Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Yet More Appropriation around "Out"

In addition to being an extremely offensive book in its own right, there’s also some really offensive things that come with Out in addition to its homophobic content. And I’m not just talking the author and her “this is not how it’s intended!” excuse (Bingo! I got Bingo!)

See, it’s not only appropriative homophobic bigotry that would make the FRC salivate, but the way Preble is trying to sell this book just makes it worse

She cannot talk about this book without talking about GSAs and PFLAG. When she launches her sales pitch for this book, this straight woman grabs our fight for equality to piggy back attention for her book. She’s not just appropriating the victimisation of gay people in her book and casting us as villains, but she’s constantly using the reality of anti-gay oppression and the gay rights movement as a tool in her marketing; which is especially damaging when you consider both the homophobia of the book and that it’s presented as YA – Young Adult. Others have already said how terrible that can be (most certainly do read the comments).

In response to criticism from GBLTQ people about her homophobia she has not only waved PFLAG and GSA around like a banner, but also been quick to hide behind her gay friends and family.

She isn’t the first straight person to feel they can profit – through attention or money, or otherwise benefit – from the struggles of GBLTQ people, not even remotely, but it doesn’t make it even slightly palatable. Our rights and struggle for human decency are not marketing tools so you can increase your profile and/or your bank balance. Our battle for equality isn’t something you can just take and use to shill books; show a crumb of respect for the struggle you’re supposed to care so much about  rather than use it for a platform from which you can announce to the world how wonderful you are (and hopefully sell shit in the process).

I’ve already spoken about the whole “I have gay friends/relatives/etc etc” excuse which I’m sure we’ve all heard so often before.

And you’ve got to love the Goodreads’s ratings. Several brand new accounts are created to give Out 5 stars. That’s all they’ve read – not one other book on their profile, but Out? 5 stars. Oh then there’s 2 more that decide they’re going to read classics – maybe 2 or 3 like Animal Farm and the Great Gatsby – Then give Out a huge rating. Because y’know, I’m sure that describes many reading lists: Animal Farm, Great Gatsby, Out. Yes yes it does and totally is not fake or a random friend or family member.

Of course, extra bonus points for countering criticism of homophobia by having one of the brand-new-with-no-other-books-but-totally-real-accounts-honest have a NOH8 picture in their profile. Well, it’s not like appropriation bothers these people is it?