Queer-baiting And Why It's Detrimental To Society

Queer-baiting And Why It's Detrimental To Society

Queer-baiting affects every member of society, not just the LGBTQ+ community.
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What is Queer-baiting?

Queer-baiting is the term used to “describe a tactic where a queer relationship is hinted at [in today's media] to appeal to the queer market, and then is denied.”

Although this is a relatively recent sociocultural phenomenon, its effects are not limited to the LGBTQ+ community. When the powers that be create homoerotic tension between two characters without following through, an audience's perception of reality is altered to conform to the idea that homosexuality “never leads to anything more.” In other words, the more queer-baiting occurs, the more we are led to believe that homosexuality is just an idea (equivalent with a television or movie trope) that will always exist in the realm of experimentation.

It's easy to say that this is just a way for fans to complain about why Character A belongs with Character B. The truth is, the individuals that have brought this into light really are onto something important. Although there is nothing wrong, in and of itself, with simply wanting to see your favorite characters in a relationship in your favorite universe, the fact that people are speaking up for the reality of LGBTQ+ relationships is quite a powerful statement about the evolution of society.

Slowly and steadily, media is growing inclusive of minorities for main roles. We are lucky to see all-female-created shows like Hulu's "Harlots," and Netflix's "Orange is the New Black," which stars actresses of various ethnicity (and makes an effort to describe their hardships in society). However, what we don't have enough of, by far, are healthy portrayals of homosexuality between anything other than cis-women.

Why the Imbalance?

It's quite simple. Homosexual cis-women (or cis-women simply engaging in homosexual acts) appeals to the dominant heterosexual audience just as heterosexual relationships do.

It seems society is not yet ready to own up to its treatment of ALL minorities. The media still pretends to cater to us all, but it still has a long way to go. The best thing we can do is continue to speak up and make them realize that we are here to stay.



Cover Image Credit: Jens Kreuter

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37 Things Growing Up in the South Taught You

Where the tea is sweet, but the people are sweeter.
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1. The art of small talking.
2. The importance of calling your momma.
3. The beauty of sweet tea.
4. How to use the term “ma'am” or “sir” (that is, use it as much as possible).
5. Real flowers are way better than fake flowers.
6. Sometimes you only have two seasons instead of four.
7. Fried chicken is the best kind of chicken.
8. When it comes to food, always go for seconds.
9. It is better to overdress for Church than underdress.
10. Word travels fast.
11. Lake days are better than beach days.
12. Handwritten letters never go out of style.
13. If a man doesn’t open the door for you on the first date, dump him.
14. If a man won’t meet your family after four dates, dump him.
15. If your family doesn’t like your boyfriend, dump him.
16. Your occupation doesn’t matter as long as you're happy.
17. But you should always make sure you can support your family.
18. Rocking chairs are by far the best kind of chairs.
19. Cracker Barrel is more than a restaurant, it's a lifestyle.
20. Just 'cause you are from Florida and it is in the south does not make you Southern.
21. High School football is a big deal.
22. If you have a hair dresser for more than three years, never change. Trust her and only her.
23. The kids in your Sunday school class in third grade are also in your graduating class.
24. Makeup doesn’t work in the summer.
25. Laying out is a hobby.
26. Moms get more into high school drama than high schoolers.
27. Sororities are a family affair.
28. You never know how many adults you know 'til its time to get recommendation letters for rush.
29. SEC is the best, no question.
30. You can't go wrong buying a girl Kendra Scotts.
31. People will refer to you by your last name.
32. Biscuits and gravy are bae.
33. Sadie Robertson is a role model.
34. If it is game day you should be dressed nice.
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Cover Image Credit: Grace Valentine

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Louis Walsh Groping Mel B On Live TV Proves Rape Culture Is Alive and Well

Allowing perpetrators to get away with "minor" sexual harassment like this allows the Brock Turners of the world to get away with their crimes, too.

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Recently a clip from an Xtra Factor UK interview from 2014 has resurfaced on Twitter. The clip shows Louis Walsh groping Mel B's butt and, after being called out on it by her, laughing the whole situation off.

You can see his hand slowly travel downward, then tapping her bottom before finally squeezing it while laughing at a conversation going on. Mel B notices it and is visibly uncomfortable. She stops the interview and asks him why he's grabbing her butt, and while he excuses his behavior as "looking out for her" and Simon assures her she's "safe," she insists that it's inappropriate and scoots further away from him.

In turn, he and Simon laugh off the entire exchange, he scoots closer to her, and the interviewer, Sarah Jane Crawford, continues the interview. We never get to see how Mel B's female co-star, Cheryl Cole, reacts to the whole situation.

This exchange was cut from the final clip posted by the X Factor UK, but a Twitter user recorded the exchange, presumably from a recording of the live broadcast, and posted it. It has since divided Twitter users.

Some say Mel B was completely justified while others insist that because Louis Walsh is gay, he meant no harm by his fondling and Mel B calling him out only served to embarrass him.

Good. I hope so.

One Twitter user pointed out that his sexual orientation is irrelevant:

tweet

Nothing rings truer than "sexual assault isn't about sex, it's about asserting power and dominance." It doesn't matter if he didn't intend to derive any kind of pleasure from the encounter. What matters is that, in a sexual situation, Mel B was uncomfortable and it was Louis's fault.

People rushing to Louis's defense is symptomatic of a deeper problem in our culture. They're quick to disbelieve and blame the woman, the victim, instead of the perpetrator.

The eagerness to sweep the instance under the carpet allows perpetrators to feel more confident, knowing they won't be punished for their actions. When a man gets away with groping a woman on live TV, men and women in places of power everywhere will be emboldened to touch and speak to others however they please.

It may sound extreme at first, but this whole situation is rape culture.

These small allowances plant the seeds to turn a blind eye to bigger, more awful situations—until we're at the point where a man can rape an unconscious woman and only get three months of jail time because his bright and promising future shouldn't be marred by "20 minutes of action."

We can't allow instances like this. We have to come down hard on any and all forms of sexual harassment, with the punishment fitting the crime (PSA: sexual harassment is an actual crime, not "something that just happens").

Obviously, Louis Walsh shouldn't be treated like Brock Turner. But his actions should've been punished, probably more than just by simply calling him out on live TV, an exchange ultimately cut from the final posted clip anyway.

If Mel B had waited until they were no longer on live TV and his hand was no longer touching her, it would've been slightly out of place to bring it up. It's much like how when a child does something wrong or dangerous, you point it out right then; you don't wait. She could've still talked to him about it in private, but in addition to having called him out on it right when it was happening.

Not only was Mel B justified in calling out Louis Walsh, but any person in a similar situation is as well.

If you're ever in a situation that's even slightly sexual and you feel uncomfortable, say something. Don't let the other person get away with it. And if they're not ill-intentioned and truly didn't mean to make you uneasy, then they can learn from you voicing your discomfort.

It doesn't matter the situation or who's doing or saying something sexual that makes you feel uncomfortable. The voice of shame and self-blaming will find any way to justify their actions and keep you silent. Don't let it.

No matter how big or small the instance may seem to you, it's worth speaking up about.

Cover Image Credit:

The X Factor UK

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