Looney Labs Rabbits Mailing list Archive

[Rabbits] Use of language

  • From"Alex 'Tiefling' Roberts" <tiefling@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • DateFri, 8 Sep 2006 10:22:26 +0100 (BST)
On Fri, September 8, 2006 04:34, Steven R. Black II wrote:
> I'm sick of people being so PC about certain subjects. Get off his
> back. You know, most likely he's not at all homophobic and you just
> want to be offended. Geez!

I've never met anyone who identifies themselves as 'politically correct'.
Plenty of people identify themselves as gay. The popular criticism of
things as 'PC' bears no discernible resemblance to the motivations of the
majority of the people and actions criticised. People are free to use
language however they want, but I hardly think it's unreasonable for
people to object when their sexuality - a matter of personal identity - is
used as a slur.

'Gay' as a pejorative term outside the realm of sexuality clearly
post-dates the use of 'gay' to mean 'homosexual', and has no connection to
the (largely separate) original use of the word to mean lively, cheerful
or happy. The use of the word in this broader pejorative sense necessarily
carries a certain amount of baggage acquired from a thoroughly negative
perception of gay people in general.

I don't think many people want to be offended. I don't, for sure. That
doesn't mean I don't get offended. If one has standards, it's possible to
be offended without wishing it. You seem quite offended by what you
characterise as 'PC' behaviour, for example.

> Yes, dated. Homophobic, no. Okay, so I've made two posts now. You
> get the picture. Lets not get offended over local and out-of-date
> coloquielisms (sp).

Not localised and sadly not so dated. There was a recent spat here in the
UK about a Radio 1 DJ who used 'gay' to mean 'crap'*. The BBC backed his
right to say it - which is fair enough. Regrettably, they did so not on
the grounds that he's free to say what he likes, but on the grounds that
they found the usage acceptable.


*'retarded and infantile' doesn't say a lot for one's opinion of people
with learning difficulties or young children, really, does it? Can we have
a discourse where criticism can be made without reference to the perceived
failings and differences of others?