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Straightforward: How to Mobilize Heterosexual Support for Gay Rights Hardcover – May 8, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0691121345 ISBN-10: 0691121346

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (May 8, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691121346
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691121345
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,474,023 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Every gay man and lesbian in America has at least two heterosexual allies willing to actively support their struggle for equality, hypothesize husband-and-wife law professors Ayres (Yale, and also a Forbes columnist) and Brown (Quinnipiac College). They argue that the hetero ally total is something like 20 million-all of whom would actively welcome "pragmatic advice" on how they can support their homosexual friends, which the authors are more than happy to provide. They propose strategies for dealing with hetero privilege-"the range of perks and incentives with which heterosexually identified persons are rewarded for conforming to the dominant sexuality"-exercising it, disabling it and renouncing it-and provide examples of each. They suggest that heterosexuals consider masking their own sexual orientation when doing activism. From the "fair employment mark" (a proposal that would allow consumers to purchase products bearing a mark that signals gay-friendly employment policies) to the "The Vacation Pledge for Equal Marriage Rights" (a Website designed by Ayres and Brown that will collect promises from individuals vowing to spend their tourism dollars in the first state to democratically extend marriage rights to same-sex couples), this practical primer delivers on its promise to provide a "concrete guide to action" by offering innovative economic and legal tactics for influencing public and corporate policy.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

Honorable Mention for the 2006 Myers Outstanding Book Award

"Ayres and Brown approach the subject of advocacy . . . by positing the notion of heterosexual privilege and its concomitant responsibility to make society more inclusive to its gay citizens."--Library Journal

"Accessible and consistently engaging, the book is certain to stimulate both casual and classroom discussion. . . . Straght-forward ultimately delivers in its promise to provide a practical guide to action by offering innovative economic and legal tactics for influencing public and corporate policy."--Tony Peregrin, The Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide

More About the Author

Ian Ayres is the William K. Townsend Professor at Yale Law School and the Yale School of Management, and is editor of the Journal of Law, Economics and Organization. In addition to his best-selling SuperCrunchers, Ayres has written for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, International Herald Tribune, and The New Republic. He lives in New Haven, Connecticut.Barry Nalebuff is Professor of Economics and Management at the Yale School of Management. His books include The Art of Strategy (an update of the best-selling Thinking Strategically) and Co-opetition. He is the author of fifty scholarly articles and has been an associate editor of five academic journals. He lives in New Haven, Connecticut.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mohawk fighter on September 28, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I am a student government senator at a small community college and we have been given the task of rewriting our discrimination policy. This will be a fight but I am glad to know that our library thought enough of students input to order this great book. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in not only this cause but others. The ideas can be put to use on so many other issues.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Peter McCluskey on June 22, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book provides mostly sensible advice about how to promote gay rights without unnecessarily provoking opponents, and sometimes (but not consistently) without requiring unusual effort on the part of gay rights supporters. Many of the ideas in the book can be applied to other causes that mainly require changing public opinion.

They occasionally go overboard and suggest fighting privileges that don't exist. For instance, they mention favorably advice that heterosexuals boycott marriage until it's available for all. It might make sense to ask heterosexuals to not have their marriages legally recognized (although I doubt the effectiveness of such a strategy). But the suggestion that wedding ceremonies be boycotted as long as gays are excluded from them is silly - wedding ceremonies are very much available to gays today.

Their Fair Employment Mark, under which employers would volunteer to enable employees sue them if they discriminate, would be a great idea under a sufficiently fair legal system. But it's unclear why an employer would consider the U.S. legal system sufficiently fair to agree to this.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By AFguy on August 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I'm giving this book to all my straight friends and relatives, and I'm going to give it as a wedding present to straight people getting married. There are just so many ideas in this book, from radical to relaxed.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Chema Quinn on February 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I'm a straight person with a serious privilege failure - my wife can't get a visa, so I am an exile. I absolutely sympathize with the fact that this is normal for gay people. But I would nevertheless take up that privilege in a heartbeat, if I could.

The question of privilege is not, do you enjoy privileges which others are denied. If that were true, we should all live life like illegal immigrants or west-bank Palestinians. The question is, are your privileges things that should not or could not be granted to all. The racist country club is the prototypical example: the ability to hang out without those other people around is a stupid privilege on the face of it, and is rightly rejected by all moral people.

There is nothing wrong with most of the contractual, tax, and immigration advantages of marriage, EXCEPT that they are not extended to all people (including homosexuals) equally. So there is no moral benefit to renouncing these privileges. Much much better would be to take them, figure out how much they are worth (in money, time, happiness, unity with extended family, whatever), and then devote some significant fraction of that worth to the cause of extending these rights to all. (And again, I say significant fraction, not all, because these benefits are not evil, they should be enjoyed as well as shared.) So you'd donate money and time; have some uncomfortable conversations with your cousins; and so on. This would be far more effective than just not getting married.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Holly L. Blash on September 26, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I haven't even finished every word but am sartled, amazed even more involved (if possible)! I am now in the"privalaged" world and cannot live without working to insure that ALL families get an "even playing field". The extent of marriage discrimination is appalling! What can be realized by the privalaged (hetro marrieds and singles)and what can be acted upon to alter the inequality is here in this book/manual and I recommed that everyone read it!
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