Hey so, warning. I'm not censoring language here, so be warned. You will encounter vulgar, sexist, and homophobic uncensored language, because I'm angry and I don't feel like looking at this issue through euphemism or censorship. We're gonna let the ugliness shine.
There. That's my central thesis. See it up there? That's the point of this fanpost. Some readers will take issue with this and react defensively, so if that's you, feel free to skip down to the comments and call me a reverse racist or whatever it is immediately. Alternatively, if you're not interested in discussing social or cultural issues on an MMA blog, I can certainly respect that, and no hard feelings. I thought I'd put it up front so we can get it out of the way.
This is not a new thought from me or anyone else, but for fuck's sake, it's time to finally say this out loud. Here's what spurred this fanpost:
@irishrebel311 blocked u for being an ignorant POS! Talkin shit about chandella u fuckin puss. U seem very interested In the new TUF dude— Dana White (@danawhite) February 27, 2012
Let's break this down. Dana was insulted by some internet jerk who made insinuations about Dana's sexuality by suggesting he'd "jerked off" to newly-internet-famous TUF contestant Dakota Cochrane. Now, this was a homophobic insult, and it clearly pissed Dana off to have someone (implicitly) call him gay, but I don't take so much issue with Dana getting angry over the insult. No matter what words were used, the statement was clearly intended as an insult, so maybe it was more the tone that made Dana angry.
No, my problem is with the words Dana used to answer back. First, "puss." The obvious reference Dana is making here is comparing "irishrebel" to female genitalia, carrying with it an implication that our IRA buddy is "weak and pathetic" because this is the cultural baggage associated with the term. So there's some sexism, first*. Using female genitalia as an insulting term necessarily carries with it a disparaging attitude towards that sex, why else would you use a gender-specific term instead of, say, "asshole?"
*For those of you about to argue 1. That women are, on average, physically weaker than men, so it "just makes sense" to use "pussy" as a synonym for weak and pathetic, OR that 2. Well, using "dick" or "prick" would be sexist too! lemmejuststopyathere.
First, the word pussy, as an insult, has not a damn thing to do with physical strength. More often it's used to insult a failing of character. Certainly, bro's will call each other pussies for a lack of physical strength, but more often it's an insult to anyone who gives in to other's demands or requests, who argues passive-aggressively, etc. Go anywhere young men gather, and you'll hear it far more often in response to issues of character than physicality. Maybe more importantly, the context in which Dana uses it in his tweet has to do with irishrebelrabblerubble's personality, and how the two were interacting. Now, if your argument is that this still applies because women are weaker in terms of personality or assertiveness, then cover up, because your prejudice is showing. Continuing, if pussy were about physical strength, than why would the anti-gay slur "fag" be a near-perfect synonym for being weak and pathetic? Are we now making the argument that gay men are biologically predisposed to be physically weaker than straight men? I seriously doubt that, because it seems to me that the link between these two terms and being "weak" is that both are insulting in that you are calling the recipient feminine in some way. The entire hateful stereotype towards gay men in mainstream American culture is based on a male acting "feminine," which both makes him weak and less of a "man." A hatred for all things stereotypically feminine is at the root of both insults, here.
Second, fine, "dick" or "prick" is sexist. But it's much less severe an insult than "pussy," especially when directed towards a man, because while "pussy" implies weakness, timidity, and passivity, "dick" implies an overbearing, aggressive jerk. To be sure, neither connotes positive characteristics, but for a man (and in a male-dominated society), being aggressive, overbearing, and mean, is far better than being weak and timid. There is a reason why internalizing mental disorders like depression are diagnosed more often in women than men, and why externalizing disorders like conduct disorder are more often diagnosed in men that women. Socially speaking, the acceptable response to anger for women is to internalize it (depression), while for men the answer is to externalize it (conduct disorder, etc.), so the TL,DR version is that it's way more acceptable for a man to be mean than it is for him to be weak.
Moving on after that long tangent, DW's next sentence is the really telling one here.
U seem very interested In the new TUF dude
Hmm, now what could that sentence possibly be implying? So in an angry response to some idiot on twitter, the most scathing insult that Dana White can think of to end his tweet and really send a message, is to imply that his adversary is "interested" in Dakota Cochrane. Sexually. Because irishrebel is gay. And obviously that's a terrible thing.
That, people, is homophobia. Plain and simple. When a person is angry at someone, and reaches deep for the most insulting thing they can think of to get the last word in, and what they pull out is an insinuation about the other person's sexuality, that person is a bigot. It's time to stop pretending, we've had discussions on BE about Dana White's personal politics towards gay people and women before, full of lots of hemming and hawing and statements, like in the Joe Rogan debates, that would admit that while what Dana said was bigoted, he surely wasn't a bigot himself. Well, this discussion is over. Dana White is a FUCKING heterosexist bigot.
There's been plenty of evidence. From his use of "fag" and "cunt" (as well as "retarded") during the Loretta Hunt mess, to his disgust at seeing slightly more skin than usual during Dennis Hallman's UFC 133 fight (don't give me the argument about Hallman's wardrobe malfunction, that was for sure inappropriate, but not at all the source of Dana's anger - his concern was "Who wants to grapple with Hallman?" ie - "(Slightly) Too much skin touching, ew, ew, ew!" and not "Those might fall off and it would be bad"), to his refusal to issue an apology (or demand one) for Joe Rogan's hateful speech, to now this immature bullshit with some anonymous idiot on twitter. I am done hearing defenses of DW's "realness" and arguments over whether calling someone a "faggot" as an insult makes you homophobic (YES.). It is indefensible that a multimillionaire president of an international company, in 2012, should be parading bigotry around without anyone calling him on it, and thinking that this is an okay way to relate to others.
Dana, are you seriously fucking wondering why no fighter has ever come out as gay, bi, queer, etc. under the Zuffa banner?
Though there has never been an openly gay fighter in the UFC, White said there would be no problems for that individual under his watch.
"I'll tell you right now, if there's a gay fighter in the UFC, I wish he would come out," he said. "I could care less if there's a gay fighter in the UFC. There probably is, and there's probably more than one. It's 2012. Give me a break."
If there's one thing it's very clear that Dana does not understand here, it's just how unsafe life could (and can) be for a queer person in a culture that's traditionally been much less than friendly to the queer community (Also the phrase "Could not care less"). How could any gay person ever feel safe being "under the watch" of a man who brings out gayness as the most insulting attribute he can think of alleging towards towards another person? Dana White does not get it, and his continued insistence on perpetuating his own ignorance as a 42-year-old father and company president is not only totally unacceptable, but also incredibly insulting to the LGBTQQI community, as well as anyone who counts themselves as an ally to the community.
I'm not going to stop watching the UFC. I love the sport of MMA and I'm not depriving myself of something I enjoy just because of Dana White's (and Joe Rogan's, for that matter) bigotry. Nor am I calling for his resignation as company president, it's clear that he and the Fertittas know how to run a successful business. I'm not even calling him a bad person - I know the stories about Dana helping out with payments for organ transplants and other charitable actions. It is entirely possible to do good actions or be a "good person" (as if the sum of a person's character can be summed up in one judgement, rather than looked at piece by piece, or described in more comprehensive terms?) and still be a bigot, and Dana White is this in spades.
You know what I hope for Dana? I hope one or more of his three children turn out to be gay, or bisexual, or queer, or transgendered. I hope they turn out differently than what mainstream culture tells us we should all be, orientation or gender-wise, and I hope they find all the support and love they ever need and go on to have fantastic, successful, and happy lives. And I hope he finds himself sitting at home one day, finally wondering what he thought was so wrong about being different, and marveling at the incredible life his child has built for themselves.*
*If your first reaction to this paragraph was to become angry and call me a terrible person, please do some thinking why. As in, why is it terrible to wish that a person's children be gay if you're also wishing them a happy and successful life filled with love and support?