Progay/antigay: the rhetorical war over sexuality
Sage Publications, Feb 10, 2000 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 240 pages
Combining humanistic rhetorical criticism with social scientific concepts, Ralph R. Smith and Russel R. Windes examine how the discourse of the progay/antigay debate shapes the self-understanding and strategies of the two opposing sides.
The struggle over issues such as lesbians and gay men serving openly in the military, same-sex marriage, and inclusion of "sexual orientation" in anti-discrimination and hate crime laws have evolved along with the development of rival progay and traditionalist antigay communities. In the process of presenting their arguments to the wider society, the two sides exercise extraordinary influence on each other. As a result of the public policy debates, the progay movement has moved toward an essentialist, non-sexual identity, while the traditionalists have shifted toward a secular public self-representation. Progay/Antigay also analyzes the internal disagreements within the two movements.
The same-sex marriage debate illustrates important dimensions of the contest over sexuality. The authors examine rhetorical strategy and counter-strategy in this specific institutional context. Progay/Antigay also discusses how the study of the variant sexuality issue provides the opportunity to assess paths for reconciliation and to judge concepts of political pluralism and multiculturalism.
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developed a strong sense of identity plus communication networks through which
political opposition is mounted. The formation of active political response to
progay efforts should be recognized as the attempt by a traditionalist interpretive
people] cannot make political claims based on an essential and shared nature,
are we not left once again as individual deviants? Without an essentialist
foundation, do we have a viable politics?" (Whisman, 1996, p. 122). Within the
Political scientist Patricia Boling (1996) suggests that the political discussion of
divisive issues of sexuality raises important questions about the process of
creating a just society and nurturing democratic citizens. As we have observed,
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Emergence of the Variant Sexuality Issue Culture
Analysis of Communication in Contests
Appeals in Progay and Traditionalist Discourses
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