Blogpost #2

                                                      Landon Thompson


The “Lavender Scare” was a mass persecution of suspected homosexuals in the United States government and American industry that was influenced by the decisions of senator Joe McCarthy. These persecutions of homosexuals took place simultaneously to the Red Scare of the 1950’s (Friedman, 2018). Ironically, McCarthy later was targeted by this so-called “Lavender Scare.” The fact that Senator Joe McCharthy was prosecuted by the leftists of the time showed that the use of homophobic attacks was not as underground as once believed and in reality had a similar level of publicness as the “Red Scare.” (Friedman, 2018). McCharty’s persecution also showed that at least amongst American lawmakers that communism and homosexuality were seen as having similar characteristics and as being similar threats to American society (Friedman, 2018) We can see this idea on page 1106 of the reading where Friedman says that, “More fundamentally, communists and homosexuals were linked through the trope of enslavement: homosexuals were slaves to their passions for other men, communists to their Soviet masters. Members of both groups lacked the masculine autonomy that enabled loyalty to the nation.” (Friedman, 2018). This idea amongst American leaders that the “Red Scare” and the “Lavender Scare” were effectively the “same” could mean that American leaders were willing to use the general public’s fear about communism to create a license to persecute suspected homosexuals and at the same time was able to use the fear of homosexuality to pursue suspected communists. To be simple there may have existed a cycle whereby someone accused of being communist may have also been accused of being a homosexual and vice-versa. 

I would personally argue that there is indeed a use of sexual innuendos in politics today however, it is not as blatant or obvious as in the past. For example, we see many situations in modern American politics where bills are proposed and sometimes passed under the guise of protecting certain groups but in reality are attempts to suppress LGBTQ groups. An excellent example of this is the Parental Rights in Education Act passed in Florida in 2022. According to National Public Radio which quoted the bill as saying, “Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.” (NPR, 2022). This bill has been heavily criticized by Civil Rights groups such as the Trevor Project for erasing LGBTQ history and is seen as an attack on said community (NPR, 2022). As a result of this example, I would definitely argue that there still is a prevalent use of sexual innuendos in modern American politics, especially ones that target LGBTQ groups.


  • Friedman, Andrea. “The Smearing of Joe McCarthy: The Lavender Scare, Gossip, and Cold War Politics.” American Quarterly, December 2005, 1105–1029. 
  • Diaz, Jacyln. “Florida’s Governor Signs Controversial Law Opponents Dubbed ‘Don’t Say Gay’.” National Public Radio, March 28, 2022. Florida’s governor signs controversial law opponents dubbed ‘Don’t Say Gay’.

2 thoughts on “Blogpost #2

  1. After reading your blog post about the “Lavender Scare” I noticed that you brought up many good points about it. For example, when you talked about the NPR quote, and how they did not want to teach about it at a young age. I think there is a lot that goes into these decisions, and it if very difficult to always make the right one. No matter which way you choose there will always be individuals that disagree.


  2. I really enjoyed reading your blog post about the Lavender Scare. I also agree with you that I think sexual innuendos are still relevant today and are still seen in politics. I like how you brought up the Parental Rights in Education act from 2022. I think it is crazy that people who identify as something else cannot teach children in grades kindergarten to third grade. I do think though that this act definitely shows how sexual innuendos are relevant today. I also thought it was interesting that homosexuals were compared to communists, and is something that I would not have expected.


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