So, intentionally or not, Finn outing Santana in a crowded high school hallway was wrong. Yes, Santana bullied him. Yes, that was bad. Yes, she should probably be reprimanded for such actions. But, no, she doesn’t then deserve to be outed. Having someone take one of the most personal decisions you’ll make in your life away from you is not OK.
Simply being a bitch isn’t a rationale for forcing someone out. Even if Santana has in the past been somewhat indelicate about the subject of other’s sexuality, it doesn’t justify these actions. And even if Finn didn’t intend for the entire world to learn about Santana’s secret, it was never his secret to share.
via Media takes on Santana’s outing, we wonder what comes next on “Glee” | TV Show Recaps, Celebrity Interviews & News About & For Gay, Lesbian & Bisexual Women | AfterEllen.com.
I hate how divisive this is turning out to be. Certainly a lot of people have commented to me that they’re surprised at my attitude to Santana’s outing. And perhaps I’m the one who expressed herself badly, but I don’t think that Santana deserved to be outed.
I do think she brought it on herself.
Think about it. Would anyone have ever outed Brittany? Or, say, Mike Chang?
Santana is the queen of the gay joke. She told Rory to go kill himself (and I should have written about that at the time but it’s super triggery). She said she was going to apologise to Finn and then stood there torturing him with fat jokes until he snapped.
How would we all feel about Santana if Rory did, actually, try and kill himself?
We may all love watching Santana on our televisions (I know I do), but how many of us would want to know her in real life?
The fact is, in life, that being a miserable asshole has consequences. It doesn’t matter why you’re that way, but if you get your jollies making other people feel like shit, someday someone is going to come back at you. And it may not be what you deserve, but it will be all your own doing.
For instance, if I (especially routinely) drive a car that has no headlights in the middle of the night, do I deserve to die? Dishing out the death penalty for infractions like that is not ok. But if I did die because another driver didn’t see me, is it anyone else’s fault but my own? Sure, they have lights, they should have been driving slow enough to stop, etc but really, the bulk of the blame rests on me.
Santana does not deserve the outing she’s (apparently) getting. It’s tragic, because the consequences are all out of proportion for her. But it’s interesting, and dramatic and most of all, it’s pretty real.
Being me, I also look back to a year ago when 2.06 happened — would people have been so up in arms had Kurt decided to out Karofsky the moment after Dave kissed Kurt in the locker room? What about after he reacted badly to the intervention on the stairs? What about after the death threat?
Because I think people would have been okay with that.
And maybe it’s because Kurt is gay, outing another gay kid and somehow it’s easier to forgive?
Or because Karofsky’s physical abuse was worse than Santana’s verbal abuse (I don’t think it was, and I’ve suffered a lot of both)?
Or just because people didn’t like Karofsky as much (he isn’t as pretty, he wasn’t a main character so we never got to see his softer side, etc), so they didn’t care what happened to him?
The question last year was WHY DOESN’T KURT JUST OUT HIM?!
This year, it’s WHY WOULD FINN DO THAT?!
I don’t know. It’s interesting to me, though.
The difference to me is that Karofsky weaponized his sexuality. Even if you don’t see the kiss itself as assault, even if you don’t see his harassment as sexualized, it’s directly tied in to why he was harassing Kurt and why he threatened to kill him. Telling people that Karofsky is attracted to guys is part and parcel of telling people what Karofsky did to him, and the victim’s right to be able to talk truthfully about being harassed trumps the aggressor’s right to keep their sexuality private, if the harassment in question involves the aggressor’s sexuality.
If it was a case of Karofsky beating Kurt up for his lunch money, his sexuality (gay or straight or otherwise) wouldn’t play into Kurt being able (or not able) to tell people about the ways in which Karofsky victimized him. In this case, however, when Sue asks Kurt “He threatened to kill you if you told anyone what?”, the truthful answer to that question involves Karofsky’s sexuality.
If Santana had threatened Finn’s life if he told anyone that she’s a lesbian, he would have been perfectly within his rights to report her, and to tell the entire truth about why she threatened him, because “I’m a closeted lesbian” would be Santana’s motive for committing a crime against Finn, and reasonably tied to why anyone should believe that she threatened to kill him. If Santana sexually harassed Rachel, Rachel would be perfectly within her rights to tell people what Santana had done to her, because that situation is no longer about Santana being a closeted lesbian–it’s about Santana victimizing Rachel As it is, Finn telling Santana to come out of the closet had nothing to do at all with what she was doing to him. She was being a bitch to him. She wasn’t being a closeted lesbian to him.
I have no idea whether the fandom consensus you’re seeing that Kurt should have outed Karofsky is tied into the above, or if what you’re seeing involves outing in some other way, but that’s the majority of what I’ve seen–that Kurt should have been able to fully report the harassment he was receiving, becau. IMO that shouldn’t be tied into the idea of outing at all, and it really bothers me that the show itself tied the idea of Kurt telling authority figures the full extent of Karofsky’s harassment and the reason behind it to “outing”. If I’m robbed by a closeted lesbian at a gay club, my reporting the crime to the police and telling them where I was robbed and who robbed me isn’t “outing”, even if her presence at the gay club would have stayed secret without me reporting the crime.
//The fact is, in life, that being a miserable asshole has consequences. It doesn’t matter why you’re that way, but if you get your jollies making other people feel like shit, someday someone is going to come back at you. And it may not be what you deserve, but it will be all your own doing.//
If Santana didn’t deserve to be outed, though, then it isn’t actually a consequence of her being a miserable asshole. I don’t think you can say that she brought it on herself if what someone comes back at her with is disproportionate to what she herself dished out. Or, if you can, exactly where do you draw the line between “disproportionate punishment that she brought on herself” and “disproportionate punishment that isn’t her own doing”? If Finn had called her a racist or homophobic slur, would that still be her own fault? If he hit her? If he ran her over with his car?
Because that’s really the issue. Most people will, I think, agree with you that being a miserable asshole does (or at least should) have consequences. People are, however, going to disagree as to what level of severity the person in question can be reasonably assumed to have brought on herself. In this case, the “consequences” of Santana’s behavior are a) unrelated to her actual behavior since, as I said above, Santana was being a bitch to Finn. She wasn’t being a closeted lesbian to him., b) disproportionate to her behavior (outing someone is not equivalent to calling them fat), and c) wrong in and of itself (because outing is wrong). It’s possible to recognize that Santana is a terrible person who should face the consequences of her actions without justifying outing or blaming Santana for something awful that was done to her.
I think you’re mixing up what “deserve” and “what realistically happens when you do something”
Deserve implies some actual, measured, moral judgement on our part. That was deem what one person did as bad enough to be given the punishment that happened. Like when Sandy Ryerson was touching students, he deserved to lose his job. Other things could have happened. He could have ended up in the newspapers. They may have pressed charges. He could have ended up shot by the boy’s father. Whether or not he deserved any of those things is a value judgement.
Again, I think there is very little in life that deserves “outing”. One the other hand, there is much in life that can realistically result in it. (and so, if you don’t want it to happen, you avoid these things — like actually going to far as to mercilessly harass someone who has that information in their back pocket.)
I didn’t at all deserve to be outed when I was (I had done nothing wrong; I hadn’t hurt anyone) but realistically, my actions caused it. I didn’t “deserve” to lose my job either. But the fact is that consequences for people like me are more than they are for straight people. They just are.
To be honest, if Santana deserved to be outed, we wouldn’t hurt for her, or be horrified for her. It’s what makes it a fantastic turn in the plot.
There’s a difference between acknowledging that some actions might realistically result in outing, and saying that someone being outed is “their own doing” that they deserve “the bulk of the blame” for, though. (And while you’re drawing a line between “deserving to get outed” and “deserving the blame for getting outed”, it’s kind of a nebulous line.) It removes responsibility from the person who actually did the outing. Santana didn’t just “get” outed by some nebulous karmic force that rebounded upon her. Finn outed her. And when you frame him outing her as “her own doing”, you render him a passive part of the event of her being outed, when he was an actor in that event with moral responsibility for his own actions.
To flip it around, Santana slapping Finn was a realistic result of him outing her. But that doesn’t mean he’s to blame for getting slapped, or that he brought it on himself. Santana resorted to physical violence, and she is the one to blame for that, not him, despite the fact that his actions caused it, because *she is the one who slapped him*. He didn’t just “get” slapped.
I think I get what you’re saying, but I think my feelings on this boil down to this:
I don’t care what your big secret is. If you have one, and you expect others to keep that secret for you (sharing a secret is a big deal — not just for you, but for the people you burden with your secret), you don’t harass them or torment them. I’m not saying to walk on eggshells and let them hold it over your head, but you know, try to not be a complete dick.
When Santana decided to share her secret with the glee club (I would put Landslide as that moment), she took a huge risk. It’s a trust thing. Trust isn’t unbreakable and it is frankly idiotic to expect you can abuse the people you’re trusting with that secret. And yet, she does.
I’ve never much liked Finn, but fuck that shit. If someone was publicly tormenting me about my body shape, I would not be responsible for what came out of my mouth.
Somehow the whole world thinks it’s funny or acceptable to disparage people about their body shape to the point of ridiculousness but the targets aren’t allowed to react with anything but pathetic sadness. Because it’s ok to be the sad, crying fat person. (and ok, Finn’s not fat, but everyone knows he thinks he is.)
If there was a single responsible adult working at McKinley, presumably, Santana would have been pulled up on her attitude long ago, and maybe none of this would have happened. But she was always let away with it, and nobody ever said anything, and people continued to scrape and bow to her. She was living dangerously, and thought she was invincible.
Apparently, she wasn’t.
Really. this is pretty classic tragedy. We’ve that tragic flaw of Santana’s — her awful words, her overconfidence that nobody would betray her though she betrayed them, and what happens to her is totally out of proportion for what she’s done. She’s not exactly the classical tragic hero – except that in WMHS, she does have high status, so maybe.
It will be interesting to see how this resolves.
I think you’re incorrect in your claim that Santana harassing Finn had nothing to do with her sexuality. Because she’s targeting Finn for a reason, and it sure as hell isn’t his weight. Finn is, so far as we know, the only man who’s rejected Santana. They have a sexual history; the fact that she has subsequently decided that she does not want to sleep with men doesn’t negate that. She deliberately sets out to emasculate Finn (why else are SO MANY of her jokes about his “breasts?”), and as the only person who until a week prior had ANY knowledge of him as a sexual entity, she knew she was wielding a powerful (sexual) weapon against him.
So whatever “being a closeted lesbian” might mean (nothing, so far as I can tell), she too was using sex and sexualized abuse. No less than Karofsky — she just isn’t big enough to kick Finn’s ass. But she could always get a weapon (and often threatened to) as easily as Karofsky could use his size and strength, so that’s a fairly moot point. Do you have any doubt that if Finn had privately threatened to out her she would have hesitated to threaten him physically? I don’t.
I’m always amused that I’ve become a semi-professional Karofsky apologist! It’s largely because I think it’s too easy for people (and Kate, you might be exempt because you certainly at least give it a lot of solid thought) to make a different set of rules for Karofsky BECAUSE IT WAS KURT that he hurt. And people want to protect Kurt (that is its own can of fucked up gender worms).
And because I think so much of it is a size-ist interpretation of threat. Santana is a small girl. Karofsky is a big guy. To assume that he is more dangerous because of that fact makes me furious.
But also, based on your comment below that “outing someone is not equivalent to calling them fat,” I’m guessing that we have very different definitions of threat, generally. As someone who was routinely and brutally bullied for my weight — in ways that (like Santana does to Finn) are unequivocally sexually harassing — I can say that it might not be apples for apples, but I think it can be an equally personally devastating orange.
I am replying to this post because I can’t reply to dontturnitoff’s post after. I think that the clear difference is that Kurt could not explain the full extent of Karofsky’s harassment without outing him. (And he chose not to, and to transfer instead). Finn could explain the full extent of Santana’s harassment without outing her. That doesn’t mean that her bullying wasn’t related to her being upset about who she was, or that she didn’t make him feel absolutely awful.
Erin, I’m following you down here to comment, too! I think it’s fair to make this argument that you and Kate are making, ie Kurt had to out Karofsky or not explain the extent of the abuse.
But I think the general feeling I had last year wasn’t about that. The general feeling was that KAROFSKY DESERVED IT.
So I’m just wondering why people are so up in arms about Santana. And I really am mostly just wondering, I don’t mean to judge one as appropriate and one not. I find it really fascinating and think there’s A LOT going on behind the percieved difference.
Dontturnitoff, I definitely see your point. I wouldn’t say either of them deserved it because I don’t think that anybody deserves to be outed. Or bullied or have any other number of awful things happen to them that we see on Glee (and in real life). For me, I think the difference is that you could maybe justify in Kurt’s case because in my opinion he deserved the right to be honest about what was happening to him and to tell people what Karofsky was doing. The outing would have been kind of incidental (although very serious for Karofsky). But that would have been saying it to his dad and Sue and Kaorsky’s dad, in the privacy of that office.
If might have been similar to what Finn did if he shouted something in the hallway out of anger. I think in both cases, the outing would not be deserved, but in Finn’s case and Kurt’s hypothetical case that I just made up, you can see where all of that anger was coming from and why they would be pushed to do that. Does that make sense?
So I don’t think Karofsky deserved it in the sense of “he was an asshole and it was what was coming to him” but I do think that Kurt would have been justified if he told more of the truth in (and only in) that private conference. And that wouldn’t even have led to the rest of the school finding out, although his parents would have and that is serious. I just think that with Kurt feeling so unsafe and the school not even believing him, his right to feel safe takes precedence over the person harassing him. That might have actually been an interesting way for the show to go, especially if Karofsky’s parents were far more accepting than he expected.
@dontturnitoff – She was targeting Finn because he’s the leader of the Glee club—in the meeting with the Troubletones she said that targeting Finn was her strategy for winning against New Directions. Given the narrative weight Finn’s leadership has had lately, I can take that at face value without assuming that she has a secret reason behind that. (And he’s not the only man who has ever rejected her—Puck turned her down for Lauren Zizes on Valentine’s Day.)
My point wasn’t that Karofsky’s abuse was sexualized—it was that his abuse was sexualized in a gay way. In order to honestly discuss that abuse, the fact that he kissed Kurt and that his stepped-up harassment afterward was based on trying to intimidate Kurt so he wouldn’t talk is relevant. The fact that Santana kisses Brittany when she’s not busy calling Finn an orca isn’t. Her previous sexual history with Finn plays into her harassment of him, because she does use her knowledge of his body against him; her current romantic relationship with Brittany doesn’t.
Even beyond his specific treatment of Kurt, the fact that Karofsky was gay, terrified of being gay, and lashing out at people he perceived of as being gay because of it plays into addressing his specific behavior. I’m not fond of the moment in the Superbowl episode where Finn turns Karofsky’s accusations of being gay back around on him (because way to fight homophobia with homophobia there, Finn), but according to the logic of the show, Karofsky actually was bullying others because he was secretly gay, so it at least had more merit behind it than Finn telling Santana to come out of the closet. Karofsky calling Finn gay was related to him being closeted; Santana calling him fat wasn’t related to her being closeted.
Which I think does play into why people think Karofsky “deserved” to be outed and Santana didn’t, as well. People also generally think anti-gay politicians “deserve” to be outed, because they aren’t just closeted, they’re causing harm to the gay community and using a veil of hypocrisy to do it. (I’m not especially fond of this logic myself—for example, I think the constant gay jokes about Marcus Bachmann are homophobic as hell, even when they’re coming from queer people and even when the logic behind it is an attempt to take power away from homophobia. But, I also don’t really have a problem when an anti-gay politician or religious figure is outed via dalliances with rent boys or found in an airport bathroom tapping his foot.)
//But also, based on your comment below that “outing someone is not equivalent to calling them fat,” I’m guessing that we have very different definitions of threat, generally. //
Calling someone fat is mean and body-shaming, but it’s unlikely to get someone kicked out of their house, sent to reparative anti-gay therapy, beat up, or subjected to corrective rape. Santana calling the most popular boy in school fat is unlikely to lead to increased harassment from other parties; Finn outing Santana in a homophobic environment is. As someone who was called fat in high school and someone who was called a dyke in high school, the latter was always more threatening, because I had no idea if simply being called “dyke” was going to be the end of it. (And it wasn’t, really. I had stuff thrown out of cars at me and my presumed girlfriend while we were walking home from school because of our dyke-ness, not because of our fatness.)
Also, although you and decontructingglee are focusing on the fat jokes, they didn’t seem to be what set Finn off. He classified it as “trash talk” and attempted to engage in the same by making cracks about Santana’s body. What set him off appeared to be her going after his insecurities—that he’s not talented and he’s going to ride Rachel’s coattails until she dumps him, just as Jesse going after those insecurities last year caused Finn to lash out at him with violence. While you might see the fat jokes as threatening, and while they were genuinely cruel, they don’t seem to be what Finn found threatening or upsetting, or what caused Finn to lash out.
@don’tturnitoff again – Still wordy as hell, thus the second post.
I’ve discussed this (with you, even) before, but I don’t think it’s necessarily Santana’s size or the fact that she’s a girl that causes people to rate her as a different level of threat than Karofsky. She could get a weapon or she could threaten someone’s life, sure. But she hasn’t? So the potentiality of that really has nothing to do with anything–anybody *could* threaten someone’s life. Karofsky actually did, and we saw it, and we saw Kurt’s terrified reaction to it, and we were supposed to be scared for him.
I also think it’s largely a tone thing. Santana has pretty much always been played for comedy—we’re meant to laugh at her insults right up to the point where we’re not, and the one time she got physical with someone and decided to kick their ass, it was Lauren, who wiped the floor with her. Her having to be held back from Finn and Rachel after Nationals was played for laughs; her threat to Karofsky that she was carrying razors in her hair was played for laughs.
Puck is also male and also of an equivalent size to Karofsky, but his bullying, even to the extent of apparently throwing Artie down the stairs, was also largely played for laughs, and so he isn’t viewed as particularly terrible or particularly threatening, either. (It helps that things like him throwing Artie down the stairs happened off camera, as well, but even Puck being put in a port-a-potty and thrown down a hill was shown, and *still* played for laughs, and so the audience doesn’t react to the rest of the football players as serious threats.)
For the most part, people go with the tone of the show, and the show was telling us that Santana and Puck were funny and mostly harmless, while Karofsky was a serious threat. Sue is at least as dangerous as Karofsky, and we actually saw her throw a man down the stairs, but she’s played as a comedic villain, and so that’s largely how the audience reacts to her.
//If someone was publicly tormenting me about my body shape, I would not be responsible for what came out of my mouth. //
Then I go back to my original question—if Finn had hit her, or called her a homophobic or racist slur, or run her over with his car, would he still not be responsible for his behavior? At what point does your behavior start being your responsibility again instead of someone else’s fault? Or is being called fat carte blanche to do anything?
Sorry, but you are always responsible for your behavior. Always. Being harassed does not absolve you of responsibility for your reaction to that harassment. That doesn’t mean that pathetic, sobbing sadness is the only acceptable response, but it does mean that if, out of a thousand possible reactions you could have, your response is just as bad or worse than what was done to you, that is still on you. Rachel had every right to insult Santana back in Silly Love Songs(?) in response to her constant insults, but that doesn’t mean her telling Santana that the only thing she’d ever do was work a pole wasn’t slut-shaming as hell.
I already said this in a comment to dontturnitoff, but Finn’s breaking point didn’t even appear to be Santana’s fat jokes. He characterized them to Rory as “trash talk” and then tried to body-shame Santana right back—he was just really bad at it. What set him off seemed to be her targeting his insecurities about his future and his romantic relationship—his group is going to lose, he’s not talented, and he’s going to be riding Rachel’s coattails for life. Which is why he targeted Santana’s insecurities about her romantic relationship with Brittany—it was a pretty direct equivalent.
And if he’d just done that, in a private venue or conversation instead of yelling it across a crowded hallway–if he hadn’t outed her publicly and opened her up to far more abuse than she directed at him–I would have much less of a problem with his behavior. (Although, as I said in my original comment, I still think him telling her to come out, and pathologizing her behavior by tying it to her being a closeted lesbian, was crossing a line. And given his response to Kurt’s behavior in season one and season two, it creates a pattern of behavior for Finn of blaming people’s bad behavior on their sexuality, and of naming himself the arbiter of how queer people should behave. It’s homophobic, and I’m not going to excuse homophobia, even if it’s in response to fat jokes.)
In all honesty, I’m having a hard time really paying attention to much of what you’re saying here because of your repeated reduction of very damaging campaigns of abuse against a person because of their weight to “calling someone fat.” I find that so dismissive, such a slap in the face to people who have been bullied and abused — not just “called fat” — that it’s difficult to keep reading.
“Calling someone fat is mean and body-shaming, but it’s unlikely to get someone kicked out of their house, sent to reparative anti-gay therapy, beat up, or subjected to corrective rape.”
Well, you might be surprised. I wasn’t kicked out of my house, but the abuse didn’t stop when I left school and walked through my front door. My father was probably the biggest culprit, or second-biggest. And fat kids DO get sent to “reparative therapy” and told they are wrong and disgusting, and fat girls do get raped because people see them as easy targets and without value, and for whatever weird reason, people feel angry and sometimes violent towards fat people. I don’t really know from outing, personally, because you can’t BE in the closet as a fat kid, no matter how hard you may try to hide yourself.
I’m not saying — as I pointed out above — that these issues are THE SAME. At this point I’m not even saying it in relation to Finn and Santana, which realization leads me to think it’s probably time to stop posting/responding on the topic. It’s just that for me, it derails a conversation about what is right and what is appropriate when I feel like we are placing a judgement on what sort of abuse is acceptable and what sort isn’t.
I have a 6yo child with autism: where does the abuse and prejudice against him fall in that schema? I have a beautiful niece in a wheelchair: is it worse to make fun of or hit a kid in a chair (Azimio thought so, to get some Glee back in here)? There is fallout for everyone because ANY kind of abuse is tolerated or seen as “not as bad as.” The same way verbal abuse was rarely challenged because it wasn’t as bad as someone getting hit. But I think that, as a society, we’ve learned that it is often as bad, as damaging, and needs to be addressed and prevented/punished like physical violence.
I’m done, though, on DeconGlee (sorry!). If you want to keep talking about this, you can follow the icon to my blog and I’m happy to keep chasing this argument wherever it goes. I may well get jumped on for this, I don’t know, but jump on me out of DG’s space.
I guess this is hard for me because I don’t follow tone very well. Someone being played “for laughs” mean they’re funny, or that I take the situation less seriously than I would someone being played for dramatic effect. I generally don’t watch comedy, AT ALL, because it never really makes any sense to me; I don’t find Glee funny, actually: certainly not any of the things you mention above as having been played for laughs.
So that might be why I get my loyalties all screwed up — I feel like Karofsky didn’t get treated fairly by the narrative (we didn’t see his side for so long) so I started defending him in my head and it grew into my Thing With Dave…
To be honest, I’m giving up on trying to follow this. I don’t believe anyone who believes that it is never, ever acceptable (or even understandable) to out someone (unless it is functionally necessary to explain something) is ever going to be swayed that Santana has played a part in her own undoing.
And that’s cool. Nobody said we ever have to agree. This stuff wouldn’t be fun (or educational) if we all agreed.
I say this as someone who is queer, who has been unfairly outed and who paid a disproportional penalty for that reveal.
Nobody has the right to abuse other people (even if everyone else thinks it’s funny, and this may be part of Glee’s genius: that we’ve been laughing with Santana all along until she goes too far and then we realise, OH) and there are not hierarchies of vulnerability that are in any way reliable or set in stone, as dontturnitoff as illustrated. You can’t say “you are more or less disenfranchised than I am”. Finn may have privilege, but he is *limited* too.
But I stand by my Santana as tragic hero (in this storyline) idea, but that will depend on the resolution. And if it is framed as classical tragedy, Santana does, in fact, contribute to her own undoing. According to Aristotle, the high-status hero has a flaw and makes a mistake. BUT they pay for that mistake more than is reasonable, and that’s the tragic part and the part that makes you really feel sorry for them. But ultimately, they do learn something valuable from it, even if their status is changed forever.
And when I say “I would not be responsible” I mean I would lose all reason and whether or not anyone held me responsible, pushing me to the point where I am no longer able to think beyond “make it stop” is not wise if you happen to have confided in me a big secret. It may not be pretty, but it’s real. I have, like Santana, slapped someone to make them stop (that said, they were actually shouting in my face at the time and following me til I was backed into a corner). It, again, wasn’t the best thing I could have done, but I still don’t know what else I could have done.
It is not acceptable that Finn outed Santana in the hallway. It is not acceptable that Santana bullied Finn til he felt he had to make her stop, whatever it took. What happened after that is sadly out of the hands of two 17 year olds fighting.
This might be slightly off topic, but am I the only one who didn’t saw that scene as Finn losing control after being bullied and outing Santana because he was so upset? Because, well, he seemed more malicious/taunting to me. I definitely understand why he would have reason to be upset, I just didn’t think he seemed to be.
I think bullying someone can be just as bad as outing someone, btw, but I don’t either is an appropriate or justified reaction to the other.
“And because I think so much of it is a size-ist interpretation of threat. Santana is a small girl. Karofsky is a big guy. To assume that he is more dangerous because of that fact makes me furious.”
Replying to this post, because I can’t reply to donturnitoff’s post that I quoted. Sorry for the late thoughts!
I do think Karofsky was more dangerous, not because of his size but because he used his physical advantage as a weapon – hovering over Kurt in the hallways, using his bulk to intimidate him. There is no assumption here – he was willing to use it and therefore he was. It’s one of those demoralizing things you realize as a smaller person – you may keep up or be superior mentally and emotionally, but you’re powerless in the hands of a larger person if he wants to subdue you. You will need to ask for help, there is no reaching into yourself and finding strength you never knew you had. It’s just not there. That, for me, is why physical violence and by extension, sexual violence, carries with it such shame. You can’t grow a thicker skin or fight back. It’s a battle where you have absolutely no power.
I do think this also tallies with the way Blaine talks about his gay bashing. Detached, matter of fact, quick to impress upon Kurt that this is just a sore spot. It was a sweet scene, but I found that chilling in how real it was.
* I do realize that different people react differently to different things, and I hope my comment does not come across a generalization.
He was vindictive; he knew that saying that was going to hurt, he knew what happened to Kurt when he was outed. Calling someone fat is not okay, I don’t think anyone challenges that. But calling someone fat in a hallway and outing someone in a hallway are two things of different severity. Calling him fat in the hallway is shameful, rude, humiliating and yes when its barrage of abuse can certainly lead to depression and other such things but that’s not nessecarily the definitive path of that. It can happen but isn’t most likely to happen. Outing someone whose struggled repeatedly in the past to come to terms with being lesbian in the first place, in a hallway, in front of a lot of people, is cruel, nasty and almost definitely have incredibly serious consequences. In the next episode a boy does offer to have sex with her to fix her; she gets kicked out of her abuela’s house…She is outed to the entire freaking state. No one deserves that; outing someone takes away another person’s choice.. an incredibly personal choice. I think Finn was even worse in the next episode by telling her she had to ‘come out’… ugh awful. Overall, they wrote Santana as awful in that episode in order to justify outing her; I wish they had toned it down and made it be a lot more even handed because it just turned into a lot of people thinking its okay to just..out someone.
Not to mention, Finn knew their school was homophobic, he did it deliberately to hurt her. He didn’t do it because of the fat jokes, he did it because of the talent and relationship comments. The fact that she’s Latina (in general in Latin culture, homosexuality is taboo, its getting better but its still generally really not accepted) and its well known that her grandmother is not kind are also facts that Finn either ignored or didn’t consider. He has no clue about how her culture handles being gay, no clue at how doubly damaging outing her would be. I resent how the episode was written though both that and the next, the Santana storyline was done horribly.