Search for the One True Victim I spend a goodly time on Monday trawling the net for newspaper articles on Ms Panty Bliss and her showdown with the "Homobhobes". I do this despite my husband's pronouncement that no sensible person would give it another moment's thought, what with life being so short and all. "Yeah" I said, "Maybe, but I have had a busy week, all this has been coming at me via stray snippets, random broadsides and I am more confused than I like to be. I mean She/He and They all seems to be The Victim. So who did the bad thing? Who was wronged. Who did 'em wrong? Who am I rooting for? He/she or they? Who?"
So now I am up to snuff on this. Even listened to Miss Panti's oration in the Abbey on U Tube. And here's the thing:
the Net did itMiss Pant Bliss aka Rory O'Neill is the Victim, the oppressed. Oh yes indeed. He asserted on The Saturday Night Show that the absent others were guilty of homophobia and the TV station paid compensation to them in consequence. So, even though in her opinion they were, the Station folded, behaving as though he was "some kind of a defamer" (as he explained). And, also, he was the recipient of hateful hurtful e mails spewing from the Net. Hmm
The TV station is the Victim. Oh yes indeedy. Caught between the devil and the deep blue sea, if the parties will excuse my poetic licence, they offered a right to reply to the litigious defamed. Spurned. They offered a carefully worded gingerish apology. Spurned. And, finally, they offered cash. Accepted. Thereby saving the people squllions that WE might have had to cough up, if the station was sued. Failing to ignore their own legal advice indeed o the basis that Miss Pantis opinion was final and absolute. And they are now the subject of hateful hurtful mail spewing from the Net. Hmmm
The Iona Institute and the Journalists thus branded were the victims. Yes! They were falsely accused! Their reputations besmirched! A Right to reply? Why should they! Apology? A halfhearted equivocal thing you wouldn't spit at, without the merest mention of the Defaming Person . So. That just left the cash then. And now they are the recipients of hateful hurtful e mails spewing from the net. Hmmm
Like I said, I listened to Miss Panti's oration at the Abbey as a sort of grand finale and I have this to say to you, Miss Panti:
Open letter to Miss Panti Bliss
Sometimes it's hard to be a woman.
As to youths in cars throwing milk cartons, I daresay a bunch of testosterone driven youths in a cluster, knocking back a pint of milk after a hard night out, cos they are so hard, might look at you in all your glory, feel the unsettling uncoiling of doubt in their gut about their own manliness, and reach for an empty carton, but hello? try being an actual woman as you walk past a rabble of road workers, or other priapic gangs of men being manly. It's like life, you give it back, you move on. You are a woman Panti, you are in the world, you put it out there, you gonna get some wrong stuff back.
So get off the stage Ms Panti Bliss
And the Homophobic country your cloying anodyne middle aged woman lives in? So that she just can't help herself? Though she hasn't got the balls to push it? A question for you. Would that be the same country where Homophobia is such a no no that accused people so called will sue rather than let the accusation lie, and you can ramp it up, call absent others Homophobes on national TV and work yourself up into a state of fine victimhood when they push back?
And one more thingIts not as though I never made the accusation myself, you know. My primary school going children were sternly reprimanded more than once for calling childish opponents "gay". "I mean you must not use the word as a term of insult darling" I would say. "People are gay, as well as not." I would say. "Why not" I got back, "you didn't hear what he called me!" I was passionately told. And anyway, he is/isn't. And besides, he called me gay too, first!" The teenagers being a little more circumspect, but only a little. However, let me tell you they are not choosey in their range of mortal insults. And you could call them Racist, Sexist, Homophobic if you had a mind. I, having climbed out of the rabbit hole, take the view that all this is beyond homophobia, beyond politically correctness. It's the developing sexual person anxious-anxious always as to who they are and what they are.
And yet, did I give up? Leave them at it? The hell I did. No way. I just stopped trotting out the P word to describe something far more complex, utterly more nuanced. And when they grow beyond all that, when the music stops in this human game of musical chairs, and they are seated in the gay seat, the straight seat, they will each sit as equals, with nairy a victim in sight or sound.
I am available for an Abbey Oration if anyone is asking.