Misinformation campaign

egg journey
Originally uploaded by Liz Henry.

Glurge, or syrupy-dumb forwarded email, annoys me. Yesterday I got hate glurge from someone on my local mothers’ club mailing list. It pretends to be a call to action to save California public school systems from an evil plot to reprint every K-12 textbook, replacing the word “mom” with “sperm receiver” and the word “dad” with “sperm donor”. Because that’s just how radical our state government is! (?)

Dude. No self-respecting feminist queer would call bio-moms “sperm receivers”. We’d call them “egg producers,” with extensive disclaimers and complications. That was a joke, people… Anyway, the hate glurge needs contradicting, so if you see it, let people know it’s bull. (And point out that it’s made up on purpose to create misunderstanding.)

I sent a diplomatic reply to the group, debunking the hate glurge, pointing out that it’s hateful and manipulative, & linking to the real information and the text of the bill, California SB 1437, with analysis. It’s about positive role models and representation.

But over on the truly scary Concerned Women of America site, you can see a photo of a young girl (looking about 25, with prairie girl braids) who apparently opened her copy of “Fun with Phonics” to find herself looking at the GLBTQ equivalent of first tubgirl instead of, like, a sweet story of male penguins raising a baby penguin chick.

The thing is, I’m still mad as hell. Angry and sad.

Who believes this stuff? Who is really that dumb? Do they not have two brain cells to rub together? Are they really writing the Governor’s office in outrage – so that they can get tallied up as a tick mark on the “list of gullible idiots”? And what of the people who made up this piece of disingenuous propaganda?

My friend Ep sent her own reply to the list, telling it like it is and calling it what it is: “a particularly appalling piece of homophobic paranoia.” Hey, good cop and bad cop switched places! What happened? Why didn’t I rant? I’m so grateful that my friend did. We can always count on her cutting intelligence and her beautiful crankiness.

I’m feeling sad this week that I’m walking around in my own community with people who think I shouldn’t exist and shouldn’t be a parent. At the same time I find myself glad when they’re public with their hate, so I know who they are.

It gets me where it hurts. It would have made my life different to have had some positive images of gay and lesbian people in my education. (Not that I’m ungrateful to Martina Navratilova, Joan Jett, or Wendy and Lisa, icons of my early youth.)

These haters are saying to me – me personally – “I don’t want my children, or anyone’s children, to know you exist.” To those women who are bigoted and driven by fear, or to the ones who are just ignorant and don’t know any better, I want to ask them to talk to someone in PFLAG, in COLAGE, before they decide to diss other families.

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8 Responses to Misinformation campaign

  1. Jo says:

    It also seems like part of the "I don't want my children to know you exist" is an implied "I don't want my children to stray over to YOUR lifestyle," as if finding out about LGBTs sets off some kind of chain reaction, since, of course, every child WANTS to be queer, is just waiting for the suggestion, and must be protected from him or herself.

  2. Mary Tsao says:

    This sucks. Also, that we had so few lesbian and gay role models when we were younger that Wendy and Lisa count. Because my aunt was openly gay, I had more lesbian and gay role models, but they typically were musicians, too.I do enjoy every post you and Squid write about telling your mothers club mailing list what life is like outside the bubble. I have to believe that you three (including Ep) are personally responsible for many an enlightened moment in these local moms's lives.

  3. badgermama says:

    Jo: yeah, that is a very strange part of the message. Mary: Unfortunately I'm aware that I'm annoying lots of people in the club by speaking up consistently on this and other issues. I don't think I'm enlightening anyone, but respond because I feel like I have to – it's sort of a compulsion. It's the completely alienated people I'm talking to, so that they know they're not the only ones who just got pissed off.Today another mom wrote to the list and got super mad and *gasp* cussed and called bullshit on the original poster. (That made my day!!!) And some more emaily drama went down. It looks now to be more complicated, as the original email forwarder was sending it to the group hoping someone would calmly debunk it in front of a close friend also on the list but perhaps a bit closed-minded. So, more of a "surely this can't possibly be true?" forward. And she thanked me on the list for giving personal examples from my life and not gettin mad. (But… I *was* mad. Inside.) How convoluted! Love how the original poster gets to process her defensiveness about her own possible 'phobe status, but I don't get to get mad in public about the original obnoxiouness of sending out the nasty email. It's so backwards.

  4. bwb says:

    So glad you made this post!!! I hate the culture that justifies homophobia for 'the sake of the children' — hate is hate!! The whole homophobification of parenting has been an issue for us as we adopt — our family circle of support includes same sex couples and we found agencies and birth parents who were NOT at all OK with that and we refuse to participate in making our friends and family invisible. Anyway, starting to rant and should do that on my own band frequency. Thanks again!!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Liz here from I Speak of Dreams. At least you were there to calmly debunk. Like Mary says, "life outside the bubble". It's the culture of fear — the same thing that's driving the passage of DOPA.A issue came up in SoCal in 2004, in the Westminster School District. (I wrote about it here and here. There the school board defied California law relative to new definitions of gender. To change the subject a bit–do you suppose that your mom's group has more or less email drama than most? I've heard such stories from you & Squid…I wonder if it a feature of mom's groups, or if it is specific to this area.

  6. badgermama says:

    Hey Liz – No I don't think it's at all a high level of flame. It's actually pretty low drama for any kind of email list!

  7. squid says:

    I'm still seething over this. I get rabid when people lob hate grenades–even in ignorance and stupidy, as she so lengthily confessed–and then reframe themselves as victims the moment someone dares to call them on their actions.I wish I'd been as diplomatic as you. No one listens to the humorless gibberers at the poles. I believe that helpful, friendly, and informative responses like you wrote really do influence people who've not given their position much thought. As for the original poster, she is a registered vindictive ignoramus who sends Ep personal hate mail all the time. She deserves no one's sympathy.

  8. squid says:

    That would be "stupidITy." The irony is not lost on me.