Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Activist Tip: Reclaim Distorted Phrases

Anti-gay foes and conservatives have co-opted many words and distorted their true meaning. It is time to reclaim these terms, and bring truth not distortion to our language.

"Family Values" - We are proud to be a family values website, we are very concerned with the future of the family unit. We support the right of families whether they be queer headed households or heterosexual, we firmly stand behind these loving couples and their children.

"Activist Judges" - Judges who uphold the rights of minorities and seek to expand rights not eliminate them are staying true to the constitution. It those conservative judges who seek to amend the constitution to take away rights, and those who violate the law who are activist judges who seek to further their own radical religious agenda.

"Marriage Protection" - Advocates of equality are all about protecting marriage. We want to ensure that gay and lesbian couples have equal access to this cherished institution. While much of the country is marrying for money and looks, and divorcing at alarming rates, we want to strengthen the institution of marriage.

"Values Voters" - We are values voters, we go to the ballot box with our morals and values in mind when we decide on a candidate, and an issue. The difference is we open our minds, hearts, and vote based on equality, liberty and justice for all.

"San Francisco Values" - This term is used to insinuate how supposedly outlandish the radical hippies "homosexual & abortionist advocates" are. We do not have to be ashamed to espouse views, nor be degraded for believing in the constitution which declares a right to privacy, a right for all people to be treated equally.

I encourage you all to take back these terms from the activist linguists out there. It is about time that pro-equality folks, use words that truly represent what we are trying to accomplish, don't hesitate to use these words, and be clear on your intent when using them.


CrackerLilo said...

Thank you. It pains me to realize just how many words they've hijacked!

How about "people of faith"? I'm a person of faith. I am a Pagan who believes in multiple Gods. But they never mean me, especially not when they talk about what "people of faith" supposedly want. They don't mean all monotheists, either.

Love the bumper sticker, too.

Thank you for what you do, and Happy New Year!

Queers United said...

Thank you happy New Year to you as well!

"People of faith" is another good one, yeah they def don't include pagans, wiccans or people of progressive sects of christianity, judaism, etc.

Anonymous said...

People of faith. I know...
My mom is a "person of faith." She has a high position at a Catholic school in Glendale/Montrose (yes, where that Covina santa claus killer was an usher), where most of the faculty was against Prop 8. A lot of Catholics, including myself, do not take the pope seriously.

I check this website everyday. Thanks.

Scooter said...

Amen! I want that bumpersticker!

Armando Morán said...

To be fair and balanced, we should also include the terms that gay activists have adopted:

Marriage Equality: Only if we redefine marriage to open its meaning, we can say that there is not marriage equality. If we stick to what the constitution of California says, Marriage is between a man and a woman. Gays have access to this cherished institution, as long as they respect this constraint.

Armando Morán said...

Another term that gay activists have adopted:

Hate Monger: Anybody that disagrees with same sex marriage, like Elton John.

Anonymous said...

I saw your posting on facebook. If you are serious about this, take into consideration George Lakoff's book "Don't Think of An Elephant" and other writings by him that address the psycholinguistics of political rhetoric and can provide good insights for winning word strategies.

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