A Piano Should Fall on Her Head
Since then, she has vehemently defended her use of the derogatory term “faggot,” which demonstrates not only a total lack of empathy, but the cruel, hate-filled mentality that is at the heart of the far-right, no matter how compassionate they wish to appear to rank-and-file voters. Coulter, however, insists that her use of the term was acceptable because everyone knows that Edwards is married with children. I guess in her world, those qualify as impeccable credentials for being straight. She must’ve been busy feasting on babies during the whole Haggardgate scandal. But that’s not really the point here.
The point is that “faggot” is a slur regardless of the (perceived) sexual orientation of the recipient. To argue, as Coulter has, that she “didn’t use an insulting word” just because she didn’t use it to describe someone she knew to be gay ignores the fact that the word “faggot” is, regardless of the context in which it is used, a slur that derives its power from its association with a despised minority, the GLBT population in this case. By using the word “faggot,” Coulter was attempting to invoke the scorn associated with that minority in the mind of her audience and attach it to the person at the receiving end of the insult, who in this case happened to be John Edwards.
Clearly, her intention was not to praise, but to insult Edwards, and to do so by attacking his masculinity. Her comment would lack meaning if “faggot” were a neutral term. It’s not as if she called him, say, a radish or a Volkswagen. Coulter was well aware of the word’s negative connotation and was deliberately trying to cash in on it in order to malign Edwards. Moreover, by using using the term “faggot” to attack someone, gay or straight, Coulter not only reinforced its potency as a slur, but also the idea that the population associated with the slur is vile enough to render them an effective insult.
Even Ann Coulter is smart enough to understand that. Verizon, Sallie Mae, and Georgia-based NetBank certainly are. In response to Coulter’s most recent act of bigotry, all three companies have pulled their ads from her website.
Labels: Ann Coulter