- December 13, 2001 at 12:00 am #10921
This is difficult to explain, but I’ll try: The other day, someone near me mentioned that a film he had seen was ‘gay,’ and, as I often do, I flinched a bit in reaction to the misuse of the term. Someone else mentioned to me that my reaction was ridiculous, and that often straight people get more offended by such comments than homosexuals. My question is, in general, is it better to avoid ‘political correctness’ than to acknowledge such a remark if not in the minority group? Am I too sensitive, or more sensitive than even the ‘victims’ would be?
User Detail :Name : Kat, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : Italian/Caucasian, Religion : Agnostic, Age : 18, City : Melbourne, State : NA Country : Australia, Occupation : student, Education level : High School Diploma, Social class : Middle class, December 19, 2001 at 12:00 am #32281
If minorities of all kinds seem ‘less easily offended’ to your acquaintance, it’s not that we don’t mind such remarks. It’s that we get tired of having to explain over and over what’s wrong with such remarks, especially if it seems beyond hope of getting that person to understand. How many times have I heard two excited white guys on Monday workdays talking about ‘The Redskins/Indians/Braves/Fighting Sioux/ etc., really played well this Sunday’? How many times a day do I see those same offensive sports logos on t-shirts people are wearing? How many times have I walked by Aunt Jemima Pancake Mix and Land o’ Lakes Butter at the supermarket? Would it do me any good to get offended each time and try and explain to each sports fan, each t-shirt wearer, and each store employee? Or would it leave me more frustrated and angry? If you are one of the people who does not bow down to the trendiness of bashing any attempt at plain and simple politeness and not offending minority groups as ‘ridiculous and PC’, I applaud you. Chances are you will get along better with us and understand us more than your acquaintance ever will. Take the next step and ask us (meaning minority groups) what offends us rather than taking the word of a white/straight/male/whatever acquaintance what is offensive. For example, I’ve actually been lectured by whites who have the unmitigated gall to insist I call myself ‘Native American’ and get upset when I call myself an Indian. Too bad for them, that’s what I prefer, and what every other Indian I’ve ever known prefers. All these people have done is alienate me by their misguided good intentions. Make sure you don’t follow their example.
User Detail :Name : ACC25049, Race : Mexican and American Indian, City : Phoenix, State : AZ Country : United States, January 1, 2002 at 12:00 am #18216
Anyone who uses the word ‘gay’ in a negative way is being homophobic, and that should not be ignored. It’s good that some straight people are aware of that.
User Detail :Name : Paulette, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Lesbian, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Agnostic, Age : 25, City : Sydney, State : NA Country : Australia, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, January 2, 2002 at 12:00 am #40460
Thank you for standing up for what’s right and educating people! As a member of the ‘victim’ group, I appreciate it! I doubt highly that you, as a straigt person, are more offended that I am.
User Detail :Name : Kerry, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Lesbian, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Wiccan, Age : 32, City : Ventura, State : CA Country : United States, Occupation : Stagehand, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Upper middle class, February 5, 2002 at 12:00 am #47505
I think you were right to react, as as long as people use a term negatively or are abusive about people who are perceived to be different and nobody says anything they will carry on being abusive. A similar thing happened to me recently where twice in the same day some men (and it is mostly men, in my experience)were speculating on a third person’s sexuality ‘he’s bent as …’ – I just said ‘so?’ and they shut up.
User Detail :Name : Maggie, Gender : F, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Atheist, Age : 25, City : Cologne, State : NA Country : Germany, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, February 18, 2002 at 12:00 am #14664
Any time you hear offensive vocabulary, whether it be ‘gay,’ the ‘n word,’ or a sexist comment, you need to immediately tell the individual you don’t find it funny, and that they are using an offensive word. They need to immediately realize that you don’t consider it ok for them to speak this way. This world will never change if people passively sit by and listen to such crap.
User Detail :Name : Leslie22885, City : St. Pete Beach, State : FL Country : United States, June 5, 2002 at 12:00 am #35280
As a lesbian, I was really pleased to know that any straight person would be offended by hearing the word ‘gay’ used in a negative sense. I hear it used by straight young people as a slam (and not in the sexual sense), and I find it extremely offensive. As to the question of whether you’re too sensitive, try re-reading your original message, but this time, substitute another word, for a different minority group, for the word ‘gay,’ and see how it sounds. You don’t have to use any derogatory racial slurs — but if you were to substitute ‘Asian’ or ‘deaf’ or even ‘blonde,’ how would it sound? If your friend said, ‘Oh, that movie was so ‘Canadian,’ I can’t believe I paid good money to see it,’ I have a feeling you’d be shocked (and hoping there weren’t any Canadians within earshot). I’m sure you get the picture. I just hope your friend will someday understand that it’s not always the word itself, but the way in which it’s used, that can be very hurtful to some of us.
User Detail :Name : J.R., Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Lesbian, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : New Age/Metaphysical, Age : 40, City : Los Altos, State : CA Country : United States, Occupation : Web developer-turned-artist, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, July 2, 2002 at 12:00 am #34073
Yes, you are too sensitive. I remember buying a book that was a World War II novel but with a gay theme. It wasn’t for me, and I am not a homophobe. But it would be dishonest to say I didn’t like it for any other reason, like the battle scenes were not realistic enough. That sort of sensitivity stifles true open discussion.
User Detail :Name : Chris H., Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Age : 44, City : kokomo, State : IN Country : United States, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, July 2, 2002 at 12:00 am #46449
I am pleased you are asking this question. Someone using the word ‘gay’ in a pejorative manner really bothers me. I don’t think it is a matter of being PC, either. It is often easy for folks to dismiss something as PC so they do not have to consider the pain others carry. Being gay is a huge part of my identity, and understandably, it is hurtful to hear someone equate ‘gay’ with ‘negative.’
User Detail :Name : Maggy22310, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Lesbian, City : Cincinnati, State : OH Country : United States, August 29, 2003 at 12:00 am #41662
I too have heard a lot of straight people using the word ‘gay’ to mean ‘bad’ – and I’ve even heard the word used to insult a person (regardless of their sexual orientation). I think this is extremely insulting and offensive to gay people. If gay people used the word ‘straight’ to mean bad, or used it as an insult, I would feel like gay people hated straight people. I can only assume gay people feel they are being victimised when they hear straight people using the word ‘gay’ in this way. I do apologise on behalf of my fellow straights. I refer to things being ‘gay’ only when they are camp, or literally gay.
User Detail :Name : Jamie, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Christian, Age : 26, City : Torbay, State : NA Country : United Kingdom, Occupation : designer, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Lower middle class, July 19, 2004 at 12:00 am #30234
In the original post, the writer was saying that the word ‘gay’ was being used instead of another word like ‘stupid’ or ‘dumb’. That is what bothers her…things being ‘gay themed’ merely implies that they are geared toward a marticular market. To use ‘gay’ as a negative label for anything is wrong. We have a friend who did it frequently…until we started inserting his first name where he had used ‘gay’. For example, when he commented that a song was ‘so gay’, I looked him right in the eye, and said ‘I don’t like it either. It really is a pretty Dave song!’. He got the point. Pick one identifier of yourself, and imagine it casually being tossed about as an insult.
User Detail :Name : Meredith B., Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : New Thought Movement, Age : 33, City : Vancouver, State : WA Country : United States, Occupation : small business owner, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, September 12, 2004 at 12:00 am #15048
I’m not sure if I find characterizing something one doesn’t like as ‘gay’ is something I find extremely offensive as much as patently absurd. Using ‘gay’ to describe a film doesn’t make much sense, unless, of course, it’s a movie about homosexuality. And it’s sometimes used as a slur to describe things that have even less connection to sexuality – for example, cars. While I don’t automatically bristle at such inappropriate use of ‘gay,’ there are some times I’ve said things like, ‘No, that’s not gay… the gay people I know have better taste than that!’
User Detail :Name : Matt-C21993, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Christian, Age : 23, City : Covington, State : GA Country : United States, Occupation : Engineer, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, September 12, 2004 at 12:00 am #17920
I know how you feel. I have felt offended by the word gay being used in that way as well. Same thing with the word ‘dumb’ ..ever think of how the people who are actually dumb might feel about that?
User Detail :Name : Camila, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Agnostic, Age : 18, City : Buenos Aires, State : NA Country : Argentina, Occupation : Student, Education level : High School Diploma, Social class : Middle class, September 12, 2004 at 12:00 am #18597
Kat, you are way too sensitive, young lady. You should be p***ed off at those gays for taking such a nice word like “gay” and using it for themselves. Get ahold of yourself! All of us normal people should take back the word gay and give them another word to describe themselves.
User Detail :Name : Dan-C27320, Gender : M, City : Omaha, State : NE Country : United States, September 12, 2004 at 12:00 am #22684
It’s sometime normal for people to be too sensitive. Like me, I m like that. I’m sensitive almost about everything. Just be yourself and everything will be good. People say I’m too sensitive. So what if they said that? You know who you are. It is good to be what you want to be.
User Detail :Name : Calvin, Gender : M, Age : 15, City : San Francisco, State : CA Country : United States,
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