Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Insults towards the gay community?... or when a comment became a post

I was having a look at a few blogs and noticed a blog entry about a recent TV show in Australia where veteran US entertainer Jerry Lewis recently used the word "fag" as a descriptive word to show what he thought of cricket. He obviously doesn't like the game we English choose to lose at so often because, after making the remark, he mimed swinging a cricket bat effeminately. The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the Australian Coalition for Equality have called for an apology - which I think is a little strong. However, the blogger couldn't quite understand why anyone should be offended. So I posted this comment:

I thought it was obvious why people have complained - he used the word "fag" as a descriptive insult towards cricket, as if "fag" was a suitable word to describe something that he saw as garbage, stupid and worthless.

Therefore, is it OK to use the word "fag" in this way and does it not then suggest that gay people are garbage, stupid and worthless? Or that is it that cricket, in his opinion, is only worthy for a "lower class" of people?

In the UK, a lot of young (possibly) straight guys say something is "gay" when it's not to their liking. It's immature and winds me up. One day soon, someone will lose their job from using language like that at their place of work.

However, saying all this, it's been blown out of proportion by the press (as they like to do) - he's an 82 year old man who comes from an age when being gay was something to hide. So, I don't really blame him.

I am a pretty laid back person and I would like to think that Jerry Lewis was merely trying to get a laugh and misjudged his words. Though from the number of entries on the web about him putting his foot in his mouth, I'm not so sure! The word "fag" does have negative and insulting overtones in my opinion, so should not be used so freely.

Your comments are welcome...


  1. That's a brilliant response, and I agree with it. Jerry Lewis was raised in a different time, where peoples' differences were cause for alarm. I think of my Grandmother when I hear of someone in her age bracket using such a term. She still refers to Japanese people as Japs and Chinese people coolies. She's 92 years old, and when she was growing up, everyone talked like that and no one said anything. (Plus, she now has Alzheimers.)

  2. There's this bitch at my school who I hate who knows I'm gay and thinks everyone is on the gay bandwagon and tells everyone that I'm gay and it's forced me to go back into the closet because someone she told told their parents who told my parents who freaked and I had to spend the first month of summer trying to fix that.

    Okay wait the purpose of that sentence was to introduce this bitch at my school.

    Her name's Hayley and whenever someone says, "wow this test is so gay" or "this pen doesn't work god this is so gay" she gets super pissed and goes off about how the term "gay" shouldn't be used to describe something that's unfavorable because that would mean humans classfied as "gay" would be considered unfavorable or something like that. She's right, but I don't really care that much haha. I use "queer" frequently, because it doesn't really matter hahah. We just need to break down these terms that divide, because in order for a society to be truly equal, we just need to be able to make fun of each other without any harm or foul. Making fun of does not = putting down or saying seriously mean things. That's just jack-assy.

    But I just think "fag" is a kind of funny word (like "fag hag"), but when anything's used in a derogatory fashion, well, it's never funny.

  3. Thanks for stopping by Stephen, well said, we should exchange links as I like the look of your blog.

    All the best.


  4. All valid points, Stephen, but then again...

    My dad (72 years old) came from a time (and place -- a Sicilian immigrant) when it was country above all (remember, Mussolini was in power), races do not mix (didn't come to America until after the Civil Rights movement), and women are subservient to men at all times, at all costs.

    Yet, my mother was (and is) the major breadwinner of the family (not to mention that I have a master's and am soon to be a PhD candidate), he's voted Democratic since the Carter administration (he thinks John McCain, a man his age, is "that old fart who'd do a worse job than me," which says a lot more than you think) and plans to vote for Obama come November 4th, and his favorite grandson (he has two), my nephew, is of mixed racial heritage.

    While there's certainly some excuse for his times, there's even more to be said for someone who chooses to THINK independently and draw his/her own conclusions about what's right and wrong. Just as there are many people -- even today -- who embrace racism/sexism/ageism/whatever-ism like a brother, there are many more who judge a wo/man on the strength of his/her character. Jerry Lewis did NEITHER. And THAT's why there's an outcry.

    Good post. Please feel free to post some more on the PCM blog, we love having you! And let us know if you want to trade links.