plinko: Nostalgia (Default)
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."

January 2012

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