Progressive. Queer. Feminist. Opinionated.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Words

I apologize for our very scarce posts lately. Please understand that this blog is run (for the most part) by college students, and so there are times of the year - like, say, finals - when posting is a little more difficult.

That being said, I'm out of the rough, so I will try to regain my footing here.



I don't remember where I found this anymore, but it might be an interesting read:

This is the American Psychological Association's article "Avoiding Heterosexual Bias in Language."

This article presents suggestions for avoiding heterosexual bias in language concerning lesbians, gay men, and bisexual persons. Problems in language occur when terminology is unclear or when terminology has been associated with negative stereotypes. The article suggests preferred terminology and also presents ways of increasing the visibility of lesbians, gay men, and bisexual persons in language.


Ion and I were talking about language today in a way that relates to this. She used a word that she can use - as an Asian American - that I cringe to hear, probably because I'm not just white, but from-Ohio-and-the-fields-of-corn-and-cows-White. (Yes, that's pretty white). This led to a discussion about how far words have been reclaimed.

For example, I feel very uncomfortable with the word "fag." Plenty of gay men use it without hesitation, and I'm just as queer as them, yet I have trouble even saying itin reference to something fun like that blog I linked to recently, Faggoty-Ass Faggot. I love what the guy is doing, but I feel strange when I say the word.

And this is funny, especially coming from a founding member of the "Dyke Squad." I feel entirely comfortable using the word "dyke." In fact, I downright love that word. And I know a lot of other lesbians also love it. On the other hand, there are plenty who hate the word.

And then "queer." That's so far reclaimed that straight people can use it without feeling discomfort - after all, we have Queer Studies as most schools.

Of course, this whole discussion may show that I pay too much attention to words and labels. And maybe that's a mistake.

I can't help liking the word "dyke," though.

2 Comments:

Blogger sky759 said...

well, we have'nt really talked about terminology concerning gays,lesbians,and BIs like myself in multicutural counseling.perhaps it would have made for at least some interesting discussion.my instructor is a big black lesbian and she loves to watch the white kids squirm.she tears them up and gives me a wink.she's awsome!

2:30 AM

 
Blogger RubyWatermelon said...

Hummm.......I think it is all about preference. Literally and figuratively. I think of myself as "gay" but I am a woman which makes me a "lesbian." But if I am coming out to someone I say, "I'm gay" and not "I'm a lesbian." I know older people who associate the term "gay" just with men. Homosexual sounds down right queer so what's a "team player" to do when having a few mimosas with a couple of "fags"?

9:02 PM

 

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