Friday, September 28, 2012

Gay Activism Makes Me Tired

This particular topic has been bothering me for some time.  I chose not to say anything because I felt this topic - over others I’ve written about - might somehow make me or my husband a target of hate.  I felt by expressing my opinion about this would trigger threats or attacks more than any other that I’ve made public to date.  I was also worried it would harm my husband’s business or reputation, and then it occurred to me: I was falling for the same rhetoric that a lot of others were falling for.  I stayed quiet out of fear; that meant the liberal side of this debate was winning.  Well, I’m quiet no longer, I understand what I’m about to say is unpopular.

Every time I look at the news, the LGBT community is up in arms or trying to make front page news about something.  Gay activism makes me tired, I don’t want to hear about it anymore.  Fifteen years ago, I would have helped, I would have made the posters, I would have written my MP.  But now, they’ve won their acceptance.  Same sex marriage is legal, companies cannot discriminate against homosexuals, so I ask, what more do they want?  Not everyone is going to be accepted for everything all the time.  Being a vocal conservative woman, I get that.

I believe in freedom of speech, freedom of expression and equality but there is a limit.  I am not for shoving ideologies down the throats of those who don’t agree with me.  Make your point, make yourself heard, fight for the same rights as everyone else and accept the win gracefully.  Don’t demand respect, don’t demand tolerance for your chosen lifestyle, not everyone is going to agree with it.  Let me be clear, I have no issue with sane, rational, gay people who don't feel their sexuality is the focus of their identity.  I do have a problem with people who throw their homosexuality in my face and expect me to respect them because of it.

There appears to be a group of people out there trying to change the definition of “normal.”  It seems though when one does not live an alternative lifestyle (anything LGBT) that person is immediately wrong.  If we dare speak against alternative lifestyles, we’re homophobic or transphobic.  I find this to be a ludicrous concept.  I like this word “debate.”  It’s a good word.  I also enjoy other words and phrases, like “personal opinion” but we’re not allowed to have those anymore unless they follow the party line.  I’m finding my personal opinions don’t follow party line.  At times I’m not sure where the party line is.

Most examples of this Liberal psychosis right now seems to be in the Toronto District School Board.  Not only do they call themselves a gay straight alliance, they promote gender bending to elementary school children, as well as homosexual and polygamist lifestyles.  What happened to public schools teaching things like reading, math, and science?  Family values and morality, as far as I can remember, wasn’t in the curriculum.  So many argue religion doesn’t belong in public schools, so why do LGBT initiatives or alternative family lifestyles?  If one can argue for, one should be allowed to argue against but that simply isn’t the case.

There are also people that promote the idea of raising children as “gender neutral” stating gender is a stereotype.  Gender is not a complex or stereotype, it is physiological.  Women and men are built differently.  We do different things, like, for example, women can get pregnant, men can’t.  Men who “identify as female” should try PMS once or twice.  They would never “identify as female” ever again!

The Ontario anti-bullying law is a confusing one to me.  It says anti-bullying but somehow it’s become another win for the LGBT community.  All schools, public, Catholic, whatever, must permit gay straight alliance clubs.  How did an anti-bullying law turn into a political forum for homosexual lifestyles for teens?  Apparently when this law was created, they missed the part that said sexuality was low on the list of why kids get bullied. Kids get bullied because of their looks, their weight, their grades. So, since looks are the top of the bullying list, why aren't uniforms mandatory in all schools? Then they need to create a fitness regimen so everyone weighs relatively the same, and so forth.  Gay straight alliance clubs should be very far down on the list for methods to prevent bullying.

This liberal psychosis is not limited to Ontario.  Earlier this year, the education minister in Alberta was trying to put through the Education Act.  All teachers, including home school teachers, per the act, would have had to change their curriculums to conform to Alberta Human Rights.  My issue with this is that human rights are very subjective.  What this means to me and most others is Christians are no longer permitted to teach Christian values to their children.  The easiest example to pick on is Christians would not be permitted to teach the biblical view that homosexual acts are wrong or sinful.  Again, this was done in the name of diversity and tolerance... just not tolerance of Christians.  This is a common, regularly occurring, disturbing view now.  TOLERANCE FOR ALL (unless you’re a conservative, white, Christian, then keep your opinions to yourself, oh, and change.)

The Education Minister said it was not his intention, nor the intention of this bill, to limit what parents or teachers could teach with respect to religious morality.  The same thing was said about section 13 of the human rights act and it became known as the “hurt feelings” law. The Education Act came scarily close to being law which would have become an issue in the long term.  If the Education Act had passed, I could see parents getting sued by some liberal activist for teaching home schooled children intolerance or hate outside of school hours.  It would be some innocuous thing like parents debating the daily news such as “Love has no gender” around the dinner table, and they end up in the Alberta Human Rights courts for indoctrinating children.  It’s one of the many reasons I’m glad it didn’t make it through third reading.

In our new and interesting world, the trend has become disturbing.  If something is changed in the name of diversity or tolerance, Christians, anyone with traditional values, or opposing views are told they are bigoted or phobic.  Apparently only select diverse differences are tolerated; others are, well, wrong.  Either one is tolerant of differing view and opinions, or they should man up and realize how truly intolerant they are.  The hypocritical “if you disagree with me, you’re racist/homophobic/transphobic/bigoted” crap is as good an argument as “that’s offensive.”

Even strange changes like gender inclusive washrooms happen because of this so called “inclusive,” “tolerant” attitude.  It happened at the University of Victoria.  These washrooms were created for transgendered people who don’t know what washroom to use.  Either gender can use these washrooms.  If anyone speaks out against this, they’re simply told they’re missing the point.  Forgive me but there are not so many “gender benders” out there that we need to start modifying public spaces for them.  My personal thought is, if a person doesn’t know what washroom to use, they’ve got bigger problems.  

What irritates me is that changes like this happen for such a tiny minority.  People who fight for LGBT rights would like us to believe it's for a large percent of the population.  Most reliable demographics models that I find show no more than 1%-4% of the population identify as homosexual or transgendered (two spirited?). So why do we bend over backwards for this group?  It’s gotten bad enough that they want gender removed from our passports!  Give me a break!

I don't think that these topics should be forced on children or anyone else for that matter. Why is this still an issue? Same sex couples have the same rights has male/female couples so what's the problem? Continuing this fight only causes resentment, which is exactly what's happened with me. I was for gay rights, I know a lot of gay people that are quite personable. None of them are “activists.” None of them make me feel like a second class citizen because I'm married to a man and none of them wear their sexuality on their sleeve for everyone to see.

Maybe the LGBT community and gay activists will regain my respect when they don’t expect tolerance from every corner of every household in the known universe.  They need to give me a chance to forget they’re around and realize they’ve blended into society. Then the LGBT community has truly won.  Right now, I find them to be a joke and bunch of self righteous bullies.

Monday, September 17, 2012

What's Wrong With Us?

It’s been awhile since I’ve written anything.  Between having pneumonia in July and planning my awesome vacation to Chicago, I back burnered this for awhile.  Now I’m ready again and it seems I’ve waited to long.  I’ve been paying attention and various topics have been on my mind, stewing, boiling, waiting!  

First however, I’d like to point out some differences between Calgary and Chicago in terms of service.  I’ve been to the USA a number of times but I’ve never stayed in any one place for very long.  Chicago is my first one-stop vacation south of the border so I got to experience these differences.

First, the service almost everywhere I went was better than almost anything I’ve received here in Canada.  I was wondering about that until a friend of mine said it’s because we’re too polite to mention it.  First I laughed, then I got serious.  I was going to argue that point until I realized he was right.  In most circumstances, we Canadians take the bad service, the bad attitudes, the mixed up orders with a smile and still tip the waiter.  We rarely complain and may even go back.  Even my husband and I are guilty of it.

For example, here in Calgary, my husband had us go back to the same White Spot over and over and every single time (I wish I was kidding) something went wrong.  Either my chicken was underdone (I sent that back) or they gave him a beef patty instead of a veggie patty (again, sent back, he’s allergic to beef) or we got someone else’s order and the list goes on.  It was to the point where we’d make bets over what would go wrong this time.  The owner, shift managers and staff knew us very well, would even make an effort to get our order correct!  The western divisional manager didn’t believe that our curse was true until he was in the restaurant at the same time as my husband and sure enough, something went wrong.  My husband got his meal comped (again) and they tried to give him a $25 gift certificate as an apology.  Why is it, when a restaurant messes up, the first thing they do is “hey, come back!”  He said “keep it.”  We don’t go there anymore.  My question is, what’s up with us?  Why did it take so many mix ups, screw ups, and mess ups before we finally said no more?

In most restaurants in Chicago, our water glass was never empty, I always had tea, our order was right every time, we never had to send it back (a regularity in almost any restaurant here) and service was fast.  They had enough staff!  Did you know places hire enough staff?  I didn’t!  The service everywhere we went was so exceptionally good that my husband actually said “and they call Canadians the land of the polite? We got nothing on these people!”  In each of the restaurants we went to, the servers never asked us - my husband and I - if we were going to split the bill, another weird regularity here.  The servers also expected him to pay the check, not me.  We went to a varying degree of restaurants, from fast food to 4 star.

When we went to the Field Museum, we got there a few minutes early so the guard told us some history on the place.  We were there with a few other early birds.  When she found out this was our first time in Chicago, we got some Chicago history as well.  The guard (nice lady) then gave us some advice on some good places to eat when she found out where we were staying.

In our hotel, we went to the restaurant only once.  This was our exceptional bad experience.  The server decided to judge us based on our clothes (a bad idea) made us wait (there was only one other table of people and they had their own server.)  When we finally got our order in, we waited some more.  My husband got spilled coffee and when we got our food, the server proceeded to dump half my plate into my lap.  He didn’t even apologize for it.  For the record, that was Lockwood Restaurant, I don’t recommend it, unless you like wearing your food.  This experience was a little shocking considering every other restaurant put most Canadian restaurants, in terms of service, to shame.

Most of our cab drivers were fantastic, and we took a lot of cabs.  I had to laugh at a T-shirt we saw that said “I survived a Chicago cab ride” but those guys can sure drive when they think you’re going to be late for a show.  *ehem*  Don’t believe the concierge when they say “no more than 12 minutes!”  Scariest drive of my life but I survived a Chicago cab ride.

Calgary could really learn a thing or 117 about the cab industry from the Chicago model.  I get that Chicago is much larger but there are issues with the Calgary model.  We need a different one especially now with the our new .05 law.  Obviously the current one doesn’t work.  I’ve heard and read waiting for a cab in Calgary is no more than 15-30 minutes, which is a big lie.  On a good day, I’ve waited upwards of 2 hours.  Once it snows, waiting is more like 8-20 hours.  Does that sound like enough taxis on the road?

The regulating of taxis is not entirely to blame, the companies are also to blame.  When my husband pre-orders an Associated Taxi for a 4:30 am pick-up to go to the airport, I expect it to be at my home.  I don’t expect my husband to miss his flight because it doesn’t show up.  I don’t expect the answer of “we don’t have a taxi in the area” when I called the night before to arrange the pickup.  I also don’t expect the cab company to phone his cell while he’s at the airport waiting for the next flight because they showed up at 8:00 am, and I don’t expect the cab company to feel put out when the fare isn’t there to be picked up three and a half hours late.  But that’s what happened.

In Chicago, most of the time either the door man got our cab for us with nothing more than a blow of the whistle, or there were cabs outside of the various places we visited.  The couple of times we needed to flag a cab down, we waited on the sidewalk for no more than 30 seconds.  None of the drivers were ever on the cell phone and most of them recommended places to visit when they found out this was our first time in Chicago.  Every cab had the same city plaque in the back that explained the fare as well as “for compliments or complaints call ###, your cab number is ####.”  They encourage calling in a compliment, I like that.  My husband lost our little camera in one of the cabs, even though it still hasn’t been found, the company called yesterday to tell us that they’re still looking for it.  That impressed me.  That one is Checker Cab in Chicago.

What I take from my experience in Chicago is:

  • the people who provide the service in the USA want to provide high quality service, give the best and have an excellent reputation
  • Americans expect a higher quality of service so complain when they don’t receive it or don’t go back to the various places that provide poor service; this results in most places providing a high quality service, because everywhere wants everyone’s business
  • the people who provide the service in Canada feel they are nothing more than service people, don’t really care about their job, and provide just enough service to keep their job; Canadians are pushovers and will accept the poor service, we may or may not complain, hope the service will get better, accepts status quo and go back anyway

So I have to ask again, what the hell is wrong with us?