Posted by: Loren Coleman on April 12th, 2007
Why would someone use the above sign to throw homophobia my way? See below.
Some rather stupid people haunt the world. Do not fool yourself into thinking that you can ignore what is happening all over the news these days, regarding the discussion of Don Imus’s outrageous remarks. Insensitive people even exist in Bigfoot studies.
Perhaps they should be classified with the Latin name, Homophobus mysognistis xenophobus ignoramus for the homophobic, demeaning sexist, racist stupidity they give forth as if they know what they are talking about.
The women of the Rutgers basketball team are the focus in this latest round of soul-searching occurring in America due to the most recent racist, sexism, and mysognistic comments (“nappy-headed hos”) of a certain radio show host on MSNBC.
Don Imus has faced criticism in the past for making remarks that were considered racist or homophobic. Most recently before the Rutgers incident, on February 8, 2007, Imus said “Besa mi culo … Gordo, [to New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson] not me.” The Spanish phrase loosely translates into English as “kiss my ass, fat one.”
Imus has apologized, has been fired by MSNBC and CBS, and has been claiming to be personally hurt by all of this. If you are confused and think that the victim is this melodrama is Don Imus, you are to be excused for what often happens in these matters. Those who say abusive or thoughtless comments often wish to act like they are the ones victimized because people are upset with them.
I have been struck by one yardstick that was a good one mentioned in this Don Imus affair. It was simply, “How would you feel if one of the women basketball players was your daughter?” I think this brings this nicely home, and can be applied to what happens in Bigfoot circles, especially with how some men talk about women in the field and men that seem to make them uncomfortable.
I certainly know that I can think about the same analogy with reference to my sons and what I have heard thrown at some young men, whether they are playing lacrosse or have unconventional Bigfoot theories. But this yardstick does apply quite literally to how women in our field certainly sometimes feel.
Right before the Imus flap, a lively 2007 series of exchanges by two Bigfoot researchers, Lisa Shiels in her blogs, “The Single Girl and the Sasquatch” and “Wild Women of the Woods”, and Regan Lee in her “Wild Women: More on that Elephant in the Room” occurred. I am outraged but not surprised that someone would say to these women or any other woman who might be interested in Bigfoot research that they must be “lesbians.”
Frankly, do you know of any serious researchers, whether a father or a mother, who would not be proud to think their daughter might pursue the quest for Bigfoot? To consider the mindset of someone who would call someone else a “lesbian” because they are out in the woods looking for an unknown hairy hominoid is unfathomable, but not without a history in this field.
Shiels has pointed out:
One man told me women don’t want to get involved in Bigfoot research because they’re afraid of the woods. Come on!Lisa Shiels
Lesbians* would naturally be a minority of females looking for Bigfoot. If they are among the seekers, of course, they are strong women who just happen to love and enjoy the company of other women. However, one’s sexuality has nothing to do with being a good Bigfooter. Why Bigfooters would feel the need to try to demean the few women in hominology by some type of name-calling is beyond understanding. (*A major ancient Greek island in the Aegean Sea, Lesbos was noted for its lyric poets, including the most famous, Sappho, in the seventh century B.C. Various of Sappho’s love poems were addressed to women, and she has long been considered to have had homosexual inclinations. The word lesbian itself is derived from the name of the island of Lesbos from which she came.)
Of course, I have seen such behavior bring forth it’s ugly head before, mostly in 2003, when I openly discussed this issue of intolerance in my Bigfoot!! book’s chapter, “Sex and the Single Sasquatch.” Without the hecklers even reading that chapter, I was labeled by a few as a “homo” and worst. Most vicious critics felt it would be a smear if they said I was “gay” or used the “f-word,” in my regard, without any information on me or ever even meeting me.
On one Bigfoot forum, here are some of the remarks left, after I brought up the homophobia in Sasquatch studies:
Coleman can expound all the gay bigfoot theories he likes, but at this point, i think my theory that the angry purple unicorn on the other side of the moon is lesbian is just as valid and significant. :rolleyes: Coleman has pretty much become a total cuckoo in my eyes now. I hope his progressive dementia doesn’t give the whole Bigfoot community a bad name, but i’m afraid it will. The press would much rather report on the crazy ones than the serious ones, and even better, a serious one that turned out to be crazy (Coleman).robo
After someone attempted to counterbalance the remarks with some reality about what my chapter was about, this same individual, robo, returned with these remarks:
Unless you’re Loren Coleman, in which case you frequently see groups of male Squatches disco dancing. robo
And…telling more about himself than me…he continued:
You know your in the territory of a gay male sasquatch when you see matching curtains on redwood trees .. the light green ones to match the carpet of moss .. and potted fernssss. :lmao:robo
Plus, robo aimed his remarks at a variety of people…
Bigfoot lesbians ?? … boy, talk about Hairy Bull Dykes :lmao:
In all fairness to Coleman … has anyone (!!!) got any reports of being in the deep wilderness, and hearing a deep voice (really deep) singing Village People songs ???? :lmao:
*in the navy …. *
*Ohnooo just had a bad bad bad visual of Sailor village people squatch and leather policeman squatch :blink: :blink: …. help * robo
Or with the following image posted and along with the following comment:
This just in !!!! Coleman may be right !!!! As evidenced by this pic of a road sign near his house …..robo
Needless to say, although this sign is not in my museum’s collection, I would not be ashamed to have it there, mostly because I think it looks like a unique route marker. Frankly, robo knows nothing about me and merely reveals himself to be a Homophobus mysognistis xenophobus ignoramus.
There is no justification for this kind of environment to be reinforced, laughed at, or supported in our field.
People who have disagreed with me even use words like “rants” to close their ears. This was done, for example, when Michel Raynal and I felt it was important to point out that racism was behind the de Loys’ photograph’s misuse or when I pointed out the use of the “d-word” being used by some for California Indians.
I won’t soon stop how I view the importance of expunging “evidence” and “theories” with xenophobic, homophobic, and racism backgrounds from cryptozoology and hominology. It is one thing to criticize people based on their theories or thought-process (like Mary Green, for her continued lack of evidence, or Jack Lapseritis, for shaky less than concrete thinking), and quite another to go after people because they, for example, are women, Native, African-American, or Jewish.
So instead of just complaining, what can we do? We all are required to do our part in changing the legacy of subtle colonial and cultural oppression to be found even within the study of hidden animals and hairy hominoids. You can do something about making the right choices in your cryptozoological work. Let me give you an example, one I constructed very consciously in the mid-1990s.
In Cryptozoology A to Z (NY: Simon and Schuster, 1999), understanding what occurs for young people through descriptions of role models, I (along with coauthor Jerome Clark) presented biographies of men and women that would inspire girls and boys. To counterbalance any sense that this was an overly celebrity-filled Caucasian American male-dominated field, I liberally sprinkled my book with biographical examples that were as diverse as is the global field of cryptozoology.
I purposefully highlighted women (e.g. Ruth Harkness, Roberta “Bobbie” Short, Eugenie Clark, Ramona Clark, Barbara Wasson, Marie-Jeanne Koffmann, Odette Tchernine, Arlene Gaal), non-Americans (e.g. Arlene Gaal, Dmitri Bayonov, Odette Tchernine, Rene Dahinden, Boris Porshnev, Michel Raynal, Marie-Jeanne Koffmann, Tan Hong Viet, Lars Thomas, Gerald Russell), and forgotten historical individuals (e.g. Ruth Harkness, Forrest Wood, Marie-Jeanne Koffmann, Gerald Russell, Odette Tchernine, Bruce S. Wright, Ramona Clark). Also, remembering this was in 1999, I also pointed to the up-and-coming stars (e.g. Arlene Gaal, Jeff Meldrum, Bobbie Short, Bill Gibbons). Of 200 entries in Cryptozoology A to Z, some 60 biographies in all were written on those who had contributed to cryptozoology by the end of the 1990s. Most were men, of course, because the field is mostly male, but that did not stop us from gathering as many women in the book as the publisher’s space would allow us.
For those individuals for whom I was unable to obtain more complete biographies or due to editorial limitations, I made certain that other female role models (who were researching hairy unknown hominoids) were mentioned in the entries on specific cryptids. Examples include British travel writer turned fulltime field cryptozoologist Deborah Martyr (under “Orang Pendek”), medical doctor Anne Mallasse (under “Barmanu”), and Myra Shackley (under “Almas”).
I did and do my writing in an unspoken expression and commitment to the fact that the fields of cryptozoology and hominology can be open to whomever wishes to engage in the pursuit and research on cryptids and unknown hominoids. There need not be any barriers in the way of those that dream, those that do, and those that wish to achieve, other than the normal, routine, and unfortunate cultural, societal, racist, ageist, and sexist roadblocks that are thrown up in the way of any human who wishes to break past traditions and forge ahead. It is time for us, in this realm too, to commit to break those barriers down.