rated our blog as “R” and advised children under 17 to be
accompanied with a parent or guardian while viewing. The reason? We
use words like gay and lesbian.
And we advise strong and sarcastic caution when reading Mombian’s blog; hers is rated NC-17
due to the use of dyke.
Though the website’s rating system is meant to be humorous (and
should be taken with a grain of salt), it does speak to the power
of words. Specifically, words that relate to sexuality.
On one hand, I acknowledge that words like fag and dyke shouldn’t
be used as insults and adjectives (i.e., that shirt is so gay).
But, on the other hand, there can be power in the reclamation of
words. When we give a new meaning to an oppressive word, we take
power from the oppressor and place it in our hands. Because I am
gay, I get to take back that power.
It’s a controversial subject, but words like dyke and fag can’t be
taken at face value; they must be taken in context. Who’s saying it
and how it’s said determines what it means and whether or not it’s
Of course, I don’t expect a blog rating system meant as a joke to
take these considerations into account. In fact, with the number of
times we use dyke and fag in this post, I suspect we’ll be branded
with at least an “X” rating. But I do expect schools, institutions,
businesses, organizations and everyday people to understand the
power of these words and what they mean to some LGBTQ people.