Friday, February 28, 2014

In This Corner We Have Alison Bechdel...

Bit and image via NPR

...and in the bigoted corner we have South Carolina.

Alison Bechdel, author of the graphic memoir Fun Home, has responded to this week's vote by South Carolina's House of Representatives to cut a combined total of $70,000 in funding to the College of Charleston and the University of South Carolina Upstate because two books with gay and lesbian themes appeared on freshman student reading lists. Bechdel, whose book was assigned at the College of Charleston, said in a statement released to PW, "It's sad and absurd that the College of Charleston is facing a funding cut for teaching my book — a book which is after all about the toll that this sort of small-mindedness takes on people's lives." State Rep. Garry Smith condemned Fun Home, saying it "graphically shows lesbian acts" and "promot[es] the gay and lesbian lifestyle." Bechdel is well known for her comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For, where she first floated the idea that became known as "the Bechdel Test" — a standard for sexism in movies based on whether a film has two female characters who talk to each other about something other than men. The second book, titled Out Loud: The Best of Rainbow Radio, was assigned at the University of South Carolina.

3 comments:

Tamayn Irraniah said...

Is anyone surprised that South Carolina is like that? It's unfortunate, but this is what happens when you let people start imposing their beliefs on you. We need to start making education more plentiful in the interest of eradicating problems like this.

Writer said...

That was my thought, Tamayn. I mean I think South Carolina was one of the first states to secede from the Union in order to keep slavery. As one of my favorite literary characters once said, "A slapper never changes her knickers."

JamTheCat said...

You have to wonder, with so much screeching about the gays, what's really going on? I say check out the money. Hate is a great smokescreen for theft -- look at how well it worked for Putin; took the spotlight off the ridiculously high cost of building sub-standard Olympic venues while questions of where the money went were superseded by questions about homophobia in Russia. The Russian Orthodox church was involved in that, so what you want to bet this money winds up going to some anti-gay researchers who share the wealth with the sponsors of the bill?