Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Queer is OK--or is it?

In my previous posting I quoted Larry Kramer's eloquent rejection of the "queer" label. I have always detested it. Kramer calls it adolescent, asking how we can ask others to respect us when we cling to this idiocy.

You will remember Sam Wurzelbacher, aka "Joe the Plumber," who was catapulted into national prominence when John McCain unwisely elevated him. Now this so-called plumber is on a national book tour. In a piece reported by Christianity Today, the interviewer asked: "What do you think about same-sex marriage at a state level?'

Reply: "At a state level, it's up to them. I don't want it to be a federal thing. I personally still think it's wrong. People don't understand the dictionary—it's called queer. Queer means strange and unusual. It's not like a slur, like you would call a white person a honky or something like that. You know, God is pretty explicit."

Jonathan Rauch, and other gay people as well, are indignant at this aspersion. Well, why don't they direct their ire at all the gay intellectuals who have eagerly embraced "queer"? The answer is, I suppose, the n- excpeption. It's OK when we use the word, but wrong when THEY do.

Bull. Responsible black observers reject the n-word, and we should reject the q-word.


Blogger Stephen said...

There is no program of "Nigger Studies," though there is some "We can say it, but you can't" with that failed project of defanging a derogatory term.

I have never been able to find a theory in "queer theory," so find both parts of that locution offensive. AND there is something smacking of homophobia in not wanting to be defined by homosexuality, along with complicity in the hegemony of gender, the master trope in academia for the last decade plus.

10:17 AM  

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