A True American Man

After the end of WWll, there was a huge concern about the spread of communism throughout the world. The Soviet Union was controlling the nations it took from the Nazi party rather than freeing them. The huge presence of the Soviet Union caused widespread fear of communism and gave birth to the time known as the “Red Scare.” The “Red Scare” united the American people in protecting the interests of capitalism and fighting against communism. One of the less-known issues that were happening around the same time was the “Lavender Scare.” The “Lavender Scare” was a movement in which “thousands of people who were suspected of being homosexuals were investigated, interrogated, and dismissed from government roles and private employers”(Friedman,2018). Being a homosexual during this time was considered a mental illness according to the American Psychiatric DSM. “Communists and homosexuals were linked through the trope of enslavement: homosexuals were slaves to the passion for other men, communists to their soviet masters”(Friedman,2018). The “Red Scare” and “Lavender scare” are similar in the reactions they caused from the American people. The American people feared that their way of life would change if these people would infiltrate the government. Innocent people were stripped from their positions and “Black Listed” from society. People in Hollywood were some of the most highly targeted people for both the “Red Scare” and the “Lavender Scare.” One of the most famous people to be connected to the “Lavender scare” was Senator Joseph McCarthy from Wisconsin. McCarthy grew up on a chicken farm in Wisconsin and enlisted in the military, he was known as “Tail-Gunner Joe” and referred to himself as a “True American man.” He was the one who connected the issue of the Anti-Communisum and Homophobia agenda to the government. Ironically, he would be under investigation for being considered a homosexual after a picture was taken of Roy Cohn whispering in his ear. The smearing of Sen. McCarthy ruined his reputation of being a true American man and led to his ultimate downfall in politics. 

I do believe that sexual innuendos are still used in politics today. There aren’t direct attacks toward people like there were during the 1950 to 1960s, but people in government still use homophobic remarks to attack opponents. The rise of the LGBTQ+ community has also caused many different government officials to try and suppress their rights. There have been many different bills created to aim for and destroy the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. There have also been direct attacks from recent people in high office using these sexual innuendos. I hope that eventually in the United States, we can move on from these issues and stop attacking people for who they want to be.

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