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Showing posts from February, 2015

Terminology: When a Man Has a “Husband” and a Woman Has a “Wife”

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In this new world where gay people are legally married, as David Vargo and I were in 2013, there’s a terminology issue that has its own new battlefield: what is the spouse to be called?Surely the correct answer is “husband” or “wife,” depending on the gender, but that sounds so historically foreign, often even to gay couples themselves, that it seems awkward.The problem is that gay marriage is so very new—so startling a change—that it’s difficult for society to catch up with reality. Some couples avoid the issue by simply using “spouse,” particularly when desiring not to “come out” in situations where it is irrelevant or unwise (talking to one’s homophobic employer, for example).But most married gay couples do use “husband” or “wife,” with the hope that repeated usage will make it seem ordinary even if sometimes surprising to listeners expecting a different gender reference.



I have a couple of friends who know I’m married to David but who, when referring to him or us do not use marri…

Is “50 Shades of Grey” Demeaning to Women?

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Not in my opinion.Sure, the bestselling novel and the movie both concern the story of a woman who erotically submits to total domination by a man, and who then experiences some of the possibilities of the BDSM (bondage, domination, sadism, masochism) world.But for me to type the words “submits to total domination by a man” is to demonstrate the problem.It certainly sounds demeaning, and many commentators cannot get beyond that.For them the issue is over, and the book/movie is to be condemned for that fact alone (and not, for example, its artistic merit or even its portrayal of BDSM, which has been criticized).   I have neither read the book nor seen the movie, but to the extent that the criticism is that women should never be portrayed as submissives in a BDSM relationship, I disagree with that.
When I was writing my most recent novel, “Corbin Milk,” one of the large segments of the plot involved my hero’s need to penetrate the BDSM world and learn its rules, methodology, and theory.…