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Dude, you're a fag

SOCY-100-Group Project

Sean Stover

on 18 April 2011

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Transcript of Dude, you're a fag

Qualitative ethnographic research
Took place at a high school in north-central California
Conducted informal interviews with students, faculty, and administrators
refers to the high school as ‘River High’ (working class, suburban high school)
River High’s racial ethnic breakdown is very representative of California
Pascoe spent 1 ½ years conducting her observations
Interviewed 49 students (36 boys, 13 girls) and one male student from ‘Hillside High’ – River High’s rival school
-Blended in and set self apart from the student (way she dressed, carried more of a briefcase than a backpack) "Dude, You're a fag" 2 4 The Use and Over-use of
Gender and Sexuality based insults WARNING:
This presentation may contain material that some viewers might find controversial or offensive. The thoughts and views contained in this presentation are present for purely academic purposes and do not necessarily represent the views and/or opinions of the authors, and should not be treated as such.
-Viewer Discretion is Advised- Introduction 1 Goals 3 Review the River High Study Discuss Gender as a Social Construct Discuss the usage and consequences of anti-gay slurs in our daily lives Explore the positive and negative aspects of Pascoe's research Summary The 'River High' Study What is a fag?
Gendered Homophobia – fag only applies to boys in this case and not girls The difference between ‘gay’ and ‘fag’ girls at ‘River High’ almost never called other girls fags and were never called fags Gay: Boys and girls often used ‘gay’ to refer to something as stupid or to describe a new rule or someone’s clothing; doesn’t necessarily refer to someone
Fag: Boys and girls used ‘fag’ to denote only un-masculine men Fag is not only an identity linked with homosexual boys but one that can temporarily be linked to heterosexual boys Who is a Faggot? Fag is not about sexuality – has nothing to do with being gay/homosexual
According to ‘River High’ students, you can be called a fag for exhibiting non-masculine behavior
1/3 of boys wouldn’t call homosexual peers fags because they said that gay men CAN be masculine
Boys, particularly heterosexual boys, move in and out of being ‘fags’ – they can temporarily become fags at any time
Boys constantly try to avoid being called fag by quickly hurling it [fag] towards someone else
This reassures the boy that he is not or no longer a fag Fag goes beyond mere homophobia Is fag a Black or White word? With the word ‘Fag’ there is a definite disconnect in usage based on race Appearance Dancing African-Americans Caucasians Use clothing to identify with the hip-hop culture Use dancing to further identify with hip-hop culture and to show each other new, humorous, or skillful dance moves 'Dancing is for fags' 'Caring how you look is gay' Faggot Fag Homo Queer Queen Fairy Cocksucker Ass-bandit Butt Pirate bent Who has ever called someone else a fag (or any other anti-gay slur)? If you answered 'yes', were they actually gay? Food for thought... Who has ever been called a fag (or any other anti-gay slur)? Are you gay? Reading Connection Gender is a Social Construct in our Society Masculine Feminine Hegemonic Masculinity: a set of ideas that focuses on the interests and desires of men and is linked to patriarchy. For Example: Men don’t cry. Men should be the head of the household. Men are dominate Emphasized Femininity a range of ideas that accommodate the interests of men and involve the compliance of females. For Example: Women are overly emotional. Women only have a place in the home. Women are submissive. These gender norms are the driving force for the behavior displayed by the adolescents in the article. Critical Analysis The Positives C. J. Pascoe's uses a different way to approach and analyzes masculinity. Her research is done in an ethnic school which broadens and backs up her work well. Her article does a great way to illustrate how masculinity compromises thoughts and ideas that are collectively defined and asserted. She demonstrates how the "specter of the fag" becomes a disciplinary mechanism for regulating heterosexuals. Her approach towards the boys in the school was neutral. She studied them with a great deal of objectivity and empathy, and never once does she characterize heterosexual boys or boys that identify in a traditionally masculine fashion as being villains or at the heart of the school's issues with gender and homophobia. Instead, she paints every student as a victim of varying degrees to a corrupt and unjust system. The Negatives Her article does not bring up a lot of new ideas for those who are into queer or feminist theory. She only researched in two schools in California (West Coast). Her article would have improved if she did another in the East Coast due that different scenes and school atmosphere. It tends to be more liberal in California. Pascoe should have included how homosexual boys reacted to the way heterosexual boys used the word “fag”. Her article was also repetitive in the way she formed her thoughts. Should have included more female thoughts on how the word “fag” was rendered and also, she could have interviewed some teachers on the way their students use the word to describe other students. Pascoe's analysis of an American high school is very eye-opening. I feel it points out very
important gender-stamping in American high schools. It is a pretty short article and would
recommend it to anyone that is interested in the study of hegemonic masculinity. Conclusion Conclusion Real Connection Life Using words such as 'Fag' or 'Faggot' has become a part of everyday vocabulary
The individuals being called faggots are rarely homosexuals
Generally these words are used to harp on the un-masculine aspects of other men
The standard to avoid being called a faggot is akin to being the original Marlboro man, and as Pascoe's research shows, is essentially unachieveable as one can be called a faggot for doing "Literally anything"
Many of the individuals who use these words are doing so in a joking or otherwise lighthearted fashion
Many of the individuals on the receiving end of these jokes and lighthearted banter take it far more seriously than the name-caller intended Vocabulary: Most "Fags" aren't Really Fags Conclusion Case in Point: In the Spring of 2009, 11-year old Carl Walker-Hoover hung himself from a third floor bannister with an electrical cord after kids at school made fun of his clothes and incessantly called him gay. Carl would frequently eat lunch with a counselor to avoid the verbal abuse. In April 2009, Carl got into a fight with a classmate at school, later that day he wrote his mother a note telling her simply, "I love you, and I'm sorry". That night he took his own life while his mother was making dinner. Carl was straight. Words such as 'fag' or 'faggot' might not be seen by the user as a big deal. However their use, and especially their overuse, can have devastating if not deadly repurcussions. The drops of rain make a hole in the stone, not by violence but by oft falling. Lucretius "Kindness is never wasted. If it has no effect on the receipient, it at least benefits the bestower." H.S. Simmons Questions?
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