Greetings Aggie Editorial Staff & Ms. Tiffany Lew,
As a leader of the student organization Asian & Pacific-Islander Queers (APIQ) at UC Davis, I would like to message you to express how offended we are by your article in the opinion section.
Everything you have stated in your article is extremely offensive to so many groups of people including those in the queer community. You can preface your column with the fact that you have gay friends and that you watch “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” but that does not right the heteronormative and heterosexist messages you promote.
Spreading this standard only further promotes what we in the queer community try so hard to deconstruct: heteronormativity, gender norms, gender stereotypes, the gender binary and sexual/identity labels.
First of all, you speak for the queer community saying that we are set on our sexuality and that there is no room for confusion. The lines are not clear-cut and you assume this so readily. Do you also speak for those in the bisexual, transgendered and intersex community? If so, you are utterly mistaken. And you offend these communities who definitely do not fit in your gender binary filled with gender norms for both men and a womyn alike.
You go as far as to call those who do not fit within your gender norm as people who seem to possess some type of epidemic. This only reminds me of the times when being gay/homosexual was considered a mental disorder with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. Labeling this as an epidemic only shows that you are promoting some type of disgust or even a phobia toward metrosexuality and those who do not follow your gender norms.
Men and womyn have every right to act however they please. By reinforcing the heteronormative division of what is male and what is female, you are perpetuating the very ideals that create so much queerphobia in today’s society.
In telling men that they have thrown away their manhood, you should think about what right or what privilege you have to decide this, and to say this. You are abusing your privilege, and in turn, offending so many of us in the Queer and API community here at UC Davis.
If you do not like “girly” men, then do not associate with them. Associate yourself with the masculine men you prefer, but do not ridicule communities of people for the way they are. Your freedom of speech is silencing so many communities. In writing this article, you have silenced the voices of many people, and you chastise people over some heterosexist standard that you may believe.
If you have ever attended one of the many workshops on campus, then maybe you would be more cautious of the things you say. Workshops like Safe Zone training through the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Resource Center, educational workshops through the Women’s Resources and Research Center and things like the masculinity/femininity panel (which is being held this week) are all valuable events that you should consider attending if this is the way you feel about heteronormative values.
Your final comments about lesbian feminists in the 1920s, and stating how this trend of “girly men” should disappear, has to be the most horrific paragraph in your entire article. Saying that you have gay friends in no way allows you to say something so utterly heterosexist and homophobic. To justify the line by saying they had a social cause in no way sugarcoats your stance. It is clear that you equivocate “girly men” to the lesbian movement. By writing that you did not realize that, you have offended many members of the lesbian community as well. Intentionally or not, you say you wished them gone along with these so-called “girly men.”
Seeing yet another controversial Aggie column that obviously will offend campus communities upsets us dearly. We hope that articles like this will be screened in the future. We also hope that by responding to these types of horrendous articles, that we are in fact doing our work as a queer organization on campus. We struggle to gain visibility and acceptance. By promoting material like this, our efforts go meaningless if this is what the university newspaper feels is appropriate for our student body to read.