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An assistant professor in women’s gender and sexuality studies at Yale University is claiming that Pete Buttigieg and his husband Chasten are a “vision of heterosexuality without straight people.”
The professor, Greta LaFleur, made the comments in a piece analyzing Buttigieg and his husband’s appearance on the recent Time magazine cover.
At the beginning of the piece, she concocts an almost incomprehensible buzzword salad about “whiteness” and how “white” the photo is. For example:
This photo also tells a profound story about whiteness, above and beyond the fact that almost everything in this photo is, itself, white. It’s such an all-consuming aesthetic, here, that it practically resists interpretation; like the generically familiar (to me, a white person) porch, the cover photo claims that there’s nothing to see, because we already know what it is. We have seen this image, we know this couple, “we” should be comfortable.
Then, she immediately transitions into suggesting that the apparent comfortability that the “whiteness” of the photo provides basically makes it a heterosexual photo: “The argument I am making, of course, is that this photo is about a lot of things, but one of its defining features is its heterosexuality,” LaFleur writes. “It’s offering us the promise that our first gay first family might actually be a straight one.”
La Fleur, who herself identifies as “queer,” goes on to explain how “the awkwardly minimal touching” between Buttigieg and his husband apparently “invokes the most uncomfortable, unfamiliar, culturally heterosexual embrace any of us have ever received,” claiming that it actually “offers a vision of heterosexuality without straight people.”
She ends her diatribe by taking some time to note that white male Buttigieg seems to have gotten more and better press coverage than female candidates such as Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren: “And perhaps this is heterosexuality at its immaterial and strategic best, a heterosexuality that could take back the Presidency for the Democrats: white, centrist, and without women,” she concludes.
Honestly, I think that her piece may just be the most insane, stupid thing that I have ever seen on the Internet — and, if you’ve spent even five minutes on the Internet, you know that that’s saying something. The truth is, this photo actually does not represent “heterosexuality at its immaterial and strategic best,” because it does not represent heterosexuality. It is literally a photo of a gay married couple. Do you know what makes them a gay married couple, even though they’re white? The fact that they are a gay married couple.
I’ve seen some stupid things done in the name of dealing with problematic “whiteness” in the past: I’ve seen organizers shut down a Women’s March in a mostly white area because there were going to be too many white people there. I’ve seen a university cancel a performance of “The Vagina Monologues” because a white lady wrote it, and that apparently means it automatically can’t be inclusive enough. I’ve seen a college course teach that “objectivity” is among “white mythologies” — and honestly, that one didn’t even surprise me, because objectivity and fact are exactly what people who make these kinds of arguments are lacking.
When someone decides to become super social-justice obsessed, do the logic and reason parts of their brain just get pushed out? Because I have never seen such a complete disregard for facts. Facts like: A gay man is actually not a symbol of straightness, because he is, you know, gay. And — unlike LaFleur’s mess of an article, which tries so desperately to use a complicated weave of social-justice jargon to make a point that logic won’t let her successfully make — that is something that’s not hard to understand.
This story was previously covered in an article in The College Fix.