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Nicely done.

link: http://www.livejournal.com/users/low_key/310262.html

On the same topic, I caught part of NPR's Talk of the Nation as I was driving around Mission Hills, Kansas in my beat-up Ford Ranger yesterday. (For those of you who equate Kansas with wheat feilds, Johnson County, Kansas remains one of the wealthiest counties in the nation. I was most likely the only person driving through Mission Hills in a 12 year-old domestic pickup truck.) The topic of the show: Gay Community Debates Gay Marriage

Here's NPR's synopsis of the show:
From Massachusetts to California, the fight over gay marriage intensifies. With conservatives arguing against it, and liberals and gay activists for it, is there room for debate among gays? We hear arguments for and against marriage within the gay community.

link: http://www.npr.org/rundowns/rundown.php?prgDate=16-Feb-2004&prgId=5

I took offense at something said by one of the guests; Jonathan Katz, Executive coordinator of the Larry Kramer Initiative for Lesbian and Gay Studies. After he said it, I distanced myself from him, and I probably judged everything he said thereafter less favorably than I would have otherwise. What did he say? I don't remember the quote verbatum, but he used the word heterosexism to refer to advocacy of a heterosexual lifestyle.

To the best of my knowledge, independent comic book author Dave Sim first used the terms homosexualism and heterosexualism to make clear the difference between sexual and political orientations. According to Sim's usage, a person who feels sexually attracted primarity to people of the same sex is a homosexual (or a homosexual person for those who don't think that the word homosexual should be used as a noun), while someone who actively campaigns to advance homosexuality as a societal norm counts as a homosexualist. In Sim's view, the progressive left, champion of "tolerance" and "diversity", consists mainly of heterosexual homosexualists. Political Correctness, according to Sim's framework, amounts to little more than the rhetorical insulation of the ideology promoted by the "feminist-homosexualist alliance" against criticism from evil, white patriarchs and their minions.

Whatever position you may take about Dave Sim regarding his attitudes towards women and homosexuals, he at least plays fair with his language. Where Sim uses the word heterosexualists to refer to people who work to maintain the normative cultural primacy of heterosexual institutions and practices, Jonathan Katz uses the term heterosexists. According to Sim's language, the speaker remains free to assign a positive or a negative value judgment to people who advocate the traditional view of marriage, but Katz's heterosexism comes with a built-in negative value judgment, as he defines the heterosexualist's position as a form of sexism. Where Sim's terminology "swings both ways" and treats both sides in the argument equally, I seriously doubt that Mr. Katz would use the word homosexists to describe the people in his own camp.

As for the heterosexualists of the religious far-right in this country who now want to amend the US constitution to "protect" the institution of heterosexual marriage, I offer up the words of Michael Peirce:

Christians regularly ignore the law of land in exchange for crumbs from the master’s table. While our borders are being overrun and our heritage of freedom destroyed, Christians are shouting their approval for a defense of marriage amendment.

How ridiculous that is when you consider the implications. The Christian Right; co-conspirators with government scofflaws in the overthrow of the constitution, want a constitutional amendment to protect marriage. You cannot have it both ways. What good is an amendment to a document that you have yourselves helped to render superfluous?

link: http://www.lewrockwell.com/peirce/peirce72.html


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 17th, 2004 09:48 am (UTC)
One hundred years ago, this word meant "one who practices homosexual activity." Personally, I think making the verbal distinction between the orientation and the action would still be useful today.

And I think it would be even more useful to note that "homosexual" is an adjective, not a noun. That sexual identity is strict and unalterable is, I believe, one of the great myths of our day.

(And if anyone should feel inclined to flame me for that last statement, I say in advance: Bite me.)
Feb. 17th, 2004 10:00 am (UTC)
As a noun

The Dictionary.com definition for "homosexual" includes this note on its usage as a noun:

Many people now avoid using homosexual because of the emphasis this term places on sexuality. Indeed, the words gay and lesbian, which stress cultural and social matters over sex, are frequently better choices. Homosexual is most objectionable when used as a noun; here gay man and gay woman or lesbian and their plural forms are called for. It is generally unobjectionable when used adjectivally, as in a homosexual relationship, although gay, lesbian, or same-sex are also available for adjectival use.</blockquote>

On the whole, I'd say the above expresses a pretty strong homosexualist bias.

Feb. 17th, 2004 10:06 am (UTC)
distinguishing orientation and action
Personally, I think making the verbal distinction between the orientation and the action would still be useful today.

I think the word "practicing" currently gets used to make that distinction.
Feb. 17th, 2004 10:23 am (UTC)
Re: distinguishing orientation and action
Clumsy, though.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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