generalizations

This Is What Straight Women Think About A Gay Man Taking Over As White House Social Secretary

Jeremy Bernard, the Obama fundraiser who turned a National Endowment for the Humanities liaison gig into his new White House social secretary post, is “queer and I predict he’s going to be terrific at his new job,” writes newspaper columnist Celia Rivenbark. And how does Ms. Rivenbark know Bernard is going to be a great hostess? For the obvious reasons, of course: he fits her perfect little description of “totally, well, fabulous” gays.

Cultural maven Bernard, a longtime Obama fundraiser and a big player in such Rush-reviled entities as the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Kennedy Center, is perfect for the job. State Dinner for 500? Please. Give this man a real challenge.

I realized that my long-held suspicion that gay men were All That was true when I watched “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” many years ago.

This is not to say that all gay men throw great parties, dress impeccably or even know how to pronounce “foie gras.” But, in my experience, most do. And while some of my very best friends and husbands are heterosexuals, I can’t help but think that a hetero guy wouldn’t be as good in the job. Which I suppose makes me sort of a reverse bigot. But, honestly. My own stereotypes aside, do you really believe the average heterosexual man could advise the First Lady on fashion? Black & Decker, yes. Dolce & Gabbana, not so much. It is why he is completely unashamed to leave the house in a short-sleeved “dress” shirt. Shudder.

So congratulations to Jeremy Bernard, who meets not only the Obamas’ qualifications for social secretary, but straight female America’s as well: a true fashionista who always chooses the proper stationary and china pattern.

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13 Comments

  • OrchidIslander

    Really? Only on Queerty could one woman’s opinion morph somehow into “straight female America’s” (insert eye-roll here).

    Who writes this stuff?

  • Bubba

    Oh damn, I guess this woman is stereotyping and insensitive.

    “This is not to say that all gay men throw great parties, dress impeccably or even know how to pronounce “foie gras.””

    Oh wait, she’s totally not. Gimme a break, Queerty.

  • Ervs

    So, I would not be gay enough according to her. I like tools including some black and decker power tools. I like wearing clothes that apparently are not fashionable. I watch football and some college ball. And I really don’t know fashion I just know what I like. Don’t get me wrong, I like musicals, so maybe that will save me in her opinion. What a bigot of stereotypical proportions.

    Screw her.

    Oh, wait, I’m gay and I don’t want to.

  • Charlie

    Some people just cannot accept a compliment

  • Scott

    Not having done a statistically-sound survey, I don’t know whether most gays are “like women” in sensitivities or not. I do know that 1) what’s most commonly noticeable may not be what’s typical (e.g. Not all Italians look “Italian” i.e. just by looking, you couldn’t tell an Italian from a Spaniard, German or Frenchman etc.; though there are “stereotypically Italian” looks i.e. the swarthy southern Italian.) OR 2) I have few “female” sensitivities but also mostly “male” outlook; I’m great with my hands and things mechanical/technical and I’m unremarkable in dress sense and social saavy; however, I am a good cook and I do care about animals/environment/relationships. I hate mindless shopping, am bored at operas, don’t stare at myself in the mirror, don’t wear any jewelry, don’t use creams, don’t take spas etc.

    In any case, why is it that “female” is, by some unspoken understanding, considered “inferior” – even by a lot of women who have become ersatz men? Valuing relationships/family over career/materialism, for me, is core to my belief system but not such is rarely considered “male” in the US.

  • Thomas

    Okay, I’ve spent the past 5 minutes trying to be thin-skinned and reactionary. Nope, sorry, can’t work myself up to being offended by anything this woman said.

    Plus, seriously…look up her books (collected columns, I’m thinking.) Haven’t even read them and the titles made me laugh out loud.

    Which is more than usually happens on Queerty.

  • SavvyWindigo

    Meh. It sounds pretty tongue-in-cheek to me though I think the Queer-Eye stereotype, when applied to all gay men, is more damaging than it’s given credit for being. There’s an unspoken criticism inside it, that gay men are really good at the shallow, “fabulous,” and consumerist skills needed to throw the perfect banquet or help m’lady pick out a dress but hopeless at the “real man” skills needed when the going gets tough.

  • Scott

    or even stationery.

  • Matt

    So we reclaimed the word queer so straight people could call us queer?

  • Gordon

    @Ervs: But when you watch football, are you only watching the game or are you eyeing the players too? (wink)

  • SteveATL

    SO we’re well dressed, smell nice, are cultured, artistic, well informed, and take care of ourselves? THANK YOU. We indeed are, and that is a compliment.

    Her words were flattering and believe it or not, some stereotypes are extremely complimentary.

  • Dynex

    @SteveATL: That’s what I’m saying! I LIKE the stereotype we have and don’t live my life trying to fight it. I just am me. We’re seen as being compassionate, artistic, worldly, with amazing taste, amazing style, and well spoken not to mention have an eye for detail as it relates to taking care of our homes, lives, clothes and yeah I’ll take that. Everyone I know thinks that of us and it’s a stereotype I happen to think is both fitting and flattering. Heck, considering the stereotype some other people get..

  • Pete n SFO

    I think I said to my buddies, everything she said… to the press.

    What’s the beef? Nothing makes people feel more supportive of gay people than a bitchy & arbitrary double-standard.

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