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Posts Tagged ‘obama’

Just a quick post, even though I know I’ve been particularly bad about posting lately. I’m heading back to CA today, and once I get there I promise I’ll start blogging more regularly.

I questioned the NY Times’ motto this morning (“All the news that’s fit to print”) when I read this article about how potbellies are the new hip fashion statement among the Brooklyn hipster set.  The article explains that many of these Brooklyn hipsters are sporting potbellies with their v-neck t-shirts, fedoras, and ray-bans.  The article suggests that this new devil-may-care attitude about body image might be a reaction to Obama’s passion for exercise and health, as hipsters, according to the article, like to be contrarian.

Personally, I could care less what the hipsters are wearing these days, but what bothered me about this article was how quickly the author dismissed the fact that men don’t have to care nearly as much about their body image as women do:

Women have almost never gotten a pass on the need to maintain their bodies, while men always have, said Robert Morea, a personal fitness trainer. (Full disclosure: my own.) It would be too much, he added, to suggest that “potbellies are suddenly O.K.,” but as lean muscle and functionality become the new gym mantras, hypertrophied He-Men with grapefruit biceps and blister-pack abs have come to resemble specimens from a diorama of “A Vanished World.”

The Times could have at least taken a moment to explore this phenomenon, or at least taken a moment to suggest that maybe potbellies aren’t the new fashion accessory to strive for. Not to mention that Obama’s emphasis on physical health is something that everyone in this country should be emulating rather than rebelling against.

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Just a quick follow up to my last post. Frank Rich wrote a great op-ed for the NY Times about Obama’s inaction when it comes to LGBT rights.  This piece says it all.

Just a snippet:

No president possesses that magic wand, but Obama’s inaction on gay civil rights is striking. So is his utterly uncharacteristic inarticulateness. The Justice Department brief defending DOMA has spoken louder for this president than any of his own words on the subject. Chrisler noted that he has given major speeches on race, on abortion and to the Muslim world. “People are waiting for that passionate speech from him on equal rights,” she said, “and the time is now.”

Action would be even better. It’s a press cliché that “gay supporters” are disappointed with Obama, but we should all be. Gay Americans aren’t just another political special interest group. They are Americans who are actively discriminated against by federal laws. If the president is to properly honor the memory of Stonewall, he should get up to speed on what happened there 40 years ago, when courageous kids who had nothing, not even a public acknowledgment of their existence, stood up to make history happen in the least likely of places.

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This weekend is Gay Pride in NYC. While it’s great to celebrate the progress we have made, I can’t help but feel some amount of sadness on how far we haven’t come.

Jaclyn Friedman at The American Prospect wrote a great piece about the real legacy of Stonewall.  She writes:

Then there’s our relationship with President Barack Obama. We cling to him like we’re his abused and co-dependent boyfriend, swooning over his Pride Proclamation and endlessly pre-excusing him (He’s just busy! He’s waiting for his moment!) for his total inaction on our behalf. And when he hits us with a Department of Justice document defending marriage discrimination and equating homosexuality with incest, we quickly crawl back into bed with him as soon as he apologizes with a bouquet of limited benefits for federal employees and the vague possibility of hate-crimes legislation.

I appreciate all that President Obama has done and is doing to try to get this country back on track after 8 horrific years, but that certainly doesn’t mean that we should merely lie back and assume he is going to do everything. Where is the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell? Why does he insist on keeping DOMA in place? Gay Pride month is great, but a simple proclamation is not going to do anything to diminish the hate, violence, and injustice that the gay community experiences on a daily basis.

I hope it won’t take another 40 years to see some real, tangible change.

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