Yes. It is a real campaign. But Cody Ross Romero wants you to have nothing to do with it. Here is why.
I’d Bottom For Hillary. If you see this emblazoned on your friend’s newest t-shirt, please be aware he’s not wearing a crude Urban Outfitters sale item. He’s actually bought into a poignant campaign intended to support our favorite Democratic presidential candidate underdog Hillary Clinton. We’re not kidding. I’d Bottom for Hillary is a real campaign.
Who in their right mind would bottom for Hillary? With regard to her record on gay rights Clinton is far from a top, she’s a notorious flip-flopper. If you want to vote for Hillary, go ahead, but you definitely shouldn’t beg her to fuck you. It’s disempowering for queer men to feel they must publicly align their preferred sexual position with their politics. That’s what these ridiculous t-shirts put at stake — queer empowerment.
In 2008, I learned about the transfer of power between a top and a bottom. Up to this point I’d exclusively topped, not wanting to subject myself to a physically painful and potentially humiliating submissive experience. I shamefully admit that this belief stemmed from a youthful misconception about the function of male physiology in penetrative sex. I had internalized all the terrifying things, namely getting AIDs and losing my masculinity, that the generation before me fought to overcome.
My first clumsy attempt at bottoming made me rethink my masculinity, the power dynamics between me and my lovers, and the idea that sexual submissiveness is feminine. I confronted my personal sexual politics and enjoyed (almost) every moment of it. Now I want to confront a much more public manifestation of politics and sexuality — I’d Bottom for Hillary.
There’s a succinct New York Times article that chronicles Mrs. Clinton’s evolved position on gay marriage. In this article, Clinton is referred to as a “conqueror” by a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign. Referring to Clinton as a conqueror indulges bottoms of all forms longing for a top. Bottoming is subversive — it’s light years away from socially acceptable views on male sexual positions. Bottoms don’t experience the same patriarchal privilege as their insertive male counterparts, gay or otherwise, because of their preferred receptive position. I’d Bottom for Hillary is a derivative of bottom shaming. It’s another way of saying, “Look at this absolutely insane thing I would do for HIllary Clinton!”
Bottoms aren’t the only ones getting screwed by this campaign — so is Hillary. As Zach Stafford discusses in The Guardian, I’d Bottom for Hillary is deeply rooted in misogyny. I’d Bottom for Hillary suggests that Mrs. Clinton must assume a masculine sexual role in order to win. By equating topping with winning and bottoming with losing, we’re shaming both women and ourselves. This is shit theory.
When you agree to bottom for Hillary, you’re reducing your sexual practice to an alignment with a politician portrayed as masculine enough to win an election. This is unfair to both women and gay men. Your relationship to your sexuality is a source of political power and a form of resistance to violent patriarchal normativity.
Get the bleach — we’ve got some shirts for you to wash.
Image Credit Raymond Greene
Originally appeared on Sophomore Magazine.