working class pride

Homosexual desire among working-class men in the north in the Downton era

There are many things to grumble about with regards to historical accuracy in Downton Abbey, but I want to tell you my particular bugbear, which is how Thomas’ sexuality is understood. I can go off on a long, discursive explanation of this, complete with bibliography and quotes, but the basics are that ‘homosexual’, as an identity, had not reached the north during the period in which Downton was set. The Wilde trials codified 'the homosexual’ as a type of person in England, but more specifically in London: the trials were covered up north, but minimally and/or sympathetically (except in the Manchester Guardian which had a very insinuating description of Wilde’s lifestyle). This is an era before nationalisation: regional identity is paramount in understanding the outlook of the downstairs characters, except that Fellowes has apparently forgotten that he’s set DA in North Yorkshire (this Yorkshire lass is displeased).

In the north at this time (1912-1926), there is a strong tradition of physical intimacy in working-class male friendships. Male friends embrace, kiss, bathe together and enjoy watching other men bathing (no really), and share beds. The male and female spheres are very separate, and emotional intimacy is shared not between husband and wife but between same-sex 'mates’.

This also leads in several cases to sex between men, particular in industry, where men in the steelworks and mines would work in very scanty clothing due to the heat, then bathe together, leading to comfort with the naked male bodies of one’s compatriots. Since there is no conception of 'homosexual’ as an identity, this is just seen as something that men do sometimes, among themselves, and there’s nothing wrong with it. Buggery, gross indecency and their like were crimes - but a lot, even most of the working-class men arrested for them at this time don’t seem to have even known this.

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if you hate the working class, pride yourself on being “smarter than hicks”, or look down on people who do trades or work non-academic jobs, you’re not a leftist and you are, in fact, an asshole

anonymous asked:

Do you think the homophobic slant to louis' marketing strategy ties in with his working class roots? 'Chav from Donny' is about as far from proud gay man as you can be in the eyes of the public. And the way he has been closeted has always had very ugly homophobic undertones.

I had a very strong reaction to this anon and to explain why I think I need to tell a story I’ve told before.  In 2014, the NZ Labour Party had an election for leader.  The candidates were all pretty terrible and much of a muchness from my point of view, although in Wellington a lot of people supported Grant Robertson, who is gay.  Supporters of the other main candidate - Andrew Little (who ended up winning) - would say things like “I’ve got no problem with Grant, but is the electorate ready for this?” A friend of mine argued, absolutely correctly, that this was as homophobic position as ‘I don’t want Grant to be leader because he’s gay”.

I don’t have a lot of time for people who put forward a deeply offensive idea and then suggest that they’re worried about that because of the eyes of the public.  I think it’s a dishonest way of promoting that hateful idea.  

And this anon is promoting an idea that I think is deeply hateful - that somehow football loving, tracksuit wearing, working-class man from up North is the opposite from a gay man (I’m not going to even go into what the word ‘proud’ is doing in that sentence - it upsets me too much).

You’re not alone anon - that idea is the subtext of so much of Larrie fans’ discussion of Louis and class and has been bubbling along especially vigorously as he does promo. 

The idea that “'Chav from Donny’ is about as far from proud gay man as you can be” is a dichotomy that fundamentally denies the humanity of working-class people and gay men. 

It’s also just flat out wrong - just so so wrong. Yes huge numbers of gay men have migrated to big cities for safety - but large parts of big city gay culture was working-class - it was the docks as much as it was Oscar Wilde.  And also large numbers of gay men stayed put.  Go look at Doncaster Pride. Working-class men have always had sex with each other. Read about ‘R’ - a gay man from Sheffield - and how he negotiated class and sexuality (everything Helen Smith has to say about this subject is fascinating).  

Class-hatred and homophobia have worked together to try and hide that history and that present - to pretend that gayness is not part of working-class culture and working-class culture is incompatible with gay men.  And every day again and again this fandom does that work of erasure to frantically fight against any way Louis portrays himself as working-class, as if that’s the only way to continue believe Louis is gay.

How about an understanding of class and sexuality based on ‘and’ rather than ‘or’? One that didn’t tell teenagers that they had to drop the culture of their youth and their friends because they want to have sex with other men.

I don’t know how Louis makes sense of all this - his life and identity are clearly very complex.  But I hope (and I think have reason to believe) that he doesn’t feel he has to choose.  That he can be proud of his hometown, his class background and sexuality. That he has integrated these things, even though many people who call themselves his fans refuse to.

anonymous asked:

Ok, obviously alternative reality but if Severus and Lily did get together during the First War, would they have joined up with the Order or would they have had to focus more on post-secondary schooling and careers seeing as neither had Potter money to just focus on the Order? Could they have done part-time Order stuff at the most?

If the Evanses approved of the relationship, I could see them being in the financial position to support their daughter - perhaps paying a deposit or some rent on a property, maybe helping them to acquire some furniture.  That financial support would prevent Severus and Lily from leaping into any job, permitting both Severus and Lily to further their education - perhaps taking on apprenticeships or lower paid internships in areas that really interested them, knowing that the future payoff would be worth it.

Despite that, whilst I could imagine Lily being keen to join the Order in her free time, I can see Severus retaining that thrum of working class pride and feeling somewhat ashamed that they’re being propped up by her parents - as if he’s not good enough to do it himself.  He doesn’t want be seen by her parents as a freeloader, or a slacker - so he works as a barman of an evening, trying desperately to contribute to the household finances, even though it means working every hour for a meagre return that results in his efforts being largely symbolic.

But Lily has no such qualms - what else are parents for?  She prioritises doing the right thing and joins the Order.  She has no regrets; she’s not disappointed in her choice, but she is extremely disappointed once it becomes apparent that they wouldn’t have welcomed Severus with open arms anyway - definitely not Black, and certainly not Potter.

Besides, they’re sort of right.  Each night when Severus and Lily sit and eat after work, Lily raises the topic.  Severus listens, awkwardly shovelling pasta into his mouth and keeping an eye on the clock - his shift at the Three Broomsticks starts in half an hour.  He tries not to discuss politics with Lily; it always ends up in a fight.  He knows from past experience that there’s no easy way for him to say that he thinks some of Dumbledore’s position is right, and some of Voldemort’s position is right - so he just keeps quiet.

Lily’s not stupid.  Lily knows that his political stance isn’t the real reason for his silence.  She knows that deep down Severus suspects that Voldemort isn’t the reasonable politician he’s pretending to be.  The problem is that the people following Dumbledore’s cause are Severus’ sworn enemies, and those following Voldemort’s cause used to be his friends.  She swirls her fork around in the tomato sauce, spearing a piece of overcooked farfalle as she stares at her boyfriend.

“I don’t like the bows,” he grumbles, pushing his plate away.  “I much prefer the twists.”

It’s been a wet and windy evening, and it’s no surprise when Rosmerta calls time early at just half ten - they’ve been practically empty for the past two hours.  Severus quickly sweeps the floor, and washes down the bar.  He collects his weekly pay, and with one last look at the clock, he shrugs on his dark cloak.  

He hastily flits across town, and with his lungs burning and his heart hammering, he slinks into the back of the Hog’s Head and settles himself at a table in the shadows with a minimum of fuss.  Within ten minutes he’s sold all but four of his darkest potions, and his pocket jangles with his reward.  Tomorrow, he can take his gains to the Apothecary and replenish his rare ingredients.  Speculate to accumulate, as Lucius once said to him.  Given time, he’ll soon be solvent - and he’ll be the one supporting his girlfriend; not her parents.

Just then, he feels a large hand on the scruff of his neck and another clamped firm over his mouth.  Severus kicks and bites and flails for all he’s worth, but he’s scrawny and lean, and the taller, bigger, stronger man is unrelenting.  He’s dragged upstairs in full view of the other patrons, who all pretend not to have noticed.  Not only is this sort of behaviour standard for the Hog’s, the regulars all know that it really doesn’t do to upset the landlord.

Severus is unceremoniously dumped into a room, and the door slams shut.  He darts to his feet, shaking out his twisted robes, and turning the air blue with his language.

“Ah, I’m pleased you could find time to join us, Mr Snape,” Albus said, pleasantly.  “Please, do sit down.”

“Join you?  Join you!” Snape spluttered.  “As if I had a choice!  I was dragged from my seat and-”

“Do accept my apologies.”  Albus indicated that the younger man should sit.  “Now, I have a proposition for you.”

literally the BEST part of mary poppins is when all the chimney sweeps are running round the house bein like ‘step in time!!!!’ and then the mother comes home w her suffragette sash and all the sweeps r like 'VOTES 4 WOMEN STEP IN TIME’ it makes me laugh so much bc imagine being mr banks and there being a big fuckin suffragette/working class pride parade in ur goddamn living room

PRESS RELEASE: No Pride in Prisons Joins Resistance to State Housing Evictions

Members of prison abolitionist organisation No Pride in Prisons will be joining the Tāmaki Housing Group today to resist the eviction state housing tenant of Ioela “Niki” Rauti.

Its spokesperson Emilie Rākete says, “No Pride in Prisons is proud to join our friends and whānau in protecting Niki’s right to a home. We will be joining dozens of others in occupying Niki’s land and refusing to move until she is guaranteed the right to stay in her home.”

Rauti was served with a 90-day eviction notice, which expired on the 18th of January. The police has warned that she will be physically moved on today from 9:30am. “We intend to put our bodies on the line to stop this eviction,” says Rākete.

No Pride in Prisons believes the eviction is unjust. “One of the most frustrating things about this whole process is that it never used to be like this. State housing tenants, including Niki, were told for decades that their houses were for life.”

“The government introduced reviewable tenancies just so it could kick out state housing tenants and make some money from their eviction.”

Rauti’s house is owned by the Tāmaki Regeneration Company (TRC), which was transferred ownership from Housing New Zealand as a part of the Tāmaki redevelopment. TRC wants to develop the land that her house sits on.

“While the government and the council say these evictions are necessary to keep house prices down, we’ve seen a huge increase in house prices in the area since the redevelopments began.”

“The government is effectively kicking out old and poor people and making room for the rich. Niki’s eviction is just one part of a broader plan to undermine state housing and transfer land to the wealthy,” says Rākete.

The organisation is worried about how the move might impact Niki’s health and well-being. “Niki is an elderly woman who has a heart condition. One of the saddest parts of the Tāmaki redevelopment has been the effect on the elderly. Often, following eviction from life-long homes, elderly tenants have passed away shortly after being relocated.”

No Pride in Prisons is also concerned about the police involvement in evicting Niki. According to Rākete, “The police will do everything it can to make sure that this blatantly unjust process continues. Niki is a respected kuia, but the police intend to remove her from her home by force.”

“We oppose both Niki’s eviction and the violence we expect to see from police in order to make it happen.”

“We believe that Niki and all other tenants deserve healthy, warm and affordable homes, and the stability of knowing they won’t be evicted every time the government wants to make a buck.”

“We support the Tāmaki Housing Group and all those resisting the sell-off of state houses and the eviction of state housing tenants. This injustice is part of a broader program by this and previous governments to undermine support for poor and working class people.”

No Pride in Prisons stands in solidarity with those fighting for safe and secure housing for all.”