I grew up in a time when the words 'GAY' and 'FAG' were easily tossed around as insults. I am ashamed to admit that I- as a boy and teenager- used both terms when jokingly insulting my friends (and seriously insulting my enemies) more than I should have (i.e. more than once). But it was the times and back then it never occurred to many of us that using those words in such a fashion could have really been hurting a gay person who was in earshot- closeted or out, but back then, I didn't know a single gay person in my school...I imagine that's very different for high schoolers today?...
...but today, for me and the people I know, the F word in any context and the word 'Gay' when used in a derogatory way are simply unacceptable. I hope visitors to this blog feel the same.
But the issue now is, I find myself without a good word to describe a guy- or the action of a guy- that is wimpy and soft and girly. I mean, I could use the words: wimpy, soft, and girly, but none of those have the same punch as the old 'G word', you know? How much of the power of the 'G word' tho, comes from the fact that a portion of our society still has an ignorance and hatred of gay people? And how much of it comes from the actual phonics of the word itself? Probably the former. Especially considering that I do know gay people now and with the exception of one, I no longer associate gay people with the adjectives wimpy, soft, or girly.
And before you accuse me of being ultra PC, remember, that same sort of 'oh you're being too sensitive' sentiment was tossed around back in the 60's when discussing civil rights for African Americans. And look where we are- thank God- today. Look who is in the White House.
And so, no, I don't think I am being too sensitive about this. Words matter in that they help form our reality. And so I will choose to continue to avoid these two words. But that brings me to the issue, the dilemma, and the whole point of this post.
I saw this online this morning, and I really, really want it.
Does that make me totally...err....wimpy, soft and girly? :)