It’s really common on Twitter to see findoms (financial dominants, for those not in the know) advertise their services by using the word ‘fag’. They talk about ‘cashfags’ and ‘fagtax’ and things like that.
I 100% support any gay man’s right to self-identify as a fag if that’s a term that has erotic meaning for him. And I 100% support the right of any self-identified fag to engage in verbal abuse and humiliation play with a findom. I do that sort of play myself all the time.
But let’s not forget that the word ‘fag’ has a long history being used to inflict emotional harm, ostracism, and physical violence on gay men. That word and its twin brother ‘faggot’ are essentially the gay version of the N-word. Lots of gay men have had that word thrown at them maliciously, and for some of us it has a lot of power to wound. I’m a pretty tough guy emotionally, and that word can still make me wince when it’s said to my face unexpectedly. That’s why these words are so powerful in gay humiliation scenes–they channel that cruelty and redirect it for erotic purposes. I call my subs ‘faggots’ all the time.
There are a lot of straight findoms who throw that word around online, mostly using it in hashtags because that makes their profile more visible to cashslaves. I get it. It’s marketing.
But Twitter is essentially a public space, so using these hashtags is basically standing on a street corner shouting ‘hey faggot’ at everyone who’s passing by. And straight guys standing on street corners shouting ‘hey faggot’ at everyone isn’t cool. It’s like white guys standing around shouting the N-word, hoping that a few black people will want to pay for humiliation play.
Black people have a right to use the N-word because they understand the complexity of the word and the layers of meaning it has and how it sometimes signifies positive reclaiming of the word and other times signifies cruel abuse and therefore they can control not just how they intend the word but how their audience is likely to receive the word. White people can’t use that word because they don’t understand those complexities and because when you change the race of the person speaking that word, you change the range of meanings the word will carry to its audience.
It’s the same thing with ‘fag’. When gay men use that word with each other, they understand the complexities of the word and their identity as gay men affects how other gay men will hear the word. They can use it affectionately, and they can use it erotically. But I highly doubt that the average straight findom, who is, after all, a guy in his early 20s who still has a lot to learn about life, understands the complexities of that word and knows how to control the way the audience will hear that word. And his straightness changes the way the word is received. A gay findom calling for cashfags is not the same as a straight findom calling for cashfags. All most of young straight findoms know is that it’s a dog-whistle for gay cashslaves, and they don’t realize that it’s also just as much a dog-whistle for homophobes and Nazis. When you’re doing humiliation play in your Skype session, you and your cashslave understand the context and can control how the word functions. But when you’re just shouting it at passers-by, you can’t control the context, and it creates the same problem that posting your Nazi cosplay creates. It encourages people to use the word in its original hate-filled way.
And all you female findoms who use the word to attract hetero cashslaves, KNOCK IT OFF. That’s just straight-up homophobia.
So, if you’re a straight findom and want to show that you’re actually a decent guy who respects his cashslaves as people, stop throwing the word ‘fag’ around in your Tweets. Save it for the private scenes you do with your finsubs. Find other words to advertise with. Because otherwise you’re helping pump homophobia out into the Internet.