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Can A Straight Woman Use ‘Fag’ In Greeting Card Designs?

gay blog, gay news, gay friendly
id=”attachment_2428″ “If I asked to borrow a fag, would you hold it against me?”

Greeting card designer Susanne Fox is creating quite the controversy with a Valentine’s Day creation that uses the word “fag”. Fox, who is a straight woman herself, claims she made the card after hearing that gay men faced few options in the card isle this time of the year, telling Parkslope Patch:

“A lesbian friend of mine who works with a Broadway production company mentioned that the boys at work were upset about a lack of man-to-man Valentine’s Day cards.”

“I brainstormed a few ideas with my friend and the rest was easy.”

Fox designed several LGBT themed cards, but the one being called exploitative reads, “When you asked to borrow a fag I told you, Come and Get Me. Glad to be your Valentine.”

Hmm.

The word fag is clearly used as a pun here on the British slang for cigarette, but also refers to a gay man. Without resorting to name-calling or crazy talk, we’d like to hear from you boys and girls about how you feel about the card, and the use of the word in general?

Is it OK for straight people to use the words “faggot” and “fag”? Is it even OK for gays to? Do you appreciate someone designing with LGBT’s in mind, or would you prefer that gays design for gays?

Tell us how you feel about the subject.

  • The word ‘fag’ is used in context of pro-LGBT. It is not going “Don’t be a fag”; it is not homophobic in the least. I am also a firm believer in that just because a group has a ‘bad word’ attached to their identity, they are the only ones allowed to use it. Either no one is allowed or everyone is allowed. The only difference is how it is used.

    I’m going to go look up this lady and see if i can buy a few of her cards. 🙂 They look awesome.

  • The word ‘fag’ is used in context of pro-LGBT. It is not going “Don’t be a fag”; it is not homophobic in the least. I am also a firm believer in that just because a group has a ‘bad word’ attached to their identity, they are the only ones allowed to use it. Either no one is allowed or everyone is allowed. The only difference is how it is used.

    I’m going to go look up this lady and see if i can buy a few of her cards. 🙂 They look awesome.

  • Seems that we took back the word “Queer” and now it has lost all it’s ability to hurt. I don’t even hear about homophobes using it anymore. Maybe the same should be done with “fag”? Because the fact that this is causing a little tempest in a teapot shows that this word still hurts.

    As for the “N” word, it is used by blacks all the time for as long as I have been old enough to notice (1970s). Of course, it is still not socially acceptable for whites to use it (although any non-white can use it in Hip Hop).

    I think everything needs to be taken in context.

  • stevelittle

    Seems that we took back the word “Queer” and now it has lost all it’s ability to hurt. I don’t even hear about homophobes using it anymore. Maybe the same should be done with “fag”? Because the fact that this is causing a little tempest in a teapot shows that this word still hurts.

    As for the “N” word, it is used by blacks all the time for as long as I have been old enough to notice (1970s). Of course, it is still not socially acceptable for whites to use it (although any non-white can use it in Hip Hop).

    I think everything needs to be taken in context.

  • at first I was confused, cause I thought the card was for hetero relationships and the wording doesn’t make sense in that context, but since it’s for gay men, it both makes sense and makes me giggle~ I’m very familiar with British slang (as tends to happen when ones favourite shows are British) so it makes sense to me…

    I guess it goes back to different sensitivities, though. I’ve no problem with the word being used here. I think it’s cute and funny, but someone else may (and apparently has) find issue with it… :/

  • at first I was confused, cause I thought the card was for hetero relationships and the wording doesn’t make sense in that context, but since it’s for gay men, it both makes sense and makes me giggle~ I’m very familiar with British slang (as tends to happen when ones favourite shows are British) so it makes sense to me…

    I guess it goes back to different sensitivities, though. I’ve no problem with the word being used here. I think it’s cute and funny, but someone else may (and apparently has) find issue with it… :/

  • Jake Valenta

    How about we stop focusing on who is “allowed” to use the word and focus more on the fact that the card itself isn’t funny? I just don’t find the humor in this pun, and for the most part anyone who has ever been called a “fag” would never use this term to mean “cigarette,” so I’m not quite sure that this card even hits the right demographic.
    As for the argument at hand, how often do we know whether the person who designed a greeting card is male or female, gay or straight, etc.? So what does it matter who wrote the card in the first place? If I like a card, I’ll buy it, no matter who actually created it.

  • Jake Valenta

    How about we stop focusing on who is “allowed” to use the word and focus more on the fact that the card itself isn’t funny? I just don’t find the humor in this pun, and for the most part anyone who has ever been called a “fag” would never use this term to mean “cigarette,” so I’m not quite sure that this card even hits the right demographic.
    As for the argument at hand, how often do we know whether the person who designed a greeting card is male or female, gay or straight, etc.? So what does it matter who wrote the card in the first place? If I like a card, I’ll buy it, no matter who actually created it.

  • Anonymous

    I’m so glad this was the first comment I read. I thought, “But if they use the word fag for cigarette, they would use the word poof to put down a gay dude.” Even if the joke weren’t so clumsy, it doesn’t make any sense.

  • sheikhjahbooty

    I’m so glad this was the first comment I read. I thought, “But if they use the word fag for cigarette, they would use the word poof to put down a gay dude.” Even if the joke weren’t so clumsy, it doesn’t make any sense.

  • Travis Owen

    If she wants to show her support and do something for us great. Nice to see someone make lgbtq cards for valentine. But show some sensitivity and please use a different word please. I would never purchase a card like that.

  • Eh, I don’t feel like the word itself is offensive. My friends and I toss around the word “fag” in a friendly manner, such as someone being a “fag hag” or whatever, and it’s never misconstrued as being ugly, but if someone were to use it in a hateful manner, that would totally be wrong. It’s all about your intent and manner in using it. I mean, “queer” and sometimes even “fairy” used to be considered slanderous, but the gay community has reclaimed those terms as a reaffirmation of solidarity and as an identity. Words are only as nasty as the people using them.

  • Eh, I don’t feel like the word itself is offensive. My friends and I toss around the word “fag” in a friendly manner, such as someone being a “fag hag” or whatever, and it’s never misconstrued as being ugly, but if someone were to use it in a hateful manner, that would totally be wrong. It’s all about your intent and manner in using it. I mean, “queer” and sometimes even “fairy” used to be considered slanderous, but the gay community has reclaimed those terms as a reaffirmation of solidarity and as an identity. Words are only as nasty as the people using them.

  • Anonymous

    Well, its a card meant for a gay audience, and thereby its context is the card itself, not the creator of the card. Who created the card is irrelevant.

    If I buy a mother’s day card, who created that card is irrelevant, even if they were raised in an orphanage and never knew a mother.

    The card can only be offensive if the card is offensive intrinsically, if you have to bring up the gender, sexual orientation, skin color, religious affiliation..etc. of the creator to make an argument for ‘bad taste’ – the card is not in bad taste.

    And I say this as someone that feels it’s justifiable homicide to kill someone that calls you ‘fag’ with venom in their voice.

  • myk5

    Well, its a card meant for a gay audience, and thereby its context is the card itself, not the creator of the card. Who created the card is irrelevant.

    If I buy a mother’s day card, who created that card is irrelevant, even if they were raised in an orphanage and never knew a mother.

    The card can only be offensive if the card is offensive intrinsically, if you have to bring up the gender, sexual orientation, skin color, religious affiliation..etc. of the creator to make an argument for ‘bad taste’ – the card is not in bad taste.

    And I say this as someone that feels it’s justifiable homicide to kill someone that calls you ‘fag’ with venom in their voice.

  • Travis Owen

    If she wants to show her support and do something for us great. Nice to see someone make lgbtq cards for valentine. But show some sensitivity and please use a different word please. I would never purchase a card like that.

  • Words, if one can call it that, like those should not be used anymore by anyone – anyone.

  • Words, if one can call it that, like those should not be used anymore by anyone – anyone.

  • I feel the word in whatever context is just derogatory and isn’t cute….just how some think it’s ok to throw around the “N” word….it’s not about social sensitivity it’s just about common sense.

  • I think the card’s funny. Who cares who created it? It was obviously created with humor in mind and as a product to be sold to gay men. We’ve reclaimed “queer” and “dyke” – fag should be equally as inoffensive as those two words are now when used with good intent.

    Picture this: 2 guys outside a bar…
    British guy: “Can I borrow a fag?”
    American guy: “Come and get me.” 😉

    It’s cute, flirty, cheeky. I think it’s overly sensitive to be disturbed by it – the younger generations should be able to use this word without it being negative and un-PC.

  • I think the use of minority identifying slang, if used without malice, is appropriate. Around my straight friends, I have referred to myself as a “fag” humorously. I think if used playfully, words like that can help say to others “Hey, being gay is okay. Don’t feel uncomfortable about it, because I’m not.” Good-natured use of these words helps lessen tension about sexuality and create an environment of openness. The humorous application of these terms can help positively associate LGBT persons as just as normal as our heterosexual counterparts. “We joke too” helps to humanize us to more traditionally homophobic entities.

  • I can’t really hold it against them, since there’s no malicious intent. And having just recently attended a local Vagina Monologues, why can’t we rally to take back not just ‘cunt’, but ‘fag’ as well?

  • She was using it for the purpose of providing us more options on a day that is heterosexually heavy. Ya I think I can be ok with that!

  • I think it’s all the intent. I know plenty of people who use the word in jest within the community; the same thing applies to “tranny” in the transgendered community. It’s 100% intent. If an individual finds the word offensive, they have their reasons and other people should respect that but at the same time there are a plethora of people who use it in jest with one another and have no problem at all with it.