It is highly important, if not fundamental to the fabric of America, to poke at noisy liberals from time to time and call them out on any inconsistencies between the opinions they blare and how they comport themselves in daily life. I am less impressed with your ability to apply a rainbow filter to your Facebook profile pic than how you treat the transvestite with blue hair sitting next to you on the train.
Shouting and marching about human dignity serves a purpose, but it can be more challenging to carry that inspiration through on a granular, everyday level. No one can avoid at least some degree of hypocrisy.
In light of invigorating developments in our country last week, I will be a good sport and call out myself. Generally when there is controversy over some issue, I figure a moderate stance makes the most sense because how can so many people be 100-percent wrong? Surely each side has some valid points, and the truth is somewhere in between.
But in regards to the hot topics today, I have embraced the role of over-educated-under-informed liberal who refuses to even consider the other side. I find the Confederate flag to be jarringly ugly. I don’t want to picture little black schoolchildren in South Carolina visiting the state Capitol and asking their teacher why this flag looks different. It is categorically offensive to an entire race, and by that I mean the human race.
The Confederate flag cannot be extricated from slavery. I don’t care if it symbolizes states’ rights and Southern pride to people who lack the creativity to express this in a better way. You can’t go around wearing a “Germany est. 1937” shirt and clarify to everyone that you’re a Volkswagen fan. It cuts too deep.
Even aside from that, I don’t see cause for celebrating the battle flag of the group that tried to split apart this country before it could be great. And in the process, more Americans were killed than in any other war by a wide margin. Because the United States prevailed and thrived, I would argue that the Confederate flag waves closer to treason than any sort of political heritage.
As for gay marriage, my disdain for opponents of it already was documented in book form. To deny someone’s happiness when it does not affect your life falls somewhere between stupid and evil. To preserve the sanctity of marriage, start with domestic abuse or how every man in power cheats on his wife. And to honor the Constitution, keep it relevant enough over time to protect its citizens.
So with my platform firmly stated now, I will pick three of no doubt many ways I am being fraudulent with my hard stance. But I’m not just going to put myself on blast without defending myself, either.
Hypocrisy: Gay Porn
My go-to adult website — which I swear I had not visited in weeks until tonight because I got bored while writing this and knew my fiancée would be gone for a predictable amount of time at a movie — organizes the content by category. Sometimes not knowing what I’m in the mood for, I scroll through the main gallery, which tends to be adventurous in its range of subject matter. If I happen upon an image of a sex act between gay men, I recoil and act momentarily blinded. I am literally repulsed by it.
I also would react the same way watching a sex tape of my parents. (I kind of feel like one exists out there based on the numerous times growing up that I heard them going at it like two wild hogs in a McDonald’s playpen.) I still support their love though. I want them to do it as much as possible and keep their bodies strong and satisfied. Same with everybody else. And lesbian porn is brilliant.
Hypocrisy: Gay Antics
I am not shy about expressing my thoughts on hot guys, and some might find this to be an immature attempt at shock humor and insensitive to gay folks. For example, every week at softball I hit on our scrumptious 23-year-old prize who looks like an All-American quarterback version of Channing Tatum.
When we shared a tent camping, I would have teabagged him so hard in the middle of the night if I weren’t so gassy from eating too many chips. I should have just pinned his arms down and done it anyway, and at the very least I would have gotten to see him flex those biceps fighting me off. It’s weird — I would never want to bang him but one time when I was blacked out, I left a long voicemail that included such gems as “That’s right bro, I’m going to come in you” and “Text me your number, and I’ll come over.”
If I were hanging out with a bunch of gay guys, and they jokingly hit on girls, I certainly wouldn’t be offended. It’s a fun way to spread sexual energy without worrying about implications. The worst thing about being in a relationship is the suppression of the urge to spread one’s seed all over the universe. Crossing sexual orientation lines is a little outlet for that angst and doesn’t make your partner feel insecure.
My mother saw my brother’s Facebook cover photo of him and his buddy wearing matching shirts on a tandem bike. She asked me whether he was gay, and I said I doubt it. She kept pressing and offered the generic “We will always love him” blah, essentially acting like Petey questioning Sunshine in Remember the Titans. Finally I just said yeah, he probably is gay. So she called a family Google Hangout meeting for tomorrow. It could be awkward if he really is gay, and I outed him like that. I’ll let you know how it goes. I don’t care. I take sexual orientation so lightly because it’s just not that big of a deal, an attitude that in some respects is the opposite of bigotry.
Hypocrisy: Racist Remarks
My fiancée is a sweet-natured schoolteacher who grew up in a liberal city. It has become customary for me to make derogatory comments about minorities, women and the handicapped to get a reaction out of her. She tries ignoring or sarcastically agreeing, but it only fuels me to go harder. I would give you an example, but it wouldn’t be funny out of context. Which brings me to my defense…
If it’s funny, it’s OK. I remember watching my friend perform stand-up, and one of her jokes was “Yeah I don’t really like Asian guys. They’re just so scrawny and ugh.” And then she moved on to the next joke. Am I missing the punchline here? That was just mean. Every racist thing I say at least makes me laugh. And I don’t say it to strangers. I say it to people in my inner circle, who are not impressionable or hateful or black.
There you have it. I stand up for civil rights, but with two feet planted on the ground rather than a pedestal. These issues may be clearcut in rhetoric, but people are nuanced in real life.
For those who relish the warm feelings generated by sharing their socially progressive views, consider this anecdote. Janet, whom I will assume is Mexican based on hearing her talk on the phone, has cleaned our office building for eight years. I am sure there have been no shortage of California yoga/tech liberals walking past her like she was invisible. The building owners changed cleaning companies, and Janet told me last night she’s losing this job (hopefully reassigned) and to say goodbye to my coworker for her because we were her only two friends there. No one else I know of took the time to even catch her name.
Maybe I don’t swing a picket sign for immigrant rights, but I do treat all strangers with a blank slate of respect. I am not implying Janet is illegal. I’m saying joining the uproar for justice and equality and simply being a nice person are not the same thing. If you can do both, that’s great. Because both are important, but the latter more easily forgotten I think.