If we look at Twitter and Tumblr, especially where the social justice hee-haws lurk and squawk, we will see a general consensus among straight, mostly white, women that they are the most oppressed snowflakes in the world. Okay, the only group more oppressed is the white trans women community, but that is a different can of worms that should be left unopened for now.
Online, straight women are noble but rarely appreciated for their efforts.
They crusade for feminism – the right for women to wag their fingers and berate men on subway trains who spread their legs a little too wide apart, for example – while promoting the truth that all men are born with the intention to rape and must be indoctrinated to suppress these urges.
They fight for diversity, often to the point that they too reject their white heritage by passing themselves off as “people of color”. They may have a great-great-great-great-great grandmother with Cherokee blood, for example, so this makes them a native American twin spirit eagle-kin, and therefore they can proudly claim that all white men are rapist scums who must die. #killallmen. If these women discover, to their dismay, that they do not have POC in their ancestry, there is always the “transethnic” label, which allows one to “identify” as a POC. Hence, many of these white people online are trans-African American or, more popularly, trans-Japanese because anime and stuff are so hot and cool. Don’t you dare call them white – white people are evil.
They fight for LGBT+ rights, as well as the right to exclude white gay males from the LGBT+ because, you know, white males are white males. Besides, they won’t have sex with women, which clearly makes these gay white males misogynists and chauvinists. Trans is the new orange, you know, and so many straight women on Tumblr and Twitter wants to be part of the cool gang, hence they insist that “trans” is a label that can be worn like a pair of jeans. Even if they experience no gender dysphoria, they have the right to wear a ratty, dry wig on their head and call themselves trans men. Anyone who use the mocking word “transtrenders” on them is clearly a transphobe who must die.
All this nonsense intersects for much entertainment value recently when someone tweeted RuPaul, arguably the most famous drag queen in mainstream media, whether RuPaul’s Drag Race would ever allow females to participate.
Now, drag queens are basically guys – who may be gay, bisexual, non-binary, or even straight – who choose to embrace female aesthetics. Some choose to go ‘fish’, capturing the female illusion with fidelity to transform themselves into gorgeous beauty pageant-style queens, while others may play with gender norms, combining both male and female aesthetics in some kind of genderfuck visual orgy. Some are “club kid” types, going for avant garde and over-the-top styles. But the legacy of drag has always been about the men being drag queens and women being drag kings.
There are women who choose to embrace the aesthetics of drag queens, and they are called bio-queens.
Now, RuPaul’s Drag Race features drag queens of all types. The contestants are either men or trans women. No bio-queen has ever been on the show, and while no reason is given for this, it’s easy to deduce why. This is a competition, so all contestants play by a set of common rules. Drag queens and bio-queens may share similar make-up and aesthetics, but there would be endless arguments about whether bio-queens have unfair advantage because they don’t have to tuck and they also may not have to pad to a degree that a drag queen has to. The people behind the show may not want to deal with the mess. Besides, the show as it is attracts a loyal following – messing with the formula by adding bio-queens would only ruin the chemistry. America’s Next Top Model was a mess when they brought in male contestants, after all.
Anyway, back to RuPaul – he answered the question with a hilarious statement that there is already a show for bio-queens: Miss Universe.
But with online straight women being who they are, the whole thing spirals into an eye-rolling argument about whether RuPaul and those horrible Gay Men are being entitled privileged pricks of patriarchy oppressing the right of strong proud women everywhere. They make YouTube videos and tweets calling RuPaul out on his disgusting discriminating male-privileged ass.
Coincidentally, there are also a few articles that pop up at about the same time about how straight women acting like out of control wildebeest in their bachelorette parties at gay clubs are ruining the safe spaces for gay men, Again, the women strike back: those gay men, the pricks of patriarchy, are denying the rights of proud women to party and molest gay men with no self-awareness whatsoever that they are doing the same things that they claim were done to them by straight males in straight clubs.
While the drama may be amusing, it boils down to one thing: we have a really bizarre situation in which gay men are forced to defend their “privilege” to play in their own playground from straight women who insist that they too have the right to play there.
Now, I know, the concept of safe space has been distorted to a gruesome kind of triviality by crybabies in American colleges until it is synonymous with weirdos weeping and group-hugging while claiming that they fear for their lives because someone scribbled “Trump 2016” with chalk on the stairs or something like that. But for LGBT+ people, safe spaces are needed to let them be themselves without fear of judgment or persecution. Heaven knows, these spaces are pretty small in number compared to the places straight people have to play.
Therefore, it seems like a new height of insensitivity for straight women to insist that, just because they call themselves “allies” to gay people (often the case, to gay guys almost exclusively, because gay guys are hot), they have the right to disrupt the rituals and lifestyles of those people.
Here’s the thing – being a gay ally does not mean that treating these gay people as best friends, accessories, and surrogate boyfriends, And most gay guys who have been long in the scene know that and are often suspicious of overly-friendly straight women for a good reason – a lot of time, the “alliance” is never in good faith or sincere. The straight woman wants something back, whether it’s the gay guy being her emotional tampon, her prop, her companion in being boyfriend-less, or the object of her infatuation. That’s why phrases like “fruit flies” and “fag hags” exist. And that’s why we have “allies” insisting that gay guys should let them be a significant part of their culture and rituals. They aren’t invited – they are pushing themselves in, while screeching that they are allies, and that is the problem.
The argument about Miss Universe versus RuPaul’s Drag Race underscores this: these women argue that Miss Universe is sexist, but it is okay to get all dragged out and showing skin here and there on RuPaul’s Drag Race because, apparently, the audience won’t sexually objectify them. The parallels to those screaming bachelorettes are there: both types of straight women want LGBT+ folks to LOOK AT THEM, TELL THEM THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL AND SPECIAL – LOOK AT THEM DAMN IT. And they have no problems sexually objectifying drag queens (just visit the show Reddit sub, shudder) even as they protest about being treated as sex objects.
I am reminded of that fuss a few years ago, when LAMBDA wanted to bar straight women authors from winning their awards. Back then, I was kind of leaning towards letting the women play, but after seeing how things turned out and having a better understanding of how things can be between straight female allies and the LGBT+ folks, I now feel somewhat guilty for feeling that way. Yes, straight women writing gay stories may not be able to win RITAs and what not back then, but then again, it doesn’t mean that they can crash into a party meant for LGBT+ folks to celebrate things ignored by the mainstream straight world. Just because straight women may feel oppressed by society, that does not mean that they are automatically BFFs with LGBT+ folks and, thus, LGBT+ folks must invite them to their parties.
Just to be clear, if the LGBT+ folks welcome straight people in, then it’s fine, although those straight women going wild in bachelorette parties and insisting to be made honorary gays are not making it easy for genuine allies to gain the trust of LGBT+ folks. It is the reverse that is not so fine.
That’s why, at the end of the day, I think I have more respect for Suzanne Brockmann, who gets frequently mocked for her open support for LGBT+ folks (which in some ways is deserved, as the lady hits like a hammer when it comes to shoving her agendas in her stories) – at least she is out there, in the real world, doing things as an ally to help the cause. Most of the straight female keyboard allies are just screeching, talking on behalf of LGBT+ people when no one nominated them to be spokesperson, and then turning on the people they supposedly champion when they feel that they are not getting the attention and gratitude of those people. And all the while they aren’t really doing anything to help make things better for LGBT+ people. Just making lots of noise, like they always do.