Sullivan on Coulter's "faggot" attack

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Amid all the blogosphere's pearl-clutching at Ann Coulter's bigoted slurs, Andrew Sullivan hits just the right tone. He observes that "for the slur to work, it must logically accept the premise that gay men are weak, effeminate, wusses, sissies, and the rest:"

A sane gay man has two responses to this, I think. The first is that there is nothing wrong with effeminacy or effeminate gay men - and certainly nothing weak about many of them. In the plague years, I saw countless nelly sissies face HIV and AIDS with as much courage and steel as any warrior on earth. You want to meet someone with balls? Find a drag queen. The courage of many gay men every day in facing down hatred and scorn and derision to live lives of dignity and integrity is not a sign of being a wuss or somehow weak. We have as much and maybe more courage than many - because we have had to acquire it to survive. And that is especially true of gay men whose effeminacy may not make them able to pass as straight - the very people Coulter seeks to demonize. The conflation of effeminacy with weakness, and of gayness with weakness, is what Coulter calculatedly asserted. This was not a joke. It was an attack.

Secondly, gay men are not all effeminate. In the last couple of weeks, we have seen a leading NBA player and a soldier come out to tell their stories. I'd like to hear Coulter tell Amaechi and Alva that they are sissies and wusses. A man in uniform who just lost a leg for his country is a sissy? The first American solider to be wounded in Iraq is a wuss? What Coulter did, in her callow, empty way, was to accuse John Edwards of not being a real man. To do so, she asserted that gay men are not real men either. The emasculation of men in minority groups is an ancient trope of the vilest bigotry. Why was it wrong, after all, for white men to call African-American men "boys"? Because it robbed them of the dignity of their masculinity. And that's what Coulter did last Friday to gays. She said - and conservatives applauded - that I and so many others are not men. We are men, Ann.

As members of other minorities have been forced to say in the past: I am not a faggot. I am a man. [emphases added]

There is something to be said for the LGBT(Q) movement reclaiming words of deprecation and Judo-ing them into badges of pride; there is also the direct method, as displayed by Sullivan, of simply exposing bullshit for what it is.

Bravo!

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on March 6, 2007 2:12 PM.

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