because not enough people have been coming forward to defend tim hardaway for his homophobic statements last week, conservative author, film critic, and professional arms-crosser (seriously, look: 1, 2,) michael medved has risen to the task.
below are some choice excerpts and a few responses.
Hardaway appropriately apologized for his harsh remarks, but many (if not most) Americans no doubt share his instinctive reluctance to share showers and locker rooms with open homosexuals.
i would guess that many (and certainly not most) americans don’t even use public showers or locker rooms on a regular basis. and the ones that do are probably well aware that some people they’re sharing the space with might, in fact, be gay. yet still, they press on like valiant soldiers, changing their clothes and bathing as if nothing were wrong.
also showering with us? terrorists and convicted rapists. thankfully, we don’t know their history!
That reluctance also explains the controversial Defense Department policy that prevents out-of-the-closet gays from serving in the United States military.
no, it doesn’t. it hints, unfortunately, at a serious deficiency in thinking and a tragic myopia in both human rights and defense policy, and is likely a large contirbutor to that policy. but it doesn’t explain the policy.
let’s say america was under attack. are we to be comforted by the fact that out gays shouldn’t be allowed to defend their country because they make other soldiers feel grody in the barracks? are these the kind of easily distracted (albeit straight!) cowards we want defending us?
In the wake of the nearly-universal condemnation of Tim Hardaway’s statements to a radio interviewer, the substantive issue remains. Is it a reasonable for an NBA basketball player (or a soldier in basic training, for that matter) to feel uncomfortable sharing intimate quarters with a homosexual, or does this represent an outrageous, irrational fear?
is it a reasonable fear? sure. does it justify a system-wide alienation? no. i’m afraid of and hate children, but i don’t think they should be outlawed to cater to my desires. i deal with them because, much like homosexuals, they’re everywhere.
In response to the Hardaway controversy, several sports columnists compared his resistance to the idea of playing alongside gay teammates to the racism of previous years when white players tried to avoid competing with (or against) blacks.
that analogy is ridiculous.
The analogy is ridiculous, of course.
good call, medved!
There is no rational basis for discomfort at playing with athletes of another race since science and experience show that human racial differences remain insignificant.
i’m sorry, it’s more “rational” to be discomforted by who someone else has sex with than what their race is? boy, those both seem like wildly irrational, disgusting opinions. again, it doesn’t matter that it’s rational or not. the fear/discomfort exists. people have predjudices and hatreds and will continue to do so. we should be working on how to address these issues and move forward, not worrying about whether or not the bigot is “rational” in their bigotry.
The much better analogy for discomfort at gay teammates involves the widespread (and generally accepted) idea that women and men shouldn’t share locker rooms. Making gay males unwelcome in the intimate circumstances of an NBA team makes just as much sense as making straight males unwelcome in the showers for a women’s team at the WNBA.
except that gay men (currently) are legally allowed to play in the NBA, while no men are (currently) allowed to play in the WBNA. also, gay males and straight males have the same body parts. and because of that fact, gay males and straight males have spent their entire athletic lives to this point using these facilities together. so this comparison is equally faulty.
Most female athletes would prefer not to shower together with men not because they hate males (though some of them no doubt do), but because they hope to avoid the tension, distraction and complication that prove inevitable when issues of sexual attraction (and even arousal) intrude into the arena of competitive sports.
again, this is faulty. as a gay man, i can say with certainty that if i were showering with a bunch of straight men that the fear of being exposed as gay (if i were closeted) or drawing unnecessary attention to myself because i was aroused is about the most terrifying scenario i can imagine. would i revisit the scene later at night when i was alone? sure. but no sane gay is getting erect in a locker room, at least if the prevailing practices of modern homophobia and hate crimes are any indication of the possible result of such actions.
furthermore, hardaway explicitly said “i hate gay people,” not “i would like to avoid the tension and distraction of gay people in the locker room.”
Tim Hardaway (and most of his former NBA teammates) wouldn’t welcome openly gay players into the locker room any more than they’d welcome profoundly unattractive, morbidly obese women. I specify unattractive females because if a young lady is attractive (or, even better, downright “hot”) most guys, very much including the notorious love machines of the National Basketball Association, would probably welcome her joining their showers.
seriously? it might be the easy way out to expect that all straight males would want a “hot” woman around whenever possible, but in a locker room? in the showers? don’t you think the media might examine that story to some degree? it’s a man’s culture in an NBA locker room, which is way gay men are such a threat to that standard. women—hot or not—are still not men, thus still not normally welcomed into that atmosphere.
also, please don’t write “notorious love machines” ever again.
The ill-favored, grossly overweight female is the right counterpart to a gay male because, like the homosexual, she causes discomfort due to the fact that attraction can only operate in one direction. She might well feel drawn to the straight guys with whom she’s grouped, while they feel downright repulsed at the very idea of sex with her.
well, not only is this offensive to overwieght females and gays, it also assumes that straight guys (in this case, NBA players) are 100% heterosexual, all the time. not to mention shallow. and do you really think hardaway feels discomfort because the “attraction can only operate in one direction?” honestly? “it’s so hard being me, tim hardaway, lusted after by all these gays. yet, alas! i cannot return that attraction, which has certainly not been mention or even hinted at, but i know to be true regardless. i am repulsed at the idea of sex with this gay person, though that would never happen because i am straight and no gay person would reasonably assume that he could have sex with me. still, what a distraction!”
but more importantly, hardaway didn’t say, “i hate gay people in the locker room.” he said, “i hate gay people.” continuing to pretend that this issue (homophobia) is actually a different one (homophobia in the locker room) isn’t helping.
Many gay activists suggest that this near-universal straight male repulsion at the idea of sex with another man is merely the product of cultural conditioning: a learned prejudice that ought to be unlearned. This represents the core message of gay pride parades and even the drive for same-sex marriage: an effort to persuade all of society that gay sex is as beautiful as straight sex, and to “cure” men of their visceral disgust at the very thought of what two (or more) male homosexuals do with one another.
well, i can’t speak for every pride coordinator or attendee, but pride has always seemed to me an expression of survival and a celebration of tolerance and acceptance. the purpose is not to make heterosexuals like what we do or see it as beautiful, but to not care about what we do. to not legislate us. i don’t think straight sex is beautiful, and no amount of porn is going to convince me otherwise. still, i don’t care about it or begrudge anyone from taking part in it, or think my opinion on the matter holds any weight whatsoever.
According to the “enlightened” advocates of gay liberation, this disgust gets to the very essence of “homophobia” – an altogether unjustified fear and distaste for male-on-male physical intimacy.
sorry, lesbians. you don’t matter at all to “enlightened” advocates of gay liberation! also, you’ll never experience homophobia because you’re a woman! how nice!
When Hardaway says “I hate gay people” what he suggests at the deepest level is that he feels revolted by the very notion of same-sex eroticism and that he’d prefer not to face the distraction of such thoughts in the locker room or on the court.
no, he’s saying he hates gay people. in the locker room, at the bar, at the bank, in church, at the mechanic, on the bus.
look, i can’t speak for john amaechi or any other gay player past or present, but i imagine the only thing he or they really want is to be relieved of their own distraction, namely pretending to be someone they’re not. to not have to pretend to find another gay joke funny or not be offended by hearing the word “fag” for the 83rd time. no one would ever suggest carmelo anthony pretend to be a mormon (imagine all the preaching in the locker room!) or steve nash a horse fucker. that would be an affront to them and what they believe.
In this sense, the reluctance to team (in athletics or the military) with announced homosexuals isn’t bigotry, it’s common sense.
no, it’s bigotry. common sense is “i have no problem with what you do with your partner, but could you not look at my penis when we shower? cool.”
it also assumes that one’s homosexuality translates into “must have sex with every man.” weird, then, that a straight player can magically choose to not be attracted to a “grossly overweight female,” yet it’s assumed that every straight NBA player (no matter how homely) would be a target of gay desire. have you seen steve nash? nasty.
The recent “Astronaut Love Triangle” provides a pointed reminder of the way that even disciplined military careerists can be diverted, even ruined, by attraction, eroticism and romance.
but they’re straight. and they weren’t ruined by their straightness, they were ruined by craziness. does
and you know who else can be diverted by romance? teachers, bus drivers, and bartenders. let’s not let gays do those jobs, either!
Those who insist that basketball teams or submarine crews must welcome gay recruits must, for the sake of consistency, argue for the same welcome to teammates of the opposite gender. That notion – that a male player could, for instance, join a WNBA team without serious problems – shows the way that political correctness now seems to deny the obvious, often overwhelming potency of human sexuality.
pick an analogy, basketball team or sub crew? because i do think submarine crews should have both gay
and female members, but that’s not what you mean, right?
Those who suggest that a guy could shower with young female athletes without risk of arousal, or that a gay guy could shower with young male athletes with problems or discomfort, don’t merely defy common sense. They ignore human nature.
and you ignore an entire subculture that (at least until coming out) has grown up being told that they’re wrong, immoral, and disgusting, a subculture that has been forced to subvert their own human nature because people like you think it’ll upset the normals if we don’t. but that’s ok, right, so long as you’re not grossed out. go ask john amaechi how many times he got erect in the shower. i bet it’s zero. you know how i know? because i never heard his name before he came out with this book, especially not in an article entitled “NBA Player Erects Gay Scare in Locker Room.”
or to put it more succintly: have you ever been really, really scared that the life you were living in secret was about to be exposed, and that you might lose close friends and family members because of it? did you also have a hard-on at the time?
i call bullshit, medved.