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Bristol Palin The Victim? I’m Not Buying It

by Zinnia Jones on May 17, 2012

in News,Op-Ed,Opinion,Politics,Zinnia Jones

Post image for Bristol Palin The Victim? I’m Not Buying It

It wasn’t hard to tell what direction things would take after Bristol Palin‘s recent statements about President Obama and his newfound support for gay marriage. Where the Palins are involved, the sequence of events is firmly established and completely predictable: one of them will say something ridiculous, everyone else will react, and the Palins will proceed to make the entire episode about themselves and how victimized they are.

Bristol Palin’s latest post is a textbook example of this. After being widely criticized for falsely suggesting that Obama only supports gay marriage because of his daughters, and claiming without evidence that “kids do better growing up in a mother/father home,” she now says that the response to her remarks has been “a lot of hate and a lot of bullying.”

Ironically, she accuses everyone of failing to make any arguments, and then proceeds to spend several paragraphs talking about how mean people have been. Maybe she would have received more serious responses if she had actually presented any arguments of her own in the first place, rather than misrepresenting what Obama said and disparaging families with gay parents for no justifiable reason.

If she’s looking for a real debate on the issues, she has a strange way of showing it. Instead of providing any explanation of her earlier statements, she claims that a generic monolith named “Hollywood” is uniformly intolerant of any dissent on the issues of gay marriage or abortion, and “anyone who disagrees is stupid, hypocritical, hateful, or bigoted.”

Not once did she consider that it might actually be hateful to assume that same-sex couples must be inferior parents when all studies indicate otherwise. And she doesn’t seem to think there could be anything bigoted about expecting people to teach their children that same-sex parents don’t deserve to be married. That’s because not being hateful and bigoted just isn’t her concern here — this is all about people calling her names and making her feel bad.

In that vein, she presents a selection of comments from people wishing for her death and generally being rude. While this is obviously unacceptable, it’s definitely not a unique occurrence. We could just as well gather up all of the violent and hateful comments made about Obama and his family, same-sex parents, and the LGBT community as a whole. But it would be incredibly dishonest to focus the entire discussion on hostility, incivility and tone in order to ignore any substantial criticism of what we’ve actually said.

This is what Palin has done here, and it’s practically guaranteed that we’ll soon see a torrent of op-eds using the latest incident to make sweeping statements about how hostility and threats are never an acceptable mode of discourse, no matter the target. But this, too, only serves to make the entire event about Bristol Palin the Victim, rather than what she actually said about our relationships and our families.

Palin may or may not be aware of this, but when you try to make yourself the center of attention here, you’re just running away from your own remarks. If she’d prefer to back away from her arguments — insofar as she has any — then she should issue a retraction and apologize to President Obama and the countless same-sex couples whose parenting skills she insulted.

Until then, we’re not going to forget this quite so easily. Sure, Palin can talk the talk about “hate” and “bullying” — she just won’t admit who the bullies actually are. But it really is bullying to use your platform as a national celebrity to deny the equality of our love. It’s bullying to dismiss our rights simply by uttering the word “tradition.” It’s bullying to assume that excluding us from marriage demands no more justification than merely vomiting out your opinion. And pretending to be the victim after you’ve attacked our families is unquestionably the act of a bully. Is this who you want to be, Bristol Palin?

Image, top, via Facebook

Zinnia Jones is an atheist activist, writer, and video blogger focusing on LGBTQ rights and religious belief. Originally from Chicago, she’s currently living in Florida with her partner Heather and their two children.

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Scott_Rose May 17, 2012 at 10:18 am

You should contact Bristol's publicist and ask to know who ghost wrote the blog post for Bristol. Then you should ask to interview Bristol about the time her sister Willow called people "Faggot" on Facebook.

Inalienable May 17, 2012 at 4:16 pm

I agree Scott_Rose! Let's also ask about the time Bristol said the reason a man at a bar (where Bristol was filming a reality show, naturally) didn't like her mom is because he was 'a homosexual.' Let's also point out the fact that Track Palin was born less than 8 months after parents' elopement, and while we're at it, let's remember to point out that Track's child was born 3 months after his own marriage. This whole sanctity of Biblical marriage between a man and a woman that they throw around is pretty funny since the Bible also forbids sex outside the marriage. Not that I'm judging them for getting knocked up before marriage, because I frankly don't care, but they must realize how hypocritical they are.

eroissyfr May 17, 2012 at 10:42 am

1) I think the term "bullying' is used far more that it should be. Using it like the writer did in the above article takes away from the true seriousness of real bullying. Being called a name is not being bullied. Someone having an opinion that you don't agree with is not bullying.

2) EVERYONE is entitled to their opinion including Bristol. . Doesn't make it right. It is just an opinion.

3) The Palin's are media whore's. As long as everyone gets their panties in a bunch over whatever comes out of their mouths, they will continue to speak.

4) I don't agree with her or her mother. I think both are total mindless ignorant women on just about every subject they chose to speak about.

Our constitution guarantees free speech. I am entitled to speak my opinion as is Bristol. I don't agree with Gay marriage but for vastly different reasons. I think the institution of religious marriage should be abolished and all such unions should be civil with renewal dates. If you want the religious trappings, fine, but they aren't legal. Every single perk that married people get (taxes, insurance etc) should be abolished. I am tired of being penalized because I am single.

I have been living with the same person for three come I can't be in a recognized domestic partnership? Why should only gays get this type of perk? Where is my Equality?

Marriage is an archaic business institution that really has nothing to do with modern life. It is religious dogma interfering in our individual business.

Lou Gagliardi May 17, 2012 at 11:35 am

I agreed with you for the most part. Except I don't think it's the writer that takes away from the real bullying unless you meant Bristol Palin. The writer was calling out Bristol and the whole family for using this term in such a ridiculous manner.

Oh, and don't support SSM're…single!? *blinks* that's a new one.

I can agree, as a member of the layclergy of the Salvation Army, that religious marriages are nothing more than sentimental value. But the argument is same sex marriage would be purely from a civil/legal aspect. And you want to take it away period..because you're single?


eroissyfr May 17, 2012 at 6:33 pm

You misunderstood. I don't agree with marriage AS IT STANDS TODAY for anyone. Why should yet another group receive special benefits because they are married? No one should get tax breaks, insurance breaks or any other legal benefit by being married. Why should I or anyone else pay more because we are single or in a relationship we chose not to make formal?

The 'fight' should be about equality for ALL in these areas, not just a select group. The legal benefits and the religious aspects of marriage should not be intertwined. The only legalities involved with a marriage (civil or otherwise) should only be banking, children and property.

I don't care who gets married. In fact I think a civil marriage should be open to anyone of age, more than two people, sex or whatever. Adults should be free to form whatever type of relationship works for them. A civil marriage, as I outlined, would provide them with legal protections in regards to property, money and children ALL worked out before the union with addendums as needed. You want to be thumped with your religious fairy tale tome of choice, go for it but it isn't a legal union.

Lou Gagliardi May 17, 2012 at 7:38 pm

…okay, I'll deal with the first issue first. No, I didn't misunderstand. The fact that you say "Why should I or anyone else pay more because we are single or in a relationship we chose not to make formal?" shows you don't want it simply because you're single.

You're marginalizing the fight for equality because you can't get a woman or man, or because you choose not to walk to city hall and register for a marriage license.

Second, "In fact I think a civil marriage should be open to anyone of age, more than two people, sex or whatever." Really? I'd hate to bring this but you'd be okay with a 23 year old marrying a 13 year old? Or a 70 year old and a 15 year old? And please, don't bring up "that isn't what I meant" or "well of course not blah blah blah". There's an old adage, "say what you mean not mean what you say." I can only take you at what you wrote.

Third, "You want to be thumped with your religious fairy tale tome of choice, go for it but it isn't a legal union." You assume I'm religious. I am, in fact, Pagan. But I don't care about the religious aspect. ALL I want, and all so many others want is the legal protection provided under the 14th Amendment. And no, civil unions are not what I'm talking or good enough. That equates to separate but equal. You also can't suddenly say that you're taking away a word/legal definition of something just because you and others don't agree with it. Especially a legal definition and word that has been around for hundreds of years.

The definition of marriage by the way is:

the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law

I don't see anything about religion in there. Do you? In fact I believe the 9th Circuit says that marriage is a "name that SOCIETY gives to a relationship between two consenting adults." Society, not religion. The 9th Circruit also said that Prop8 (to use an example) violated the 14th Amendment–meaning it is purely about the legal and secular aspect of marriage.

No LGBT person has EVER said that they want a church/synagogue to be forced to marry them. They would like it if the church/what have you did recognize it but they can't be forced.

Why is that so hard to understand?

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