Friday, May 2, 2014

Major Fruit-Alert: Conservative Reaction to my Writing

Today is my last day of grading for the year, so here's a very quick post on reactions to my Sarah Palin essay.

I'm continuously fascinated by the way that conservative reaction - mostly male reaction I think, but on the internet who knows - to my essays fixates on my sexuality, often by talking about my earring. One deleted comment began, for example, "Get off of your pompous high horse (and please, remove the earring, really)."

Over on Free Republic, there's a thread about my essay. Here are some comments there:
  • Hmm...looks very smug and rather "dainty" to me, if you get my drift.
  • Yup. Major Fruit-Alert. 
  • He looks gay.
  • I believe the guy is a homo...but he’s not “man enough” to come out of the closet completely.
  • Someone showed a picture of a Maypole dance - I think to say that I was a fairy?
  • There's feminizing too, or a suggestion that I wear women's underwear: "Poor little Marxist got his panties bunched," "Another hand wringing bed wetter got his panties in a wad over Sarah," and "Needs a “wet panties” alert."
I get this a lot when I write about gender, too, the conservative male response that if I am a feminist, if I think it's important that we don't essentialize gender, then I have to be gay. The comments here have lots to say about my earring, in particular, which baffled me the first time. I mean, I'm 40, I have an earring in my left ear. This is normal.

What's interesting for me here, but not surprising, is the necessity to de-masculine me (emasculate?) in order to argue. No "real man" could see the world differently than them. Is it threatening? Or is calling someone a fruit simply the worst thing they could think of, that thanks to their homophobia they would never want leveled at them, so they throw it at me.

I also keep thinking about the way these people would respond to me if I were female. They'd have much worse things to say then.

At any rate, grading awaits. Thanks to everyone who read and shared the piece yesterday.