“Gentleman’s Agreement” is a 1947 film that deals specifically with anti-Semitism but can be seen as pertinent to all forms of ethnic and religious prejudice in society. In fact, “Gentleman’s Agreement” can also be related to unfair sexual discrimination and political judgements, as well as xenophobia (irrational fear/loathing of foreigners). “Gentleman’s Agreement” may well be about the Jews but it’s really a film about bigotry in general. In common parlance, a “gentleman’s agreement” refers to a belief or rule thought to be accepted automatically by a society, organisation, what have you. Such agreements are usually unwritten and can even be unspoken, until said belief is mentioned casually in polite conversation. For example, if a stranger reading a newspaper at a bus station says to you “Can you believe these damn hippies, protesting the war? We ought to bring back conscription and draft ‘em into the army!” then that person, without asking your beliefs on the subject, presumes that you share his/her war hawk viewpoint and that you despise hippies as much as he/she does. That’s one example of a “gentleman’s agreement.”
Such contracts and attitudes are seen chiefly as the domain of archaic conservatives, yet from my experience, there is a disturbing amount of “gentleman’s agreements” expressed by supposedly open-minded “progressive” types. I can recall several times when I’ve been on the receiving end of unflattering comment about pro-lifers; being a pro-life person myself, it was interesting, to say the least, to listen to the mixed-up mutterings from these pro-abortionists who had no idea with whom they were speaking. Another type I encounter is the person who presumes that I have a rather liberal view on drugs when the extreme opposite is true. I guess I half-expect redneck morons to project their fervently caveman-like “gentleman’s agreements” upon anyone within spitting distance, but it’s woefully depressing when this cliquish pack mentality BS comes from supposedly “enlightened”, “liberal” individuals. You know the type of person who expects you to embrace the idea of single lesbian mothers choosing the gender of their baby yet maintaining the right to abort if it turns out she’s having twins. And woe betides you if you don’t share his/her views, because if you don’t accord then you’re nothing but a low down dirty fucking fascist and an enemy of “the people”.
Quite frankly, I’m sick and tired of the blank stares I get from Che Guevara t-shirt wearing, chain-smoking, herbal tea-toting arseholes who wish to crucify my arse just because not all of my political/social views sit firmly to the left of Karl Marx. It’s funny because at one time in my life I was on the receiving end of “gentlemen’s agreements” from undesirable redneck types; now I guess because I have been so heavily involved in liberal/progressive circles in recent years, I hear the other side of “gentleman’s agreements”.
I’m certain some of you have been unwillingly pulled into “gentleman’s agreements”. I’m not a fan of that stupid old phrase “don’t discuss politics and religion among friends”. I’d rather friends ask me what I believe as opposed to being rubber stamped as one of their tribe on all things religious, political, social, sexual, et cetera. And the disgusting thing is there are some people who allow relatively benign differences in values to become friendship-breakers, which I think is pathetic. Again, this happens about as often with “liberals” as it does with “conservatives”.
So I must ask, has anyone examples of “gentleman’s agreements” that they encounter? Also, how about the aforementioned 1947 film starring Gregory Peck and a very young Dean Stockwell? How well does the film stand up after more than 60 years, how pertinent is it today, and did it deserve its Best Picture Oscar? No nudge, nudge, wink, wink “agreements” here…let’s get it all out in the open!
Being criticized for one’s political views is not the equivalent for being discriminated against on the basis of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, ect. The latter is an attack on who one is and such attacks are rightly considered unacceptable by just societies.
On the other hand, one makes a stance on various political or social issues because they want to advocate their ideas in the public arena. Just as it’s anyone’s right to do so, it is also anyone’s right to question those ideas and hold them up to scrutiny. That some choose to be uncivil in either advocating or criticizing opinions is a poor reflection of lack of civility in general, not discrimination.
I think there’s a bit of an apple/oranges comparison here.
I’m pro-life too, but isn’t “mixed up mutterings from these pro-abortionists” exactly the kind of thing you are against?
That manner of description, I mean.
“Quite frankly, I’m sick and tired of the blank stares I get from Che Guevara t-shirt wearing, chain-smoking, herbal tea-toting arseholes who wish to crucify my arse just because not all of my political/social views sit firmly to the left of Karl Marx.”
What’s the color of the sky in your world?
In mine I’m under constant attack by “Conservatives” over daring to so much as BREATHE.
Gadge won the Oscar for this movie — soemthign that was conviently forgotten when he was given a “Special Oscar” — as if he’d never won one before.
Peter O’Toole — who turns 79 today — HAS NEEVR WON AN OSCAR!!!!
Laura Z. Hobson went on to write “Consenting Adult” — the homophobic analog to “Gentleman’s Agreement’” anti-semitism. It was isnpired by her son’s coming out to her.
A not-bad made-for-TV movie was made of it.
Ha, I was being somewhat ironic…I did know this as I was formulating my post, if for no other reason than to show people what it sounds like. I knew at least one person (in this case yourself) would note this.
But really, “mixed up mutterings” is not so much a criticism of the pro-abortion position as it is the way I often hear it expressed—usually in the most asinine manner, but I digress.
Oh no, I don’t deny the presence of “conservatives” who feel that if you lose your job for daring to join a union, to protect your rights as a worker, screw it, you’re on your own with zero welfare—no, no, I certainly don’t deny the presence of such fools.
But what I am saying is that there is another side to the coin, Dave, an alpha to the omega.
Being someone who has views taken from column A as well as column B, I see the worst of both sides—trust me, Dave, the so-called “progressives” can be just as bloodthirsty as the “conservatives”.
I normally blend well with the so-called Left until I say I’m pro-life, then it’s lynching season.
I am normally okay with pro-lifers until I say that I am an atheist—as a large number of them are highly religious types (not a problem with me) who do regard atheists with extreme suspicion (there’s the problem).
Happy Birthday, Peter O’Toole!
I heard from my father that Peter once told a television interviewer that the reason why he has never won an Oscar is simply “because someone else keeps winning”.
I suspect he shall receive a Lifetime Achievement Oscar any year now.
Well, I think one can be unfairly eschewed from certain social circles for their politics. I’m basically pointing out the “nudge nudge, wink wink” culture where if someone “reads” you as, say, a “liberal”, they will spill their guts and let loose a whole lot of acid about the idiocy of (examples): pro-lifers, the stupidity of religion, what have you. Sort of like how some folks of Ethnic Group A meet some other folks from Ethnic Group A and presume they have the same racist views. I hope that makes sense. “Presumption” is the key word here.