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Houston Voice, No. 1005, January 28, 2000
File 010
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Houston Voice, No. 1005, January 28, 2000 - File 010. 2000-01-28. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. December 14, 2017. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/2595/show/2571.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(2000-01-28). Houston Voice, No. 1005, January 28, 2000 - File 010. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/2595/show/2571

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Voice, No. 1005, January 28, 2000 - File 010, 2000-01-28, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed December 14, 2017, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/2595/show/2571.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Voice, No. 1005, January 28, 2000
Contributor
  • Hennie, Matthew A.
Publisher Window Media
Date January 28, 2000
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 31485329
Rights In Copyright: This item is protected by copyright. Copyright to this resource is held by the creator or current rights holder, and the resource is provided here for educational purposes. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without permission of the copyright owner. Users assume full responsibility for any infringement of copyright or related rights.
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 010
Transcript HOUSTON VOICE • JANUARY 28, 2000 VOICES AND ECHOES VIEWPOINT Self-love, and a little sag, help elude the booby trap by MICHELE FORSTEN I wasn't surprised when my cousin called to inform me that his 54-ycar-old sister's breasts were larger than they used to be and nestled in her bikini top at a gravity- defying angle. What shocked me was when he added that her 25-year-old daughter also had had her breasts enlarged. 1 can better understand my middle-aged cousin's decision to alter her breasts—to counter physical signs of aging and provide an illusory hedge against mortality—than 1 can her daughter's actions. When I was the daughter's age, back in the late 70s, the only women who had their breasts enlarged, or so it seemed to me, were models and movie stars. Being well-endowed in the mammary department had its drawbacks in real life. My full-breasted friends talked about having back problems and being harassed by men on the street who thought their ample chests were an invitation for sleazy comments. Glad to be an "A-Cupper," 1 didn't have a desire to be more voluptuous, nor did any of my flat-chested friends, for that matter. But, then again, 1 hung around lesbians. We accepted what we were given in the mammary gland department—large or small—and made the most of it. We knew there wasn't a correlation between breast mass and breast sensation; nipples got erect whether they were the apex of gentle rises or major mountains. Things are different now, at least for straight women. Peg it to the bull market or the cooling of the controversy over the safety of silicone implants, today it's your average young straight woman and her mother who are going under the knife. During 1999, more than 120,000 American women, many in their teens and early 20s, gave breast implants a try, according to a Netv York Times report. It's not as though I don't do stuff to improve my appearance, like pluck wayward eyebrow hairs. Still, this superficial kowtowing to our society's vision of beauty, doesn't carry the possible repercussions of breast "enhancement": painful scar tissue, the unnatural feel of the enlarged breasts, loss of sexual sensation, infections, the need for additional surgery, leaking silicone, to name a few. Looking deeper into what was really bothering me about young women having breast augmentation surgery, I realized mat the courting of potential health problems and the vanity of it all merely scratched the surface. At the core was why women like my cousin's daughter, with so much of life ahead of them, would elect to "deform" their body when other women, including my mother, are radically and brutally scarred by breast surgery they didn't want to have! In 1972, my 42-year-old mother had a mastectomy and opted not to have reconstructive surgery. Where the fullness and smoothness of her breast once was, there was flatness, broken by a long, thick angry scar. The skin surrounding the scar was taut and thin, with the outlines of her ribs visible. The plateau became a shallow concave bowl near her armpit, where her lymph nodes had been scooped out. Four years later, she died from the cancer that had metastasized. During the last days of her life, I remember rubbing Alpha-Keri lotion into the area where her breast had been, feeling some compassion but also revulsion in seeing her chest so ravaged by the cancer war she was about to lose. Trees have rings that reveal their age; I have visible marks that tell the story of the six surgeries (some to remove more than one growth—all, so far, benign) that I've undergone since 1970 when I was 16 years old. Scars are etched around both of my nipples and faded incisions line the surface of other parts of my breasts. In the late '80s, with several of these surgeries behind me and another looming, I went for a second opinion. The doctor asked, "Have you thought of having prophylactic mastectomies? You're at high risk. Why take a chance?" His flippancy about taking such a radical step that was, at best, of questionable value, horrified me. Why would I want to protect myself from a disease I might never contract? It was like deciding to commit suidde now because eventually I'm going to die. Recently, my longtime breast doctor commented that my breasts seemed less dense and thus easier to examine. This was the nice, medical way of saying that at the age of 45, they have started to sag. Instead of getting depressed and starting to research plastic surgeons, 1 was elated by the news. Breast exams will be easier and I'll get more accurate mammogram readings. I've lived long enough to understand that happiness is much longer lasting if it is achieved by developing self-love rather than through my chest. It will take a couple of decades for my nipples to reach the vicinity of my belly button. If 1 live that long and still have my breasts, 1 think I'll throw a big party to celebrate their reaching bottom. And if I live into my 70s, in decent health, and don't have one or both breasts, I'll celebrate being a crone, hopefully surrounded by people I love. Are there any other "gravity embracers" out there who might want to celebrate with me? Micltelc Forsten is a college administrator living in Neiv York City. Her play, "Winning?" was staged last summer by Hie Luna Sea Women's Performance Project in San Francisco. VIEWPOINT Why gays should defend the Boy Scouts9 ban by RICHARD E SINCERE, JR The US Supreme Court has accepted an appeal from the Boy Scouts of America in a New Jersey case that made national headlines last summer. In a unanimous decision, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that the Boy Scouts could not exclude James Dale, an assistant scoutmaster, and other gay men and boys from membership or employment. Dale is being represented in the case by the Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund. The Garden State court rejected the Boy Scouts' claim that such exclusion was required by their moral code, and thus protected by the First Amendment. Liberals abhor the Boy Scouts' policy of discrimination. Conservatives tend to believe that discrimination against gay people is justified regardless of the circumstances. Yet almost every commentator seems to miss the point of why the New Jersey decision is pernicious, and why it is important that the U.S. Supreme Court hear this case and, ultimately, rule in favor of the Boy Scouts. In a pluralistic society, there will never be perfect agreement about questions of per sonal morality, particularly sexual morality and intimate associations. There is still not universal approval, for instance, for religiously or racially mixed marriages, even though no legal impediment to such unions exists. So regardless of whether we approve of the Boy Scouts' ban on gay members and leaders, we should acknowledge their right to act in ways they feel helps fulfill their aim to teach certain values. The problem with the New Jersey court's ruling is that it tries to establish the principle that the government can define for a private organization what that organization's beliefs are, and then decide for that organization how it may or may not act on those beliefs. The New Jersey decision erodes the liberties of everyone—gay or straight, conservative or liberal, believers or non- believers—who wishes to associate with people who share certain values, beliefs, or points of view. It extends government power that already dictates who we may (or may not) employ, what wages we may accept from an employer, which customers we may choose for our products or sen-ices, and whom we may marry. The Boy Scouts of America is a private organization that should be allowed to set its own criteria for membership. Like many of my friends and colleagues, I disagree with the Boy Scouts' policy that excludes gays from membership and leadership positions. This is why it is important to encourage the efforts of those individuals and groups, such as gay former Scouts, working to persuade the BSA to change its membership requirements voluntarily. Some argue that regulation of the Boy Scouts is justified because the group relies on taxpayers' money to subsidize its activities. But the Boy Scouts' reliance on government varies widely from place to place, and in most cases uses predominantly "private" space. More than 60 percent of Cub Scout packs and Boy Scout troops are sponsored by churches. Direct government sponsorship of the Boy Scouts constitutes only a small fraction of the BSA's activities. The question of whether taxpayers may or should subsidize the Boy Scouts is separate from whether the Boy Scouts have a right to engage in expressive conduct protected by the First Amendment. If taxpayers who are dissatisfied with the Boy Scouts' policies wish to end their limited subsidies on a community-by-community basis, that is their privilege as the ones who hold the purse-strings. We should also note that the New Jersey Court's expansive definition of the Boy Scouts as "a public accommodation" could have detrimental effects on all citizens. We should protect the private against the intrusion of the "public." Is privacy to be respected only in our homes? Where is the limit at which we will be forced to associate with those who disagree with us, or with those we find disagreeable? If we do not stand up for the principle of freedom of association, soon we will see a homogenized civil society, in which every group looks like every other group, in which robust debate cannot take place because disagreement is forbidden. Gay men and lesbians, who remain a permanent minority in this country, cannot afford this kind of assault on liberty and privacy. Although it may seem counterintuitive, we should support the Boy Scouts in their fight for freedom of expression and freedom of association. Ricfmd Sincere is president of Gays and Lesbians for Individual liberty and can be reached through this publication
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