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Jewish World Review Sept. 15, 2000 / 14 Elul, 5760

Julia Gorin

Julia
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Consumer Reports


Bruiser and me

Warning: Some of our more liberal-minded readers will likely find the following piece of satire offensive.

http://www.jewishworldreview.com --
WE’RE SIMPLY misunderstood. Even the bravest of the enlightened don’t get us. They call it a perversion. They say it’s wrong. I am an American Jewish female. He is an American Staffordshire Terrier.

But Bruiser loves me. And I love him.

I know: The idea takes a little getting used to. I was once squeamish myself. For example, it took some time before I was completely comfortable even with the idea of women with women and men with men. Not that I ever judged a person’s quality in the context of his or her sexuality—but the notion that homosexuality and heterosexuality rated the same on the normality scale had to be explained to me a few times before I finally caught on.

"I’m not against anyone," I used to ponder naively, "but is that normal?" Invariably, the question would be met with another question: "Who’s to say what’s normal?" or "What’s your definition of ‘normal’?"

Once I reached the intellectual maturity to be able to grasp the elusiveness of normality, my newfound acceptance led me to expand horizons in my own personal life.

But apparently the general public isn’t ready for Bruiser and me. While I expected resistance from some quarters, I didn’t from others—certainly not from my pro-gay friends. But even they say I’m sick and need to seek therapy, and they resort to alarmist rhetoric, saying if I don’t cut it out I’ll get some exotic disease like heart worm or distemper. They tell me I can’t compare bestiality to homosexuality because a canine isn’t competent to give consent to such relations. But they’re wrong: I’m not the sick puppy. Bruiser is.

After all, he started with me. Whenever I come home, he gets aroused and licks my leg. He then proceeds to jump on me, panting and clawing.

Mind you, all I’ve done so far is walk through the door. I even had him neutered, but it didn’t help: I could see he still wanted me. When someone is that persistent, you’ve got to give him a chance. So it was his idea, not mine.

Besides, it’s so hard to find a good man these days --- a girl should just take the hand she’s dealt. And Bruiser is an uncommonly manly dog.

He’s a pit bull, which is a very muscular breed. That’s why I enjoy our walks around our Upper East Side neighborhood more than anything else. The neighbors all turn their noses up at us, but I can tell that the men are just intimidated by my dog’s masculinity. They’ve long forgotten how a man is supposed to walk, but Bruiser’s macho swagger is intact. As for the women—they’re just jealous: Unlike the sensitive males of the 90s they’ve taken for husbands, Bruiser still has his protective instincts about him. And I don’t have to worry about him cheating on me. I know he’ll always be true, because I keep him on a tight leash (and choke collar).

Oh, his enthusiasm has died down a bit since the beginning. I’m not as exciting to him as I once was. That been-there-done-that male attitude has kicked in. Typical! But we’re very happy together, Bruiser and me. Except…well, he doesn’t hold me afterwards. I tried explaining to him that he can’t just satisfy himself and then go for a walk. But he doesn’t understand—I can’t even tell if he’s listening. I know I can’t blame him—that’s just their nature, right? (But what a cliché: We women fall in love and then want them to change.) I haven’t yet got up the nerve to call Dr. Laura. I mean, if she hasn’t condoned so much as homosexuality in this day and age, there’s no way I’ll find a sympathetic ear. I did try calling a few trainers for advice, but they just hung up on me.

Can you believe that, though? This is supposed to be the Brave New York—tolerant, open-minded New York. Oh, we’re prepared for an uphill battle, Bruiser and me. After all, look how long it’s taking women, blacks, gays, pedophiles, cannibals, polygamists and incest advocates to gain a measure of respect. We’re all in the same fight, aren’t we? The underdog’s struggle (no pun intended) against a scared, white, frigid, heterosexual, male establishment. We all just want to be accepted, right?--and get our fair share of the power pie. Of course, the tide has been turning more and more in our direction, thanks to the trailblazers hard at work. The progress of women and blacks has been obvious—these are privileged among the movements for some reason. Next on the list is homosexuality, which has moved beyond tolerance to win not only the establishment’s acceptance, but its celebration as well. Indeed, the homosexual minority is afforded the opportunity to control how it is viewed by the public even in mainstream motion pictures, which hire gays as production consultants to advise on how a film’s homosexual characters should be portrayed. Also making strides is an offshoot of the gay movement, spearheaded by its more progressive members, called the North American Man-Boy Love Association. They still have a ways to go before Congress passes a law eliminating a legal age of consent. (Even in England, parliamentary pedophobes (or pedophilophobes?) in 1998 voted against lowering the age of consent from 18 to 16—although the measure passed in the House of Commons 336 to 129.) The organization has been making quiet progress in other areas, though. Like offering members advice on where to meet young boys, how to approach them, how to help them fib to their parents—all without getting "caught." ("Caught" is in quotes because the term tends to imply wrongdoing).

NAMBLA also has enjoyed membership in the International Lesbian and Gay Association, which in 1993 was granted consultative status by the U.N. Economic and Social Council since it’s a human rights organization. And aren’t children humans too? That’s why NAMBLA and ILGA are both for "youth liberation," seeking to abolish age of consent laws so that young people can enjoy the right to sexual and social self-determination.

Lending moral support to these efforts is the American Psychological Association, whose bimonthly "Psychological Bulletin" last year published a study that found sexual ‘abuse’ of adolescents to not cause enduring psychological trauma after all. The authors recommended steering away from loaded terms like ‘molestation’ when referring to willing encounters between adults and minors, and instead using simply ‘adult-child sex,’ or ‘adult-adolescent sex.’ (It has, after all, been six years since the other APA—the American Psychiatric Association—removed pedophilia from its list of sexual perversions.)

Exciting things are happening! It’s only a matter of time before Bruiser and I have our day. Already state funds are being used for seminars where teachers are taught how to come out to grade schoolers and students get a chance to break through their inhibitions and detail some of the more creative sex acts they’ve engaged in. Like a recent seminar sponsored by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network at Tufts University did (JWR's Don Feder, June 5). But how long did it take us to get there? This is the Year 2000, for heaven’s sake!

On a related note, incest has finally begun asserting its rightful place in the national dialogue. With the recent victory in Vermont, the subject of gay marriages came up on Dr. Laura’s show, whereupon she asked all listeners who support same-sex marriages to fax her stating whether they thought siblings should be allowed to marry. Of all the faxes that poured in, all but one—one incestaphobe—said yes! A great testament to the striving of the American people for equality and consistency. (Unlike my co-ideologists, I find the good doctor’s show very inspiring: Without it, I would never know just how much progress we’re making out there.)

And could there be a greater agent for social change than the current president? Hasn’t he aptly demonstrated the obsolescence of monogamy in American society?

But how long must we wait before the child-loving, the polygamous, and the incestuous among us are invited to their proper seats at the U.N. or the movie production table? Of particular urgency is the latter forum, as the media still portrays these especially vulnerable groups in the most backward and archaic ways.

Of course, that is not mine to worry about; I have my own war to wage. Besides, the other lobbies have an advantage over the likes of Bruiser and me in that there is some overlap among them. There’s the homosexuality-pedophilia connection, and then the pedophilia-incest combo, the latter making some headway of its own: Citing the practices of some tribal populations, an article I recently read somewhere stated that if the other option is "the gutter," breaking your kids in isn’t the worst way to go.

But Bruiser is neither a minor nor a relative. Perhaps that is why my allies in sexual liberation have been less than receptive to our plight. I suppose it’ll be a while before they’re stripped of all the layers of bestiaphobia that society has instilled in them. Regardless, this attitude from my peers has been a disappointment, as well as a stark reminder that in many ways we're still in the dark ages. They should lighten up, though—and heed ILGA’s call to "treat all sexual minorities with respect and to engage in constructive dialogue with them." My peers should likewise remember NAMBLA’s position that ANY consensual relationship is healthy. If there exists a Man-Boy Love Association, why not a Girl-Boydog Love Association? Really, why should they have the monopoly on normality? At least I’m attracted to the right sex! At least Bruiser and I don’t engage in any unnatural sex acts! And in the end, it’s only love we’re guilty of. (Although I can’t really speak for Bruiser. He may just be in it for the rawhides.) The point is, the world has yet to evolve to an understanding of our kind of love. But Bruiser and I will have our day. You’ll see: They’ll be teaching about us in schools. For now, however, we’ll keep a low profile and just privately enjoy our wonderful secret. And I guess I don’t mind the not holding so much; when he tries he just ends up scratching me. We’re actually considering a move to Vermont, where enlightenment seems to proceed at a faster pace—and where we’ll wait for the rest of the country to catch up.



JWR contributor Julia Gorin is a straight, happily-married journalist and stand-up comic residing in Manhattan. Send your comments by clicking here.

Up

09/09/00: Would New York still be New York without the U.N.?
09/06/00: A cornerstone of 20th Century America: Sticking it to the rich
08/14/00: Dangers in do-goodness
06/16/00: It's the sex, stupid
04/14/00: The most violent people
03/24/00: Beautiful fraud
03/17/00: Patronizing the patron
02/18/00: No one likes a hater without a cause
02/04/00: Bubba's big break
12/21/00: The Sport of Sitting
11/19/99: He wants his brother back!
11/15/99: Hollywood: Just jamming
10/29/99: Bomb all bans
10/04/99: Welcome, Mr. Buchanan!
09/24/99: The Financing of Hill's House
09/10/99: 'I cause your pain'
08/20/99: Believing the hype
08/09/99: Chickens bombing ... chickens?
07/30/99: Why I'm eating so much chocolate
07/16/99: The reluctant partisan
06/29/99: Maddy and Bill went up the (Capitol) Hill
04/29/99: "Never again"? This isn't exactly what we had in mind
03/19/99: The Thin Yellow Line
03/03/99: How many more are out there?
10/19/98: Got milk? Don’t know. Do I?
07/30/98: Kofi Annan's crimes against sensibility
05/15/98: Susan McDougal: a real stand-up kinda guy
01/08/98: In defense of the appetizing shiksa

© 2000, Julia Gorin