Hiding bigotry behind unpopular opinions

Posted: May 8, 2011 in Gender, Internet, Kyriarchy, Racism, Sexuality
Tags: , ,

I’ve come across a load of people on the internet claiming that they have an ‘unpopular opinion’ and then spouting a load of bigoted, kyriarchal slime. It seems to be, along with ‘irony,’ a very common way that bigotry reveals itself. But you know what?

Don’t call it an unpopular opinion if it’s an oppressive, kyriarchal one. Because it’s not. It’s just bigotry, and that, my unfriends, is extremely popular.

Put it this way. If misahetery/misohomy is an unpopular opinion, why is it okay to say, ‘that’s so gay’? Why is that phrase normalised? The clue’s in the word ‘normalised.’ It’s normal. Slowly becoming less normal, but for a non-heterosexual person it is still absolutely normal to find that most people around you either a. hate your sexuality, b. are uncomfortable with it or c. want to ignore it. That’s a sure-fire sign of the normalisation of misahetery/misohomy and heterosexism. Why are marriage options not equal? Why do people experience abuse for being non-hetero? Why are there still inequalities here, there and everywhere? This normalisation and these views are wrong. They’re absolutely wrong. But they’re not seen that way by a regrettably large portion of the population. So therefore, having these views is not an ‘unpopular opinion.’

That was just one example. Binarism – and I’ve come across this one quite a bit – is another prime example. It. is. not. an. unpopular. opinion. to. think. that. we. are. making. it. up. It is an utterly wrong, bigoted, oppressive opinion that has no basis in fact and is complete bull feces, but it’s quite popular in society. Don’t believe me? Why are toilets rigidly gendered then? Why is there no legal document that will allow me to not misgender myself?

And here’s an example that may shock a few of these ‘unpopular opinion’ people – racism. Again, totally wrong. And this time this is an oppression that I am not really equipped to talk about as a white person, so if I mess up please feel free to tell me to educate my damn self. But racism is still a systematic oppression, despite all the anti-racism initiatives. People of colour are routinely hassled, profiled, silenced, subjected to great indignities, denied opportunies, Othered, exoticised, exploited… Racism is still a mainstream prejudice, much to the shame of our species.

The same thing applies for basically every other oppression there is. Many are medically or legally normalised in addition to being socially normalised. Their acceptability is a stain upon humanity – but they’re not unpopular opinions. They’re bigotry.

So these ‘unpopular opinion’ people may think they’re being oppressed and silenced by ‘political correctness’ – but they are not. Political correctness, to start with, is a term created to discredit the movement for inclusive, non-oppressive language, making it an inherently reactionary, kyriarchist term. And secondly, they evidently have no idea about the nature of oppression. Here’s a clue – it’s not being told that your bigoted attitudes are bigoted. Oppression is being on the receiving end of these systematic bigoted attitudes and the actions that inevitably result from them. And silenced? No. Anyone with kyriarchal views can find a million avenues to sound off about their bigotry. Being told that those views are wrong in the few SJ spaces that exist is not silencing.

Don’t call it an unpopular opinion if it’s kyriarchal. It’s bigotry. And calling it otherwise is privilege denying and oppressive. Of course, if you could acknowledge it as bigotry, you’d be able to work to get rid of it and THAT WOULD MEAN THE END OF THE WORLD /endsarcasm. You know what opinions beliefs I’ve found to be unpopular?

Anti-kyriarchal ones. It’s ironic, isn’t it? Those firmly in the grasp of kyriarchy claiming victimisation for their views, while victimising those fighting to get the kyriarchy’s claws out.

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