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University of Sussex LGBTQ society removes the word ‘dyke’ over safe space policy

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  1. Edgar Carpenter 14 Nov 2013, 4:43pm

    DYKE does not need to be “reclaimed” – it has always been used by some Lesbian women to self identify.

    I came out in 1970, and there were plenty of older Lesbians in the groups of people I hung out with who considered themselves “Dykes”, and used it as a positive term.

  2. If I’d seen this story without the background information, I would have thought it was some kind of joke/parody article from The Onion. Now that I’ve read it several times I realize that it is Sussex University’s LGBTQ Society that is the joke here. I and other lesbians I know have always felt that the term “dyke” to be a strong and inpowering word. The idea that it is wrong to use this word in some way, shape, or form is just crazy! Call me a dyke and I’ll raise my first and shout “Hell Yes!!! And d*** proud of it!!”

    1. Excuse my spelling! That should have been “raise my fist”. :-(

  3. While I support and understand the use of the words dyke and fag by people who identify as such, what would you do if another gay person told you that they’d had the word dyke shouted at them in school growing up and found it offensive. Would you tell that individual that they should shut up, read some history and get over it? Or would you try and respond sensitively and say that you understand their point of view and while you will still identify as dyke and use the word, you will try not to do it around them?

    Do you not think that this group are trying to respect and work with a variety of people and don’t want to alienate students who might really need the support and friendship of an LGBTQ group?

    Also can’t help but think this is a massive generational divide and rather than just lambasting the youth, older LGBT activists should be considering why their attempts at reclamation have not been passed down and that perhaps their attempts to make dyke a harmless word hasn’t worked

    1. GayStudent 15 Nov 2013, 4:17pm

      This is so on point in every way.

  4. Oh dear – how is the society going to cope when it finds there is a Dyke Road in Brighton:-)

  5. I’m really saddened by this apparent inability to connect with those who blazed a trail beforehand. It’s akin to the women’s soc deciding that the f-word is indeed just that – a vile epithet hurled in the schoolyard at those young women who dare speak out against sexism & patriarchy, and therefore ban the word feminist for ever. As we used to say when I was a very loud and proud dyke under/post grad at Sussex – feckin eejits. (Oh wait, sure that was Father Ted…)

  6. vversatile 15 Nov 2013, 1:04am

    The irony of the LGBTQ society not understanding the history of reclaimed words like the ‘Q’ word in their name. Have they not heard of long established proud groups like the “Dykes on Bikes”
    Idiots.

  7. Nigger is a reclaimed word… Yet it is not acceptable to use that word if you aren’t black as its a racial slur… same could be said for this!

  8. I can’t believe an organization that has Queer in their name, a word I find unforgivably offensive, would even attempt to ban Dyke. To be fair, I am 55 yrs old and use dyke and butch interchangeably but have known several older lesbians that found dyke as repulsive as I find queer. I’m hoping the Q stands for Questioning, which makes way more sense to me.

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