Oh, Katy Buchanan of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette travel section has me all a twitter this morning. In one of her pieces about traveling in India, she hits some pretty uggghhh moments (KFC tastes the same, TMI about her experience with eating fruit, “beggars,” etc). This is the best:
Indian men and boys hold hands, or sometimes just clasp pinkie fingers together, in public. It is not a gay thing, apparently, and I'm not sure it even connotes affection, since PDAs are frowned on in India. It was weird the first time I saw it, but I got a lot more used to that than the habit of public urination and public adjustment. This is seen all over the place.
Are you kidding me? She opens her story by reassuring people not to freak out about men linking pinkies? That's the FIRST thing she writes about the culture shock of traveling to India?????
This is beyond ridiculous. To be precise, this is her sidebar column about “things that might shock you” about India but my shock is pretty much reserved for the editor who okayed this demeaning piece. “Beggar-women” is a highlight.
Getting back to the homophobia, Ms. Buchanan's comment that men holding hands or clasping fingers is “weird” pretty much tells you what you need to know about her professionalism. It is a little suspect that her primary piece opens up with a reference to kissing her female hostess/friend without reassuring us she's not a lesbian. Perhaps we are supposed to infer that because the friend is married with children? Or it could be a subtle nod to her savvy hipster approach to life. Maybe she's just a homophobe.
Shame on the Post-Gazette for tapping into stereotypes and gay panic to sell newspapers.