Homophobia’s a Bitch

I’m sure a good number of you have seen Rick Perry’s recent campaign video, “Strong” (if you haven’t, the link is here— go ahead and downvote it and/or flag it for hateful language). There’s certainly something wrong with this country when a person can run for president on a platform of “Christians are more oppressed than gays.”

Being a queer American and a Christian— and realizing I’m considerably more oppressed for the former than the latter— I went to Governor Perry’s facebook page to let him know what I thought of his recent video. While I was there, I checked out what some of the other commenters were saying. Several of them, like me, expressed distaste at his campaign choices, or posted pictures of gay men kissing, or pointed out that his jacket is oddly reminiscent of the one worn by the cowboys in Brokeback Mountain. A few were expressing their support for Perry and reminding him not to let the godless heathens and queers get him down. But in one of the comments, I noticed something odd.

“Why don’t you come to [city redacted] so we can teach you the manners that your whore of a mother obviously didn’t bother to.”

Wait a second. What? What does Perry’s mother— especially her promiscuity, or lack thereof— have to do with his campaign video? She didn’t make it. And even if she had, it wouldn’t make her a whore, or appropriate to call her one. I replied to the commenter, politely, that calling out homophobia with misogyny is no more acceptable than homophobia itself.

Her response to me was that my comment was “well put”… as she continued to completely disregard my point and place all the blame for Perry’s disgraceful campaign squarely on his mother’s shoulders for not aborting him when she (didn’t) have the chance. As if she should have known what he would be doing sixtyish years down the line and aborted a presumably wanted child for that reason? (And if we are blaming his parents for his upbringing or his existence in the first place, why does his father get no mention? He ought to be equally as responsible in that process as the mother, oughtn’t he?)

The (lack of) logic displayed here is disgusting, but unfortunately, not uncommon. How many times have people been called “r*tarded” for engaging in homophobia, or “f*ggots” for being racist? How many times has the c-word been used against female politicians for espousing unpopular opinions?

Slurs are slurs are slurs, even when slung about for the “noble” cause of calling out bigots for their bigotry. It isn’t okay. It doesn’t make you look good. In fact, it makes you look about as bigoted and narrow-minded as the people you’re attempting to call out.

It’s always good to call people out on their hateful rhetoric, but please. Take a minute to think about the language you’re using before you do.

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About Melissa S.

I'm a 23-year-old, currently unemployed college graduate. I have a degree in French and German, and I'd love to work in publishing. I love writing and reading, makeup, clothes, surfing the internet, and playing video games. I'm also queer and a feminist. I started getting interested in feminism in college, but contrary to popular belief, I've never taken a women's studies course. You don't have to. Most of what I've learned, I've learned from the internet, where there's a wealth of sources, personal and scholarly, that can get you started on the right path. From there, you have to make your own decisions.

4 responses »

  1. I totally agree with you. I think it’s really ironic when people who have been offended by one slur retaliate by calling their opponent another slur. There’s this really great piece on The Funny Feminist about this (http://funnyfeminist.com/2011/04/17/its-not-p-c-its-decency-how-to-make-fun-of-stupid-people-without-resorting-to-slurs/) you might enjoy. I also find it totally lazy to fall back on a slur. There’s something so much more satisfying about calling someone a butt monkey or a loser face. No one knows what to do when a 22-year-old calls them a butthead.

    Reply
    • I admit I tend to go for the vulgar but non-gendered insults like fuckweasel or shitstack (they just roll off the tongue so nicely!), but there’s definitely something to be said for simplistic insults like yours! (The woman I mentioned in this post went on to call me a party pooper. Gotta say, I laughed.)

      Thanks for the link, too!

      Reply

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