Straight Pride UK learn about the 'Streisand Effect'

Straight Pride are a ridiculous campaign group with excellent graphic design. In a bang-on-trend website in the ‘scroll’ style that has become popular this year, they put forward a case for why ‘straight rights’ need defending.

Oliver Hotham, a student and a journalist, sent Straight Pride UK a list of questions, and they responded with a ‘press release’. When he published the answers, along with a couple of questions that were not answered, Straight Pride complained to WordPress (who host Oliver’s blog) to take the posts down. As Oliver explains in a follow-up post, this was extremely bizarre behaviour by Straight Pride UK. If you are having an e-mail correspondence with someone who claims to be a journalist, who has contacted you for the purposes of an interview there is no expectation of privacy in your communications… especially if you send them a document marked ‘press release’.

Stright Pride UK are now experiencing The Streisand Effect, where the attempt to censor backfires, and other people republish and discuss the words or pictures you seek to suppress.

One of the questions that Straight Pride chose not to answer was this one:

“Pride” movements such as Gay Pride and Black Pride were making the argument that the stigma against them meant that proclaiming their “pride” was an act of liberation from oppression. Can being heterosexually really compare?

This is the nub of the issue, in my opinion. There is no historical stigma against straight people, and there is no stigma now.

Its a shame that the existence of gay pride marches, or equal rights in marriage or services, are percived by some as a threat. Straight Pride do not point to changes in the law that withdraw rights from heterosexuals. Nor can they point to any law which structually disadvantages them. The only example they give in response to Oliver’s questions is the Hamilton Hall hotel in Bournemouth, which offers a tantric sex advice to men only. The hotel website helpfully lists the laws that provide for this kind of ‘discrimmination’ – The same laws that allow hairdressers and many other spa retreats to ‘discrimminate’ and only take women clients.

So in the absence of any real societal prejudice against straight people, and the absense of any laws that discriminate against heterosexuals, Straight Pride amounts to nothing more than a campaign for the ‘right’ to uphold the vilification and stigma of another group in society. We probably would not have known this pathetic fact if it were not for their attempt to censor Oliver Hotham.

5 thoughts on “Straight Pride UK learn about the 'Streisand Effect'

  1. Although, skimming that website, it’s possible they have one small point, which your blog-post helps to make for them, which is the recognition that a person’s sexuality is equally important to that person regardless of what that sexuality is. If it is not “hetero-phobic” to be visibly or vocally proud of being gay, then how is it homophobic to be visibly or vocally proud of being straight?

  2. Yes, very true. Though, when your orientation (or gender, or skin colour, or whatever) is endorsed or supported by society, politics and culture in every way, ‘celebrating’ and ‘campaigning’ for it is weird, and also betrays a complete misunderstanding of how the word ‘pride’ is used in the LGBT context. At best, its stating the obvious. At worst, it is belittling and denying that LGBT community have been stigmatised.

    But that’s not all that Straight Pride is doing. And this is why Oliver’s interview with them is so revelatory. What is not on their website, but what is in the article that they tried to censor, is their support for hideous anti-gay policies in Africa and Russia. Their beliefs and activities transcend what i would describe as political trolling – they are actually supporting laws that promote inequality and may provoke hatred, stigmatisation, and violence against gay people.

  3. Yes, even what is on their website is pretty dubious.

    But even though it’s a small point, I just don’t agree that “celebrating” one’s sexuality, or “campaigning” for the right to do so without censure, these things per se do not equate to belittling the real stigma suffered by LGBT.

    Like with the MRA movement, to combat this, I think it’s important to try and acknowledge the legitimate grain of truth in their motivation (even if it is based upon a failure of comprehension). The underlying motivation may not actually be homophobia, even though that is exactly what it fuels.

  4. There’s a difference between simply celebrating something, and celebrating it as part of a liberation agenda. What grates with the Straight Pride or the Men’s Rights thing you mention, they use the language of the oppressed, when they’re really not.

    This is not some intersectional argument, where you question whether (say) gays are more oppressed than transgender or ethnic minorities. It’s a group with enormous cultural power – indeed, by their own admission they are the ‘default’ and the ‘normal’ claiming that they have been somehow usurped, when they haven’t.

    What has been upset is their position of disproportionate power, where just by virtue of being straight (or white, or male, depending on the people complaining) they received privileges that others in society were denied. It’s like the male members of the MCC complaining that their rights had been trampled on when women were allowed to join. A complete failure to understand that yet were beneficiaries of a power imbalance.

    For the sake of completeness, I do not deny these people their right to free speech. They have the legal and civil right to create their stylish website. But the very best of them are wasting their own time on a phoney-war. The worst of them are supporting bigotry, hate and violence in Africa.

  5. Supporting anti gay laws can only be homophobia at least my mind. Those people have the right of free speech but we also have the right to make the logical conclusions about them based on the views they have expressed.

    I would personally much rather be around the people that would go to the gay pride parade than around those “activists”. I would rally for my gay lesbian bisexual and transgender friends anytime…

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