Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Hillary Duff - Voice of a Generation

I saw the most amazing public-awareness 'mercial the other day. And yeah, that SHOULD be a word.

Anyway - it showed the former Lizzie McGuire interrupting two girls in a clothing store when she heard them use the word "gay" in a derogatory - and completely out-of-context - manner. Madre de Dios, THANK YOU.

This has to be one of my absolute biggest pet peeves. I mean, seriously, sometimes only a few minutes in /Trade chat and my eye is twitching so hard I think I'm about to go grande mal. I routinely /ignore people for similar infractions, and have no problem whatsoever politely asking PuG members to cool it. I'll ask once - do it again and I hit my "/e chooses not to party with those who speak and / or act in such a manner. /leave party" macro. For once and for all, people, "gay" is NOT synonomous with "lame." It doesn't mean "weak," "substandard," or "poorly-thought-out."

I'm not even sure which is more soul-withering; that people are so stupid as to not understand what they're doing - or so callously insensitive as to not care. So which is it - be ye morons or be ye assholes?


Kestrel said...

Hear! Hear!


and AMEN!

Mitch said...

"For once and for all, people, 'gay' is NOT synonymous with 'lame.'"

Sadly in a lot of the nation's vernacular it IS synonymous with lame. Does that make it right? No. But I know growing up I used to use it all the time. Now I'm 26 and have a much firmer grasp of reality and am mature enough to control myself, but it will come out now and again.

Even my gay WoW friend says it now and again >.>

Otta said...

Nice post T. I was impressed as well when I saw that PSA.

I hear ya Mitch. To me it's something like the situation of the "N" word and its decade-old counterpart in which the "" at the end has been replaced with an "...a"

Some of us who are old enough to have lived through a time when decent people of all races were trying to see the original eradicated from common use. As offensive a term as could be found, deeply charged with centuries of hate, abuse, anger and frustration.

And now it has come full circle, the almost-the-same word used with great frequency but now with a new social ruleset and meaning.

I personally cringe at the fact that this is the case, but understand that each half-generation that moves from childhood to adulthood develops its own standards of slang. The commonly-understood meanings of words do change over time, despite those of us who remember what they "used to mean" and the battles we rage around that.

So I guess you have to find a balance between standing up for what you deeply feel to be right and against the ignorance of others, but tempered with a lot of deep-breath-taking and acceptance that most of us are banging our heads against that wall of morons and assholes :D

Brierley said...

While I agree the use of gay is annoying and slang, I don't agree that it is not synonymous with lame.
Language changes, sometimes for the better sometimes for the worse. Talk to your grandparents or maybe great grandparents and they will tell you gay means happy and cheerful, but it certainly doesn't mean that to my generation.

Anonymous said...

Gay means "light, happy" Its misused a lot, for a whole history of reasons. I dont think its worth getting upset over though, since anyone using the term today to refer to homosexual men is already misusing the term ;)

T-Sonn said...

Anonymous: Your own link supports the idea that this word has come to refer to homosexuals of both genders over the last century and a half. I stand by my belief that those who appropriate the word for a negative connotation do so BECAUSE of what it has come to mean of late. And that is what's so mean-spirited about it. It is the "no one matters but me" attitude that offends.