Heard about this one from my friend Lisa Duggan, Director of the American Studies Program at NYU and primo observer of all things pink and lesbian, who sent a few queer theory professors a link to a Bill O'Reilly segment on "Lesbian Gangs."
After viewing it, someone on the list wrote: "At last! My long cherished hope that the moral panics around race, gender, and sexuality would just get it over with and converge
one stable scapegoat has at long last been realized!!"
As I was watching it, my girlfriend said it looked like a "Daily Show" spoof, and indeed it does, all these earnest middle aged guys talking about the lesbian threat in tones usually reserved for Al Qaeda. Turns out that among other inventions, revealed and linked on a well-documented posting about this by Jeff Hoard here, O'Reilly used a montage of footage from a youtube video of a "chick fight" over a man and a few other lies and exaggerations to make it seem that, just as he'd feared all along, lesbians have finally resorted to guns to win converts.
One sentiment popping up all over the blogosphere is a "wishful thinking" sentiment: if ONLY there were lesbian avengers, so to speak. For instance, Chris Dykstra writes: "I am ready to be a foot-soldier in a lesbian gang! Choose me! Me! Me! Me!" Fear of violence focuses attention. Following 9-11 sales of the Koran immediately quintupled and Penguin had to airlift copies into the U.S. to keep up with demand. A reporter for the Boston Globe wrote on October 5, 2001, "Interest in Islam - a religion that was largely unknown to many Americans before Sept. 11 - is suddenly pervasive. Today, Oprah Winfrey is dedicating her television talk show to the topic 'Islam 101.'"
Alas, the lesbian gangs and Al Qaeda are far less violent and becoming more legitimate than the ones being run under the flag of the United States. Maybe Cheney, Rumsfeld and Bush are right about one thing: when the U.S. is militarily defeated in the Middle East it will lose its ideological stature there as well. And not a second too soon. This is by no means to say that the other gangs waiting in the wings are an improvement, but that a world without U.S. hegemony is better than one with it.