So Facebook really is much of a muchness. There is a wide breadth of comment, analysis, moral support and anything else you may find in the context of human life.
But that includes the negative shit of life too, sadly. Imagine then, my disgust and anger when I read the following status update.
” Why dick head men at mcdonalds feel the need to tell me to prove i have a girlfriend or that i love her makes me laugh …. Fuck you she is mine and i am hers …. I don’t need you to make me know that! TWAT!”
Now firstly, I have never heard anyone go to McDonalds and ask for a Big Mac, and fries with a large portion of misogynistic homophobia please. Nor do I think this is what my friends Aimee and Charlotte expected either.
I was actually shocked when I heard about it which is why I was motivated to write about it. Nobody should have to justify or explain themselves to anyone, unless they are discriminating, harming or bullying others in some way, whatever that may be.
What can I tell you about my two friends, Aimee Sherriff and Charlotte Forster? Apart from the fact they are very much in love which is patently obvious to know them, Aimee has a ghetto bum, loves N-Dubz, is crazy, loyal and supportive and drives my chair more badly than I do, when drunk (and sober in my case). Charlotte is a drama student, very arty, and we share a mutual but geeky love of showtunes. Like the Sherriff she is also very kind and supportive of me.
But on a serious note the level of misogyny here is disturbing, and in a sense has parallel echoes with the debate around gay marriage. There is also a distinct lack of equilibrium in this encounter. Since when has a straight person ever been asked to prove that they have a boyfriend, and moreover that they love them. Excuse my French, but what the actual fuck?
What I am trying to say, is that if they were straight, this would never be an issue in a million years. But their lesbian status, it seems makes them some kind of object of interest and voyeurism. This is just wrong, wrong, wrong. It is a question that would never be asked of a straight person, and is humiliating and demeaning, especially for a committed couple.
Lurking beneath this event though, I believe is something more sinister. Namely, this something is an issue of culture, and respect.
There is a cultural problem in this world too. There are people, indeed many thousands of them, who are quite happy to air their lives on The Jeremy Kyle Show. Coupled with that though, there are people whose involvement with a show like this, who would never dream of going on a show like this, either because they would be scared to go on television, or because they have other outlets for resolving this.
But how is this relevant to what Aimee and Charlotte experienced?
Well firstly, their dilemma is exemplified by the scenario. Their sexuality is a private non issue for them, however, anything which is separate to the self (in this case McChicken Sandwich man) and the other (Aimee and Char). Some people just cannot handle the fact, that there are people different to them. Others meanwhile, see it as an advantage, whilst others see it as a threat.
Difference is not bad, difference is good. However, in the case of difference, ergo minorities, it becomes a problem for those who live with it, live inside it, and get down with it on a daily basis like me.
There is a gulf between what is acceptable and unacceptable, when you are different. I know for me, since I have put myself out there on this blog, plus in everyday life too, some of the questions I have been asked make my mind boggle and my curls stand on end.
However, I am choosing to put myself out there, because of personal objectives I have, and goals I want to accomplish. However, Aimee and and Char are doing no such thing.
I do not think that ordering a meal in McDonalds translates as putting yourself out there.
Let me look at the statements the men made. Firstly, proving you have a girlfriend. Wave a magic wand, and magically your girlfriend, avec ghetto bum will appear. But the second one. Prove you love her!
How, by engaging in full on cunnilingus on the table to indulge a heteronormative fantasy which is an epidemic in classic stereotypical male narratives? Oh please! I wonder if the men would be just as turned on by two heterosexuals fucking? I somehow doubt it.
But people have their sense of identity buried within them, and that is where it is comfortable for most people. It should not be revealed to someone at the click of a finger. As I suggested earlier, lesbians do not HAVE to prove anything.
However, constantly being asked to prove anything, whether it be your sexuality, gender identity, or indeed any one of a number of things, can be stressful at best, and humiliating and dehumanising at worst.
Though, let us not be deterred from celebrating ourselves around those who support us. For our identities, each one of them unique and wonderful and we should always celebrate them when we want.
For even sexist voyeurism can never take away our freedom to express, which is buried deep within our soul and self.
But proof is a burden. It was a burden for Aimee and Charlotte. It changed a fairly regular experience into an unpleasant one. What is heartening though is that Aimee and Charlotte are both confident enough in their sense of self not to allow their love to be diminished by idiots.
I join them in saying fuck you to that man. He crossed a line. That of the heteronormative double standard. It is what makes a lesbian erotica to a straight man, but the idea of sex with a gay man makes him “uncomfortable”.Whilst also he is quite happy to perv at a woman’s boobs. Don’t we have a right to boundaries and things that make us uncomfortable too? Patriarchy is to blame. Pure and X-Rated.
I would never ask someone to prove they are straight, so do not use your straight privilege to ask me or my LGBTGQ friends about their sexuality, genitals, who they love, and whether they love. If you are straight, proof would be a burden for you too. Just be thankful you do not have to experience it.
Charlotte left with scarf. Aimee right with orange and pout.