March 23, 2012 archive

Mar 23

Transwomen Incarcerated

Back in 1984 Calvin Burdine was convicted in the stabbing death of his gay lover, who had been trying to pimp him out.  The prosecuting attorney asked the jury to award Burdine the death penalty rather than life in prison, claiming that sending a gay man to prison was like sending a kid to a candy store.  

The jury agreed in only 17 minutes.  The judge also thought it sounded reasonable.

Fortunately, Calvin got a new trial since his public defender slept through the first one.

How ugly is that?

The reality that GLBT people experience in prison is far removed from the myth.  A young man named Rodney tells it like it is here.

I’ve heard before that ‘jail is a faggot’s dream.’ I assure you that clich├ę is not the case. Gay men who do not attempt to hide their sexuality are forced into passive and submissive roles. To live with some standard of equality, we have to trade in our manhood. We are completely emasculated. It’s a form of technical castration. The role of woman is forced upon us and any rebuttal is considered a sign of disrespect. My way of thinking about myself and my sexuality has been permanently altered.

–Rodney

And if that is how gay men are treated in prison, can you imagine the life of a transwoman sent to a men’s prison?  

Mar 23

Today on The Stars Hollow Gazette

Our regular featured content-

These featured articles-

Join us this evening for more March Madness

This is an Open Thread

The Stars Hollow Gazette

Mar 23

Cartnoon

Crusader vs. the Pirates

Crusader Rabbit Crusade 2 Episode 16

Open Thread

Mar 23

Democrats Are Trying To Scare Women?

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

At least, that’s the party line according Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA) who appeared along with Democratic Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon (IL) on “Hardball with Chis Matthews.”  That was her rote answer to Matthews questions about the recent legislation that has been passed through Republican state legislatures, radically restricting a woman’s legal right to seek an abortion and health care. I’m no fan of Chris Matthews but no matter how hard he tried to get her to answer his question, she evaded him repeatedly saying that it wasn’t the main issue for women. There was feint praise in Matthew’s words at the end when he thanked her from coming on his show and said she was “brilliant”. She sure was, at evading the issue.

Mar 23

On This Day In History March 23

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

March 23 is the 82nd day of the year (83rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 283 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1775, Patrick Henry voices American opposition to British policy

During a speech before the second Virginia Convention, Patrick Henry responds to the increasingly oppressive British rule over the American colonies by declaring, “I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!” Following the signing of the American Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, Patrick Henry was appointed governor of Virginia by the Continental Congress.

Patrick Henry (May 29, 1736 – June 6, 1799) was an orator and politician who led the movement for independence in Virginia in the 1770s. A Founding Father, he served as the first and sixth post-colonial Governor of Virginia from 1776 to 1779 and subsequently, from 1784 to 1786. Henry led the opposition to the Stamp Act of 1765 and is well remembered for his “Give me Liberty, or give me Death!” speech. Along with Samuel Adams and Thomas Paine, he is remembered as one of the most influential exponents of Republicanism, promoters of the American Revolution and Independence, especially in his denunciations of corruption in government officials and his defense of historic rights. After the Revolution, Henry was a leader of the anti-federalists in Virginia who opposed the United States Constitution, fearing that it endangered the rights of the States, as well as the freedoms of individuals.

American Revolution

Responding to pleas from Massachusetts that the colonies create committees of correspondence to coordinate their reaction to the British, Henry took the lead in Virginia. In March 1773, along with Thomas Jefferson and Richard Henry Lee, Henry led the Virginia House of Burgesses to adopt resolutions providing for a standing committee of correspondents. Each colony set up such committees, and they led to the formation of the First Continental Congress in 1774, to which Henry was elected.

Patrick Henry is best known for the speech he made in the House of Burgesses on March 23, 1775, in Saint John’s Church in Richmond, Virginia. The House was undecided on whether to mobilize for military action against the encroaching British military force, and Henry argued in favor of mobilization. Forty-two years later, Henry’s first biographer, William Wirt, working from oral testimony, attempted to reconstruct what Henry said. According to Wirt, Henry ended his speech with words that have since become immortalized:

“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, Give me Liberty, or give me Death!”

The crowd, by Wirt’s account, jumped up and shouted “To Arms! To Arms!”. For 160 years Wirt’s account was taken at face value, but in the 1970s historians began to question the authenticity of Wirt’s reconstruction.[8] Historians today observe that Henry was known to have used fear of Indian and slave revolts in promoting military action against the British, and that according to the only written first-hand account of the speech, Henry used some graphic name-calling that failed to appear in Wirt’s heroic rendition.

In August 1775, Henry became colonel of the 1st Virginia Regiment. At the outset of the Revolutionary War, Henry led militia against Royal Governor Lord Dunmore in defense of some disputed gunpowder, an event known as the Gunpowder Incident. During the war he served as the first post-colonial Governor of Virginia and presided over several expeditions against the Cherokee Indians, who were allied with the British.

Henry lived during part of the War at his 10,000-acre Leatherwood Plantation in Henry County, Virginia, where he, his first cousin Ann Winston Carr and her husband Col. George Waller had settled. During the five years Henry lived at Leatherwood, from 1779 to 1784, he owned 75 slaves, and grew tobacco. During this time, he kept in close touch with his friend the explorer Joseph Martin, whom Henry had appointed agent to the Cherokee nation, and with whom Henry sometimes invested in real estate, and for whom the county seat of Henry County was later named.

In early November 1775 Henry and James Madison were elected founding trustees of Hampden-Sydney College, which opened for classes on November 10. He remained a trustee until his death in 1799. Henry was instrumental in achieving passage of the College’s Charter of 1783, an action delayed because of the war. He is probably the author of the Oath of Loyalty to the new Republic included in that charter. Seven of his sons attended the new college.

Mar 23

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning


Twirl 3

Mar 23

Late Night Karaoke

Mar 23

Anne Hutchinson, Religious Freedom, Activist

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Recently, I was driving along the Hutchinson River Parkway to pick up a friend who was in town and meet up with another friend for dinner in the area. It was a lovely warm evening and during the the drive we talked about the historic significance of the region. Dinner was fun and after dropping my friend at his hotel, I followed my usual route back to NYC that closely hugs the Hutchison River as it winds through the Bronx. As I was preparing my daily open thread, On This Day In History, I came across this Wikipedia entry for Anne Hutchinson for whom the river and parkway are named:

1638 – Anne Hutchinson is expelled from Massachusetts Bay Colony for religious dissent.

Anne Hutchinson (1591-1643) was one of the most prominent women in colonial America, noted for her strong religious convictions, and for her stand against the staunch religious orthodoxy of 17th century Massachusetts. She was a Puritan whose religious ideas were at odds with the established Puritan clergy in the Boston area, and her popularity and charisma created a schism in the Boston church which threatened to destroy the Puritans’ religious experiment in New England. Creating the most challenging situation for the ruling magistrates and ministers during her first three years in Boston, she was eventually tried and convicted, then banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony with many of her followers. [..]

In 1634, after the birth of her 14th child, Hutchinson followed (John) Cotton to New England with her husband and 11 living children, and soon became well established in the growing settlement of Boston, in the English colonies. She was a midwife, and very helpful to those needing her assistance, as well as being very forthcoming with her personal religious opinions and understandings. Soon she was hosting women at her house once a week, providing commentary on recent sermons, and sharing her religious views, including criticism of many local ministers. These meetings became so popular, that she soon began offering meetings to men as well, to include the young governor of the colony, Harry Vane, and over 60 people a week were visiting her house to learn from her interpretations and views of religious matters. As a follower of Cotton, she espoused a “covenant of grace,” while accusing all of the local ministers (except for Cotton and her husband’s brother-in-law, John Wheelwright) of preaching a “covenant of works.” Several ministers complained about Hutchinson to John Winthrop, who served several terms as governor of the colony, and eventually the situation erupted into what is known as the Antinomian Controversy, resulting in Hutchinson’s 1637 trial, conviction, and banishment from the colony.

She was quite the activist for her day and stood trial for heresy, literally standing throughout the proceedings while, in what was believed, to be an advanced stage of pregnancy. She faced two trials, civil and church, and was expelled from Massachusetts by Gov. John Winthrop after being convicted by the church on March 22, 1638.

After her conviction, Anne. along with her husband, children and some of her followers, with the encouragement of Roger Williams, established the colony of Portsmouth “in what would become the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations:”

During Hutchinson’s imprisonment, several of her supporters prepared to leave the colony and settle elsewhere. A group of her followers, including her husband Will, met on 7 March 1638, at the home of the wealthy Boston merchant William Coddington. Ultimately 23 men signed what is known as the Portsmouth Compact, forming themselves into a “Bodie Politick” and electing Coddington as their governor, but giving him the Biblical title of “judge.” Of the signers, 19 of them initially planned to move to New Jersey or Long Island, but Roger Williams convinced them to settle in the area of his Providence Plantations settlement. Coddington purchased Aquidneck Island, in the Narragansett Bay, from the Narragansetts and the settlement of Pocasset (soon renamed Portsmouth) was founded. Anne Hutchinson followed in April, after the conclusion of her church trial.

Hutchinson, her children, and others accompanying her traveled for more than six days by foot in the April snow to get from Boston to Roger Williams’ settlement at Providence. They then took boats to get to Aquidneck Island, where many men had gone ahead of them to begin constructing houses. In the second week of April, she reunited with her husband, from whom she had been separated for nearly six months. [..]

She lived there for a few years, but after her husband’s death, threats of Massachusetts taking over Rhode Island compelled her to move totally outside the reach of Boston, into the lands of the Dutch. Sometime in 1642 she settled with her younger children in New Netherland near an ancient landmark called Split Rock in what would later become Bronx, New York City. Here she had a home built, but tensions with the native Siwanoy were high, and following inhumane treatment by the Dutch, the natives went on a series of rampages known as Kieft’s War, and in August 1643, all but one of the 16 members of Hutchinson’s household were massacred during an attack. The lone survivor, nine-year old Susanna Hutchinson, was taken captive, and held for several years before being returned to family members in Boston.

Hutchinson is a key figure in the study of the development of religious freedom in England’s American colonies and the history of women in ministry. She challenged the authority of the ministers, exposing the subordination of women in the culture of colonial Massachusetts. Although her religious ideas remain controversial, her implicit rejection of state authority to prescribe specific religious rites and interpretations, was later enshrined in the American Constitution. Massachusetts honors her with a State House monument calling her a “courageous exponent of civil liberty and religious toleration.”

The inscription on the base of the statue in front of the State House in Boston, Massachusetts that honors Anne and her daughter, Suzanna reads:



IN MEMORY OF

ANNE MARBURY HUTCHINSON

BAPTIZED AT ALFORD

LINCOLNSHIRE ENGLAND

20 JULY 1595 [sic]

KILLED BY THE INDIANS

AT EAST CHESTER NEW YORK 1643

COURAGEOUS EXPONENT

OF CIVIL LIBERTY

AND RELIGIOUS TOLERATION

Click on image to enlarge

Beside being one of the few women who have a river named for them, Anne Hutchinson is thought to be the basis for the character of Hester Prynne in Nathaniel Hawthorne‘s The Scarlet Letter. The parallel being “that Hutchinson is the heretic who metaphorically seduces the Puritan community, while in Hawthorne’s novel Hester Pyrnne literally seduces the minister of her community.”

Considering the recent debate over women’s access to health care and our First Amendment rights, remembering the early history of religion and the role that women played is a reminder that this conversation has been going on for a lont time.