Lesbians in the Game of Life

Remember The Game of Life?

lifegame

You played it waaaay back when. There were those cute little pegs you put on your car… and that spinny wheel.

Anyway, there’s an online version of it. And one conservative mom hates it.

Listen to the reason why:

“You know how kids are,” the mother told WND. “My daughter noticed right away (even before I did) and clicked on one of the girls instead of one of the men and then asked, ‘Mom, how come I can marry a woman?’ And then that led into a lot more questions that, quite frankly, I was not ready to talk to my 6-year-old about.”

WND followed the mother’s example and played a game as “Jennifer,” who chose to marry another woman. The course of the game eventually added four children to WND’s lesbian couple.

What?! Lesbians are allowed in the Game of Life?! And they can have children?!

That’s unpossible.

And why is that a hard conversation? You tell your child: Women can love women, just like men. (Damn, I’m good at this child-raising thing!)

And how *dare* they make the couple look happy and adorable?!

090310lesbianlife

WorldNetDaily goes on:

The redesign also included car game pieces that could be filled with plastic pegs representing a player’s growing “family.” The board game did not prevent players in any way from placing two pink or two blue pegs in the front seat, thus depicting a homosexual couple.

As we all know, conservatives get very nervous when “pegging” is mentioned…

Jen raises another fantastic point about the mother not wanting to discuss homosexuality with her daughter:

While I personally think there’s nothing wrong with young children knowing about homosexuality, why can’t this mother just dodge the question like parents do with other things they don’t want their children knowing about? How many little kids ask their parents where babies come from before their parents want them to know the grisly facts of life? Granted, I don’t think we should lie to children about that either…but the fact is, blaming an online game for something that’s everywhere is just downright silly. Why not blame Life for including babies in the game?

Excellent point.

You would think the Religious Right would love this game. After all, this is the one time you can actually “choose to be gay.”

(via Blag Hag)

  • Bart the Pirate

    I’ve often wondered why gay-lesbian parades insist on getting naked and nasty.

    Don’t these groups have PR departments?

    Has it ever occurred to anyone at GLAAD to produce a family-friendly parade?

    Point being: Much of the general distaste for everything homosexual is of their own making — from gauche parades to sordid rendezvous in city parks.

    (Pardon my lack of political correctness, but my skepticism extends beyond the normal fare religion.)

  • penn

    Hemant, it would be a really easy conversation to have if you don’t hate gays. I imagine racists have similar problems when their kids see an interracial couple on the street. The Game of Life also allows women characters to get college educations and jobs. What’s up with that? Why can’t the whole world bend over backwards to make these people comfortable with their bigotry?

  • penn

    Bart, your skepticism regarding gay rights is pretty pathetic. Even a cursory exploration of the issue would indicate that you have the causality completely backwards. Gays were demonized and persecuted well before there was ever a gay pride parade.

    Alan Turing was a genius and war hero, but when the British authorities found out he was gay he lost his security clearance, his life’s work, and was put on hormone therapy that eventually led to his suicide. I could be wrong, but I don’t think there were any garish gay pride parades in 1950′s Britain. History is filled with similar stories of homosexuals being persecuted and/or killed.

    Sure, specific individuals could act in a more PG manner during pride events, but to pretend that is the source of gay hatred shows a stunning ignorance of history. Those two pink pegs aren’t lewd in any way shape or form, and still there is an uproar from conservatives.

  • http://universalheretic.wordpress.com/ Vic

    “I don’t want to talk to my children about that” is one of the newer hate excuses. I think a good reply is “Why start now?” because it is implying that they don’t want to teach their children about life. I don’t know why they seem to think they have to explain anything explicit. When they tell their kids were babies come from do they also feel the need to mention what position they were in?

    Women can also get college degrees in the game. I wonder if they have a problem with that, too.

  • http://www.otmatheist.com hoverFrog

    We’ve got the board game at home. My daughter (12) chose a blue peg for her car. Clearly this game is inherently evil and promotes the transgendered lifestyle choice above good Christian values.

    /sarcasm.

    Honestly the people who are concerned about forcing their children to conform to their own preconceived ideas of sexuality are just sad. Can’t they just love and respect them as they are? I have two concerns about my children as they grow into sexual beings.

    1. They are safe
    2. They respect themselves

    Beyond that it really is none of my business.

  • Rob

    If you don’t lie to children, you’ll never have to be embarrassed when they find out the truth.

  • http://foreverinhell.blogspot.com Personal Failure

    My 9 year old niece saw a picture of Linsey Lohan kissing her girlfriend. She asked me why LL would kiss a girl. I said, “Because some girls like to kiss girls and some boys like to kiss boys.”

    She said, “oh” and went back to reading her gossip magazine.

    wow, that was a crazy uncomfortable conversation!

  • http://chatiryworld.typepad Katherine

    What’s to stop people putting two pegs of the same colour in the car on the board game? Years ago at some family friends one of the kids did that, another one said they couldn’t and my sister (7 at the time) instantly said ‘yes you can, they might be gay.’ Didn’t go down particularly well with the other family as they were evangelical Christians but they weren’t rude about it.

  • Bart the Pirate

    Penn,

    I’m just making an objective observation.

    If left-handed people conducted lefty parades in which they got naked and demonstrated overtly sexual displays intended to shock and awe, even the most casual observer would assume a corollary between being left-handed and being a little screwy.

    When the vice squad snags gays en masse in a Sears (or Home Depot) men’s room, it tends to make the news. That, in turn, makes Rainbow Day at the local school a little less palatable in the minds of parents.

    My assessment: If the gay community wants to shed the perception of being deviantly screwy, they may want to consider sponsoring family-friendly parades as a PR measure.

    No apologies here for being a universal skeptic.

  • Miko

    Bart: Left-handers aren’t typically the victims of sodomy laws. If people don’t want to see what goes on in gays’ bedrooms, they should get rid of the laws regulating it.

    Likewise, I find flag-burning to be a rather ineffective form of protest, but you can be sure I’ll be on the steps of the state Capitol with a flaming piece of cloth the day after they pass an anti-flag burning amendment.

    Think of the displays not in and of themselves, but as symbols for displaying one’s contempt of the legislation it violates.

    And on an unrelated topic: the Game of Life incentivizes things such as getting married and having children with a point system, treats the stock market like roulette, and overall treats everything in life as reducible to a financial lowest common denominator. What color pegs you can put in your car should be drowned out by much more serious objections to the way “life” is characterized in the game.

  • http://virtualityforreal.blogspot.com Allytude

    Surely it is the end of civilization, lesbians getting married. I wonder what justification racists used, that black people were “disgustingly black”. Why is a heterosexual display of PDA – kissing , huggin, etc alright, but not a flamboyantly gay person?

  • http://trainbiggermonkeys.com/blog Yuri Nalarm

    Who says running around half-naked is wrong anyway?

  • Brooks

    Aren’t Christians supposed to always be prepared to give an answer for the reason why they believe like it commands them to in the bible anyway? Funny though how they never have answers when someone asks them questions that are too difficult for them.

  • Siamang

    If straight people want respect, they need to stop having mardi-gras. Seriously. They need to stop the girls-gone-wild parties on speedboats up in laughlin. They need to stop producing porn. Strip-clubs. Pornographic magazines. Hooters restaurants. Making movies based on Playboy, reality shows based on sex. They need to stop all public displays of sexuality.

    Anyway, back on-topic:

    I don’t know what’s so all-fired wrong with telling kids “all families are a little different. Everyone’s family is a little different in some way.”

    Because, Life boardgame or no, somebody’s kid at school’s going to have two moms. My kid’s got a pair of grandmothers. If we can raise a 5 year old with the knowledge that she has a pair of grandmothers without talking about gay sex, then it can be done.

    “Everyone’s family is a little bit different.” End of discussion.

  • Freak

    @Siamang: Everybody has a pair of grandmothers.

  • http://www.CoreyMondello.com Corey Mondello

    TO Bart The Pirate:

    I wonder how many heterosexuals I’ll see pissing and puking in public today?

    St. Patricks day is a great place to se repulsive, naked, drunk, rabid heterosexuals….no one seems to be complaining about them, even Cardinals join in on the fun.

  • Siamang

    @Siamang: Everybody has a pair of grandmothers.

    Everyone has two grandmothers. Some have grandmothers in a pair.

  • penn

    Bart, don’t apologize for your universal skepticism. Apologize for your poor reasoning skills.

    As others have mentioned straight people act lewdly in public all the time. From flashing to simulated and actual sex acts in bars, clubs, and bathrooms all over the world there is a shit load of lewd heterosexual acts out there. But, when you see them you think “Boy, that person/those people need to put a lid on it.” When you see gays acting lewdly you think “Boy, queers sure need to tone it down.”

    Here’s how it works.

    You’ve also clearly ignored the fact that gays were treated as mentally ill at best and abominations against god and nature at worst for centuries before the first gay pride parade ever took place.

  • http://perhapswelearn.blogspot.com/ Kay

    You know what bugged me as a kid playing tht game? That you HAD to have kids.

    And not everyone wants to get married anyway!!! Grr

    Blech

  • Nixxy

    I remember asking my mom once if two women could have a baby together; She just ignored me. That works too, I guess.

  • Catherine

    If you read the full article the “concerned mom” says she posted a comment on the website’s message board stating that the theme of gay marriage is too mature for children of that age. Is it just me or could you use that logic against the entire game. Don’t you have to have sex to have children anyway? Isn’t that in and of itself “too mature for children” by their logic?

  • http://gretachristina.typepad.com/ Greta Christina

    Ditto to what everyone else has said to Bart the Pirate. I would also like to add:

    Have you ever been to a gay pride parade? The overwhelming majority of it is tame to the point of tedium. LGBT parents with strollers; polo- shirted LGBT employees of assorted businesses; community organizations carrying banners and wearing matching T-shirts. The floats with the half- naked dancing people are only one part of it, and a fairly small part at that.

    The floats with the half- naked dancing people, however, are usually what makes the news.

    Why is this making you “skeptical” about the LGBT community? Why isn’t it making you skeptical about the news media?

    Sexuality is an important part of LGBT culture: I don’t think it’s something to be ashamed of, and I am not going to apologize for it. But it is also the aspect of our culture that the news media tends to focus on, in a way that is often both judgmental and lurid. And it gets spun as being a reflection on all LGBT people.

    As others here have pointed out: When straight people flaunt their sexuality in public — or when they behave sexually badly in a way that makes the news — it’s not seen as reflecting badly on straight people in general. But somehow, LGBT people are supposed to be more circumspect. So we can be a credit to our orientation, I suppose. Screw that.

    Oh, and BTW: GLAAD doesn’t put on the gay pride parades.

  • Claudia

    Just to be a contrarian I’m going to come down defending Bart here.

    I think many folks are assuming a homophobia in Bart I don’t see that he actually has and I also think you are ignoring the validity of his point.

    So far as I can tell Bart never said that outlandish behavior by gays is the root cause of homophobia and discrimination. He merely said that the outlandish and overtly sexual behavior shown at specifically gay events (I love gay pride festivals, and they are mostly adult affairs) and gathering places will be interpreted by even well meaning people who lack (knowing) day to day contact with gays a warped and negative vision of what it means to be gay. At the very least, it says to someone who has no other information “Sex is very very important to me and family-friendly is not my thing”. Fair? No, not at all, but it is reality and we have to deal with that. Hell, most people at Gay Pride events are pretty normal, but it doesn’t take a genius to see that if you have floats come out with semi-naked men and drag queens strut around in sequined and feathered costumes, the camera folks aren’t going to take a picture of the boring middle-aged couple tapping their feet while sipping a coke. This is true for everyone. Ask a normal pro-lifer who gets the pictures at their protests; the large numbers of peaceful families with candles or the one nut screaming at everyone with pictures of aborted fetuses.

    People in California even acknowledged this fact last summer when gays were getting married. Unlike the first “winter of love” most marriages last summer were low-key, pretty traditional in dress and ceremony, and about as family friendly as they could get. Gays knew that the world was watching, and they wanted everyone to see that they weren’t weird creatures, but just like everyone else. They hoped to change public perception through a family friendly setting. Ultimately Prop 8 passed but I hope the impression was lasting in some. I have several gay friends who refuse to go to gay pride events because they feel they reinforce all the negative stereotypes about gay people. I don’t think they should be turned into staid picnics (if only because they are incredibly entertaining events) but I do see the need for more public and more publicized family friendly but gay-centric events.

  • Jen

    Ideally, I would hope that the kid has been exposed to gay couples by the age of six. Otherwise, tell the kid some girls marry girls. Not that hard.

  • Autumnal Harvest

    Claudia:

    I think many folks are assuming a homophobia in Bart I don’t see. . .So far as I can tell Bart never said that outlandish behavior by gays is the root cause of homophobia and discrimination.

    Bart:

    Point being: Much of the general distaste for everything homosexual is of their own making — from gauche parades to sordid rendezvous in city parks.

    While numerous other commentators have already pointed out Bart’s poor logic, I would also say that a complaint about how homosexuals always insist on getting “naked and nasty” is particularly bizarre and out of left-field as a response to a description of the Game of Life. His response might be a reasonable, if incorrect, argument in response to pictures of a gay pride parade. But when someone immediately responds to a completely PG description of same-sex couples with complaints about gays always being “naked and nasty,” I tend to assume something funny is going on in their head.

  • Twin-Skies

    Somebody tell that mom to keep her kids away from calculators – you can spell 58008 on it!

    OMG! Mathematics is evil!

    Bah, fundies – they’ll take offense at anything!

  • http://frodology.blogspot.com/ FrodoSaves

    I’d think most Christians would be angry that the game only lets you have four kids.

  • The Unbrainwashed

    We’ve got the board game at home. My daughter (12) chose a blue peg for her car. Clearly this game is inherently evil and promotes the transgendered lifestyle choice above good Christian values.

    Come on. Even you must admit that a distinction exists between homosexuals and transgender persons? The two phenomenon, both biologically and in regards to current/future social acceptance, are distinct.

    I’d say transpeople will take much longer to become part of the mainstream than regular gays.

  • http://gretachristina.typepad.com/ Greta Christina

    Claudia:

    No.

    There are two major flaws in your reasoning. One: No matter what the LGBT community does, the right wing is going to focus on our sexuality to the exclusion of everything else. They know it’s what gives people the willies, and they are going to run with it for all they’re worth. If we don’t have half- naked people at pride parades, they’ll find some other way to do it: gay beaches, gay nightclubs, the International Male catalog. There isn’t much the LGBT community can do about it. We could wear burkas day and night and never discuss sex in public at all… or we can decline to be ashamed of our sexuality (which is a central part of our community and our history), and proudly incorporate it into our celebrations. (Exactly the way straight people do at Mardi Gras or Carnival.)

    Second:

    Yes, LGBT people dressed more soberly at our weddings than we do at gay pride parades. Do you honestly think this was a calculated PR move? Did it not occur to you that it was perhaps because they were weddings? Who on earth wears a leopard print thong at their wedding?

    If my tone is angry, I apologize. Actually… no, I don’t. I am sick unto death of straight people telling queers how we should be running our movement, and blaming us and our sexuality — openly or implicitly — for the bigotry against us. We have heard this argument before. It is the same argument that gets made against publicly defiant African- Americans, and publicly defiant women… and for that matter, publicly defiant atheists. “If you would just stop being so inflammatory, people would be nicer to you.” It is not new, and it is not original. And it has never, ever, ever been true.

  • The Unbrainwashed

    It is the same argument that gets made against publicly defiant African- Americans, and publicly defiant women… and for that matter, publicly defiant atheists.

    You’re telling me sometimes it doesn’t have merit? I guess the LA riots after Rodney King was just blacks being “publicly defiant”. And Bill Maher using the Oscars as a personal venting board (though I liked the message) was in-bounds?

    Sometimes people don’t want shit shoved in their face, especially homosexuality which many straight (men) people find physically revolting (OK, well straight men don’t find feminine lesbian revolting).

  • Lynx

    Greta, a couple of things:

    No matter what the LGBT community does, the right wing is going to focus on our sexuality to the exclusion of everything else.

    Yes, the right-wing will try to control the message. They are very good at this, and we are piss poor at it, which is part of the reason they win so often. This is like arguing that you shouldn’t defend yourself in court because the prosecution will always portray you as guilty. The LGBT community and allies should stop griping to each other about the way the right controls the framing of their issues and start to learn from them. Message control is important and it does not happen without cooperation and coordination. It is, sadly, not enough to merely be right.

    Many folks are mentioning Mardi Gras and St. Patricks as decadent hetero events heteros don’t get stereotyped for. Yes and no. True, people don’t look at a large group of heteros acting out and connect it to their sexual orientation. However those celebrations are not advertised as celebrations of hetero sexuality specifically. Gay pride events say “we are here to celebrate all sexualities!” so the conexion of people’s orientation to the tone of the event is more direct.

    I’m not even arguing that gay pride events be turned into boring marches of people in gray suits. I love the events and find them to be joyful parties where people of all orientations can have fun together. But I do think stepping up efforts to show a public, overt face to GLBT issues that is family and normalcy oriented is important. There’s a reason the right wing gets so worked up about lesbians in the Game of Life or Heather has Two Mommies. They make being gay normal, unremarkable, just another aspect about a person like race.

    Yes, LGBT people dressed more soberly at our weddings than we do at gay pride parades. Do you honestly think this was a calculated PR move? Did it not occur to you that it was perhaps because they were weddings? Who on earth wears a leopard print thong at their wedding?

    Then why the difference between the Winter of love (2004) and the Summer of Love (2008)? I watched both rather closely and this last summer was a lot more low key. Don’t get me wrong, in ’04 most people probably had perfectly normal weddings, but I think its noteworthy that in ’08 media, try as they might (and you know they tried) couldn’t find any outlandish weddings. I think there may have been an awareness, at least amongst those who otherwise might have had more boisterous affairs, that this was a chance to get the media to focus on them no matter what, so lets show folks that have only heard the other side’s version of us that they truly have nothing to fear.

    Finally, to this:

    If my tone is angry, I apologize. Actually… no, I don’t. I am sick unto death of straight people telling queers how we should be running our movement, and blaming us and our sexuality — openly or implicitly — for the bigotry against us

    I also refuse to apologize for not being a mindless yes-person as a straight ally. I find counter-productive the position that straight allies are welcome to support our LGBT brethren…just as long as we never have anything critical to say about strategy. Saying that a more tightly controlled message would be useful to advancing the cause of equal rights is “blaming gays for bigotry against them” is utterly ludicrous. Intolerance of dissent on matters of strategy is bad for any movement. Disagreeing is fine. Accusing anyone who disagrees of being bigoted or traitorous is not, and using a double standard based on sexual orientation on who can and cannot dissent safely goes against the core philosophy of the movement.

  • Janis Chambers

    I know this is a little left-field, but if I remember right two Lesbians *can* have a baby. All you really have to do is introduce the dna of one ova into another and then implant it isn’t one of the females. The child can never be male.. but with that process who needs them? If I were an insane idealist I would say Men are obsolete, I’ll just say ‘optional’.

  • Derek

    The board game did not prevent players in any way from placing two pink or two blue pegs in the front seat, thus depicting a homosexual couple.

    O NOES! If only they had implemented it like the real board game, where it was impossible to put two identically shaped pegs of the same color in the front two holes of a plastic car!

    Someone take the crayons away from the kids, they might accidentally draw something challenging to their parents’ child-rearing skills!

  • Donna

    I’m gay and began wandering away from the lesbian community because I can’t relate to the wild and craziness that’s prevalent there. (But maybe straights are the same way and I’m just not interested enough in what they do either to know?)

    The gay community needs another image. I vote for kind, feminine, educated, and librarianish-looking to be our new image!

  • Kelly

    Old thread, I know.

    “I find counter-productive the position that straight allies are welcome to support our LGBT brethren…just as long as we never have anything critical to say about strategy.”

    You, as a privileged straight person, do NOT get to tell gay people how to run their movement. You, as a privileged straight person, do have a lot of reading to do. Educate yourself.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X