Lately I’ve been thinking about a sentence that’s part of the preflight safety demonstration on airplanes: “Secure your own oxygen mask before assisting others.” And for that, I can thank Rose McGowan.
A few days ago, the actress told Bret Easton Ellis that she believed gay men were “just as misogynistic than straight men, if not more so.” This is mostly because she thinks they’ve been silent in supporting women’s causes, such as equal pay. “I see now people who have basically fought for the right to stand on top of a float wearing an orange Speedo and take molly,” she said.
I’m going to give McGowan only half-credit for faux-pologizing for that last sentence, which is as inflammatorily reductionist as if I were to say only that McGowan “once had her eyes done” when in fact the actress had major reparative surgery after a horrible car wreck.
I’m also not going to overlook this part of her mea not-so-culpa: “Where does it say that because of a man’s sexual preference, I don’t get to point out a group’s character defects? It’s a human rights issue.” Character defects can’t be ascribed to an entire group—that’s stereotyping. (For example, I would never say, “Actresses are defectively incapable of coherent opinions,” because such offensive stereotyping would scuttle my chances of someday hanging out with Anna Kendrick.)
Sorry if women’s pay equality hasn’t been top of gay guys’ minds. Does pay inequality stink? Of course it does. But when it comes to employment issues we’re probably more vested in and concerned by the fight that in more than half the nation, it’s still legal to discriminate against or fire an gay employee. That’s not “less pay,” that’s “no pay.”
Let’s go back to that women’s equal pay bill. You know which party in the Senate voted unanimously against it in September? The Republicans (including the four women). And if there’s one political party that’s always taking the LGBT pulse and thoughtfully applying it to its own declared principles and values, it’s the Republican Party. It can’t get enough of what The Gays think, which is evident in the party’s national platform, which both vows to ban gay marriage (“We will enforce and defend in court the Defense of Marriage Act in the Armed Forces as well as in the civilian world,” page 43) and uses the actual phrase “homosexual rights agenda” pejoratively in a section about foreign aid, because apparently they think it’s OK for a country to keep stoning gays to death.
So you can imagine how much those Republicans would have paid attention if The Gays had, say, protested at the GOP House’s steadfast refusal to renew the Violence Against Women Act in 2013. (Oh, wait—major gay rights groups like the National LGTBQ Task Force joined the public outcry about the stalled legislation.)
If Rose McGowan would like to point a finger at an overly generalized group that apparently could use some nudging toward activism for women’s rights, I suggest she could point it right back at her womanly self. Along with the “credit” for deciding the 2012 presidential election comes the “blame” for electing all those Republicans to legislative positions, because 9.8 million more women reported voting in 2012 than men. And, not to stereotype, but chances are good that the lesbian component among those 9.8 million women voted a strongly Democratic ticket, so the percentage of straight women voting Republican ticked even higher.
So, a quick recap:
- “Misogyny” means contempt of women, which is a bigotry that you should not accuse someone of just because they’re not being as championish as you’d like, at the moment you’d like.
- And the gay guys are kinda busy securing their own oxygen masks right now, so please stop trying to foist the blame on us when you can’t manage to put on your own damn mask.
|WHAT SAM WORE: 11-11-14|
|The shirt: Long-sleeved light flannel button-down, from Uniqlo, New York.|
|The pants: Dark-wash slim-fit straight-cut jeans, from Uniqlo, New York.|
|The shoes: Sneakers by Puma, from Nordstrom, Chandler.|