The Giant Pandas of the Finnish Media -08

Posted by Pre Kaarina

In 2008 the Finnish media saw fit to arrange public faces to summary and unjust lay-offs of people. Sympathetic Ms. Johanna Korhonen, who was clumsily fired by Alma-Media due to her sexual orientation quickly became a martyr. Alma-Media was fiercely boycotted by lesbigaytr-community.

However, precarian queers are fired day in, day out, and nobody cares. Nobody cares about the lay-offs of temporary or hired work force and no lawsuits will be taken.

Then the media found a transitioning priest, Ms. Marja-Sisko Aalto who had been threatened by the Finnish Lutheran Church. Nothing unusual, though, the Finnish Lutheran Church has had priests transitioning without media reactions and these threats did not even seriously suggest firing. Reverend Marja-Sisko Aalto was also very sympathetic-looking person.

Now, was Aalto used as a lightning rod to extinguish the political uproar that came from firing Ms. Korhonen? It was evident from the beginning that Reverend Aalto would not become another martyr. Their cases were a red herring leading the discussion away from the fact that there were massive and panicked lay-offs being made for queers and straights as well, even with less justice than with Ms. Korhonen. The Aalto-case also led the uneasy suspicion of intolerance from Alma-Media back to the Lutheran Church.

Most of us queers cannot raise sympathies with the public. Some are troubled, depressed, drinking, smoking, butchy, fairy, live in polygamous relationships. The use of sympathetic personalities in the media does not translate to protection of the less liked of us.

The Church does not deliver its message to our doorsteps daily, media does. Let’s not be distracted by clumsy maneuvers of the media!


3 Responses

  1. Hey,

    I am really sorry if you felt bad about me bringing up the topic of social exclusion without thinking if it might feel bad for you.

    I really didn’t come to think of it before you mentioned your own experiences about being excluded socially from the social center project.

    I sincerely wish you no harm.

    As I said, I think that groups and communities have a right to exclude people socially, but I’m also in favour of open communication and trying to resolve conflicts and deal with differences – at least when there’s enough energy and motivation.

    For what I’ve heard about your exclusion process from the social center, a lot of things have been nasty. I don’t know much, but I’ve heard about the people who want to exclude you from the social center not being willing to openly communicate to you about why they want to exclude you and how it is justified. :I

    Anyway, now I have to go to sleep. Good night to you too!

    • Posted by Milla, Hello S, dunno if you’ll be reading this, just wanting to clear out confusion. The post you’re commenting on is written by Pre Kaarina… not me, Milla. And for anybody curious about what you’re talking about, I could add that it’s about one of the discussions you took up at the poly(amory) meeting this evening (monthly meetings every 15th for ppl belonging to the non-monogamy scene). It was about creating a nice atmosphere for some event, where people are supposed to have fun and feel safe and comfortable and connect with each other. The question you brought up was: How to exclude people?

      I agree with you that it’s okay to exclude. At least if it’s a private event of some sort. And I also liked the suggestion being made on being up front about it. Get a list with names of ppl together. Send it to everybody involved, and ask if they would be okay with the company. If some people get tagged as “uncomfortable” or “unwanted”, then it’s up to the one making the invitations to tell them upfront that their presence isn’t wanted (and preferably stating why or at least who it is that doesn’t want them there).

      Even though i would rather go for my utopian solution: ask people in advance what kind of boundaries they would like to make clear to the persons they feel uncomfortable with. (For instance: Not talk to, Avoid eye contact, Not sit / stand / lie around and socialize in the same smaller group [for instance consisting of 6 persons or less]) Ask ppl to think of how they would be able to feel safe in the same space as someone they dislike for whatever reason. Check with everybody before, about clearly stated boundaries, and clearly made requests, and clear answers: Yes or no. And if no: Ask what would turn it into a yes.

      Getting a social stigma within the social center scene, has really opened my eyes on this exclusion business. What it feels like being pointed out as the “less worth”, the one with the “fault”, the one less popular with less friends and therefore: Disposable. Ok to trash because more popular persons have that opinion / these feelings about me. I’ve had the same kind of attitude myself. And through knowing what it’s like, I’ve changed. Exclusion through popularity contests is not my thing anymore. I don’t want this “you’re in, you’re out” separations made anymore. At least not in social contexts. Not within the scene(s). But in a private context yes. If it’s a private party. Or a get together. Sure, why not.

      Anyways, thanks for caring about how i might feel about this specific [inclusion/exclusion] topic being brought up. Cause yes, it’s still very touchy feely. But also something that’s important to discuss. Cause this is a thing that happens everywhere. And it would be nice to do it in some more aware way, instead of people just starting to feel a vaguely undefined uninviting atmosphere everytime they happen to enter a space. How to avoid cliques and still have it so that people can choose freely with whom they care to spend more time with, without this having to cause weird group dynamics within the scene(s). I guess the only thing to do is to talk about it.

      So cool that you brought up the subject.

  2. Oh, yeah, I didn’t realise that there are several different people posting here. My apologies for any confusion. 🙂 Glad that the comment went through anyway! And thanks for answering! 🙂

    – S

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