The biggest homophobes that I know are some heterosexual women who are disgusted by the idea that homosexual men exist. It’s understandable that some heterosexual men could be a bit apprehensive about gay men, no? But women?
Let’s go to the other end of the spectrum. Do anti-Semitic Jews and sexist women exist?
I used to say, no, that’s merely internalized oppression. Let’s not blame the victim when oppression has made them feel bad about themselves.
But then I noticed that some of the most vicious anti-Semites are Jews. That a handful of Israeli anti-Zionist Jews are responsible for giving fodder to most of the popular anti-Semitic propaganda that is distributed around the globe by spreading fake news about the Jewish State. These are not Jews who find it hard to be proud of themselves because they were so hated. These are Jews who promote anti-Semitism and feel good about that and do a lot of damage.
There are women who hate women. They call all women stupid and of ill character. If a man would say it, he would be a big sexist. How so should a woman get away with such oppressive hateful talk? One may feel ambivalent about one’s own fellow oppressed people but outright hatred and disdain doesn’t seem something to overlook.
Maybe there is a difference between a speaker seeing herself as a victim or as someone happy to oppress. An African-American who says, I prefer White friends, doesn’t need to be a racist. But when he says: all Blacks–he implies, but not me–are trash and good for nothing, then he’s a racist.
It is important not to let oppressors off the hook because they attack “their own kind.” Attacks are attacks. No one should get away with being oppressive.
Gentiles making certain “Jewish” jokes could be hateful. Jews making certain “Jewish” jokes could be hateful too.
I have a Kurdish-Jewish Working-Class friend who married an Ashenenazic woman, loves Carlebach and worked himself up to a Middle-Class job. Is he a self-hating Mizrachic Jew? I don’t think so. He still comes with his whole family to be with his parents and the whole clan; he still likes to sing Kurdish-Jewish melodies and he still likes kubbeh. Love knows no borders but that doesn’t mean that one betrays one’s roots crossing over.
There was this famous African-American man who in the media pleaded with his fellow Black men to start taking responsibility for their family lives. There was some reason for his call as there are a great number of Black women in the US who are single mothers with the Black fathers taking no responsibility for caring for them and their kids. He got a lot of publicity for his sympathetic call and it didn’t sound like he was besmirching his own nest. However, a few years later, he was exposed as a serial rapist who first drugged his dozens of victims before violating them. He wasn’t such a family man himself, after all. Does that invalidate his call? One wonders.
I know a Jew who converted to Christianity–Hasheim meracheim–talks about Jesus all the time and subscribes to every anti-Semitic blood libel on the Internet. Is there any reason not to call and treat him like an anti-Semite? Christians should stop him because he especially hurts their valid cause and shaky good name after Auschwitz.
Last but not least, we have now a new Member of Knesset who is not only a committed racist and homophobe but also a very smart man. He won’t say anything improper. And if you say anything about him, he’ll sue you. But does his cleverness make him less of a bigot?
Lots to think about.