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OK, OK. So there's this diary on the rec list. I'll provide a link to it, but this is not a call-out to the diarist. The diarist published the diary, and has yet to show up in the comments. It's a post-and-run, and it's a really good diary, but it's problematic.

This diarist apparently wanted to convey that coming out of the military in the health care end of it, he heard that anyone who wanted to work in government healthcare as a healthcare worker would be, among other things, a "total fag". Except "total fag" was not in quotes. It was just total fag.

Several of us found that offensive, and worse, found the diary marred by an unnecessary and easily misunderstood homophobic epithet. Several pleas were made to the diarist to edit the diary to reflect his experience, rather than what looked, at first glance, like an unnecessary use of the word "fag". As of this moment, 85 people have recommended this diary.

Interestingly, those of us who--understanding the importance of this diary--called upon the diarist to make some editorial changes surrounding the use of that highly offensive word were accused of "hijacking" and worse, being "self-righteous ninnies" who would censor literature. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Those of us who objected to this wanted the diary to succeed. We felt that the usage could put people off and lead the conversation away from the intent of the diarist. It did.

To those who felt that some of us did not get the "context", well, many of us did. For some of us, the larger concern was that the vagueness surrounding the usage lacked proper context. To those who would say "get over it", well, I wonder how some would react to other racial, gender-based and ethnic slurs being used in a way which looked more casual than on purpose.

I'm very disappointed in those who defended this usage, and even more so in those who have told us to "get over it" or even accused those of us who objected to wanting to Bowdlerize literature. Daily Kos diaries are not literature, unless, I suppose there is a literature tag. This diary did not have one. The LGBT community has been told to "get over it" quite a bit in recent years, including here on Daily Kos. It is not up to community standards to use this language without making it clear that there is a good reason to do so. For those who say "get over it", I say "really?"

I am still appalled. Put the "n" word, the "c" word (both the one that refers to a woman and the one that refers to certain Asians) or a multitude of others in that diary, and I wonder: how many Kossacks would have approved?

Let's raise our standards a bit, shall we?

Originally posted to commonmass on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 11:16 AM PDT.

Also republished by Sexism and Patriarchy and Angry Gays.

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