The subtlties of homophobia

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by nbs2, Oct 8, 2009.

  1. nbs2 macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #1
    I ws browsing my Google News feed and saw this article about Top Gear's Richard Hammond.

    I have to be honest about a few things that went through this mind while I was reading the article, some or all of which may get me villified.

    First, now THIS is homophobia. What a lot of folks call "homophobia" is just plain old homoidon'tgiveacrapia. Me? I full well consider myself a member of that latter group. I don't fear or run away from homosexuals, but I don't embrace the movement. I have enough on my plate to deal with and this is just something that I don't have the time or inclination to worry about from a public policy perspective. These folks are the shining light that people need to examine.

    Second, they should have known better than to kick the hornet's nest. Alabama? Man love? If there is a place where the two aren't going to mix, that's going to be the place.

    Third, what on earth is wrong with these people in AL? Are they really that stupid? OK I get it, you are a bunch of inbreds. But really, you don't think that all of the camera crews and such are filming this? That maybe, just maybe, they are trying to get your danders in a fluff? These are the folks that we need to send after terrorists, no matter who gets wiped out, humanity wins.

    Last, I was thinking, why do I care? I don't even like TG.

    Anyway, that's what I was thinking. Flame away. Ten....Nine.....
     
  2. Unspoken Demise macrumors 68040

    Unspoken Demise

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    #2
    8...7...6...

    Hooray for sweeping generalizations?
     
  3. nbs2 thread starter macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #3
    Yeah, I know. I'm sure a few of them aren't.

    All kidding aside, it was bad wording on my part. My vitrol was directed towards these particular folks in AL, but I can see that my phrasing implies that I am directing it towards the whole state. Fixing it now.
     
  4. iBlue macrumors Core

    iBlue

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    #4
    I've seen that episode. I wondered if it was played up for entertainment. It's a shame that it was actually worse than what they aired. Things aren't like that here, as he pointed out. I imagine they had no idea just how poor their senses of humour would be, even for rednecks. I'm sure they're not even embarrassed but from my point of view, they should be.
     
  5. paddy macrumors 6502a

    paddy

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    #5
    One poster on that article made a good point: West Ham v Millwall kind of removes any Brits right to criticise lunacy in another country! ;)
     
  6. Unspoken Demise macrumors 68040

    Unspoken Demise

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    I noticed your fix, and now it makes much more sense, and seems much less rude.

    I agree with many of your points, that just wasnt one of them. Oh, and if you're going to have equality, you gotta have it everywhere. AL may not be the best place now, but eventually it has to happen. Countdown aborted. :)
     
  7. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #7
    Regardless of what Top Gear did, the only reason they were able to get a rise out of these fools is because homophobia exists. People need to grow up.
     
  8. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #8
    Im sure even without the "Man love rules" sign on the car they would have riled up the people around there, even with a British accent. I saw the episode, it was ****ing bad. Makes me never want to go to Alabama.
     
  9. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #9
    I've lived in various parts of the South for nearly my whole life, and I've known many rednecks, some more extreme than others. I don't feel bashful in making the following generalization:

    Rednecks hate/fear/despise/whatever anything and everyone that is not like themselves. And they're easily provoked. So the reaction these guys got was not at all surprising to me.

    My stepfather is a redneck, and although I don't know whether he'd ever lift a hand to get violent at someone like this he would certainly become verbally abusive toward them.

    iBlue, I'm very sorry to say they probably were much closer to proud than embarrassed; perhaps it's machismo, it makes you look tough to pick on someone in front of your buddies, I don't know. But speaking about my stepfather the redneck, his sense of humor revolves around enjoying someone else's misery, misfortune, or pain, and more so if he were the one who inflicted it. I'm not exaggerating.

    This was indeed homophobia, but like I said, these people hate everyone who's different from themselves; homosexuals, people of color, non-Christians, foreigners, people from outside the southern U.S., etc. Although their names for these people would be far more offensive, as I'm sure you could imagine.

    It bothers me when people who do not live in this part of the country get wind of incidents like this one and generalize that all of us here are that way; that couldn't be further from the truth.
     
  10. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #10
    I'm not generalizing the entire south as a bunch of dumb racist rednecks, but you have to admit, it's more prevalent in the south. If Top Gear did this stunt in other parts of the country no one would've blinked an eye.
     
  11. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #11
    They're definitely a black eye on the culture here, IMO. And although I've never lived north of Virginia Beach, I imagine there are certainly fewer of them up north.
     
  12. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #12
    Is it the heat? Is there something in the water? :)
     
  13. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

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    #13
    As I've said many times before, I grew up in rural Alabama. Pretty much all the smart, talented people I grew up with were smart and talented enough to get the hell out at their earliest opportunity. It's a place with a lot of problems, most of them self-inflicted, and it takes a lot for me to defend it. This Top Gear bit does the trick.

    I don't know where in Alabama they went, but it was practically unrecognizable to me. I am not questioning that it happened, but what they experienced played out more like some hack scriptwriter's imagination of what goes on in Alabama than anything I ever encountered.

    Is there homophobia? Hell yes, but the state has come a lot farther than this segment suggests. Every significant college in the state has a LGBT organization on campus. A good friend of mine, and a much braver man than I, was instrumental in getting Auburn's organization recognized at a time when people were being assaulted for open homosexuality. That was almost twenty years ago. Like everywhere else, people under 40 for the most part couldn't care less about other people's sexual orientation, except for the really off-the-deep-end religious types, of which Alabama naturally has more than its share. For people over 40 tolerance is spotty at best. Even among the tolerant there's still a lot of discomfort, misunderstanding and stereotyping, but that really seems to be the case everywhere.

    I can't say being gay is compatible with being especially popular in Alabama, but it's survivable. That in itself is likely not what provoked the reaction the Top Gear crew experienced.

    I've given a fair amount of thought to this segment since the first time I saw it (and it offended me on multiple levels), and I wish to float a theory that will perhaps be deeply unsurprising to most Top Gear viewers: the main source of their troubles is that Jeremy Clarkson is an a*****e.

    Overreaction on the rednecks' part? Abso-effing-lutely. Unquestionably. What the hell did those people think they were going to do if they caught them? And, no, the answer is not just murder them and leave them in a ditch or tie them up and re-enact something from Deliverance. They weren't thinking that far ahead, a fact that is, if anything, less surprising than my deep insight into Clarkson's character.

    In talking about what happened there, I want to focus on the quote at the top of the second page: “Y’all queers trying to see how long you can last in a hick town?” It's easy to focus on queers in that sentence. Yep, homophobia aplenty there, but it distracts from the more important bit: hick town.

    See, one of the enduring problems in Alabama is that the locals know damned well what the rest of the country thinks of them, and deep down they're terribly insecure about it, but it's covered up in a thick accretion of bravado. One thing Alabamians and gay people ought to be able to see in common with one another is a desire to project a sense of pride in exactly those traits for which others despise them. This tendency is so deeply ingrained in the local culture as to undermine a lot of potential progress.

    What the Top Gear crew did that was so inflammatory was not simply being pseudo-queer in Alabama. More significantly what they did was to grind some rock salt directly into those people's inferiority complex. They weren't so stupid and provincial that they couldn't see some out-of-towners turning up to make fun of how stupid and provincial they are.

    Naturally one can think of many better ways to handle such a situation, but the fact is those people did have reason to be offended to which their feelings about homosexuality were entirely incidental.
     
  14. remmy macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    Just because a few thugs stab each other outside a football match dosn't mean homophobia is ok and we can't make comments against it.
     

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