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"Each individual should allow reason to guide his conduct, or like an animal, he will need to be led by a leash."
Diogenes of Sinope

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Pinkwashing and homonationalism

Bruce Bawer has written a hilarious yet disturbing article at Frontpage Mag about an academic conference in New York that revealed the sorry state of gay academia. Read it for yourself - you won't believe it.

Here's a few excerpts:
It was in November 2011, less than a year and a half ago, that the veteran far-left Jewish lesbian activist Sarah Schulman wrote an op-ed in which she introduced New York Times readers to a couple of unfamiliar terms. One was “pinkwashing,” which she defined as “a deliberate strategy to conceal the continuing violations of Palestinians’ human rights behind an image of modernity signified by Israeli gay life.” The other was “homonationalism”: the alleged tendency of gays who’ve won social acceptance and legal rights to identify with “the racial and religious hegemony of their countries,” and to “construct the ‘other,’ often Muslims of Arab, South Asian, Turkish, or African origin, as ‘homophobic’ and fanatically heterosexual.”
In one particularly loathsome session, entitled “LGBT Rescue Narratives,” the speakers mocked the idea that for gays the Muslim world is a dangerous place and the West a sanctuary. Katherin Forbear of the University of British Columbia sneered about the Canadian refugee system, saying that its attitude – which she mockingly summed up as “Let’s help these poor people come to the great state of Canada” – simplifies a complex situation. (Exactly how many Canadians, Ms. Forbear, are seeking refuge in the Muslim world?)
Colleen Jankovic of the University of Pittsburgh savaged the 2006 Israeli film The Bubble, about an Israeli man and Palestinian man who fall in love, saying that it wrongly reinforces the idea that “homophobic Palestinian society” is at the “root of queer Palestinians’ problems.” And Emrah Yildiz of Harvard told the story of a gay couple from Tehran whom he described as being caught in a “double bind”: in Iran, they were officially viewed as deviant and harassed by the “moral police”; in the West, where they tried to secure refugee status, authorities at first didn’t accept that they were gay because they “acted straight” and therefore, as Yildiz puts it, weren’t “adequately deviant.” Yildiz’s point, in short, was to draw a moral equivalence between Iran’s treatment of these guys and the West’s. (After pushing this ridiculous equation at length, Yildiz admitted, during the Q. & A., that the two men are now living happily in Canada.)
Yildiz defended Iran passionately. Reacting to the charge that Iran has executed innumerable people for being gay, he complained: “There’s no other country in the world that gets targeted like this!” He also suggested that Iran’s “heteronormativity” (a euphemistic way, apparently, of referring to its habit of arresting, torturing, and, yes, executing gays) “opens up the possibility of not identifying” as either gay or straight – a plus for the many contemporary academics who, viewing such labels as bourgeois, prefer the chichi concept of “queer.” Yildiz also stood up for Islam: “We don’t ask Christianity to account for sexuality in the West,” he asked bemusingly, “so why are we asking for Islam to account for sexuality in the Middle East?"
This was an overwhelmingly female conference, and most of the females were of a type – white girls, either grad students or very junior faculty, who bore all the marks of privileged youth. Most of their voices were well-nigh indistinguishable. “They all sound like Barbie dolls!” commented the poor soul who watched some of the live stream with me. Yes, or like Valley girls. Every sentence sounded as if it ended in a question mark; while their papers were jargon-ridden, their Q. & A. responses were packed with the words “like” and “basically” (one of them expressed approval of the event by referring to it as “this super rad conference”); and both before and after the sessions, several of them kept giggling inanely, like teenage girls at a Justin Bieber concert.
The men, for their part, were the usual castrated feminist fellow travelers who meekly accepted their subordinate role, one of them apologizing for “the privileges I have as a man” (what privileges? in the academy? in 2013?) and another one insisting that “queer women and trans people,” certainly not gay men, should be in charge of all gay organizations and events like this one. None of these craven apologies kept the conference from being a riot of male-bashing – specifically, gay-white-male bashing. Perhaps the most vigorous offender in this regard was Elena Kiesling, who ranted at length about the unbearable “whiteness” of the public image of the “gay community” and charged that the “gay white male” is the “poster boy” for gayness. (Leaving aside the absurdity of this charge, it was hilarious to hear it voiced by a six-foot-one blonde Aryan goddess who, in addition to being a graduate student in American Studies at Johannes Gutenberg-Universität in Mainz, plays on a championship beach volleyball team in Bad Soden, Germany.)

1 comment:

Thucydides said...

It would be a hilarious post, except that it is real and these people are serious about their belief system.

As a human being, I wonder about their well being when the progressive project collapses into banruptcy and these people are pushed out of their cosy taxpayer funded bubble into the real world.

On the other hand, given the hostility that they project on the normal, working people who are forced to fund and support them, they will reap what they sow, and I cannot find any sympathy in my heart for them.