Anon asked: Now what’s your opinion on Ginnifer Goodwin tweets?
Ugh. I was kind of hoping that nobody would ask me about that. And to be perfectly honest, there’s a small part of me that wants to just shrug and say “Who cares?”. But, unfortunately, the things that Ginny expressed in an albeit rather careless fashion in her original tweet were not only compounded by her follow-up tweets, but also exacerbated by them.
Here’s the problem I have with what she said originally: I was almost amused to see that she omitted the word “but” from her tweet. “I fully support homosexuality, but…” is what I read in my mind. And it’s always the “but” that negates the original statement, isn’t it? And yes, I’m perfectly sure that Ginny is a wonderfully warm person, who doesn’t discriminate (or tries not to, like the rest of us) and bears no ill will towards different factions of society.
However, I’m not surprised by her tweets. I think it’s really easy to make thoughtless comments on the internet that have the power to upset others; that whole notion of NOT speaking face to face with someone appears to give SOME people the freedom to have NO filter whatsoever on their thoughts and ideas. But that’s to be expected online, in some ways.
Having said that, I think my reaction was somewhat delayed. Looking at her tweets today makes me want to take the girl to one side and say “Ginny, seriously, shush up now.” If her original comment didn’t make me angry, then her subsequent comments have irked me more than a little. You see, the original comment came over as “OMG I HEART Teh Gays! They’re awesome! Oh…but not on my tv show or my tv channel.”
It was a marginalizing comment. It appeared to shove homosexuality OUTSIDE of the norm. It made the prospect of Regina and Emma hooking up seem to be something “other”. And you know, I’ve always stood by my assertion that, if either Emma or Regina were a man, then they would have kissed by now at the very least. At the VERY least.
And I think here’s where I start to encounter problems with the things straight people say about the gay community. I’m very, very lucky that both my work and home environment is full of people who honestly don’t give a flying fig whether I’m straight or gay; they like that I’m happy and if that happens to be with a woman, then that’s just the way things are. Even if there ARE people who are homophobic, they have the damn good sense NEVER to express that near me, or to me, or about me. They know better.
Frankly, Ginny’s original comment seemed to indicate that homosexuality as a concept is fine, but as a reality on a network tv show? Not so much. And yes, I AM aware that ABC has a prominent lesbian couple on Grey’s Anatomy but even with Callie and Arizona the network had to rework that relationship to make it more “palatable” to the show’s audience. You see, the general populous DOES support homosexuality, as long as it adheres to the sort of acceptable norms that THEY dictate. Pretty, blonde, cutesy lesbians are fine. They’re benign and harmless and the sort of girl that we could take home as a friend and NOBODY WOULD KNOW THEY’RE GAY.
I suppose my issue with Ginny’s comments aren’t really restricted to what she said or how she said it. My discomfort with them comes from the notion that when you’re a member of the majority, you can say what you like and it simply doesn’t affect you. When you’re in the minority, EVERYTHING affects you, you know?
The follow-up comments about Regina being Emma’s “stepGRANDMOTHER” made me roll my eyes and sigh. Because…really, Ginny? REALLY? You’re ACTUALLY going there? Please. This fandom is rabid enough, and I’ve had more than a few messages about how I write fic featuring INCEST and that it’s WRONG and I’m HEINOUS for doing it. And on a show that has “family” as a central theme, I have so many issues with how that is being represented that I can’t go into them here as it would engender yet ANOTHER essay/rant.
So, to sum up: do I think Ginny’s homophobic? No, I really don’t. Do I think her comments on twitter could be misconstrued? Absolutely. Do I think she helped herself with the follow-up tweets? God, no. Absolutely NOT.
I think she was the unwitting victim of a thoughtless, hasty comment that was intended to amuse the general populous. And you know what? I’m sure it did. But for us homosexuals who were, to all intents and purposes, the butt of that joke, I didn’t find it that funny at all. And today, when I’ve had chance to think about it and discuss it, I find that I’m becoming increasingly intolerant of straight people who think that homosexuality is STILL something to be giggled over. You see, if they had lived MY life, they’d think the exact opposite. And Ginny lives in the US, for crying out loud; a place where homosexuality is marginalized and CONSTANTLY seen as something “other”, in legal terms; where it is legislated AGAINST.
Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but you know what? I’m ALLOWED TO DO THAT. You can make jokes about whatever you like, but you also have to be prepared to accept that an offhand, throwaway comment can be very hurtful to those who AREN’T part of the majority, who DON’T experience that privilege the majority takes for granted every day, and who CAN’T respond without the majority then turning on them and calling them whiny or hateful. If YOU’RE allowed to make all the jokes you want about gay people or homosexuality, then I’M allowed to take issue with them. That’s the way equality works, people.
All of which brings me to note that I’m fairly certain I’ll get flamed for this. I honestly don’t care. If nobody ever takes people to task on the ignorance they spout, how will they ever learn not to do it. And I’m one of those people who values honesty above all else. Be gay-friendly, don’t be gay-friendly, but don’t dress things up in the emperor’s new clothes because you know what? I can see right through them.
Think before you speak/tweet/post. Think about who’s reading it and how THEY might interpret what you say. That’s all I ask. And sure, sometimes you’ll say things that will annoy me, offend me or hurt me, as I may do with you. But there’s no excuse in this day and age for hinting, however innocently or under the guise of a joke, that homosexuality is somehow “inappropriate” or “other” on network television. It’s not in the UK, and I’m disappointed that we’re still living in an age where it appears to be deemed as such in the US. Yep; disappointing.
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