Showing posts from July, 2013

Public Peeing: A Case for Gender Desegregation

I just wrote a scene about a topic near and dear all our hearts: public bathrooms. Below is an excerpt from my book.
“Yeah, so how come girls and boys have different bathrooms?” Josh thought for a time. “I don’t know for sure,” she said. “But I read about it in the Twelve’s* books. I think they did it and we inherited it from them. You know we live in buildings they built and use sewer systems they fashioned.” Garyn shook her head. “Well, we do. We owe our infrastructure to the Twelves. They were great builders and developers. Not so great at taking care of each other, but you know that…I guess they thought women and men should pee separately.” “Why?” Garyn persisted. “We don’t eat in separate places.” “I don’t know, Garyn,” she said finally. “…I do know the Twelves thought a lot about sex. I think they were worried they wouldn’t be able to control themselves if they knew the person right next to them was only half-clothed.” Lynna snorted. “What about onesex or allsex people? They thought…

An Amateurish Decoding of the SCOTUS's DOMA Ruling

On June 26, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) voted down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). If you’re unclear on just what the heck DOMA is, here’s a very short and incomplete summary of it: In 1996, the U.S. Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act, which effectively defined marriage as something that can only occur when the spouses-to-be have one vagina and one penis apiece. Section 2 of DOMA allows states and other entities to ignore same-sex marriages performed in, and legally recognized by, other states. Section 3 effectively stated the federal government would not recognize or honor same-sex marriage, no matter which states legalized it.
Let’s put wheels on these dry explanations. Say Maria and Rose tied the knot in Massachusetts in 2005 and then moved, for some perverse reason, to my home state, Idaho. Under DOMA, Idaho is not required to regard them as married or to ensure they receive the same state benefits they enjoyed in Massachusetts (Section…

Bustin' Some Welfare Myths

In my classrooms, and sometimes on Facebook, a topic comes up so predictably and with such frequency I can almost mouth the words as they begin to emerge from students’ earnest mouths: Gotta watch those those welfare recipients to ensure they don't Abuse the System©. The thing is, I don't know if they know they're the very recipients we should be watching.
Yeah, you heard right: welfare. I’m not going to pretty it up by saying “recipients of social assistance” or “family assistance.” I’m going old school and using the most emotional language I can: Welfare. Recipients.
Full disclosure, as bloggers are wont to do: I grew up on welfare. When I was four, my mother grabbed my two sisters and me and fled a violent situation. We slept in our car, bounced among various relatives, rented tiny trailers. Finally, we landed ourselves Section 8 housing, which meant a constant roof and our own beds. I’m not going to lie: The highlight of our month included waiting by the mailbox for the …

Random Announcements. Plus, I Hate Moving

All right, kiddies, sit down and open up your ear holes, ‘cuz Elle’s got some announcin’ to do.
1. I’m on “vacation.” Actually, few vacations involve this much manual labor. I’m on moving duty. I’ve taken five weeks out of my light summer schedule and am helping my partner pack and move to South Dakota to be with me. Yeah – South Dakota, where my partner’s presence personally doubles the Jewish population. Now that’s love, folks. Anyway, this is why my blogging has been so desultory lately. I promise to get back to my usual couple-times-per-week blogging once the hauling of my-nemeses-the-evil-boxes and the driving of 1900 miles and across nine states have reached their beautiful conclusions.
2. I hate moving. I hate manual labor. I hate driving. It must be love. Or masochism. I’m not so sure there’s a big difference.
3. I just proposed a short story idea to Soul Mate Publishing, my publisher for Hunted and Hunted Dreams. For those who love Jade, a character who plays a pretty major mino…