Some Dads Are Murderers: An Open Letter to Bristol Palin

by: Mar Curran

Dear Bristol,

Hi, it’s me, Mar. We’ve never met, but something tells me you need to hear what I have to say. So, make yourself a nice cup of tea, pull up a bearskin rug, and let’s chat.

You recently made some interesting comments about President Obama saying that his daughters being accepting, decent human beings made him feel like he should stand up for full federal marriage equality. Now, I may not be the biggest fan of “gay marriage” as a political platform, but I do take some issue with your… well, let’s just say they’re interesting ideas. I’ll take this step by step with you so you can fully grasp just how wrong you are.

“In this case, it would’ve been helpful for him to explain to Malia and Sasha that while her friends parents are no doubt lovely people, that’s not a reason to change thousands of years of thinking about marriage.  Or that – as great as her friends may be – we know that in general kids do better growing up in a mother/father home. Ideally, fathers help shape their kids’ worldview.”

First off, seeing that your kids aren’t bigoted assholes is actually a great reason to consider a policy change when you’re in power. Ever heard the saying, “no child is born a racist?” Yeah, that’s because some parent noticed their kid wasn’t discriminating based on skin color from the womb, and said, “Hey, maybe the way I’m thinking is socially constructed and fucked up!” Secondly, it’s a scientific fact (BOOM, SCIENCED) that being raised by straight parents isn’t better than being raised by homosexual parents– it might even be worse. So, you know, you should probably hand over your baby now, because you seem to think it’s great to perpetuate systematic oppression and want your kid to just buy all the bullshit you spit at him (like how baby birds eat, but with ideas).

And yes, ideally fathers help shape their kids’ worldview. If the parent has a worthwhile idea, pick that idea up and run with it, little Johnny! But sometimes dads have shitty ideas, Bristol. Some dads are murderers, rapists, abusers, fans of Rush Limbaugh — the list goes on and on, to varying degrees of stupidity. Being able to reproduce does not make you a certifiable genius who’s always right about the world. Intelligence is the capability to question the authority of ideas around you. What if white Americans had just kept on believing their dad’s ideas that different races should use different water fountains, AIDS was transmitted through sweat, or women are just babymaking machines?

And following up this idea, you say,

“In this situation, it was the other way around. I guess we can be glad that Malia and Sasha aren’t younger, or perhaps today’s press conference might have been about appointing Dora the Explorer as Attorney General because of her success in stopping Swiper the Fox.”

Slow clap for you, making a snarky observation about their age. Surely children cannot be intelligent or capable of ideas about the world! Oh, like how you said it was you who chose to give birth to your son despite what your mother thought about abortion? So you were in your teens when you chose to give birth; Malia is 14 and chooses not to be a horrible person by discriminating against the children of gay couples. I see. Your ideas are more valid because… why? Because they never got a chance to influence domestic policy? Bitterness isn’t something we aspire to, Bristol.

How about this little gem:

“Sometimes dads should lead their family in the right ways of thinking. In this case, it would’ve been nice if the President would’ve been an actual leader and helped shape their thoughts instead of merely reflecting what many teenagers think after one too many episodes of Glee.”

You know what the President’s job is, Bristol? Maybe not, I know your mom was passed up for the job. Okay, here it is: it’s his job to work for the American people to make sure we are governed in a fair way to live happily and prosper. Not to act as the patriarch over our country and dictate what we all think or do for four to eight years.

Also, fuck your hatred of Glee. You were on Secret Life of the American Teenager, Bristol! You were third-fiddle to Molly Rignwald during the low point of her career! And you were on Dancing With The Stars! Your television show which will be featured on Lifetime this year is called Bristol Palin: Life’s a Tripp. You do not get to criticize Glee with wanton abandon. When you point one finger, three more crappy television shows you’ve been on point back at you.

I may not agree with President Obama all the time, nor do I think he’s doing all he could or should to be a queer and trans* ally. But we are lucky that we have a leader who is willing to reflect on his views based on those around him and admit when he is wrong on the issue of gay marriage. It takes a lot of guts as a parent to say your kid is smarter than you are. My dad, for one, always told me his only goal as a parent was to make sure I was better than him. Perhaps Obama has a similar parenting goal; that he can one day look at his kids and be proud of how much further they went to advance human rights than he did. Maybe your own mother should take a page out of Obama’s book, look at her grandkid, and think about her ideas of what “comprehensive sexual education” means.

Gay Americans have every right to enter into an arguably sexist, classist, racist institution as straight Americans do. I hope your own child will have enough sense to look past your ignorance and vanity and treat other human beings decently.

With warmest regards,

Mar Curran

Mar Curran is a trans/queer rights activist and community organizer; he is on the boards of Video Action league, Advocate Loyola, the Queer intercollegiate Alliance, and works with GetEQUAL. As spoken word artist, he has read at each All The Writers I Know event. He studies Communications and Women’s Studies at Loyola University Chicago. Curran likes beer and cats.

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4 responses to “Some Dads Are Murderers: An Open Letter to Bristol Palin

  1. Mar,
    You rocked this out. It’s hilarious and highlights the stupidity and ignorance of our culture. Congrats.

  2. Pingback: An Open Letter to Lifetime: Get Your S**t Together « In Our Words·

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