They say More About You Than You Think The term "homophobia" brings to mind individuals that hate those who are homosexual. Most of us arent ignorant to the fact that homophobia is a problem in America. These homophobic people call homosexuals faggots- or "dykes" with no regard as to if these people are actually gay or not. We often believe this is as far as it is taken. Carmen Vazquez's argument in her 1992 essay -Appearances", slightly changes the definition ot homophobia (Goodreads).
Her argument is effective because she offers convincing evidence of these events, uses a tone that does not ttack those she is standing up against and uses pathos to gain readers emotionally. Vazquez brings the issues going on today that many of us may not be aware of to the readers' attention; the people who are commonly abused for being lesbian, gay, b', transgender, or simply appear so. In the paragraph before the essay begins, an important question is Introduced: "Have you ever gone for a walk in the evening, ridden a city bus, or gone out dancing?
Did these activities make you fear for your lifer Most of us would be dble to answer "rid' to this (Blumenfeld 489). Vazquez's one and language throughout the essay was appropriate and effective. She targets an audience of those who are heterosexual to inform them of the issues she presents. Many good examples of figurative language are used to paint vlvld pictures of what it Is like for the LGBTQ community. An example of this is "The straight Jacket of gender roles suffocates many lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals, forcing them into closets without an exit and threatening our very existence when we tear the closet open" (Blumenfeld 493).
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Vazquez's persona and tone increases the audience's dherence to the claim by not attacking or criticizing those who are homophobic In her attempt to raise awareness and persuade people attected by homophobia to take action. The author uses satire to effectively show how serious about the topic she is Through her use of satire, Vazquez starts out by setting up the scene for her use ot logos. She sets up the scene tor a place called the Castro located in San Francisco, which is a key location for her essay where most of the violence she describes takes place.
The way she sets up the scene in San Francisco enables the reader to picture he way Castro looks if they have not been there before. She describes what the homophobic people are doing as a type of "fun. " This implies they do not see any harm In the actions they are making. Her quoting the obscene use of name calling they use such as "fucking cocksucking faggots", "dyke cunts", and "diseased butt fuckers" takes readers back for a moment, making them think "who would use this language toward another person? (Blumenfeld 490). She Incorporates the use of pathos as she includes these phrases to show the reader the strong language and he emotional damage the people of the LGBTQ community are suffering from. while Vazquez Incorporates her use of pathos, she also uses logos, strengthening this essay. She describes an Incident that includes someone named Brian who was badly beaten, almost taking away his ability to walk, because others on the bus just simply percelvea ne was gay.
Vazquez Includes tne statement mace Dy Brain's lawsuit, "As claimant lay crumpled and bleeding on the floor of the bus, the bus driver tried to force claimant off the bus so that the driver could get off work and go home" (Blumenfeld 490). This is an effective use of logos because it shows the neglect toward those who appear or are homosexual, thus backing up her argument. She wants the reader to feel frustration toward those who are being harmed because of their sexual orientation. At the same time she wants them to feel sympathetic for these people who take on the everyday struggles of being openly gay.
Vazquez then introduces another incident including another man who was harmed almost losing his life because he was presumed gay. In this incident Mickey had an ice pick immersed into his neck leaving him with thirty-six stitches and an lmost severed spinal cord. Mickey was also not gay; he was at a club with his girlfriend. Vazquez says "Dress like a homo, dance like a homo, must be a homo... evidence of sexual orientation, however, is not necessary for someone to qualify as a potential victim of deadly fury. Appearances will do" (Blumenfeld 491).
This quotation strengthens her argument because it backs up the claim she is making: there is no guaranteed method for identifying sexual orientation. She does this by taking two circumstances including straight men that were harmed simply because they appeared to be gay with no actual evidence. This also provides a strong basis for the rest of her essay. After Vazquez provides a strong basis, she then establishes her ethos. She states that these events were reported to the Community United Against Violence, also known as CUAV, and the San Francisco police.
She states that she worked at this agency for four years. This gives her the credentials for the reader to form respect for her opinions and information presented making her someone worth listening to. She says in the essay, "The great majority of these incidents go unreported," referring to those who are victims of hate crimes (Blumenfeld 491). In 2013 CUAV released a report of hate crimes in 2012 against the LGBTQ community. It was found that only 56% of the surviving victims reported their incidents to the police (National 19).
This strengthens her essay because it shows that these events aren't Just something she made up and that she worked with these incidents long enough to understand what was going on. Along with Vazquez's use of ethos, she effectively used pathos. The author wants the reader to feel frustration and sympathy towards those who are effected by homophobia by saying things like, "Enforced heterosexism and pressure to conform o aggressive masculine and passive feminine roles place fag bashers and lesbian baiters in the same psychic prison with their victims, gay or straight" (Blumenfeld 495).
The author relies on the values she assumes the audience has about equality. The author says, "We ask that you embrace your daughter's desire to swing a bat or be a carpenter, that you nurture your son's efforts to express affection and sentiment" (Blumenfeld 496). These are effective because she reaches out to the audience's emotions, gaining more respect from the readers because she does not belittle anyone, but simply asks for their help. The help she asks for is because she is openly a lesbian. In an interview by Kelly Anderson, Vazquez talks about being lesbian among many other topics.
She says " tnls Is lesDlan. I'm Dutcn ana I Ilke tne Temme women" (Vazquez 21). I nls also establishes some ethos because it shows that she understands the struggles that come from homophobia. Readers gain more respect for her because it shows that she has experienced some events peculiar to most people who are not homosexual. While Vazquez is a lesbian, she still makes an attempt to mention the counter- argument. She talks about how homophobic people view others that are gay or esbian. She refers to the reason why so many resort to using violence as "gender betrayal" (Blumenfeld 492).
When talking about the many presentations she has done the most common response she has gotten about why being homosexual bothers people is because "they act like girls" and "they think that theyre men" (Blumenfeld 493). This is effective because it shows that she tried hearing out other people's opinions but simply does not understand why they think this way. In the end of her essay, she lists a variety of ways that we can act as a whole to end homophobia. Vazquez changes the definition of "homophobia" to: individuals ho hate those who appear or are homosexual.
In her effective use of ethos, pathos, logos, and the counter-argument, she makes the reader more aware; gay men look like straight men, Just as straight women look like lesbians. Homophobia is more than just calling people names. Next time you think of using derogatory terms such as "faggot" or "dyke", even if you don't intend any harm, think about the many who have suffered from hate crimes because of their sexuality.
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