As part of the Riptide Publishing Grand Opening blog tour, I’d like to welcome L. A. Witt.
Take it away, L.A.:
Chicks With Dicks by L.A. Witt
I think we’ve all heard the phrase “chicks with dicks”, particularly relating to gay men in fiction. Quite honestly, it drives me nuts. I’ll admit to having used it in the past, but the last year or two has been a bit…enlightening. Several people, among them author M Jules Aedin, have given me an education in gender issues, particularly transgender and genderqueer issues. And the more you learn about things like that, the harder it is to justify using slang phrases such as “chicks with dicks”. It’s offensive on multiple levels.
First, it implies men should not – or cannot – feel or express certain degrees of emotions without compromising their masculinity. It means buying into the notion that men are stoic, unemotional creatures who think with their genitalia.
Second, the other side of the coin: the implication that women are, by design, excessively emotional, and that being emotional is a feminine and negative thing. That crying, for example, is something only women do, and if a man does it, he’s lowering himself to the standards of a female. Sort of like if you do a little digging on the origin of the word “hysteria”. Seriously, look it up.
And finally, there’s the swipe at transgendered people. I don’t imagine a transwoman would appreciate someone using a crass description of her as a put-down against someone else, you know?
The fact is, men have and show emotions. So do women. If a particular character is so emotional that it’s putting off the reader – you know, crying at the drop of a hat, bawling over every little thing – that’s not a gender issue. That’s a character issue. Quite honestly, as a reader, I find it just as irritating when a woman behaves that way as I do when a man does it. It’s not because this or that gender should be held to different standards for expressing emotion, it’s simply exhausting – and irritating – when someone has a meltdown when their shoelaces come untied.
So to recap, I get the sentiment people are trying to convey when they describe characters in M/M as being “chicks with dicks”, but I have a serious problem with the phrasing and the most likely unintentional undertones of such a label. I don’t think people using such a phrase are doing so to be malicious, of course. It’s just something to be aware of.
Here’s the blurb for my Riptide release, A Chip in His Shoulder:
“Contract killer” is a fitting job for a vampire, and it suits Liam just fine. Cast down from the wealth and status of the Sky for taking a human lover, Liam lurks in the poor and pollution-choked Gutter, killing to survive. Between his natural strengths and his Cybernetix mods, no mark has ever escaped him.
Liam’s ex-lover Daniel is the heir to Cybernetix—and its greatest threat. Horrified by people less man than machine and the exploitation of Gutter factory workers, he’d rather destroy Cybernetix than inherit it . . . if his father doesn’t destroy him first.
Years of anger and a heap of mods have kept Daniel and Liam apart. When Liam is hired to slaughter a man in his glass Sky tower, he walks right into a Daniel-shaped trap. Daniel’s father has betrayed them both, and only by working together can Daniel and Liam survive the coming day. They have no reason to trust each other, but as the dawn looms, a bargain that began with the simple urge to live soon reminds them of the love they once shared.
Can they find each other again, or will the Cybernetix assassins find them first?
You can purchase A Chip in His Shoulder at Riptide Publishing.
COMMENT TO WIN!
Leave a comment on this post (with your email address in the BODY of the comment. No email address = no entry.) for your chance to win:
– Riptide Publishing’s GRAND PRIZE for their entire launch tour – an iPad! (winner for this will be drawn Jan 5th 2012)
– A Kindle or Nook (winners drawn Jan 5th 2012)
– Choice of one of the author’s backlist titles, not including those from Riptide. (Winner will be drawn on the 12th December at 9am GMT)