Michele Bachmann suggested that the gay community is bullying Americans and politicians. You can read the full article and hear the clip for yourself here. This is my response.
Dear Michele Bachmann,
I would like to provide you with a definition of a word that, for all your legal experience, you seem not to comprehend. The word “bully” has become a buzzword, a convenient way for adults who are losing an argument to shut down the conversation. When your back is against the wall, you call someone a “bully” and if they don’t allow you to gracefully exit the argument you get to say, “SEE! They ARE a bully.”
Except, that’s incorrect. “Bully” is defined variously as “a person who uses superior strength or power to harm, intimidate or influence those who are weaker.”
Now let’s reconsider your words. “…the gay community, they have so bullied the American people, and they’ve so intimidated politicians. The politicians fear them, so that they think they get to dictate the agenda everywhere.”
Let’s consider the fallacy here, shall we?
In order for it to be true that the gay community has “bullied the American people” you have to be admitting that the gay community has superior strength and influence to all of the American people. Even the most generous figures put the LGBT population at 10% of the whole, and as we can be discriminated against legally in many states in employment, housing, partner/spousal benefits and many other ways, it’s difficult to find supporting evidence that would demonstrate that the power differential – in any situation – weighs in our favor.
Sure, it sounds good to call us bullies, but let’s be honest Michele, you’re just pissed that we’re fighting back, fighting back well, and winning. And you know why that is? Because we actually HAVE a lifetime of experience being bullied to know how to handle it when one comes for us. We aren’t the scrawny kids hiding in the bathrooms and running from dodgeballs anymore, but the wit and intelligence we learned to handle those situations with, yes, we’ve turned that on you. You brought this on yourself. You taught us to fight back intelligently and fearlessly with all the tools we have by first attempting to teach us that we were less than, second class, or somehow undeserving of equal protection under the Constitution you so loudly claim preserves your right to be a bigot.
Not to mention, as much as you seem not to like it, we are American people. There’s a logic gap in your statement that would mean we are bullying ourselves. Unless of course you attempted to imply that by being gay we are not American? I’m sure that’s not the case. (Well, I’m not totally sure, but this one time, I’m actually going to give you the benefit of the doubt.)
I would imagine as a woman succeeding in two very male dominated professions, you have actual experience with being bullied. Bullied by those with more power than you, bullied by chauvinists, bullied by those above you and with more power than you threatened by your intelligence, your looks or your success. I’m sure you can understand then, why it is so incredibly offensive to our community that has a long history of being bullied on the personal level by individuals and organizations in the communities we grew up in, and on a community level by those who continue to attempt to ensure we are treated like second-class citizens because they do actually wield enough power to swing elections and influence politicians by the sheer numbers they command, that you would suggest that we are somehow the bullies because you do not agree with us.
We are not bullying you. We are standing up to you. And there is a world of difference between the two.
A final note – You said the politicians fear gay people. Well, the actual word for this is “homophobia” and I’m sure you didn’t mean to state that politicians are homophobic, did you Michele? Or maybe, just maybe, you finally admitted it out loud. After all, you are one of those politicians Michele. Are you homophobic Michele? Are you afraid of us?
Well, good. You should be.