Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Ellen v. Steve

Tonight PBS showed Ellen DeGeneres receiving the Mark Twain Prize, an award for humor.  One of the people honoring her was the multi-talented Steve Harvey, who made a comment about not having homosexuality as a common denominator, as other guests like Jane Lynch and Lily Tomlin.  It was quite funny as he put out there, “You’re gay. I’m black. I have my own issues to work out.”  He was not saying it meanly, but I don't think he fully understood the repercussions of such a statement.  It reminded me of the difference between White masculinity and Black masculinity, as Reeser states.  I am also reminded of Gloria Steinem’s visit in which she states that all issues are women’s issues.  Her example was how people discuss economic stimulus pros and cons and yet if women across the board truly received equal pay as they are guaranteed by law doing so would provide a much needed healthy economic stimulus. (see http://www.nationalpartnership.org/site/DocServer/Ledbetter_Fair_Pay_Fact_Sheet_2009.pdf?docID=4661).  My mind then races to the coming election and how ideologically driven it has become with what seems like clear lines being drawn by both sides.  I see how dysfunctional politics can be as well as how invisible most of these differences are, until you choose to see them.  I see parallels to how masculinity, regardless of color, is still nevertheless affected by color and I wonder if it will always be a wedge.  Will the world always be so Black/White, Female/Male, Homosexual/Heterosexual, Masculine/Feminine, split by binaries that exist as barriers to peaceful cohabitation.  Will issues of masculinity receive the same light as issues of femininity, finally understanding how the issues are cyclical and interrelated?  I guess I would tell Steve Harvey that while I am not black, I can still fight for his cause because I am a woman and I too know about injustice and stereotyping.  That I too will take up his cause because it is my cause – equality.

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