Todd Hartley: I’m With Stupid |

Todd Hartley: I’m With Stupid

Todd Hartley
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

I’m fully aware that more than a few people out there will heartily disagree with the following statement, but it’s something I’ve felt for a while now, so I’m going to go ahead and say it: There is no more marginalized segment of the population than straight, Protestant, Anglo-Saxon males (SPASMs), a segment to which, despite my lack of any sort of religion, I apparently belong.

Oh, sure, plenty of us get to be things like senators, congressmen, CEOs and obnoxious humor columnists, but that just makes people hate us as a group all the more. I realize a lot of that hatred is deserved, of course, given that some of our numbers have been responsible for such atrocities as slavery, the Holocaust and the current U.S. government, but trust me when I say that your average SPASM despises those things as much as the next guy.

The problem for we SPASMs is that unless we’re alcoholics, we’re not really allowed to belong to any groups or organizations. I know a lot of you are shaking your heads and saying, “But Todd, what about the NRA and the KKK?” and you’re right. We can belong to those groups, admittedly, but, again, that’s not exactly the sort of thing that makes people like us.

We can belong to clubs – typically ones that involve the words “country” or “golf” – but can you imagine what the public reaction would be like if we formed the National Organization for Men or the National Association for the Advancement of White People? We’d take a lot of flak, to say the least.

Mention black power or girl power, and you’re proudly standing up for your race or gender. Mention white power and you’re some kind of skinhead Nazi. (Just so you know, I am by no means waving the banner of white power, which has, indeed, been co-opted by skinhead Nazis.)

Talk about discrimination if you’re a Jew, Catholic, Muslim or miscellaneous, and people will lend a sympathetic ear. Try to claim you’re discriminated against as a Protestant, and people will be quick to point out that during the Crusades SPASMs like you (with the help of Catholics) murdered hundreds of thousands of people whose opinions differed from theirs. Why I should be paying the price for something that happened 900 years ago is beyond me, but rest assured that I pay for it every day.

It used to be, too, that if you were heterosexual you weren’t allowed to take any sort of overt pride in that fact. Fortunately, due to the efforts of some of our friends in the Southern Hemisphere, at least that one aspect of SPASMness that we’re supposed to feel guilty about may be on the verge of changing.

The city council of Brazil’s largest burg, Sao Paulo, recently adopted legislation that, if enacted, will make the third Sunday of each December Heterosexual Pride Day, and I, for one, think it’s a stupendous idea.

The legislation’s author, Carlos Apolinario, was mum on what sort of festivities the day will involve, but I imagine we can expect there to be a parade of straight people dressed in gender-appropriate, unflamboyant costumes. If I lived in Brazil, I would probably not march myself, but I would wish the marchers well, even though marching in a pride parade seems a little gay.

As you can imagine, there are some in Brazil, namely the Brazil Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Association, who are taking exception to the idea of a Heterosexual Pride Day.

“The celebration of heterosexual pride is inappropriate because it belittles the just cause of the LGBT community,” the association said in a statement. “Unlike homosexuals, heterosexuals are not discriminated against simply for being heterosexuals.” The association’s statement forgot to add “except for in this particular instance, where we homosexuals wish to discriminate against them.”

Obviously – at least to me, anyway – this type of reaction by Brazil’s LGBT community is the very height of hypocrisy. In essence, they’re saying they can be openly proud of being homosexuals, but heterosexuals need to keep themselves closeted, as it were. I have nothing against gay people, but the ones in Brazil should be ashamed of themselves. Their attitude in this case stinks, and it makes me hope that other cities follow Sao Paulo’s example and give heterosexuals a voice.

Because take it from a SPASM like me: Being required to sit quietly on the sidelines while others revel in their differentness is definitely discrimination, despite what some people might think.

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