I have been reading this exchange quietly while trying to figure out why my
computer is logging multiple copies. I thought Henry Jenkins's posting was
interesting and valid. Stephen's response to Mary seemed excessive. I think
that stridency and anger slam a lot of doors -- perhaps understandably but
also unnecessarily. I suppose I might make a mistake and say something like
"sexual preference" just because I haven't thought about it, I haven't
considered the semantics. I don't think that makes me either an evil person
or a hopeless fool, just unaware. So, educate me. Having been married to a
teacher for ten years I know that destroying the pupil is not a great
I appreciated Henry Jenkins's laying out why he dislikes "orientation."
While I, in fact, would NOT have used "preference" I had not seen any
pitfalls in "orientation." PC has gotten a bad name but I agree that the
desire not to hurt people is an admirable one. Words carry great weight.
Which is probably why I wince when I read the word "queer." I don't think
of my gay friends as "queer," because to ME, just as a reader of words, queer
means "odd, not right." My cousin who died of AIDS was not queer to me.
I have just read a great book called THE FAMILY HEART: A Memoir of When Our
Son Came Out, by Robb Forman Dew, which I think should be required reading
for mothers. For a straight mother, particularly of sons, it is painful and
tender and enlightening reading... because Dew makes every crazed, emotional,
wrong-headed assumption AND THE FAMILY LIVES THROUGH IT.
Well, this has little to do with film but couldn't resist.