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Twentysomething Hairless White Gay Men Who Have Time To Take Pilates 5 Days A Week



Editor’s note:

J. Rudy Flesher is a Philadelphia based actor, blogger and college student. After a three-year detour working in health care he recently returned to The College of New Jersey to complete his B.A. in Women’s and Gender studies. He blogs (sporadically at the moment and daily when school is not in session) at The Pistol in Bed Thirteen.

A while back I invited Rudy to join The New Civil Rights Movement because I was quite impressed with his thoughts, his ideas, his background, his grasp of the issues affecting our community, and his work. Later, via Twitter, I wrote something like, “I am happy today knowing our community’s future is being created by people like Rudy.” I think you will be too. This is Rudy’s first post here.

I have been following the debate surrounding David’s decision to discontinue writing for Bilerico with interest as it has sparked debate here, and around the queer blogosphere. David’s argument hit home for me as I have chosen to stop following blogs precisely because they mixed scantily-clad gym bunnies in with their editorial and news reporting content, though perhaps for different reasons. I believe the images portrayed lack diversity, and therefore under-represent, misrepresent, alienate, and ghettoize many LGBTQ communities and their members.

First, why I stand with David on his decision to step down from Bilerico: My issue with the way they handle this content is that they style themselves as a queer think tank and the goal on their “about us” page is to “foster…conversations in order to strengthen us as individuals and as a community.” To my mind, that means the naked Mormon boys are simply, in corporate parlance, “off mission.” Porn is awesome, but if Judith Butler or Kate Bornstein popped up in the middle of a sex scene to offer a post-modern analysis of gender identity, it too would be “off mission,” and I’d be annoyed. It’s just out of place.

Now, on to my larger issues with this content. Queerty was the blog I chose to unsubscribe from. I consider myself a sex-positive feminist and do believe that our society has a long way to go in terms of maturely integrating sexuality into daily life in a way that is celebratory, healthy, and free of shame and stigma. However, the images portrayed on Queerty and, as far as I’ve observed, other mainstream LGBTQ blogs, including Bilerico, do not achieve this whatsoever.

Instead, these pictures say that, no matter how many letters we add to the LGBTQ alphabet soup, no matter how inclusive the other content becomes, that clearly, it is white, gay, men with single-digit body fat who matter. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Sure, the blogs are writing about lesbian issues, but there never seem to be any photos of hot dykes to oggle. The bodies of trans people certainly aren’t represented. Without a doubt, people of color, the hirsute, the disabled, those older than twenty-seven, and so on clearly need not apply. Men destabilizing gender roles — wearing makeup, “women’s” clothes, nail polish — well, we’ll watch them in drag shows, but Goddess forbid we celebrate their sexuality because then we would be radically dismantling a false gender binary which oppresses all of us. Gosh, who would want that?

Instead, these pictures constantly reinforce that only certain people matter, that they’re all men, and only certain kinds of men. If that’s your type, then by all means, oggle away! But put it on a blog called “Twenty-Something Hairless White Gay Men Who Have the Time to Take Pilates Five Days a Week.” Don’t run a blog that purports to represent a dynamic population and then only represent a historically-privileged demographic.

David is spot on when he notes that blogs offering this type of material as content use it as an easy way to get traffic, but I’d go a step further and say that the incredibly narrow spectrum of men represented in this material speaks to a whole lot of patriarchy and ugly “isms” that pervade our communities today. How quickly we forget history and fail to learn from it.

There was a feminist backlash against the “Lavender Menace” of lesbians, and then against transsexual women who were (and are) portrayed as invading women’s space. All variety of people who were gender rebels were at the forefront of queer liberation, and quickly thrown under the bus for those seen as less threatening to mainstream (read: white patriarchal) society. To turn this tide requires intense, critical introspection, both collectively and communally.

While both mainstream media and queer blogs seem content with appealing to the lowest common denominator (and ignoring the needs and desires of much of their audience), we must be willing to take a principled stand to buck this anti-intellectual trend and have intelligent discourse on the damage done to our communities when so many are excluded. As Judith Butler notes in the preface to the 1999 republication of her landmark “Gender Trouble,”

“…we underestimate the reading public, its capacity and desire for reading complicated and challenging texts, when the complication is not gratuitous, when the challenge is in the service of calling taken-for granted truths into question, when the taken for grantedness of those truths is, indeed, oppressive.”

I could not agree with her more. It is a time to be critical, compassionate, celebratory, and radical. It is time to love and value ourselves and each other.

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Fox News Host Suggests Trump ‘Force’ Court to Throw Him in Jail – by Quoting Him



The Fox News host who targeted a juror serving on Donald Trump’s criminal New York trial is now suggesting the ex-president should violate his gag order and “force” the court to throw him in jail, by quoting the Fox News host.

Jesse Watters came under fire earlier this week for profiling juror number two, sharing possibly identifying information published by a myriad of reporters but then using that information to pass judgment on her ability to serve.

“I’m not so sure about juror number two,” Watters concluded on Fox News.

Jurors, at the judge’s direction, were to remain anonymous, for their protection and the protection of the trial.

The judge excused her, after she said she felt she was not able to be impartial because friends and family were calling her asking if she had been chosen to serve on the Trump trial, after the media blitz.

New York Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchan admonished the press for reporting the information, but some news outlets appeared to ignore his warning.

Watters on Wednesday “did a segment with a jury consultant, revealing details about people who had been seated on the jury and questioning whether some were ‘stealth liberals’ who would be out to convict Trump,” the Associated Press reported.

READ MORE: Gaetz: ‘Corrupt’ Republicans Could ‘Take a Bribe’ and Throw House to Dems, Blocking Trump Run

Trump later posted Watters’ quote on his Truth Social platform, leading some, including New York prosecutors, to ask the judge to cite him for allegedly breaking his gag order.

Judge Merchan ordered Trump to not mention witnesses, jurors, prosecutors, court staff, or the family members of prosecutors and court staff, CNN has reported.

New York prosecutors told Juge Merchan Trump has violated the gag order at least ten times.

“Prosecutor Christopher Conroy described the ‘most disturbing’ example as a social media message Trump posted on Wednesday evening quoting a Fox News host as saying, ‘They are catching undercover Liberal Activists lying to the Judge in order to get on the Trump Jury,'” Politico reports.

That host was Jesse Watters.

RELATED: ‘Afraid and Intimidated’: Trump Trial Juror Targeted by Fox News Dismissed

Friday afternoon, Watters appeared to egg Trump on, urging the ex-president to violate the gag order.

“I would make them put me in jail,” Watters said on Fox News. “I would have a tweet about something perhaps I said on ‘The Five’ or ‘Jesse Watters Primetime,’ and I would force them to throw me in jail.”

Watch Watters’ remark below or at this link.


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Gaetz: ‘Corrupt’ Republicans Could ‘Take a Bribe’ and Throw House to Dems, Blocking Trump Run



U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) says some of his fellow House Republicans would “take a bribe” to throw the razor-thin GOP majority to the Democrats if a far-right faction calls up a motion to oust Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, allowing Democrats to hand the gavel to the Minority Leader, Hakeem Jeffries. he warned if that happens, Democrats would immediately declare Trump ineligible to be President, pack the U.S. Supreme Court, and pass numerous laws like the American Rescue Plan.

“I do believe in a one seat majority there could be one or two or three of my colleagues who would take a bribe in one form or another in order to deprive the Republicans of a majority at all,” Gaetz said Friday on his podcast (video below.)

He added, “the risk that one or two of my corrupt Republican colleagues might take a bribe, take a walk, feign an ailment and flip this thing to the Democrats is a risk that is too high for me at this time.”

Gaetz’s fellow far-right Florida Republican member of Congress, Anna Paulina Luna, told listeners, “I heard that when, if and when the motion vacate is introduced, that there will be immediate resignations of a couple of more moderate members of Congress. And in the event that that happens, that ultimately means it does go to a Democrat speaker.”

RELATED: Jeffries Vows Democrats Will Ensure Ukraine Aid Passes as Johnson Defectors Grow

U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) last month filed a “motion to vacate,” which she can use at any time to force a vote to oust the GOP Speaker, Mike Johnson. U.S. Rep. Tim Massie (R-KY) and just today, U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) has signed on as co-sponsors.

Congressman Gaetz told listeners if Democrats do take the House through a force vote to remove Johnson, Democrats would “be declaring Donald Trump an insurrectionist and setting up a barrier to him being able to become the president United States.”

“That’ll be their leadoff hitter, and then the chaser to that shot will be a massive spending package that looks a lot more like the American Rescue Plan. They will blow past every concept of every cap ever imagined. You’ll be looking at Universal Basic Income, you could be looking at packing the Supreme Court.”

Watch a short clip of Gaetz’s remarks below or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Stop Bringing Up Nazis and Hitler’: Marjorie Taylor Greene Smacked Down by Democrats

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Jeffries Vows Democrats Will Ensure Ukraine Aid Passes as Johnson Defectors Grow



Democratic House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries vowed Friday the majority of Democrats will support Republicans’ Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan, and Gaza foreign aid legislation as Republican Speaker Mike Johnson lost support of another member of his conference to a faction determined to oust him.

“Democrats will provide a majority of our majority as it relates to funding Israel, humanitarian assistance, Ukraine, and our allies in the Indo Pacific,” Minority Leader Jeffries said. “It remains to be seen what Republicans will do in terms of meeting the national security needs of the American people, but it was important for House Democrats to ensure that the national security bills are going to be considered.”

Despite Republicans having a one-vote majority, more Democrats on Friday voted to move the critical and long-awaited foreign aid bills forward than did Republicans.

READ MORE: ‘Stop Bringing Up Nazis and Hitler’: Marjorie Taylor Greene Smacked Down by Democrats

The 316-94 vote included 165 Democrats and 151 Republicans voting yes, and 55 Republicans and 39 Democrats voting no.

Axios’ Juliegrace Brufke posted the list of Republicans voting against their party’s legislation.

Calling it a “rare” moment in modern congressional history to have to rely on opposition party votes to pass legislation, BBC News reports Speaker Johnson’s “hold on power is tenuous, and the legislators who oppose him – and his bid to provide aid to Ukraine – occupy some key positions within the House’s power structure.”

Amid the procedural vote to move the foreign aid funding bills forward, U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, a far-right Republican of Arizona, announced he is joining Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), and Congressman Tim Massie (R-KY) in formally announcing their will vote to oust Speaker Johnson.

Gosar, like Greene, is reportedly a Christian nationalist. In 2022 CNN reported his “lengthy ties to White nationalists, [a] pro-Nazi blogger and far-right fringe received little pushback for years.”

RELATED: ‘Repercussions’: Democrats and Republicans Stand Against ‘Pro-Putin’ House GOP Faction

“We’ve been very honest in our assessment of the situation from the beginning,” Jeffries on Friday also declared. “At the appropriate time as House Democrats, we will have a conversation about how to deal with any hypothetical motion to vacate.”

“Moscow Marjorie Taylor Greene, Massie, and Gosar are quite a group. But central to our conversation is to make sure that the national security legislation in totality is passed by the House of Representatives.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.


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