Welcome to Struggle Session, where I share and sometimes respond to comments from readers and listener about my column and podcast. Because who doesn’t like to be held? Accountable and otherwise?
I’ve been talking a lot lately about drag bans and the “groomer” slur — the right’s seemingly successful effort to bring back the “homosexuals don’t have their own children so they have to recruit yours” blood libel of the late 1970s (see: Anita Bryant, Jerry Falwell Sr., Jesse Helms, et al) — and Alex had a thought…
Can we talk about how if the right defines “grooming” as drag or being gay, then that opens the door for actual grooming to take place and for actual harm to come to kids? While all these folks are looking at drag queens, they’ll have Uncle Hubert diddling their kid in the corner and never see it. Lying about what grooming is is the greater risk to kids.
Yep. All those demagogues on the right point at drag queens would have to be — at this point — knowingly and intentionally distracting people from the real threat to their kids: It’s the youth pastors, stupid. (And...
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...ake place and for actual harm to come to kids? While all these folks are looking at drag queens, they’ll have Uncle Hubert diddling their kid in the corner and never see it. Lying about what grooming is is the greater risk to kids.
Yep. All those demagogues on the right point at drag queens would have to be — at this point — knowingly and intentionally distracting people from the real threat to their kids: It’s the youth pastors, stupid. (And the pastor pastors and the priests and the Sunday school teachers.) One woman is fighting back on TikTok:
A lawyer on TikTok is performing a weekly list of recently arrested pedophiles in America simply to point out that it’s all youth pastors and politicians, not drag queens pic.twitter.com/JdsrEIbP8q
— Marjorie Gaylor Queen 🏳️🌈 (@Tim_Tweeted) March 13, 2023
Regarding the caller whose male date didn’t get up from his chair, leading the caller to conclude he might be short and insecure about it (perhaps with cause), Tipsy Phil says..
The woman who went on a first date with a seated, very likely short man who never stood up was calling to ask if she should contact him again to tell him she thought he was hot, and Dan said no. But Dan is wrong on this one! The woman had thus far only contacted him after the date to make sure he was OK after a Covid scare. She should also at least ask him out, since she’s interested. And how does it hurt for her to also say that he’s hot? She seemed to have the sexist precept in mind that men do the asking out and she should just wait for him to show interest. Nope. She can be a bit more modern than that. I don’t see a reason to mention his height though.
And regarding the caller who told his girlfriend the truth when she asked if he wasn’t physically attracted to her when they first met — he wasn’t — and who thought he deserved some kind of credit for being honest, Cruella de Phil says…
I agree that a white lie is often warranted and he definitely shouldn’t volunteer information like this, but he didn’t volunteer it, she asked point blank. Why?! Do we not think she set him up for failure by asking in the first place? It doesn’t sound like she had any doubts that he was attracted to her at the time when she asked, so this seems less like a sincere desire to be reassured and more a hypothetical scenario designed to start conflict. It’s like the joke where you ask your partner if they’d still love you if you were a worm, then get upset at either response. Dan, you’re right that there are certain things we shouldn’t say to our partners because they can’t be unsaid — but there are also certain questions we shouldn’t ask our partners.
Agreed: There are questions we should know better than to ask. On the flip side, there are questions we should know better than to answer with scalding honesty. Sometimes a question should be deflected, sometimes telling your partner (or ex-partner) what they wanted to hear is right thing to do, and it’s possible to answer a question like that — a point-blank one that shouldn’t have been asked in the first place — without lying or napalming your partner’s self-esteem. (Phoebe Maltz Bovy also had some thoughts about that call.)
I got something right!
“Masseuse” and “masseur” are outdated terms. Dan used the currently accepted term, “massage therapist.”
And every massage therapist knows… boners happen.
I’m a licensed MT, in practice 2 decades. Yes, as everyone else has said, an erection is very common. They happen for a variety of reasons, mostly just sensory. It’s not big deal; we do just ignore them. It’s only creepy if someone calls attention to it (ahem). We just appreciate regular clients who value our work & leave a decent tip. Enjoy your massages! We are in the field bc we want to create a positive, healing experience!
My mother-in-law has been a licensed massage therapist for 40 years, worked on clients that have run the gamut to Hollywood celebrities to veterans with severe PTSD and everything in between. She has seen it all. A spontaneous erection during a session would not be an issue (unless accompanied by a come-on from the client). All in a day’s work.
My followers on Facebook — where the tech-savvy, at-risk youth facilitate a lively chat about the column and the show — had some thoughts about how to fight the drag ban in Tennessee. Giselle said…
I think a bunch of cis women should dress in drag-style attire and flood the streets and read the most scandalous parts of the Bible aloud. I would love to see them present all that in court! How many folks would they arrest and then not have it hold up? Would it be the makeup they were arresting me for or the words?
Every person in Tennessee with any sense should dress in drag then walk into cop shops and demand to be arrested. Take up all the cops time on this uselessness. Clog up the courts with stupid trials. Grind the economy to a halt.
If we can’t have “sexualized performances” anymore in Tennessee then you’d have to ask “what is sexual” of the observer. Because to my teenage self, cheerleaders doing a routine was very sexy, wether or not they did anything that might be considered sexually explicit. Are they going to ban children from doing beauty pageants? Cause that shit is gross and actually sexualizing children.
Speaking of sexualizing children: when are they going to arrest these creepy groomers? (Um… the one in the middle is pinching that boys tit.)
And Ben makes a valid point…
How are the “no drag show” laws constitutional? Last I checked we let literal Nazis have parades because of the first amendment.
— Ben Dreyfuss (@bendreyfuss) March 16, 2023
I rattled off the names of some good people from Tennessee last week at the top of the show — Dolly Parton, Al Gore, Aretha Franklin — but Virginia called me out for leaving someone out…
Notable Tennessee progressives without mention of Taylor Swift! C’mon, Dan!
Oh, shit. I hope she doesn’t write a song about me! And, yes, I will leave my gay card on the table and show myself out.
And finally finally… um, okay, sure.