Homophobia: bad! Racism: bad! Sexism: eh

Monday, December 29th, 2008 · 33 Comments »

Rick Warren is a homophobe who considers gay marriage the moral equivalent of incest or child abuse, and believes it should be banned by law.

Rick Warren is also a sexist who believes that God created women as men’s natural inferiors, and that a proper Christian wife is an obedient servant to her husband.

Guess which one of those two things people are pissed off about?

I wrote about the Warren thing when it broke, and noted at the time that — ahem — there’s a hell of a lot more wrong with the guy than just the gay marriage thing. But who am I kidding? Women’s rights don’t matter. My Google news feed is full of articles and editorials on how Warren’s presence at the Inauguration is an insult to right-thinking liberals everywhere — but only because of his homophobia. There is no mention of the sexism. Thinking that women are born-to-obey is fine, apparently, but the anti-gay thing is just beyond the pale. Golly, Richard Cohen’s sister even canceled her Inauguration party.

And you know what? Homophobia is awful. It’s ugly primitive bigotry. Kind of like racism, which is also awful. Ridiculous to think that skin color or sexual orientation makes some humans inferior to other humans.

But sexism? Thinking women are inferior? Even preaching that women were put on earth to serve men? Eh. Whatever. Different strokes.

Forty years after the Second Wave started, and we’re still at the back of the bus.

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33 Responses to “Homophobia: bad! Racism: bad! Sexism: eh”

  1. Lisa says:

    Oh I am so sick of ranting about this. So so true. I was so irked a few threads ago about the whole “veering off” into having to defend posts against charges of racism. Can this country FOR ONCE pay some attention to sexism? Utterly unacceptable…

  2. KendallJ says:

    This country is more sexist than most of the developed world. Women in large numbers seem to be brain dead to this reality. Now with all the political correctness push about Sharia law, we are called racists if we reject it. Meantime, women are being slaughtered throughout the middle east, Africa and central Asia, just for being women.

    I have no dought that if these killings were racially motivated, rather than misogynistic, there would be protests in the streets, as was the case over South African apartide. Murdering and enslaving women is still perfectly acceptable around the world and here at home.

    I’m really worried about this hightened sexism and misogyny that has been unleashed this past election cycle. I’m worried about the Islamic brand of misogyny being imported to the U.S. and our leaders acceptance of it. With women having so little political power, and the democratic party’s installation of Obama to apease the islamic world, every woman should take pause and think to themself what is next?

  3. Anna Belle says:

    Oh gawd, yes! What a breath of fresh air, Violet. I have missed you (but completely understand, yada, yada, yada). You are so dead on.

    I’m not yet sick of ranting about it, though. I intend to be like Whitman, shouting it from the rooftops, only unlike Whitman, it will not be joy I am shouting, but outrage. I don’t want to ever shut up about it until it stops. That’s today, anyway. Some days I feel resigned too, Lisa.

    Since it’s in the same vein (religious patriarchy), I’ll share with you what I wrote today about a church-run program in Boston that is teaching young high school girls that they are not only responsible for male violence, but can stop it. Better Patriarchy Through Dum***s “Coalitions”

    Hopefully the asterisks will help be foil the mod-filter. Hopefully. Heh.

  4. Sonic Ninja Kitty says:

    Heck, we’re not at the back of the bus, we’re under it! It’s like we provide traction or something.

  5. Sis says:

    So, that just means RL has to focus on the misogyny. And who better to do it justice.

    What a great bunch of commenters here. You women rock it out everyday. Even when Vi’s not here!

  6. Mike J. says:

    I disagree with you slightly. I think Warren’s sexist attitudes are being passed over in silence because they are *more* offensive and untenable than his homophobia. If Warren’s sexism were to become subject of discussion, then Obama would be in effect compelled to drop him, and we can’t embarrass the Precious, can we? So therefore the media and the ‘bots limit themselves to discussing only his homophobia because of the two it’s the more “excusable” set of odious ideas.

  7. madamab says:

    Violet, I’m not done yelling about this either. And the most annoying thing is that people keep assuming Obama disagrees with Warren on misogyny and homophobia.

    What evidence is there that Obama believes in social justice for women and the LGBT community? Anyone? Anyone?

    Mike J. – Oh, I wish you were right. But I think the way the primaries and the GE played out contradicts your assertion quite spectacularly. Sigh.

  8. Sis says:

    Progressive left males (and their feminist cohorts for whom the lefty men define what is and isn’t feminism) see the wrong in homophobia because it concerns men. Gay men are their fellow man. Sic.

    Sexism, misogyny, now that’s only women. Carry on.

  9. sister of ye says:

    Glad to see a post again! I miss you when you get too tied up to sneak anything in.

    Ranting is good. It needs to be done to get our indignation on the record. And somebody might hear and wake up. I just wish I had some good suggestions on how to also implement an action plan.

    Granted that we’ll never get half the country to coordinate on anything. It’s hard enough to convince the whole half of the country that there’s a problem. But if we could get enough of us to flex some muscle, it might get draw more attention to our words.

    Is there some kind of ecomic boycott we could organize? Business(es) that have influence on Obama, Warren and/or the general public? Is there some kind of annoying campaign we could urge others to join in, like mailing something symbolic to Saddleback Church? Maybe some aprons, with notes to Warren that he can be his own d*mn servant.

    Hell, I’ll go to Payless and buy a cheap pair of heels to send with it so he can be his own French maid.

  10. Alwaysthinking says:

    I made the mistake of preparing lunch while the noon television news was on (which I try to avoid) and one of the first things discussed was the possible racism being perpetrated by the Republicans (although they called it satire). Hmmm…never have I really heard any open discussion that was critical of the sexism perpetrated by the Democrats, Obama’s campaign, or the media.

    In my opinion if Obama were really progressive, a woman religious leader would have been chosen. But then, we would know he was a true hypocrite if he did that for sure!

  11. anna says:

    Notice that Rick Warren’s church website says “men” when they mean “human beings.”

    http://www.saddleback.com/aboutsaddleback/whatwebelieve/index.html

  12. Rachel says:

    THANK you. I’ve been waiting for someone to mention this. I mean, you can tell that gay (male) rights anyone else’s rights are more important than women’s when you get something that offends both, and one feminist blogger on the entire internet mentions women. Feminist blogger, i.e. the people who are theoretically supposed to be noticing women.

  13. soopermouse says:

    “In my opinion if Obama were really progressive, a woman religious leader would have been chosen.”

    what, did you ever think he was?

    I fucking hope the people who voted for Obama while being fully aware of what he is are sleeping well.

  14. Briar says:

    Nope, we aren’t at the back of the bus. We are under it. Look at the way that Obama chose to campaign against women candidates. Okay, so he had to go for Hillary because she was the real threat to him, objectively the better choice who had to be painted as inferior because a woman since that was the only way to cut her off at the knees. But after that he campaigned not against (dcorated “war hero”) McCain but against Sarah Palin, allowing his mob of generally young supporters to indulge in the most abject display of character assassination I have ever seen. And again, it was the fact she is a woman that provided them with their ripest ammunition. Attacking liberated women is how to get on nowadays. The bulk of the population, men and women, are rejecting the notion of women as equal to men and clearly regarding the whole idea of an empowered woman as distasteful in the extreme. If you get a chance, watch the latest Doctor Who adventure: it’s villain is a woman, and her villainy is ascribed specifically to just one motive, her desire to liberate herself from a submissive and oppressed role in life. If it is overtly there in the undergrowth of cult tv, it’s covertly there in mainstream culture too. Women aren’t just under the bus: it is being run over them, again and again. Watch how Palin is still being trashed for being a working class woman with ideas above her station to see it happening.

  15. Ali says:

    Violet, I absolutely agree with you. I am a passionate defender of gay rights but found many of my gay friends and gay supporting friends look the other way during this misogynistic election. However, I think we should closely align our movement with gay rights. It’s all about gender and their are a lot of similarities between the causes of women and the causes of gays.

    When speaking about sexism during the election many of my friends mentioned that sexism was not an important issue because of money. The fact that (some) women have money makes it a non-issue in their eyes. One friend stated that when he is on the train he sees all the black people get off in the worst neighborhoods. Not so for women, he said. Of course some black people happen to be women but that’s besides the point.

    But gay rights! Yes, the average liberal defends gay rights and they know the largest issue here is not about money. And same for women. Perhaps this will help the deluded masses to understand our cause as well.

  16. Alwaysthinking says:

    Soopermouse — no, I never really thought he was progressive. Unfortunately, many people did. :)

  17. Violet says:

    Yes, the average liberal defends gay rights and they know the largest issue here is not about money.

    Exactly. There is always some reason that women’s rights aren’t important, but those reasons magically evaporate when any other oppressed group is the subject.

    Because some women have money, women as a group are obviously doing okay, sez typical sexist. But don’t some gays have money? Don’t some Jews have money? Does that mean homophobia and anti-semitism don’t exist or aren’t important?

    Of course some black people happen to be women but that’s besides the point.

    Again, right on the nose. Sexism is the multiplier that makes every other oppression worse, because the female half of the oppressed group get a double dose (or triple dose or what have you). They are, in fact, almost invariably the segment of the population that is the most exploited and abused. But that doesn’t matter to the typical sexist (or the typical liberal, often the same thing).

  18. Kiuku says:

    As a Feminist, I dreamt of the day I could support black and gay people in positions of power and respect, and that I could defend them vehemently and honorably against the onslaught of bigotry and evil.

    But black men and gay men have decided to win respect in society by shifting the focus of oppression onto women. Black men have gained respect of white men by oppressing black women, and all women.

    Obama, instead of being a victim of fervent racism in the election, distracted bigotry by calling to attention again and again that he is a man and his opponent a woman.

    Replacing one evil with another is never something to be proud of and ending oppression by oppressing others is not honorable.

    It is unforgivable.

    The misogyny of gay men is at times overwhelming and as this election showed best, gays will throw you under the bus.

    This is not to say that Feminism should not support gay rights, but it should not be a focus, and the misogyny of gay men should not escape attention.

    Women first.

  19. Sis says:

    Well said, Kiuku.

  20. yttik says:

    Good one, Kiuku. I totally agree.

    Many gays understand that misogyny is at the root of homophobia. But some, like a few blogger boyz, descended into horrible misogyny as if they’d get extra credit points for bashing women. It kind of took my breath away because it was so idiotic. Trying to use sexism to advance gay rights is like trying to eat yourself from the feet up.

  21. Ali says:

    I agree with all of you. Women have been thrown under the bus by just about everyone – gay men and women, African Americans, other women, etc.

    “Women first.” Yes, I agree. We can fight for equality for everyone but we have to put ourselves first.

    But for the sake of a narrative I think it could help if we referenced gay issues now and then and how it parallels in many ways with our own struggles. Liberal ideology accepts and stands up for gay rights. Passionately. But not for women. Our narrative is not understood and we have to reach more people and help them to get it. Because as is, we do not even have a hell of a lot of women standing up for women’s issues, let alone gays and blacks.

  22. song says:

    Dear Dr. Socks..(off topic)

    Happy New Year Dr. Socks…

    Love to you and your readers…

    song

  23. roofingbird says:

    What criteria can we use as a measure to put us in the row one up from the back of the bus?

  24. roofingbird says:

    I’m thinking the back of the bus metaphor represents a good schematic. How many rows in a bus? twenty? If each represents a year, what would each move forward entail?

  25. quixote says:

    Mike J.: I think Warren’s sexist attitudes are being passed over in silence because they are *more* offensive and untenable

    I’d love to think this was the reason. God, that would be a nice world to live in. Thanks for the vision, Mike. I’m still smiling just imagining it. :-)

  26. Msakel says:

    How true, Dr. Socks. We always seem to be under the bus and the worst insult is that it ain’t moving. Same place since the 70s. To be a racist or a homophobe is so “uncool”. But to be a woman with human rights thrown under the bus is…well…so “who cares?” Barack proved it by the Warren fiasco. Periodically, Barack feels down and starts launching attacks against women’s rights to boost his appeal…

    I hope and pray that Philip Berg’s law suit will find a sympathetic Supreme Court January 9th and 19th when, hopefully, they’ll decide Obama is exactly what Hillary’s been saying all along: “Unqualified to be President”!

  27. Msakel says:

    HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  28. Nell says:

    “Women first.” Yes, Kiuku, I couldn’t agree more.

    After this year’s election debacle, I have come to the stark realization that progress in civil rights is a zero sum game. In order for one oppressed group to advance, others must take two giant steps backward.

    Not ready to make nice. Not ever again.

  29. ea says:

    I second, or third, the motion–

    “Women first.”

    All in favor?

  30. HeroesGetMade says:

    “Many gays understand that misogyny is at the root of homophobia.”

    Agree that homophobia is a wholly owned subsidiary of misogyny, it being the policing of patriarchy-approved gender roles. I think sexism also serves as the model for racism. The root of all these nasty -isms is good old-fashioned better-than-ism, or elitism, which is rife in a certain president-elect’s fanbase.

    “After this year’s election debacle, I have come to the stark realization that progress in civil rights is a zero sum game.”

    Disagree that human rights for all is a zero sum game, but rather think that it’s a ‘nobody wins unless everyone wins’ game. All the nasty -isms are inter-related, and real progress isn’t made by ignoring any of them, or holding an oppression olympics. As such, I don’t think anyone really won when Obama won since it’s painfully obvious by now that he’s averse to everybody winning. He’d have had no fanbase at all amongst patriarchy supporters without appealing to the free-floating hatred of women endemic to our society. I’m extremely doubtful that any good can come of this ‘victory’.

  31. JeanLouise says:

    Number 18′s spot on, Kiuku.

    HeroesGetMade, I think that Obama gained power for some blacks, albeit, through chicanery. It will be some time before we know how the rage of the women and working class whites that he attacked and cheated will affect society.

  32. Violet says:

    HeroesGetMade, I think that Obama gained power for some blacks, albeit, through chicanery. It will be some time before we know how the rage of the women and working class whites that he attacked and cheated will affect society.

    Hmmm. That sounds like Obama elevated African-Americans (or some subset of African-Americans) at the expense of other groups, but I don’t agree. Obama hasn’t elevated anyone, because there is no substance to his message, no reality to his promise. He’s playing on cultural narratives, not actually giving anyone (or any group) power that they didn’t have before.

    American society has a cultural narrative about civil rights and black empowerment, so Obama was happy to play on that theme. But read the Black Agenda Report to be disabused of any notion you may have that his policies spell any kind of advantage for African-Americans.

    There is no cultural narrative celebrating women’s rights, but there IS a whole lot of snide sexism, so Obama exploited that theme too.

    Obama just wanted to be president. There is no other content to his program. He and his candidacy and his triumph are completely the creations of the media. He’s a TV president.

    In the meantime, in the background, power in America hasn’t changed: rich white men run everything.

  33. KendallJ says:

    Well said Violet at 12:50 am.