I Hate Facebook: An Introduction to the New Gay Rights Strategy

Bloggified by Jake on Sunday, November 16, 2008

On Facebook, you can declare yourself a fan of anything you like. And since there are a bunch of other people who like stuff you like, you can band together and form groups to let everyone in the world know how much you all like the stuff you like.

Unfortunately, there's no editorial oversight of what groups exist and are being created. So if you decide you're a huge fan of Hugh Laurie and you absolutely need everyone to know, you could go form a Hugh Laurie page without noticing there are already several others.

Of course, in the above case, there's no real harm. If you want to run your own Hugh Laurie group--perhaps you feel the Hugh Laurie Fans group doesn't address your particular love of his work on Black Adder and the "I Pretty Much Love Hugh Laurie" group is too clique-ish and the "Hugh Laurie (House) is the freakin Man!!!!" group completely disregards your Bertie Wooster meets Dr. House fanfic--that's your prerogative.

No, the harm comes when you decide the thing you like is so important to you and so perfectly defines you as a person that you have to join every friggin' group tangentially related to whatever it is you like. Then, as your friend, I log on and check my News Feed only to have it positively choked with announcements that you joined "Its possible that I would give my life to do Hugh Laurie," "Gene Wilder looks kind of like Hugh Laurie," "hugh laurie is the hottest oldie in the world," "Je suis Fan du Sosie du Docteur House !!! ( Hugh Laurie)," "Hugh Laurie is such a BAMF!" and "Hugh Laurie is a total BAMF!"

As a result, I like you a lot less and seriously consider removing you as a friend. You cease to be a real person to me and instead become a caricature. You're just a one-dimensional Hugh Laurie fan with nothing else to offer the world but a blind adherence to everything we've come to expect of the stereotypical Hugh Laurie fan. There is nothing unique about you and you do nothing to dispel the idea that I can write off you and all the other Hugh Laurie fans in the world as being nothing but a bunch of cookie cutters.

I have one gay acquaintance who epitomizes this for me. Every time I log onto Facebook, I am given a list of all the new groups he has joined. Boycott Carmark Cinemas and Boycott All Carmark Cinemas. Revoke Prop 8, Protest Against Prop 8, Repeal Prop 8, and Prop 8 Should Be Revoked. Then to top it off, he's also recently become a fan of Madonna, Cirque du Soleil, San Francisco, "Will & Grace," Margaret Cho, Liza Minelli, "Queer as Folk," Angel from Rent, Barbara Streisand, "Ab Fab"... ugh! Enough already! We get the point! You're gay and you like all the stereotypical things stereotypical gays like! Why not just become a fan of "man ass" and stop being so coy?!?

In fact, at this point, I kind of doubt he really is gay. Think about it this way. If he was a football player or a wrestler or in the army and his Facebook account was being updated daily with announcements that he was now a fan of "Naked Chicks" and "Monster Trucks" and "Totally Not Being Gay" and he joined groups like "I don't like the way those gay dudes look at me" and "Get teh GAYZ out of Disneyland!" and "Preserve Marriage - Yes on Prop 8!", you'd suspect he was compensating for something. So his insistence on reminding everyone who knows him every day that he is here, he is queer, and we'd better get used to it makes me suspect he's really into chicks and is just embarrassed to tell everyone who have come to expect homosexuality from him.

In truth, his gay pride is a big part of what is making anti-gay legislation like shooting fish in a barrel for the religious right. Just as Barack Obama has moved the civil rights struggle to a new level, gays have to understand that the very tactics they used to bring gay rights to the national spotlight are now being used to rob them of those rights and failure to change strategy will only result in more defeats and more rights lost. Later this week, I'll lay out the new gay rights strategy I hope to see adopted because the one in place isn't working.

0 sarcastic replies:

Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)