This is a personal finance blog, but I’m going to digress on this rare Saturday post and talk about something that has been driving me insane for the past few months. If you’re only interested in the finance stuff, feel free to check out now. If you’re interesting in my rant about politics, the media, and special interest groups, then read on.
I just read a news story about Blake Shelton, country singer and coach on the TV show The Voice, tweeted what was intended to be a humorous spoof on lyrics of a Shania Twain song. His tweet reads as follows:
Any man that tries touching my behind, he’s gonna be a beaten, bleedin,’ heaving kind of guy.
Almost immediately after he sent this tweet, the Gay and Lesbian community was up in arms about it. Here’s a tweet from The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) in response to Shelton’s tweet:
No, @BlakeShelton – violent, anti-gay statements are not what a woman wants. Apologize now. #LGBT #gay #thevoice @NBCTheVoice.
To summarize the story, Shelton ended up apologizing for offending the gay community. He took full blame and responsibility for posting a dumb tweet and made sure to clarify that he does not condone violence against gay people.
His first tweet was stupid and his response was great, but I am really caught up on the GLAAD response to his first tweet. Can we please have an intelligent conversation about this tweet, independent of political and sexual orientation views?
There were two bad things that happened in the first Blake Shelton tweet. He rewrote words to a song to portray a hypothetical story where he was touched some unidentified person in a private area where he didn’t want to be touched, and Shelton responded with violence. Let’s break down his tweet and see where he went wrong.
Touching Someone’s Caboose is Wrong
I’m a straight man, and I don’t want gay guys touching my butt. I also don’t want straight guys touching my butt. I don’t want gay women or straight women to do it either. I don’t want tall, Asian transgendered people touching my butt and I don’t want short, black hermaphrodites touching my butt. The only person who is allowed to touch my butt is my girlfriend. If anyone else does it, regardless of how they identify themselves, they should expect a negative reaction from me.
Shelton is straight, so if any man in the world (gay or straight) touches his caboose as he stated in his tweet, that man is obviously not Shelton’s girlfriend and that person has violated him. GLAAD conveniently fails to mention anything about how unwanted sexual advances are wrong in their tweet.
Fighting Over a Butt Grab is Wrong
If you believe beating someone until they bleed is an appropriate response to someone touching your butt, well then you and I are on very different wavelengths. Even though the tweet was a joke, I can definitely see where GLAAD was upset with the “violent” nature of the tweet. I do, however, have a huge problem with the “anti-gay statements” they accused him of.
Blake Shelton’s song talks about a response (fighting) to an action (butt grabbing), yet GLAAD ignored the action entirely and focused on the identity of the butt grabber. If GLAAD thinks anyone, gay or straight, has the right to touch people inappropriately, then they are no better than Blake Shelton. How refreshing would it have been to see GLAAD tweet something like:
Nobody should touch your behind without your permission, but violence isn’t the answer. Two wrongs don’t make a right.
And then Blake Shelton could respond:
You are right. I posted a dumb tweet. I don’t condone violence, and want to be clear that I have no problem with anyone’s sexual orientation.
The sad part is that I’m having a hard time even imagining a situation like this in America. As far as I’m concerned, every freaking news story is covering either one extremist opinion or the other.
Stop Focusing on Identity!
Instead of rational discussion and intelligent conversation about the behaviors of people (the only thing people control about themselves), the media is full of accusations and party politics and people defending identities instead of behavior.
I gave you the response I would have liked to see from GLAAD to Blake Shelton. Here are a few more reasonable, rational responses I would have liked to have seen from certain current events.
- George W Bush to Obama after we got Osama bin Laden: “Democrat or Republican, we are all Americans and this is a great day for the safety of our country.”
- Obama’s response to George W Bush: “I don’t agree with all the foreign policy decisions you made over your seven years, but they helped put me in position to find Osama bin Laden. Thank you sir!”
- Obama on his birth certificate: “I recognize that my actions of not releasing a long form birth certificate and actively keeping it confidential for two years could give people reason to believe there was something on it I didn’t want them to see. Therefore, I understand how a reasonable person might still have a sliver of doubt in his or her mind about where I was born, so here’s the long-form proof I was born in Hawaii.”
- Birthers to Obama after getting the long form certificate: “We had some questions about your place of birth, and it looks like you’ve answered them. I’m still confused why you didn’t release this years ago, but you gave me what I asked for, so I’ll get off your back on this issue.”
I believe Americans are generally very smart and are able to separate people’s actions from their identities. I with wish politicians, celebrities, and the news media would do the same.