Wednesday, April 21, 2010

"It's Okay To Say "Gay = Stupid" - BCCSA


This is yet another case in point of human rights and equality laws not being adhered to and misinterpreted according to personal bias - and made to fail those whom they were intended to protect:

"The BCCSA refused to uphold the complaint, saying that "the word gay was not used to refer to homosexuality, but according to widespread current usage of the word amongst young people, to a carefree attitude and unjustifiable statements."

It added that it was of the opinion that "although the word 'gay' was used (and even if it carried a negative connotation), there was nothing that could be described as the advocacy of hatred or incitement to cause harm to homosexuals in the programme."

The BCCSA further stated that "the broadcast was not intended to injure, that it was not malicious or mala fide" and that "the right to freedom of expression includes the right to offend within reasonable limits.""

A term which is used to describe homosexuality - "gay", which has been used as such since the 1960's - almost forty years - and which is described and defined clearly in the Oxford dictionary - is suddenly "not used to refer to homosexuality".

Below is a pretty clear definition of the word "gay"

"gay
• adjective (gayer, gayest) 1 (especially of a man) homosexual. 2 relating to homosexuals. 3 dated light-hearted and carefree. 4 dated brightly coloured; showy.

• noun a homosexual person, especially a man.

— DERIVATIVES gayness noun.

— USAGE Gay is now a standard term for ‘homosexual’, and is the term preferred by homosexual men to describe themselves. As a result, it is now very difficult to use gay in its earlier meanings ‘carefree’ or ‘bright and showy’ without arousing a sense of double entendre. Gay in its modern sense typically refers to men, lesbian being the standard term for homosexual women.

— ORIGIN Old French gai."

Um... excuse me, but I have to ask - which dictionary are they using over at the BCCSA? Can they read? Or do they just want to see what they want to see? Are they not just allowing their prejudices and biases to interfere with their reasoning? Let's break down their statement to see what they infer, shall we?
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"The BCCSA refused to uphold the complaint, saying that "the word gay was not used to refer to homosexuality, but according to widespread current usage of the word amongst young people, to a carefree attitude and unjustifiable statements." - Except that anybody with a modicum of intelligence can tell the difference between a "care-free attitude" and linking a word describing a community of people to mean negative and derogatory things. And let's not forget the harm done in terms of hate speech and offense caused by inferring that a person is "stupid" by attempting to change the meaning of a term used to describe an entire community of people to mean "stupid" - or worse. No, of course not, why would that offend?

There are many people out there struggling to accept their own identities - and trying to find acceptance in an already prejudiced and hostile society without the added pressure of having more negative connotations added to the term which describes them and the community they form a part of. This verdict of the BCCSA is another very irresponsible and insensitive slap in the face to our community.

"It [the BCCSA] added that it was of the opinion that "although the word 'gay' was used (and even if it carried a negative connotation), there was nothing that could be described as the advocacy of hatred or incitement to cause harm to homosexuals in the programme." - No, of course not - referring to people or things as "gay", meaning "stupid" should be no more or less offensive than say, calling people "black" or "African" to mean "stupid". Same difference - only, one they would care about - the other, obviously not.

"The BCCSA further stated that "the broadcast was not intended to injure, that it was not malicious or mala fide" and that "the right to freedom of expression includes the right to offend within reasonable limits."" - "Reasonable" meaning "it's only homophobia, not racism, and we really don't give a toss if you find it offensive or not".

Read between these lines, BCCSA.

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