Civil wrongs

Dear Hannah,

What Americans seem to miss in our approach to homosexuality is that being attracted to men isn't acting like a pussy.  The two things are completely different and we've taken them for the same thing.  The ancient Greeks were warlike and gay and never batted an eye over it; and when Horatio Nelson said "kiss me Hardy" it was because he had just been shot in a battle.  Nowadays you kiss a man and everyone thinks you must be effeminate; and the "inevitable result" of someone declaring his love for a man is that he must also be in love with Liberace.

Rum, buggery and the lash is how we used to describe life in the British Navy, and being in the British Navy meant that you were better at killing people in all the other navies.  Now in the Navy means a song by the Village People and is almost as gay as the YMCA.  And when we consider all of these things the inevitable conclusion is that Americans made gays weaker than gays have ever been before.  They could have been heroes.  Now Katy Perry has to sing them songs about how perfect they are or we're worried they'll go out and kill themselves.

What this proves more than anything else is that some things you're "born into" get associated with other things.  Some people who have one trait have another trait and then everyone thinks the two traits are the same thing.  It's a curse of humanity but like most of our curses it results from our blessings.  

The way we learn is by associations --  we see two things together a few times and we think they go together other times.  The way we fit in is by copying -- we see somebody we like do some things and we begin to mimic the things.  Somebody associated American gays with lisping and dancing and now people are afraid that if they lisp and dance well people are going to think they like butt-sex.  We have news for the world.  Many straight Spaniards speak with a lisp.  Bing Crosby the baritone Catholic knew how to tap-dance.  There is no natural monopoly on speech impediments and wearing tights.  You may be born into same-sex attraction but you can't be born into baking quiches.  These things are an invention and we've taken them for nature.  The people who believe gender is a construct have failed to see how limp wrists are a construct.  They think being a man is imaginary but that being a shitty man is a necessity.

What we oftentimes miss when we criticize homophobes and racists and sexists that that many of them may hate the thing less than the things the thing is associated with.  And when we draft laws in protection of gay people we're drafting laws mostly in protection of the things gay people pretend is their gayness.  Thus a cultural vice becomes protected; a host of bad behaviors and styles become defended by law; the worst among us adopt the practices to force themselves upon the best; and the best of us go bankrupt because worst of us have lawyers.

Simply put, the whole of our "civil rights" is wrong.  We rarely defend gay or black in themselves, but gayness and blackness; and what civil rights means for a privileged few means a loss in civil rights for the disadvantaged most.  Racism isn't a crime, but a misunderstanding about a whether a person is a criminal.  Now we're not allowed to rightly hate a protected person's real vices.  We're not allowed to hate their bad taste or their barbarism or their ignorance or their effeminacy or their laziness or their cultural sewage.  We took in one part and we bought all the rest.

Now good English is racist and showing up on time is too white.  Pulling up your pants and manning up are oppression.  Wearing a dildo in a parade is defended, and dressing like a pantywaist is sacred.  Everyone is held accountable except for our minorities.  Everyone must be a good citizen except the man protected by the Civil Rights Act.  Everyone must be a good neighbor except the man protected by Housing and Urban Development.

Your father,