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Not funny, Facebook: Sexism and homophobia from your friends and family

7 Nov

What would we do without Facebook? Well, for one, we might never find out which of our “friends” are complete and utter poopheads. And for that, Facebook, I thank you. My news feed has, oddly, found itself somewhat fuller-than-usual with illogical anti-gay or sexist rants of late – go figure. A sampling, presented for your derision:

The above is one of those “link-sharing plus commentary” posts. It points to the heartwarming story of a lesbian couple being named as reigning monarchs of the homecoming court.

Here is the text from the offending (white, male, cisgendered heterosexual) Facebooker:

If this trend continues society will be the biggest loser and women will be the second. If gender does not matter why stop here how about making the Olympics only the best in each event regardless of gender. Honoring the difference between men an (sic) women make (sic) women safer expressing femininity men better men by honoring those differences.

Like most hate speech, the rant makes little to no sense. “[gender roles] make women safer“? Last I checked it was way harder for women to run away from would-be muggers/rapists while wearing heels. Just saying! Additionally, I wonder if the OP noticed that both women in the photo are wearing dresses and full makeup? Looks like some pretty damn well-performed femininity to me. Maybe he’s wearing asshole goggles.

And how about the second part of that “sentence”: “expressing femininity men better men by honoring those differences“? Wait, what? Maybe if I took whatever hallucinogen this dude was on when he typed that and forgot everything I learned in grammar school, that sentence would make sense.

The best response I’ve heard so far is from Rebeca Arellano, the whip-smart teenager crowned Homecoming King at the high school in the news story:

For all the girls who think tradition should be continued: go back to the kitchen, stop having sex before you’re married, get out of school and job system, don’t have an opinion, don’t own any property, give up the right to marry who you love, don’t vote, and allow your husband to do whatever he pleases to you. Think about the meaning of tradition when you use it in your argument against us.

Today’s runner-up post is brought to you by the “girl-on-girl violence” club:

Transcript:

“Yes, I’m a woman. I push doors that clearly say PULL. I laugh harder when I try to explain why I’m laughing. I walk into a room and forget why I was there. I count on my fingers in math. I hide the pain from my loved ones. I say it is a long story when it is really not. I cry a lot more than you think I do. I care about people who don’t care about me. I try to do things before the microwave beeps. I listen to you even when you don’t listen to me. And a hug will always help. Yes, I’m a woman! Re-post if you’re proud to be one, come on ladies..(heart emoticon)”

I can’t decide which is my favorite kooky stereotype. Is it the finger-in-mouth, head tilted “I count on my fingers in math” statement? Because oh ho ho, that is one helluva knee-slapper! I mean, MATH IS HARD, AMIRITE ladies!? Re-post if you’re proud of your inability to count past ten!!

Or is it the nonsensical “I try to do things before the microwave beeps”? Like, what kind of things? Do you set the microwave to five minutes, and then try to run a mile? Or is it something more sinister – an entire life, perhaps, dictated by an evil beeping kitchen appliance – you get up in the morning, and try to put your pants on before your microwave announces “Beep. TOO SLOW, slowpoke. Now suffer the wrath of the EVER-EXPANDING MARSHMALLOW PEEP! Muah ha ha ha!!!”

Got your own jerk Facebook
posts? Email them to me
and I’ll probably post them:
adventuresinmediocrity@gmail.com

Most of them just sound like slightly amusing, somewhat sad things that happen to everyone now and again – who hasn’t pulled or pushed a door the wrong way? What the hell does laughing when trying to explain something funny have to do with your genitals or gender performance? And what the hell is WRONG with these Facebook people?

What’s the worst post you’ve ever seen on The Facebook (or any other social network, for that matter)? I’m sure these two are tame by comparison. Oh and – if you’re into screencapping, take some screenshots and email ‘em to me at adventuresinmediocrity@gmail.com (adventuresinmediocrity (at) gmail (dot) com), or tweet ‘em at me @mediocreventure. Be sure to include how you’d like to be attributed, if at all.

The Five Allies You Meet in Queerland

2 Nov

After yesterday’s post lambasting the five folks you’d rather not run into as a queer person, why not take commenter Tom’s suggestion and categorize the five kinds of people we don’t mind running into? Well OK then – without further ado, here are the five allies you meet in Queerland:

1. The Liberal/Activist

Yes, we already talked about The Liberal yesterday. But I’m talking about a different kind of liberal. This is not the dinner-party noblesse obliger of yesterday, the sort that leaves you feeling dirty and used afterward. This is the true liberal – the champion of the underdog. S/he is the sort who truly believes in that moving parable “first they came for X, and I was not an X, so I said nothing…” A real-life example:

  • My friend D, who fights valiant social battles on my behalf for no other reason that she knows the difference between right and wrong, and feels strongly about doing the former.

2. The Academic

This person is very similar to the liberal, but a bit drier and well, more academic. They minored or majored in women’s studies, sociology or something else really cool in college. They may be straight, but they don’t say really silly, oh-so-nuanced things like “Girls are great and all, but I really like dick.” (How edifying!)

3. Allies from sympathetic groups

People of color. People with Asperger’s. People with disabilities. People who experience discrimination in all its myriad forms – whether they got made fun of for wearing glasses in the second grade or they grew up poor or they have only nine toes – know what it’s like and are sometimes (but not always) sympathetic to the Cause o’ Queerness.

4. The (un)Hater

In many cases, the phrase “haters gon’ hate” is applicable. But not with the (un)Hater. Although many of us wouldn’t consider this person an ally, since they love you in spite of your queeritude, they still love you. I have friends like this. They consider many things about me to be Highly Distasteful, just one of which is my romantic entanglements with the fairer sex. A selection of my flaws, which they are able to overcome in order to remain excellent friends:

5. The “I’m not into gay rights” gay person

They may SAY this, but really they’re just into being polite in mixed company. Which is a totally understandable urge. They’ll come around eventually, I promise.

Who have I missed?

The Five People You Meet in Queerland

1 Nov

I’ve countenanced a lot of, shall we say, “crap” over the years. It comes from strangers who shout “dyke!” out their car windows. It comes from well-meaning friends who introduce me as their “lesbian friend,” as if that were the only notable thing worth mentioning. It comes from not-so-well-meaning friends who make drunken declaratory assessments of my “true” sexuality, as of course who better to judge who I can or should or actually do love or lust after than someone other than ME?

There are so many of these slights that they warrant categorization. So, without further ado, I give you the Five Basic Types of Bigot, as experienced by your friendly blogger:

1. The Hater

This person is the one who leans out of the car window and shouts, “Ugly dyke!” or “Fucking faggot!” at you whilst you are strolling along admiring the daffodils, holding your girlfriend/boyfriend’s hand. Examples in my life have included:

2. The Liberal

This is the one who trots out your sexuality (or any other non-trad feature of you, including but not limited to your race, religion (or lack thereof), gender (or lack thereof), occupation, etc.) to garner “liberal points” at dinner parties. This friend uses you to fortify their liberal bonafieds. You are offered up at social gatherings as proof positive that, because of his or her friendship with you, The Other, s/he is The Most Open-Minded, Most Liberal of all his/her liberal friends. Examples in my life have included:

  • Facebook Friend A, making repeated public requests to have drinks/lunch/whatever with my Special Ladyfriend and myself thusly: “I’d like to sign up for lesbian happy hour!” Ahhhh yes, because hanging out with us is, in fact, hanging out with women who date women, how very au courant of you.
  • Meeting new people, “And this is my lesbian friend, S!” And this is my dick-sucking friend, Mallory. C’mon, people. Think before you talk.

3.    The Denier

Deniers are particularly vocal around queers that conform to heteronormative gender standards (i.e. femme lesbians, butch gay men, bisexuals who don’t wear some kind of “Hi, I’m bi” badge). They’re convinced that you’re “confused” or “traumatized” or some other load of crap. Examples in my life include:

  • During a booze-fueled late-night heart-to-heart with one of my good friends, he made the following unhelpful and inaccurate assessment of me: “Well S, I never really thought you were queer. I think you’ve probably been hurt by men in the past, and, well, you know… *falls asleep/drools on self*”
  • Letter from my ex-boyfriend to my then-girlfriend: “Stop messing with S’s head. She’s really straight, you know.” Because my head, you see, it is pretty, and little, and easily messed with. I certainly can’t be trusted to make my own partnering decisions, heavens no. Others must make them for me, you see, either through coercion, or, if necessary, force. It’s like one big game of sexuality keep-away. Funsies!
  • Boy I dated: “Oh you’re just confused, you’re actually straight.”
  • Girl I dated: “Oh you’re just confused, you’re actually a lesbian.”
  • Random Girl in Social Circle: “So Boy A turned you gay, and Boy B turned you straight again, eh?” Right. Because that’s TOTALLY how that works. There’s like, a toggle switch, or something. But only really sexy people know where it is.

4.    The Fetishist

This guy is so accepting. He LOVES lesbians. In fact, he loves them so much that when he thinks about them, he touches himself. His eyes twinkle when he sees you with your Special Ladyfriend. If you’re bi, they twinkle even more. He’ll attempt to maneuver you near his wife/girlfriend, who will be pushed into becoming besties with you so that one glorious day, he can have a four-way. Or a three-way. Or some such -way. Examples from real life:

  • Friend X’s perfectly nice girlfriend, W, approaches me in bar and asks to have three-way with me, her boyfriend, and her. Me: “Did Friend X put you up to this?” W: ::hangs head slightly:: “Yes.”
  • Me, at a party: “Hi Random Guy Sitting with My Friends. What do you say to me having some of that Tasty Beverage over there?” RGSWMF: “Hmmm… first, you gotta make out with your girlfriend!”

5.    Curious George

Curious George just wants to know aaallllll about you so that s/he can better understand your kee-razy sex rebel mind and/or “lifestyle.” Curious George thinks your entire life serves as either a) a teachable moment, or b) material for the spank bank. Curious George used to be my downfall. “Familiarity begets acceptance, right?” I would think to myself. But then I realized how incredibly rude it would be if I asked them the same sort of questions they felt perfectly justified in asking me, and stopped talking to these arseholes. Examples from real life:

  • (Very drunk) checkout clerk from local grocery emporium, upon running into me out at a bar: “But… what is it you guys DO? I mean, you know…” My then-ladyfriend then proceeded to patiently explain various sex acts to her while I suddenly became very interested in the worn quilted bar leather.
  • Male friend: “So, how do you guys, you know, keep it interesting? I mean, do you have… you know, tools?” Yeah dude. We have like, drill bits and shit. Also, a sewing machine and a stand mixer. Ferfuckssake. 
This concludes our Tuesday misanthropy session – although I know there are closeted bigot categories I’ve missed (like the ever-popular fundiegelical – “God hates fags! But Jesus loves you.”). Share yours in the comments. Oh, yeah, and subscribe!

Klondike responds!

21 Jul
The ice-cream purveyors at Klondike/Unilever have responded to my complaint about their heinous heinous ads! Read below:
—–

Hello MS. SARAH _____,

Thank you for writing to us.

We do apologize for the experience you reported concerning Klondike Commercials.

Unilever Ice Cream markets its various brands in ways that are meant to entertain and engage our target audience. It was only intended to be humorous.

We certainly do not wish to offend anyone. You may be interested to know that all of our commercials and advertisements are pre-tested and various techniques are used to evaluate consumer reactions. Based on the results of our pre-testing procedures, the presentations are chosen for their majority appeal. Please let us assure you that your comments are extremely important to us in evaluating the success of our commercials and advertisements.

We will certainly forward your comments to the Marketing staff. Consumer comments are very important and evaluated on a regular basis.

Sincerely,

Your friends at Klondike

– 
More to come on this later. But feel free to poke some holes in their pre-testing procedures with their target audience. I see no way that these ads wouldn’t offend most demographics – even the darling demographic of straight white men dislike being portrayed as oafish.

Also: Note their use of an honorific!

Klondike bar ads are insulting, lazy

19 Jul

Have you guys seen this crap? Apparently I’ve been hiding under a rock, or at least eschewing prime-time network television, because Klondike’s effort to re-brand was going mostly under my radar until recently. Peep this horribleness:

Oh ha! I get it! Women are boring! Especially if you’re married to them! It’s like torture to listen to them! BAAHAHAHAHA! Hilarious. /sputter Oh yeah, and did we mention gay people are just … icky?

It’s a generally-accepted fact that the very last thing a straight man would ever want to be caught doing is something gay-seeming! Although it might be worse to actually care about the person you committed to spend your life with – hard to tell from these commercials.

Sarcasm aside, it is possible to be funny and sell ice cream without implying that women are insufferable bores and being gay is wrong (and straight men can never show affection). This is lazy work, plain and simple. The Via Agency, the ad agency that Klondike hired to put together their re-branding campaign, should be ashamed.

I complained, I hope you do too. Tell Klondike you won’t be buying their products because of these spots. If you’re an advertising nerd like me and you’re opposed to the ads on multiple levels (not only are they sexist and homophobic, they’re unimaginatively so), you can also scold The Via Agency. Humor ain’t hard, people. Wise up or lose business.

Do you think these ads are worse than normal, or just more blatant? And who decided that all mint flavors must forever come in fluorescent green anyway? Technicolor is for TVs, not food. Sheesh.

Pics from the ‘hood

16 May

Cruising around the neighborhood last week turned up all kinds of items of note. Here are a couple of freebies, a la the November Toilet:

 

It amazes me how generous people are with their large appliances. Until I haul them home to discover they don’t work and there’s a fee associated with disposing of them. Pfft.

And here’s the requisite old used condom, a la the Courthouse Rubber of ’07:

Scientific condom-carbon dating proves this to be a much older specimen, perhaps offering more clues to the origins of the species. Further examination by teams of condo-thropologists needed.

And, the pièce de résistance: some kind of fag-related graffiti:

I’ll transcribe it for you, as it’s hard to read: “GO FAGS.” The message, although scrawled in emphatic caps lock, is unclear. Do they mean, “Go home fags”? Because that is precisely what I was doing when I saw this! Perhaps it’s a message akin to “Go Blazers!”, in which case, hey thanks! Although I didn’t realize faggotry was a competitive sport. Perhaps it’s meant to be read from bottom to top, as in “FAGS GO”? Which makes me wonder: Fags go where? Where are all the fags going, and why did no one tell me??

Workplace discrimination in vignette

7 Mar

Me: “Hey guys, check out this timely piece of information that critically changes the way we do our jobs.”
Coworkers: “…”
Me: “Guys?”
Coworkers: *…*
Me: “Sooo…. Anything I can do to make this information easier to digest for you, just let me know.”
Coworkers: *sound of crickets*
…………..ONE HOUR LATER…………..
Male (junior) coworker: “Hey guys, check out this timely piece of information that critically changes the way we do our jobs.”
Coworkers: “Wow, great information! Thanks for finding this – you must scour news sources all DAY for this kind of thing! You certainly did not rip it from an email sent earlier in the day by your underpaid colleague! What would we do without you and your Great White Penis?”
Male (junior) coworker:  “I know, I’m pretty great. I can tell you value my Great White Penis more than the original source of this information because I have six months of work experience, but I’m paid about 50 percent more than that one chick in the corner, who’s been doing this for ten years! You know the one, always mouthing off about ‘timely information,’ whatever the hell that means.”
Coworkers: “Chuckle! Chuckle! Backslaps all around!”
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