With Such Words
if you aren't a hypocrite, your moral standards aren't high enough
internalized heterosexism rears its head 
18th-Feb-2013 07:47 pm
talibusorabat: A blonde white woman holding a finger to her mouth "What would Scooby do?" (Veronica Mars: Scooby Do)
I was watching Scandal the other week when Cyrus said this:

I wasn't made to be the Chief of Staff. Do you know what I was made to be? I was made to be the President of the United States. I was made to lead the nation. I was made to ensure this country's place in the world for generations to come. I would've been great at that. I have the stones. I have backbone. I have the will. I would have been a great President. But guess what, I'm fairly short, and I'm not so pretty, and I really like having sex with men, so instead of being President of this land, that I love, I get to be the guy behind the President of the United States, and sure I have power. I influence decisions. I help steer the country. But I'll never be in the history books. My name will never be on an airport or a doctrine. Being the guy behind the guy is as far as my road goes.


My first reaction was complete disdain. Cry more, you big baby. Typical white dude, obsessed with his status rather than getting shit done.

Then I asked myself: What if he were a black man? Or a woman? How would I feel about it then? And I realized that I would be much more sympathetic to his speech if he had been anything other than a white dude.



This is not to say that Cyrus' struggles as a rich, white gay male are equal to other marginalized groups. Cyrus benefits enormously from white male privilege, even as a gay man.


I guess what I found most interesting about my reaction, and my subsequent questioning of that reaction, is how I basically picked & chose which of Cyrus' identities mattered and which didn't. In that moment, for me, Cyrus' whiteness and maleness negated his queerness. His privilege in one area invalidated his marginalization in another.

It's something I'm still chewing over.
Comments 
19th-Feb-2013 06:15 pm (UTC)
novel_machinist: wearenotsoldiers-tumblr (Default)
Honestly, I find that to be a perfectly acceptable response. Gay men are not perfect. They are as racist, transphobic, and misogynistic as any other group. I don't feel solidarity with gay white men. They're still white men and they are just as likely to fuck me over as a queer woman as any straight white man.
21st-Feb-2013 02:42 am (UTC)
talibusorabat: An older white man in a crown "So I've executed all the sorcerers...wait, there's Harry Potter." (Merlin: Harry Potter)
It's not about solidarity, really -- gay white men are just as dickish as straight white men. Hell, Cyrus is a terrible human being and I think he would have made a terrible president.

It's more about that pattern of thinking, which isn't really a problem when we're talking about fictional white men, but probably shows up in other parts of life too.
26th-Feb-2013 02:01 am (UTC)
novel_machinist: wearenotsoldiers-tumblr (Default)
I don't think it's that much of a problem in real life either, honestly. I don't really care as much about the problems of a cis white man, regardless of his orientation when he's being a jerk.
22nd-Feb-2013 05:57 am (UTC)
asmaria: (Ahiru)
I'm out of the loop. I don't know who this is, but the only thing that comes to mind to me is, people are human. That means that no matter who they are, they have aspirations that are just as important to themselves. They can also be mean, or nice, or kind, or cruel in any capacity no matter who they are. I think it's more important to look at a person as a whole and then conclude whether their words, actions, or complaints are a problem or not.
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