Stonewall Riots Research Paper

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Stonewall Riots The prominent philosopher Slavoj Zizek breaks down the standard definition of violence into a two-part cause and effect system. In his novel, Violence, he categorizes violence as either being “subjective”, i.e. the more physical and literal examples of violence, such as murder, riots, and similar acts, or “objective”, the systematic or metaphorical violence that has caused the subjective violence, such as systematic oppression by the government or similar controlling bodies. The Stonewall Riots that occurred in 1969, where police officers raided a prominent gay bar in New York City and were met with rioting and protesting from those at the scene, clearly demonstrate the cause and effect relationship of Zizek’s concepts of objective …show more content…
In Lionel Wright’s article The Stonewall Riots – 1969: A Turning Point in the Struggle for Gay and Lesbian Liberation, he describes the occurrence as “an event which had occurred a thousand times before across the U.S. over the decades”. New York police had targeted and raided another gay bar, which had been illegally operating in the city, in order to attempt to shut it down. Wright goes on to say that shutting down these bars was a routine procedure, the entering of “Seven plain-clothes detectives and a uniformed officer” caused the bartenders to stop serving drinks and the usual patrons to begin to move toward the exit. Usually this process would have ended with those inside quickly leaving in order to avoid arrest or other punishment, but the build up of these occurrences caused the people to finally revolt and fight back against them. Although this routine act of oppression would not usually cause outbursts such as the riots that took place, certain patrons who frequented these bars, such as trans women Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera were fed up with the amount of times this had occurred and were prompted to throw bottles and confront the police, which led to the altercations and overall riots that ensued. The crowd soon became extremely aggressive as the police attempted to contain and detain them, and …show more content…
The desire for change that existed in all of those who were suppressed could not be contained forever. It was in the wake of these riots that erupted that the first steps toward gaining equality, such as the formation of the Gay Liberation Front, were made. The attempt to have complete and total control over the lives of the members of the community created an entirely opposite effect, allowing the suppressed to escape their oppressors and make significant progress in changing the outlook and laws regarding the LGBTQ community, in a battle for total equality that still is being fought for

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