Friday, October 22, 2010

Barack Obama Says

It gets better;

5 comments:

John Marcher said...

Beautiful!

winpal said...

Dan Savage places this in an important context in a CNN interview. I continue to hope the president's actions will soon match his welcome rhetoric, but thus far he has fallen short on many promises made.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7OLsMqwhzA

paulhmuller said...

I agree that bullying is inexcusable but I'm not sure this is the message against it.

Those who have studied the issue point to statistics that show suicide by gay teenagers is no higher than for all teenagers, and that gay teenagers cope with bullies about as well as all teenagers. (Cornell Univ study by Ritchie Savin-Williams)

So my question is: doesn't the 'It Gets Better' message play into the hands of those who see being gay as a character flaw? Are we not reinforcing the perceived vulnerability of gay teenagers? Shouldn't the message be 'you are strong enough to stand up to this?'

What if girls were being bullied for being in math class? Would the best message be: "we understand that you are weak and vulnerable; 'it will get better'?"

Why not 'back off jack'?

Lisa Hirsch said...

1. That would be the only study that says gay teens commit suicide at the same rate as other teens. Gay kids ARE more vulnerable than straight kids.

2. No, this does not play into the hands of people who think being gay is a character or other type of flaw.

3. Obama's message is against any kind of bullying.

4. The message isn't that gay kids are weak and vulnerable. It's that they are not alone, help is available to them if they're being bullied or if they just feel alone.

paulhmuller said...

Lisa, thanks for the thoughtful reply.

Here is a summary of what Ritch Savin-Williams, director of Cornell's Sex & Gender Lab, has said on the subject.

http://sify.com/news/no-scientific-evidence-of-gay-youth-suicide-epidemic-news-international-kkrpagjdcad.html

I suppose we can disagree on your #2 and #4 without disagreeing on the need for full acceptance of everyone's sexual orientation.