Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Petitions, and Messy Glee Feelings - SOPA and "Cure the Gay"

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I'm bringing this up for a very good reason, and it's related to some other things going on right now, some of them personal actually, so bear with me? I just need to rant. Ignore what's after the cut if you want. It's long and windy and unorganized and Glee related.

Real world shit that matters - there are petitions going around about "cure the gay" clinics in South America. Here's one - Please sign!!!

~ Tell Ecuadorian President and to shut down anti- "Cure the gay" clinics NOW

~ And another huge concern - the widely opposed Stop Online Piracy Act aka the Internet Blacklist Bill. Backlash from around the globe against this bill has been PHENOMENAL, but we need every netizen's support. Sign | every | fucking | petition you can find, write letters, call. AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. If this bill goes through tomorrow, the Department of Justice gets to decide which sites you visit and who gets priority. All they have to do is claim that a site infringing upon a copyright, and it's blocked. This includes your blogs. This includes Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Amazon, Youtube, TPB, every forum that ever existed. The internet does NOT need to fucking be censored. No government or private agency has the right to control the internet. Tonight, we fight. Protect your freedom of speech.  Join Google, Facebook, eBay, Mozilla, AOL, and others in preventing an internet blacklist. (P1r4735 - HOIST THE COLORS. WE ATTACK AT DAWN.)

One little offhand comment like that can ruin someone's life.

I am really frustrated right now... Long story short, there's been an ongoing feud between two of the characters. If you remember from my older Glee posts, there was an episode about Santana Lopez coming to terms with her sexuality. And the other character is the step-brother of "token gay kid" Kurt Hummel. His name is Finn Hudson. So anyway, Santana's back to being a bully this season, and she's been giving Finn a hard time with a constant stream of nasty insults. They duked it out in a crowded hallway... She went to walk away, and he made a rather loud comment about how she should just come out of the closet already.

There's video of this.

Ok, now that you've seen it for yourself... I don't entirely mind that Finn said this to her, because while he could have said something else or been a little more discreet about disclosing someone's deep, dark personal secrets, it is rather true; and it's understandable that he snapped and probably wasn't thinking. In a different setting, I think she could have benefited from hearing this, actually. I do entirely mind, however, that he said this in public and pretty much shouted it down a hall full of students, one of which used it as campaign fodder against one of the teachers. And I do entirely mind that there are people who think that she deserved to be publicly outed just because she's a bitch. I think they were both in the wrong, but the consequences she has to face are a hell of a lot worse. No one ever deserves to be outed. Yes, Santana deserves to be held accountable for the things she's said and done, and she absolutely has to stop bullying people (though it makes for wonderful drama and I'm sorry but I do actually find the character to be incredibly funny sometimes. I like insult comedy. I'm a bitch. Sue me.), but you have got to be fucking kidding me if you think that being outed is an appropriate punishment for anyone. How can we all agree that it was wrong for Blaine to do the same exact thing if suddenly it's totally ok because it's Santana and everyone hates her? (She's one of my favorite characters, as a "villain" type, but sometimes I really hate her too. It's same with Draco, so don't even give me that...) Even if we take Finn out of the picture and say it was an accident -- this girl's life could be at risk. She could lose her home. They live in a small, homophobic little town, in a school where kids are regularly bullied for all matter of reasons. She was not the worst of the bullies there, as cruel as she may be. She wasn't ready yet. And there is no reason whatsoever that anyone, ever, should deserve to be outed against their will. The asshat running for  Congress or whatever, the guy running the ad ON NATIONAL TV that outs her to the entire fucking country? The true douchebag of the episode for sure.

If you don't feel like reading all of that - yeah, she deserved to be told off for being a bully, and for using bullying as a shield to hide her secrets. She DID NOT deserve to be outed, and Finn should not have even mentioned any fucking thing about closets or coming out. Because guess what?  NO ONE has the fucking right to call someone a coward because they're not ready to come out yet. I know I've already discussed this topic, so I don't want to take up too much time on it. But this... I just can't. I think it's so cute how people are dismissing it, though, as humiliation. Because that's all this is, right? Being outed is humiliating, nothing more. Never mind she might not have a house to go home to later that night. Never mind she might not even make it back there to begin with. I don't think Finn even realizes just what he's done, what's happening because of what he chose to say. I think his words in the scene and at the end are a perfect example of just how little he realizes how big a deal it actually is. "Everyone at school knows..." "The whole school already knows." He thinks because he thinks everyone already knows that it's ok to just say in the open, fuck consequences because (hey! straight privilege!) he doesn't have to think about them! As far as he's concerned, there are none! Forget the fact that his own brother went through hell because he's gay.

I don't think ANYONE  realizes the magnitude of what he said versus what she did. Contrary to what everyone is insisting, Santana never actually outed Kurt or Dave. She made gay jokes about Kurt before he came out and she threatened to out Dave if he didn't agree to be her beard. That is a fact.

And a lot of my LGBTQ+ interwebz friends and I have been sort of talking about this, what it's like to be forced out, to lose that control of something that is purely yours (and can be dangerous to you). Intentional or not, what happened in that hallway was really upsetting for a lot of us. And what happened because of it, even more so. What COULD happen now that it's been broadcast to the entire town. How easy it must be for someone who's never had to live with that fear to say there's nothing wrong with being outed in a homophobic environment as a justification for insulting someone. When someone even brings up your sexuality or your status (closeted or out), as an argument against you, as a punishment, they're taking away your agency, and more than that. It's an attack. They're taking away your right to come out when you're ready and willing, and your right to privacy. It can be so fucking scary... Your entire life can be at stake. You don't know what will happen to you. And so long as this country, this world treats you like a second-class citizen or a criminal, odds are the shit that happens to you from here on out is up to you to deal with on your own. People cay say "it gets better" all they want; but this is the present, and this is real, and this is what matters right now. Better doesn't just happen. The promise of someday doesn't keep parents from kicking their children out of their homes; it doesn't keep a jerk from beating the crap out of someone; it doesn't keep the priests and the fundamentalists from condemning us to hell, sometimes violently; it doesn't keep the "cure the gay" and "lesbian rape therapy" from destroying lives NOW. (See the top of this post for a petition.)

Santana is a 17 or 18 year old high school student. She obviously still depends on her family for food and clothes and shelter; probably for college too. All of that is now up in the air. Her private life is now being shared with the entire country, against her will, and she hasn't even come out to her parents yet. How the fuck do you say that she was justified after she has to go through something like that? She did some seriously fucked up things in this episode alone, including pelting the tiny new kid with balls until he bled. But I just cannot for the life of me understand why anyone would wish that kind of pain on someone. Why anyone thinks that's a fair punishment. The Straight While Male calls the little Latina Lesbian a coward for being closeted and outs her in a public place (after which the details of said conversation are broadcast nationwide) literally putting her safety and livelihood at risk; but she totally had it coming because she's a self-identified bitch, so it's cool. You must be so fucking privileged. Sincerely, a fat, queer, pangendered-but-female-presenting-whatever-that-means person of color who has been bullied and mocked for all of the above.

And for the record, no I don't think she should have hit him. (And Cory-- the actor who plays Finn-- says that slap was 100% real. Ouch. That was HARD. I mean. OUCH.) I try my best not to condone violence as well. But I have to say, if I were her, I know I would have done the same thing too.

TL;DR - I think they were both wrong. They both went too far. But if I absolutely had to pick a side, I'm taking Santana's. They both went too far, but Finn went WAY too far. The consequences of Finn's comments are far worse and far more damaging. And I think he could have chosen a better way to make the same point, while being just as effective in calling her out on the bullying.

Honestly, I am so fucking done with the drama of Glee. The fandom. I love my Pirates, but this show... It's a comedy and/or a drama or some shit like that, it's dropping viewers like flies and why? Because it makes jokes out of rape and foster families and abuse, as well as sexuality and other serious issues. It tries so hard to be serious and hard-hitting while simultaneously trying to pass itself off as a light-hearted, fun musical comedy, which really does not work with the subject matter. The writing is sloppy and inconsistent, and it's really fucking obvious that it's become all about the ratings and money and not about the stories. Almost no one but the diehard fans are left.

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