Sunday, September 30, 2007

Gender Agenda

Julia Langdon comments on what she calls 'the gay movement'.

It started with "outing," which was an unforgivable intrusion on the private lives of homosexual persons; it labels gays who live by a moral code and prefer to live quietly as "self-haters." It insists on separateness -- gay neighborhoods, gay pride days, gay rites, gay clubs, gay cruises -- while demanding "full inclusion and acceptance." It shouts down as "homophobic" anyone who respectfully disagrees.

Not many women I knew bought into the feminists' agenda; no homosexuals I know want much to do with the activists' agenda, either. They are church members, business owners, and employees whose homosexuality is a small part of their makeup and not their reason for being. They resent all of the attention and don't see taking on churches and church leaders as particularly helpful.

Julia is, I think, an honest and decent enough journalist, but how many feminists and homosexuals does she really speak for?


Wormwood's Doxy said...

Not me. I sign on to the "feminist agenda" and the "homosexual agenda" lock, stock, and barrel.

Because all they really say is that women and homosexuals are fully human and should be treated as such.

Anybody who can't sign on to that *is* a misogynist/homophobe. Full stop.

Jess said...

I think that, like a lot of people, she's looking from the outside in and can't quite fathom the experience of being gay. There is nothing contradictory in asking for inclusion while creating neighbourhoods and bars where like-minded people feel comfortable hanging about with each other. And besides, some of these institutions have become completely mainstream. Gay Pride in Toronto is a huge event that lots of people take the kids to. I don't think she understands much about it at all, actually. Just my 2 cents. (It didn't start with "outing" -- it started with Stonewall, for cryin' out loud!)

Anonymous said...

U.S. perspective here:

Lesbians and gays and bisexuals who would agree with that journalist: Log Cabin Republicans, the closeted, the lazy, and the elderly who have grown up in an era of don't-ask-don't-tell and have not adjusted to the fact that they aren't illegal, unhireable, and under suspicion for being (communistic, atheistic, you name it). Who knows how many of them there are? Half of them seem to be in nondenominational megachurch pulpits or in Washington, DC.

Most busy lgbt are glad that some activists have been and are out there repealing discriminatory laws and such. They might not do activism themselves, but they will donate to organizations.

As for feminism, there are a bunch of women who have benefitted from prior activism but feel no need to acknowledge that fact. There are professional anti-feminists who keep up the myth that feminism is all about man-hating, and an alarming number of young women believe them and bash feminism while wondering why Bob got promoted and they didn't. The mass media and conservative pundits have managed to attach a bunch of subtexts to feminism: man-hater, slut-nympho-"player", ugly and unshaven armpits and legs(this is the US), castrating sexpot bitch, lesbian, too ugly to get a man, and in general Not A Woman To Take Home To The Family. So naturally young women in search of both marriage and career avoid the "f" word, which is more vulgar and damaging in many situations than the standard "f" word. So the women who go by the word "feminist" are those brainworkers and tradeswomen who are older (grew up in 1950s to 1970s), and among the younger women (under 35), the avant-garde, the intellectuals, and the lesbians.


terri c said...

Heavens to hamburgers, Ms. Julia sure loves to oversimplify. She must be so young that she does not remember the days of "Help wanted-male" and "Help wanted-female" advertisements in newspapers if she thinks almost no one cared about feminism. And most sexual minority persons I know laugh at the idea that there could be a single "gay agenda" except for the radical notion that one's sexual orientation should not be allowed to determine one's status as a citizen of this country or a child of God, for that matter. Issues such as "outing" are conflicted among sexual minority persons; many sexual minority persons enjoy pride celebrations but are by no means separatist; etc., etc. The lives of human beings cannot be reduced to sound bites or to "agendas," but that should not mean that the move for equality under the law, unaffected by gender or orientation, can be ignored.

Merseymike said...

A lot of inaccuracy here.

First, only one organisation 'outed' to my knowledge, and they restricted that only to those, like Bishops, who were gay in private, homophobic in public. I don't personally agree with that tactic, but it was never widespread.

Second, it labels only gays who join organisations whose reason is to attempt to turn them into heterosexuals as 'self-haters' - for that is what they are. I live by a moral code and live quietly. I'm happily gay. Self-hatred is characterised by lack of acceptance of one's sexuality

Third, the separate institutions mentioned have almost nothing to do with the gay movement, but the pink pound! If builders of flats, bar owners, cruise lines and so on think there's money to be made by targeting the gay market, then thats what they will do. But I'll wager that 'movement activists' are less likely to live their lives in the commercial gay ghetto!

Full inclusion and acceptance will take place when there is no demand for such separate provision, because there is no perceived need for it.

As for 'respectful disagreement': problem is, that 'disagreement' is usually accompanied by reasoning why gay people are unequal and why discrimination should be accepted and incorporated into law. Funny, that....

As for taking on churches, most gay people think the church is a joke and wouldn't go near it with a bargepole.But given that they wish to impose their right to discriminate in areas such as the employment of lay people or other matters which have precisely nothing to do with them, they must be challenged.

All the 'gay movement' wants is civil and legal equality. A reasonable request, I'd say, and its because the movement , epitomised by Stonewall in the UK, has been sensible and moderate, that we have achieved so much.