We have long known and understood Donald Trump’s predatory and misogynistic representation and admitted sexual abuse of women. Statistically, 91% of sexual abuse cases are perpetrated against women and girls. In the vast majority of cases, heterosexually-identified cisgender men commit these acts.
If one believes Republican legislators, however, in states like North Carolina with its passage of House Bill 2, its notorious so-called “transgender no bathroom” bill, trans people epitomize the greatest threat to the safety of women and girls.
From ancient to modern times, from long before Thomas Jefferson, Grover Cleveland, Franklin Roosevelt, and the “Johns” (Fitzgerald Kennedy, Edwards, and Ensign), through William Jefferson Clinton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Anthony Weiner, Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani, and, of course, Donald Trump, married men have found it engorgingly hard to keep their pants zipped. But the perplexing stereotype remains that primarily gay and bisexual men are the “promiscuous” ones.
From long before biblical references to Abraham, through King Henry VIII, to Robert Fitzgerald Kennedy, Senators Gary Hart and David Vitter, Governors Mark Sanford and Eliot Spitzer, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and golfer Tiger Woods, men have engaged in sexual relations outside the confines of marriage. But we continually hear the charge that ensuring marriage equality for same-sex couples has cheapen and will ultimately destroy the institution of marriage.
Currently, political pundits and psychologists alike impart their “reasons” why high profile and powerful heterosexual (usually white) men commit “sexual transgressions,” anything from the thrill in the risk of getting caught, to their privileged status, to, in Schwarzenegger’s case, the result of taking steroids during his body building days, which has turned him into the “sperminator.”
Virtually no one accuses these men, however, of destroying marriage and civilization itself. And most importantly, no one consciously or through the “dog whistle,” asserts that they represent all white men or all rich men. These men, therefore, are shielded in their cocoon, for most, of white privilege, and in all these cases, their heterosexual male and class privilege.
Think back, though, to the vision of the “sweet transvestite from Transexual, Transylvania,” Dr. Frank-N-Furter in The Rocky Horror (Picture) Show, the cannibalistic-murderer-mad-scientist obsessed with constructing the perfect Adonis to submit to Frank’s erotic pleasures. Served up as the next delightfully tasty prey, enter the young and naïve Brad and Janet at the doorstep for an adventure they will never forget, that is, if they live to tell the tale.
And who can forget those conniving gay men who con-cock-ted the elaborate conspiracy to commit sex acts on heterosexual men by joining the ranks of the military, with all those hard bodies to pick from in the bunks and showers while just waiting for them to drop the soap?
In addition, we must still remain on guard to protect our fine white innocent womenfolk from the sexual pursuits of those wild savage black men and those swarthy eagle-beaked Jewish men who want nothing more than to seduce and carry them away to their lairs of sin.
In addition, we must stand forever vigilant in protecting our impressionable children from the exploits of the Jews and the homosexuals.
We certainly can’t allow Jews access to our infant boys since they continue inflicting forced circumcision onto them in order to recruit them into their distorted cult-of-a-religion. And don’t forget how the Jews kidnapped and drained the precious blood from our lovely virginal Christian male infants to use in the making of their sacred matzah, and to symbolically re-crucify our Lord.
Likewise, homosexuals need to entice and recruit our children into their disgusting and deviant lifestyle since they are incapable of producing their own. We can’t allow them to come into our schools to teach children about their deranged sex acts in the guise of bullying prevention training, and we certainly can’t allow children anywhere near their so-called “Pride” parades of seething perversion.
Lest we don’t forget those disease-laden bisexual vectors of infection into the general (read “heterosexual”) population.
As we can see, a crucial point in the psychology of scapegoating is the representation of minoritized “Others” as violent predators resolved on ensnaring, torturing, and devouring primarily women and children of the dominant group. When demagogues play on people’s fears and prejudices by invoking these images for their own political, social, and economic gains, in more instances than not, this results in loss of civil and human rights, harassment, violence, and at times, death of the “other.”
By passing House Bill 2 in North Carolina, which Governor McCrory signed into law, the North Carolina legislature has played with fire by further stigmatizing and misdefining the state’s trans residents. Some North Carolina proponents of the bill are calling transwomen “men in women’s clothing” (heard as “wolves in sheep’s clothing”), and the law effectively prohibits trans and intersex people from going into the restroom facility matching their gender identities.
Members of the trans* community often suffer the consequences of other truth tellers of the past. Nearly every two days, a person is killed somewhere in the world for expressing gender nonconformity. The vast majority of murders are of trans* women of color.
Today we still live in a society that proclaims in certain quarters that we don’t have a right to exist, but exist we do, everywhere, in all walks of life.
For as we all know, we are the students, professors, teachers, guidance counselors, day care workers, parents — and still some people and groups attempt to prevent us from having contact with the young people of our nation. And because of their insensitivity and fear, the queer bashing continues.
We are the social workers, psychiatrists, workers at homeless shelters and rape crisis centers — and still some people and groups blame us for the break-up of what they call the “traditional family.” And the queer bashing continues.
The reality is that we are holding up this culture. If all the lesbians, bisexuals, gay males, and trans people suddenly left our jobs and communities, this country would literally crumble.
We must halt the stereotyping and end the double standards.
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