Archive for May, 2012

Why do women have sex?

Anyone who knows me off the internets knows that I love to read. It’s more like a compulsion than a hobby. It started when I was young, reading a from a 1970s-era volume of The Encyclopedia Brittanica at home during the summer (I can’t tell you how bummed out I am that they won’t be printing them anymore) and quickly morphed into me reading Slam Magazine when I was supposed to be paying attention in class during my free time at school.

So with that said, it should come as no surprise that one of my favorite places in the world is the library. I usually go at least twice a month, and generally pick up more books than I should. I’m the type of person that gets bored pretty easily, even if I like a book, so I tend to read three or four books at a time. Since I currently have two books I’m not ready to return, I limited myself to just two books tonight.

One of those books was “Why Women Have Sex.” Being a heterosexual man, it immediately caught my attention. The book takes a scientific and emotional look at the underlying sexual motivations of women using a series of professional studies and interviews with real women. The combination of candid responses and scientific evidence has made  for an interesting first chapter so far.

The first chapter deals with factors that contribute to sexual attraction. On the surface, it’s nothing too earth shattering. Women like tall men who smell pleasant, have masculine faces, deep voices and wide shoulders. But this is where the research fills in the gaps, adding analytical pieces about why women are physiologically resistant to men whose chemical balance closely resembles their own. Pretty heavy stuff.

As I continue to delve in the book, I’ll share my thoughts. But in the meantime, share yours with me. Ladies, why do you have sex? Be candid, there’s  no judgement on this blog. Speak up!

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The front page of today’s Statesville Record & Landmark.

This is the front page story from my hometown newspaper, The Statesville Record and Landmark. As you can imagine, it’s elicited quite a response in the community and on social media. This “White Unity” event is ironically set to take place in a small town called Harmony. I guess they forgot to poll the Black folks.

Growing up in that part of the country in the 1990s and 2000s, I can’t say that I ever saw any explicit Klan activity. Every now and then the old folks would talk about the Klan marching downtown or something, but it seemed like something from the history books. But as they say, history repeats itself.

Some are angry at the paper for placing the story on the front page, above the fold. They say it’s as if the paper is endorsing the rally. I can see how someone would look at this on the front page and think that, but inside the paper there is an editorial titled “Evil in our midst can’t be ignored,” which states the editorial opinion that people need to see what hate looks like in 2012. I totally agree.

For those who think with an African-American president in the White House we are in a post-racial society, this may come as a shock. For others, this is sad confirmation of the fact that we have a long way to go before all people are truly equal in this nation. For those who only now feel compelled to speak out about , it’s about damn time! But we must realize that the regressive policies currently being instituted by conservatives on the local, state and federal levels are more destructive than any gathering of backyard bigot barbeque could ever be. We progressives cannot fall asleep at the wheel like we did during the 2010 election cycle this year. Not with so much at stake. Stay vigilant and stay up. I’m out…

Sup folks? Today was the start of a new chapter in my professional life. It was the first day of my new job. The first day of a new job is kind of like the first day of school. You pick out your best clothes and stay up all night long, wondering if you’ll fit in.

Luckily, everything was great. Everyone was really friendly and helpful, and it all seemed very genuine. I think I’m going to be very happy. But if I had to pick the highlight of my day, it was the conversation I had with the HR associate who interviewed me over the phone. She told me that what stuck out about me was how I talked about my former place of employment. She said she’d interviewed several potential candidates from the same job and all of them had plenty to say about the company. None of it good.

“But you didn’t say anything negative about it, and that really impressed me.”

This is not to elevate myself above those other interviewees, because honestly, the things they said were true. I’ve felt exactly the way that they’ve felt many times. But my mother used to always tell me, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” That was one lesson out of many that I try to help guide me on this journey called life, and like pretty much everything else she’s taught me, it turned out to be right. Mother really does know best!

Rev. Patrick Wooden of Raleigh’s Upper Room Church of God In Christ talks to reporters about North Carolina’s vote on an amendment banning gay marriage.

So a conservative group called The National Organization of Marriage is trying to capitalize on the wedge between African-Americans and gay rights groups. Any half-way conscious person could have seen this happening as a vote on an amendment to define marriage exclusively between one man and one woman. Especially in the Tarheel State. Below is an excerpt from The Atlantic.

Anchoring the push are pro-Amendment 1 black clerics from North Carolina and around the nation with strong ties to NOM, such as Maryland’s Bishop Harry R. Jackson, who’s also leading the effort to overturn his own state’s recent law granting gays the right to marry, and Philadelphia-based Rev. Herbert Lusk, who appears in one of NOM’s latest video campaigns, “Is Gay Marriage a Civil Right? African-American and Latino Leaders Speak Out.” In April, Rev. George D. McKinney of San Diego helped launched an initiative for NOM with the Coalition of African American Pastors to collect 100,000 signatures around the country on behalf of keeping marriage something restricted to opposite-sex couples in North Carolina.

No pastor, however, has advocated as strongly for Amendment 1 as Rev. Patrick Wooden of The Upper Room Church of God in Christ — a 3,000-member African-American congregation in Raleigh, N.C. Appearing everywhere from NOM-led rallies to its latest video, Wooden — who has an extensive history of homophobic outbursts — has become an eager public face for NOM’s divisive strategy. Along the way, he’s become a sound-bite ready foil for the large number of prominent black pastors campaigning against Amendment 1 — including Rev. William Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP.

Usually I’m pretty closed mouthed on issues like this. But I have to speak on this one. As a North Carolinian. As a Democrat. And as a Christian.Coming up in church, I was taught that homosexuality was a sin. Everyone around me agreed and there was no debate about it whatsoever. Living in a small, Southern town there were very few openly gay people so my exposure to them was limited until college. Since then, I’ve interacted with many in the LGBT community at work, school and, yes, even in church.

Based off what I read in the Bible, there’s no two ways about it: homosexuality is a sin. Leviticus 18:22 states “‘Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.” However, gluttony, gossiping, lying and of course, fornication are also listed as sins. Now how many people can say they’ve never committed these sins? Kinda quiet, huh?

Using the law of the land to legislate morality is a tricky proposition with a spotty history. Especially in North Carolina, where over 7,600 people, mostly poor African-American women were sterilized against their own will. The law officially allowed sterilization for birth defects or mental illness, but more often than not, the reasons ranged from homosexuality to promiscuity. If it happened once, it can happen again. North Carolina has come a long way from being the home of Jesse Helms, but the current Republican legislature seems hell bent on bringing us back to “the good ole’ days.”

If your beliefs about this issue are shaped by Biblical views, than you cannot ignore Ephesians 6:12.

“For our struggle is not against human opponents, but against rulers, authorities, cosmic powers in the darkness around us, and evil spiritual forces in the heavenly realm.”

Sounds to me that the energy being used to fight against the individuals who live this lifestyle would better be used in prayer and showing love to all people. If you feel that the souls of the LGBT community are in danger and are truly concerned about their souls, you must treat them with open arms and allow God to work on them with regard to the changes that they need to make. Politically, I’m far more concerned with how the Republican-led legislature has cut funding in North Carolina’s schools while cutting taxes and gerrymandering voting districts to gain political power. The same people who are in support of this act are the same people who support the politicians that would hurt the majority of the African-American community and tear down the progress that we’ve already made. I’ll leave the soul judging to God.