The power of public condemnation

Written By: - Date published: 3:39 pm, January 25th, 2010 - 23 comments
Categories: business, capitalism, gay rights - Tags:

Phew, that was quick. Yesterday John Kingi writes to us about Club Physical promoting homophobic myths. I publish his email. The same day a 300 member Facebook group pops up, and John’s on NewstalkZB and GayNZ. Today, Club Physical’s apologising.

A lot of the righties complained that we shouldn’t have posted this. Suspect that deep down they are sympathetic to Club Physical’s anti-gay message. We were right to publish. People don’t want to give business to homophobs. If a business is promoting homophobia it’s right for the public to know. So they can make an informed choice and boycott them. Those are the pillars of your efficient market hypothesis, eh righties? Information and choice?

Hopefully, given the strength of the response from all but a few bigots, businesses will think twice before endorsing homophobia again. Even better, the owners of Club Physical might take a look at their own values.

update: hmm. According the RNZ, Club Physical isn’t apologising. CEO Paul Richards says people who are offended by homphobia need to “get over it” and he endorsed the ‘soy makes kids gay’ article because it was “challenging”

23 comments on “The power of public condemnation”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    Those are the pillars of your efficient market hypothesis, eh righties? Information and choice?

    The right don’t want a free-market as it cuts into profits but they do want to you to believe them when they say that they want a free-market.

    • Nick C 1.1

      Why do you equate the interests of business with capitalism? Capitalism is a system of limited government interference in markets. Many businesses dont like capitalism, particularly the inefficient ones. They would prefer a system where the government interfers quite a bit in the market; by giving them subsidies, large government contracts or redistributing wealth to those who are more likely to buy their products.

      I for example have no ideological predisposition to want any particular business to make a large profit. I merely want less government interference in markets.

      • kaplan 1.1.1

        The problem with minimal governance of markets is that so long as the consumer and provider are happy the consequences be damed.

      • Andy B 1.1.2

        Actually, I’d have to disagree that capitalism is a system where there is small government (i.e. limited regulation etc.). Whilst this is a form of capitalism (Chicago School of Economics or neo-liberalism), it is not the only form of capitalism.

        There are many forms of economic capitalism all which can have different forms of government. Its much the same with pure communism (i.e. without the dictatorships and a democratically elected government – no society in the world actually got here….) – it is a largely economic system, however, it becomes an ideology of government because the state runs the economy, business, production etc. In capitalism, the state doesn’t ‘run’ the economy (in the sense that I said before) instead, it provides for the people what the market would/could not provide successfully and efficiently. It also provides a certain amount of market conditions that promote growth of the economy and allows for people to be paid enough etc. In the early to mid 1900s, we had the golden age of capitalism – arguably the systems finest years, where much of the economic ideas were based on Keynes. (I recognise that there were many other factors driving the fact that capitalism worked well) He effectively said that the government had to interfere and provide where the markets couldn’t.

        However, this all changed with the introduction of neo-liberalism in the 1970s based on the ideas of Friedman. This worked for a while from a numbers perspective – but it caused absolute utter chaos from a social perspective and caused major problems for most people outside the economic elite. The trickle down effect that was one of the systems main points didn’t really work.

        Neo-liberalism crashed with the Great Recession of 2008 and many people are talking about taking up Keynes’ ideas again – we are yet to see an economic luminary to take the world to the fourth stage of capitalism.

        Anyway, none of this really points conclusively that capitalism is about small government. In fact – with Keynesian economics anyway – it is about big government. It is also arguably the most ‘natural’ form of economics (i.e. trading is what we would naturally do because we are a selfish species who always want something in return if we give something away) – therefore, capitalism is an economic system that can exist in or out of government control (with differing amounts of success).

        Democracy is, however, a form of government.

  2. infused 2

    I still fail to see how they were promoting homophobia.

    • Neil 2.1

      from the article –

      “That’s why most of the medical (not socio-spiritual) blame for today’s rise in homosexuality must fall upon the rise in soy formula and other soy products. (Most babies are bottle-fed during some part of their infancy, and one-fourth of them are getting soy milk!) Homosexuals often argue that their homosexuality is inborn because “I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t homosexual.” No, homosexuality is always deviant. But now many of them can truthfully say that they can’t remember a time when excess estrogen wasn’t influencing them.”

      “blame” + “deviant” = gay bad


  3. Brett 3

    I agree, where is this homophobia you speak of?
    Or is the fact that the owners of the business are Christian therefore automatically anti

  4. Nick C 4

    The problem is you assume that ‘homosexuality is bad’ is their default position. For example if they linked to an article which claimed that pregnant women drinking soy milk makes their babys more likely to be left handed, would you assume they hated left handed people?

    • IrishBill 4.1

      They promote an article that describes homosexuality as deviant and claims it’s destroying society. If it linked to a piece describing left handedness in the same terms than yes I would assume they hated left-handed people.

  5. tc 5

    I’m comfortable about this, I mean hey if the Herald and other MSM outlets can pass off what they write as factual and informed then I’m relaxed about this Paul Richards seeking to challenge us with the assertion that ‘soy makes you gay’

    In fact I’d love to see him explain that to lactose intolerant body builders/bouncers/league players/construction workers etc etc………..go on I double dare you Paul, see what a great marketing ploy that proves to be.

  6. and whats wrong with being homophobic anyway ?

  7. ben 7

    [you’ve been banned for a month and you’re still trying to comment, fuck off like a good little boy]

  8. NickS 8

    update: hmm. According the RNZ, Club Physical isn’t apologising. CEO Paul Richards says people who are offended by homphobia need to “get over it’ and he endorsed the ‘soy makes kids gay’ article because it was “challenging’

    “Challenging” eh? Challenging perhaps in the sense of; “Why the f*ck are you so damn stupid enough to link to a World Nut Daily article as though it were in any way, shape or form not the general bits of conspiracy theorist/right-wingnut crap WND publishes daily?”

    What an utterly pathetic excuse.

  9. John Cox 9

    Club Physical is not “promoting homophobic myths”!

    The Club’s magazine referred to an article which suggests that soy milk may cause homosexuality, since it contains isoflavones. That is not as far-fetched as it sounds.

    There is scientific evidence that isoflavones cause infertility. So there are grounds for concern about the consumption of soymilk. It may not turn little boys into “fairies”, but it might make them infertile men.

    Club physical should be congratulated for drawing attention to the health effects of soymilk, and not be condemned.

    • BLiP 9.1

      What casts doubt on your statement and raises the possibility that you are being disingenuous is that the author deliberately chose a site which states that gays are “deviant” and that homosexuality is some sort of condition which can be treated. Added to that is the fact that the owners are evangelical fundamentalists and seed the newsletter with a wide variety of references supporting their Pre-Christian Old Testament faith.

      If, as you suggest, the *real* agenda of the Club Physical newsletter was to raise awareness of the health implications of drinking soy, one would have thought the author might have referred to a site dealing just with that matter – there are plenty on the web – here’s one – took me 15 seconds to find.

      Further, we now have the media reporting:

      Mr Richards says all he did was to put a link on the newsletter and ask for people’s opinion and anyone who cancels their membership because of that is small-minded.

      The trouble with this statement is that it is fallacious – he didn’t “just link to an article”, he linked to an fundamentalist, anti-gay, pro-life, Obama-birther, racist, right wing website – and his conclusion is 100 percent the wrong way around: it is, in fact, himself who is small minded if he genuinely doesn’t understand why people might be offended. You have that, at least, in common with him.

    • The Voice of Reason 9.2

      If they should be congratulated, John, how come they are apologizing? And the problem isn’t the health benefits or otherwise of soy, its the gym publicising the link to the homophobic website. It’s probably thoughtless rather than malicious, but still …

      BTW, there does not actually appear to be any scientific evidence that isoflavones cause infertility in humans. I know, coz I looked it up on the interweb. Though, apparently, there is some concern for sheep who eat a shitload of isoflavone heavy clover, some of whom show some signs of some infertility.

    • uroskin 9.3

      “It may not turn little boys into “fairies’, but it might make them infertile men.”

      My swimmers are as good as yours, mate

  10. torydog 10

    I’d rather be a homo then a uneducated rightwing bigot who uses the “christian” tag to hide behind.

    PS i have never had soy products.

  11. J Mex 11

    Linking to a terrible article asking for comment = promoting homophobia

    Calling a group of people “white motherf**kers” = not racist nor promoting racism.

    Not sure you are being entirely consistent across these subjects, Eddie.

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