gender studies

Every UMSU LGBT Controversy

January 27, 2012

Original protagonist: [Something mildly controversial/potentially offensive]

Antagonist: That is [sexist, homophobic, biphobic, transphobic, cissexist, heteronormative, homonormative, encouraging of stereotypes, exclusive of religious/black/disabled/woman-identified/queer people]! You can’t say that!

Original protagonist: Why not? I have freedom of speech!

2nd Antagonist: Safespace!

Original protagonist: Stop being so sensitive! You just need to get over your feeling of being persecuted all the time!

2nd protagonist: It’s political correctness gone mad, mate, can’t even say anything without a degree in gender studies here.

Friend of the Antagonist: This isn’t political correctness, it’s about creating an inclusive environment!

[Massive argument ensues]

Interested gay: [Insightful comment about striking a balance between freedom of speech and protecting minority groups that is largely ignored]

Uninterested gay: Wtf are you all arguing about? Stop it, you’re acting like children.

Disinterested gay: Lol, this is funny.

[Unplanned kneejerk response by committee member that deletes/bans/destroys the forum in which the OP committed the original action]

Original Protagonist: I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU JUST DID THAT.

Antagonist: It was totally appropriate!

3rd protagonist: That was not on, no-one has the right to censorship! We live in a free country! {Optional: comparison to Hitler}

2nd Antagonist: Free speech doesn’t include the right to offend!

Libertarian gay: I don’t give a toss about this argument, but no-one has the right to censor another person!

Random gay who has just read through the entire argument and come out sympathetic to the Antagonist: I think its acceptable for the committee to act on issues that are offensive to other members though.

{Optional: Argument about whether rightwing/leftwing viewpoints have equal status and whether the society should be political or not}

Original Protagonist: Who makes that decision? The committee, who the hell are the committee?

Committee member: Hey, we’re all volunteers, we’re all doing the best we can, people make mistakes…

Disgruntled former (sort of) member: [Snarky comment about committee]

[Argument about the committee, its actions that year, the people on it, elections and the sort of events being run]

Member hoping to derail the controversy: Hey, check out this [inspiring video/article about a new step forward for gay rights/suggestion for a new event]

2nd member hoping to derail the controversy: Wow, yeah, that’s really cool. Why don’t we [upbeat and constructive suggestion that no-one replies to]

Original protagonist/Antagonist: Look, I’m not trying to make a big deal about this, I just feel that my identity as a [minority/majority gay man/gay woman/bisexual/trans person/queer person/black person/middle class/working class person/right wing/left wing/religious/atheist] is being compromised and I feel hurt. Something Must Be Done.

Antagonist/Original Protagonist: What do you mean, your identity?! What about MY identity as a [majority/minority gay man/gay woman/bisexual/trans person/queer person/black person/middle class/working class person/right wing/left wing/religious believer/atheist]? We’re oppressed too!

Academic gay: Well, actually, [comment about structural inequality/queer theory/”racism cuts both ways”]

Non-academic gay who shouldn’t be at university: Look, none of this matters, alright? It’s just academic theories, can’t we all just get along?

Original Protagonist/Antagonist: This isn’t about getting along, it’s about a serious point that strikes at the very fabric of what it means to be [LGBT/non-heterosexual/a member of this society/a student/democratic/free/part of a union]!

[Argument continues but now involving reference to liberation theory and class analysis]

Former committee member: Nothing changes.

2nd former committee member: Yeah, do you remember when…

[Short conversation between old LGBT hacks ensues about former controversies]

Ordinary member no-one has ever heard of before: Look, I signed up to this society for updates about events and to meet people, not to read this kind of petty infighting. We need to be united, get a grip!

Original protagonist: I wasn’t trying to be divisive, I only [original action] and it seems some people just can’t cope with that…

Ordinary member no-one has ever heard of or will again: Just stop it! Just stop it, alright! I am sick of this happening all the time!

Antagonist: My point was totally valid and you needed to be challenged! You said…

[Argument continues until everyone gets physically tired and/or has to leave the keyboard]

[A committee meeting is held where the same arguments are rehashed for two hours but no conclusions are reached]

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