It’s Pride Month this month and as urban publications around the world are rushing to camp up their covers one mag may have gone too far. Above is what readers of TimeOut Tel Aviv saw recently when they picked up the special Pride edition (June 4-11, 2009). Translated from the Hebrew, the title reads:
You see here a threat, we see here an opportunity.
Some LGBT & feminist groups in Israel & Palestine are in an uproar over this sexualized depiction of male Muslim’s in prayer and they are organizing a protest against the magazine. They explain in a press release sent to LGBT & feminist groups around the world:
Even though the magazine pretends to be open minded, it did not reduce the deep disgrace we felt when seeing the image or reading the article, which is explicitly racist, violent and even homophobic. The editorial choice to use this particular image for the front page suggests total ignorance and racism.
Now, I’m a little torn over this since it may not be a tasteful cover but it does combine a lot of conflicting stereotypes (Muslim population explosion, gay male sexual predatorism, etc.) in what seems to be a campy manner. But they don’t see it that way:
The title of the front page suggests that violent, vulgar and disturbing sexual acts are “opportunities”. Opportunities of what, we ask? “To fuck Islam”? “To fuck Muslims”? Is it because “they are a threat”? Or they are “exotic”? Is this an opportunity to “fuck” the “enemy” and stab them in the back as they pray? Is anyone who turns their back an “opportunity” for rape?
I admit I’m conflicted (part of me is laughing, part of me is appalled) because of the camp factor involved. Camp is supposed to be tasteless, ironic and extreme. It’s supposed to push buttons and it’s supposed to challenge stereotypes…so, I’m asking my readers to vote. What do you think? Did TimeOut Tel Aviv go too far?