Purely a figment of your imagination

What amuses, annoys, concerns or otherwise interests me – Noodlemaz


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“Straight Pride” isn’t a thing, nor should it be

Here we go again!

You may have heard about the Boston ‘Straight Pride‘ proposal. First off, this isn’t just literally some straight people feeling left out and demanding faux equality. It’s literal neo-nazi assholery; of course (some) people are rightly put-off by outright nazi agendas (sadly not everyone, what a time to be alive) so this is a neat way for them to pull in some generally uncomfortable people to their cause. Don’t fall for it.

→ See full thread. I tweeted a tirade on it too so here’s a more shareable/readable form.

Why can’t the straights have a Pride?

So, #Pride

isn’t just literally about pride but more for protesting bigotry, discrimination and violence meted out to the LGBTQI community. Pride is a counter to the shame that is inflicted upon the “non-standard” sexualities and genders.

A demand to be allowed to live freely and safely. ‘Pride’ only in the sense that we should be free to be without ridicule, threat; to be open and true to oneself without restriction because simply being harms no one.

Straight people do not need this; it’s the cultural default and you are safe as can be.

Pride [the emotional state/concept] is a weird thing at the best of times. It’s maybe most relevant to achievements. And actually, in this world, being outside the acceptable norms and surviving is an achievement. Because of bigoted assholes who enact violence because they’re scared of difference and therefore hate it.

There is zero achievement in being straight in this world. It is expected of you. It is shown to you from the moment you are born as the standard human way of life. You are not shamed for it. Challenging that idea is an achievement (regardless of your own orientation). Living outside it to pursue your happiness is achievement.

“Straight Pride” is neo-nazi bullshit designed to attract people with resentment, who feel that others having recognition and acceptance somehow makes them less acceptable, when they already have all the acceptance in the fucking world. Don’t be nazis, straights.

Teaching kids that a whole bunch of different people exist and that’s OK is not ‘indoctrination’. Knowledge of something won’t make you into that thing. Did you want every job you ever heard of? No. Understanding builds tolerance. People shouldn’t have to fight to just exist.

But every day people are told they’re broken and wrong, with words, with exclusion, with invisibility and violence and legal restriction, with discrimination and barriers to opportunity. With murder. No one suffers this because they are straight. Some do for other reasons (hi, intersectionality; straight people who live under some other part of the minority or oppressed umbrella aren’t going to automatically avoid all life’s struggles by virtue of their accepted sexuality. But none of those struggles will arise from their straightness).

The imagined trials of straightness

So please. Next time you see someone whine about why they can’t have a Pride for their common or garden heterosexuality, do ask them how, exactly, they have suffered for it in their lives.

pridethanks

“Pride was not born of a need to celebrate being gay [lesbian, bi, trans, intersex, queer…], but our right to exist without persecution. So instead of wondering why there isn’t a straight pride movement, be thankful you don’t need one.” – source unknown

What taunts did they receive at school (beyond the usual “Haha what you fancy WHO NOW?” because kids are cruel about anything) and what persisted into adulthood? What’s been shouted at them on the street by strangers, how many slurs that focus on straightness even exist?

How scared have they felt to hold the hand of their partner in public? To hug them, to kiss them? Have they ever felt any compulsion at all to be circumspect in an everyday situation when with their significant other, because any random bystander could take exception to your display of affection for this person, and put your safety at risk?

How many times are they met with confusion when they introduce a spouse? Do they worry about how to refer to them; does ‘wife’ or ‘husband’ carry any risk of attack (verbal or otherwise) from anyone they’ve ever met? Are they living in one of those places where straight people aren’t even allowed to marry? After all, it’s been traditional in many cultures that only non-straight marriage is permitted.

Have they wondered about how to reveal their sexuality to colleagues, or family, ever? How many of their straight peers have been made homeless by the people who professed to love them after discovering their straightness? How many have ended up in hospital after an attack, or been lost to a hate-fuelled murder?

Have they ever wondered when they might see a straight couple in their favourite TV show or movie, or do they struggle to find role models in popular culture generally for their straight kids? Do they worry about how they might have children and whether they’ll be bullied at school because their parents are straight?

Are they haunted by the history of pseudoscientific efforts to categorise the way they feel about other human beings as a mental illness and did their relatives or family ever send them to an abusive camp to try to make them less straight or get rid of it altogether?

How many countries have governments turning a blind eye to gangs whose explicit purpose is to harass, attack, murder or drive out straight people? How many have laws against straightness? How many will see you arrested for displaying your heterosexual affection in public? How many will execute you, and how many other countries will willingly send you back to face that even if you escape?

How many religious people have discussed their personal lives openly in front of them and said “Oh no we don’t hate you! Just what you choose to do, that’s sinful and you’ll burn in hell for it. But we love you.”

Do people always assume they’re not straight when they hang out with friends of the same gender and show some horror or shock when corrected? Do people question your right to claim your gender as your own? Are you told you don’t look straight enough, or too straight?

And so the imagined victims

There is so much more to the small and large adversity that LGBTQI+ folks experience in life but it’s always worth stopping to think about how much “straightness” has mattered in your life, in terms of negative experience following directly from it. Honestly, if you find one, I’ll hear it. If it’s not in fact misogyny or racism or ableism or similar, well done. You’ll have found a problem with being straight.

What people are doing is railing against diversity, inclusion and equality of opportunity, because that’s what insecure, toxic bigotry demands of its proponents. The “too PC!” brigade, the “shoving it down our throats!” ironic phrase fans, the “I just don’t want to see it” oblivious.

They’re worried that progress is happening and will take away their default-given powers of preferential treatment based on nothing but happening to fall into the most accepted categories of societies built on layers of discrimination. That worry does not deserve to be entertained, but dismissed. They believe they’re being shamed for being the default (or not “special”?) – when the actual problem is that any cultural default exists, that the range of acceptance is so narrow, not simply that they’re within it. Instead of trying to understand, they revert again to suppression and oppression – plus ça change.

There is no need for straight pride, because straight has never been presented or treated as less than. ‘Straights’ were not rounded up during the holocaust like LGBT people (many gay men) were. You have your acceptance. Expand it out for everyone else. It won’t take anything away from you.

Pride was a riot.

Links


Take none of this as a claim that there are no problems with Pride itself. It’s often a very white affair – issues of racism, sexual violence and ableism/inaccessibility affect people every year and the LGBT+ community has to keep working on that like everyone else, too.


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‘Biodynamic farming’ bullshit

This was always going to be nonsense. The first time I clocked “Biodynamic” produce was as advertised by a stand selling waffles with an added egg option at the (wonderful – you should go) Maltby Street Market in London (UK).

What the fuck is a biodynamic egg?!

I exclaimed quietly to myself, assuming it was some quirk specific to this company or a small group of hipster cafés. Sadly not.

On a call with a friend recently, he asked “Guess what the latest woo nonsense I came across is?!” and told me what biodynamic farming is actually about. Friends, we’ll get to that.

In between those two times, we took a trip to Sonoma county, CA USA, with some friends – a wine weekend! Let’s tour or do a tasting at one of these cute vineyards, we thought.

Then, the first one we arrive at has “Learn all about our unique Biodynamic Farming practices!” plastered on its signs. Ohhh, nooo. We shan’t be going here. (Sometimes the skepticism thing doesn’t earn you friend points). Where we ended up was lovely though!

So, what the hell is biodynamic farming?

In summary, it’s homeopathy magic for your fertiliser, with a bit of astrology and alchemy thrown in, based on the idea that a farm is a special cosmic entity whose “energy” you can manipulate to help your crops grow better.

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“Misandry”? Fantasy.

47aMisandry isn’t a thing.

To start, feminism is not about ‘hating men’, as we always have to justify. To steal a quote, imagine hating women so much that you take a movement for their betterment and make it all about men anyway.

Feminism aims for equality and equity across gender – but historically focuses on women because women have and do bear the brunt of that brand of prejudice and discrimination. This isn’t hatred for anyone.

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Stop apologising for your gender, dudes

Other people have said this better than me but I want to collate those responses here because this still happens all the time and it’s always irritating.

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On gender-neutral language

Despite being a relatively small issue, this one’s important to me. Hopefully I’ll explain why and what you can do to address it too.

An (imperfect) example that fellow nerds will be very familiar with is:

To boldly go where no-one has gone before

You’ll recognise that as part of the Star Trek: The Next Generation opening credits. In a previous iteration, it went thus:

To boldly go where no man has gone before

Split infinitive pedantry aside (you’re wrong, anyway), unfortunately this change was less about including women and more about including non-human species, but, hey. Take what you can get.

There are far more examples, though, and since whenever we discuss this some men will tend to get very angry, let’s look at it in a bit more detail.

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Whataboutery

The same people
Who say “Stop whining, women have it worse elsewhere”
Are the same people
Who say “HOW DARE YOU
Call me
privileged?
I have struggled.”

Not like millions have.
We are privileged
We can improve
These are not mutually exclusive things.

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#MeToo, Sex Ed, 50 Shades, Abuse & Consent

#MeToo has led to a lot of questions about what healthy interactions look like between people where at least one of the parties wants something sexy to happen. Unfortunately, a very widespread lack of understanding (and in many cases coupled with disregard for the safety or feelings of others) means that a huge number of people have been subject to painful experiences.

Sometimes men’s fears about ‘being labelled a harasser or rapist’ are absurd and absolutely should be met with derision (also, try living in fear of actually being assaulted) – if you can’t understand the difference between flirting and harassing, please get yourself some help. This is your problem to fix. Also watch this video!

But there is also a deeper problem in that we get a lot of bad information and there are vacuums that are filled with nonsense when it comes to sex and relationships, while we grow up. I recall chatting with friends around the time that the original 50 Shades film was announced (wtf?! we exclaimed – then last year brought us the second) and our discussions of abuse, relationships and sex education in schools; how bad it all is.

50Shades is Abuse

I don’t know who wrote this; please add in the comments if you do and I can amend!

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