Over on the Patheos blog, “Love, Joy, Feminism,” Libby Anne makes some great points about the imprisoned Kentucky clerk Kim Davis who refused to sign same sex marriage certificates. Even though Libby Anne believes Davis is a bigot (while I believe she her actions are justified and necessary), she doesn’t like the way some progressives have chosen to criticize Davis. The above carton, she points out, is particularly rude:
Note the spelling of some of the words and phrases ascribed to Kim Davis—”Ah will not issue marriage licenses to homosexuals because the bahble sez it’s a sin.” These spellings are clearly meant to portray Davis as a redneck, hillbilly, or backcountry hick, and that’s classist. Should we call people out for bigoted beliefs? Absolutely. Should we make fun of the way they talk or mock them for where they’re from? No.
Given that Kim Davis has now been sent to jail for refusing to obey a court order, I suspect we’ll be talking about her for a long time to come. As we engage in those conversations—as we discuss issues of religious freedom and point a finger at homophobia—let’s make an effort to avoid using either sexism or classism in our own critiques. I have to believe we can call out bigotry without engaging in it ourselves.
… can we please stop slut-shaming and attacking the looks of women that we disagree with? If the point of attacking these people is to demonstrate that we won’t stand for bigotry in this world, then the tactics I’ve mentioned here are failing miserably. We can do better.
I wholeheartedly agree. People of conviction are going to be at odds on this issue for years to come. Instead of throwing more fuel on the fire, let’s try to elevate the conversation into a place of principle and not personality. Thanks to these two Patheos bloggers for speaking out.