Category Archives: GayGayGay

October 5, 2010, 11:47 am

Straight People, Listen! The Pervasiveness of Cruelty In Mass Culture

Tessie Hutchinson was in the center of a cleared space by now, and she held her hands out desperately as the villagers moved in on her. “It isn’t fair,” she said. A stone hit her on the side of the head. Old Man Warner was saying, “Come on, come on, everyone.” Steve Adams was in the front of the crowd of villagers, with Mrs. Graves beside him.

“It isn’t fair, it isn’t right,” Mrs. Hutchinson screamed, and then they were upon her.

                                          Shirley Jackson, The Lottery (1948)

Last weekend the Radical household went to see The Social Network (David Fincher, 2010), otherwise known as “The Facebook movie.”  Starring the eerily enigmatic Jessie Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg, it is a must-see, a fast-paced drama about the birth of the social networking site that any fool can use, and any fool does.  I left the theater feeling slightly soiled, in part because…

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July 21, 2010, 4:45 pm

“Not All Girls Are Raving Bloody Lesbians, You Know:” Getting You In The Mood For Part II Of The Terry Castle Conversation, Now Up at Historiann

Susannah York, who plays the up and coming actress and lover to the older, fading telly star Beryl Reid in Robert Aldrich’s classic The Killing of Sister George (1969), delivers this fabulous set-up line as she tries to deflect her lover’s (accurate) suspicion she is having an affair.
“That is a misfortune that I am perfectly well aware of,” Beryl Reid replies tartly. For your viewing pleasure, I provide the whole clip from this classic lesbian psychodrama below:

You can actually get the whole film at YouTube, if you are patient enough to find all the pieces. I now command you to go to Part II of the Terry Castle discussion, “Humiliation and Longing,” and if you haven’t been there yet, to our partner in crime Comrade Physioprof, who delivers a review of the book that is focused on the humor of “The Professor and Other Writings.”

July 20, 2010, 3:12 pm

Day 1, The Professor: A Conversation With Historiann About Terry Castle’s The Professor and Other Writings

Several weeks ago we at Tenured Radical received an email from Historiann, who was reading Terry Castle’s The Professor and Other Writings (HarperCollins, 2010.) She notified us that this book — a combination of memoir and cultural criticism — was right up our alley. Several days later, when this slim volume by a Stanford English professor I have long admired had arrived by three-day shipping (and all household activities had been put on hold indefinitely as we went on a binge of reading and downloading Art Pepper albums), Tenured Radical and Historiann agreed that a blog-to-blog conversation was in order.

This is the first of three posts taken from that conversation, which was conducted over email and then edited down. Day 2 will appear tomorrow at Historiann, and then you will want to return to here for the final post on Day 3 (Thursday, July 22). Stay tuned to Comrade

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July 2, 2010, 6:28 pm

City of Cambridge to Gates: “The Whole Thing Was Your — Uh — A Big Misunderstanding”

Chauncey DeVega, over at We Are Respectable Negroes, has a few comments on the report issued by the City of Cambridge about the July 16 2009 arrest of Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Give it a look and think about what it must be like to be Skip Gates and suck this one up. Or, hypothetically, what it would be like to be you and suck this one up.
Gates, as you may recall, was arrested in his own house after having presented his Harvard identification and, subsequently, losing his temper with Sergeant James Crowley. The conclusion reached by the panel of investigators? Both men were responsible for the incident. They feared each other, the report reasons, and acted accordingly. Gates shouted, Crowley locked him up. Because of their mutual fear, the commissioners reason, the two men shared responsibility for the incident because each might have taken a step back at a crucial moment. (Note to…

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June 27, 2010, 12:14 pm

Sunday Radical Roundup: Gay Supreme Court Pride Edition

After our busy, busy week here at Tenured Radical, we think it is time for a calm and genteel set of items to keep you busy this Sunday. To wit:

Kagan Hearings Kick Off On Monday: Thanks to Prawfs Blawg, a group blog maintained by a bunch of guys teaching in law schools around the United States, we have the witness list for the Elena Kagan hearings that start tomorrow at 12:30 (hat tip.). While they will begin with the senators going on record at tedious length (“life begins at conception, yack, yack, yack“) as if we and their constituents did not already know what they thought, testimonies to tune in for might be Lily Ledbetter, the litigant in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire (2007), called by the majority; and Stephen Presser, legal historian from Northwestern, called by the minority. Presser, who mostly writes about corporate law, can also be expected to speculate on how Kagan’s

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May 16, 2010, 3:58 pm

Sunday Radical Roundup: Timeless Questions Edition

May 11, 2010, 1:59 pm

That’s Right, The Woman Is (Huh!) Smart-er: On The Elena Kagan Nomination

At a certain point you hit an age where you look around you and there are Other People who are reaching the pinnacle of their careers while you — well, you have a book, some articles, a good job at a snazzy little school and a well-read blog. Of course, the best may be yet to come. But right now I look at Elena Kagan and myself and see the similarities: educated at a single sex school (check!), and among the first generation in at the all-male Ivies (I was class of 1980 at Yale, she was 1981 at Princeton.) From then on our paths seem to have diverged. I labor in semi-obscurity at Zenith, she is shucking a top job in the Obama administration for a series of nasty encounters with the chipmunky Jeff Sessions and the opportunity to change history on the Supreme Court.

I, in contrast, who could have gone to law school with the other smart, ambitious women (which is what the female Dean of…

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April 1, 2010, 1:03 am

Midweek Rumble: The Ricky Martin Ho-Hum Thing

I am glad to see that I am not the only person on the planet who just assumed Ricky Martin was gay and stopped thinking about it. When someone used “Ricky Martin” and “gay” in the same sentence the other day, I missed it that this was a Historic Moment For We Homosexuals.

It was only when two or three other people said something like: “Ricky Martin word, word, word, word GAY!” that I came to understand that this was a news item. And it’s not as if I am so jaded that I simply don’t pay attention anymore. If anyone had said that Vladimir Putin or Colin Powell was gay, I would have snapped to.

Although Ricky himself feels “fortunate” and “blessed,” and testifies that his “years in silence and reflection made me stronger” (and richer!) “and reminded me that acceptance has to come from within,” not everyone is happy about this. New Media America reports: “Karen Rodriguez, a reporter and…

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February 26, 2010, 3:41 pm

Annals of Contemporary History; or, Queering the Klan

Are you one of the sickos who cheered when Joseph Stack flew his plane into the federal building in Austin last week? Of course not. According to the Washington Post on February 22 2009, although most of us were horrified by this cruel and violent act, “his suicide mission has clearly tapped a vein of rage among anti-tax, anti-government extremists.”

The way they see it, ‘he did the ultimate flipping of the bird to the man,’ said JJ MacNab, a Maryland-based insurance analyst who is writing a book about tax protesters. ‘He stuck it to the man, and they love that.’

It is not surprising Stack would be portrayed as a hero on fringe Web sites such as, a forum for white supremacists. But admirers also are expressing their appreciation on mainstream sites such as Facebook, where a fan page supporting some of the things he said in his six-page manifesto had more than 2,000…

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June 17, 2009, 1:39 pm

Why Wait For Gay Marriage to Get Yours? AAUP Committee On Sexual Diversity And Gender Identity Wants You!

This opportunity for concrete activism just in from Ian Lekus, chair of the Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History (CLBGTH), an affiliated society of the American Historical Association (which is still the cheapest membership of all time: $US 5 for students, retirees, and the unemployed, to $US 150 for lifetime members. So join!)

This note is to update you all on the “Harvesting the Grapevine” project, sponsored by the Sexual Diversity and Gender Identity (SDGI) Committee (which I have chaired since November 2005) of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and funded by the Arcus and Gill Foundations, among others.  In 2006, the SDGI Committee wanted to provide historical and sociological analysis of those campuses which had secured LGBTQ-inclusive non-discrimination clauses and/or partner benefits.  The idea was to build recommendations based upon…

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