Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Dr Dawg and the Gay Freedom Party

I watched Obama sign the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell today. And it was a joyous occasion.

I wasn't planning to write anything about it because I've been sick with a horrible cold, and I'm feeling really tired. And besides I said what I wanted to say about that bigot law the other night.

So I was just going to mention it, and then play a little happy video.

But then I saw this post on Progressive Bloggers and I was so disappointed.

Not just because I simply can't understand why a good progressive would dump on the freedom party of such an oppressed group. But also because, from beginning to end, the post was absolute nonsense.

And then I was even more tired eh? I knew I'd have to reply, because if I didn't who would? I'm sure Bruce McDonald would have had a run at it, but he's not here. Homophobia killed him.

So here goes:

(1) I don't choose to get married, but I'm glad I have the choice, because it's a measure of my EQUALITY. And like it is for many straight couples, for many gay people it is also a way to validate their love. And our love is attacked and dragged through the mud of bigotry all the time. So anything that helps validate our humanity is really important.

(2) Being allowed to serve your country is another measure of EQUALITY. It was for blacks, it was for women, and so it is for gay people. Except that now that gay people can serve openly, it's suddenly a problem.

Even though they've been there all the time...

(3) I don't  choose to join the army, I believe in a more peaceful world. But I live with a former soldier, so I know that it can be an honourable profession, and until the last army is abolished that's not going to change.

(4) What does this mean?

A victory for gay rights? Probably, at least in a purely American context. But for human rights grosso modo? I’m afraid that I must remain sceptical, and hold my applause.

Golly. Aren't gay rights human rights? And does Dr Dawg seriously believe that it's only PROBABLY a victory for gay rights in the United States. What planet is he living on? And as for the CHEAP can he be? When so many gay people are so happy and finally have a big victory to celebrate.

When of course it's a HUGE victory for gay rights in the U.S. where anti-gay bigotry is as American as apple pie, and where the Christianist homophobes are howling like hyenas tonight. And it is also HUGEvictory for human rights all over the world. Because it will send out a powerful message, and encourage millions and millions of oppressed gay people. 

Oh boy. All of this is so obvious to me, I don't think it's just a question of heterosexual privilege, I think it's generational issue. Some older people just can't accept that the world is changing for the better. And that the good old days were horrible for many gay people.

And we're coming out of the darkness and into the light whether they like it or not.

And that's all I have the strength to say. Except that when I'm feeling better, if any oppressed group wants to invite me to their freedom party, I'll put on my fancy tuque, and my dancing sneakers, and kick up a storm of happiness.

Because having a chance to celebrate freedom is the BEST thing on earth.

Here's to my beautiful brothers and sisters in the United States tonight.

I'm so proud and happy.

But sleepy eh?

One World. One LOVE...


Dr.Dawg said...

Good grief, where to start? How about, "Hope your feeling better soon, Simon. My own sinusitis is killing me."

But seriously. It was for blacks, it was for women, and so it is for gay people. Except that now that gay people can serve openly, it's suddenly a problem.

Blacks were used as cannon fodder during the Vietnam War, but maybe only "people of my generation" have the memory. Front-liners were disproportionately Black. Just for the record.

I'm all for equality under the law, and hence I've been a supporter of SSM,but the issue for me has always been legal discrimination, not marriage per se.

But when it comes to the American military, and the uses to which it's been put since WWII, I won't apologize for my views.

And my sort-of opposition to women in the priesthood remains as well--I don't want anybody in the priesthood.

Sorry, Simon, I'm all for human equality, but I'll hang back on the right to equality of oppression. Ask a Third World person if they feel better that their family was bombed by a gay member of the military.

Does this mean I'm against the repeal? No. But does it have me cheering and waving my rainbow flag (presently in the basement)? No, again.

Merry Christmas, brother, but at least try to understand where I was coming from on this.

Simon said...

hi Dr Dawg...I'm sorry but I don't understand where you are coming from.
The DADT repeal in the opinion of most reasonable people is a big victory for gay rights in the United States.
Another big step forward in a long march for equality. It took 17 long years, and a lot of hard work and frustration to achieve. For those of us in the gay family it was a joyous occasion and at the very least you could have been sensitive enough not to poop all over the party. After all the struggle, and all the defeats and all the disappointment gay people have every right to celebrate this major victory.
And who are you from your white heterosexual male perspective to decide what gays or black people ot women should or should not do? Huh?
You don't know what prejudice feels like so you should just shut the fuck up. I have no idea why you mention black soldiers and the Vietnam war, since the integration of the U.S. army came during world war two, and was seen by black people as a major step forward in their struggle for equality. And what are you saying about marriage? Because that makes absolutely no sense either. Especially since you've been married TWICE. Being able to marry
or serve their country helps make gays more equal in a society that has discriminated against them so brutally. It sends out a message that can help gay kids, and can make the difference between life and death. As for your point about the U.S. military it sounds like clutching at straws for me. The U.S. military is a massive institution in that country. Only a small percentage of service people are actually in a position to kill anyone. For many poor kids it's a chance to learn a new skill or trade to help them and their families better themselves.
And as for the priesthood, you say you are against anybody joining. But the fact is that the church is populated by men, so if women aren't allowed to join it will remain a patriarchal institution, and keep reinforcing backward attitudes in society.
I'm sorry Dr Dawg but you are clearly a creature of your generation. You have some issues with gays that you really need to work through, because every gay person I showed your post to was offended and hurt and you should be ashamed of yourself.
I of course will forgive you, but I am very disappointed...

Dr.Dawg said...

Oh, nonsense--with respect.

I don't have "issues with gays," any more than I have "issues" with other oppressed people. My point, which you don't want to seem to grasp, is that joining the oppressor is not a net positive for the human race.

I opposed neither SSM nor this DADT repeal. Restrictions on both were stupid relics of discrimination. In that respect, of course each one is a kind of victory.

But the larger picture is that the victory is qualified. I said the same when women wanted combat roles (so they get to drop napalm on Vietnamese peasants too), and I noted the use to which working-class and particularly Black soldiers were put during Vietnam. If being permitted, respectively, to join military conquests on behalf of the US power-structure, and to serve as cannon-fodder for those self-same imperialist wars, are considered a "victory," then, once again, I respectfully have to disagree.

I'll save my applause for less qualified victories--such as enforced hate-crime legislation and ready access to human rights tribunals. They, too, are not without their flaws, but at least they offer tools to be used to fight oppression.

And if you believe that women in the priesthood will liberalize the RCC, better think again. The women who do join will much more likely be SUZANNE clones. Joining the power structure changes those who join much more than the structure.

Anyway, I'd reconsider that pernicious ageism of yours. My generation is not the issue here, and you know it.

Simon said...

hi Dr Dawg...when the unmovable meets the unmovable, or as others might say, the stubborn meets the stubborn, we end up where we began. But it's only fair that you should get the last word. Even if you're wrong. ;)
Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones, and all the best in the New Year...

Dr.Dawg said...

Hey! I thought I was supposed to get the last word!

Merry Christmas, eat too much, enjoy, and a happy and prosperous New Year to you and yours.