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Burning Bras

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Recently I asked the Gods and Goddesses for a time machine so I could go back to the 60s and burn my bra forever. But that’s not going to happen — mainly because of the pesky time thing.

And the fact that the other day, my doctor told me my chronic chest pain might improve if I wore a bra 24/7. I gave her an icy look that could have melted the Wicked Witch of the West. She then offered pain pills as another option. I drove the hell out of there with a bottle of them, wanting to never return again.

Bras are suffocating and binding and they really need to stop being designed by men — especially the non-drag queen ones. Then again, I’d take a bra over having my clit removed and my vagina sowed shut, a custom that is still practiced Africa and all over the world, really. Surprisingly, a lot of the world hasn’t gotten completely away from the idea that a woman has one fewer rib, or a lot of other bad ideas inspired by the Bible.

Women were nothing but possessions during Biblical times, and it’s ridiculous that people still refer to this holy, out-of-date book of wars and genocide to limit women’s power and our choices. This book is a big reason why we have so many toxic ideas about gender—like the fact that calling a man a woman is a grave insult. Maybe its time we ditched and burned this rusty old book or at least put it in its place.

Feminism needs to fire up its grill again. Because as long as our society continues to devalue women, gay rights — or as I prefer to call it, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights — will never be fully realized. Also, if we could make society more equal for everyone, women might stop being five more times likely to attempt suicide, especially in the Beehive State where prescriptions for anti-depressants are common.

The fact that the term gay rights leaves out women is also a huge problem. As a pre-teen and teenager with the high bangs, I read and re-read the Book of Mormon twenty times. I didn’t think the references to ‘he’ and ‘men’ had anything to do with me because I was a ‘she’ and a ‘girl.’ The same goes when I hear ‘gay’ pride or ‘gay’ rights. I wonder if I’m really fighting so hard for me, my rights and my freedom to be a lesbian, or if I’m merely fighting for gay men. Don’t get me wrong. Even if it was only gay men, I’d still fight. I want equality for all, but I want the feminist movement to be included. I don’t want to keep feeling like I belong to an invisible gender — and it has got to be worse for individuals who don’t clearly fit in either the ‘male’ or ‘female’ categories. There’s nothing worse than being blatantly ignored, disrespected and degraded.

Until it’s OK to be a woman it is never going to be OK to be a feminine gay man. If being called a woman is still an insult, after all, it’s also an insult to be a man who sleeps with another man (you know, like a woman should), or a man who has any feminine characteristics. And that hurts all of us.

Women need to have the opportunity to be president, partners and founders. We can’t just step in or fall in line as the general patriarchy community of Utah has trained so many women to do, and so many men to encourage. For example, I had a man tell me recently that I need to keep my mouth shut and step in line. He wasn’t OK with me having a mind of my own about the progressive political movement. We need women who will speak up about what they need, too: not more Gale Ruzickas, but definitely more Claudia Wrights.

In order for the fight for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights to further move along, we can’t leave key members behind, even if they can’t dance, and God has not blessed me with the pleasure of rhythm. I tend to move to my own tune and, really, there’s nothing wrong with that. I want to jump in another time machine to see the day women have all the same choices as those with certain other parts.

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