Thursday, December 15, 2011

Why Target, Macy's, and Lowes Support Bigotry and Hate

By now, I'm fairly sure that you've at least heard of the whole controversy surrounding the TLC show, All-American Muslim. I've never seen the show, and I don't watch TLC (not since they stopped being "The Learning Channel"). For those who haven't seen it or heard what was going on, one of those "inhumanly pro-family" (if I may borrow a phase from Fred Clark) organizations from (where else?) Florida (you were expecting Texas. Admit it) has pressured the sponsors of the program to back out, trying to get the program taken off the air.

It's greatest offense? Well, I imagine that the show displays Muslims as being people, rather than freakishly inhuman things ready to blow up your good, White, Christian country a moment's notice. This is a good thing. It helps fight back against the absurd propaganda that's concocted in the weird and frightening labyrinthine depths of the twisted organ right-winger's call a "mind", and can help "normalize" Muslims. Or, at least, the popular conception of what a Muslim is. I've said before that I worked with a lady who had blond hair, blue eyes, and dressed like any Western who also happened to be Muslim. She identified herself as a Muslim to me, and it was rather surprising the first time because I certainly did not expect it. So this show helps, at least, remove the overly negatives and humanizes the popular conception of Muslims and Islam, as opposed to just, y'know, lying about how they all want to kill us for freedoms, replace our law with Sharia Law, and other stupid shit like that.

Lowes, one of the companies they petitioned, backed out of the show and stopped sponsoring it. I know where I won't be shopping for home supplies in the very near future, and I recommend all readers of this blog vote with their feet. I prefer small, local hardware stores, and we still have a few of those around. But that's beside the point. What we have here is what happens when the peacock puffs up it's chest and thinks that it's managed to scare off competitors - it pushes the envelope.

Now that same Florida association is pushing to get Degrassi's sponsors to jump ship, too.

I only know about Degrassi because I read TV tropes. I've mentioned before I don't watch a lot of television - in cumulative hours watching TV this month could probably be counted on one hand - but I know that the show is fairly liberal, and if not working to promote greater harmony and understand through several metric tonnage of melodrama, is pretty close to it.

You'll note there's a trend here. Things that promote "greater harmony and understanding" between diverse groups are a target of this inhumanly pro-family organization. It doesn't surprise me. You look at them and see people; I look at them and see patriarchal chimpanzees; I see the future cast for the Planet of the Apes. I see a bunch of damn, dirty monkeys.

This is what's gotten them all in tizzy:

The far-right Florida Family Association is enraged that Degrassi, a Canadian teen drama on TeenNick, now features a female-to-male transgender character. TeenNick, charging the show with advancing “salacious and irresponsible propaganda.” While Adam has been a character on Degrassi since Season 10 began in July of 2010, leading to criticism from the Media Research Center’s Brent Bozell, Religious Right groups now are demanding a boycott of advertisers on MTV, which operates TeenNick. The FFA has also attacked Campbell’s for making halal soups and monitors the “behavior of Gay Day patrons” at Disney World.
Here we have character who is a transsexual, transgendered, who is not played for laughs. We have a serious attempt to display a segment of the population who have traditionally been disenfranchised (to put it far too mildly). Hell, even Iran, a country under Sharia Law, acknowledges transsexuality and transgendered people, and the Ayatollah has given them his graces to undergo the surgery. So here we're dealing with people who are more backwards and wrong-headed than the Ayatollah in Iran.
The family group notes the "Chasing Pavements II" episode of the program "contains graphic intimate relations between the female to male transgender character Adam (Gracie) and bisexual, lesbian character Fiona."
"In one scene Fiona kisses Adam, pulls up Adam's shirt and rubs her hand slightly above Adam's groin," the alert said.

"These are just a few examples of the irresponsible content of the DeGrassi shows which push transgender identity," said the Florida Family Association.
"Unfortunately, millions of young teens and children witness this irresponsible affirmation of a transgender lifestyle and are directed to an organization that will encourage kids to embrace a sexual identity which is different from their birth sex."
Sex! Teens having sex! We can't have that! That's just... that's... that's not something I did when I was growing up and because I cheated myself out of it, I'm going to cheat you out of it too or punish you for doing what I wanted to do but never did.

Because, you know, teens never have sex. Never mind the "bisexual, lesbian character", which makes no sense (is she a lesbian? Or is she bisexual? Or do you not know the difference and you're stringing words together to try and scare the ignorant, tribalistic savages you've got in your base?)

Irresponsible affirmation of the transgendered lifestyle - I have a lifestyle? This one is news to me, because up until a few days ago, I wasn't even aware I had a life. And no, I doubt it will encourage kids to "Embrace a sexual identity which is different from their birth sex." I took me a long, long time before I finally acknowledged where I was on the gender binary (hint: not on it, that's for sure). It's not a conclusion I came to after watching a F2M transsexual character on TV and going "OMG I think I'll go get a penis now and... hey, wait a minute..." I didn't just say "Hey, cool. I think I'll be a lesbian woman when I grow up." Everything with these people is a "lifestyle". If they disagree with it, it's a "lifestyle." To quote a very good movie: You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means. Their knowledge of human psychology is comparable with their knowledge of biology, cosmology, and the Bible.

It's just one example of how it "push[es] the transgender identity," which is by displaying it on television. This is patently absurd. People with bees in their bonnets have more of a purpose and reason for being all in a tizzy than these people do. Of course, that hasn't stopped them from doing something about it, anyway.
In response to pressure from concerned parents, more sponsors are withdrawing their support from a pro-homosexual cable television show for teens.
Because the work of the Florida Family Association (FFA), Macy's and Target have stopped advertising on Degrassi (see earlier story). David Caton explains why MTV's Teen Nick show is not appropriate for kids and why his organization is urging businesses to pull their sponsorship from the program.
"It has content that is very extraordinarily explicit towards transgender and homosexual lifestyles," he details. "It often has promotions on there that direct teens to organizations that will encourage them to embrace and accept the transgender or homosexual lifestyle," particularly -- a website that describes itself as "a free and confidential service that's open for gay and questioning youth," and claims to be "saving lives" by encouraging confused kids to "be proud of who you are."
His organization is currently targeting Mars and Wrigley, both owned by the same company, as they continue to run Orbit gum, Skittles, Snickers, Starburst, and Twix commercials during the show.
"We're challenging Mars-Wrigley to stop advertising and stop supporting this kind of content that is aimed at an immoral behavior that children would embrace," reports Caton.
A hardy fuck you, as a transgendered person, Mr. Caton. Moral Guardians on TV tropes could use a new entry, because that's what these people are. They're Moral Guardians of the worst kind.

Both Target and Macy's have stopped sponsoring it. Two more places I won't be shopping anytime soon. And I recommend you do the same. This show, while chock full of melodrama like any other soap opera, appears to be a very forward thinking and open show, discussing issues that most people would rather whisper behind closed doors - including so called "adults", who are apparently ashamed of their naughty bits.

This Floridian organization is taking an interesting approach to shutting down shows that it doesn't like. It's appealing to the whole "silent majority" lie that Nixon did. Any corporations that back out are sorely underestimating the mass of Americans who are sympathetic with the plights of gays and lesbians (maybe not so much transgendered and transsexual; but I'm pretty sure that's the next step). Or maybe they're not, and maybe nothing will happen except for the fact that two well-intentioned shows will get canceled because a bunch of bigots form Florida were able to convince a couple of bigoted corporations to help them.

Macy's in particular comes a shock, because by my understanding, they had a fairly froward thinking policy towards gay customers and employees. But that's okay; even with that in mind, this only proves that they're willing to cow-tow to the bigoted among us, anyway.

So no, I won't be shopping at any of those locations anymore. I'm not going to support an entity that doesn't have what it takes to take a stand against bigots. As far as I'm concerned, these companies are as bigoted and hateful as the people they caved too. Those companies are, again, Macy's, Target, and Lowes. I'll keep an eye out and if anymore join, I'll make note of it here.

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