Outing Hypocrisy (was Re: Sullivan on the Barebacking Story)

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at osu.edu
Thu May 31 13:22:48 PDT 2001

>From: Doug Henwood (dhenwood at panix.com)
>Date: Thu May 31 2001 - 12:04:25 EDT
>Justin Schwartz wrote:
>>I don't care about hypocrisy: it is a venial sin at worst; and I
>>don't think he's guilty of it here anyway. Please, let's do get back
>>to attacking his political views, and not his private life!
>Maybe it's my residual Catholicism showing through, but I think
>hypocrisy matters if people prominently go about telling other people
>how to live their lives, and then act in a completely different way
>in private (writing a piece denouncing abortion, say, almost at the
>very moment one is paying for one's girlfriend's abortion).

What's the main outcome of exposing hypocrisy, though? To bring public speech in conformity with private acts by (A) changing the former (in this case dropping the public moralizing of other people's sexual affairs) or (B) changing the latter (in this case renouncing barebacking, getting married, & living monogamously)? Would gossiping about Andrew Sullivan or any other gay conservative help effect A or B? If A, it's all well & good; however, if B, outing hypocrisy doesn't lead to any greater civil rights & liberties on the sexual front -- in fact, it may diminish them.

Outing hypocrisy, in essence, is a way of paying homage to professed morals that hypocrites fail to obey. I don't think leftists should set store by it.


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