The Tangled Web of Political Correctness - broken record
I know this isn't really a "digital music industry" related post, but I wanted to touch on the topic anyway. Like millions of Britons, I watch the X Factor. Sure, it's a guilty pleasure, but it's also undeniably good television. On Saturday night, X Factor judge Dannii Minogue outed contestant Danyl Johnson on air, putting him in the incredibly awkward position of having to define his sexuality.

Her comments, which suggested that Danyl shouldn't have changed gender references in his performance because of what she read "in the papers", implied that Danyl is gay. To which he responded, "I'm not ashamed." At which point, I think my heart broke for him.

Many people have spoken out against Dannii's ridiculous - and irrelevant - commentary, citing that it was out of line and an attack because she personally doesn't like Danyl. People have come to her defense, saying that she is "pro-gay" for outing Danyl as gay. Um, since when is it Dannii Minogue's business if any of the contestants on X Factor are gay? If they've made their sexuality public, then fine, but what's it to Dannii? Obviously, it was a thoughtless comment and from her expression, she thought she was being quite clever.

But it could have been a big deal to Danyl. Maybe some of his family members are homophobic and she's just made some silly tabloid's claims valid. Dannii forced Danyl to come out to the world, ready or not. An innocent performance of a song meant to entertain people shouldn't have to reflect one's sexuality if one doesn't want his sexuality reflected. It's ridiculous that she would mention it in the first place. It was a cheap shot and it was meant to throw him off. (Perhaps Bourdieu might have called this "symbolic violence")

I don't think there's anything wrong with being gay. But I certainly don't think there's anything wrong with someone wanting to keep their being gay a private matter. For those who argue that being a pop singer comes hand in hand with unwanted publicity, that's fine. Let the tabloids do their nasty thing. But it wasn't a judge's place to bring it up, especially not during judging - it is irrelevant! And in that case, perhaps Lance Bass should have come out at the height of his fame rather than when he was making a last ditch attempt at a career. Does anyone even know that Michael Stipe is gay? He came out 21 years after REM formed.


A quick note to go along with this post: if you happened to see Mad Men (SPOILER!!!) on Sunday night, then you'll notice that the show also dealt with homosexuality in an ongoing storyline about gay character Sal, who is basically fired because he's gay. That's sort of the less complex version, but it's definitely a great storyline and it's worth checking out. Kudos (again) to Mad Men for tackling subjects that would seem didactic to write about in a series set today but make total sense when we cast a glance back in all our enlightenedness.

It's a great episode - there's one scene where the housewives are lauding the civil rights movement while the black "help" is in the background, serving. It's a great testament to the fact that we're all so quick to be politically correct while we really continue instill forms of servitude on people from different groups (gay people, women, ethnic minorities, etc). 
7/14/2012 19:44:45

Good article dude


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