I got a letter to the editor from Bruce aka GayPatriot this weekend regarding my post on Marc Ambinder's discussion of Elena Kagan's sexuality:
Don't you owe Marc Ambinder an apology from your April 16 posting where you see Homophobia in every corner of the world including where you seem to read his mind?
It seems pretty clear now that Kagan is gay and the White House is trying to say she is not.
Exhibit A - http://www.queerty.com/will-obama-pick-u-s-solicitor-general-elena-kagan-for-the-supreme-court-20100405/
Exhibit B - http://www.mererhetoric.com/archives/11276084.html
You Obama supporters should be pretty pissed off at the WH denying a lesbian her sexual identity, no? Ah, but since you gay Leftists seem to love Obama like an abused spouse loves his/her mate, I guess you will not rebuke Obama and instead attack those who report the facts. Weird world we live in.
I doubt he has the same criticism about mind-reading when it comes to his colleague ColoradoPatriot, who wrote the other day that Constance McMillen was at fault for the whole prom fake-out because she was stupid and/or trying to garner sympathy (ColoradoPatriot also doubts that 18-year-old Constance is old enough to know she's a lesbian, since I suppose his mind-reading power allows him to know her sexual orientation better than she does). I shot back an email:
Wait... I'm not seeing the evidence that she's actually gay at the links you provided. My rule has always been to take people's sexuality at face value on the site, and since she's not saying anything or walking around with a female partner, there's nothing for me other
Even if she were a lesbian, which is entirely possible since she's not going around saying she's straight either, that wouldn't really change the reason I had a problem with Ambinder's post. It was mostly the false equivalencies that got to me - someone fighting to keep us in the closet, to force us into reparative therapy, fighting for the right to fire us at will, or trying to keep society disgusted by and fearful of homosexuality and homosexuals is simply not the equivalent of us speaking the truth of who we are and trying to better our lives.
In other words, you can't find a happy middle point between "Homosexuals are disgusting, look at the Socialist/Muslim/Kenyan Obama's dangerous homosexual Supreme Court nominee" and "Gay is good, look at the successful/awesome people who are gay!" You can't throw up your hands and say both sides are equal or that they both have some truth to them.
The point wasn't calling Ambinder a homophobe, and that really cheapens the entire discussion and is just what the homophobes want us to do. It's easier for them to deal with the whole thing if it's "You're insulting him!" or "Calling her a homophobe is worse than her being a homophobe!" It's a defense mechanism that keeps people from examining their own biases, which some people are really invested in.
I hope that explains the post.
I don't know Kagan personally so any knowledge of her sexuality will be through intermediaries, and, as for me, I don't know enough about her to "support" her (whatever that means). Considering the steps the White House is taking to maintain her reputation, though, it seems like she's a serious contender.
But the point of discussing Ambinder's post wasn't to point the finger and call him a homophobe (I have no clue if he is). The point was to talk about the ways the mainstream media talks (and doesn't talk) about sexual orientation. I'm not for accusing people of being horrible... it's just not my nature and it takes away from real discussions we could be having by reducing everything to a slew of insults.
More importantly, it leads people to the idiotic "It's worse to call someone a homophobe than to be a homophobe" mentality, making everything about the person we're discussing, whether they're good or evil, instead of about the actions and ideas that may be problematic. I see something wrong in saying that asking to be treated like a human is "shrill" and I see something wrong in reporting sexual orientation only when people are saying someone is straight and pretending like we live in a post-gay society. Whether Marc Ambinder is a good person or not is completely unrelated to those arguments, is a terribly boring question, and is really just a technique people use to derail actual discussion.