You often wonder why more democratic governments in states and nations haven’t legalised gay marriage yet. Personally, I know far more people in favour of gay marriage (at least, insofar as a legally recognised right to marry without imposing on religions to do the same).
Well, Oreo just demonstrated why this hasn’t happened yet. If a mere cookie company can cause this much of an international outcry by ‘dormant masses’ of bigots, homophobes and religious radicals, can you really blame your politicians for dodging the issue for so long?
Oreo’s Gay Pride cookie campaign last week was akin to disrupting the hornet’s nest and in an awesome display of the internet’s power for mass vitriol and hate speech, the conservative backlash took shape like a tidal wave that pushed the rest of us progressive, open-minded people back in our seats and made us realise just how far we have to go.
It also demonstrated something else: the willingness of people to openly state their mind despite the backlashes of criticism they were sure to get, on publicly accessible pages using their real names and photos. Online privacy meant nothing to these boycotters; their names are forever swimming in sea of re-posts across the World Wide Web, displaying their judgement and intolerance to their employees, their girlfriends and boyfriends, their colleagues, school friends, absolutely everyone. Do they realise this? Surely they do. Do they care? Apparently not. Free speech seems to prevail over protecting ones personal image, in certain subject matter.
In a way therefore, all those opposed to homophobia can rest assured those orchestrating the Oreo Boycott dig their own graves. Consequences will be far-reaching for a long time to come for some of these people, much longer than the Oreo campaign will be active. Suddenly, the conservatives are the minority and homosexuals are backed by the majority.
But, like all radical minorities, governments still like to appease and recognise them, apparently. It’s ironic that in embracing one minority (homosexuality) we shun and anger another (homophobes). So is the way of the world…
This aside, I do like that people — regardless of their stance — still feel they can be transparent and voluntarily self-damaging by voicing their opinions on the Internet without having to resort to a shifty alias or “Anonymous” label. It’s becoming less and less common thanks to the increasing requirement to use your full name, photo and email address wherever you post online.
The fact these commenters publicly announced their disdain for gays also allows me to re-post exposing screenshots of the commenters without fear of retribution. The Internet is fair game like that.
Let us consider the amount of Facebook commenters here opening themselves up to passionate / hateful debate. It’s obviously a topic they are extremely passionate about, but when topics turn controversial, the level of true opinion is often significantly stifled if there is a requirement to use your full name, or comment via a medium that all your friends, family and colleagues may see and judge.
True, unabashed free speech is important because it enlightens the human conscious in all sorts of ways. The way the above comments enlighten the gay rights debate is by making the rest of us realise how long the road to change still is.
The commenters above make me wonder how much of the Oreo backlash has been muted because people don’t feel comfortable commenting on the Oreo Facebook page for fear of being lumped in with “the bigots”.
I am willing to bet that the number of silent boycotters is a hundred times the number who voiced their disgust.
Governments know this. It’s sad. This is fundamentally the reason gay marriage has failed to be legalised in the majority of places.
Oreo, thank you for exposing the dark, bubbling intolerance that to this day permeates our nations.
- Oreo’s Rainbow ‘Pride’ Cookie Prompts Internet Controversy (newsfeed.time.com)
- “Anyone who eats Oreos is now openly a heretic…Eating Oreos is now a Sin” (slog.thestranger.com)
- Oreo’s gay pride Facebook post prompts threats of boycott (guardian.co.uk)
- Oreo Pride: Facebook Post Causes Social Media Stir (radian6.com)
- Oreo Surprises 26 Million Facebook Fans With Gay Pride Post (adweek.com)
- Boycott of General Mills & Also Kraft Over Gay Pride Oreo (friendseat.com)
- Oreo Celebrates Gay Pride Month With A Rainbow-Colored Cookie (pinkisthenewblog.com)
- ‘Gay pride’ Oreo causes cookie controversy (lfpress.com)
- ‘Gay Pride’ Oreo Sparks Controversy (detroit.cbslocal.com)
- Angry Cookie Lovers Threaten to Boycott Gay Oreo (blogs.sfweekly.com)
- See The Gay-Pride Oreo That Overwhelmed Kraft’s Facebook Page With Hate-Filled Comments (businessinsider.com)
- Idiots Boycotting Oreo Because of a Picture (bromoto.wordpress.com)
- Rainbow Oreos: Will Nabisco Make Cookie Inspired By Pro-Gay Facebook Photo? (ibtimes.com)
- Oreo Supports Gay Pride With This Awesome Cookie (howaboutwe.com)
- One Million Moms Condemns Oreo Cookies, Kraft For Gay Pride Support (huffingtonpost.com)
- If You’re Boycotting Oreos, You’re Kind Of A Fucking Retard (joethepeacock.blogspot.com)
- Oreo Proudly Supports Gay Pride (pinkbananaworld.com)