Say It Ain't so Julia

  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Aug 10, 2009 11:16 AM GMT
    Was Julia Child a homophobe?
    Seems like the answer to that question is a yes unfortunately
    She's made a few statemets over the years that would curl our modern ears

    Fashion designers were “that little bunch of Pansies,” a cooking school was “a nest of homovipers

    Do we excuse that kind of talk because she was from another generation?
    ... or is that unacceptable from anyone at anytime

    I was more than a little disappointed and I'll never eat another Souffle' without thinking about it
    Boo .. julia

    http://gayrights.change.org/blog/view/was_julia_child_homophobic
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Aug 10, 2009 2:04 PM GMT
    That excerpt certainly is vivid. But it doesn't exactly tell the whole story. Yes, reading the Boston Magazine article, it's pretty clear that Child wasn't entirely comfortable with how "gay men" populated the cooking business was during the 1960s, 70s, 80s, and 90s. But it also seems that late in her career, Child started to have a change of heart when it came to the issue of homosexuality. And it was mostly influenced by the onslaught of HIV/AIDS. Here's more:

    But by the 1980s, when the AIDS crisis began to unfold, the horror of what was happening to people she knew, and people she loved, dealt a significant blow to her longtime prejudice. “Last year my husband and I stood by helplessly while a dear and beloved friend went through months of slow and frightening agony,” she told a crowd at the Boston Garden in 1988 during an AIDS benefit sponsored by the American Institute of Wine and Food. “But what of those lonely ones? The ones with no friends or family to ease the slow pain of dying? Those are the people we’re concerned about this evening. And food is of very special importance here. Good food is also love.”
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    Aug 10, 2009 2:29 PM GMT
    It's unclear whether her comments were targeted at gay people in general, or specific people that she had trouble with in her life. It's easy to see gay men in the 50s repudiating her for entering a 'man's career' as well as straight men. She was a woman in a man's world, an American in out of place in Europe, and a manly woman. She didn't fit any of the molds at the time, and was often excluded.

    Also, like many people, she could have started out homophobic and changed her views over the years. I think what matters is that at the end, she fostered love.
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    Aug 10, 2009 2:37 PM GMT
    ruggie saidIt's unclear whether her comments were targeted at gay people in general, or specific people that she had trouble with in her life. It's easy to see gay men in the 50s repudiating her for entering a 'man's career' as well as straight men. She was a woman in a man's world, an American in out of place in Europe, and a manly woman. She didn't fit any of the molds at the time, and was often excluded.

    Also, like many people, she could have started out homophobic and changed her views over the years. I think what matters is that at the end, she fostered love.

    Agreed. I could certainly understand that she was expressing professional frustration at gay men who had opposed her earlier in her career. And we all know how bitchy & vindictive gay men can be. I suspect some of us have had the same thoughts about certain segments of our gay community at least some time in our own lives. I'll reserve judgment on Julia Child until I know more about this.
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    Aug 10, 2009 2:54 PM GMT

    LOL, and of course no one here has ever experienced a homo-viper. Everyone on this site is kind and jolly.


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    Aug 10, 2009 3:14 PM GMT
    Julie & Julia director-screenwriter-producer Nora Ephron addresses Julia Child's longtime homophobia and tackles the “tricky question” facing today’s closeted gay actors.



    http://www.advocate.com/exclusive_detail_ektid103913.asp
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    Aug 10, 2009 3:43 PM GMT
    I met Julia on a few occasions in the 1980's. She was a mentor to two friends of mine, women, who have become quite famous chefs in their own right.

    There are few people more prickly about homophobia than I am. After all, at the time I knew Julia I was a card-carrying Queer National.

    Take it for what it was, white wine at lunch and a bitchy sense of humor.
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    Aug 10, 2009 4:30 PM GMT
    "This small dish of revenge is being served cold, which is the optimum temperature...." icon_twisted.gif

  • EricLA

    Posts: 3461

    Aug 10, 2009 5:16 PM GMT
    Possibly. But, remember she was a product of her time. Those may have been words used more commonly than gay. I certainly don't think "homoviper" is all that homophobic. Actually, I kind of like it myself.

    But, let me enter into evidence this clip of Julie making pita bread on her show with what looks like a transgender person:

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    Aug 10, 2009 5:24 PM GMT
    EricLA saidPossibly. But, remember she was a product of her time. Those may have been words used more commonly than gay. I certainly don't think "homoviper" is all that homophobic. Actually, I kind of like it myself.

    But, let me enter into evidence this clip of Julie making pita bread on her show with what looks like a transgender person:




    ...exactly. I think that today would be a very different case for her, and she wouldn't be saying such things.
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    Aug 10, 2009 5:34 PM GMT
    EricLA saidPossibly. But, remember she was a product of her time. Those may have been words used more commonly than gay. I certainly don't think "homoviper" is all that homophobic. Actually, I kind of like it myself.

    But, let me enter into evidence this clip of Julie making pita bread on her show with what looks like a transgender person:




    ... evidence of what?! Looks like 2 men in the kitchen pulling Halloween cakes out of the oven. .