Friday, September 30, 2011

I Say We Take Off and Nuke the Entire Site from Orbit

It's the only way to be sure.

Band of Thebes, where I got this clip, asks, "Do the bullies run completely unchecked in feral packs?" Of course they do. Parents and teachers and administrators stand by and do nothing; sometimes they join in. I've written before about this.
Reading Pascoe's account of what she calls "the rape paradigm," or remembering the Speakers Bureau volunteer who tells how once a month, in his high school in the 1980s, the cool kids would wear t-shirts that read "SILLY FAGGOT -- DICKS ARE FOR CHICKS", I find myself asking a question I never thought would pass my lips:

Where were the adults?

Where were the adults when Pascoe's Ricky was being harassed and beaten up, or when Keith was jamming a drumstick into another student's crotch and yelling "Get raped"? (Standing back and watching it happen, she says.) Where were the adults when those t-shirts were being worn in the halls, classrooms, and cafeterias? (Doing nothing, or chuckling at the wit of it all.) Even the word "dicks," which I'd have thought a punishable breach of decorum, didn't bother the administration. Considering that political messages or other attention-grabbing slogans are verboten in so many school dress codes, I find it incredible; but antigay bigotry is uncontroversial and apolitical. Their high moral standards, their obsessive concern with a docile student body, can be forgotten for the right cause.
As Anderson Cooper says in the clip, religious bigots claim that anti-bullying programs "encourage homosexuality." This needs to be fought more effectively. Kids like Jamey Rodemeyer shouldn't have to do it themselves. As Dan Savage has said, gay advocacy groups are kept out of schools by the bigots. But why should it be necessary for outsiders to do this? Parents should be the leaders in these matters; don't they care about their own children? Of course it won't be easy, but finding your child hanging from a rope because he couldn't stand his life anymore is presumably harder.

The gay community can set an example, and needs to clean its own house. As I also wrote before, there's a lot of hostility to effeminate boys and masculine girls (under the euphemism "stereotypes") among gay people who fancy themselves respectable, the kind of people I call Homo-Americans.
And if it's destructive to bad-mouth people, if speaking negatively about someone in their presence can drive them to suicide, something needs to be done about gay people who complain about the bad homosexuals who Fit the Stereotype and made it seem that they couldn't be normal Homo-Americans like they wanted to be, scaring them back into their closets for years. It's those Stereotypes who get beaten up regularly and are more likely to kill themselves; it surely doesn't help them to hear themselves denounced as scary, malevolent queer demons who ruin everything for normal homos. It's telling that many respectable gay people think it's proper to demonize them. (And like the straight homophobes, the image people never think about the the impact of what they're doing on real people.)
Then there are hip, radical straight boys (they never will be missed!) who want to rehabilitate the word "faggot," because on their account it doesn't really mean "homosexuals," it means people "who take a knee," who "choose to lose, because the alternative bears too heavy a cost." (This is especially funny, really, because the blogger who wrote it later whined, when IOZ playfully urged defiance of TSA groping at airports, that he couldn't do it, because he had his kids with him and it would just get him in trouble for nothing. Faggot.*) Or who, in their ideological purity, don't want class issues to be sidetracked by trivia like racism, sexism, and homophobia.

We've got our work cut out for us.

*Bear in mind, I don't think he should have defied TSA at the airport. I'm just pointing out that he fits his own definition to an F, so maybe he should be a bit less judgmental about other people's little capitulations. The faggot.