Updates in the World of Social Justice

Hello again my feisty femmes/ women’s center readers!

I’m sure all one of you have been eagerly awaiting my fall semester debut, and were less than pleased when I stood you up that infamous Thursday the 29th.  Alas, I am not too great with the calendars; I’d thought our date was for next Thursday.  And the other time I had a paper due. And then I just got lazy.  But do not despair!  I’ve arrived on the blog scene at last, with some important updates in tow about the MN Marriage amendment, Saudi Arabian women´s rights, and my own little (only kinda) crazy adventures.

To begin with the good news, this Saturday October 15th is The Big Gay Race, a 5k the pro-gay rights, anti-MN marriage amendment folks are running to raise awareness and money for their November 2012 ballot box battle.  Although I’ve barely run half a mile since my senior year of high school, I’ll be enthusiastically jog-walking the whole competition through to show my support for the gay marriage cause; we’re not letting NOM seduce this state’s voters with their underhanded tactics!  In case anyone is interested and has the Saturday morning to spare, registration is still open for $30 if you sign up before midnight on Friday and $35 on race day.  And yes I realize we’re all poor college students and the price is a little steep, but keep in mind this money is going toward helping our LGBT friends and ensuring that homophobia doesn’t triumph over our beloved state’s “Minnesota Nice” values of tolerance and equality.  So go ahead: press that registration button; it’ll be worth it if we can prove the latest polls right (55% of Minnesotan opposed the amendment in a May 2011 Star Tribune poll).

Meanwhile, in other parts of the world, equality activists are winning smaller, more delicate victories.  As anyone who follows World News and/or the Daily Show already knows, King Abdullah is bringing democracy to Saudi Arabia one royal decree at a time; Saudi women will be able vote and run in municipal elections as of 2015.  But lest you missed the sarcasm, the royal decree is hardly a guarantee that the Saudi nation is finally embracing women’s rights.  For one, a royal decree can be postponed or annulled at any time by the King, unlike the dependable voting rights amendments of the U.S. Constitution.  Yet more to the point, it’s hardly practical to give Saudi women the right to vote when they still lack the right to drive, travel without a male guardian, or any other basic freedom to live independently.  How can poor women make it to the voting booth if they can’t afford a male chauffeur to drive them?  How can women in patriarchal families run for municipal elections when their male guardians won’t even let them out of the house?  As usual, the Onion’s spin on this supposedly progressive decree hits the truth right on the nose; the decree is at best a symbolic victory, a superficial move designed to show the King’s alignment with women’s rights without actual giving Saudi women said rights. The Great Appeaser King Abdullah is indeed a talented politician.

Finally, I know I promised you guys some crazy adventures.  But my tales of woe and societal expectations would take at least another 1.5 pages, so I think I’ll leave you all in suspense for now.   Everyone loves cliff-hanger endings, right?

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