I’m attempting to sell a dollar bill on eBay that has an interesting serial number. I don’t know if it will actually sell, but after I gave the folks in the bill collector’s forum over at Where’s George a chance to trade face value for it and no one took my offer, it was suggested to me that I try eBay. Who knows? Maybe someone will want it.
I’m working on a research paper for a class I have been taking for fun this semester. If you click on the link for MORE, you can read what I have so far, which pretty much covers the thesis of my paper.
I probably shouldn’t leave this post as an entirely shameless plug, sooooo…. My friend Drew recently sent me a memorandum regarding my staus as a fake “God is Love” Christian. You can send an automated rebuke to someone less pious than you, if you want.
<– first draft paper begins –>
Where does homophobia, particularly violent homophobia, come from? What causes people to react violently to people who are homosexual? Why is “gay bashing” one of the most deadly hate crimes in modern American society? Judith Butler writes that anything that does not follow the normalized social constructions of anatomical sex, gender identity, desire, and repeated performance of that desire is called into question by society. Homosexuality and the expression of homosexual desire do not fall within the current constructs of our society. Thus, the validity of homosexuality is questioned. For some, the simple existence of this “other” is so unacceptable that their response becomes violent when faced with the reality of this “other”.
Activists within and without the “gay community” have been working for years to educate and enlighten society about homosexuality in order to reduce the persistence of violence against homosexual people. In some areas, they have made progress, but as homosexuality and the expression of homosexual desire becomes more acceptable in certain segments of society, the violence against homosexual people appears to be increasing. It is likely that there is no significant increase in incidents, but there is an increase in reported incidents and in the public’s sympathy for the victims. I suspect that most individuals in American society would recognize both Mathew Sheppard’s name and the reason for his notoriety.
Even with the efforts to change social attitudes about homosexuality, society has staunchly refused to be moved any more than a few centimeters. Of course, homosexuality as we know it has been visible for a relatively short period of time, and social change takes generations before anything significant and lasting can occur. In addition, as some have worked to change the social paradigm to include homosexuality, there are those working to exclude it. There will always be those working to prevent the “other” from attaining freedom from the restrictions of our social constructs. Perhaps the gay community and its supporters could learn a thing or two from feminist science fiction writers. Perhaps, “the boundary between science fiction and social reality is an optical illusion.”
Much of feminist science fiction deals with elements of being an “other”. From Tiptree’s short story “The Women Men Don’t See” to Piercy’s novel He, She and It , the “other” is given a place and power. In this paper, I will examine the elements of homophobia and the causes of violent reaction to it. Then I will apply the suggestions of feminist science fiction writers to this problem, resulting in possible solutions for homosexual people to find a safe co-existence with the dominant paradigm of our society.
<– first draft paper ends –>