write about Feinberg or the laws
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When you go back and read the Bowers vs. Hardwick and Lawrence vs. Texas cases you will find that many of the same arguments were being made. The main argument made by the defendants was; if you are in the privacy of your own home you should be free to participate in any sexual activity you may desire, assuming both parties are willing. In my opinion it shouldn’t be of any concern to the law what sort of sexual acts you practice behind closed doors. Whether it be homosexual or heterosexual, shouldn’t matter. Today, because of cases like these and the boldness of its victims, people are starting to become more accepting of others’ sexual orientation. Our country has a set of laws that everyone can benefit from despite your race, religion, or ethnicity, so why should being gay matter. Everyone has the right to be treated equally; therefore many states are passing these laws to legalize gay marriage, because they should be given the same rights as everybody else. The times are changing and the world is becoming less biased towards homosexuals.
The US has had an interesting history when it comes to the regulation of morals. One of the earliest supreme court cases that tackled the idea of what is morally correct was the Scopes Trial in the 1920s, when a teacher in Tennessee taught the class about evolution, and was subsequently fired, citing that it was wrong to teach evolution in any state funded school because it violated Tennessee law. Next it was the debate about abortion in the 60s and 70s (even today) and finally it’s the debate about what we as citizen can or cannot do in the privacy of our homes, particularly any behavior that is homosexual in nature. In the decision in Bowers V. Hardwick, and the army’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law homosexual acts were criminalized, even when it should be a private matter. Homosexual acts and being homosexual is a decision one makes in their privacy of their homes, as well as something that the government should not regulate. In fact, any acts in the privacy of ones on bedroom should never be regulated by the government, a public entity. Lawrence V. Texas offers some relief in that it maintains that criminalizing acts of one party that are done within the privacy of ones home instead of criminalizing the same acts to a different party breaks due process. Although it doesn’t necessarily say that the law itself isn’t okay, just that if you can’t apply it to one type of person and not the other, which again doesn’t help the cause that the government shouldn’t be regulating private acts.
Discrimination within the army is even more outlandish. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell criminalized homosexuals for fear that they will disrupt the integrity of the United States Army. Being homosexual to the army, means that you are ineligible to fight for your country because you’re sexual preferences go against the morals of this country. This country was founded on the basis that everyone is created equal, and everyone is allowed to speak their mind, practice whatever you want, and have the protection of privacy, but if you are homosexual you can’t do any of the above, but this exact principle violates what has become this country’s most sacred constitutional right, due process and equal protection.
David Feinberg’s Queer and Loathing opened my eyes to new things that I was not really ever exposed to. I never knew much about the laws that come with gays or about AIDs and how that is dealt with. In the book he gets his points across in a comical, sarcastic way, but behind it all he is serious and has strong points to make from his comments. My reading this, I was taught facts about gay rights and AIDs which I find very interesting. I feel strongly against those who dont allow people to be who they want to be. The government should not stand in the way of allowing people to act how they want. Feinberg was mad at the government and their laws and he spoke out against them throughout the book. He was allowed to be angry at them and he felt that his future lay strictly in their hands, and that his death would be in the control of others and not himself. I feel for him when he describes his experiences with AIDs and HIV and i feel he has every right to be angry and mad. He is a hater and angry for his own sake and for the sake of others since they are dying left and right with no one stop it. I have been in a bubble throughout my childhood and never knew much what he discuses, but from the little that I did know I was able to understand Feinberg’s thoughts and feelings. No matter what, I will always feel that every person has their own choice to be who they want to be and nobody should make them feel bad about that or punish them for it.
When it comes to a couple having sex within the four walls of their own home, the government should have no authority to simply barge in and say that it is wrong. They, the government, should also not have the right to claim that having intercourse with the same sex is wrong. If our privacy is invaded, what is it that we have to ourselves?
People should have the free will to do as they please. Everyone is held accountable for their own actions therefore, why should one person be worrying about what another person who is not even bothering that person?
Personally, I believe in not fighting the system, but simply playing it. I feel that our country does not have a set system where everyone can benefit from. It is the wealthy who are dominating the government and the only way is to get even, not mad.
What a person does behind closed doors with his or her partner is simply up to them. In addition to that, I also believe in the fact that we, as a nation, should learn to accept others as they are. As I’ve said earlier, people are held responsible for their OWN actions, so people really need to quit worrying about what others do. As long as person A doesn’t harm person B, why should person B say what person A is doing is wrong. Little do people realize, there needs to be one set of standard where everyone is pleased, unfortunately as a nation, we have not attained it yet.
I was somewhat shell shocked after reading Feinberg’s “Queer and Loathing”. As I mentioned in class, throughout my life I have attended a private school where we are taught not to have premarital sex or engage in any type of sexual activity that may lead to sex. Judaism teaches that it is forbidden to be gay and practice a homosexual lifestyle. We did not have health class, where we learned about STD’s, how to practice safe sex, or anything about HIV/AIDS. Teachers, principals, and staff members assumed that most people did not engage in sexual activities. However, they are very wrong, as many students do not come from orthodox homes and are carefree in their sexual endeavors and honestly could not give a shit about what their school thought of them! In addition, I do not have many gay friends, probably 1 or 2-and I have never been thoroughly exposed to the gay community and what challenges they face. I was completely taken aback by Feinberg’s frankness and openness with the issues and challenges he faces daily. He talks about HIV, and hating the FDA for not approving certain drugs that will prolong life for HIV/AIDS patients. He is in essence, a “hater”, and is angry at everyone because people around him are dying daily and are not receiving the best care possible. I guess because I had grown up in a very sheltered community, I had never really thought about that world and what people experienced due to their illnesses. However, after beginning college, I have learned to become more open minded and am more aware of my surroundings the challenges gay men and women face. Whether it is medical or emotional challenges, each person-gay or straight-deserves the utmost care and respect by others.
Within the second page of David B. Feinberg’s Queer and Loathing Rants and Raves of a Raging Aids Clone, I was automatically confused. Feinberg writes “Let me warn you: I am a pathological liar. Not a single word of this is true.” My first question that popped into my head was then how does the reader know what to believe and what is real in his writings. Another thing that surprised me was, when reading the author writes how he hates the reader multiple times throughout the book. I did expect him to be angry and upset because he does have a disease that he is dying from, but it is not the readers fault that he has aids or that he is dying. I did expect him to be pissed off, but I just did not expect it to happen so soon and towards the reader. Also another thing I thought to be strange was the author does not tell us how he got aids, one can assume but it is never directly mentioned. In fact he says “I don’t drink, smoke or do recreational drugs. I don’t like to have fun…Why am I mainlining AIDS activism in the form of ACT UP? The answer is quite simple. I want to stay alive.” This all makes sense, but is also confusing because he says he is protesting to get arrested and get arrested on camera because he loves the fame. This is strange because one would think that someone suffering from a disease would want to support the cause regardless and not just to get famous.
Queer and Loathing: Rants and Raves of a Raging Aids Clone is a collection of essays written in the 1990s by David B. Feinberg, a young gay man with AIDS. An extremely angry and hostile man, Feinberg spends his free time going to friends’ funerals, trying to prevent and treat his increasingly poor health problems, and doing large amounts of activism. I find his writing style very funny, but he is also clearly very angry, and rightfully so. Not a story passes without nearly every person he mentions dying by the time each essay was published. David Feinberg died in 1995, which is the same month this book was published. But knowing this does not take away any extra meaning or pity from his work. So far it is an excellent book regardless of its writer’s awful fate. His humor may be more bitter than witty, but it is always on point. Knowing that his difficult health regimen and years spent campaigning for more research, more treatment options, and better standards of care for HIV positive people did not save him does not destroy the meaning of all his effort in this book. Feinberg’s work is both a fascinating historical document and a call to action. The critic that was quoted on the cover of the book, Armistead Maupin, said that this was “the ultimate gadfly of the epidemic…here’s one book that truly deserves a place in a time capsule.” I find this comment to be extremely accurate, because if anyone wanted to know what it was like to be a part of the gay community in New York City during the AIDS crisis, this would the perfect book to read.
I think that any sexual activity, non-procreative or otherwise, that anyone wants to engage in, in the privacy of their own home is up to them and should not come under any the scrutiny of the law. What kind of sex is permissible, who you are having sex with, how many people and what positions you want to perform are definitely aspects of someone’s sexual life that should involve the law. This brings an important issue of privacy to light. The government’s involvement in what sexual acts you are engaged in, in the privacy of your own home seems ludicrous and pretentious. Especially when it extends to how they will enforce such laws.
I am a strong believer that it is inappropriate for someone to be engaged in sexual activity in public. In actuality I cringe at most public displays of affection, because modesty is a integral part of my life. My religion teaches us to be modest and protect ourselves for our spouse. This means that we not only dress modestly for both Muslim men and women, but also we act modestly through our actions. I am a firm believer that married or not, sexual activity is something that should be performed where no one can hear and especially could see you.
The “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Law” in my opinion, is rather unconstitutional. Though I am not a supporter of homosexuality, I believe that in the Land of the Free, you should be free to be with who you want. Who am I to judge who someone wants to be with? In my eyes, who someone wants to be with becomes the responsibility of that person and definitely not that of the government. In America, where we are all supposedly equals, how could you be penalized for this? It is absurd that in the 21st century someone could be penalized for being homosexual or bisexual. Anyone who is caught having sex, hetrosexual, homosexual or bisexual, while they are serving in our country’s armed forces should all be penalized in the same way.
As I started to read Queer and Loathing, I was suprised and confused with what David Feinberg was saying. To me the first pages sounded like a rant about how unjust the government is. That didn’t suprise me since most people feel that the government isn’t fair with most of the things they do. Feinberg did manage to confuse me when he stated that he was a pathological liar and everything he was saying was false. I then started to question myself with everything he said, was what he was saying true or false? I was very suprised to see that AIDS was such a big controversy. I was baffled at how the government wouldn’t talk about it, when it obviously was a big issue since there wasn’t medication that would control AIDS. Instead of giving those who have this deadly disease medication, they let thousands of people die. Feinberg comes out as someone who hates everything and everyone, the only people that seemed to interest him were the cute gay guys. Later I realized that the issue did bother him especially when he saw the quilt and saw all the messages people wrote for their loved ones who passed away. I then understood why he always sounded mad, he was mad because his future didn’t lay in his hands, for all the government cared, he would die.
The three laws were unjust in the fact that they violated the rights of the people. The personal life or sexual preference of a person should not be deemed as criminal acts. The fact that a person is homosexual and perform acts where both parties give consent. With this law, the government regards the idea of sex as a governmental given right, and not a natural right. In my opinion, one has the natural right to have sex, as long as both sides agree. For the government to deny these natural rights is wrong.
The book Queer and Loathing is sarcastically comical, but the ideas that the preaches are very serious. In the situations he writes about, he talks about the way that people view homosexuals as a whole, and his idea of AIDS. There were many things he wrote about in the book that was only quickly mentioned, but was important in understanding him as a person. There was a chapter where he talked about his view of death. The exposure of death all around him, and all his friends with AIDS dying at such a young age desensitized him. He was used to being around death. He said that if someone were to die in that restaurant, it would not matter to him at all. He would finish his meal, and step over the dead body to leave the restaurant. The only thing different was that he would leave 5% less tip because of the untidiness of the place. This is an extreme exaggeration, but his point is accurate.
These three laws do more than simply criminalize sodomy, there far reaching significance is to denigrate the homosexual lifestyle, to dehumanize them and place the fundamental right of privacy which every democratic-republic must be predicated on into a state of limbo. In some states, most notably Texas, consensual homosexual sex in private spaces such as the home is outlawed. When a person is not allowed to engage in sexual acts with their partner, whether it is a gay or straight relationship in their home, then they are not allowed to express themselves sexually anywhere, depriving them of their fundamental human rights. To criminalize a particular groups behavior is to foster an environment in which they can and will be treated like second class citizens. Our Republican politicians and some Blue Dogs never fail to invoke the key choice words of freedom and liberty and America is a bastion of hope for oppressed peoples across the globe at every and all political venues but they always seem to forgot to condition their beliefs with, heterosexuals only.
This hatred for homosexuals and the subsequent political posturing to obtain their constituents homophobic votes primarily if not entirely stems from the Bible. Leviticus 18:22 states “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; such a thing is an abomination.” If you truly believe that or you want some ammunition to debate someone who does, i highly suggest you watch this video from the West Wing, its one of my personal favorites. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eD52OlkKfNs It really is difficult to understand why the persecution and marginalization of homosexuals has persisted to the present day, while all of these other Bible passages have been abolished from our conscience as acceptable forms of behavior in modern society. If God created the Heavens and the Earth and all those who inhabit it (which he didn’t but for the sake of this argument lets say he did) then that implies he or she did not create all humans equally; that some are an abomination. That is a contradiction with the teachings espoused by the son of God, Jesus Christ, who preached tolerance and compassion for all. Please do not dismiss my position as some immoral, charlatan atheist as I have been baptized and confirmed in the Roman Catholic faith and attended Catholic school from 7th to 12th grade. I do not despise Christianity, in fact I have great admiration for its central tenets and there is great value in the ten commandments for society but my scathing attitude is reserved for the politicians who distort the true meaning of Christianity and exploit peoples faith for votes which comes at the expense of a small minority of people.
After two hundred years of constitutional interpretation, the issue of privacy should not even arise in our debates as a nation. We fought a revolution to extinguish an oppressive monarch from our shores and obtain this fundamental right but somehow we have forgotten our roots. Political expedience has allowed for the depreciation of our founding document has plunged the exceptionalism of American to the status of ordinary.
to be honest i dont know much about both aids or any of the laws surrounding the actions of the gay community, but from all of this i feel a strong hatred towards anyone who tries to twist a free country into their own.
from what i can tell of politicians many of them are very proud of their strong religous backgrounds. protestants and christians who believe marriage is between a man and a woman. for a lond time i myself felt, although not as strongly as them, almost the same towards the gay community. but that was a long time ago and i realize i was ignorant. i was young and binded by the gossip of high school, and when my best friend came out i was so happy. for the first time i saw her truly happy because she no longer hid who she was, and as her friend i was proud. and then i started to pay attention to the actions our government takes towards the gay community.
i feel that these laws are a complete violation of everything. who is one person to say that another can’t have sex, that people can be controlled like animals. in all honesty this angers me so much. because even though i may be straight all of my friends are gay, and no one should nave any right in stopping their happiness.
AIDS is a terrible disease that many people not only in America but around the world have died from. For many of us in our country, we may have the means to be able to live with the disease if we take the right medication. But during the 90s when the AIDS epidemic came around, many people were not so lucky since at the time there wasn’t much someone could do if they had AIDS since it would mean to be a death sentence. For Mr. Feinberg, the author of Queer and Loathing, living with AIDS was a nightmare. He tells the reader of how screwed up his life is and that he would rather throw it all away. He spends a lot of time going to ACT UP, an organization consisting of those who have AIDS who meet regularly to discuss possibilities of there being some hope in the future for them. But for Mr. Feinberg, he has had enough of these long drawn out meetings. He wishes that he could free of this terrible disease since he sees no help for it in the future. He even goes to being very grouchy to those around him and even goes to make himself feel worse about it by saying how he is all sorts of terrible things. I get the feeling during the time period, I am sure that Mr. Feinberg wasn’t the only one who felt this way. Many others were in the same boat since there wasn’t much doctors could do to help their patients who had AIDS.
As I was reading the Lawrence vs. Texas case and the Bowers vs. Hardwick case I was quite disturbed to see how repetitive the notion of privacy in the home was used. In almost every sentence there is the notion that you are free to do whatever you please as long as it is in the privacy of your own home. If Lawrence and his partner Garner consented to sexual acts in there own home that is considered to be a “private” place then why were they arrested and charged. This makes me question what is privacy? I also wonder what would of happened if the cops walked in and realized the couple wasn’t homosexual but rather heterosexual. Would they still of been arrested and charged? The government claims to give to much freedom yet there are so many restrictions that limits the freedom people have. If the sexual act is private and the Bowers vs. Hardwick case states “the fact that homosexual conduct occurs in the privacy of the home does not affect the result”. Then there is no such thing as privacy when it comes to homosexuals. Even though, the statute was not a crime because of the Due Process Clause it still did not improve or cause a change within what is private and what is not. For example, in Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, men or women in the military who are homosexual are not allowed to share any sort of memories or experiences with heterosexual men and women because it is not a moral act. Don’t Ask Don’t Tell reminds me that all forms of love, relationships, marriage, etc. whether it be heterosexual or homosexual must remain private because it isn’t business but personal.
I find it interesting that people constantly complain about the government being the ones that implement the structure of our country yet no one seems to acknowledge that it is society that conforms to what the government deems as politically correct. In his book Queer and Loathing David Feinberg portrays the opinions of those that say screw the government and screw those who choose to avoid the issues that are staring them straight in the face.
In high school I found out one of my best friends is bi-sexual. She was constantly struggling with having crushes on girls who were straight and she also had to worry about the fact that her parents had no idea about her sexuality. I started wondering what was so wrong with a boy loving a boy or a girl loving a girl. And with that I became a supporter of the LGBT community.
If my best friend decides to marry another woman, I want her to be able to walk down the aisle in whichever state she may be living in and be joined in matrimony. I really cannot fathom why so many people are so against the idea of men being with men and vice versa. Everyone is capable of love and quite frankly it’s no one’s business who someone chooses to be with. Just because you may not like to look at two men kissing or two women holding hands doesn’t mean that you can tell someone what their sexual orientation should be. Laws should not even have to exist in regards to the LGBT community. If Jesus loves everyone no matter what their race or skin color is, shouldn’t he also love the queers? Yet at the same time many religiously adamant people state that the Bible states that Jesus does not accept those who choose to love the same sex. How does this make any logical sense? If people are a certain way or have chosen to be a certain way then they have the right to stay that way.
Feinberg even says that people who are not directly involved with the queer community don’t fully understand what they go through and have gone through. His book gives all of us a chance to try to comprehend what exactly happened during the AIDS epidemic and so far I think he has been very successful in doing so.
After reading the first section of Queer and Loathing by David Feinberg, I was seriously loathing his collection of essays. I found his humor to be cynical and his writing defensive; however, I initially thought he was genuinely funny and just witty with his writing. As I continued to read I discovered that he is in fact not a pleasant person and has every right not to be. I definitely appreciate how he shares his experience dealing with HIV and how he discusses significant political and historical events that occurred (that I had no idea about) as a response to AIDS and HIV. I feel like I’m standing next to him as he goes to these ACT UP rallies and every time he goes to the doctor. It seems that these events for him are normal occurrences in his life and add to his existence. There is some significant meaning behind rallying against AIDS and HIV, even though Feinberg comes off sounding as though he could care less (probably a defense mechanism). In a later essay, Feinberg explains that he could not combat or face his everyday life with AIDS without humor- for him, those two things seem to go hand in hand. I can’t blame him for being so crudely derisive about being a gay man with AIDS, his entire reality is now based on AIDS. He must work around it, with it and against it and that really pulls away from the life he had before AIDS. Reading his “rants and raves of” his own rage towards his unfortunate situation makes me reflect on life in general and how it is always fleeting, just like his T-cell count. I realize that having an illness (especially one as grave as AIDS) can really put life into prospective. I would have enjoyed this book much more if he described his life before AIDS- before the derision and before walking on black ice. I know this book is written in retrospect, but I wonder if he was always this cynical- I highly doubt he was as cynical as he is now. Perhaps he lightens up at the end of the book, but that too is highly unlikely since he just becomes sicker.
We live in a world of values and norms. A world that his residents determine what is right and wrong. Humanity created its own codes, which we are ‘forced’ to live by whether we like it or not. Each society has different norms and it influence its community accordingly. Nevertheless, the one that don’t act by the norm are the deviants. The question is what the society consider as norm and who are the deviants is occupied many minds.
I remember that one of the first things I learned in life is that all human beings are equal regardless gender, race and color. These values have deep routes especially in my country, Israel, since the holocaust of European Jews. I learned through the history that inequality leads to depression and rebellion. However, we still have a problem as society. We intend to distinguish between people by gender, race, color and unfortunately sexual preferences.
Unfortunately, the society still distinguishes between gay and straights and their sexual preferences. The U.S. army as part of the society determined the rule of “don’t ask don’t tell”, which means we won’t ask what are your sexual preferences and you wont disclose it. This is a huge progress, since before that gays couldn’t serve the army at all. It gave opportunity to many people serve the army despite their sexual preferences, but is it really the right way? Aren’t they supposed to be equal no matter what? This rule has been canceled recently, but the echo is still here, and the question is why gay can’t serve the army is broad and the opinion can go left and right; however, the basic question to be asked is, are gays really different than any other people? This is a question shouldn’t be asked in the twenty first centaury at all.
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