I am laughing and laughing this evening over the Twitter news that feminine care products are being confiscated from those entering the Texas legislature to hear debate on an abortion bill. It goes without saying that super plus tampons and winged pads pose a threat to the safety of Texas state senators. Licensed guns, on the other hand, are still acceptable accoutrement for those attending the legislative session, according to Twitter reports.
Laughing and laughing, because we are ridiculous: humanity in general, Americans in particular, and the socially-financially-politically-gendered elite most especially.
Laughing and laughing, just like I laugh when the mothers of “Toddlers & Tiaras” rage at judges who don’t award the Bestest Loveliest Most Supremest tacky crown to their two-year-old daughters who are wearing tens of thousands of dollars in make-up and glitzy dresses. My God, my God, what a commentary “T&T” makes on our society!
Laughing and laughing, because the Texas legislature too is a form of commentary — an indictment, in fact — on American culture. The #txlege unwittingly plays the jokester of the day, making an exaggerated fool of itself for needing protection from women’s tampons. And beyond itself (casting my net wide), the Texas legislature’s vigilance against women makes a fool of Florida too, where the trial of George Zimmerman highlights America’s violent vigilance against Black males who dare to walk to the 7-Eleven.
Because women and Black males are dangerous. In fact, they are the worst nightmares of every hetero white American man (with actual or perceived power & status). Apparently.
Which is funny.
In an enormously unfunny and life-threatening way.
I would add another layer of ridiculousness to this drama: Those who are having nightmares of young Black men eating Skittles on a stroll through the neighborhood, and of tampon rainstorms littering the ground with pink crinkly wrappers, are not only hetero, not only white, not only American. The men who are running scared are notably conservative Christian men.
White hetero conservative Christian men who believe — in all kinds of religious code — that the purpose of Jesus Christ was to sanitize the world and empower white Euro/American men to go & likewise sanitize the world in his name, until everything is white as snow. Not bleeding red. Not hued in blacks & browns. It is a warped Christology that has long been embedded within a privileged worldview.
Holy broken and oft-sacrificed God, help us!
One step further, one more layer into the absurdity that Texas and Florida represent: One of the significant institutions that has been built around (and, I daresay, will continue to grow because of) the white savior complex is the non-denominational conservative megachurch movement. All in the name of Jesus, mind you, but with the inherent function of preserving of white, male, American, conservative, hetero-ness of Jesus. You know, so that this same Jesus will continue to protect the world from women with tampons and Black boys with candy.
(There are many non-white megachurches, of course. Here, too, the salvation of Jesus is enacted as an authoritative hetero male ideology.)
May God in Her mercy pull the mirror out of Her purse to place it before us, so that we see ourselves as the fools we are: not truth-telling jesters in the courts of power, but blatant fools entertaining only ourselves…and poorly.
May tampons and Skittles be the gifts of prophets who will untangle our defensiveness from our Christology, our guns from our Jesus, our contortions of power from our holy humanity.