PrideWestern is hosting its first P.O.P of the 2012-2013 school year! Isn’t that exciting?! Come on down to UCC-38 on Thursday September 27th at 6:30 to party it up! there will be free food, awesome games, and of course the very attractive executive members of PrideWestern! So come on out! Bring a friend! Make a friend! it’s going to be a ‘gay/lesbian/bisexual/transexual/transgender/questioning/ally/two-spirited/inter-sex/asexual old time’
PrideWestern will be collecting canned goods and monetary donations for Food Support Services at this event so please bring in what you can and contribute to a good cause while having fun!
Attention all lovely Pride People – We still have TWO available executive positions. Affiliate Affairs and On Campus Events.
Please send applications/questions to: email@example.com
Applications due: September 16th
Your application should include:
a) Cover letter
c) Answer to application questions (in 2 pages or less)
1. Why are you interested in this position?
2. What is your relevant experience?
3. How would you handle the time commitment?
4. What ideas do you have to improve the position/program?
5. What is your personal management style?
Today’s the last day! Apply to be on the 2012-2013 PrideWestern executive. Apps are due at 4pm.
The following positions are available
-Gender Diversity and Awareness
-Off Campus Events
-On Campus Events
-First Year and O-Week Activities
-Create Your Own!
We want the best team ever so apply today!
Every month Pride Western puts on a discussion group, and every month it is a huge success. So we got the crazy idea of doing more of them! Come on Thursday night to discuss a variety of LGBT topics in a friendly and safe environment and let us know what you want to see more of from Pride Western in the future.
Please note that unlike our regular discussion groups, this will be student lead.
LGBTQ Awareness Week at Western’s Affilitates!
Monday March 12th: “A Night Under The Rainbow” -Coffeehouse featuring DRAG SHOW at King’s University College Cafeteria from 7:30-9:30pm.
Tuesday March 13th: “From Closet to Gay Activitist” -A Talk with Artist Bruce Flowers at Huron University College Great Hall from 8:00-10:00pm.
Q&A and refreshments after the lecture!
Wednesday March 14th: “Married in Canada” -A showing of a Documentary about Same-Sex Marriage followed by a discussion with director Arianne Robinson at Brescia Univeristy College’s Auditorium from 1:30-4:00pm. Food and refreshments will be provided!
Thursday March 15th: “Dare to be Bold Day” -HBK and main campus students are encouraged to dress in bright colours and wear their free “Gay OK!” pins provided by PrideWestern at booths which will be set up at each affiliate during the week! Give us a visit! We hope to see you all at these awesome and FREE events! Happy Pride!
For More info check out the Facebook Event
CREATOR OF THE ‘IT GETS BETTER’ PROJECT AND ‘SAVAGE LOVE’ COLUMN
DAN SAVAGE GREW UP IN “A LOUD, ARGUMENTATIVE, AND VERY CATHOLIC” FAMILY, AND CAME OUT AS GAY AS FRUIT COCKTAIL.
ORIGINALLY KNOWN AS A GAY-SEX COLUMNIST, HE IS NOW A HOUSEHOLD NAME THANKS TO HIS IT GETS BETTER VIDEO PROJECT ON YOUTUBE. THE PROJECT, WHICH HAS GAINED IMMENSE POPULARITY SINCE ITS CREATION IN MID SEPTEMBER 2010, ASKS PEOPLE TO MAKE AND UPLOAD SHORT POSITIVE VIDEOS ABOUT THEIR EXPERIENCES ABOUT THE LGBT COMMUNITY. MILLIONS HAVE VIEWED THE VIDEOS AND PARTICIPATED SO FAR, INCLUDING PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA AND ENTERTAINER JANET JACKSON. ADVERTISING AGE HAS CALLED IT GETS BETTER ONE OF THE TOP SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGNS OF 2010. HIS NEW BOOK IS TITLED, IT GETS BETTER: COMING OUT, OVERCOMING BULLYING AND CREATING A LIFE WORTH LIVING.
IN JUNE 2011, SAVAGE WON A WEBBY SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD FROM THE INTERNATIONAL ACADEMY OF DIGITAL ARTS AND SCIENCES FOR THE PROJECT. A MONTH LATER, SAVAGE WAS NAMED ONE OF THE 2011 “POWER 50” AS WELL AS THE “OUT 100” BY OUT MAGAZINE FOR THE CAMPAIGN’S TREMENDOUS IMPACT ON THE LGBT COMMUNITY AND WAS ALSO SELECTED FOR O, THE OPRAH MAGAZINE’S 2011 O WOW! LIST OF BREAKTHROUGH ACHIEVERS.
IN 1991 HE WAS THE NIGHT MANAGER AT AN INDEPENDENT VIDEO STORE IN MADISON, WISCONSIN, WHEN A CO-WORKER TOLD HIM HE WAS PLANNING TO MOVE TO SEATTLE AND START A NEW ALTERNATIVE NEWSPAPER. SAVAGE, A SELF-DESCRIBED “PUSHY BUSYBODY,” REPLIED, “YOU HAVE TO HAVE AN ADVICE COLUMN. EVERYBODY HATES THEM, BUT EVERYBODY READS THEM.” AND SUDDENTY SAVAGE, WHO’D NEVER CONSIDERED HIMSELF A WRITER BEFORE, WAS A SNARKY “DEAR ABBY” FOR THE SEXUALLY ACTIVE.
SAVAGE’S COLUMN, “SAVAGE LOVE,” FIRST APPEARED IN 1991, IN THE FIRST ISSUE OF THE STRANGER. READERS OF ANY SEXUAL PERSUASION WERE INVITED TO SEEK SAVAGE’S PITHY ADVICE WITH THE SALUTATION “HEY FAGGOT,” AN ATTEMPT BY SAVAGE TO MAKE THE WORD MORE SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE. IN 1999, SAVAGE ANNOUNCED HE’D GROWN WEARY OF “HEY FAGGOT,” POSSIBLY BECAUSE A LOT OF READERS THOUGHT “HEY FAGGOT” NOT “SAVAGE LOVE” WAS THE NAME OF THE COLUMN.
THE ONCE-A-WEEK COLUMN IS FUNNY, INFORMATIVE, OUTRAGEOUS, NON-JUDGMENTAL (ABOUT CONSENTING SEX ACTS), AND VERY JUDGMENTAL (ABOUT MORONIC LETTER-WRITERS). “SAVAGE LOVE” IS NOW SYNDICATED TO BETTER ALTERNATIVE WEEKLIES ACROSS AMERICA.
SAVAGE IS THE AUTHOR OF THE COMMITMENT: LOVE, SEX, MARRIAGE, AND MY FAMILY, SKIPPING TOWARDS GOMORRAH: THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS IN AMERICA’S MOST POPULAR SEX COLUMNIST, AND THE KID: WHAT HAPPENED AFTER MY BOYFRIEND AND I DECIDED TO GO PREGNANT. THE LATTER BOOK TELLS HOW SAVAGE AND HIS BOYFRIEND ADOPTED THEIR SON FROM HIS WILLING MOTHER, A “SPARE-CHANGING GUTTER PUNK.” IT IS ALSO THE INSPIRATION FOR THE UPCOMING MUSICAL FROM THE PRODUCERS OF AVENUE Q, WHICH WILL HAVE ITS DEBUT IN THE 2009-2010 SEASON FOR THE NEW YORK-BASED NEW GROUP THEATER COMPANY.
“IF THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT REALLY WANTED TO STOP GAY SEX … THEY SHOULD GET BEHIND GAY PEOPLE ADOPTING, BECAUSE NOTHING PUTS A STOP TO GAY SEX FASTER.”
IN ADDITION TO WRITING HIS COLUMN, SAVAGE IS NOW THE EDITOR OF THE STRANGER. HE’S ALSO ACTIVE IN THE THEATRE, DIRECTING QUEER PLAYS AS KEENAN HOLLAHAN. KEENAN IS SAVAGE’S MIDDLE NAME, AND HOLLAHAN IS HIS GRANDMOTHER’S MAIDEN NAME.
Click here for more information and links to the It Gets Better Project Homepage
“It’s very dear to me, the issue of gay marriage. Or as I like to call it: “Marriage.” You know, because I had lunch this afternoon, not gay lunch. I parked my car; I didn’t gay park it.” ~Liz Feldman
I shall endeavor to write this article without making it sound too much like a formal philosophy essay. This means I may not give as much support or background for the claims I will set forth. My goal is to make this article easy to read and understand, and even though those reading it may not necessarily agree with my arguments, I hope it at least serves to spark a further interest in philosophy and/or some key LGBTQ issues- particularly the issue of same-sex marriage.
WIth that being said, let’s start with the basics. There are a variety of modes of reasoning that we, as human beings, use to think, rationalize, and form judgements on and about a variety of different issues. When it comes to practical reasoning, that is, reasoning about how we should act, one of the most widespread and accepted modes of reasoning is called “apodictic reasoning”. Apodictic reasoning, although originally a term in Aristotelian logic, has its origins in the thought of early modern philosophers, such as Descartes and Locke, whose views were more or less a response to the scientific revolution. Without going into too much detail, apodictic reasoning essentially follows the following format: you start with an incontestable claim/axiom as your starting point, make inferences from that starting point, and insofar as those inferences follow logically, whatever conclusions that are drawn from them will be incontestable as well. For example, if I start with the claim that all mammals are animals (starting point), infer that cats are mammals (inference), then the incontestable conclusion that would follow would be that all cats are animals. It’s fairly simple.
Noting that the persuasive force behind this apodictic mode of reasoning relies on the incontestable starting point/claim, we can see that this mode of reasoning works perfectly for many, if not all, scientific arguments, which are based on observation of the external world. Since we, as humans, all perceive the external world in a similar way, we can usually agree on these scientific claims concerning the nature of the external world, which, since they are indeed scientific, necessarily rely on observation. But what about claims that do not, and cannot, rely on observations of the external world, such as claims about morality, i.e. principles that we should rely on to guide our behaviour/actions? Usually these claims are much more controversial, and thus do not have as much persuasive force when the apodictic mode of reasoning is used to draw conclusions from them. For example, if I state that killing is wrong (starting point), and infer that eating meat requires one to kill an animal (whether or not they were the one that killed it) (inference), then eating meat is also wrong (conclusion). Here, the starting point is not incontestable- many may not agree that killing is wrong. Some may say that killing those who deserve it is right, some may say that only killing humans is wrong (exempting animals), and some may even be fine with the whole notion of killing.
This possibility of variance in opinion here fuels moral skepticism, which is an attitude that claims we can’t get at or agree on principles of morality due to the wide variety of beliefs that people have. This indeed seems true when considered in the context of apodictic reasoning, which itself relies on incontestable beliefs as its starting point. Thus, many philosophers have proposed that we use alternative modes of reasoning to think about morality. But the problem is that those who have not studied philosophy tend to rely on apodictic reasoning for most of their arguments, including arguments about science and morality. This is why it is always controversial to claim that something- be it an action, a policy, or a belief- is right or wrong, for as long as we rely on apodictic reasoning, it is going to difficult to find any common ground for which to base a sound argument on.
Of course, my response would be to suggest that people take philosophy so that they can learn about different modes of reasoning/logic or about different ways of grounding moral claims, but it is a fact that not everyone will do so. This is why reason sometimes seems powerless in the face of moral disagreement, and that even if we use it correctly in our arguments, there will always be some people who are going to remain unconvinced by our claims. This is true for the claim that same-sex marriage should be legal, and even that it is NOT morally wrong/bad. This claim rests on the foundational belief in the equality of civil rights. However, we note that this claim in itself is not 100% accurate, as the complete equality of civil rights would cause some fairly significant problem and impose heavy burdens on society, such as making allowances for hate speech under freedom of expression. Therefore, we find ourselves more inclined to believe in the equality of civil rights subject to reasonable constraints. Our Charter of Rights and Freedoms itself recognizes this claim under Section 1: ”The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society”. This is what gives us the authority to condemn things like hate speech since even though it may be a civil right, it causes obvious harm to those whom it is directed toward as it is an expression of an intense emotion that does nothing except to vilify or detest people.
By adding this clause of reasonable constraints, the persuasive force behind the arguments based on this claim are somewhat undermined if we are to think in terms of strict apodictic reasoning. If we take a belief in equal civil rights subject to reasonable constraints as our foundational claim, there are going to be many objections and debate as to what constitutes a reasonable constraint in that case, which means that are starting point is, in essence, not incontestable. Therefore, arguments that rest on that claim are going to fuel much debate and controversy. Of course, we can still do our best to reason with and persuade people that certain things are right or wrong on the basis of this claim, or else we could never come to any sort of agreement in law or in simple conversations/arguments with others. Certainly, it is my view that, insofar as what qualifies as a reasonable constraint is constituted by the fact that something causes direct harm or imposes undue hardship on any member of a given society, same-sex marriage does not cause any such harm and nor does it impose any such hardship. Therefore, it should be granted and legalized not only in Canada (which it thankfully has), but also in all other countries whose constitutional beliefs rest upon this claim that equal civil rights subject to reasonable constraints (which thus includes the USA). Of course, this will seem (hopefully) obvious to many people reading this- my point in writing this article is just to point out why skepticism about the issue of same-sex marriage (and other constitutional, legal, and moral claims) exists and why it is more common than skepticism about scientific knowledge.
So the next time you get into an argument with somebody over same-sex marriage and it looks like the argument has indeed come to a standstill, one possible solution to that problem would be to suggest that your opponent take a philosophy class in logic or ethics, for as long as they base their argument in the common mode of apodictic reasoning, it is going to be quite difficult to persuade them to change their opinion… or perhaps that’s just my biased opinion as a philosophy major