Monday, May 23, 2011

Newt Gingrich Glitter Bombed... Does This Help or Hinder Our Movement Towards Equality? (A GSA Monday Discussion)

So last week, Republican Presidential Candidate (and no friend to the Gay Community) Newt Gingrich was appearing at an anti-gay "family values" event - The Minnesota Family Council, an anti-gay group pushing the gay marriage ban in Minnesota - when he was glitter-bombed:

Well, first of all, in answer to the security guard's question, "Have you ever seen us attend one of your events?" YES, you do come to our events (like our Gay pride celebrations) and spread anti-gay hate.

Now in your GSAs, and here, let's discuss the Pros and Cons of this kind of activism. Here are my lists, and feel free to add your own points!


It's newsworthy and gets people talking about Newt Gingrich's anti-gay agenda

It's non-violent (glitter doesn't really hurt anyone)

It's confrontational - and the anti-gay movement needs to be confronted.


It's confrontational - and that might turn some people off.

Is showering the table with glitter going to change any minds at that event or just further polarize those people against Gay equality?

Now if you've ever done an art project with glitter, you know it's pretty hard to get rid of afterwards - it sticks to your skin, your clothes. A speck of silver shows up on your cheek two days later...

Newt was brushing some off his shoulder, and I imagine that some of that glitter stayed on him for the rest of that event. And personally, I kinda like the idea that the it would be hard for him to get rid of the sparkly reminder that his anti-gay politics are not universally appreciated.

I'm also very happy/relieved that the protest was video recorded, and it seems like the gay activists were able to leave safely.

What do you think?



Alex said...

To begin with - Newt Gingrich has one set of brass ones to be anywhere where the discussion is about family values. This is a man who was having an affair while his wife was dying.
Sometimes you have to fight fire with fire and tossing glitter at Newt will probably not set the LGBTQ agenda behind.
Any action will always turn some people off, and may make some people think (especially since Newt is not so well like these days), so I don't it hurt.
Besides, so far it hasn't gotten much coverage.

ivanova said...

I vote for helpful. Direct action gets the goods! It was playful and didn't hurt, like being pied, but the message is real and clear and needed. I don't think changing the minds of the haters was what they were going for. I think if activists had to come up with an action that everyone on earth would agree with and would offend no one, they would be left with zero options.

Justina! said...

Love it. Although I kind of wonder if glitter bombing doesn't have it's own negtive connotations by furthering a stereotype.

Still, I think people need to be reminded constantly that there are people who hate certain groups in this country yet somehow think they are fit to lead.

MotherReader said...

Love the concept of Newt having glitter on him for the rest of the day. (It's the reason I HATE glitter projects and banned them from my house. Glitter glue, all the way!)

But while he's brushing off glitter, he's not going to be thinking about how his mind was changed by this nice guy who tossed a box of glitter on him. I'd rather see someone get a chance to talk to him as a regular nice guy to make him/them see the wrong in their stance.

Though honestly, I don't think it would change any minds anyway. This "family values" agenda is saturated in a stunning level of cognitive dissonance.

Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...

wow - a bit more about the Minnesota family council that's really disturbing:

Hand me that box of glitter!