Gay Inclusion In Textbooks Causes Flap

This story on MSNBC has raised a big ruckus.  I have to say, if I didn’t know so many straight people personally and had to judge solely from the forum comments on topix.net, I’d be forced to come to the conclusion that bigots are not only ignorant, they’re illiterate.  Check it out: so far over 7000 responses.  To be fair, there are a serious amount of ignorant statements made by some of the pro-gay/lesbian factions, but they’re nowhere near as asenine or pubescent as those made by the “burn in hell, fag” faction.

Is this seriously the level of discourse we’re capable of as a nation? 

Here’s a sampling of some of my favorites (with, of course, some running commentary a la moi):

  • If they want to add that people who contributed to stuff were gay, then they should change the textbooks to include stuff like; Abraham Lincoln who freed the slaves, enjoyed delving into a nice ripe vagina once in a while.  (Honestly, “ripe?”–Jamie)
  • We do not need to endocrinate children by making homosexuals pillars of society and re-writing history to do it. This is way over the edge. But unfortunately it is where our society is headed up the poop shoot? (That would be “indoctrinate,” and even when spelled correctly is not contextually precise here.)

  • have u ever had breakfast a mile away from a bunch of cuban soliders that would like to have ur head.  (Okay, this guy watched A Few Good Men a Few Too Many Times)

  • Learn to spell or get off this forum. You are giving me a headache.  (This is one of my personal favorites)

  • Now, all you fundamentalist wacko’s, please pay attention to this post:
    The word is spelled “G-o-m-o-r-r-a-h”. It’s right there in your bible (Genesis 13:13; 18:20; 19:24, 29; Hosea 11:8; Deuteronomy 29:23; 32:32; Isaiah 1:10 sqq.; Ezekiel 16:49; Matthew 11:23 sq.; 2 Peter 2:6; Jude 7).
    If you are going to quote from it, please READ IT first. You can keep it handy if you need to check the spelling of those really tricky biblical references.
    Oy vey.  (Hey, it made me laugh, and I believe in God!)

Oh, I could go on and on.  You’ll need to take a vacation to read that whole forum thread.  But here’s one comment that I think exemplifies the real problem here, and the lack of understanding by so many who aren’t necessarily homophobic, but rather don’t understand why the attention must be paid (in some instances) to sexual orientation:

(The Quote) Proud wrote:

There are probably plenty of homosexual men and women who have faught and died for our country that have never been recognized for doing so as a homosexual.

(The response) Remember the famous picture of the Iwo Jima flag being set up by those Marines? Does anybody remember if those guys were straight or gay? How about the guys at Pearl Harbor? What about the guys who sunk the Bismark? To whom they went home to was never an issue for History.

Plenty of gays have died unrecognized, You forget so have plenty of straights. You want to neon sign all the gays when History never made any distinction.

This is a perfect example of the gay’s definition of wanting equality…recognize only the gays, screw the rest.

Can you imagine the outcry from the gay community if we wanted to make the same fuss in recognizing only the straights?

What we have here is a failure to communicate.  As fun as it is to compose a blistering riposte to someone else’s comment, nothing is gained by it. 

You see, my straight readers (assuming you exist), while there certainly are a vocal few homosexuals who feel that being gay is their purpose in life, most of us would rather it wasn’t an issue.  Our lives would be so much easier that way.  But those Iwo Jima soldiers that quote above referred to, well, it may not have been an issue for “History,” but if one of them had been gay–and I’m not saying one was, but for discussion, if–then it would certainly have been an issue when they returned home.  We didn’t ostracize ourselves.  We are not the ones beating up gay people and killing them.  We are not the ones–like Antonin Scalia–who wish to make private sexual contact a crime among consenting adults.  And until we are allowed to feel safe and secure in our homes and in society, then we are forced, by the actions of those against us, to publicize everything good we’ve ever done. 

In short, if you don’t want gay people to be on the defensive, quit putting us there.

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “Gay Inclusion In Textbooks Causes Flap

  1. The reason many people are suspicious, Jamie, especially in California, is because Sheila Kuehl, while in favor of requiring this to be taught, is vehemently against standards in such seemingly-unnecessary areas as math, science, and English.

    And to be quite honest, if you’re dealing with real bigots, publicizing the accomplishments of gay people makes not one whit of difference to them. Meanwhile, it turns off people who (rightly) see it as self-aggrandizement on the part of gays.

    Personally, I thought this comment made a lot of sense:

    If they want to add that people who contributed to stuff were gay, then they should change the textbooks to include stuff like; Abraham Lincoln who freed the slaves, enjoyed delving into a nice ripe vagina once in a while.

    Fair enough. If publicizing the sexual orientation of historic figures is that big of a deal, then “equality” should rule; talk about BOTH hets and homos.

  2. Fair enough. If publicizing the sexual orientation of historic figures is that big of a deal, then “equality” should rule; talk about BOTH hets and homos.

    That might be necessary were it not for the fact that the automatic assumption is that all of the historical figures in the textbooks were straight. That’s just a given. No one had to tell me that George Washington was straight. But when I came out I was surprised to find Oscar Wilde was gay. As an ever-aspiring author it gave me a successful gay author to emulate. While my viewpoint has broadened since then, it was a definitely positive experience for me just learning about that one man.

    I don’t find publicizing the historical accomplishments of gays to be self-aggrandizement at all, if it’s contextual. And what about the current gay rights movement. Should no mention of that be made in history classes twenty years from now? I think the real objection is that many folks think we (gays) are trying to rewrite history and “steal” some of their historical figures. (That’s a bit how I feel about this whole “Lincoln was gay” nonsense.)

    I think there’s definitely a way to find an accurate historical presentation of the facts while being inclusive at the same time.

  3. As a straight woman, I see no problem with pointing out the accomplishments of homosexuals. Why not give equal time to this, when the media is so willing to do the opposite. Why not give positive role models. Not just the flamboyant extremes in many of prime time shows. How about an “out” news anchor etc. Look at the crap between Rosie and The Donald right now. I haven’t read it all, but we all know what a leading citizen and role model (how many wives can I have in a lifetime) HE is. A lot of people are jealous of Rosie’s successes. She’s not my favorite, but hey – suck it up, oh envious ones.

    Why is wanting to have positive role models for gays/lesbians and showing their positive achievements ANY different than for other down trodden oppressed minorities in the past? It TAKES continued, positive exposure in the media etc. to change peoples minds. If that is at all possible for some knuckle walkers. And you know who you are. PEACE & LOVE everyone.

  4. But when I came out I was surprised to find Oscar Wilde was gay. As an ever-aspiring author it gave me a successful gay author to emulate.

    One hopes, Jamie, that you were seeking to emulate Wilde’s writing, and not Wilde’s habit of sex with little boys and teenagers.

    And that, quite honestly, is the best example of why the sex lives and sexual orientation of historical figures are, at best, irrelevant and pointless; it detracts from for what history remembers them.

    Why is wanting to have positive role models for gays/lesbians and showing their positive achievements ANY different than for other down trodden oppressed minorities in the past?

    Because that gives two impressions; one, that a straight person cannot be a role model for a gay person, and two, that sexual orientation is inherently negative and needs “countering” by positive examples.

  5. One hopes, Jamie, that you were seeking to emulate Wilde’s writing, and not Wilde’s habit of sex with little boys and teenagers.

    Well that would be the “author” factor I wanted to emulate.

    Because that gives two impressions; one, that a straight person cannot be a role model for a gay person, and two, that sexual orientation is inherently negative and needs “countering” by positive examples.

    That’s exactly it: same-sex orientation is seen by the majority as inherently negative, whether it’s true or not. Until that bias is overcome, it very much does need that countering you speak of. I don’t like it, but it’s true.

  6. As a political issue, this is not a good idea (as I’ve explained in detail elsewhere). It’s simply best to wait till college to bring these matters up because of the inevitable meddling of parents and school boards.

    However, I think sexuality should be included in the wider dialogue between adults, so long as it: A- makes sense, B- is properly contextualized, and C- is audience appropriate.

    Can you legitimately lecture about Hadrian’s reign without delving into his sexual orientation (and the apparent affect it had on some of his travels, decrees, and alcoholism)? Can you write a proper biography of Oscar Wilde without talking about his conviction and imprisonment for “gross indecency”? Is it even possible to do a documentary on the Stonewall Riots without ever once mentioning the g-word?

    While sexuality is not always historically relevant, there are cases when it clearly is. There are instances when it is contextually appropriate and directly related to the events in question. I don’t think we should mention sex just for the sake of it, but obviously if we’re discussing Edward II’s murder…it might be prudent to delve into both the Queen’s (heterosexual) and King’s (homosexual) extra-marital affairs as an underlying cause, wouldn’t you agree?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: