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Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots?: Flaming Challenges to Masculinity, Objectification, and the Desire to Conform Paperback – January 31, 2012

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Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots?: Flaming Challenges to Masculinity, Objectification, and the Desire to Conform + That's Revolting!: Queer Strategies for Resisting Assimilation + Nobody Passes: Rejecting the Rules of Gender and Conformity
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"These essays--alternately moving and sprightly, contemplative and outraged--display the power of presenting an alternative to the mainstream: a world of greater tolerance, acceptance, support, and creativity." -- Publishers Weekly

From the Inside Flap

This book plumbs the most important question facing queers in the 21st century: how the hell did we go from forming a crucial part of the '60s 'lib' rainbow, and from mastering, refining, and successfully deploying nonviolent resistance with ACT UP, only to end up creating for ourselves a world of martial and marital law every bit as sterile, constricting, and amoral as the world we once fled like the plague?
--Andy Bichlbaum of the Yes Men
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: AK Press (January 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849350884
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849350884
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #687,504 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore is most recently the editor of Why Are Faggots so Afraid of Faggots?: Flaming Challenges to Masculinity, Objectification, and the Desire to Conform (AK Press 2012), and the author of So Many Ways to Sleep Badly (City Lights 2008). Mattilda is the editor of Nobody Passes: Rejecting the Rules of Gender and Conformity (Seal 2007) and an expanded second edition of That's Revolting! Queer Strategies for Resisting Assimilation (Soft Skull 2008). She's also the author of Pulling Taffy (Suspect Thoughts 2003), and the editor of Dangerous Families: Queer Writing on Surviving (Haworth 2004; now Routledge) and Tricks and Treats: Sex Workers Write About Their Clients (Haworth 2000; now Routledge).

Sycamore's first memoir, The End of San Francisco, will be published by City Lights in April 2013.

Mattilda's home page is mattildabernsteinsycamore.com, which includes a delicious blog.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 33 people found the following review helpful By wildflowerboy on January 29, 2012
Format: Paperback
Never before have I had such a visceral reaction from reading a book. To say that I was moved by this multicultural anthology of essays by radical queers is a major understatement. Indeed, these essays punched me in the stomach with their profound insights, raw honesty, and deep humanity. As a fat, femme, working-class, HIV+, radical queer, I often feel alienated by the mainstream capitalist gay establishment with its pervasive consumerism, sizeism, ableism, hyper-masculinity and other oppressions; so reading this anthology reminds me that I'm not alone. Tackling issues like racism, classism, ageism, sexism, internalized homophobia, body fascism, substance abuse, sexual assault, militarism, and the prison industrial complex, this book insists on an intersectional approach to queer liberation in contradistinction to the right-wing agenda of single-issue gay rights organizations like HRC and the National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce. For example, Larry Goldsmith, in his brilliant essay, "Rich Man's War, Poor (Gay) Man's Fight", shows how the aforementioned organizations, which have invested millions lobbying for "gays in the military", have refused to defend Bradley Manning, a courageous gay political prisoner accused of blowing the whistle on U.S. imperialist war crimes in Iraq. Similarly, South Asian gay immigrant, Debanuj DasGupta, in his essay, "Trans/Nationally Femme", exposes the effects of white supremacy and neoliberal economic regimes on LGBTQ people of color. Without a doubt, this is one of the most important and urgent queer anthologies I've ever read. So, please, please, please read it and do what you can to undermine and dismantle the racist, capitalist hetero-patriarchy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Phillip Legge on January 20, 2014
Format: Paperback
I got this book for Christmas. Every year I peruse the Lambda Literary Awards and this was nominated in the LGBT Anthology section. As a progressive queer activist in college I've read some of the other works edited by Mattilda including That's Revolting! Queer Strategies for Resisting Assimilation. This is a collection along the same lines as others in that there are 30 short entries with most about 4-5 pages each as the book ends at 208 pages.

I was interested in reading this because as a somewhat effeminate gay man I've seen all to well the emphasis on masculinity in the gay community. I remember once I was talking to a guy online and he asked if I was masculine. I replied "I can pretend convincingly". That ended that interaction. Also, as a progressive person I'm interested in the wide experiences of queer people and their voices which might not be heard in the mainstream queer publications.

I will admit this got off to a slow start and none of the first few ones impressed me. I actually set this down for a while and wasn't particularly excited to pick it back up again. Some of the pieces took a too broad approach to their entire lives and how they didn't fit in the gay community or their original community. The writing wasn't strong enough for a published book, and I worried that all of the stories would be variations on the same thing....an onslaught of humorless Queer Theory 101 papers.

However, after finishing the book I can say that most of these entries were good and some were excellent. Although some took that unfocused approach, others were pointed on specific circumstances and instances.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful By gina on January 15, 2012
Format: Paperback
there's so much variety in this book. intensely personal, emotional, analytical essays on every topic of faggotry and from every perspective you can imagine-- and more! as with all mattilda bernstein sycamore books, i particularly like all the complicated takes-- internet cruising, race stereotyping, gender self-expression, public sex, growing up, homophobia, body image, aging and sexuality. i was particularly impressed by several provocative pieces about barebacking, several eloquent and touching stories about trans identity in the gay world, as well as a wide range of perspectives on AIDS, gay identity and sexual safety. somehow mattilda bernstein sycamore always manages to bring it all together and tear it all apart, all at the same time.
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Format: Paperback
This is one of my favorite queer anthologies. It had been on my wishlist for some time and I finally got a hold of a copy.

I found myself relating to things in this more than I expected and being made to think more than I expected. I'm a trans person who's read somewhere along the lines of butch dyke, what is that, or strange gay guy and I've also found myself feeling lonely in different LGBT communities, even radical and queer ones.

Some essay ripped my heart out and others put it back.

P.S. I also felt my knee hit the table hard when I got to the correctional officer essay. I went on to read the wuthor's bio as a FORMER CO and that made me think more. I believe that essay was trying to show us a complicated world outside radical politics and analysis where cis men together in prison interact in ways that can be read as gay, and how women and authoritarianism fit into that equation.
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