Join Prism Book Alliance® as Sue Brown goes Outside the Margins today.
One of the things I’ve realised recently is how easy it is to take an ordinary word and weaponize it. By this I mean adapt it to use as a highly-charged weapon for whatever agenda the user might have. It’s nothing new. Think of how the Nazis used language to demonise Jews, how religions use language to exalt themselves and demonise others.
In the long rocky path to marriage equality, ‘traditional’ and ‘equal’ became words with meanings far beyond those in the dictionary. Depending on what side you were on, traditional was the way God intended, limited to one man, one woman, despite the fact that marriage in the Bible bore little relation to one man, one woman. On the other side, traditional was the stumbling block to true equality. Of course ‘traditional’ has stood in the path of women, people of colour, and the LGBT community. It’s no wonder the meaning has soured in many eyes.
Queer is another weaponized word and all the words used to demean gay people. In a recent discussion about HuffPost Gay Voices changing to HuffPost Queer Voices to become more inclusive, it was extremely obvious that gay people (as opposed to LBT) were understandably outraged at a word that had been used for years to demean them, was now being used as an inclusive term. It was also obvious that some of the same people didn’t see how ‘gay’ was exclusive.
Which leads me to my title. When did Straight become weaponized?
I was scrolling through social media and I saw someone in our genre talking about the opinion of a ‘straight woman’.
Again. Really? Do you have to?
Do you know she’s straight or is it just easy to throw that out because you know your mates will all start attacking her – which they did. It’s a very small leap from stupid opinion to stupid straight woman to stupid woman to all women are stupid. She had an opinion you disagreed with. Awesome. Discuss the opinion, not the sexuality of the woman. I’d have disagreed with her too because criticising gay authors for their lived experience is plain idiotic, and it happens far too much. But if I started talking about gay guys in that tone you’d rightly shut me down immediately.
A couple of year ago at a panel, I asked if the guys on the panel could stop using ‘straight women’ and they did. Then it was because there was a heck of a lot of women in the audience who weren’t straight. But now I get pissed off because it’s used to demean women – again. In our genre we should know better than to use sexuality as a weapon.
Okay, have at me. Do you agree/disagree?
About Sue BrownSue Brown is owned by her dog and two children. When she isn’t following their orders, she can be found plotting at her laptop. In fact she hides so she can plot and has got expert at ignoring the orders.
Sue discovered M/M erotica at the time she woke up to find two men kissing on her favourite television series. The kissing was hot and tender and Sue wanted to write about this men. She may be late to the party, but she’s made up for it since, writing fan fiction until she was brave enough to venture out into the world of original fiction.
Sue’s internet links
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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