Oh, Come on!

I haven’t written anything about the controversy surrounding Senator Craig, partly because I have very little to add to this conversation.  If he is gay, then I feel bad for him because, clearly, our heterocentric social system, especially the hateful version of it that is deeply established in middle America, has caused incredible turmoil within his psyche.  On the otherhand, if he isn’t gay and this is all a big mistake, then I feel bad that he is a member of a homophobic organization that will, without a second thought, drop someone if there is anything surrounding him or her that smells like homosexuality.

But two news stories yesterday caught my attention.  The first is a little innocuous:

Craig Gets a Mixed Reaction Upon Return to Senate

I don’t know.  People are always complaining that Senators take too many days off.  Shouldn’t the pundits be praising Craig for working through to his last day?

The second news story is pretty absurd:

Fateful Bathroom Draws Crowds of the Curious

Are you serious?  People are actually visiting this bathroom as a tourist attraction?  A woman changed her baby in the stall so the baby could say she had been there when she grew up?  Have we become such an ADD culture that we have forgotten how common these scandals are and that, by the end of the year, barely anyone in America will remember who Senator Craig is?  Are we so indoctrinated into a new Reality TV mindset that we are making a bathroom a famous object?  What is wrong with you people?

If they hadn’t before, the American public are now offically the same as tabloid magazines.

I don’t know.  I’m happy to see people upset about the hypocracy of the conservative anti-gay movement.  But it all feels too much like a big joke at the GLBT community.  Which makes me feel the need to, once again, link to Harvey Fierstein’s Don Imus editorial.

1999 Video: Craig Calls Clinton ‘A Nasty, Bad Naughty Boy.’” posted by TownhallVideos

UPDATED 9/25/07: 7:24 PM

Here is an interesting and I think enlightening editorial about the Larry Craig case:

Larry Craig’s Great Adventure: Suddenly, He’s a Civil Libertarian  



6 Responses

  1. I’m still trying to figure out what the guy did that was illegal? He solicited gay sex? Was it for money or something, or is it illegal for two guys to have sex where he was at?

    I thought this was a pretty good take on the whole “scandal” honestly:


  2. Yeah, that is a pretty good take on it. It could go farther (warning: Masculinities scholar coming out) about the whole homoerotic nature of masculinity and its constant struggle to avoid anything that smells of the queer (personal experience: too many men I know who won’t go anywhere near a gay bar because “everyone there hits on me” — saying “Hello” is not hitting on you).

    As for what he did illegally? My understanding is that because it was in a public space, it was illegal. However, technically, he didn’t do anything. Tapping a foot isn’t illegal. Engaging in sex acts in public is (unless one of the outdated homophobic laws still exists in Minneapolis-St. Paul, which is possible). But we lock up a lot of people, now, for thinking about things before doing them.

    Craig was in a tight spot so he pled guilty hoping it would never come out (naive). Had he fought it, likely, based on what I’ve read and heard, he would not have been found guilty of anything — the “evidence” against him is pretty slim. But that certainly would have made the papers and his career would have been over anyway.

    You live by homophobia, you die by homophobia. I don’t agree with it, but I didn’t set the world/country up that way.

  3. Be carefull though, many women avoid “singles” bars because they dislike being hit on all the time for the same reasons. In places like that a simple “hello” is hitting on them. I’ve only been to one gay bar, so I really don’t know if they are analogous to something like a singles bar. Perception tends to trump reality in that kind of situation.

  4. From my experiences with the gay bar scene and from my discussions with GLBT friends, there is a slight, but important difference, in that gay bars, while definately a place to meet people, are more a place to feel comfortable as yourself. It is generally assumed that there will be straight allies around.

    I will agree with the perception idea, but would also encourage you to consider why all contact (including conversational contact) leads to that perception? In other words, where does the perception come from? Sterotypes that the GLBT community is oversexed? And the fear that the homoerotic will somehow slip into the homsexual? I dunno — I’m just thinking out loud.

  5. See, I was talking about the preception at the general singles bar. Non-homosexuals likely know next to nothing about the gay bar scene and thus are going to associate it with the closest comparison they can come up with, which is the singles bar scene (which is probably incorrect, but if your description is accurate there isn’t a real good non-gay bar scene comparison to be made). I don’t think it has anything to do with the stereotypes you are refering to honestly.

  6. Yeah, I know that’s what you were talking about. And I was just expanding on your possible comparison. I don’t think there is going to be a really viable comparison that can be made.

    Maybe not on the stereotypes (though I’m not entirely convinced with the not). But, just thinking out loud.

    The whole thing is just fascinating to me considering my research and field of study. So I’ll keep watching the whole thing play out.

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