiKXM
      *smirks*

      The US has a weird habit of thinking it’s pretty good, if not the best, at everything. When in reality, it most often seems to be near the middle… we still have a long way to go in terms of human rights.
      (And that’s why I don’t have a problem with, say, the Canadian video above. THEY ACTUALLY HAVE A LEGIT REASON TO LOOK DOWN ON RUSSIA.)

      *flops on the ground and rolls around in frustration* Blergh. I hate that fighting for rights is even a thing. It’s been said before, but: we don’t vote about whether or not straight people can marry and have other rights. It’s really tiring to see so much debate online, in newspapers, etc, about whether I actually count as a person.
      Like… if it makes someone somewhere mad that in the future I’ll marry a woman and we’ll have awesome adventures like Carl & Ellie did and we’ll fly dragons and haha no I totally do not live in a fantasy world why would you think that , well, I DO NOT CARE because no hetero couples ever consulted me to see if I would let them have rights.

  2. Charley R says:

    Ugh, I could not agree more. While I would rather like to set Mr Putin on fire, I do get a little fed up of countries getting preachy when they’ve still got massively endemic issues of their own. I’m not sure on the exactitudes of the situation here in the UK, but we’re still short on marriage at least.

    Still, there is progress yet to be made, and maybe we can turn this to our advantage: look at Sochi, now back to us. We’re not perfect either. Let’s not just tell Russia off, let’s show it how to get better.

    • nevillegirl says:

      CHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARLEY YAY YOU’RE BACK OH I MISSED YOUR WITTY COMMENTS

      I think you should set both jerks and hypocrites on fire. 😛

      I’m not sure about the UK situation either, as I mostly follow US development in queer rights. *googles* Actually, it… looks like you have it? http://gaywrites.org/post/55692977264/breaking-marriage-equality-approved-in-england-and
      But A) it doesn’t look like it’s legal until summer (which is completely inane because… why summer? Why not right away? Maybe hetero people can’t stand queer people marrying in the spring? I’m lost).
      And B) it does look like churches can opt out of marrying LGBTQ+ couples. Sigh.

      *nods* I hope so. I don’t mind if a country with shortcomings criticizes another, as long as the first one is working to improve. Here, it seems like we’re improving as slooooowly as possible. And with lots of whining.

      • Charley R says:

        The opt-out system is mostly in place because our “national” church comes in quite a wide variety of shades. Those closer to Catholicism don’t really want to join in, but we have tons of friendly churches who wouldn’t be able to do so otherwise, so we had to do our typical British thing of compromising.

        Oddly, I’d not heard of this! Evidently our government are trying to sneak it through very craftily, or this is somewhat out of date – there was legislation of this sort put into the pipework sometime a couple of years ago, though I don’t know how that ended, if at all.

        I’ll keep an eye on the situation 😉

        Indeed. Sadly, some change can only be made sadly and with whining. And hey – better slow, whiny change than no change at all, right?

    • nevillegirl says:

      Interesting.
      …I should probably know this, but the UK has a state religion, does it not? And that’s why this is such a big fuss? It’s the Church of England, right? I’m just confused about whether it IS a state religion or WAS.

      Bleh. I guess. I don’t see why our options are either no change or very slow change, though. It makes me mad. (I’m not mad at you – I’m mad at the buffoons who make those laws and have those beliefs.) I’m SO TIRED of waiting, waiting, waiting for something that is a right.

      • Charley R says:

        Errr, technically? Very, very technically. We don’t stick to it a lot because of increasing globalisation/multiculturality and all that, though we occasoinally cling to the basic principles by our nails when we’re struggling with things. Or our politicians do anyway.

        I know, I know. But it’ll be our generation’s turn to rule the world someday. Hopefully things will move faster with us in charge.

  3. W-O-W. I feel ashamed to be living in Pennsylvania right now. How is this still happening?! God, we can be so stupid sometimes. Have we learned nothing from blacks trying to get rights, or women? At least we’re making progress. I just wish the progress would speed up a little. 😛

  4. Bane says:

    The Northeast is nice and colorful and then you get to Pennsylvania. :p I am ashamed of my state.

    The whole denying gays rights makes no sense to me. We’re all people, and we’re all entitled to the same rights. The Constitution (or Declaration of Independence, one of those) says all men are created equal, but apparently some groups are more equal than others, and if you look you can see history tends to repeat. Men are more equal than women, whites are more equal than blacks, heterosexuals are more equal than members of the queer community, etcetera etcetera.

    And I haven’t been paying attention to the Olympics that much either. I caught skiing, skeleton, curling, hockey, and that’s just about it.

    • nevillegirl says:

      *pats* Someday I will found my own country* and there will be lots of queer rights and you can come live there.

      *And install, among other things: lots of castles because castles are cool, a country-wide appreciation of Doctor Who, and factories that make sparkles.

      It’s the Declaration of Independence. 🙂 And yes, it makes no sense. I loathe the people who pass these “OK to discriminate against LGBTQ+” laws because they think THEY’RE being discriminated against. Just… no. It is not discrimination to be prevented from discriminating. What even.

      I saw something that my parents described as a cross between snowboarding and motocross, but I can’t remember what it was called. It was neat. Spectacular wipe-outs and everything. xD

      • Bane says:

        I would love to come live there, Engie.

        Ah, thanks. So many documents. >xp And yeah, that’s not discrimination. LGBTQ+ people are people too and shouldn’t be denied basic rights. The discrimination on religious grounds makes me mad as well, because in peoples’ rush to ban marriage and other rights discriminators end up hating on the people they’re against, when they were told in the very same religion that you should love everyone.
        That might not make any sense, but it doesn’t in real life, anyway. Why can’t we all just love each other for our differences? Oh right, we’re humans and there will always be an excuse to hate people different than us.

        Ooh, I didn’t get to see any wipeouts this year.

    • nevillegirl says:

      Fantastic! 😀 (Whenever I see that smiley face I picture Nine – which makes me use it even more.) I’ll even let you have your own castle… mostly because “Castle of Bane” sounds scary. xD

      *sighs* People are weird. People are bigots. People justify their prejudice with a lot of warped logic.

      *sighs again* It makes me mad when straight people say that stuff about “Can’t we all just get along?” It’s not an issue with you because you’re queer (I think?) but when hetero people bemoan the lack of LGBTQ+ rights and ask why we just don’t all love each other… well, I don’t know. Why can’t they start? Why are they looking at me? I didn’t start the prejudice against queer people.
      Sorry, just needed to rant.

  5. Psh says:

    ANNNNND…..Michigan has exactly ZERO rights. And even some laws banning these rights. Not feeling too proud of my mitten-shaped home right now.
    But now LGBTQ+ is raising some huge awareness, so maybe soon we’ll have some more slices filled in! I’m hoping! *crosses fingers desperately*

  6. Pingback: Pride 2014: A Surprise From Indiana | Musings From Neville's Navel

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