For Bill O’Neill, the only way to prove one is truly heterosexual is to attain a respectable tally.
Today’s 3D Definition: Heterosexual
The Huffington Post was quick enough to find a post on Facebook by Ohio Supreme Court justice and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill O’Neill before the combative aspiring politician could delete it, with an insincere pang of embarrassment. O’Neill notably intended to sell himself by coming to the defense of a clear majority of his gender in no uncertain terms: “Now that the dogs of war are calling for the head of Senator Al Franken I believe it is time to speak up on behalf of all heterosexual males.”
It’s always touching when a politician stands up for such an imposing group of victims and speaks to their deepest instincts. In order to prove his empathy with the entire class of heterosexual males and his bona fide membership in the club, he felt it necessary to inform his audience that, over the years, he had been “sexually intimate with approximately 50 very attractive females.”
Here is today’s 3D definition:
A member of one of two genders — male or female — whose sense of gender identity is predicated on the number of intimate connections achieved with a member of the other gender
Clearly for O’Neill, the only way to prove one is truly heterosexual is to attain a respectable tally, with the added proviso that the consenting or nonconsenting partners be attractive. In his system of calculation — unlike Don Giovanni’s in Mozart’s eponymous opera** — presumably a “drop dead gorgeous” partner will count for extra points.
O’Neill is currently fashioning his image as a gubernatorial candidate in an upcoming election. Perhaps he is trying to give a new meaning to the notion of “candidate,” after parsing it as a portmanteau word: “candid date.” Most would agree that he has indeed showed himself as very candid about his dating (the verb to date was previously defined here in The Daily Devil’s Dictionary).
O’Neill clearly believes his version of male heterosexuality is shared universally by the males within his culture. Whether they can all perform with his level of accomplishment is another question. In his view they all aspire to it, which is why he believes one shouldn’t blame politicians — from John F. Kennedy to Al Franken — who take advantage of their power and authority to realize their version of the American (male) dream. They are simply conforming to the dictates of their culture, playing their role to its fullest.
Bill O’Neill not only thinks of himself as virile, but also courageously outspoken, in the great American tradition, that essential American virtue of speaking up. Here’s what he said the following day to justify his claims: “Sometimes you have to stand up and say what’s on your mind. I’m an elected official. I’m a candidate for governor. People listen to me. I had something to say. I said it.” It’s edifying to learn that for some of the brave things he does, he likes to “stand up.” Others he prefers to do in a reclining position.
In the same week, a group of Navy pilots made their own statement about “male heterosexuality” by artfully using with their jets’ contrails to paint a phallus in the sky, which apparently upset some citizens on the ground. The pilots clearly adhere to the same ethos O’Neill is promoting. The upset citizens appear to be women and children, though the male authorities in the Navy, once they got wind of it, disapproved.
Also in the news is the revelation that the supposedly idea-oriented (rather than heterosexually-oriented) attendees as well as key staff of Ted Talks appear to have embraced O’Neill’s ideal of the heterosexual male along with a few passing females, some of whom struggled to avoid their embrace. Jess Ladd, a female TED fellow, summed up the problem pithily: “If your boss harasses you, you know you can go to HR. But if it’s a powerful investor or an academic in your field, it’s really hard to know what to do and what your options are.”
In light of the multiple scandals that have broken since Harvey Weinstein’s disgrace, would it be fair to suggest that O’Neill’s view of heterosexuality may be related more to the abuse of authority than a taste for sexual activity? O’Neill appears to be defending a view of authority and the traditional privileges of the 1% that have begun to upset a few people… of both sexes.
**Don Giovanni’s servant Leporello informs the audience in his famous aria (mille e tre): “Non si picca se sia ricca, Se sia bruta, se sia bella” (It doesn’t matter if she’s rich, ugly or beautiful).
*[In the age of Oscar Wilde and Mark Twain, another American wit, the journalist Ambrose Bierce, produced a series of satirical definitions of commonly used terms, throwing light on their hidden meanings in real discourse. Bierce eventually collected and published them as a book, The Devil’s Dictionary, in 1911. We have shamelessly appropriated his title in the interest of continuing his wholesome pedagogical effort to enlighten generations of readers of the news.]
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