How to answer questions about your sexual orientation

by on May 28, 2010 at 12:56 pm in Current Affairs, Education, Law | Permalink

As an aside, I cannot refrain from relating another anecdote, which is told of Gore Vidal.  In a TV interview he was asked: "Was your first sexual experience with a man or with a woman?"  To which he replied: "I was too polite to ask."

That is from Žižek citing Dolar, p.121.  It's a shame that Kagan does not have the liberty to answer in the same manner.

1 minderbender May 28, 2010 at 1:42 pm

I’m sure Kagan has seen a deposition taken – she should just answer, “Yes.”

2 Pedro May 28, 2010 at 2:29 pm

That’s just an amazing answer if he did it off the cuff. Politely refusing to answer the questions, while subtly but unmistakably telling the interviewer that he was impolite to have asked the question. Brilliant!

3 Andrew May 28, 2010 at 4:03 pm

I don’t care who she screws as long as it’s not me.

If she told Congress to go %$@#% themselves she’d get my support even though she does plan to screw me.

4 Rob May 28, 2010 at 4:55 pm

Those who abide by social norms reinforce them. Kagan is part of the problem if she decides she doesn’t have the liberty to answer in the same manner.

5 Andrew May 28, 2010 at 5:32 pm

I don’t know, but while at first thought I might say that having gays in the military has nothing in common with lesbians on the SupCo, if having buggery on the high seas will keep those jack legs from drafting my kids, then I’m all for it.

6 Andrew May 28, 2010 at 6:00 pm

Because she has no experience?

7 anonymous May 28, 2010 at 6:24 pm

It’s nice to know that Gore Vidal was once capable of being polite. As a crotchety 83 year-old late last year, he notoriously referred to Roman Polanski’s 13 year-old victim as a “young hooker” (and that was no slip of the tongue either, he very much meant it). There was a surprisingly… nonexistent… reaction to these remarks, and the original interview in The Atlantic seems to have been removed, although many blog entries written at the time reference the broken link.

8 Mr. Econotarian May 28, 2010 at 6:34 pm

Gay people have the experience of being judged their entire life…

9 Bock May 28, 2010 at 8:43 pm

Vidal once made the most cynical statement ever uttered: “Every time a friend succeeds a part of me dies.”

10 Andrew May 28, 2010 at 9:02 pm

Do people believe that Kagan’s sexual orientation was purely coincidental in Obama’s selection process?

Not me. I figure he wants it to come up.

11 mulp May 28, 2010 at 11:07 pm

Reading the comments, Alice’s Restaurant comes to mind…

I went over to the sargent, said, “Sargeant, you got a lot a damn gall to ask me if I’ve rehabilitated myself, I mean, I mean, I mean that just, I’m sittin’ here on the bench, I mean I’m sittin here on the Group W bench ’cause you want to know if I’m moral enough join the army, burn women, kids, houses and villages after bein’ a litterbug.” He looked at me and said, “Kid, we don’t like your kind, and we’re gonna send you fingerprints off to Washington.”

And friends, somewhere in Washington enshrined in some little folder, is a study in black and white of my fingerprints. And the only reason I’m singing you this song now is cause you may know somebody in a similar situation, or you may be in a similar situation, and if your in a situation like that there’s only one thing you can do and that’s walk into the shrink wherever you are ,just walk in say “Shrink, You can get anything you want, at Alice’s restaurant.”. And walk out.

You know, if one person, just one person does it they may think he’s really sick and they won’t take him.

And if two people, two people do it, in harmony, they may think they’re both faggots and they won’t take either of them.

And three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in singin a bar of Alice’s Restaurant and walking out. They may think it’s an organization.

And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day,I said fifty people a day walking in singin a bar of Alice’s Restaurant and walking out. And friends they may thinks it’s a movement.

Anyway, the best answer to a question on sex is “You can get anything you want, at Alice’s restaurant.”

12 Yancey Ward May 29, 2010 at 11:16 am

Someone has already beaten me to it, but she does have that liberty, Tyler.

13 Oreg May 29, 2010 at 12:20 pm

Sorry, I haven’t been following that discussion. What arguments, other than homophobia, are there against gays in the military?

14 Laserlight May 29, 2010 at 5:17 pm

liberalarts, your logic is flawed, i.e. it may be that our army is more professional. I’m not saying it is or isn’t, I’m just pointing out that you’re omitting a possibility.

As for the topic at hand: if the military can function well with women serving (a point on which I express no opinion) then I should think it could also function with gays serving.

15 DP Roberts May 31, 2010 at 3:22 am

I couldn’t care less if Kagan is a lesbian or not. That’s beside the point.

Kagan’s unprincipled expulsion of military recruiting on the flimsy grounds of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell reveals her as a radical and a legal dullard.

Her amicus brief supported a lawsuit which commenced after the Iraq War began, and the sole purpose of that suit was to undermine the Iraq War, not seek social justice for gays. One should wonder why Kagan didn’t file lawsuits against DADT at the outset of the “abhorrent” policy, under Clinton. Don’t you all think her protest would have met with more success in, say, 1999 or 2000 with a sympathetic President and Attorney General at the helm and nothing political to lose anymore?

The military did not make the DADT policy. It was Clinton’s policy enacted by Congress. Congress makes all rules governing discipline in the military. If she had a beef, she should have taken it up with John Kerry and Ted Kennedy, not the JAG Corps.

After a UNANIMOUS (8-0) Supreme Court ruling against her position, she re-admitted the military onto campus. But hold on a minute! The court did NOT force her to re-admit the military. It only upheld the Solomon Amendments which would cut off government funding of Harvard if it refused recruitment.

So she abandoned her principled stand against the injustice of DADT which she described as “abhorrent” only for the sake of government money. Perhaps she and all the other faculty of Harvard Law School should have taken 16% pay cuts, cut their operating budget by 16%, and refused government grants. Her principles apparently come with a price tag.

But let’s get back to the SCOTUS decision. Had Kagan been a justice on that court, the ruling would have been 8-1 with her as the lone dissenter. The remaining 8 brilliant legal minds would have been compelled to tear her dissent apart revealing her as the legal lightweight she really is. Looking over her slim academic publication record, it’s a wonder she ever achieved tenure much less became a Dean or Solicitor General.

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