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The Irksome Thing Gay People Do

devi
It's generally accepted that you are being a douchebag if you say of a strong-willed woman, "She just needs a man," or the more crude, "You know what would fix her? Cock." Generally, the people who say this are those who have been outwitted by the woman, or who otherwise feel threatened by her. These statements imply that a woman becomes not-right-in-the-head because she has not been properly manhandled, and generally reinforce very ugly concepts about a woman's role in society.

However, the same people who appear to accept the above will often turn around and do something quite similar, which annoys me.

They will see a rather effeminate Republican man, who has views with which they do not agree, often views which are damaging to GLBT people. And they will say, "Well, he's just closeted," or "He's just jealous because he secretly wants to suck dick." In fact, one person I know is fond of exclaiming that "Everyone who speaks against GLBT rights is closeted, or scared because one time they touched another boy in a shower after gym and they liked it."

Okay. Maybe the "rather effeminate Republican man" (RERM) who is so very adamant about gay people being an abomination is, in fact, gay himself. Maybe he is not. However, what do we achieve by making this proclamation?

1) We make the RERM more likely to increase his anti-gay rhetoric by making him feel more threatened.

2) We turn "being gay" into a weapon that we bludgeon people with when they don't agree with us. We're basically reinforcing that this is something that these people should fear being, and in doing so give a very negative view of ourselves as both afraid of what we are and, somehow at the same time, fearmongering those who are not us.

3) We completely derail any possibility for advancement on the real issues by turning instead to childish ridicule. If someone says, "Gays need to be sent to pray-the-gay-away camps," and you turn around and say, "You're just afraid that you might be gay," it takes the focus off of the problem of anti-gay brainwashing camps. It instead turns the argument into a childhood argument of, "You're a fag. Nuh uh. You're a fag."

4) I'm pretty sure that "outing" someone, even in ridicule, even if they are your enemy, is kind of dastardly.

5) We sink to their level.

6) We bypass the ability to understand that if this person is gay, which is a possibility, then they must be hurting incredibly deeply and be so terribly afraid of who they are that they have lashed out at the very people who would love them. And that is a SAD thing, not a funny thing. We may never be able to help them come to terms with who they are, but we definitely won't even have a CHANCE to do so if we reinforce the idea that, "HA HA, YOU ARE CLOSETED", is a taunt and a shaming method.

So, there you go. That's what irks me. And I'm not going to join in if such a conversation starts up around me. I see it often on Facebook or LJ. But, I'd think that most people I know have more intelligent things to say the views of anti-gay mouthpieces than, "UR A FAG."

Comments

( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
cumaeansibyl
Jul. 20th, 2011 06:12 pm (UTC)
Hey, I think I know exactly who you're talking about! Or, at least, the latest iteration of the RERM who everybody's calling gay.

I'd like to add a #7: We reinforce the stereotype that all gay men are effeminate and all straight men are macho, therefore making life difficult for all men who don't naturally fall into the "correct" category. God help the femmey straight men of the world, they've got absolutely no hope of being believed.
plinko
Jul. 20th, 2011 06:16 pm (UTC)
Oh yes! That's very, very true. That should definitely be #7!
cumaeansibyl
Jul. 21st, 2011 04:52 am (UTC)
Can I link to this post? It's a very good one.
plinko
Jul. 21st, 2011 02:09 pm (UTC)
Feel free to do so!
chuck_lw
Jul. 21st, 2011 05:33 am (UTC)
>I'd like to add a #7: We reinforce the stereotype that all gay men are effeminate and all straight men are macho, therefore making life difficult for all men who don't naturally fall into the "correct" category.

Hell -- I have my suspicions about the macho anti-gay guys. That comes from growing up in a town where homosexuality wore a dirty baseball cap, rode around in a pickup, and had a wad of chewing tobacco in its mouth ... oh, and claimed it wasn't gay. For a while, those kinds of guys actually had me thinking that I was anti-gay (and I have to wonder how many people, in terms of their opinions, are in the same boat I was), because I came to believe that a homo/bisexual was a perverted, hypocritical thug who denied what they were (despite their not-so-secret sex lives), propagandized heterosexual guys as fags, and commonly had to be dealt in very harsh terms. (You should have seen the look on my face when I first heard about people who admitted they were gay. It's amazing what you find out when you stray into the Big City.)

I could say worse things ... and have. I'm probably guilty of some of the things plinko mentioned above. That said, it's my guess that most of the professed "anti-gay" types are probably purely heterosexual ... they're also cowardly sellouts living in fear of what the broken human monsters, gleeful hypocrites, and expert liars living in their community might do if hetero-peasants stepped out of line and said the wrong thing. (I vilified a completely different group of people there, so that doesn't count.)

But yeah, in a few ways I'm probably a bad example in regards to what this article is saying. I just wish some people would stop being dishonest and destructive, and admit, "Hey, there's a side of myself I'd rather not indulge in, and I'm looking for an opposite-gender spouse who has no problem with that. And I won't hate on anyone while doing so." I've actually seen a few in the media -- some seem mostly OK, and others are a little creepy, but I guess it's kinda-sorta-somewhat a step in the right direction. The rest just need to be damned with freedom. (I know, I did it again.)
plinko
Jul. 21st, 2011 02:25 pm (UTC)
I have no doubt that many of the anti-gay types are heterosexual. Some of them may actually be effeminate heterosexual men who have been teased about being gay, and thus have gone out of their way to let others know they Definitely Are Not and Would Not Condone This Because They Are MANLY MEN, huzzah.
infrogmation
Jul. 20th, 2011 06:40 pm (UTC)
And "Haw Haw" is still not an argument
Thanks for this. There was a recent example of this on "the Daily Show" with John Stewart and Jerry Seinfeld -- while done with good comic delivery, it bugged me. Thanks for explaining articulately and in detail what the problem is.
plinko
Jul. 21st, 2011 02:27 pm (UTC)
Re: And "Haw Haw" is still not an argument
I skipped that part of that show. But, I did so mostly because I find Jerry Seinfeld obnoxious.
kellymeine
Jul. 24th, 2011 08:45 am (UTC)
Re: And "Haw Haw" is still not an argument
I wish I had. I've never figured out why people like Seinfeld. Also, yeah, I hate it when people view the gender spectrum as the same as the sexual orientation spectrum. That bit was a hot mess of mixing the two up. Anyway, it's not just gay people who do that, but a lot of socially liberal people.

Also, I get sick of people repeating the same things over and over again. So, yeah, studies have shown that people who are vehemently anti-gay often have repressed homosexual urges. But, people have known that for a while now. And yet, a lot of gay people will bring that up, like it's some brand new discovery, that no one but them knows!

What I find more concerning about the gay male culture, is that there's a lot of misogyny there. It's pretty disgusting and disturbing, and I have no idea where it comes from. (My therapist is a gay male, and he's right there with me. He is equally clueless why so many gay men are misogynists.)
ellipse
Jul. 20th, 2011 09:27 pm (UTC)
Man/Woman, gay or straight - everyone needs more cock. And more cowbell.

I am, of course, just kidding... About the cowbell. :)
plinko
Jul. 21st, 2011 02:29 pm (UTC)
Cowbells definitely need more cock.
vicariance
Jul. 21st, 2011 08:32 pm (UTC)
No, you're right. Sex and cowbell are two things nobody can ever really have enough of.
sistrmoon
Jul. 20th, 2011 09:54 pm (UTC)
Good points.
rocknlobster
Jul. 21st, 2011 03:43 am (UTC)
Yes, yes, yes, and yes. It is EXACTLY the same thing as when women tell other women that it is "anti-feminist" to want to be a 'homemaker.' Newsflash: freedom means that you can pursue whatever lifestyle speaks to you as long as it does not injure others. To say that a woman cannot act in ways that are "old-fashioned stereotypes of femininity" ACTUALLY SUPPORTS THOSE STEREOTYPES.

Same with this. If you claim to care about people regardless of their sexual orientation, why would you ever use orientation as a means of personal attack? EVER? If that is something that you are supposedly fighting so hard to prevent, THEN WHY DO IT?

Grrrrr.
plinko
Jul. 21st, 2011 02:31 pm (UTC)
I don't know either! People boggle me on a regular basis.
vicariance
Jul. 21st, 2011 08:33 pm (UTC)
Very nice article, pope :)
bluenautilus
Jul. 23rd, 2011 12:59 am (UTC)
I'm just glad no one I'm friends with is like that. I would probably punch them sooner or later.
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

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