Major Fruit-Alert: Conservative Reaction to my Writing

Today is my last day of grading for the year, so here’s a very quick post on reactions to my Sarah Palin essay.

I’m continuously fascinated by the way that conservative reaction – mostly male reaction I think, but on the internet who knows – to my essays fixates on my sexuality, often by talking about my earring. One deleted comment began, for example, “Get off of your pompous high horse (and please, remove the earring, really).”

Over on Free Republic, there’s a thread about my essay. Here are some comments there:

  • Hmm…looks very smug and rather “dainty” to me, if you get my drift.
  • Yup. Major Fruit-Alert. 
  • He looks gay.
  • I believe the guy is a homo…but he’s not “man enough” to come out of the closet completely.
  • Someone showed a picture of a Maypole dance – I think to say that I was a fairy?
  • There’s feminizing too, or a suggestion that I wear women’s underwear: “Poor little Marxist got his panties bunched,” “Another hand wringing bed wetter got his panties in a wad over Sarah,” and “Needs a “wet panties” alert.”

I get this a lot when I write about gender, too, the conservative male response that if I am a feminist, if I think it’s important that we don’t essentialize gender, then I have to be gay. The comments here have lots to say about my earring, in particular, which baffled me the first time. I mean, I’m 40, I have an earring in my left ear. This is normal.

What’s interesting for me here, but not surprising, is the necessity to de-masculine me (emasculate?) in order to argue. No “real man” could see the world differently than them. Is it threatening? Or is calling someone a fruit simply the worst thing they could think of, that thanks to their homophobia they would never want leveled at them, so they throw it at me.

I also keep thinking about the way these people would respond to me if I were female. They’d have much worse things to say then.

At any rate, grading awaits. Thanks to everyone who read and shared the piece yesterday.

6 Replies to “Major Fruit-Alert: Conservative Reaction to my Writing”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Well, I don't have an earring and I disagree with Sarah Palan. I also served 16 years in the military. How many of your critics can say they served their country in Vietnam, Korea, and Desert Storm?

  2. Marianne L says:

    David, thanks for your CNN opinion essay on Palin. It seems a mild mannered almost dry reminder that history tends to repeat itself, and look at where Palin seems to be going compared to the past? It reminds me of the future Robert Heinlein referred to in many of his books, and is enough to scare the pants off anyone who endeavors to lead a logical life. Oh and BTW, what's up with the earring? (jk!!!)

    1. David Perry says:

      Well I had this girlfriend when I was 20 who said it would look good … 🙂

      And I try to be clear (which can read as dry), even when outraged, so I'm glad it came off that way. Thanks for the comment!

  3. Leonard says:

    You know David when I have challenged conservatives points of views especially on Speaker Boehner's blog I have been called all of the same homophobic slurs as you have. As an independent voter and retired business owner I strongly disagreed with the Republican's agenda of obstruction and the endless votes to repeal the PP & ACA and the attempt to demonize it with the label "Obamacare'S". So I set off to dispel lies and misinformation being spread, what better place the Speakers blog. This set off a fire storm of attacks on my person to discredit me by labeling me a gay liberal amongst other things despicable, none of which had anything to do with the subject of discussion. Nor did they ever have a comprehensive response. When I pressed them on a replacement plan they were just about to release their version of affordable health care for ever American.. that was a year ago, still no alternate plan from the conservatives, but when pushed for it the first thing is another attack on my person, I'm still waiting.
    So don't feel like the "Lone Ranger" David as if you look at the history of the conservative radical Christian militia's or any other evangelical Christians you will find the same tactics used. Whether its Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman or Mr. Green Eggs & Ham man Senator Ted Cruz doing the talking you have to consider the source and hope that others do the same.
    You see David as a gay man who has spent his whole life working for equality for every human being I can't let a bunch of homophobic bigots diminish our human rights and freedoms any longer. If we are truly a nation under God then all religions must realize that his creation of diversity is the real plan .. not the bigotry Sarah and her followers seem to be peddling.

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