The Sexist

The Morning After: “Does That Make Me Queer?” Edition

* Via Sociological Images, a recent Marie Claire fashion shoot declares that "nude is the new black." Except that by "nude," they mean "the color white people are." White people are the new black. It's science.

* s.e. smith on rethinking the ban on gay and bisexual men donating blood:

The ban is not a deferral period, as is the case for most things that exclude people from donation. It is a lifetime ban. If you are a man who  has had sex with a man since 1977, you are not allowed to donate blood in the United States. Period. End of discussion.

Meanwhile, if you are a heterosexual man who has had sex with a woman whom you know to be HIV positive, there’s a year waiting period on blood donation.

Let me reiterate this: The FDA has determined that a year waiting period to eliminate any possible concerns is enough if you have been exposed to a known risk factor for HIV infection and you are heterosexual. Meanwhile, if you are a gay or bisexual man, you are banned from donation for life unless you haven’t had sex with a man since 1977. Regardless of risk factors. Only had one monogamous partner since 1977, and you’ve both been tested? Banned. Only had protected sex since 1977? Banned. Get regular HIV tests that are always negative, and been tested since the last possible window period? Banned.

* Thomas at Yes Means Yes on labeling sexuality: "Does that make me queer?"

* On Shakesville, is "the end of men" really the end of male privilege?

Hanna Rosin's piece in The Atlantic is titled "The End of Men," but a more accurate title might be "The End of Male Privilege."

Well, it would be a more accurate title if she'd ever managed to tease out the idea that struck me as a glaring omission from the piece: Privileged men's achievement gap, and the associated atrophy born of the observable resistance, or inflexibility, to make quick course corrections, is the inevitable result of a culture that continues to sell privileged men a patriarchal narrative of birthright entitlement, despite the fact that it is nothing but an empty promise of an illusory bounty in which most men will never share.

Simply: American culture continues to promise straight, white, cis, able-bodied men success and supremacy, in exchange for nothing but their being straight, white, cis, and able-bodied. But that shit just ain't enough anymore.

Photo via the Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest

Comments

  1. #1

    What is your point about the "nude" thing? They are talking about clothing colors. One is black, the classic passe-partout clothing color. And in the manner of seemingly millions of similar articles in the past ("green is the new black," "blue is the new black" etc.), they are saying that now nude is like that. "Nude," of course, being the name of a clothing color, a clothing color name that has existed for as long as I've been alive, which is quite a while. Yes, calling that color "nude" no doubt implicitly normalizes being white-skinned, because only white people are that color when "nude." Is that your point? If so you are being very obscure and have picked a target seemingly at random. Unless you don't realize that this word used in this way is common?

  2. #2

    Yes, calling that color “nude” no doubt implicitly normalizes being white-skinned, because only white people are that color when “nude.” Is that your point?

    You get the point but you're still confused? I'm confused about what you think the commonality of the offense is supposed to signify.

  3. #3

    On a different subject, all ballyhooing about the ban on gay men from donating blood is simply about shame with being associated with HIV. It's internalized homophobia and discomfort with reconciling, as an already discriminated against group, the gay population's history with the highly stigmatized epidemic.
    Handling HIV as a epidemic related to populations rather than behaviors is in fact the correct way to view it. It's not spread by unprotected sex, it's spread by unprotected sex (usually) among high-risk group. Having a history of sex with men is a signifier of belonging to one of those high-risk groups.
    The linked article, like every other attempt argue against the ban, is simply a verbose yet transparent reaction to HIV stigma (you know, past it being a terminal illness). It's simply about his unease with being considered "dirty" and promiscuous.

  4. #4

    drsnacks,
    All the "ballyhooing" (awesome deligimitization about s.e. smith's point by the way!) about the ban on gay men isn't about shame or "unease with being considered “dirty” and promiscuous" (because all queer men are amiright?), it's anger at being discriminated against.
    Also, s.e. smith isn't a gay man.

  5. #5

    Do you think there is a possibility the FDA will ban all blood donations from people who live in the District of Columbia? Or people who have ever lived in the city? That is certainly a high risk group.

  6. #6

    Actually, drsnacks has a point. The discrimination stems from a very specific fact: gay men are more likely than other people to have HIV. The more partners a gay man has, the greater his chances for contracting HIV. While it is certainly possible and probable that some gay men contracted HIV during their first sexual experiences, more likely than not the gay men infected with HIV contracted the disease due to having many sexual partners. So the connection drsnacks draws about the reaction to the ban being driven by shame or unease with "being considered 'dirty' and promiscuous" is plausible. I doubt that is the driving factor, but it is probably a factor.

    That does not mean the ban is acceptable. Doctors can test a person in a couple of minutes with a cotton swab, so a total ban makes no sense. It would be practical to exclude gay men who had sex with other men within the last three months, but not all gay men. More so, the ban is not really effective against the countless men who have sex with other men but do not identify themselves as gay and may not tell anyone they have sex with other men.

  7. #7

    @TS: "The more partners a gay man has, the greater his chances for contracting HIV." OK, the more partners ANYONE has, the greater his/her chances for contracting HIV.

    "more likely than not the gay men infected with HIV contracted the disease due to having many sexual partners." - That's just based on stereotype, and also sort of (completely) nonsensical. Having multiple sexual partners doesn't give you HIV - having sex with an HIV-positive person does.

    And did you read this little part of the article? "Meanwhile, if you are a heterosexual man who has had sex with a woman whom you know to be HIV positive, there’s a year waiting period on blood donation." This isn't just about who is or isn't "risky." If it were, the hypothetical dude in that last statement would get a lifetime ban as well.

  8. #8

    FTR everything Toysoldier said is completely wrong. HIV is caught by viral transmission not a development by cumulative trauma; a person doesn't contract it "due" to promiscuity. Volume of partners is completely irrelevant aside from the fact that a higher sample of partners would be likelier to include more infected people. Both a person with a hundreds of partners behind him and a person with two are at the exact same point in likelihood of contracting HIV if they are uninfected (unlike say a person who smoked for 10 years and a person who smoked for 10 days in developing lung cancer).

    The "window period" before an HIV infection can be detected is notorious (I thought). No you can't reliably test a person in a couple of minutes unless the infection is months old.

    The three month ban seems self-evidently impractical and the question deliberately avoids specifically targeting people who identify as gay.

  9. #9

    “Meanwhile, if you are a heterosexual man who has had sex with a woman whom you know to be HIV positive, there’s a year waiting period on blood donation.” This isn’t just about who is or isn’t “risky.” If it were, the hypothetical dude in that last statement would get a lifetime ban as well

    Having one high-risk experience isn't the same as being in a high-risk group; hence the temporary ban after the incident for someone otherwise not in a community especially affected by the epidemic.

  10. #10

    you know what, I'm in (or should be in) a high risk group. I'm polyamorous, I'm promiscuous, I use protection but I love me some one night stands from time to time, and when I was younger and stupider, I didn't always use that protection. But I'm a woman, who sleeps with men, and that somehow makes me "less risky" than an old friend of mine who's monogamous and had only a handful of boyfriends his entire life.
    The life time ban on gay men is wrong and I can't understand how people here are trying to argue this.

  11. #11

    You're not in a high-risk group. You can be as condomlessly promiscuous as you want simply because the epidemic hasn't penetrated your sexual population the way it has smaller sexual pools like gay men. You don't understand because you don't seem to get that it's not about (bad, dirty, shameful) behavior.

  12. #12

    So you're saying it's completely acceptable to discriminate in this way against gay men?

  13. #13

    I don't see how not having your blood donations accepted is being put upon.

  14. #14

    Having multiple sexual partners doesn’t give you HIV – having sex with an HIV-positive person does.

    I never said that it did. I would think that no one would have to spell out how HIV is transmitted at this point. Having sex with multiple sexual partners increases a person's chances of encountering someone with HIV and therein increases that person's chances of contracting HIV. And preemptively, simply having sexual contact with a HIV-infected person does not inherently pose a risk. It is exposure to the person's blood, and in this case semen, that poses the risk. The men most at risk are those who engage in unprotected anal sex, especially the receptive party.

    That does not mean I agree with the ban. However, just because I disagree with the ban does not mean I will ignore the reasons given by those who support the ban. The majority of people infected with HIV are gay men, and that is largely due to the method in which many gay men have sex, the lack of protection used during sexual encounters, and the frequency of those encounters.

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