The Language of Sexual Discrimination
Sleight of Mouth
In this excerpt, Because That's What We Do to Faggots, the author's target is the recent cases of transgender victims of violence. She argues that the battery powering this violence is much less about sexuality and more about transgressing gender norms. Men "have" to possess that defining characteristic that illustrates manliness or they would be penalized by receiving the label of such a demeaning word as "faggot"; this characteristic being that men should have sex with women. These gender roles affect both sides- gay and straight- as seen in the case of Willie Houston, a straight man who was killed for carrying a purse which was his wife's. These so-called roles that are instilled in our society and considered incompatible with manliness should be stamped as wounding to our society as a whole: not as gay versus straight. In Eugene Augusts' research, Real Men Don't: Anti-Male Bias in English, he observes how men are scrutinized in our language and tagged with eternal evilness. Such things as crime and evil are typically characteristics of males. When you think of a criminal, murderer, or any word of that nature, you would tag this faceless image with that of a male. Why not a woman? Are women not potent enough of such a classification? On the other hand, August speaks of other styles of male-bias and those are gender-exclusive and gender-restrictive language. Gender-exclusive habits omit males from certain kinds of consideration. This comes into play when the battle over the creators of our language is sparked. Gender feminists tend to use gender-inclusive language in order to get rid of the usage of terms such as man and he for both sexes. I feel that in order to get rid of such things such as that usage, you shouldn't attempt to fight fire with fire because the problem will never be diluted or reduced in any kind of way. The problem would just be given eternal life instead. We as a...
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