Sunday, November 14, 2010

Revisiting Terminology

Civil rights groups are rightly concerned about the use of “gay” as a derogatory term, such as “That’s so gay.” I agree that they are right in asking people to be more thoughtful about what impact they are having on others.

What I’ve also noticed is the use of “incestuous” when trying to convey that a relationship or subculture is not healthy. For example, “The incestuous relationship between the government and defense contractors.” I’d like to think that civil rights groups would be just as concerned about that as they are about “gay,” but I won’t hold my breath for that level of solidarity to happen soon. I’d also like to think that if civil rights groups did show that level of solidarity, people would respond well, but I know that is unlikely for the time being.

There are good incestuous relationships, but in the minds of too many, they associate the term with abuse or rape.

There isn’t the same connotation or reaction with the term “consanguineous,” who while the LGBT community can use “gay” and successfully urge people not to use the term as a negative, people in consensual incestuous relationships should stick to referring to their relationships as consanguineous.
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