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Monday, June 18, 2012

In Defense of Being a Bitch

I've been waiting to post this until the furor over Josh Weed's post has died down a bit. And for those who have followed my blog for awhile, Josh is "Jason." I tell you this just because there's a slight chance I might revert to the former pseudonym and this revelation might help avoid confusion.

When Josh and Lolly published their "coming out" post, I spent a short time reading comments, most of which were supportive, loving, and favorable. However, one comment had me raising my hackles. The commentor did not identify himself, but insisted he knew Josh, personally. I find this cowardly. Granted, I was using my pseudonym, but Josh knows who I am, so anything I said would track back to me. Anonymous the Jerk did that thing where he can say what he wants because, well, he's anonymous. I hate it when people do that.

Beyond that, however, was the essence of what Anonymous the Jerk said:

1. I could have easily ended up gay myself, but I chose differently.


Um...yeah...like it's something you can choose. And if you could choose, in a world full of heterosexually slanted individuals, why would someone choose to limit their sexual interest to 10% of the population (the estimated percent of homosexuals)?


2.  I don't believe anyone can know by 11, 12, or even 16 that they are gay... (i.e. they are not really gay but because of teasing, bullying, enticing, or other external reinforcement they become gay)...


Sigh...okay, I'll grant you your belief while completely believing myself that it's WRONG (if I grant yours, you must grant mine), but really, even if that's what you believe, it doesn't make it fact, nor does it make it universal if it's applicable to even one person (yourself). I'm pretty sure that by the time kids are 12, they know which gender makes their hearts palpitate, their mouths dry out and their feet sweat. And while it's a confusing and stressful time of life, most kids are NOT confused about this particular part of being a teen.


3. Some of the most powerful words in the English language are "I am". It is how God used to describe himself to Moses. (Ex 3:14) When a Gay man (or woman) "comes out" and says, "I am" "Gay" it has a certain finality to it. The problem is God did not send us to a destination, but on a journey. You are challenging my belief in that by "accepting who you are" and that you cannot change.

I don't necessarily agree with the "powerful words" statement. While I know the power of words, I also know that this is something one can choose. One can buy into the semantics and implied meanings, or one can say, "They're words. I'll use the ones that suit my purpose for now. Should that purpose change in the future, I'll use different ones, but I refuse to be bullied or intimidated by people who believe they know who I am better than I know myself." Acceptance of self never implies an inability to change. In fact, it's a springboard which allows us to better explore the depth and breadth of our souls and decide where we wish to go from there. Right now Josh sees no problem with being gay. In his mind and vocabulary, that word simply describes the natural tendencies and desires of his persona. He is also promised to Lolly and he chooses (see--this is where choice enters in) to honor those promises and covenants because he's happy in that situation. The gay part of his life has been acknowledged (and continues to be acknowledged by both partners), and it's not a point of shame or contention. I don't know why this bothers you beyond the point where you refuse to understand that other people can think and believe differently from you.

4. There have been men that change their sexual orientation. There's no question that some men have changed to BECOME gay. If that is true then gay men can CHOOSE to become straight. There are many stories on peoplecanchange.com and evergreeninternational.org that reinforce that.


Actually, no. There aren't that many. And I love Rich Wyler who was the founder of People Can Change. The truth is, people change constantly. Rich knows this. And the changes he talks about are those that will allow men to not feel bound by their sexuality, or the change of heart that bring us unto Christ (which really has nothing to do with those to whom one is attracted). There are some who profess to have made a sexuality change. I don't disbelieve their stories. But more often than not, men find ways to make peace between their sexuality and their belief systems--and that is an incredibly healthy change, even if it means leaving the belief system behind. From my standpoint, your logic is flawed from the beginning because I have yet to find one person who admits to choosing to BECOME gay. Unless that point is supported, the following attestations are false.

5.  I find it difficult to believe that a man such as yourself finds no arousal from your beautiful, and very sexy, wife, Laurel. It is unimaginable to me that if she were to wear a something skimpy and try to seduce you that you would simply go, "eh!". If that is true then I truly do feel sorry her because women need to feel sexual and wanted. I've been married over 20 years and still find my wife attractive, sexually stimulating, and lusting after her. It's such an important part of our marriage.


I'm still trying to get beyond the "ick!" factor of this statement. The fact that you would refer to another man's wife as "beautiful, and very sexy" when you should be looking only at your own wife, sort of sickens me (and other commentors as is seen by this comment: "How can you question his ability to be "turned on" by his wife? For one, inappropriate question. Was it not made clear by him stating he has an active sex life and 3 children? Not only that, but he made a WONDERFUL statement above about how attraction is not only in looks and lust. Attraction is through love and understanding and common goals (he says it much more beautifully and elegantly above, I recommend a re-read)."). Quite honestly, I think lust is different from desire or attraction and I feel very sorry for your wife not just for the former comment you made about another man's wife, but also for the way you cheapen your relationship with her by your nasty lust. Your judgement of Josh's marriage relationship has no relevance and it is, quite frankly, none of your business. Should you wish for more information, you would need to identify yourself and form a trust between yourself and Josh before you ask prying questions about the intimacy he shares with his wife. I'm not sure such trust is possible for one who comments in such a cowardly way on Josh's blog, but stranger things have happened.


6. To be honest, I wish you wouldn't have shared this part of you, that you wouldn't have "come out". I guess I feel that I just didn't need to know that about you. It's one thing to tell your story anonymously and say, "I am straight but I struggle with homosexual attraction." It is another to say "I am gay". "I am" is such a powerful way of defining yourself. It does lead to prejudice and intolerance, and I can only pray that when we say hi to each other that I can look beyond it.

Yeah...way to make this all about you. Nice. When you pull your head out, I suggest getting over yourself, remembering that the only thing that's changed is that you judged someone who, by your own words, you've "had nothing but love and respect for you since I've known you, and many times found myself wishing I could be more like you." Still, it's not too late. You believe you can CHOOSE to be gay, so if you do that, you'll be more like Josh! Yay!

In my normal, in-your-face-because-I'm-sure-you're-wrong way, I replied to Anonymous the Jerk:

SamanthaJune 8, 2012 8:36 AM
Psshh...really??? It's a word, and Josh has every right to describe himself as he sees fit. My goodness, even the "Little Pioneer Children" got to call themselves, "merry, and happy, and gay..."


The bottom line here is that you missed the point, which is that this is Josh's blog and he gets to say whatever he wants to here, and while you're welcome to comment, what you've said hinges on semantics and comes off as churlish and judgmental. 


That being said, I bow to Josh's words: "It's okay that you feel that way." Because he's right. Allowing other peoples viewpoints and feelings opens the door to validating the views and honesty stated on this blog. But I still believe it's unfortunate to get hung up on how something is said, rather than hearing the meaning of the message.

I know. I'm offensive. I have no defense. Nor am I willing to take back my words even though Anonymous the Jerk tried to make believe he didn't understand my point, and who proved he could be just as nasty at me as he was at Josh. I took the bait and responded:

SamanthaJune 8, 2012 10:18 AM
Alder is correct: "...the trouble come[s] when we try to tell another person that their experience was skewed and try to give them an alternative explanation that fits in with our own."


Clearly you, Anonymous, have difficulty allowing Josh to use his words and to define them within his own experience. He's not a straight person who "struggles with homosexuality" (and he not only has the personal, but the educational and professional background to validate his claims)--he's Josh, and he says he's gay. Who are you to tell him otherwise? It's fine for you to describe yourself as you see fit. It's silly for you to say others must do so within your parameters.


As for questioning Josh's ability to be attracted to his wife sexually, I believe he answered it at great length as it applies to him. Simply because it doesn't belong in your one-size-fits-all definition, does not mean it's invalid.


This made him mad. Clearly, he's not used to being opposed.


Anonymous the JerkJune 8, 2012 11:00 AM
Sorry, Samantha, but you are "clearly" putting your bias and bigotry into what I am saying. I did not say he was a straight person with SSA. I wish he would have. I SAID there is a finality to saying, "I am gay". It means that he's accepted it, can't or won't or doesn't want to change, and he is now letting the world know about it. That is disappointing to me.

I personally know Josh, do you? I am disappointed that he "came out" at all. I didn't want to know that about him. I'm not proud of him for it. I have little tolerance for anyone that doesn't want to change or improve their lives (has nothing to do with being gay as it affects welfare-aholics, alcoholics, dead-beat dads, etc.) It's the ATTITUDE I have a problem with. Sure, IT'S MY PROBLEM, you are right.

I read his post three times and he did NOT answer, at any length, if he is "turned-on" at all by his wife, Laurel. If he is, then by the 0-100% SSA scale Alder brought up, he is not gay. It IS a valid question.

Now get off your high-horse.
Yes. I added "the Jerk" to his commentor identifier. I also loved this comment:

Alder: "Please don't try to tell josh he has not understood himself. " YES! THIS!

Samantha: "It's fine for you to describe yourself as you see fit. It's silly for you to say others must do so within your parameters." AND THIS! <3
 Naturally, I loved it because it validated my former comment, but mostly I loved it because it was written by a person who has a name and uses it. And of course, I couldn't let it end there: 

SamanthaJune 8, 2012 1:04 PM
Nah, I think I'll stay up here and leave you to muck around in all the crap you're spewing. If you do know Josh, you're living proof of the saying, "With friends like you, who needs enemies?"

I've known this man and his family for more than seven years, spent time in their home, and I know from personal experience exactly where he's coming from when he describes what it's like to be gay, LDS, and married. Honestly, he describes his sex life in detail, but it's really none of your business whether or not he decides to say more about how he's affected by his wife, physically.

Whew--so very glad Christ will judge the hearts of men and your small-minded, bigoted judgments will belong only to you.

To which he replied: 
Anonymous the JerkJune 8, 2012 2:08 PM
Samantha - you are a bitch. Nothing more to be said.


Now, I'm not arguing that last statement. I wasn't nice, for sure. But the truth is, I'm not a bitch, but if you say stupid things and I feel like expending the energy, I'll call you on it. People don't like that--especially ones who are very certain they're in the right. No one likes their dearest beliefs questioned. No one likes to be thrown into the grey area when they're certain they've made everything in life black and white. And when they get tired of being challenged, the more juvenile ones call names.

Probably Josh and Lolly would be unhappy that I was nasty to their blog reader. Normally I would feel badly for offending them, but right now, I'm just sad they know Anonymous the Jerk. They deserve better friends. And there's a good chance that, should I encounter a similar situation, I'll be called a bitch again because being quiet when people are spouting crappy rhetoric that has no basis in fact and is meant to cause pain, does not come easily to me.

Final note: I have no idea if more was said. Once the name-calling card is played I lose all interest in continuing communication. Name-calling says you're no longer (if you ever were) using your brain, you're feeling desperate to cause harm, and you're not intelligent enough to consider a viewpoint beyond your own--in which case, further communication is pointless.

I'm not offended that I was called a bitch. I defend my right to be one when the occasion calls for it. Chances are, it will happen again and I probably will never apologize.

8 comments:

  1. You're my favorite bitch, Samantha.

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  2. Samantha, I think you handled it better than I could have. This one was particularly upsetting, because this wasn't an ordinary (and ignorable) Blog Troll; this was somone who supposedly knew Josh and (supposedly) cared about him. You kicked butt!!

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  3. So glad you are back to blogging. I totally read that convo in the comments of Josh's post and thought dang someone did a great job calling out the ridiculousness of that comment. Cool to know it was you.

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  4. I loved this! Thanks for having my back. (And how weird is it that I can post on your blog as myself now? Kind of a fun byproduct of all of this that I didn't expect.)

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  5. Ben--I don't even know what that means, but I've decided it's a positive thing, mostly because I love you and I'm pretty sure everyone in the world (including you and excepting Anonymous the Jerk) loves me back. :)

    Neal--You're exactly right. If he felt those things about Josh, and he knows and admires him, Anonymous would be more appropriate to discuss that in person with Josh and allow a response from him. However, it's good to know I'm not the only one who felt it was out of line of the commentor to address the issue as he did. And thank you for validating my bad behavior. :)

    JennVann--So good to hear from you! Blogging is good for me, even when I get all weird and decide to stop--which I never actually do, I just move to a different blog and keep writing. And it makes me laugh that someone actually read those particular comments in the sea of more than 3000. I don't comment frequently, but I've never been able to remain quiet when people are (in my opinion) being stupid at my friends. I know--not very mature--probably I never will be.

    Josh! Really??? You have time to stop by my blog? How is this possible? And yes--we need a phone conversation after you stop being famous and on television.

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  6. Your conclusions are correct, Sam, but you should know better than to expect things I say to make sense.

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  7. If I ever write an "inflammatory" post, I want you at my back. I thought Josh's post was incredibly beautiful, and your comments were incredibly articulate. I wish I could think like that under pressure.

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