Saturday, September 01, 2007

Gender Benders

I'm sitting here watching k.d.lang (a woman who dresses as a man) being interviewed by Dame Edna Everage (a man who dresses up as an over-the-top woman) and I'm splitting my sides laughing. Oh my! It's offensive, in your face and totally brilliant!

How is this relevant? Recently I recieved a few contest crits back about my WIP and they mentioned that my characters can be irreverent, even a bit offensive, and that squeemish readers may be put off by some of their lines and thoughts. Yah! The accusation came as a shock, and yet not. I mean, basically I'll mock anything that holds still long enough for me to sling at. Guess I'm genetically rude, or maybe I figure if you can't laugh at yourself, you're taking life too seriously. Anyway, one said my heroine is a homophobe because of the OTT way she reacts to a couple of lesbians she's dealing with. I figured my heroine's shock was cute/funny, and played off her conservative Vermont upbringing, especially when they pass her coffee in a boob cup and she has to sip it while trying to ignore the bright pink nipple near the handle. Well, I thought it was funny. Guess I'm just a sick person. The whole reason I use gender benders in my work is to stir up the reactions of my main characters.

Anyway, my question is, where is the line where the shock of irreverence stops being funny and becomes offensive? I'd love to hear some different points of view. Let it rip, girls. :-)

8 comments:

Jennifer McK said...

I don't know, but I think there's a place for it.
I just finished a book "Bitter Is The New Black" by Jen Lancaster and it's completely irreverent. Her sequel (which I'm just starting) is "Big Ass and Bright Lights" and pokes fun at tons of stuff, but especially her own quirks.
I don't know if she's made it to the Aussie side, but she's awesome.
http://www.jennsylvania.com/

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Jennifer Shirk said...

Hmm. I don't know... Your situation sounds funny to me!! But I have a sick sense of humor, too. LOL!

Babe King said...

Thanks, Jennifer. Yeah, maybe that's it. I just have a sick sense of humor and that offends the delicate. It's something I'll need to watch, though. I want to entertain people and make them laugh, not be offensive and insult/upset them.

Jennifer Shirk said...

I offened a EX crit partner once because in one of stories my hero kills a spider in a preschool in front of the children. (The spider was a sort of class "pet")

It didn't go over very well with her. AT ALL. But I did end up winning thrid place in the Love & Laughter contest. LOL! Can't please everyone.

Babe King said...

Um, maybe she was secretly spider woman? :-0

Jennifer Shirk said...

LOL! Good theory!

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