UK Students Union Passes Policy Banning Gay White Men From "Acting Like Black Women"

News fit for the Onion comes out of the United Kingdom today, where the National Union of Students (NUS) has officially banned gay white men from "appropriating black female culture." Yes, this is a real thing that has happened. 

The motion passed by the union (which is comprised of more than 600 student groups around the UK) titled "Dear White Gay Men: Stop Approprirating [sic] Black Women" states that the behavior of white gay men is "unacceptable" and "must be addressed." 

"This may be manifested in the emulation of the mannerisms, language (particularly AAVE- African American Vernacular English) and phrases that can be attributed to black women. White gay men may often assert that they are 'strong black women' or have an 'inner black woman'," the NUS motion reads.

"White gay men are the dominant demographic within the LGBT community, and they benefit from both white privilege and male privilege."

Setting aside the inherent homophobia in the new NUS policy for a second, let's unpack the outrageousness of the claims. I'll give it to the group that gay men claiming they are "strong black women" or have an "inner black woman" is offensive, and itself racist. It is distasteful, insensitive and not particularly original. We can do better than that. But that's the only concession I'll make. 

Tossing gay white men in the "privileged" category is shortsighted. By doing this the NUS ignorantly assumes that gay men can decide whether or not to "act gay" in public, or, decide whether or not to risk a hate crime or "pass for straight male a.k.a. privileged" with the ease of flipping a switch. This assumption is homophobic and outrageously out of touch with the prevalence of violent hate crimes, murders, discrimination, harassment that gay men -- yes, even white gay men -- regularly face in day to day life. The NUS is reducing gay men to just what we do behind closed doors in the bedroom and lacks an understanding of the nuances and complexities the community as whole and the individuals within it express, consciously and sub-consciously. 

Now on to the elephant in the room: If the NUS really wants to go down this path, then it should actually ban black straight women from "appropriating" the culture of black gay men. 

As HuffPo's Antwaun Sargent pointed out in July 2014 (when the topic of white gay men "appropriating black female culture" first sparked debates online): 

Shade, if we are returning words and behaviors back to the originators, isn't Mannie [who attributed it to black women] or Lowder's [who approves it for white gay men] to use. Mannie called out white gay men for appropriating black women's language by appropriating language developed by black gay men. And Lowder defends white gay men by wrongly ascribing to gay culture broadly and black female culture singularly words that are rooted in black gay men's resistance to both gay and black culture. These words allowed black gay men to form community when they were trying to escape from the scorn of gay white men, challenge the larger black community's resistance to black gay men's freedom of sexual expression, and survive. These words allowed black gay men to aptly describe their feelings, and themselves, when the language didn't exist because gay, black and mainstream culture was keen on not accepting them. What is often missed is black gay men throw shade because shade was all they had to challenge the stereotypes that were promoted by both gay white men and the straight black community.

Can one human group claim propriety to body language, behaviors, or speech? Assigning ownership to the most human of our expressions within our communities is troubling, to say the least. But if the NUS insists on the heinous act of copyrighting expression, it must actually do its homework and attribute the very mannerisms it's attempting to "protect" to the actual group that birthed the culture. While the (very small) subset of white gay men who claim to have "inner black women" owe an apology to black females, the NUS also owes an apology to both white and black gay men -- and society in general -- for perpetrating insensitivity and being hypocritical in the process.

Comments

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Let's ban self-righteous United Kingdom Student unions from pretentiously making rules. 

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YAAS SLAY

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and, of course, all black women act the same...

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Actually Black women are acting like gay men. All the slang we were using 40 years ago is what they are using now.

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You are out and out lying.

It it not enough we have white men walking with big African bottoms in adverts while shaking themselves in a dance move often seen with many Black girls(not all) we now have you sat up in here claiming Black females are copying gay men.

Never.

It does not and did not take place.

Finally, I am tired of straight acting men on CL begging for big black men to service them while the wife is out, often the Black guy they meet is also straight acting, thus resulting in the White male sending the Black guy back to the Black woman's home and bed, it is not on.

Gay White men are simply trying to replace Black females, on all levels.

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Well, I have to say that people who overact in any manner can be very annoying, and white gay men that overact as so-called strong black women are probably incredibly annoying to be around unless they are overacting to the audience of other over-acting gay men, in which case let them play-act all they want to each other.

It doesn't bother me-

I can choose not to associate with their play-acting in order to firm up their self image. Divas have been doing it for centuries. Men do it too when they act super-macho, to the harm of other men they try to dominate and demean. Women do it to other women. Lesbian women play act at being strong men at times. This is less annoying, because it's less flamboyant. Why shouldn't gays have this option of play-acting as well?

The accusation is funny though- it rings like the accusations against black men and women 'passing as white', which was hated by the black community, and if detected by the white community, could result in harm or death- Privileges assumed by a class that didn't 'earn' them are always seen as criminal by the other class or group. In this case, the black community is trying to deny people the right to appropriate their culturally positive aspects when Blacks have so few other rights and privileges accorded by skin color. Now- if the white gay person were to take melanin pills, get surgery to appear black, well, that's just plain transgendering and trans-raciing. Good luck on that, but they usually dont. They probably like hanging around with other flamboyant white people instead, and have plenty of black women girlfriends who like their style!

Not to mention the white gay men who like to pretend they're with a black gay man pretending to be black. It's all part of the great drama called life.

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As a gay, light skinned, mixed race, former drag queen. I find your offense offensive and think you should be banned.

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Nothing but though police and body language fascists that have all the time in the world for stupid issues like these instead of ending world hunger, poverty, robbing you blind bankers, corrupt politicians and people who have no sense of style. Honestly these "students" can go and repeatedly stab themselves in the anus with Dorothy Parker's quill. 

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This is one of those things Scotland is exempt from, I hope? Fucking morons.

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Hooray, let's defeat (alleged) sexism with racism! Oh boy, such progressive thinking. Black people: this is how you act. White people: this is how you act. Everyone just stay in their happy little hugboxes.

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I can not possibility read all the comments. What about the black and white women who act like men or the other race of female? Is that ok? Why only white men acting like black females?

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Pretty soon we're going to need a Government helpline for us to call before we speak. The helpline can tell us what it is okay for us to think and say before we speak it.

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If the topic of the day is the inherent insensitivity of culturally appropriated mannerisms, please don't adopt the use of jazz hands as a form of expression and ignore the hypocrisy.  If jazz hands aren't a gay man, campy mannerism... well, just ask Jack.

I am not privy to the actual debate of the NUS Womens Group, but I wonder if they asked a white gay man how or what they felt when "acting like black women."  When I call on the spirit of Oprah or Judge Judy at certain appropriate situations, it's because they are awesome and the acknowledgement of that should lead to gender pride. 

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next you should ban gays from being effeminate because gays are just acting anyway. It's like an NUS feminist said on another website "homosexuality is a mental disorder" After hundreds of years of oppression you've now said it's ok to point out the behaviour of homosexuals and condemn then for it. This is the biggest spit in the face to feminism and why it's been misrepresented and misunderstood so much in recent times. You should all be ashamed of yourselves.

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You should be ashamed of yourself even commenting on this with your bullcrap feminist views.  Most of you are loons anyway.

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I totally agree. They are offensive. I learn language with native speakers at http://preply.com/en/skype/english-native-speakers

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i guess we are going backwards. pity.

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The comments on this article 100% justify the NUS conference's ruling. For all those claiming this is a homophobic attack: It was an LGBT conference. Get over yourselves and stop complaining that you can no longer devalue another's culture and struggle for fun. Black women are not a costume and feeling "sassy" doesn't mean you've somehow acquired a cultural history of racism and slavery. 

Yes, gay men are oppressed. Maybe they can stop oppressing others whilst they fight for their own rights?

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I can't imagine any gay man assuming the black woman persona is devaluing them - it's always embracing the strength of this persona.  It's a form of drag (independent power), if you will - but certainly far from black face (ignorant devalue). 

Let's not make "sassy" a gender specific mindset.  We can all benefit from appropriating once and seemingly current gender defined characteristics or cultures.

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Why can not gay white men take a look towards straight white women for inspiration,why Black females?

It is offensive and I am happy that the NUS have done this, next step?

Release another memo for all of so called white culture to stop with their thievery from the worlds ethnic majority of color humans on all front.

Thank you.

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You are an idiot. Please stop posting here.

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Your comment sounds hetrophobic in tone.

You can not ask another to stop posting just because you do not like their views, furthermore white gay males do experience entitlement as white and males within a white supremacy system, so stop with the tears.

A straight Black man will always have a harder time in life than a gay white man: Fact!

I am tired of being told what I must think as a hetrosexual by the gay population, sure the pink pound is very potent, but still....

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And we're tired of YOU telling US how to think and act. Get over yourself. We live in a multicultural society. It is inevitable, and indeed, important for progression that cultures living so close should integrate and borrow from each other. YOU are the one advocating segregation. Not white people.

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Strength!

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If this is not a fake, April Fool's headline it needs to be. 

So I am going with own favorite fake headlines:

Obama Institutes Sharia Law and  Declares the Caliphate
 
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Obama Dissolves Congress, Declares Constitution Null and Void and the Supreme Court Obsolete.
*

The bBizarre Headless Rainbow Space Alien Zombie Insect Eaters Conspiracy        

                                
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How to Cook and Eat Walking Dead Zombies

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How To Know If It Is Better To Eat Fetuses Or Torture Terrorists

***

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Thankkkkkkk YOOOOOUUUUU!!!!!!!!!!!! Black women, especially black SJW women get on my nerves!!! They act as if everything they feel, act, think, do, and say doesn't derive from the backs of black gay culture. The gay black man, is the purveyor of all culture in the black community that isn't patriarchal-masculine.

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Nope!

Many a gay Black man looks to the Black straight woman, and takes her actions and mimics them to epic proportions,I observe it and have done for many a year at my many nights out at various clubs, straight, gay, gay friendly on the London scene, however it must be made clear that not all Black females act nor speak in the same way, to think this is silly, we are however speaking in broad general terms.

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Your comment is racist and makes no sense. 

You hate black women, especially black women who won't let you treat them like shit and insist on this "social justice crap" of standing up for themselves.

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spoken like a true feminist.....annoying and completely off topic...please just shut up.

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 I sincerely wish parents would pay more attention to the agendas being pushed in many universities. If I knew my son or daughter were being subjected to SJW indoctrination, I'd pull them right out, end of story. SJWs idiots are a throwback to segregationists and are a general threat to freedom of thought.  Trigger warnings on classic literature? Telling writers what sort of characters they can and can't write about? Saying such things as black people can't be racist, or that white people have no culture of their own?  Or that all men rape?   Hopefully SJWs are a QUICKLY passing fad.

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I love this post. <3 SJW's are a plague.

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Don't pull them out - they will be subjected to worse crap than this in their life.

Instead hope that you raised them well enough to realise when they are being fed crap and refuse it. 

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I'm in university right now and I literallly can't escape it.

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What university?

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This is the first step to banning all Gay men from "Acting Like Women".

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I don't know. Many of the gay white men I've bet have based their senses of humor and behavior off of little more than caricatures of black women. When you see them restraining from this kind of behavior when they're around actual black people, it's obvious they know it's offensive.

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Most caricatures of black women I've seen come from black women and black male comedians.  Who perpetuates these stereotypes more than black people??

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You are so right....they do perpetuate it.  More than anyone else.  If you want to stop being seen as a victim stop acting like one.

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Uh, black people aren't the ones being racist here - are you saying black people should stop acting !like black people"? 

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Prejudice maybe Blacks people can be but not racist.

Reverse racism, the race card are slogans dreamt up within a Supremacy system to keep "those of color" in check and in line, to the point if someone wants to say something they will say beforehand "I am not bringing up the race card but...".

And Bobs you uncle...you have fallen into the trap of allowing a play on words to confuse ones mind.

There is no such thing as a human non white being racist within a white supremacy system in which everything is geared towards genetic survival of non whites through the means of genetic removal of those referred to as non white.

To clarify it is not cool to be rude to anyone based on skin color/race/ethnicity/etc, but this reverse racism thing is sheer fallacy.

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What a load of crap. First of all, that is NOT the definition of racist and the majority of the world knows it. Second, how do you figure being a prejudiced bigot is any better than being labeled a racist? They're the same damn thing only one is benignly applied to people who perceive themselves as victims and the other maliciously applied to a population of people who don't deserve it. No matter what white people did in the past, it is no better or worse than anything any other culture has done to someone else at some point in the past.

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So what, what's next you gonna tell gay guys to stop acting gay? oh wait you already are.

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are you serious

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This is the dumbest shit I've ever heard. Horseshoe theory in action.

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Is this shit for real? Jesus Christ, students are pussies.

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Please ban straight white males from acting like black males. If not, get the fuck out with your homophobic and racist policy.

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How is that at all less racist?

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I'll give it to the group that gay men claiming they are "strong black women" or have an "inner black woman" is offensive, and itself racist. 

What? Yes it's unoriginal, and you're brittle ego my be offended, but it's hardly racist. If anything it's anti-racist as it saying, "I empathize with another culture and feel so close to that culture that I feel as if I am part of that culture on the inside." Only a racist would find that racist.

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You literally have no idea how much bullshit you're speaking here,

You can't just "feel black" - blackness comes with a history of white supremacy, slavery and racism that white gay men don't have.

http://racerelations.about.com/od/diversitymatters/fl/What-Is-Cultural-Appropriation-and-Why-Is-It-Wrong.htm

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Once again Eyecu you are an F***ing idiot.  You have gone way too far into whatever fantasy you believe in.  "You can't just "feel black" - blackness comes with a history of white supremacy, slavery and racism that white gay men don't have." Really?  because I'm pretty sure that gays are still being f***ing killed and murdered every day, and there is oppression and we have to deal with religious fanatics that come in every damn color. I live stateside and we are having states that are passing laws which allow for people to legally discriminate.  So I'm sorry what kind of bullshit did you just let fall out of your mouth?  Your ignorance is both astounding and annoying.

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These mannerisms come also from ball culture of the 1990s. Go watch Paris is Burning.

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Wait, didn't black female culture appropriate gay black male culture?  I'm pretty sure most of the terms "appropriated" (like shade) came from the ballrooms waayyyy back when. 

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Sexism, Racism and Homophobia all rolled into one. when I'm next at uni I'm going to say as many MMHMMs and GURRRLLs as I can.

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stop walking around with this stupid GAY Acting then! "Ooooooohhh look at me I'm gay I must talk like a proper bender and wish I was a woman with my stupid high pitched voice and hand gestures " I don't walk around in some weird way with a made up voice saying to everyone " ooooooooohhhh everyone must take notice of me because Im heterosexual " you bunch of weirdos.. It's flipping really annoying.!

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I'm so sorry I annoyed you because my self expression doesn't fit into your concept of Gender stereotypes.  For the record, I have never wished to be a woman, but instead take solace in the fact that I will never be like you- ignorant, stupid and intolerant.  Have a nice day.

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This shit is really homophobic and racist. And that's coming from a black, gay male. Like this is just pathetic. No one owns any words or body language. Get your head out your ass.

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this is stupid, you can't ban mannerisms, and the reason is even dumber. "appropiate black women culture"? we all use mannerisms we've heard from someone else, are we gonna ban all of them? are we going to make a list of approved mannerisms for each gender/race/sexual orientation/sexual identity? Will I have to read a list before each time I speak to make sure I'm not infringing on someone else's view on their culture?

before anyone says anything, I'm male, latino, gay, and I don't speak like a black woman.

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"Can one human group claim propriety to body language, behaviors, or speech? "

No. Body language is universal. And if you want to start going about speech... I don't remember any native black English speakers.

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We've done it! We've hit peak retard!

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Appropriating black culture.....you mean like "jazz hands"? 

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This is the dumbest thing ive ever in my life read. We want equality for everyine but here go the black women saying "no you cant do this because you arent black" its like you guess think you deserve everything white people can do but yet you dont think white people deserve the same? I thought we were well past the times when people still referred to words and gestures with a skin color. How do you talk black or act black? Its impossible to act like a skin colorm

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it's not "the black women."  It's a group of social justice warriors, the majority of which are most likely heterosexual white people, who go around trying to divde everyone and impose a bunch of nonsensical rules in the name of "social justice."

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This. This is what disgusts me about SJWs. They're basically a bunch of whiny, mainly white middle class cisgender heterosexuals deciding what minorities want and don't want, and going about dictating to society what you can and can't do and trying to societally categorize people based on their race and sex, thus creating gaps and divisions within western society. It's so horribly ironic it's funny, but such an evidently powerful mindset that it's sad.

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It might be insensitive to claim one has an inner Black woman, but its a stretch to call it racist. Abd tgis privilege crap drives me nuts. Poor and working class Whites have less privilege than many Blacks. Government set asides, affirmative action, scholarships, etc

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I don't even see it as insensitive. Maybe if it meant something negative, but they're basically saying they like black woman so much that they feel more comfortable/can relate more to them. Its like saying you have an inner fat kid or inner child or inner geek. Its not meant to be rude/mean/racist or anything of the sort. But these morons that don't know how to ignore what they don't like want to put everyone into little groups that you have to remain in. They claim they want equality but they actually want the exact opposite. They don't want anyone to socialize outside the social circle SJW's impose upon them. 

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It does mean something insensitive. It means "your cultural identity and history are a costume to me." 

It means you ignore a context of slavery and white supremacy.

Black women have told you again and again that it is oppressive and you are not listening.

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It is NOT oppressive. Just because you keep saying it is doesn't actually make it so. Since when is a compliment oppressive? And how does slavery and white supremacy factor in to how some white gay men present themselves? They aren't imitating black women because they want to keep them down. They WORSHIP black women. THAT is kinda the whole point you keep ignoring in favor of your baseless racism accusations.

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Bitches be crazy. 

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this is the most fucking retarded thing ive ever read in my life.  furthermore,how exactly is this "ban" going to be enforced anyway?  i could talk like Shanequa Jenkins until the police show up and then claim that i'm actually straight.  they have no way of proving i'm a gay man because i look, act and talk totally straight all the time (except when i'm talking like a Sassy black woman of course).  and furthermore, i am totally racially ambiguous... i'm white but look middle eastern or Indian.  and i have an ethnic last name.  basically you can neither prove my gayness nor my whiteness.  I BEAT YOU.  fuck you twats

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They are banning it in the context of their meetings. You think the NUS is going to go out and enforce a worldwide ban?

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The Nanny State gone mad. Gestures and expressions are now being legislated.  The one-upmanship of "privilege" run amok. What's next?  Bans on perceived annoying tones of voice? Will passing gas be subject to serious-toned legislation? This is pure Stalinism. Or Mao's Cultural Revolution if you prefer.

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I love this resolution. Obviously, it has started some conversations. If white gay men broadly honored and admired Black women in an authentic way, more of them would be protesting in Ferguson or speaking out when the police kill another Black person on camera and get away with it. They would speak out about the tiny number of Black women in leading movie rolls. They'd be indignant about pay gap. This admiration argument is weak.

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A resolution that bans certain behavior based on the person's race sex and sexuality? By definition that is racist, sexist and homophobic.

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I cant speak for everyone but i post everytime a young black man or woman is killed by police for no reason! I stand up for all races not just my own!

I do need to know something do you think you should be able to talk like a white person and do all the things a white person can do? Then why is it different when the shoe is on the other foot? And how do you act or talk like a skin color anyway?

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jesus, would you pull that big fat stick out of your ass? sounds to me like a bunch of people who have never heard a joke in their life that they weren't somehow offended by.  

question : why did the chicken cross the road.  

answer: well that's a heteronormative statement isn't it. why does the chicken have to cross the road? are we assuming chickens are too poor to pay for the bus?  

the problem with the politically correct far left is that nothing is funny anymore, nothing is fun anymore, and we have to be sensitive to everyone on everything, and it's all boring and dull. boo hoo.  

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It just so happens that if you're a black woman watching other people use your identity as a costume, it was never fun to begin with.

Maybe you just need a better sense of humour if you can't tell a joke without it being racist.

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Maybe you need a better understanding of what racism actually IS if you get so bent out of shape over something you have the power to completely ignore. If you don't like gay white men, don't hang out with any. Trying to dictate how other people think and act is going to get you nowhere other than bitter and honestly it makes you a hypocrite.

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If someone sincerely views this as a legitimate "problem", there are FAR better ways of starting a conversation than unilaterally banning someone's behavior.  

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The UK Students Union is privileged. They get to go to school, unlike women in Muslim countries. They should stop dividing people along race and gender lines, and go learn something - grateful that they get to do so.

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There is no such thing as white or male privilege. End of story.

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Says the white male...

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Says the land whale

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You can't even string together a complete sentence, so you resort straight to HUR DUR U R FAT? That's your argument, huh?

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Gay men admire strong women, and there's a lot of strong black women to admire. IT's not culture theft, it is adulation and respect, it's fandom. It makes you laugh - here's a bunch of white men being the exact opposite of racist and some angry people decide to twist things and make us look racist....This judgment is homophobic. Not only are they judging all white gay people to be the same and think the same, they have cut us out of the conversation ignoring our thoughts and feelings on the matter and they have implicitly dubbed us racist. It is nasty and I for one am wounded.

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The problem with attributing white male privilege to gay men is that the moment others discover that we are gay, whatever privilege we might have had comes to a screeching halt.  That privilege is very much conditional, and for out gay men, it's tenuous at best.

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Everyone has privilege, and that's basically a universal truth. Gay white men are privileged in regards to their race and gender but not privileged in terms of sexual orientation. It's intersectionality at its finest. The NUS does not assume that gay white men choose to "act gay" but instead is trying to address the appropriation of mannerisms of a group that is also subject to violence, harassment, violence, discrimination, etc. Ultimately, this isn't a conversation about "who owns gestures, mannerisms, behaviors, or speech" nor is this an attack on gay men.. but a conversation on how people can be respectful all around: gay white men, NUS, etc.

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White Straight Women benefit from Straight and White privilege, but you don't see anyone demanding they admit to that. So why must White Gay Men constantly be told to admit our privileges? 

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Yes indeed they do and I for one am not silent on this matter.

You have raised a valid point, hence why I do not take on board feminism as it is strictly from a white female privilege frame of reference, that said I have seen many a white feminist turn her nose up as if she has stepped in excrement at white females she classes as lower than her.

You have raised a valid point.

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It's because our nation of straight white women have nothing left to complain about. If this is the first you've heard about in their most recent targeting of gay men (mostly because gay men actually have something to complain about whereas they, for the most part, don't) then buckle up. It's going to be a long and bumpy ride.

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Being banned from targeting black women and using their identities as some fun fad is not the same as targeting gay men.

This was passed at the NUS LGBT conference, and there were plenty of gay white men there, who debated on the motion and then passed it through with their votes.

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I'm SOOOO sure that all the gay white men in attendance felt free to speak their minds on this subject.  I bet they didn't encounter a brick wall where they expected a thinking, feeling, and empathetic human being to sit as they calmly explained what it feels like to be a gay white man who suddenly can't do anything that black people also do.  I was recently told to stop appropriating Dr. King in my political advocacy.  As a PHD Historian, I was all "huh?  You wait tables, and you're wrong. Here is the proof that should end this nonsensical debate.. Do your homework. Oh no I'm wrong because I'm white? Huh?" And then still I was a racist. We get it sugarbuns, you don't like being degraded or objectified.  Blagh.  Neither do we.  Unless we do like it.  Kind of like black culture...it's fine if we pay you, we just have to act like we didn't.  Tell the cast of RHW of Atlanta to pack it up cause they're all not famous anymore.  Bye.

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It stops being a conversation when you ban something though? What are you talking about.

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