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The Advocate’s “Sissy Awards”

January 9th, 2008     by Stacey May Fowles     Comments

There’s a great critique of The Advocate’s Sissy Awards over at Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore’s “Nobody Passes” Blog today. Mattilda had this to say:

Sorry, girls, according to The Advocate, the Sissy Awards are meant to recognize “those who show arrogant stupidity, dishonesty, or just a severe lack of spine.”

That’s right – no need to reclaim language, let’s just accept the validity of virulent homophobic stereotypes, i.e. that any swishy queen bringing fever to the powers-that-be is actually a vicious traitor to the nation. But The Advocate actually goes further, and remakes the sissy stereotype to include bigots of all persuasions. I kid you not.

Some of the “sissies” that show up on The Advocate’s list include Dick Cheney, The Pope and Public Bathroom Sex. Mattilda sums up better than I ever could how troubling this kind of use of language is - the use of the term as an “award” essentially claims that those who are (in The Advocate’s view) arrogant, stupid, dishonest, or weak are “sissies.” And just as a reminder - because of its origins in a feminine nickname, sissy is a pejorative for a boy or man to indicate or imply that he is like a sister, that is, effeminate and fails to behave according to the traditional male gender role.

Mattilda sarcastically concludes: Everybody knows that only sissies are homophobes, right? Thanks to The Advocate for clearing everything up.

Tags: media savvy

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