Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Yes, Virginia, There Are Asshats on the Left, Too... 

Just so you don't think I'm blind to the stupidity of my own political wing, here's this little golden nugget, straight outta Harvard. Short version: Jada Pinkett Smith was given an award and invited to speak before Harvard's (deep breath) Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, and Supporters Alliance (BGLTSA). [Side note: despite being a gay man, I still can't figure out how all those groups wound up under the same banner. They don't even all have the same agenda; gay men are generally bi-phobic, for example. I dread the day schools start having Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, Furry, Shrimper, Pumper and Friends groups. But I do digress...]

Anyway... apparently, Ms. Pinkett Smith's comments offended the group because they were (wait for it) "heteronormative." Or, in other words, as a heterosexual, married woman, I guess she spoke from her own experience and viewpoint. Never mind that heteronormative is a word that should be strangled in its cradle. I just don't see the source of the outrage here.

Hey, y'know what, kids? You want someone who's going to give you nothing but gayness in their speech, you know the list of qualifying celebs. Invite them. But don't expect a straight woman to automatically switch her pronouns. Or, to put it another way, if you think there's no difference between gay, bi and straight relationships (and there is no difference beyond hardware) then do the math in your own head, appreciate that what's she saying is universal and then get the fuck over yourselves.

The topper, of course, is the fatal flaw of all mainstream journalism, Ivy League college papers included. While going on at length about the reaction to Ms. Pinkett Smith's comments, nowhere at all does the reporter bother to, gosh, I don't know... tell us what the fuck she actually said. Yeah, minor omission, that. But I suppose, were the Harvard Crimson to actually quote the comments at length, it would just make the whole brouhaha seem silly. (Yes, I've seen the flipside of this coming from the right wing -- q.v. the recent Ward Churchill case. Much controversy over his comments about 9/11, but I had to hunt to find out what he had actually said.)

By the way, how would the Harvard BGLTSA react if, say, one of the Queer Eye guys spoke before a midwestern contractors group, then got slammed for being "homormative" in his comments?

Yes, I think they'd call it homophobic. In this case, the Harvard kids are being heterophobic, entirely too thin-skinned and just plain silly. As one student quoted in the article put it aptly, “You can never appeal to every single group,” [Ofole U. 'Fofie' Mgbako ’08] said. “You’ll always in some way be exclusive. I thought her message was clear. I thought it was sincere.”

Not that we know what her message was from the article.

Note, too, that Mgbako is currently a freshman. Guess he hasn't had time for the PC taint of academic hysteria to seep into his head.


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