Tuesday, September 29, 2009

JUDGMENTAL EM

I am judgmental. Wow. am I?

I think of myself as a non-conforming, liberal person, and I joke with JC -- in a sassy way -- using some of the forbidden words to shock him, shock myself, with my pronouncing them.

So -- here -- off the top of my head -- "nigger, jigaboo, bitch, spook, nappy" -- words that recently got some well-known guys into trouble. Here are the words that got me into trouble -- "queer, faggot, fairy, queen."

They're slang words -- i.e. words that are more common in speech than in writing. Slang that refers to homosexuals fits in with other "bad" or "dirty" words used to refer to sex parts of the body, and various sexual practices.

List them? You know them. They're used frequently to shock us into attention. They're in movies, television, magazines, and books. They're not "bad" or "dirty" (to my ear, my tender heart), but it bothers me, upsets me seriously, when every other word in a movie is f- - -, and characters refer to Blacks as "Niggers" and call Jews and Latinos, kikes and spics.

(Oh boy, the flood of race prejudice that's escalating -- I'm judgmental about that ... the birthers, the senator shouting "You lieE!" at the President, a tea party person calling Obama a Hitler; and now, a poll on Facebook, "Should we kill Obama?" That is a whole other post, but it's on my mind as I write about some wrong words I have been using. )

I was taken aback, surprised when Fran, my blog coach, told me a sentence I wrote in one of my recent posts, sounded "homophobic, judgmental."

I was talk-writing in my usual style, about driving in the snow, on the way to morning assembly in Oskaloosa, Iowa -- "The chains were on, I was driving. Bill the stage manager was sleeping off his night of debauchery. He had a talent for finding a local closet queen after every show."

Gee, I didn't want to change it. Bill's nightly romancing was so typical -- the handsome, tall male dancers I hired were often homosexuals and most of them "cruised," looked for young boys, potential converts everywhere.

As for the girl dancers -- it never occurred to me to wonder about their sexuality. They were there, pitching in and helpful when I needed them, the boy dancers were not.

I was constantly aware of my male dancers' femaleness -- their taking on and imitating the repulsive characteristics of the American female "princess" -- the banal babble, flamboyant manners, the faint lisp (a sibilant "S"), the arched, flipped wrist, squeamishness, unreliability, the selfish, self-aggrandizing need for you to love, adore, and pay attention to them.

Anyway, back to that snowy morning. I rewrote my post: (See "Butternut Truck". 9/13) In it you'll read -- "The chains were on. I was driving. Bill the stage manager was sleeping off his busy night -- after every show he fell in love with someone new in every town we visited."

Okay, what was published isn't as interesting as what I'd written originally. But now I see that my "homophobic" prejudice, which I can explain and justify, based on my experience with homosexuals (queers, fairies, faggots, queens in and out of the closet) is harmful like race prejudice is harmful.

These men danced well, but they failed me -- I couldn't depend upon them, yet I needed them, and hired them. The "niggers" negros, darkies" in the south were and still are hurt, harmed, disrespected, deprived of many, many things because of people's experiences with them -- experiences, ideas and attitudes that are handed down from one generation to the next.

But who am I hurting, if in my private thoughts I'm thinking of them as queers, queens, faggots, etc.? Who are the tea partyiers hurting? Not President Obama per se, but all blacks (and me, and all of us who voted for him). The tea partyiers are expressing old prejudices, and not allowing other new, different experiences with blacks, to reach, touch, or affect them. And it's escalating, spreading, becoming an mind-set -- that poll in Facebook -- it's threatening what we believe in, what we stand for as Americans.

So my attitude toward homosexuals is a form of race prejudice? Yes.
So I have to change? Yes.
Gee -- even in my private thoughts, that's tricky, maybe impossible.

Well, if I censor and practice, the inner becomes the outer, outer becomes the inner. It's time for EM to change -- for me to change even in my private innermost thoughts.

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