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17 November 2004


A gay journalist whose newswire service I've long subscribed to has a new column up this week that's so fiskable, it's not even fun. But here are just two highlights:

In the intervening two weeks [since the election], Bush has become even more of a cocky man's-man-with-a-mandate than before.

Note: in one brief hyphenated phrase, we get an attack on Bush's supposed machismo, and an attack on a President-Elect for having expressed a "mandate"!

Then (it was actually in the lede graf, but it deserved a build-up):

[In my last column,] I also suggested that things might not be as horrible as we fear because (a) Bush is not personally antigay and (b) Mary and Heather are always close by, silently offering a layer of protection on the national level.

Okay, get your scalpels out and let's dissect this. First, the rest of this current column gives the lie to his pretense of rationality supposedly on display in the previous column ("I suggested things might not be so horrible").

Second, that jaw-dropping Item B! Not only does it unironically evoke Falwell and Robertson's "veil of protection" language on 9/11, but a gay man seeking rhetorical shelter under womens' skirts is so utterly true to stereotype, ya big sissy-baby!

Though it's seldom stated so explicitly, this underlying attitude is frequently visible in the way that some gay male writers discuss their relationships with "fag hags" and with female divas:

Since, as sissies, we are unable to protect ourselves from straight men -- who are all violently homophobic bullies -- straight women will use their powers over straight guys to intervene on our behalf.

Leaving aside the fact that Mary and Heather may not have skirts to hide under, as lesbians they can't threaten to pull a Lysistrata if their boyfriends/husbands continue to pick on those perfectly harmless fags. The only layer of protection Mary could offer -- and geez, isn't that a phrase from a Maxipad commercial? -- would be, "Daddy, make the Republican bullies stop botherin' the poor little homosexuals, pretty please?"

That doesn't have the same power as "Fred, if you don't stop picking on my hairdresser, Christopher, you don't get to touch my pussy."

A variant of this strategy is Running To The Mother Hen -- a woman who by age or public esteem has acquired some degree of authority, and who will say something like "I dare you to call them 'fags' in my presence, little man."

This is all very useful when you're a geeky teenager dodging testosterone-addled Evil Jocks, but eventually you have to outgrow that cringing "I'm about to be bullied" mindset. But a lot of gay people never do, and for the most part, it's their own damn fault...

posted by Throbert | 11/17/2004 01:15:00 AM |
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