Is America changing?

Amazing stuff that happened this week

In case you’ve been heads down under a rock this week, its been quite a ride in the whole ‘making shit happening’ space.

  • Texan Wendy Davis, filibustered for 13 hours to prevent an anti-abortion bill passing (supported by hundreds upon hundreds of women and men – actually 80% of the Texan population since it would close down the majority of clinics that offer services in Texas)
  • DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) and Proposition 8 were declared unconstitutional, blowing a hole in the levee that has prevented same sex marriage in the US across most states
  • Anthony Weiner, the guy who emailed some photos of his junk to a stranger via craigslist was named the ‘official front runner’ of the New York Mayoral race, reinforcing the norm that ‘we all take embarrassing pictures’ (though I’m not sure all of us send them to strangers on craigslist)
  • Paula Deen, the beloved Southern Belle of  cooking shows, whose butter fried butter has earned her multi-millions, was fired from her show for saying the following in a deposition;  “Well what I would really like is a bunch of little niggers to wear long-sleeve white shirts, black shorts and black bow ties, you know in the Shirley Temple days, they used to tap dance around” (no, I am not kidding)
  • And slightly less widely know, in Colorado Springs (home of Focus on the Family and Ted Haggard), a 6 yr old transgender student is finally allowed to use the bathroom with the picture of the lady on it, even though she has boy parts. Awwwww.

Which is a really long, roundabout way of saying ‘holy shit, I think America is changing’.

Of course change is a series of very small steps taking place over a long period of time, and this week, its all just headlines. There are still bills to pass, elections to win, more bills to fight and I’m sure that 6 year old is going to have more problems than toilets as she grows up.  But.. wow.. in a week where those in charge actually seemed to listen, or be forced to listen, or be unable to speak over the lady speaking in her sneakers (which made me so damn happy for some reason)… well its seems like some shit gone done this week.

Attitudes don’t change fast.. but they do change, and this week it’s fairly clear that in my lifetime, it just might be possible for most people to think that being gay isn’t a choice or a sign of possession by the devil. That talking about the ‘romance’ of slavery won’t be tolerated and that who knows.. one day women might get to decide what happens in their uterus. What’s next? Admitting that monogamy is tough, we all have sex (some of us less than we’d like, ahem), and we all make mistakes? Sure not?

In fact last month, Mark Sanford, he of the ‘hiking the Appalachian trail’ all the way to Argentina for some nooky, was reelected to the Senate, newly engaged to his soul mate, María Belén Chapur (apparently he found her while hiking). And if Anthony Weiner wins the NYC mayoral vote, it seems that the relic of marital perfection might be on its way to retirement too.  Which might be good news for Hilary’s future prospects for the big chair.

FYI: Ladies – don’t get too comfortable and think you can sit down for a bit. We do still have a few things to do.  Like equal pay across genders, unfair dismissal on the basis of sexual orientation, yes, that darn uterus thing and of course, the alarming trend of rape as ‘funny’.
But for this weekend, I’m going to crack a beer and mentally high five the ladies and men who made shit happen this week in America. I am delighted that I got to see it all unfold and I know there will be a lot of very happy (and unhappy) folks around celebrating Independence Day next week.  I for one will be celebrating my first 4th as an actual American.. and I can’t think of a better year to be doing it in.

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