Queer and Queerer Ep. 3 – Men as Feminists, Political Outing, and Archie

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Zack gives Peterson a ride to the train station and they decide to record another episode before his train departs! This week we revisit the topic that first came up in Episode 1 about whether men can be feminists or should just be pro-feminists. We also discuss the Tea Party threatened outing of Senator Lindsey Graham and whether political outing is a good thing. Peterson then introduces us to Kevin Keller, the new gay character in the Archie Comics.

The Queer and Queerer Podcast!

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If you like or don’t like what you hear, leave your comments on the post! We welcome all feedback!

Here’s some more information about what we talked about this week:

» Watch Glee’s “The Power of Madonna” on hulu.

» The Daily Show takes on Lindsey Graham’s outing.

» CNN: Archie Comics announces new gay character

» Harvard: Talk Stresses ‘T’ in LGBT Movement

» Zack’s The West Wing shoutout refers to the episode “Disaster Relief,” in which then-Congressman Russell incorrectly says “propulgate.”

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There are 3 Comments to "Queer and Queerer Ep. 3 – Men as Feminists, Political Outing, and Archie"

  • J Doe says:

    Hey guys, liked the podcast – and I’d like to weigh in on your “can men be feminists” question. Ultimately, feminism is “the radical notion that women are people,” and anyone, regardless of gender, can recognize this simple fact. While I appreciate Toscano’s caution of being controlling of other people’s liberation movement, I do personally think it’s important that people identify themselves as feminists, because there are still strong negative cultural views of feminism. That’s why the common trope “I’m not a feminist, but…” exists (note: NOT what Toscano is doing).

    That’s why we need people to publicly identify as feminists, why we say “this is what a feminist looks like,” why it’s generally good for men to identify as feminists – we need to get rid of the skeery connotations associated with the word by being, well, out and proud about it.
    Of course, you don’t want to fall into the ally trap, and above all you don’t want to be this guy. Deference to the people whose liberation you’re working for is a good rule in general, but it doesn’t preclude you from using the word feminist, IMHO.
     
    That said, Zack, some of the ways you were talking about yourself as a feminist… well… did kind of remind me in some ways of the classic-liberal, paternalistic, “let’s go save those oppressed people!” mindset. The idea of “we need to lift them up to our level,” which really doesn’t work, as it fails to acknowledge that some of the benefits of male privilege only exist BECAUSE OF the oppression of women – e.g. your voice is heard more now than it would be in a gender-egalitarian society (all else equal), because more people would be spending time listening to women instead of dismissing them. I don’t know, I’m really not all that eloquent or good at this specific topic…

    Also, no offense meant, but I was a little bemused when you mentioned fighting sexism whenever you see it, because, let’s face it, you usually only talk about patriarchy or male privilege in the context of (a) marriage equality (specifically, the people who oppose it) or (b) mentioning Bad Things Encouraged by Religion. Which isn’t a huge deal or anything, atheism and queer rights are the main foci of your blog. No blog could cover EVERYTHING; you don’t see Feministe talking about atheism much. But, it seems a little self-congratulatory to pretend that you’re totally challenging misogyny all the time, you know what I mean?
     
    Anyway, quibbles aside, I have a serious issue with your position on outing gay queer-bashing pols. Your starting premise is nonsense – there are no ends to be justified here. Scaring away the GOP from some particular gay pol? Big whoop, all they’ll do is say “A queer? Well throw the bum out an’ get one of our good ol’ proper queer-bashing boys in place!” Individual closet-case politicians are NOT the source of homophobia, they’re not any more catalysts of homophobia than any other queer-basher, and you’re not doing a damn thing for the LGBT community by outing them. In fact, you’re continuing to reinforce the queer = shameful trope. NO ONE is obliged to reveal their sexual orientation to anyone else, and this is yet another theme that will only serve to reinforce oppression – privileged het people thinking it’s only natural that they’re entitled to find out anyone who’s queer.

    Your justification for it is even worse. Force them to suffer the flames of homophobia that they’ve fanned? That’s some sick, eye-for-an-eye, revenge-fantasy-grade shit right there. Methinks you have “social justice” confused with “Western macho vigilante fantasies.”

  • ZackFord says:

    Hey, thanks for your extensive comment! I can only hope more people offer such detailed feedback!

    I just want to clarify what I said on the podcast by saying that what is important to me is working to always be aware and tracking my own privilege and the impact it might be having on the women around me. I could always be a BETTER ally, and you’re right that I don’t blog about women’s issues as much as I could (though I have, such as here and here). Still, I do try to track privilege in my interpersonal interactions and live up to my self-identity as a feminist, but make no claim, as you have suggested, to be some anti-misogyny superhero.

    As for outing, I personally don’t see political outing as being motivated by exposing someone to “the flames of homophobia.” I think it’s about keeping people honest. What bothers me is when people seek personal and professional gain by hypocritically demonizing a community. The outing is about exposing the lie; I am not in favor of outing just anyone (like celebrities) just because. If someone loses his job because his integrity is compromised by such an outing, I don’t have much pity. But, if after such an outing someone comes clean/comes out and then suffers homophobic attacks, I’d like to think I’d come to their defense. My personal hope is that with the ruse dispelled, the outed politician might be able to overcome internalized homophobia to become an advocate for the community they once attacked.

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