Monday, January 2, 2012

Assimilation In Four, Three, Two ...

Later this month AK Press is publishing Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots: Flaming Challenges to Masculinity, Objectification, and the Desire to Conform.  I'm getting it as part of the Friends of AK Press program, and it is a subject I've been interested in for a while.  Why would a group so generally despised and misunderstood want to conform to society's norms so badly?  It obviously goes well beyond equal rights (you can still have equal rights without having to adopt the values of society as a whole), and I want to know what drives that.  Is it that most people, no matter what their particular bent, have a desire to conform?  Is it a bit of self-loathing that manifests itself after years of being told you are inferior and an aberration?  Is it that 95% of the population is just idiotic?  It's a fascinating subject, and I'm glad AK Press is tackling it, though I'm sure it will cause a bit of a controversy.

I don't know what directions the book will take (and it is an anthology, so expect the usual variants in quality), but my guess is that the question of why many homosexuals feel the only safe route to take is one where you mimic heterosexual culture in every way you can -- marriage, children, voting Republican -- may be delved into and taken to task, and that is something that needs to be done.  In the span of history, the modern gay rights movement is fairly young, and it has come a long way, but there are factions within it that seem to have forgotten what was being fought for, and I think this may be the book that helps set the record straight -- no pun intended. 

Like many AK Press books, I probably won't be reading it as soon as it arrive in my PO box, but when I do, you can expect a review here.  In the meantime, I advise anyone with at least a passing interest in the subject to check it out ... as I predict this tome is going to get a lot of press in all the right places.

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