As I write this, I’m watching Milk. So far it’s extremely good. It got my wife and me thinking about how we were never taught about Harvey Milk in school. It seems like we were taught about every other activist for equal rights except for him. Maybe Boston in the 1980’s wasn’t that progressive.
As an aside, it’s really interesting to watch a movie about historic events that’s happened 20 minutes from where you live.
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Stephanie PTY says
I never heard of Harvey Milk in school until I took a LGBT Theory (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered) class for my Gender Studies minor in college. (I knew a little bit about him from discussions outside of school, previous to that.) I also think it’s a shame, although I’ve seen parents around the country launch into protests when any LGBT issues are discussed in middle or high school, so I can see why a teacher who knows about Harvey Milk might be hesitant to discuss him with a class.
This is upsetting to me on many levels, but upsetting things like this are the reason I minored in Gender Studies.
Mr. ToughMoneyLove says
The reason you never read about Milk is that only in his death has the gay community decided to adopt Milk as a martyr. I haven’t seen the movie nor do I intend to, but if you were around when he was killed (as I was), it was clear that this was a political vendetta by a political adversary that had nothing to do with Milk’s orientation. No doubt the film makers have spun it in different direction, re-writing history. Don’t buy it. (Also, we studied gender in middle school. Our textbook was called Playboy magazine but we didn’t receive any credit for it.)
It’s a good film despite what people who, er, haven’t seen it feel the need to weigh in. Male answer syndrome we call that! But you’re right, he hasn’t been widely known up to this point. I worked on the construction of Harvey Milk School in NYC and my boss thought for some reason it was a photography school! He was an old bigot if ever there was one, so none of us had the guts to tell him what the school really was.
Lazy Man says
Considering that I was 2.5 years old when Milk was assassinated, I have to defer to those who were more around at the time.
It was hard for me to know how fair the movie was, but they brought in everyone who lived it. I will say that the movie did play it as “a political vendetta by a political adversary that had nothing to do with Milk’s orientation.” They didn’t see eye on any of the issues. The fact that White went for Mayor Moscone first seems to show it wasn’t about Milk being gay. Nonetheless, I think Milk accomplished a lot in a short time… and maybe accomplished more by being a martyr for the community to rally around.
It’s still something that should be taught in school, (though part of me doesn’t mind that Playboy course idea ;-) ).
I plan on watching the 1984 documentary that was made at some point.
Guinness416, After watching the movie, I went on Wikipedia to see what was named for Milk and saw the school you were talking about… very cool.
Mr. ToughMoneyLove says
So now we have “male answer syndrome”? Very funny and a new one for the medical journals. I wonder if it’s a recurring problem like PMS or does it just suddenly emerge when some hard truth needs telling?
And Lazy Man – you can see a lot more on cable TV than we ever saw in Playboy. Now “sexting” has taken over at the middle school level. Any parent having to send their kids through public school in this era has their work cut out for them.
Hmmm, I was born in the middle of the 80s, so I know nothing of Milk – but as far as not being taught about him in school, that could have more to do with the timeframe than anything else. Other than perhaps a brief mention after a Monday off, even MLK was too “recent” to be covered in history classes until college. At least for me. :)
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