Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
This past Monday night around 10 pm, Swarthmore students chalked pro-LGBTQA+ messages on sidewalks all over campus in honor of Pride Month. Messages included “Queers eat here,” chalked outside of Sharples, and “George and Molly are queer,” referring to the bookstore dogs, written outside of Clothier. Counter-chalkings expressing anti-queer sentiments appeared around campus by 2 am that same night.
One chalking outside of Sharples (shown above) said, “Gays can’t make kids w/o a petri dish.” Other chalkings included “For true equality let the women rape the men” and “#fuckherrightinthepussy.”
Many students felt uncomfortable and unsafe because of these chalkings. In response to a chalking outside of Willets that said “procreator pride,” one student, who asked to be referred to as AL ‘17, said, “As someone who is asexual and plans not to have kids through childbirth, it was kind of like a gut punch. [..] You forget that at a place like Swarthmore there are still people who will hate and judge me just for being me […] I didn’t want to see it, I didn’t want to think about it, I did not want that to invade my space.”
One queer student in the class of 2017, who asked to remain anonymous, said when they heard about the rape chalking, it made them feel unsafe. “You just trivialized my status as a survivor, you totally took everything that I’ve gone through and made it into this sad attempt at a political statement. It’s not okay, it’s not acceptable,” they said. “I’m also a part of ASAP, and you’re just missing the point of everything a group like ASAP [stands] for. I couldn’t believe someone like that is at Swarthmore.”
Students had mixed reactions to the original chalkings as well.
The anonymous student said, “Last year I was kind of offended by it. I was like, ‘Oh, this is so aggressive,’ […] But this year I started going to SQU meetings and was like, ‘Oh, there’s a reason to be angry, and there’s a reason people are so aggressive in their chalkings.’ So I wanted to be a part of this. Even if it makes people uncomfortable, because last year some of my straight friends were like “I don’t need to see your sexuality everywhere.” This year I was like, ‘I don’t care if it makes you uncomfortable, this is something you just need to see.’”
AL was comforted by the pro-queer chalkings, saying, “As a closeted asexual last year, it was very nice walking to class and seeing an Ace Pride chalking. And even though I couldn’t interact in the dialogue, it was still very moving to me.”
Peter Amadeo ‘15 said, “I think the chalkings are really great because they’re amplifying queer and trans voices, which obviously don’t have a position in society.”
While Amadeo understood why students might feel that some of the pro-queer chalkings were inappropriate, they did not warrant the reactions expressed in the counterchalkings. “Some of the sexually explicit ones are a little bit inappropriate because I think that people have extremely valid reasons to be uncomfortable with sexually explicit material. And I think that it’s inappropriate to put that in front of them in a very public way, that they can’t avoid it. Like there was one chalking about ‘sucking dick is the best thing that ever happened to me.’ There are a lot of people who have extremely negative experiences tied to that,” Amadeo said. “[But] feeling the need to counterchalk is very inappropriate. Believe it or not, you, as a straight person, have your feelings magnified all the time.”
When asked how she thought we should address the issue of these chalkings on campus, AL responded, “I think we should be talking about it because there is evidently a vocal minority on campus who see queer identity as something to either be mocked or dismissed.”
Claudia Lo ‘16 saw the chalked responses as an opportunity to draw upon institutional memory. “This’d be a great opportunity to remind ourselves that homophobia exists, and for the student body to learn about the history of queer chalking and its inevitable virulent response,” she said.
This is not the first time anti-queer sentiments have been expressed on campus: negative reactions to pro-queer chalkings have shown up on campus as early as 1989. To learn more, see The Daily Gazette’s history of queer chalkings on campus here.
Allison Hrabar ‘16 contributed reporting.
Images courtesy of Jake Moon ‘17 and Hannah Armbruster ‘15
it would be nice if you quoted some of the SQU chalkings for context — that shit was ridiculous
First and foremost I would like to comment that this is an atrocity to journalism. The author should have more accurately titled this article “Pro-LGBTQ Opinions of Pro-Heterosexual Chalkings”, because from the title to the very last period it is completely one-sided, biased and embarrassingly inaccurate. I see only one point of view expressed in this article. Well, at this time, I would like to add another.
Let’s take a second to discern the difference between hate speech and simple facts. Hate speech is when an individual uses his/her/other opinion to verbally harm a group of people based on a characteristic. Facts, on the other hand, express something that is true. It does not matter whether facts offend people because facts, unlike opinions, express absolutes. While the chalking in the first picture of this article is speaking more figuratively, one can easily extract the message the author is trying to relay; homosexuals cannot reproduce with their partners naturally. This is a fact, as defined by the biology that I learned in Grade School, and is not hate speech. Had this chalking been placed where it was at a random time, the arguments that claim it to be hateful may have been slightly more credible. However, it was chalked in a time, designated by the LGBTQ community, for chalkings that discuss sexuality. Although “#fuckherrightinthepussy” is not a fact, it does not express sentiments against any group of people. So, it, also, is not hate speech. Much like many of the pro-LGBTQ chalkings “procreator pride” expresses pride in ones sexual orientation. This, once again, is not hate speech. In regards to the response by AL ’17, this chalking has nothing to do with you or your sexuality. Notice that the author of this chalking was taking pride in their own sexuality and probably does not concern themselves with yours. (Of course, the chalking that speaks on rape is neither appropriate nor relevant and there is no justification for it.)
Its funny how the LGBTQ community is not hesitant to shove their beliefs down our throats and expect us to sit around and take it. The second we retaliate with facts or pride in our own sexuality, the chalkings are attacked and the authors who were exercising their right to free speech are deemed “homophobes” and “hateful” despite not writing a single hateful thing. The LGBTQ community is allowed to write offensive things, and, according to a quote from this article, they “don’t care if it makes [us] uncomfortable, this is something [we] just need to see.” Well, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. I think those who wrote the chalkings with an opposing point of view from the LGBTQ community should be commended for their bravery in front of an offensive, yet ironically, free-speech-oppressing organization.
-Chris Bourne, Class of 2017
Public pride in privilege (male, sexual, heterosexual) meant to trivialize the opinions of the underprivileged is hate speech, and is not brave. Gay adoption is more “natural” than mustering the time, energy, and hate it takes to discriminate against gay adoption. Facts are neutral, but their juxtapositioning is not.
PARAGRAPHS CHRIS JESUS EFF. No one wants to read that polemic (without paragraphs).
I honestly don’t know where to start, but I’ve had a shitty day, and you seem seriously misguided, so here goes nothing. To start, I would like to know all of the ways “the LGBTQ community is not hesitant to shove their beliefs down our throats and expect us to sit around and take it.” Did the perspectives of queer/trans folk upset you? Did seeing their opinions on their own lives, a major detraction from mainstream media, cause you discomfort? The problem is you are talking of two different kinds of discomfort right now. When you speak of the discomfort straight/cis people feel when they see the queer chalkings, what you mean is that it is out of the ordinary. These are ideas that are stifled by our cishetero society (see music, news, sports, politics, etc.) so that you and others like you don’t have to see them. Then when you do, it must be jarring. It must be jarring to see how someone else feels when you are previously uninformed. It must be even more jarring to see how upset these people are when affected by the cishetero system previously referenced.
However, it really shouldn’t be surprising that they are so upset because of the second kind of discomfort you describe. This discomfort is TRULY hateful. This discomfort tells queer folk that they don’t matter. Their self-esteem? Unimportant. Their representation? Nonexistent. Their safety? Not a concern. Our society is so structured around cisgendered and heterosexual people that the others get pushed into the margins. They are oppressed, ignored, and victims of violence as a result.
This “Pro-heterosexuality” is definitely a very prominent part of society. People should be able to present their “pro-heterosexual” opinions. If only they had different media outlets to do so. If only our government were run by people concerned with heterosexuality. If only our music were based on heterosexuality. If only our movies were centred around heterosexuality. If only the majority of people in power shared this common view/experience of heterosexuality. In case you are missing the point (which I’m afraid you might be) these are all true. Straight/cis people run EVERY aspect of mainstream culture. So when you talk about queer ideas being shoved down your throat, consider what it is like to be a queer person in a society that is so ingrained with heterosexuality that most people (Chris Bourne for instance) don’t even notice it.
As for the comment on the petri dish, that is just factually incorrect. Gays can’t make children without a petri dish? What about two women who get a sperm donor? What about trans individuals whose genders don’t match their genitalia? What about a same-sex couple who happen to be bisexual? Can these people not procreate? The problem is that we don’t discuss the variety of queer couples/relationships. Sure, a cis man may not be able to create a child with another cis man, but what about the other varieties of queer couples that neither you nor the chalker (or are you the chalker? I lost track) seem to consider? Maybe you should learn some new biology since grade school may not have been the best place to develop a basis of your understandings of the human anatomy.
I grow tired (see comment on shitty day) so I’m afraid I cannot counter every poor argument you made, but I want to address the “#fuckherrightinthepussy” comment you made. When we discuss pussy in general, who do we mean? Women. In this context it was probably about queer women. This chalking was particularly disturbing because it is centred on the perspective of heterosexual men. This fetishizing of queer women (“omg lesbians are so hot can you and your girlfriend make out for me and my bros kthx”) is nothing new for queer women. They are used to it as a horrible part of our culture. The chalkings were supposed to be about queer people voicing how they feel, but this person (probably a straight man) objectified the idea of queer women. He centred the conversation around himself (see above explanation of why this isn’t the point) and his fetishization of queer women.
In summary, this is not about how straight people. This wasn’t supposed to be a chalking session about sexuality. This was supposed to be a chalking session about queer/trans lives by queer/trans people. To take what little voice/platform they have for the purpose of amplifying an already amplified cishetero-centred voice is counterproductive.
Not too long ago I, like all of you, had the pleasure of stepping out of Parrish and realizing that I was standing on top of a detailed artistic nude of the jolly green giant, whose jolly green was quite… giant. I recall passing by the elf having butt sex on a unicorn’s horn. I recall the affirmations of queer pride, the encouraging messages to be unique, and the declarations of universal love. I remember the tour guide trying to awkwardly not mention that the tour group standing in front of Tarble that if they looked four feet to the left, there was a large pink chalked vagina. I also recall some fairly nasty things that members of the queer community had to say in chalk about cis-folk, hetero-folk, men, white men, society, etc. over my four years as a student. While it was the work of a select number of individuals that chose to follow a less… jolly… route, nonetheless it reflected on the entire community, a community of which I was not a part, despite checking all the right boxes. I think the comments on this “piece” have reminded me exactly why, despite being out in undergrad, I eschewed the out establishment.
Let me clarify, there’s no use in defending that which is clearly indefensible. I’m not here to say that the vile hashtag is ever an acceptable statement, or that it is ok to chalk some of the other responses. Really, that there is even still a conversation on whether it is kosher to go with such speech in the particular baffles me. It’s the general case that I find more interesting.
In the response you’ve written, and in your quote in the piece, you’ve gone somewhere that I think is ripe with potential for real conversation. I’ve decided to speak up because I see something lurking in the backdrop that disturbs me, and is reflective of an ongoing problem at Swat, one that kept me away from what would’ve otherwise been a befitting community. There have been much more obvious threads to point it out on, but I’ve chosen this one because it is the silent pervasiveness of the view that I think needs to be shown. Namely, the following comment suggests that even if the straight/cis/hetero chalkings HAD been done respectfully, they would still have been unwelcome and violative.
“In summary, this is not about how straight people. This wasn’t supposed to be a chalking session about sexuality. This was supposed to be a chalking session about queer/trans lives by queer/trans people. To take what little voice/platform they have for the purpose of amplifying an already amplified cishetero-centred voice is counterproductive.”
Let’s posit for just a moment that there was a chalking reading “I <3 BUTTSEX!" nearby. For the record, I remember multiple chalkings like that, so it's not, you know, an outrageous suggestion that such a thing could exist. Does that chalking really add to any conversation? Strictly speaking, butt sex is not a queer thing, it's a sex thing. All you need for butt sex is a butt, and no matter cis, trans, straight, gay, lesbian, pansexual, and anything and everything else/in between, everyone's got a butt. Does having an elf squatting on a unicorn horn evoke feelings of queer/trans lives, or is it merely a funny butt sex joke? Or take the "I love my boyfriend" type chalking. Walking by it in a sea of queer chalkings, I might assume that it is written by someone in the queer community, but really there's nothing particularly queer/trans about the sentiment. And then of course there is the giant naked erect man, or the anatomically accurate vagina, neither of which are about lives, both of which are depictions of anatomy.
I think the argument that it is not about sexuality, but queer/trans lives, is laughable. As a Swattie, I always interpreted it as being about gender, sex, identity, sexuality, sensuality, and a myriad of other things. I don't think it is ok to declare what the chalkings are, since they mean different things to different people. I also don't think that the artists can declare the intended meaning of an installation and have it be accepted by mere virtue of being the originators of the work. Art and public space and public discourse do not work that way. But even if the community, or individual artists, wanted to make such a declaration of purpose, I think the product contradicts the alleged intent (assuming, of course, that the stated intent is in fact the intent of the originators). And I would argue that simply looking at the subject matter in the wide range of chalkings proves that on an annual basis.
So, if we're going to finally call it like we see it, how is an affirmation of straight sex or straightness out of place? Straightness is part of the diverse world of sex, sexuality, gender, and phenomenology of identity. I agree that some of the retaliatory chalkings are just downright rude, offensive, and wrong. I am not interested in defending the work of idiots. However, the responses I have read go beyond calling out offensive asses, and go, even if not explicitly in every case, to a much more insidious and dangerous place. The problem I see in various responses is ultimately that it seems folks see any straight chalking, even if respectful, as violative of the sidewalk, where they fail to see that the sidewalk was never theirs to give. It's public discourse, and to demand that the majority be idle by virtue of being in the majority, and for no other reason, creates a silence just as deafening.
I know at Swat we like to marginalize the relevance or importance of the views of individuals in the majority since it's intellectually in vogue to discredit based on immutable characteristics so long as they are not minority ones. When you all graduate, you'll realize that doing so for four years did you a great disservice. In the real world, you don't get to proclaim a time-out and have your moment uninterrupted. You don't get to mute dissent. And I don't point this out to suggest that you lose your experience as residents in one of my favorite ivory towers. Not being part of the real world has serious perks. But don't lose sight of what it means to be part of a diverse community, because diversity is not that which is dissimilar from the majority, but rather diversity is the sum total of everyone as they are. And diversity is fluid, as individuals are fluid.
I also find the proposition (in the piece and in the comments) that straight people as a category see their views everywhere, and therefore as individuals lose the social right to respond to be outlandish. It is demonstrative of a pervasive view that I recall from my Swat days, that if you look and sound like the majority, your contributions to campus are lessened. It suggests that Swatties should only concern themselves with the concerns of a select portion of campus, since everyone else can just deal with it while they bask in their majoritarianism. There is nothing wrong with wanting people to understand the privilege they bring to discourse. There is something perverse, however, about failing to notice that in telling folks to do so, you as a speaker are exerting social privilege based on immutable characteristics that validate your ability to call others out. Equally pernicious, there is something off about suggesting that the voices of individuals are adequately represented by society since it reflects certain values, but if anyone told an individual queer person that their chalking was unnecessary by virtue of the community having already represented the viewpoint or something it considered to be similar, that person would be shamed. If queer people are individual people, so are those in the majority. The default response to feeling silence does not have to be to silence in return.
I only bother write this post at all because the comment I quoted above reminds me so much of everything about my Swarthmore experience I detested. Despite having met and studied alongside some of the most intelligent people I'm likely to meet, so many simple truths slipped by so many of them. By all means, take umbrage with idiots, cretins, fools, asses, and all manner of nay-sayers. But you don't own public conversation, you don't own diversity, you don't own communal identity, you don't own agency, and you certainly do not own objective truth. Being drowned out is no fun at all. But that certainly does not mean that you require silence to be heard, nor does it suggest that you deserve it. Nothing is black or white, I suggest you use college as a time to get comfortable in the mix.
“Straight/cis people run EVERY aspect of mainstream culture.”
Just a heads up, but in NY gays run culture (which means they run culture in the world). Gays own the NYT, the opera, the stage, every fashion house worth caring about, every art studio, almost every ad campaign, and every cool party.
Chris better be prepared. Otherwise he’s gonna end up living in Murray Hill or self-hatingly but to appear cool in the East Village.
But not in the Swarthmore bubble, gays run the town, and (boring) straight people get a house in Inwood or Hoboken and commute in on the Path train. Sad.
to be clear, I mean usually white privileged gay men run town, so still problematic, but not the case that straight people are running around building culture.
Okay, so let me know clarify a few inaccuracies that you have. First, the school shoves these beliefs down our throats, I was necessarily speaking on society as a whole. According to numerous religious doctrines, homosexuality (and other sexualities including heterosexual fornication) are unnatural and forbidden. As you can imagine, many people don’t even believe that the lifestyles of the LGBTQ community are okay. Of course, it is never okay to be hateful to someone for their life choices, but I do not now nor will I ever think that being an LGBTQ is an acceptable sexuality. My opinion on this matter is my own, and I have a right to have it and express it.
Secondly, the Petri dish chalk was a figurative way of saying that two biological males and two biological females cannot procreate together. I would also like to point out that gender is not biological but simply an invention of humans. Only sex is biological. For this reason it makes sense that heterosexuality dominates our culture because without heterosexuality, there would be massive depopulation. All the other ways of procreation are highly inefficient.
I, personally, don’t think anyone’s sexuality should be pushed into anyone else’s faces. The cis-hetero community has their own issues to work out (see divorce rate). However, if you want to push non-cishetero beliefs in my face I am going to respond.
See that, Chris? Not as many of those people are liking your second comment as they did your first. Ya know why? Because those people like “Homophobia lite.” This means they are okay with us, but they just don’t like us or want to see us. However, your second comment was a little TOO homophobic if you know what I am saying. It was a little too direct about it, and most people like to live under the guise that they don’t hate people based on sex, sexuality, race, or nationality (which we all know they do). Not you though, so props for being bold and sticking to your guns.
People don’t speak up because they are afraid of retaliation for voicing their opinion. They are afraid of being called “homophobic” or said to “perpetuate hatred”, much like this article and the many comments. Open a newspaper, people lose their jobs, get ostracized, persecuted, for having a opinion that differs from the LGBTQ community. Why exactly is that? Why should anyone be demonized for having a opinion that differs from the opinion of another? It’s an opinion! It doesn’t change your life any more than your opinion changes mine. You are free to live as you like, as am I.
I doubt you really believe that all opinions are fine and should be free of social consequences. (Consider neo-Nazis, or Donald Sterling.) So the real question is a substantive one: are anti-LGBTQ views sufficiently meritorious that they should be treated as respectable? The real problem for people on your side of this issue is that people increasingly doubt it.
Neo Nazi?! That comparison is a stretch, don’t you think? Surely you don’t believe that’s a appropriate comparison. As for Donald Sterling, he was a known racist that put actions to his opinion and discriminated against blacks even before his comments were made public. I have not discriminated against, threatened or caused bodily harm to anyone. I have an opinion about a lifestyle because of my deeply held Christian beliefs. You are correct that I don’t believe all opinions are fine, only those that are based on absolute truth. I’m sure you have an opinion about my “lifestyle”. And if so that’s fine. Believe me, you wouldn’t be the first and you certainly won’t be the last but it won’t change my beliefs. Just as my opinion won’t likely change yours.
It’s nice when people actually read what I write instead of attacking characterizations that they invent. Let’s walk through this step by step:
1. There is a kind of move people make where they suggest that we should generally tolerate opinions (distinguished from other kinds of conduct). You make this kind of argument in your earlier comment.
2. We know that “let’s tolerate opinions” is overbroad if taken to be a blanket rule; at the very least, it has some limiting principles. That’s because (we generally agree) some opinions shouldn’t be tolerated, at least in the sense that it’s appropriate to punish them with social consequences (ostracism, etc.). Donald Sterling was punished, not for his racist acts, but for racist statements that would have been downright conventional fifty years ago. So, there are lines here.
3. The question, then, is not simply whether anti-LGBTQ views are opinions, but whether they are opinions that are respectable, or, to put it a different way, whether (unlike Donald Sterling’s statement) they are within the boundaries of what we think should generally be tolerated by society and not subject to serious social consequences.
4. I’m not equating anti-LGBT views with other views. The point of bringing up neo-Nazis is to illustrate that the principle in 1. has a limit. That’s not to say that anti-LGBT views are Nazi views (which is obviously ridiculous and inappropriate, nobody among mainstream US social conservatives is proposing anti-LGBT genocide); it’s just to say that there is SOME limit. So instead of this empty rhetorical appeal to tolerance, we have to ask, first, WHAT is the limit, and second, do anti-LGBT views fall within it?
5. I’m not sure what your “deeply held Christian beliefs” have to do with anything. The fact that your views are grounded in religion has nothing to do with their moral justification and therefore nothing to do with whether we should regard them as morally respectable. I’m sorry that your “deeply held Christian religious beliefs” lead you to believe things that are not only false but also deeply destructive to human well-being. But it’s still your responsibility to do better.
Ok. First let’s clarify your continued use of the term anti-LGBT. No one is anti-anything. I have family that’s LGBT and I love them, the person, dearly. I just don’t agree with the choices. Just as I don’t agree with the choices of any another sinful lifestyle. Second, my deeply held Christian beliefs have everything to do with their moral justification. Where does morality come from? Who decided what was right from wrong? God did! And I believe what He says. Anyway with that said, we could debate this all night, you can’t change my mind and I can’t change yours. So with that I’ll say, Goodnight!
1. I could not care less that you don’t think you’re anti-LGBT. You are, functionally and objectively, even if subjectively you might feel affection for particular LGBT people.
2. Oh, divine command theory, how charming. Too bad it’s transparently indefensible. Plato illustrated this more than two millennia ago. The central problem: either God commands what’s right because it’s right, or what God commands is right because God commands it. On the first view, you don’t have divine command theory (there is morality independent of God). On the second view, God’s commands look like arbitrary exercises of discretion: maybe today He told us murder is wrong, but tomorrow He might tell us it’s just fine! And it *would* be, on that view. And that’s silly.
As much as I loathe the endless hamster wheel, I’m going to join you one last time and then I’m getting on with my life. I strongly suggest you do the same.
1. I suppose that means you would be anti-Christian then. I could use your own arguments against you. But I won’t because like I said in a previous post, you’re not the first and you won’t be the last and like you, I also could not care less. And besides that we are all given the free will to chose to believe or not believe…to chose life or death.
2. Oooh, Plato! Because Plato said it, it must be true. Well, I can guarantee that if Plato didn’t turn and believe on our Sovereign God before his death, at this very moment, he’s wishing he had. I by no means make light of that. To be eternally separated from God is no laughing matter and I don’t wish that for anybody. Furthermore, your argument that morality exists without God is nonsense. There is a universal standard of right and wrong written on the human heart at creation by a Perfect and Holy God. A universal standard of right and wrong could not have appeared out of thin air, it had to come from Someone. Though, it has been corrupted, to say it exists without Him, you would then have to say there’s no standard and it’s subjective. A thief could justify stealing your money because it’s morally acceptable to him, or worst yet a pedophile for his abuse of children. And finally, I can hear your ignorance as to the character and nature of God. Too big a subject for this post, so might I suggest you pick up a bible, start in Genesis and read through Revelation. He tells us everything we need to know right there in the good book.
Here, again from another comment, is my response to you saying LGBTQ+ individuals live an LGBTQ+ “lifestyle”:
I take issue with your choice of words, particularly that being LGBTQ+ is a “lifestyle.”
A part of someone’s identity is not a lifestyle, it is a facet of an identity. Here is a great blog to enlighten you: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/2013/11/stop-saying-homosexual-lifestyle-2/.
I hope that regardless of whether you approve of LGBTQ+ individuals, that you view someone who identifies with the LGBTQ+ community as more than just identifying with a lifestyle. It *IS* their identity. There is no choice (unlike religion or political views). There is no choosing whether to “practice” that particular “lifestyle.” The fact that you call it a lifestyle is simply offensive.
“People lose their jobs…for having a opinion that differs from the LGBTQ community.”
You do know that you live in a country in which 55% of all workers can legally be fired for being gay or trans, right?
And as for the rest of your comment… the opinions of homophobes and transphobes do change people’s lives. They make them worse. They justify hate speech and hate crimes, and legislation that strips people of basic human rights. But you are right on one thing; the opinions of queer people really don’t hurt you.
No response to the comment about “#fuckherrightinthepussy”?
It’s literally threatening an act of extreme violence against a marginalized group (queer women and/or any woman).
Your comments are gross.
I think that comment was horrible as well as the comment “I like to fuck people in the ass”, written by SQU. Both are inappropriate to be displayed on a public campus.
I am a womyn so my word may mean less in your world where people wait until marriage and the biggest problem in the “cis-hetero community” faces is divorce but, let’s give it a go.
To say the school “shoves” anything down your throat undermines your agency a little bit, no? Perhaps this phenomenon you are experiencing is just another day for any marginalized or oppressed identity in a world of archaic and discriminatory norms.
According to numerous religious doctrines shrimp is bad and slavery is pretty okay. Actually…I’m gonna take a leap of faith here and say we’re too smart for those petty counterexamples. Instead, let’s recognize that those are YOUR religious doctrines meant to guide YOUR life. They can be your explanation for the views you hold but they cannot be a justification for perpetuating (or defending) hatred or attempting to regulate the lives of others. Your rights extend to where another’s begin so express yourself but realize that when this incites fear another, that speech is no longer protected.
Very quickly….figurative implies that the chalking is attempting to illustrate something in the abstract. I’m gonna say that the chalking is very literal but damn it, how dare modern science allow two people who would do anything to be parents, the opportunity to have a child. By your reasoning, every straight couple that has had a child through IVF or a surrogate hath brought an abomination upon this world…I hope they can still love those demon children. If only the “normal” way was more inefficient…we might actually have enough people to care for the kids we keep making and tossing aside.
I, personally, don’t think attempting to make the dominant oppressive voice appear as an under attack, marginalized view is anything less than egregious. The “cis-hetero community” does have its own issues to work out (see rates of domestic violence, sexual assault, abuse, child abandonment etc). However, if you want to push closed minded, narrow interpretations of selective doctrines in my face I am going to respond.
Peace and love
Just curious, what part of what he said was “perpetuating (or defending) hatred”? Because he disagrees with that lifestyle, it’s hateful?! I suppose we could say the same about your comment about his religious beliefs than, couldn’t we?
“I don’t care if [the LGBTQ chalking] makes you uncomfortable, this is something you just need to see.’”
The idea that the pro-LGBTQ chalking deserves our attention but “procreator pride” does not is extremely biased and contradictory. Yes, the “procreator pride” chalking can be aggressive and uncomfortable to some students on campus, but so is some of the Pride Month chalking. This is a fact, just many students don’t have the courage to express their problems with the chalking.
Also, the idea that the Pride Month chalking “is something you need to see”, while something like “procreator pride” is not, creates a disastrous standard in which speech is unfree, and everything said by ASAP and SQU must be accepted or supported without exception.
Last, the quotation “I couldn’t believe someone like that is at Swarthmore” gives into another damaging idea that Swarthmore students SHOULD act and think a certain way. I’m not going to passively live in a bubble with a specific agenda, where opposing points of views are condemned with a mob mentality. Just because sexual minorities are repressed in the public view does not grant their voices and support protection from opposing viewpoints, in complete disregard to some students on campus and around the country.
Do you honestly believe that anybody thinks that “everything said by ASAP and SQU must be accepted or supported without exception?” Does that make any sense to you? Did you think particularly hard before making this comment?
Accept or tolerate, yes. If you support the idea that the SQU chalking is “something that must be seen” and condemn responses against it, believing that “Swarthmore students should think like this”, you are effectively indoctrinating fellow students to think a certain way.
The difference between LGBTQ+ pride and “procreator pride” (read: cis-hetero pride) being written on the ground is that we live in a world where cisgendered, heterosexual people are given a platform for their ideas constantly. LGBTQ+ individuals have to fight to have their voices heard, and sometimes even have their existence acknowledged.
Everyone should be proud of who they are. The reason oppressed groups make a point of expressing that pride publicly is because they have been systemically taught that they should be ashamed of who they are — their pride is an act of resistance to a toxic norm. There is no system in place teaching people to feel shame because they are heterosexual or cisgendered — the intention of the counter chalkings was clearly to cancel out the voices of the queer community on campus.
As a disclaimer, I don’t really support either the “procreation pride” comment or some (key word, some) of the SQU chalking. I really see the counter-comments, like the petri dish one, as egregious comments to silence other, equally egregious comments (you may see it differently, I understand).
My main issue is the shunning of the counter comments, coupled with the lack of criticism for some of the SQU chalking. This is how mob mentality can infect a small student body, which is my primary concern. It’s telling how no one disputed this point so far.
Your previous comment seems to suggest that the reason that we should accept and tolerate the chalkings is because they are promoted by SQU, which has the “privelige” on this campus of being under-represented in the greater world. It is not. Our acceptance of the chalkings should be based on their content. No one is advocating blindly following the SQU’s public postings, or any group’s ideas for that matter.
Now let’s examine your first comment in this thread. You cite the different responses to pro- and anti-LGBTQA+ chalkings as “biased and contradictory”. Perhaps you have forgotten to put these events into context. In a perfect world where there was no anti-queer or anti-trans discrimination, such a display would certainly be biased. But we do not live in such a perfect world. The world is filled with cis- and heterosexual bias; our culture is full of it. Vacuously claiming “bias” or suggesting that expressions of queer pride lead to a “mob mentality” is telling of your perspective.
Our culture has a cis/hetero mob mentality. If you’re so concerned about mob mentalities, try looking at that one for a minute.
My comment about acceptance and tolerance was based on the quote “the chalking is something that must be seen,” and the overwhelming vilification of those who take issue with some SQU chalking. The article and the majority of these comments suggest an extreme preference over criticizing the anti-LGBTQ+ chalking over the SQU ones. That is bias, and if not indoctrination, a shunning of opposing viewpoints. Someone even called those who criticized tactics of the SQU as “lite” homophobes. Most of the comments (mine included) are without hatred, so please do not label those who disagree with some SQU as discriminators. I, for one, have nothing but support for LGBTQ+ rights, but I wish the SQU went about the Pride Month differently. You and Thomas couldn’t even resist the ad-hominem comments. Pressuring and labeling of those who disagree are a tactic of mob mentality.
Judging by this thread, I think we can henceforth dismiss the idea that the chalkings in question were clearly done by people from outside the College.
Hmmm, the last time I checked, the Constitution defended freedom of speech…period. Not freedom of speech unless you say something against the LGBTQ community. Because people disagree with the LGBTQ lifestyle it’s considered “hate speech”?! When exactly did we lose the freedom to have an opinion?!
Yes, surely the mandatory liberal re-education camps are only weeks away. Oh, the humanity! Won’t someone think of the constitution?!
BRAH. The Constitution protects you from censorship by the GOVERNMENT….it does not in fact, protect you or anyone else’s right to be an asshole on a college campus. Since your reading of the constitution seems surface level at best, I’m going to assume your grasp on what constitutes “hate speech” is also pretty weak. It has little to do with disagreement and everything to do with defending rhetoric that makes your fellow students feel unsafe, rhetoric that contributes to the culture of violence the LGBTQAI community disproportionately suffers from.
I am so frustrated with how people misconstrue the notion of free speech. You have the right to chalk whatever you want, and people have the right to condemn those chalkings. So that “procreator pride” chalker can rest knowing they’re not going to get kicked out of school or get prosecuted by the government, and we also have the right to critique it (and gasp, even call it “hate speech”).
This is really not that hard to understand, come on.
This is by far one of the best comments.
Look! I, as one queer-ass human, don’t care if straight people join in on the fun. Really, if you’re straight and you want to write a comment affirming your love of sex, consent, queer/trans friends, be my guest. I think affirming less normative sex would be more interesting and relevant (since those views are less heard), but if you want to write “I enjoy vaginal sex too! Yay!” go right ahead.
Also, I am not even strictly opposed to you writing all your homophobic, hateful comments. I think they are disrespectful, hateful, rude, and I’d prefer if you kept them burning in your hateful soul…but, if you want to join the fray, be my guest. But, don’t be surprised if people call your comments what they are: hateful, inaccurate, silly.
Let’s also not be confused about the nature of the relevant comments. The petri dish comment, procreator pride, and #fuckherrightinthepussy chalkings are clearly not any sort of benign, affirming, proud, or pro-sex comments. The first two are simply inaccurate. (Most of the queer community could reproduce without a petri dish, and as many queer people as straight people can reproduce).
The last comment is also not saying “I like to have vaginal sex with women, yay!” It’s clearly using the pronoun “her” to refer to the author of the comment and saying “fuck her” like “turn her straight” like “correctively rape her”. If you’d prefer to be generous (naive), you’d still be left with a threatening comment. And one that has nothing to do with the person writing it (nothing to do with their love of sex), but all about their demanding straight sex for the author.
Can we please leave the Constitution out of it? It has nothing, literally nothing, to do with this situation. Congress has made no law restricting the freedom of speech, Swarthmore has not punished anyone for their speech, thus, there is nothing even remotely close to a violation of first amendment rights here. Freedom of speech does not mean speech free of consequences.
“Someone once said that defending a position by citing freedom of speech is like the ultimate concession; you’re saying that the most compelling thing you can say for you position is that it’s not literally illegal to express”
#fuckherrightinthepussy is from a super viral video… It’s what hot in the streets apparently on the World Wide Web. Although still inappropriate… Just letting y’all know
Oh thanks! I didn’t realize it was a rape JOKE. Now it’s fine.
Also I’d like to take the time to appreciate the hypocrisy. People are criticizing the SQU chalkings for being too explicit but when someone gets upset about #fuckherrightinthepussy we’re told we’re being ridiculous because phrases like that are just a part of our culture! Get used to it, right?!
Rape joke?! (Please explain that to me!) Sweetie hunny sugar, some people actually give consent to you guessed it, being fucked right in the pussy. I for one am one of those people. Surprise surprise. I mean surely I don’t want his dick in my ear or my nostril. Pussy is where it’s at. And it doesnt even have to be a dick maybe it’s a sex toy or fingers in which both male and female can participate in fucking me right in the pussy??
This really is very simple, but you asked for an explanation, so here:
If someone were to give consent, and say “Fuck ME right in the pussy!” that would be awesome. But that is not what was written. What was written ignores women’s consent, sexuality, agency, and bodily autonomy. When that phrase is used, we all know that they don’t mean #fuckherrightinthepussyONLYIFSHEWANTSYOUTO.
Your enjoyment of sex does not in any way justify the assumption that all women want or should want to be fucked. Is it just not relevant here.
Wow, something is seriously wrong with the people who hear that hashtag and immediately think rape. So basically your assumption is that the statement screams #fuckherrightinthepussyBecauseImARapist…. That’s absurd. The whole fuck her right in the pussy is an absurd statement on it’s own (which is why i made those ABSURD sexual comments in the last comment). It’s super up to interpretation, no one can argue that. It can be spun in multiple ways but you ending up on rape? Really? C’mon get it together, consent is where it’s at. Try thinking more positively for a change, sex positivity that is!
Wow. After having read through all of these comments, I feel the need to post something. Here we go…
Let me start by saying this: disparaging Chris Bourne’s beliefs — the same beliefs that are supported by the “majority” of society — will not, in any way, lead to a greater respect for our LGBTQ community. I can assure you that the LGBTQ voice will not be respected, or heard, if the discussions of these issues are not upheld with the utmost respect for both perspectives.
I understand and empathize with the LGBTQ community’s feelings of discomfort. YES, I am a white, privileged, heterosexual male, so NO, I do not feel a natural sense of discomfort when the modern media portrays sexual relationships in a heteronormative way. I believe that the initial chalkings of “pride” and the retaliatory responses were both inappropriate; everyone’s entitled to their own opinions, but sharing these opinions in an open fashion will lead to a generally hostile sexual environment. We’ve already seen the frustration from both ends of the spectrum.
Yes, the LGBTQ community is correct — heteronormative perspectives flow through our world much more fluently than LGBTQ perspectives. With that being said, the heteronormative perspective is the dominant perspective, so I think that the lopsided representation of heteronormativity in today’s world is… normal. This skewed representation is not meant to “marginalize” the LGBTQ community; marginalization involves “treating (a person, group, or concept) as insignificant.” By slanting media efforts towards heteronormativity, society isn’t treating LGBTQ individuals as “insignificant,” they’re just appropriating their media efforts in a way that aligns with our population’s beliefs. We’ve seen a closer coverage of LGBTQ perspectives as LGBTQ ideologies have become more prevalent, and I have no doubt that this trend will continue. I think that the LGBTQ needs to accept that “change” will only occur when our population’s beliefs shift… and chalking your beliefs will not accelerate the process.
There’s no excuse for “pleasing” the majority if it brings harm to the minority, but if you’re saying that the modern media displaying hetronormativity truly “harms” the LGBTQ community, then I ask that you to reflect on the many “harms” of our society. Perhaps you will recognize that there are many challenges (poverty, the education gap, substance abuse…etc.) that people have to deal with on a day-to-day basis, and the LGBTQ is not “entitled” to a solution any sooner than these other affected parties. We all have issues and discriminations that affect our lives, and the world isn’t going to coddle you. Everyone needs to remember that.
There are a number of forums available to the LGBTQ community, and no matter how you identify yourself, your voice can be heard. There is a community for everyone. Unfortunately, the reality is that people judge other people, and no amount of chalkings or intellectual debate is going to change that. In fact, I would suggest NOT challenging conventional ways of thinking — rather, I would suggest that we work to coincide and accept each other’s opinions. Plant the “seeds of acceptance,” and then let them grow at a pace that society is comfortable with. I know, it sounds foolish… “NOT [to challenge] conventional ways of thinking,” but I make this suggestion through personal experience.
As Peter’s comment mentions earlier, there is a LARGE group of people, both on campus and in the real world, that practice “Homophobia Lite.” I practice “Homophobia Lite.” This type of ideology is NOT disrespectful to homophobic ways of thinking, and in fact, it seems (to me at least) to be a fair compromise between LGBTQ and traditional ideologies. I would like to stress that “Homophobia Lite” individuals respect LGBTQ lifestyles, although they would not necessarily practice a similar lifestyle. “Homophobia Lite” individuals do not discriminate, and perhaps more importantly, they actively work to better understand the LGBTQ perspective. Nevertheless, there is one way to polarize our community: by criticizing the “Homophobia Lite” way of living.
I walked into Swarthmore very, very open-minded. Over the course of the last year, I have slowly hardened my perspective, and unfortunately, I have become more bigoted than ever. I have to continually remind myself that the excessively “proactive” LGBTQ community of Swarthmore is not reflective of the LGBTQ community as a whole. I, like Chris, do not respect when opinions are “shoved down my throat.” In the past, I’ve been very good friends with numerous LGBTQ individuals, and I’ve had a deep respect for LGBTQ relationships and lifestyles. But after coming to Swarthmore, where the LGBTQ student body acts like they’re entitled to be heard and respected more than everyone else… I’ve become frustrated. To say that “you’re scared” on our campus after reading the retaliatory chalkings… that’s pathetic. Someone’s words or beliefs are not something to be “scared of.” By sharing their beliefs, they are not “threatening you.” I’m guessing that the response will be: “we’re scared of discrimination!”
We’re all discriminated against in some way, shape, or form. I have darker skin and I’m “randomly checked” at the airport. Do I mind? Not at all. I laugh it off, and I go on with my life. Don’t be “scared of discrimination.” Accept it, and let it make your success feel all the sweeter.
I fear for the LGBTQ community at Swarthmore, because after they leave this bubble of faculty and like-minded peers that coddle their feelings, they’ll have to face the real world. The real world is a lot more tough, and there’s no person or law that can fully protect you from being judged.
In closing, i’m sure this will get down voted 75 times, and more than likely, I’ll receive 15 very angry responses… and the cycle will continue. The lack of productive conversation, or respect for those that DON’T ACCEPT homosexual ways, will continue to polarize our student body. LGBTQ community, I suggest that you change your tactics when “having your voice heard,” because unfortunately, it’s your actions that are perpetuating homophobia and bigotry.
Thank you for your comment. I think you have good things to say but I take issue with your choice of words, particularly that being LGBTQ is a “lifestyle.”
A part of someone’s identity is not a lifestyle, it is a facet of an identity. Here is a great blog to enlighten you: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kimberlyknight/2013/11/stop-saying-homosexual-lifestyle-2/.
I hope that regardless of the fact that you would never “practice” an LGBTQ “lifestyle” that you view someone who identifies with the LGBTQ community as more than just identifying with a lifestyle. It *IS* their identity. There is no choice. There is no choosing whether to “practice” that particular “lifestyle.”
I keep trying to respond to your comment and they haven’t posted any of my responses.
I continue to try and apologize for my use of “lifestyle.” Being LGBTQ is not a “lifestyle choice,” and I fully recognize that. I was incorrect in my word choice. I am sorry if my word choice offended anyone.
With that being said, your moderated and polite comment has made me appreciate your response. i am now much more willing to read the link that you provided — in fact, I’m reading it now!
Thank you for contributing to a more productive conversation.
“I fear for the LGBTQ community at Swarthmore, because after they leave this bubble of faculty and like-minded peers that coddle their feelings, they’ll have to face the real world.”
I definitely agree with you on this. I also came to Swarthmore as an open minded person excited to learn more about other cultures and identities including queer identities. Yet, the attitude of many SQU members is off putting. All the conversations are always so defensive, negative, and unrealistic. There is a real world out there where many people are not exposed to the hypersensitiveness of conversations about queer identities at Swarthmore. I come from a very liberal city, yet I had never been forced to think about gender pronouns deeply and I feel like the attitude of Pride Month Organizers makes it so that there is no room for me to even ask any questions. People that know less on these issues are automatically seen as ignorant, homophobic, or extremist and if you ask questions, you are told “It is not my job to educate you.”
“I suggest that you change your tactics when “having your voice heard,” because unfortunately, it’s your actions that are perpetuating homophobia and bigotry.”
Weird it sounds like you’re pinning the blame for oppression on the oppressed
I would have to disagree that I’m “pinning the blame,” because your phrasing makes it sound as though I’m saying the LGBTQ community is responsible for any and all oppression that it faces. Obviously, this is not the case.
With that being said, I do feel as though the LGBTQ is contributing to a continuation of anti-LGBTQ sentiment. As I wrote earlier, the LGBTQ community (especially at Swarthmore) is committed to “having there voice heard”; they want the world to know about their circumstances and the issues that arise from the natural sexual preferences that they have. Unfortunately, I think that the LGBTQ community’s vocal commitment to expressing their frustration is contributing to their own oppression. It is clear, at least at Swarthmore, that the LGBTQ community’s active nature is harmful to their reputation and cause. Students at Swarthmore are highly intellectual, and they recognize the social issues that affect our world. Each individual develops his/her perception of these issues at a personal pace, and the added pressure of the LGBTQ community does not influence the student body in a positive way. Those in the middle — the “Homophobia Lite” crowd — are turned off from fully accepting the LGBTQ community because they feel as though the perspective is being “forced.” They then revert to a more traditional, conservative, and bigoted way of thinking… which, as we all know, does not favor homosexuality.
Therefore, yes BH’13, the “oppressed” are contributing to SOME of their “oppression” by incessantly trying to fight against it. I think that calling LGBTQ individuals “oppressed” is absolutely foolish, given the number of opportunities and forums that are made available to them, but this is a separate discussion in and of itself.
The blame is not being “pinned” on LGBTQ individuals, because some forms of “oppression” would still occur with or without the LGBTQ community’s vocal protests. Nevertheless, the tactics of self-promotion are pushing away many people who were/are “on their way” to wholeheartedly and actively supporting the LGBTQ community.
Hopefully this provides some clarity to my thoughts.
“As Peter’s comment mentions earlier, there is a LARGE group of people, both on campus and in the real world, that practice “Homophobia Lite.” I practice “Homophobia Lite.” This type of ideology is NOT disrespectful to homophobic ways of thinking, and in fact, it seems (to me at least) to be a fair compromise between LGBTQ and traditional ideologies.”
A borderline hilarious misread of Peter’s idea of “homophobia lite” imo. “Diet” homophobes allow themselves to believe that they aren’t REAL homophobes because they aren’t “””actively””” discriminating. Yet they continue heteronormativity’s work of erasing LGBTQ experiences by saying that we’re allowed to exist as long as you we don’t “flaunt” it. If I had a nickel for every time I heard that growing up, I might actually be able to afford this place. Telling me I’m not allowed to express my sexuality in the same way we allow cis-hetero individuals to IS marginalization. It 100% is treating our life experiences as insignificant to the point where you can’t be bothered to consider them because they make you uncomfortable.
The idea of “homophobia lite” is a scathing response to this idea that you can be an ally and at the same time make sure you LGBTQ “friends” don’t really express anything to do with that identity around you. I’m glad you know you are one, though.
Please read my reply below. I made a mistake when typing — using homophobic instead of homosexual.
Did a Swattie, of all people, really just declare that said Swattie is a practitioner of “Homophobia Lite” and defend it?
Now, while I have a feeling (my gut, plus reading further down) that the writer is referring to a certain level of ambivalence, and a general distaste for any public display of sexuality by anyone, and that it’s not AS BAD as it sounds, that still sounds pretty bad. And while I realize it was a term introduced by a prior comment, I’m still frankly shocked.
The part that is most infuriating is I am not quite sure whether to be utterly and thoroughly disappointed or immensely proud. One the one hand, it is a brutally honest admission. On the other hand, that anyone would admit to a phobic position so brazenly, that the writer goes so far as to label the feeling as phobia, is deeply disturbing. Yet on the other hand, the only way to dialogue is to actually start by meeting people where they are at. But on the other hand, I am personally disappointed with the writer’s beliefs. tl;dr I feel like Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof.
Please read my reply below. I made a mistake when typing — using homophobic instead of homosexual.
In regards to my original comment — I realized that I made a key mistake in language.
“This type of ideology is NOT disrespectful to HOMOPHOBIC ways of thinking, and in fact, it seems (to me at least) to be a fair compromise between LGBTQ and traditional ideologies.”
“This type of ideology is NOT disrespectful to HOMOSEXUAL ways of thinking, and in fact, it seems (to me at least) to be a fair compromise between LGBTQ and traditional ideologies.”
Obviously, this was a critical mistake, and it drastically changed the message of my post. I sincerely, sincerely apologize to anybody that this sentence offended. I saw a comment later on reference this area of my piece, and I realized the mistake I had made.
I want to make it known that I do NOT promote homophobia in any way, shape, or form. Good thing this is anonymous…
I mean, you’re still missing the crucial argument that “homophobia lite” (read: homophobia) is incredibly disrespectful to LGBTQ ways of thinking. (note: not all members of the LGBTQ community are “homosexual”)
You’re still arguing for the idea that we’re allowed to exist as a community as long as we exist as a silent community. This is pretty clearly homophobia for all the reasons I mentioned above.
Tbh i didn’t even notice the typo I was too floored that you understood homophobia lite as positive instead of as homophobia, which is what it is.
It seems as though much of the push back to my comments is coming from my use of the term “Homophobia Lite.” I was only using this term because Peter initially used it, but because it is a made up term, we all may have different perspectives on what it means. Let me clarify what I mean when I talk about the “Homophobia Lite” demographic.
These individuals are ambivalent about LBGTQ identities. They do not have a LBGTQ identity, but they do not discriminate against those with LBGTQ identities. Furthermore, the group of individuals in this “gray area” support social equality, and they fully understand the arguments that the LBGTQ community makes. More than likely, these individuals 1) were raised in an environment that didn’t support LBGTQ identities or 2) were raised in an environment that didn’t have many LBGTQ individuals. Either way, the ambivalent community has never been forced to dive deeply into LBGTQ perspectives, so they want to do so at a pace that they’re comfortable with.
Unfortunately, the proactive nature of the LBGTQ individuals on Swarthmore’s campus is polarizing this group. Most ambivalent people walk into Swarthmore with an open-mind and the intellectual capacity to dissect very complex issues, but they are turned off (just like anyone is) by people that constantly “belittle” alternative (in this case, traditional) ways of thinking. Ambivalent people are excited to learn about new perspectives, but they shut off when they see the conversations are one-sided and their “teachers” aren’t willing to display flexibility or mutual respect.
Chris should NOT be chastised for having deeply religious beliefs; even if his deep religious beliefs have taught him that homosexuality is wrong, it does not mean that he subconsciously or consciously practices discrimination. But, by so actively disparaging his views, you’ve frustrated Chris more so than ever.
My point is simple: the LBGTQ community should not be so forward with their views if they hope to gain the respect of the “ambivalent” crowd. I know that the response to this post is going to be “so you’re saying we should be SILENCED?!?!” …. but no, that’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying that you should be conscious of where and when you express your pride, because you don’t want to be a source discomfort to the people that you’re trying to gain support from. It’s like when you’re a little kid and you want a new toy — poking your mom, over and over, while you’re at the toy store won’t get you any closer to your goal. The LBGTQ community needs to be respectful of all ways of thinking if they want their voice to be heard, and creating a generally hostile sexual environment is beneficial to no one.
“Either way, the ambivalent community has never been forced to dive deeply into LBGTQ perspectives, so they want to do so at a pace that they’re comfortable with.”
lol that’s fair bro. We’ll just continue to be hated, deal with bigoted remarks and face discrimination at the workplace while you casually dive into LGBTQ perspectives. No rush. Though, if not too much trouble, we’d kind of appreciate it if you’d hurry so we can avoid getting kicked and punched in the face as we walk through City Center. I mean it’s not a big deal; we understand that this adjustment is tough 4 u.
I really don’t understand why you are still trying to argue your point, even after explicitly recognizing that it has brought out negative emotions (read OFFENDED AND HURT) in people. Apologies are nice., even if you didn’t mean to hurt someone. Also this dichotomy between emotional vs “academic” conversations is nonexistent and especially unproductive to bring up when we are talking about the sensitive topic of homophobia and discrimination.
Seriously, you’re still not getting it? This has nothing to do with your comfort level. We don’t need to beg for your acceptance (as your comparison of the queer community to children implies.) We deserve the basic human right of safety and security. Sorry (read: not sorry at all) that we’re demanding that basic right too quickly for you.
We can’t wait around to cater to “ambivalent people” while we’re literally being murdered throughout the world. You should be outraged that we even HAVE to demand those rights, not outraged that we’re demanding them.
I’m also amazed that you still don’t see ambivalence towards the queer community AS discrimination. Telling us that we need to change our attitude or we’ll never be accepted is textbook marginalization. I’m not too worried about your comfort when I’ve spent my whole life uncomfortable.
I think you’re missing something here. You didn’t get “pushback” because of a typo or confusing terminology. We know what you really mean. That’s why we disagree.
what’s a homosexual way of thinking???
omg u have so much to learn.
guys guys this one time I was checked at the airport because, though I’m a privileged white dude, this airport security guy thought I might be a terrorist, but lOLOLOLOL i just laughed it off becuase OBVI rite?
“LGBTQ community, I suggest that you change your tactics when “having your voice heard,” because unfortunately, it’s your actions that are perpetuating homophobia and bigotry.”
um wait bro did u just say that it’s our fault that people hate us? LOL. r u serious? Like would you actually say that to any of our faces? Maybe if you guys weren’t so flamboyant I’d like u more. Maybe if you guys just disappeared I wouldn’t hate you so much.
Dude if you ever move to SF or NY you are just straight up screwed. Stay in midtown.
I would like to address two statements that you made:
“This means [Homophobia Lite individuals] are okay with us, but they just don’t like us or want to see us.”
“It was a little too direct about it, and most people like to live under the guise that they don’t hate people based on sex, sexuality, race, or nationality (which we all know they do).”
For comment #1: “Homophobia Lite” individuals are OKAY with your sexual preferences. I may not WANT to see or practice homosexuality — it goes against what I’m accustomed to — but I can still “like” LGBTQ individuals.
For comment #2: I don’t “hate” anyone based on sex, sexuality, race, or nationality, so don’t say that all “Homphobia Lite” individuals do. I think that we can agree that your second statement was rather ignorant and derogatory.
I don’t discriminate, and my lack of discrimination and hatred is no guise. Please be more respectful with your comments if you want to be respected.
I don’t understand how you don’t discriminate yet don’t “want to see… homosexuality [because] it goes against what I’m accustomed to”
Do you feel uncomfortable with a straight couple holding hands in public? Perhaps out on a date? Hopefully not, or you would feel uncomfortable ALL THE TIME!
But no, definitely not discriminating by hoping us queers go do our queer things away from your eyes.
Once again, your comments are getting emotional (last two sentences), so I ask that you try to continue having a constructive and moderated dialogue with me.
In fact, I do feel very uncomfortable with heterosexual people making out and sharing sexual experiences in public. I have no issue with seeing two LGBTQ individuals hold hands or doing sweet things for each other — what I don’t want to see is them hooking up in public places. The same holds true for heterosexual individuals. Queer sexual experiences, and heterosexual sexual experiences, should be had in privacy (in my opinion). Less explicit interactions (say, holding hands or going out on a date) are activities that I am perfectly comfortable seeing, whether you identify as homosexual or heterosexual. There is no discrimination in the way that you allude to.
Please recognize that you don’t know my beliefs without asking. Stay positive — it leads to productive conversation.
I agree, my comment was emotional because I felt like you literally were putting me in a corner to be my queer self but that was based on my reading of your initial comment… that you don’t “WANT to see… homosexuality.”
In the future, I hope you think more about what your words actually mean. By not wanting to see homosexuality, you are asking not to see an entire group of people. Regardless of if that’s what you meant, that’s what was said. I understand the rationale that you are uncomfortable with PDA (I am too!) but let’s say that from the get-go. You aren’t against seeing “homosexuals”(ugh, I hate that word it’s really an outdated, derogatory term. see: http://www.glaad.org/reference/offensive) you are against seeing public displays of affection, I wish you would have made that clear initially. But please do read up on the terrible history of the word “homosexual.”
You are 100% correct — I should have been more cognizant of my word choice. I recognize the errors of my ways, and I will be sure to more carefully monitor my language in subsequent posts.
Thank you for understanding my shortcoming, and I apologize for making you feel like I “[put you] in a corner”… that was certainly not my intention. See — productive conversation! I will now read through the article that you provided.
Respect and patience… it will carry our COLLECTIVE community quite far. Thank you once again for your understanding.
I’m genuinely asking this: How is frustrated’s discomfort with gay people holding hands discrimination? Suppose that frustrated were OK with straight people doing the same for the sake of argument. Unless he is acting upon these beliefs in a certain way, I don’t see how it affects things at all. Would you say his subconscious beliefs then affect how he treats gay people – that he treats them with less respect because of that? Because then aren’t you assuming something about him that you don’t know?
Like I said, I’m honestly asking this question to learn more about your perspective because I don’t understand it right now.
I sincerely hope that if I know you in real life, you neither like nor respect me
I’m just unclear on why you identify so strongly with this “Homophobia Lite” term that Peter coined within this thread for the sake of his argument.
It seems as though all of my comments are getting immense pushback for the use of the term “Homophobia Lite.” I was only using this term because Peter used it, but obviously there is no fixed definition of this phrase. Therefore, we all may interpret the phrase differently, so I would like to provide clarity as to what I mean when I discuss the “Homophobia Lite” demographic.
The group of individuals that I’m talking about are ambivalent to LBGTQ identities. Personally, they do not have a LBGTQ identity, but they do not discriminate against those that have LBGTQ identities. These individual reside in the “grey area”; they recognize the merit of the LBGTQ arguments, and they support social equality, but they feel uncomfortable at times because they are not used to diving so deeply into the LBGTQ perspective. Most of the time, these individuals were raised in households that either 1) did not support LBGTQ identities or 2) did not have much contact with LBGTQ individuals. As a collective unit, we — those that are ambivalent about LBGTQ identities — are trying to expand our perspective, but we are being turned off by the LBGTQ community’s desire to constantly “be heard.” Especially at Swarthmore, students understand LBGTQ arguments; there’s no reason to reiterate them over and over, especially as the conversations become more emotional than academic. Those that had come to Swarthmore ambivalent, open-minded, and ready to learn are being turned off by the excessively aggressive voice of the LBGTQ campus community, and the result is a more bigoted and homophobic student body.
Definition of homophobia: dislike of or prejudice against homosexual people — I’m stressing the “dislike” in my comment
“Definition of homophobia: dislike of or prejudice against homosexual people — I’m stressing the “dislike” in my comment.”
The fact that you think this is a defense is truly amazing.
I’m also baffled as to how someone can dislike an entire group purely based on their sexual orientation and yet not be prejudiced.
I find it frustrating that the inappropriately explicit nature of some of the chalkings during Pride Month is often ignored (The article barely touched on this perspective.) I respect Pride Month and its goals, but I think that chalking for the cause should be aware of other backgrounds on campus and different values concerning sexual expression in public. Many conversations at Swarthmore involve creating safe spaces and an open environment of dialogue between students, but I do not feel safe when I am forced to read such explicit comments on my way to class. I do not feel safe when there is no room for me to express my discomfort without feeling like others will see me as homophobic or extremist. I do not feel safe when these very comments are pushed in my face anonymously so that I feel like an outsider in my own community. Safe spaces are always created for gender/sexual minorities at Swat, but this shouldn’t happen at the expense of safe spaces for other identities.
I understand that the purpose of such sexually explicit comments was to show the double standard of heterosexual relationships being considered “normal,” and queer relationships being marginalized. For me and many other students however, sexually vulgar language seen in a public space (in this case my home and my place of education) is jarring in any context.
This is a reply to you and afew others.
I think that part of the purpose of these chalkings is to be sex-positive, to claim joy in sex, to break through the silence, stigmatization, and taboo that comes along with sex. At the end of the day, all of these issues are some of the players in the marginalization of queer/trans people.
Therefore, the sexually explicit aspect of the chalkings is something I personally cherish. I understand that people have different ethics about sex, but this is a few days out of the year that you might need to read something more sexually explicit than you prefer. Many people would otherwise never express these feelings, never celebrate their love of sex or sexuality, and maybe even die never having said so. I think trying to break down the fear, taboo, and discomfort we have around sex is a good thing. There is SO MUCH guilt, shame, hurt around sex! It is unhealthy and leads to private suffering.
Finally, I wonder why it seems that “Sucking dick is the best thing that ever happened to me” seems to be the most disturbing chalking to many people.
I think there are a few reasons. 1) It claims joy in a passive sexual position. 2) It claims joy in a less normative sexual position. 3) You presume the writer is male, which means a man claims joy in a passive, less normative, sexual position with another man!
Consensual, pleasurable sex should be kept private. This is similar to the little girls dropping F-bombs for feminism. People don’t like seeing their living space engrained with descriptive, erotic chalking, along with drawings of graphic genitalia. Like the F-bombs for feminism, I see the good intent, but it does not overall aid in forwarding more equality and acceptance. I take issues of the sexual community very seriously, but the sexual writings don’t do justice for positive social change.
oops, ^sexual minorities community, not sexual community
I think you can have pride in your sexuality without shoving it down other people’s throats. Sex is a private action and I feel invaded and disgusted having to read about other people’s sexual pleasures (this has nothing to do with queerness specifically.)
While I love the chalkings in general, I do object to the sexually explicit ones. Now, I don’t have any ethical objections to sex (yay sex positivity!), nor do I think that sex shouldn’t be discussed in a public sphere. My issue is that these chalkings have the potential to cause anxiety or trigger folks on campus. I have talked to at least two people who could not walk around on campus for the rest of the day after the chalkings, because some of them were too anxiety-provoking.
LGBTQ voices on campus need to be promoted, but I would prefer that they be promoted in a way that doesn’t jeopardize the safety of all Swatties.
Bringing up your straightness in a conversation about queerness just seems rude imo (for maximum irony I’m straight btw)
Sometimes you’ve just got to sit back and listen and not make it about yourself.
That does not make any sense….
I’m sorry but we all LIVE here so we all have a right to comment about our feelings on this issue… Regardless of whether we are queer or not…
I don’t “like like” the homosexual queers but I can “like” them if they are under 100 calories #homophobialite
Ok, this is all chill & whateva, but did anyone really need to write that sucking dick is the best thing that ever happened to them next to Parrish? Regardless of how you feel about LGBTQ pride and coming out, do we all need to know that? Just cool your fucking jets, everyone.
I hope that the Daily Gazette will post my “Frustrated 10” comment — it has yet to do so — because I think that the comment provides a valuable insight into what I meant by “Homophobia Lite.”
Nevertheless, this will be my final comment. I’ve realized over the course of this conversation that my prediction was correct, and instead of building on each other’s comments in a productive fashion, emotion has corrupted the conversation. I very much respect the author or “Problematic,” because they presented their opinion in a very polite, academic, and unemotional way. The author focused on being respectful but sharing his/her message. I was incredibly receptive to that post, and I now will make a conscious effort not to use the term “lifestyle” moving forward.
With that being said, (most of) the remaining responses have been derogatory in some way, shape, or form. Instead of turning this into a productive conversation, the “voice” of the LGBTQ community was “heard,” once again, and I have been frustrated by its lack of flexibility and respect.
The definition of homophobia: “dislike of or prejudice against homosexual people.” I am not a homophobic in the traditional sense, because I do not dislike LGBTQ people due to their sexualities. Also, I do not discriminate. I am not prejudiced against the LGBTQ community, but their constant outcries of “injustice,” “feeling scared,” and “being threatened,” on an overwhelmingly pro-LGBTQ campus like Swarthmore makes me dislike their approach.
As a result, I dislike the LGBTQ community at SWARTHMORE because of the way that it tries to have its “voice heard.” I think that it’s excessive, and it promotes a philosophy of entitlement. If you want to call me “homophobic” because I don’t like the LGBTQ community’s approach, then so be it. I don’t disrespect your sexuality. I disrespect your actions.
Thank you for reading all of my posts, and hopefully we both learned something valuable.
fuck making my lived experiences into a “polite, academic, and unemotional” topic to be discussed by people I’ll never see after graduation.
also really appreciate how the trans and queer (but who am I kidding? how many other trans folks even go to this school?) community is apparently a monolith. wish all the transmisogynistic white gays had gotten the memo, maybe then I wouldn’t feel so alienated in queer spaces here.
“I am not prejudiced against the LGBTQ community, but their constant outcries of “injustice,” “feeling scared,” and “being threatened,” on an overwhelmingly pro-LGBTQ campus like Swarthmore makes me dislike their approach.”
1. Anti-LGBTQ sentiment still exists on our campus at a non-trivial degree. It was before your time, but two students were assaulted for being gay. Yet, they were assaulted by people who did not attend Swarthmore, but it occurred in the bounds of our community. Further, hate speech has been chalked in years past. If this years wasn’t hateful enough for you, death threats were written before. Even people in these very comments have made clear that they are homophobic and that they feel homosexuality is unacceptable!
2. Sure, Swarthmore might be safer than say, where I went to high school. But don’t forget that I also have to periodically go back home. I cannot come out to my extended family. I do not feel safe being out in many spaces in this world. Even if you want to accept the myth that Swarthmore exceptional (which it may not be), then shouldn’t you value Pride Month and the chalkings as one of the few safe outlets queer/trans people on our campus have to make their voices heard (Since many of them were and will be silenced when they step off campus)
3. 2 and 1 interact. Many people have felt guilt, shame, fear for being queer/trans their whole lives. They come to Swarthmore thinking that you’re right, Swarthmore is a queer utopia. It isn’t. That’s sad. Their chalkings are erased or hate speech is written next to their chalkings. It sucks. They are unhappy. They really want you to be right, but you aren’t. Shouldn’t they be? Why should you then hold that against them?
I did not mean the author of “Problematic” …. I meant the author of “Lifestyle.” This is my last post…
Thanks, and have a good day everyone…
Your opinions are only valid if you leave those pesky emotions out of it! It’s a good thing we’re all emotionless robots who aren’t affected by traumatic experiences, so we can discuss world affairs and politics with perfectly objective viewpoints.
Just imagine if we were pathetic human beings, who had to experience things like fear and anger and frustration? Wouldn’t that be horrible!? We might do things like make statements that come from places of genuine emotion, and act on our strong passionate feelings! We might stand up for ourselves and do things to try to make the world a better place, inspired by our emotions!
But no, fortunately we don’t have to worry about that. Which is good, because everyone knows that statements only matter when they’re polite, academic, and unemotional.
Just a quick comment on the subject of the explicit chalkings: while I certainly respect the desire to break taboos and be proud of one’s sexual freedom, I admit that in my case at least it is more than simply jarring to be suddenly faced with explicit messages (specifically, I felt immediately nauseous and was bombarded with numerous mental images that left me somewhat shaken and disturbed). I cannot discuss sex in detail, and reading explicit things makes me extremely uncomfortable. As an LGBTQA+ person myself, I was enjoying reading all of the chalkings until I stumbled upon those, and it was a very unpleasant experience… but there was no maliciousness behind it. They were not intended to make me sick to my stomach and disturbed. That’s a result of sex-repulsion, and I certainly can’t blame SQU.
The anti-chalkings, however… I would call them hate. They were NOT about pride – anyone making those chalkings KNOWS what everyone in the comments here has said: that heterosexual (and cisgender) people have plenty of power and representation and pride just going through their everyday lives. They do not need to proclaim it to the world nearly as much as we do. And the chalkers who wrote them must have known this. The anti-chalkings, therefore, were not done out of pride alone, but out of malicious intent – a purposeful desire to invade what was, just for a little while, LGBTQA+ space. This was hate.
That’s… all I have to say, really. Here, take my opinion, tear it apart, do whatever.
Though it’s been fewer than four years since I graduated, it sometimes seems as though Swarthmore has become almost unrecognizable. And generally, there’s nothing wrong with that. Swarthmore is a living institution, and each new group of students will make it their own.
I don’t know all the details regarding certain recent happenings at Swarthmore (sexual assault mishandling, alcohol policy changes, etc.), but like many other alums my response to these events has been visceral. This does not feel like the Swarthmore I knew and loved, a place that now only exists in our collective memory. So it has been deeply reassuring to encounter an aspect of my Swarthmore experience both familiar and cherished: the Daily Gazette comment shitstorm.
Please, current Swatties, enjoy your time in the bubble. Get offended when people trivialize all the stupid shit you worry about. Make the most of your opportunities to have passionate, insane conversations about anything and everything with people just as crazy as you. And if the administration makes new rules, fuck ’em. Live by your own moral code. Build a giant altar honoring the Lord Voldemort in the Crum.
…Don’t know what happened there. Seriously though, homophobia? So gauche.
In high school, we all watched Crash (2004) and discussed how it was shitty to invalidate peoples’ feelings, to be rude to others, and how OFTEN everyone is shitty to each other in overlapping ways, not just the people who are seen as the most privileged in society. Not saying that everyone can be racist (I know only people with the power of societal structures behind them can be racist) — but in general we talked about how yeah, you have to talk about outcomes of actions, and not completely “other” the other — probably not going to get you where you want to go, 100%. But at Swarthmore, its like regression — , a refusal to talk about how triggering peoples’ traumas as survivors or other issues from being part of another marginalized group matters — they should just suck it up, because my agenda is more important. that if you are not 100% affirmative of the actions of activist groups, you are a horrible cretin. that in class its fine for someone to make everyone laugh about impersonating and belittling someone who has mental issues, eg, because the person making the joke is part of an oppressed racial group. that if you said anything to that person, you are a horrible person — that your pain should just be silenced because if you tallied your pain up against the other persons’ you would probably have less because you do not all the other person has had to deal with. so far from general recognition in HS that while/after going through identity politics/identity development, leaving some room for trying to avoid silencing/furthering others’ issues with marginalization and trauma is good.