Thursday, February 18, 2010

Crosswords with a side of homophobia and gender dichotomies

I love crossword puzzles. Some day, I'm going to be old and crotchety, complaining about needing to do my puzzles (difference now is that I'm not old).

This type of stuff in yellow, however, pisses me off:

Clue to 41 down: Like Rocky or Rambo
Clue to 43 down: ______ boy (sissy)

Really? Really, Newsday Crossword puzzle for February 18, 2010, author Fred Piscop and editor Stanley Newman? These clues really work for you? Because they're not working for me.

The clue to 41 down is just in bad taste, in my opinion. It establishes guns, violence and death as things indicative of being a man. To not be those things is to not be manly, at least according to Fred Piscop and Stanley Newman. Personally, I like my men violence-free, thank you. If Rambo and Rocky are manly, then what is womanly? Is there anything outside of either manly or womanly? We live in a world of grey, Fred Piscop and Stanley Newman. Get with it.

I've really got issues with the clue to 43 down. When this is what you get for a Google search for sissy, you can probably bet that it might not be the best crossword clue. Especially when the word is "mamas." Let's brainstorm some alternative clues. "Childbearers" or "The ____ and the Papas" or ANYTHING ELSE APART FROM A SISSY JOKE. The entire world is full of enough homophobia as it is; do I really need it in my crossword?

I'm really appalled that this can get by as a crossword clue. What were you thinking, editor Stanley Newman? Author Fred Piscop, why would you write something homophobic as a clue?

The most annoying part is that these types of things can be avoided - you just have to think about it. Or mainly, someone besides yourself.

Note: I highlighted 44 down in green simply because I thought it was a fine example of where the author and editor may be coming from. And I have the sense of humor of a 12 year old.

1 comment:

Amelia said...

Lindsay, I am a fan of your posts, in case I haven't said this often enough. :)

This post calls good attention to the kind of everyday homophobia (and problems with a gender dichotomy) that we live with. These have dangerous implications but seem so harmless's only a crossword!

Ugh. How annoying...