‘Purple Penguins’ too PC, say Critics

Activists are praising a Nebraska school district for its “adorable and inclusive” training initiative designed to make its middle schools more welcoming to trans, queer, and otherwise gender-nonconforming students. The initiative, among other things, encourages teachers to use gender-neutral language whenever possible. Instead of calling students ‘boys and girls’, for instance, which isolates children who identify as neither, the class might come up with a gender-neutral team name (the handout gives ‘purple penguins’ as one such example).

“Omigod, it’s the most adorable thing I don’t even!” cooed one Gender Studies major about the initiative. “A whole class of purple penguin babies I want to adopt them all!”

Of course, readme noted, more important was the positive impacts this would have on all its students, regardless of their gender or presentation. Trans and queer students would benefit from having an environment where their gender was respected, female students would feel more comfortable participating in male-dominated subjects, and even male students would benefit from the destigmatization of ‘girly’ behavior.

The Gender Studies major nodded seriously, then chirped, “But purple penguins!”

Despite the sheer cuteness of that mental image, the initiative drew quite a lot of flak from critics. That may seem a bit odd, until one remembers the cardinal rule of conservative Internet politics: every regulation ever made in order to help a marginalized group is actually an attack on you, personally, and if you don’t respond by telling everyone you know this is exactly the sort of PC bullshit that’s destroying America, the commies win.

As such, commenters soon arrived on news sites to berate the districts’ “idiocy” and bemoan the fate of America today. One even accused the school of promoting “the deconstruction of fundamental family and religious values” because clearly gender diversity is a religious issue. For who could forget 19:12 of Exodus, where the Lord said to Moses, “Take heed to yourselves, that ye shall not buy your daughters Transformers, or let boys wear the color pink, and for the love of Me don’t call anyone a purple penguin, that’s not a real thing.”

Now, this issue holds a special place in readme’s heart, considering readme is itself genderqueer. And it’s never been shy about that fact, or that it has the genitalia of a newspaper, but it wasn’t until recently that readme had figured out just where it lay on the gender spectrum. And as last Saturday was National Coming Out Day, readme feels this is the perfect time to announce to its readers that readme’s gender is, in fact, a purple penguin. It should have been obvious, frankly, since readme is too awesome and adorable to be anything else. So rock on, Lincoln school district, and rock on, purple penguins.

Local Man Explains Mansplaining


readme recently spoke to local man Harry O’Toole who decided it was his manifest destiny to put some things straight (or gay, as the case may be) concerned readme’s perceptions of life, the universe and everything.

O’Toole and readme were deep in a conversation about gender and sexuality (which O’Toole assured readme were actually the same thing) when O’Toole cleared things up for readme.

“You can’t be genderqueer! You have the genitalia of a newspaper, not a magazine!” he laughed, patting readme on the advertisements.

readme defended that its gender had always been not-so-much part of its identity. It even affected its textuality. readme vividly recalled to O’Toole the day when some Tartan messengers had (accidentally) placed a copy of the Tartan on top of readme in the rack. “smelling her, pressed up to her page to page” readme sighed, “was a revelation. I’m bitextual.”

“Not bitextual, just closeted.” corrected O’Toole, “Bitextuality doesn’t exist.”

“But what about that book-up with The Cut last year?” asked readme, confused.

“That was at a publishing party” O’Toole consoled, “it doesn’t count.”

readme rubbed its tagline, mentally exhausted. O’Toole continued. “Textuality is black and white. Just like your pages!”

“But I also have all this grey area! See?” said readme, pulling itself open to page two where there was a grayscale picture of a very furry bear.

“Oh God!” cried O’Toole. “I didn’t need to see that!”

readme closed its pages, ashamed. “I know my printing is low quality.” it mumbled.

“Oh, sweetie-paper, we can’t all be printed on photo paper.” O’Toole comforted, putting an arm around readme’s advertisements.

readme rolled itself into a tube. “Wait. Are you sure about all of this? I think I’ve heard of what you’re doing from Jezebel last time she game around to make fun of Lena Dunham with me. It’s called…uh…mansplaining?”

“Oh, readme, small new outlet…mansplaining has to be baseless and has to dismiss the possibility of its receiver having any intelligence or agency of its own. Plus it has to be done to a woman and, as we’ve established, you have the genetalia of a newspaper.”

Homophobic Things Happen in Country that is not Russia

In the wake of the vaguely-successful 2014 Winter Olympics, Russian policymakers have been subjected to an unusual level of global scrutiny. In particular, media outlets latched onto the stringent anti-homosexuality laws implemented by Russian premier Vladimir Putin, bringing the issue to the forefront of the public consciousness. But what about all those other countries that put so much effort into the oppression of their LGBTQ citizens? Does the fact that they didn’t host the Olympics make them any less reprehensible? Here at readme, the homophobic countries of the world are like our children; we hate them all equally. So let’s talk about a country whose homophobia has been sadly overlooked in recent times: Uganda.

A week ago, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni proposed an anti-gay bill that he later signed into law. The bill would outlaw the “promotion” of homosexuality, make having gay sex an illegal act punishable by life in prison, and requires all citizens to “report” on those they suspect to be gay. All that’s missing is the proposal for a military-grade gaydar that monitors Ugandan cities to make sure nobody exceeds the government-mandated limit of ‘fabulous’ (insert sarcastic jazz hands here).

The bill has been met with much outrage on the international level, especially from those Western powers who have donating money to support development of Ugandan infrastructure. Denmark, the Netherlands, and Norway have already cut aid plans in protest of this new bill, the World Bank has stalled a loan to the country while they ‘review’ the bill’s results, and our own President Obama even went so far as to warn Museveni that ties between the United States and Uganda “would be damaged” as a result of that bill. Well shit. That’ll learn ‘em.

Museveni held firm in his support of the bill, announcing his intention to sign the bill into law with a homophobic tweet. Because that’s the point we’ve reached as a society, where our world leaders spread hateful rhetoric condemning huge swathes of their own citizenry through tweet. “The West can keep their ‘aid’,” he said. “We shall still develop without it.” You know, it occurs to readme that when you basically have to hold your own country’s developmental success hostage in order to get foreign powers to support your legislation, you’re doing legislation wrong.

Now, in the wake of such massive displays of homophobic dickery, other countries like America might be worried their own homophobic tendencies will be overshadowed. It’s hard to compete with this level of willful bigotry, after all. But don’t worry, America. Just because your brand of homophobia is nowhere near as heinous as in these other countries doesn’t mean readme doesn’t hate you anyways.

Marriage is Dead for Real This Time


Gay Marriage: It’s threatening to Wake Me Up Inside.

As we enter 2014, it’s important to remember all those we’ve lost in the year before. One death, specifically, weighs on all our hearts and minds. readme is, of course, speaking of the tragic and unexpected passing of the institution of marriage. That’s right, folks. Marriage died in 2013. Not that you’d know from listening to the lamestream liberal media. Thankfully, we have Keith Ablow to tell us what’s what.

A psychiatrist and member of the ‘Fox News Medical A-Team’ (catchphrase: “I love it when a health plan comes together”), Dr. Keith Ablow broke the news in the most level-headed and professional manner possible, with a not-at-all melodramatic statement that “marriage is over”. According to sources, he then started painting his nails black and muttering about how ‘Linkin Park’s the only one who understands’.

Ablow of course had numerous pieces of evidence to support his ‘dead marriage’ theory, and by ‘numerous’, we mean ‘one’. As he points out, sometimes celebrities have really short marriages, and this is undeniably the result of marriage being dead. Because short celebrity marriages are a thing totally specific to 2013, and not something celebrities have been doing for decades before now. But it’s not like evidence is an important part of the scientific process or anyone. No, what’s more important is Ablow making sure people know that he totally called it.

“More than a year ago, when states began to legalize gay marriage, I argued that polygamy would be the natural result,” Ablow said. “Now one District Court Judge in Utah thinks that parts of a single anti-polygamy law are unconstitutional, so I’m going to consider my point irrefutably proved.” And since the man is clearly a better prophet than Nostradamus, he followed up with some more crazy blanket generalizations, asserting that gay marriage will lead to marriage becoming “the Wild West” and incest being legalized.

“Wait, hang on,” readme asked, confused, “is marriage a cowboy now? I thought it was dead.”

“I don’t care! You’re not my real dad!” Ablow shouted in response, throwing his eyeliner at readme. “Marriage is a joke! Everybody should just take the government out of the equation altogether! Get gay-polygamy-married at a commune for all I care! I’m going to write a moody poem about it on my LiveJournal! Then you’ll be sorry!”

Pope Francis Threatens to Drag Church into 21st Century


Being a decent person and selfies are among the new Pope’s 21st century exploits.

In a move that rattled his staunchest followers, Pope Francis responded to criticism by threatening to modernize the church, stating, “I’ll do it, don’t push me or by God I’ll drag the whole church into the 21st century.” Conservatives worldwide have condemned this brinkmanship, claiming that Francis is just whining to get what he wants, and that his position of the Pope, spiritual leader to over one billion Catholics and imbued with papal infallibility, gives him an unfair advantage.

In a my-way-or-the-highway move, Pope Francis is attempting to silence critics with his holy forces. One such critic is Home Depot founder Ken Langone. Langone, a wealthy Catholic donor, claims that an “anonymous” seven-figure donation to a Catholic hospital has been put on hold indefinitely because of the Pope’s comments promoting the importance of the rich’s responsibility to the poor. Like small children, Langone argued, the rich tend to do the exact opposite as what they’re told. Hope remains for rich outside the United States, however, because “rich people in one country don’t act the same as rich people in another country,” according to Langone.

The Pope’s threat to modernize may also be partially in response to the new Spanish Cardinal, Fernando Sebastion, who claimed homosexuality is a defect, like his high blood pressure, and that it can be “cured” with the right treatment. Can you pray the high blood pressure away, too? That might help invigorate church membership among the adult population.

When  he heard of the issue Pope Francis responded with surprise. “Don’t these people realize that I am the direct line to God? Why are they questioning my authority? I said be nice to the gays and the poor, is it really that hard? I still have contraceptives and women’s rights if I really want to freak people out.”

It’s the ENDA the World as We Know it

The United States Senate recently passed a bill known as the Employee Non-Discrimination Act to much fanfare from the LGBT community. In related news, conservative Christians have all headed to their Playboy-lined straight bunkers to wait out the gay apocalypse, again. While some might call this reaction ‘overblown’ and ‘tired’, these conservatives insist it only seems this way due to confusion over what the bill actually does.

According to the gays, ENDA is simply a federal bill that will protect members of the LGBT community from being wrongfully fired or passed over for work because of their sexuality or gender identity, citing such obviously bogus sources as ‘the actual bill itself’. Thankfully Christian America know where to get its cold, hard facts: from wild fearmongering speculation.

For instance, did you know that with ENDA in place, it will now be legal to fire people for being Christians? readme sure didn’t, but thanks to the magic of paranoia, it now knows that any bill which provides protection to LGBT individuals is actually designed to attack Christians! readme also learned a valuable lesson about the hardships Christians in America have to suffer. Can you imagine, having to pretend to be someone you’re not day in and day out for fear you’ll be fired from your job by bigots who don’t accept your way of life? Bravo to you, conservative patriots, for pointing out what sort of struggles your people, and absolutely no other groups in America, have to face every day.

And what about when employers need to consider an applicant’s sexuality when deciding whether to hire them? For some bizarre reason, ENDA has no loophole for such a scenario. As the Catholic church points out, there are jobs that cannot be properly done by an individual who is not straight and thus discrimination based on sexuality is “appropriate and relevant”. readme is trying really, really hard not to make the obvious joke about why the Catholic church would need to select for straight people.

Plus, as conservatives state, the LGBT community will most likely use the bill to push for the recognition of gay marriages on the state level. And as we all know, if gay marriage is legal, straight marriage will be made illegal, and then pretty soon we’ll all be polygamously marrying underage goats, because that’s how that works. So if you’re Christian and you support traditional marriage, you should head to your bunkers straight away and wait for those hateful gay bullies to stop judging you for who you are.