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February 28, 2005

May I offer NYC gay men my thanks for...
added: 02-28-2005 12:00:00AM | link | comments: 1 reply

Doing in one evening what sex-positive feminists have tried to accomplish over two decades? Namely, putting Catherine McKinnon in her place. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Speaking again of Inside Deep Throat, I suppose you could read this New Yorker review and skip the movie, but it hasn't dampened my curiosity for the film. First, all pop-culture documentaries run the risk of getting a little too self-congratulatory in their expert commentaries, but one has to remember the tenor of its times. Remember "if it feels good, do it"? Or "honk if you're horny"? It was a self-congratulatory time when it came to throwing off the shackles of sexual repression and the '70s was smack-dab in the middle of the window of brief hedonistic hope we all had before the cloud of HIV casted its shadow.

As well, I'm pretty fascinated by an endeavor that might've been little more than a lark on the part of its makers (mob money aside) that turned into a phenomenon. How did that transformation occur? And you know who I'd love to hear from about this moment in time? Author Samuel R. Delany. He loved the gritty Times Square and its porn theater culture, so much so that he strikes me as the Walt Whitman of Times Square, documenting the democratizing effect that porn theaters had its clientele. I'd love to know what he thinks of Deep Throat chic then and now.

BTW, a better read than the Deep Throat review: Francine du Plessix Gray's memoir-laced review of Rachel Shteir’s Striptease: The Untold History of the Girlie Show. Ms. du Plessix Gray is best known for authoring At Home With the Marquis de Sade and this piece is a riveting recollection of by-gone days. (Kudos to Lily Burana. That her book, Strip City: A Stripper’s Farewell Journey Across America, would figure prominently in the discussion four years after its publication is the kind of staying power that writers pray for. When I read Lily's book years ago, I went into with a skeptic's eye and came out a believer.)

On the home front: Here in Connecticut, progressive, forward-thinking lawmakers have passed a civil union bill through its legislative committee and it's expected to pass. I know a lot of marriage equality folks aren't happy with it, but lawmakers know they can pass this and have given notice that it's only a first step in an ongoing effort. I know it could become a trap, much as it has in Vermont, but consider this: We'll be the first state to say civil equality is valuable enough to codify into law -- without court action.

As I write this, I'm reading a historical summary of Griswold v. Connecticut. The effort to legalize contraceptive practices started in the 1930s and took thirty years to resolve, ultimately via the U.S. Supreme Court because Connecticut legislators were too blue-nosed and religious to allow people legal access to family planning and the personal freedom to use birth control devices. That we stand poised to provide civil equality in less than a decade's time of lobbying for it -- and without court intervention -- is real progress. It may not be enough, but it's real progress.



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