Saturday, June 23, 2018

Someone actually wrote this (obligatory Pride nonsense)

In today's New York Times, Joanne Spataro writes,
But there is a deeper tension running through this year’s Pride celebrations. Especially in the Trump era, it’s becoming harder for people who don’t present as the “right” kind of queer-identified person to feel welcome. They sense an encroaching “homonormativity,” the idea that there is one acceptable mode — white, male, gay — with everyone else marginalized or silenced.
In which alternate universe is that the case, especially with regard to "Especially in the Trump era"? Being the right kind of queer-identified person, at least in my experience, accommodates people of diverse appearances and presentations, as long as they conform to the goodthink, and this has been true at least throughout my adult lifetime.
Corporations are cashing in on these identities by selling gay-themed products during Pride Month — often referred to as “rainbow capitalism” — but too often, the rainbow begins and ends with masculine gay men.
Again, in which alternate universe? I have a hard time seeing how things like Ikea tote bags are specific to masculine gay men. It does not help that the article is illustrated with photographs of drag queens at Pride.
Homonormativity isn’t an issue only on the parade route. The term “masc 4 masc” is increasingly prevalent on dating sites for gay men as a way of prioritizing masculine-presenting people and filtering out more feminine-presenting ones.
It's almost as though her knowledge of gay men began and ended with pop-cultural osmosis. Contrary to what we keep reading in the LGBT "news" media, I've never noticed any shortage of gay men interested in twinks or femboys.
That compulsion and exclusivity is masked by the perception of diversity within gay identity. “Nowadays, there are just as many plug-and-play identities, like twinks, bears, otters and dykes, and each comes with a hefty price tag if you want to ‘do them correctly,’” Mr. Burford said. These “plug-and-play” identities can make closeted L.G.B.T. people feel isolated and unseen.
That can be true, or the bit about one acceptable mode can be true, but not both.
“The economics of being out at Pride relies on the old idea that all gay people are rich, and as we know, this isn’t true. It gets really hard when your idea of gay is attached to expensive product placement.”
She needs to look at the booths at Pride events. Everything from churches to social services is an expensive product, I guess.
The freedom of Pride had become a lead weight for me, my sensible plum-colored Ralph Lauren dress a prison amid the homonormative show of lithe gay men in rainbow paint and butch lesbians in white tank tops.
Butch lesbians in white tank tops? Didn't she just say...?

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Someone actually wrote this: Presenting the latest manufactured outrage

In Stand Up, which is apparently a competitor to Everyday Feminism, Steph Farnsworth writes about the word "sapiosexual," which means "a person who finds intelligence sexually attractive or arousing." While I find the word annoying, it seems to unhinge Farnsworth:
Labels are good. Forget all of the dismissive things you’ve earned [sic] about them; labels help give people power. The widening names that we have for different identities can make people feel empowered by finally having words to describe themselves. Labels never go too far, except, perhaps, in one case. Sapiosexual is possibly the worst term ever created.
This is the one and only bad label. It's so bad, in fact, that it's the worst term ever created, certainly worse than all of the bigoted slurs that people have used throughout history.
A sapiosexual is someone who finds intelligence sexually attractive. The whole concept is completely ableist.
Any preference for a potential partner is going to be -ist somehow.
Everyone can have types, but to build a label around it suggests an element of exclusivity when sapiosexuals face no oppression.
You don't get to have any self-description that doesn't get you at least a bronze in the Oppression Olympics.
Sapiosexuals don’t need a label. The fact it’s got a sexuality label and therefore is so similar to bisexuality, homosexuality, asexuality, and pansexuality is risking appropriation of the queer community.
Stop telling me when to be offended, especially by something that is unlikely to happen.
Let’s drop the pretentiousness. Sapiosexuality is the worst label that could have been created.
I'll grant that some people who identify as sapiosexual can be insufferably pretentious, but it's still not the worst label that could have been created. By the way, where is the corresponding outrage over people who prefer less intelligent partners?

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Lord of the Flies

I have just finished reading Lord of the Flies because progressives often hold it up as a counterweight to Atlas Shrugged, with the added advantage of being an order of magnitude shorter. A plane crash that kills the adults strands a group of preteen British boys on an island, leaving the boys to work out how to govern themselves. The boys' descent into savagery on the island supposedly shows people's need for rules. To me, however, it says more about preteen boys' need for rules.

The book also illustrates an issue that I have yet to see advocates of bigger government address. The boys on the island are left to their own devices to enact and enforce the very rules that they need in order to behave properly and are thus stuck with the paradox of democratic statism that I noted earlier elsewhere, namely, that the same people who cannot run their own lives must somehow run one another's. In-universe, the boys can hope for grownups to arrive on the island and make the needed rules, but in the real world, we cannot.