ACADEMICALLY SPEAKING: Campuses are never gay enough for the queer left
The LGBTQ left are the same people who said that “Love is Love” when gay marriage became legal, but now contend that gay men who are only attracted to biological men are transphobic.
"Academically Speaking" is a series by Campus Reform Managing Editor Zachary Marschall that, drawing on his firsthand experience working with other scholars across the globe, reveals how radical ideas originating in academia impact Americans’ daily lives. Marschall holds a PhD in Cultural Studies and is an adjunct professor at the University of Kentucky. His research investigates the intersections of democratic political systems, free market economies, and technological innovation in the production of national and cultural identities, as well as the exchange of cultural goods, services, and practices.
When does an acronym become an alphabet?
Surely, LGBTQIA+ is approaching that milestone.
But more importantly, that acronym’s comical length may indicate the turmoil within the “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Two-spirit, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Ally, A-gender, Bi-gender, Gender Queer, Pansexual, Pangender, and Gender Variant” community.
The Supreme Court legalized gay marriage only six years ago, but radical queer activists are already distancing themselves from gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals who consider themselves “cisgender,” meaning that they identify with their biological sex.
According to this queer logic, men and women who define their homosexuality and sexual identity within the parameters of the gender binary are transphobic, and consequently now traitors to movement.
During the 2020 election, journalist Masha Gessen wrote “The Queer Opposition to Pete Buttigieg, Explained” for The New Yorker, in which she contended that the former presidential candidate and current secretary of transportation is “a straight politician in a gay man’s body.”
That Buttigieg is married to a man counts for nothing. By upholding the traditional ideals of monogamy, the family unit, and Christianity, Buttigieg and his husband, Chasten, are not really LGBT, according to Gessen.
Read Gessen’s article and it will be apparent that her critique does not stop at sexuality. Her “opposition” to Buttigieg encompasses class, race, culture, and privilege.
The totality of her argument against the gay individual is the practical application of queer theory, a school of thought originating in academia that seeks to revolutionize life for sexual minorities by dismantling and then reconfiguring social, economic, and political institutions and systems.
For queer theory adherents, Buttigieg’s homosexuality will never be enough to satisfy their political objectives – or queer politics – because he lives happily within the confines of American cultural norms.
C. Heike Schotten’s political science class at the University of Massachusetts Boston articulates how queer theory and queer politics work together to inform the scholar activism that has positioned cisgender homosexuals as deficiently gay.
“The intention is to read queer theory as both a scholarly and an activist project,” reads the course description for the 2021-22 course POLSCI 451 - Queer Theory & Politics, which was formerly Queer Political Theory.
The syllabi for the latter course states, “This course in Queer Theory is specifically focused on politics” and displays as its epigraph a Judith Butler quote that “The deconstruction of identity is not the deconstruction of politics; rather, it establishes as political the very terms through which identity is articulated.”
That political orientation is evident in Campus Reform’s coverage of the on-campus division between “cisgender” homosexuals and their “queer” or “transgender” classmates.
For example, Campus Reform reported in 2018 that the University of Wisconsin-Madison renamed its LGBT Center to Gender and Sexuality Campus Center because the former participated in gender binaries.
But apart from the school of thought that informs a revolutionary political movement, what exactly is queer theory?
In 2011, American University interviewed Madhavi Menon, editor of Shakesqueer: A Queer Companion to the Complete Works of Shakespeare, who provided what may be the most revealing answer.
She stated in the interview:
“I don’t think I can provide a definition because queer theory is precisely the theory that puts pressure on what we understand as definitional. So as the theory that questions what seems to be a monolithic understanding set in stone, of identity, gender, sexuality, power, difference, sameness—the impetus for queer theory is really to put pressure on what we think of as our definitions. Therefore by definition, queer theory cannot define itself because it would then be partaking of exactly the same problematic that it’s trying to question…”
Queer theory – and by extension queer politics – is difficult to understand because in trying to always be about everything, it becomes precisely about nothing, as Menon’s non-definition demonstrates.
Like the eye of a hurricane bent on undoing anything in its path, queer theory is a hollow void that fuels destruction, division, and discord in American society.
Nine months after Gessen’s article premiered, President Trump lost reelection but his support among gay Americans had doubled from his 2016 victory.
That is why radical queers go after gay individuals such as Buttigieg; those homosexuals who live their lives openly and honestly, but happily within the gender binary. These radicals have always resented that gay marriage was not necessarily a break with tradition, but an invitation to that tradition to live as faithful, parenting, and church-going Americans.
Buttigieg deserves some blame for the current supply chain crisis, but in his paternity leave absence from his Department of Transportation office, the secretary was upholding the traditional family values embedded in his Christian faith.
That more and more gay Americans live like Buttigieg draws ire from queer radicals.
And in that fury, queer activists expose their hollow virtues.
What exactly is the difference between telling a gay man that he cannot not be attracted to biological women and sending that same person off to conversion therapy?
The only difference between those identical signals is who benefits from the message.
Though it might make some people feel better about themselves to tell others who they should consider male and female, denial of biological facts do have real-world consequences that can be particularly harmful to women.
Jo Phoenix, a professor of criminology at Open University in the United Kingdom, demonstrated in an August Twitter thread what is lost by queer theorists’ totalizing erasure of women.
A Cautionary Story:
1. This is an everyday tale of excluding the contribution of gender critical research perspectives to the knowledge base (a.k.a. 'the chilling effect' in academia) @TheLancet @OU_GCN @ProfAliceS @fairplaywomen @NoXYinXXprisons @LucyHunterB @lnmackenzie1
— Jo Phoenix (@JoPhoenix1) August 26, 2021
In her thread, Phoenix critiques an article published in The Lancet Psychiatry titled, “Associations between significant head injury and persisting disability and violent crime in women in prison in Scotland, UK: a cross-sectional study,” in which 5% of their female sample population were transgender women.
Phoenix argued that since the field of criminology had already established over 200 years of research that “that biological sex is the strongest predictor of crime especially violent crime,” and that “Violent crime is overwhelming a male problem,” the scholars diluted their research to satisfy the optics of queer politics.
“In the analysis of phenomena where women’s experiences are markedly different from men’s, the inclusion of males in the female category has the potential to skew research findings substantially,” she co-wrote in a letter to the Lancet editor.
Relatedly, this month Republican Glenn Youngkin won the Virginia gubernatorial election, partly due to outrage over the Loudoun County school board’s handling of a male student who sexually assaulted a female in the girl’s bathroom while wearing women’s clothing.
Parents perceived the school board’s actions, according to national media coverage, as equivocating girls’ safety to not appear as transphobic.
Those parents that demanded better for their daughters sensed that for the woke school board, the episode was more about gender ideology as progress and a threat that could bring the institutionalized promotion of children’s gender fluidity and bathroom choice crumbling down.
While one incident is not statistically significant to represent an entire group, the school board’s inability to be properly outraged speaks to the grip that queer theory and queer politics have on the left.
Enough with queer theory and queer politics. The whole thing is a sham.
The differences between men and women matter, and that is why on occasion females require their own spaces and why a homosexual man knows to whom he is attracted.