Straw Affiliation (Revision) YKTTW Discussion

Straw Affiliation (Revision)
Someone assume that Bob have certain opinions, need or whatever based on his race, gender or similar
(permanent link) added: 2011-04-10 04:01:47 sponsor: Xzenu (last reply: 2011-04-20 06:01:55)

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Rolling Updates * Needs More Examples

"Damon, you can't be a Republican!"
"Why not?"
"Because only Democrats fight racial stereotyping!"
"Well... why me?"
"Why?! Because you're black!!"

Bob belong to a lot of groups. For example, he might be a man, an american, an atheist (reasonable or otherwise), a heterosexual, and me might also have black skin.

Now, Alice picks one of these many groups, and simply assume that Bob thus have certain opinions, beliefs, even needs. If Bob doesn't agree, it's because Bob doesn't know his own good, maybe doesn't even know what he really want. She might even go so far as accusing him of being a Category Traitor. Or simply dismiss him as not being a real man/american/atheist/heterosexual/black/whatever. When a character does this kind of stereotyping, it is Straw Affiliation. When it's the author who does this, it's something else... typically a Strawman Political, maybe in an Author Tract.

See also Gay Conservative, No True Scotsman, Uncle Tom Foolery. Contrast Mars-and-Venus Gender Contrast, where gender-based Straw Affiliation is justified by the narrative.


Live-Action TV
  • The 3rd Rock From The Sun episode "Dick the Vote" included this subversion:
    Mary: Hecky Mulligan! How can you vote for Hecky Mulligan? Nina, can you believe that?
    Nina: How do you know I'm not voting for Mulligan?
    Mary: I thought you were a Democrat.
    Nina: And why do you think I'm a Democrat, because I'm black?
    Mary: Go ahead, vote for Mulligan!
    Nina: I'm not voting for Mulligan!

  • Used to great effect in an early episode of The West Wing, where Josh is arguing with a Republican congressman, Matt Skinner, over provisions in a proposed anti-gay marriage law. He is baffled by the congressman's refusal to vote against it, even though Skinner himself is gay. When Josh finally breaks down and asks why he doesn't vote against the bill, and why he's even a member of the party when the Republicans always have an anti-gay message, Skinner replies that yes, he is gay. But he is also for lower taxes, less government, and most other Republican positions, and he simply chooses not to let his sexuality, rather than his principles, decide how he should vote.

Real Life

  • The Day By Day cartoon outlined at the top of the page.
    • It gets worse. It is later revealed that Damon is an orphan, causing Jan, the Straw Liberal to declare that this explains why he's a Republican as he doesn't know how a black person is supposed to act. Did I mention they're now a couple?
  • The now defunct online comic Queer Nation featured the examples of a black gay man who spoke at a Republican benefit and, during it, received superpowers; the "Lambda Rays" put him in blackface, a hobo suit, and apparently gave him the moniker "Uncle Tom". He immediately began dancing for the white crowd in front of him. One of the few Author Tract examples of this trope in action.

Web Original

Western Animation
  • In South Park, at the end of "Cripple Fight", Big Gay Al gives an inspiring speech about how he doesn't believe the government has the right to force the Scouts to accept homosexuals. A bewildered Gloria Allred quickly attacks Big Gay Al as being a homophobe.
  • On Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Master Shake is surprised to learn that Frylock is not amused by a Jive Turkey talking cellphone, despite the fact that Frylock is black. Or at least, he sounds black.

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