I found myself over at TownHall.com (yes I should have known better). There I came across an article written by Ashley Herzog. The impetus for her piece is gender neutral housing at university campuses. I know, who would have thought something so innocuous could inspire a homophobic and transphobic rant – scratch that, it’s probably my straight cisgender privilege talking.
Some of my older readers might assume this is just a lame attempt by middle-aged administrators to seem cool by allowing male and female students to shack up together. You’d be wrong. These days, gender-neutral housing is mostly a bow to LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) students who demand their own special dorms. OU’s student newspaper praised the “progressive step,” which is mostly meant “to accommodate those students who identify as transgender.”
The idea that college life is so tough for gay and transgendered students that they need separate housing is preposterous. Far from being uniquely oppressed, the LGBT contingent is often the most catered-to of any group on campus. Administrators go to great lengths to satisfy these students while simultaneously nurturing a victimhood complex. (emphasis mine)
The Weekly Standard’s Heather MacDonald wrote about this phenomenon two years ago in an article titled “Victimology 101 at Yale.” Two months after announcing serious budget cuts to compensate for a 25% decrease in its endowment, Yale rolled out a brand-new Office of LGBTQ Resources.
I am a straight, Black woman but seeing TLBG students referred to as having a “victimhood complex” was incredibly triggering for me. Every time a marginalized group fights for their rights, they are immediately attacked by those that refuse to acknowledge that they walk around with privilege. How exactly does Herzog know that BLGT students don’t actually have a difficult time on college campuses? It seems to me that given the high rate of suicide and violence aimed at the community that the opposite would be true. But then, why let a little thing like facts get in the way of spreading homophobia?
The kind of rhetoric that Herzog espouses is hate speech and should certainly not be given a platform, let alone legitimate consideration. You see, dominant bodies always believe that they have the right to tell the marginalized what their experiences are like, or to reduce the amount of harm that comes from living in a society that constantly casts you as “other.” What Herzog does not realize, is that her hate filled treaty serves to validate the fact that changes need to be made, rather than upholding the status quo.
When I saw this piece, I debated for some time before choosing to write about this. On one hand, I don’t want to add attention to that kind of reductive speech, but on the other, I feel that it is necessary to counter hate whenever and where ever it appears. I am sure that she would defend what she is saying behind free speech, but the truth of the matter is that hate speech is not free, the cost is always paid by the marginalized person. When the absolutely valid right of LGBT students to create safe spaces is challenged as whining and special treatment, it only bolsters the idea that the oppression they face is acceptable. These students are paying to be educated, and they are absolutely entitled to have spaces that are inclusive and safe for them. It is not a special right to demand safety.
I sometimes wonder how these people sleep at night, with the hate that they preach. We have seen time and time again, that such language results in violence and sometimes death, yet they continue to obfuscate and deny responsibility. I believe the truth of that matter is, that because the marginalized are the ones that are dying, they simply don’t care about the blood that is on their hands. If Herzog continues to produce these hate filled pieces, it will only be a matter of time until she finds that the hands with which she spreads her hate, will be dripping in blood. Murder does not always begin at the barrel of a gun or the point of a knife, sometimes it begins with the words of oppression.