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Gay pride heroine says march too superficial and commercial
Superficial and commercial? Nous? Photo: DPA

Gay pride heroine says march too superficial and commercial

Published: 20 Jun 2010 12:21 GMT+02:00
Updated: 20 Jun 2010 12:21 GMT+02:00

A philosopher and gender theorist rejected a prize for civil courage at Christopher Street Day parade in Berlin on Saturday, criticising the march as too superficial and commercial.

Judith Butler, a respected American leftist feminist intellectual who teaches at Berkeley was honoured at the parade, but used her moment in front of the microphone to reject the prize and criticise the march.

Renate Künast, head of the Green Party, first praised Butler for her work before the 54-year-old professor took to the stage at the Brandenburg Gate.

But rather than accepting the prize, she rejected it, saying the parade had become too commercial, and was ignoring the problems of racism and the double discrimination suffered by homosexual or transsexual migrants.

Reading in German from a paper, she said an alternative Christopher Street Day, which is organised in the Kreuzberg area of the city and due to be held next Saturday, was much more effective at tackling such questions.

Around 600,000 people are estimated to have attended the parade which included around 50 trucks and groups of costumed marchers and dancers.

DDP/DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

18:42 June 20, 2010 by vonSchwerin
"But rather than accepting the prize, she rejected it, saying the parade had become too commercial, and was ignoring the problems of racism and the double discrimination suffered by homosexual or transsexual migrants."

She may be right about the commercialization and superficiality of the parade, but at least have the decency not to spit on the prize you're being offered! If she wants to criticize the parade, do it politely, at the right time, in the right place. AT THE PARADE when they honoring you is not the right time or place! Not a classy move.
21:23 June 20, 2010 by ColoSlim
And that is the Berkley, the anti-anti nothing is good enough attitude.

Why show up to reject the prize when you can just not show up which says the same thing.
09:33 June 21, 2010 by edgarpoe
what she did was very important.

That WAS the exact right time and place, if not then and there, then when and where?

She showed up and not accept the prize to make an statement of something important that is going on. Among the party and the halve naked guys people forget the real reason for the parade.

It has nothing to do about being 'classy', actually being classy in that context is a very superficial and silly thing, totally the opposite of what she represents.
14:54 June 21, 2010 by del jones
butler's concern with the commercialism of the parade is odd, given that she earns an annual academic salary of $ 230 000.

(see top salaries at U of California; http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/news/casalary/uc)

the california system is currently going broke, leading to many layoffs of teachers and unemployment. her salary that is quoted here is still higher, since it does not include her expense account and fees of $ 10000 for lectures given at other universities. i do think it is a bit facile to do politics abroad and ignore urgent labor issues at home. the academic star salaries are part of the problem. so i hope she would also refuse to enter into a salary system that does not reflect the political concerns of the humanities. many of america's current political intellectual leaders (jameson, bhabha, west, gilman, fish) have addressed every questionable aspect of cultural politics but have yet to address their own financial elitism. unemployment in the humanities runs high with only 1 in every 3 students securing a job. american academia has rightfully been called a ponzi scheme.
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