PREVIOUSLY: Says Professor William Jacobson regarding Wonkette's despicable treatment of Sarah Palin's year-old son, Trig. And I would amend the professor's sentiments only to improve them by saying, "It takes gay men to stoop this low."
Yeah, I just wrote that. And put it on the Internet.
We could reference Susan Sontag's Notes On Camp here, or we could invite comment from various rogue lesbians -- Tammy Bruce, Camille Paglia, Cynthia Yockey -- who from time to time have criticized gay culture in a way that certainly cannot be denounced as "homophobic." But rather than make an argumentum ad vericundiam, let me defend my own argument on the basis of personal observation:
- Gay men have mother issues. This has been a subject of much controversy. Freud's view of homosexuality as a species of mental illness, and the resulting conception of homosexuality as a psychopathology requiring therapeutic intervention, has wrought much mischief over the years. Yet Freud was certainly correct to think of homosexuality as an matter of development with roots in early childhood, particularly in the parent-child relationship. No need to indulge in elaborate symbolism or references to Greek mythology (Freud was full of crap about that) to say this: It is obvious that most gay men can't get past the "female = Mom" hurdle in their minds. We could discuss that at length, but this is a blog, not an advanced psychology text, so let's move on.
- Gay men are gynophobic. Which is to say, they are repulsed by the basic physical equipment of female sexuality. They've got no admiration for your vajayjay, ladies. Sometimes when I've shared this observation with gay guys, they deny disdaining distaff genitalia. It isn't their hatred of nookie that makes them gay, they protest, but rather their phallophilia. Methinks they protest too much, considering how scornfully gay men speak about "fish" and "fag hags" when none of the hags are around to overhear. But again this is a blog post not a psych text, so we'll move on.
- Gay male culture is profoundly misogynistic. One of the most absurd claims of feminism is that the fashion industry's mistreatment of women -- its depiction of them as "sex objects" who are only attractive when young, thin, beautiful, glammed-up and dressed like streetwalkers -- is a manifestation of oppressive patriarchal sexism. This is a lie that could only deceive anyone so stupid they don't notice that all men in the fashion industry are gay. To the extent that the Vogue and Cosmo are misognystic hate literature (as all Women's Studies majors are taught), it is because they represent the typical gay man's view of women. A blog post, not a textbook, and we move on.
- The normalization of gay culture requires the derogation of traditional female roles. Let the student of coalition politics cease to wonder about the basis of the tactical alliance between feminists and the notoriously male-dominated gay-rights movement. One reason lesbians like Cynthia Yockey become disenchanted with the Official Gay Movement is the recognition that they're riding in the back of the Equality Bus, and that the feminist "sisterhood" has made a cynical deal with the misogynistic gay-male Devil.
We'll extend the rest of the argument from that last point. If they're wrong about nearly everything else, feminists are essentially correct in saying that in traditional societies women's status is dependent upon their success in the wife-mother role. Let a woman gain fame and fortune, let her amass wealth and power and, in a traditional society, these achievements will not win her widespread admiration unless she is also a devoted wife and mother.
That there are in contemporary America successful female "role models" who are single and childless (e.g., Oprah) is testimony to how far we are from being a traditional society. Yet it is still the fact that the overwhelming majority of young women, imagining their futures, do not dream of reaching midlife as barren spinsters. (Yeah, I just wrote that. And put it on the Internet.)
Given the choice between being Oprah and Sarah Palin, then, most young women would rather be like Sarah -- and not merely because Todd is such a tasty hunk of prime beef.
The best examination of the feminist movement's implacable hostility toward traditional women who prefer the wife-and-mother role is Carolyn Graglia's Domestic Tranquility: A Brief Against Feminism. Graglia argues quite persuasively that contemporary feminism's organizational objective is to make the traditional family -- Dad as workplace breadwinner, Mom as domestic goddess -- an impossibility.
Many gay men are eager to assist that project, because just as the traditional family model celebrates a certain kind of woman, it also celebrates a certain kind of man -- the kind of man the gay man is emphatically not. Furthermore, the domestic wife-mother type of woman is a universal object of horror and ridicule in gay culture.
So we return to Ken Layne and Wonkette's vicious hostility toward Sarah Palin, a hostility quite sufficient to encompass even one-year-old Trig. Is Ken Layne actively and exclusively homosexual? I don't know, and it's irrelevant to the point that this type of hostility toward Palin -- a hostility focused laser-like on her maternal qualities -- is a classic expression of gay-male "camp" culture.
A hetero swine like Letterman makes "slutty flight attendant" jokes about Palin's looks. Gay men make tasteless jokes about Palin as a mother. This is a blog, not a textbook, but if you've read this far, you can generalize from that observation to consider why Andrew Sullivan has spend months mucking around the fever swamps of Trig-trutherism.
Now, let's talk "homophobia." When discussing trends -- in politics, economics, art, whatever -- it becomes necessary to generalize, to speak broadly about categories of phenomena. The social critic is required to treat human beings in this general and categorical manner and, in so doing, risks offending the subjects of discussion.
If we are discussing gangsta rap, for example, we might generalize by saying that gangsta rappers celebrate criminality, brutality toward women, and to make much of the classic material symbols of pimp life -- Benzes, Perignon, da Benjamins, bling, et cetera. This invites the hiphop fan to cite some outlier example, e.g., MC Geek, the gangsta coder whose raps are about HTML, Java and Linxux platforms.
This argument-by-exception technique -- where all generalizations are impermissible because in any categories there will be outliers and exceptions who do not exemplify the categorical norm -- is the enemy of sound reasoning. I am certain that there must be hillbillies with good teeth who've never played a banjo or touched a drop of moonshine; it is nevertheless the case that if you're looking for moonshine-swilling banjo-pickers with bad teeth, your search will be more productive in West Virginia than in Rhode Island. (Don Surber hasn't linked me in a while.)
So it is with my gay friends. Just last week, I was hanging out at a Reason magazine event with the proudly gay Bruce Majors and the proudly lesbian Cynthia Yockey. They were the epitome of courtesy and hospitality not only toward me, but also toward my 20-year daughter. whom I'd picked up at Reagan Airport that afternoon and dragged along for the event.
Does Bruce fit the description of the Oedipal-conflicted misogynistic gynophobe hostile to the traditional family? Well, we could argue about gynophobia and Bruce would say no, he's simply a phallophile, but Bruce is a capital-L Libertarian, which means, hey, whatever floats your boat.
Libertarianism means, or at least ought to mean, that your preferences and prejudices are of no political consequence. If Bruce is prejudiced against the vajayjay, that's his own business. And if my own preference for the vajayjay borders on the monomanical -- I'm a father of six, after all -- that's between me and Mrs. Other McCain.
The anti-Palin agenda of Wonkette therefore expresses the attitude of an extremely un-libertarian type of gay man, a man who is not at all like my friend, Bruce Majors.
So whether or not Ken Layne is actually gay, there can be no doubt that Ken Layne is a vicious cocksucker.
Yeah, I just wrote that. And put it on the Internet.