Thursday, March 01, 2007

That's so gay

I'm irritated. I've tried not to be, but it doesn't seem to be working. Watching the polls and pre-pre-pre-election info for the presidential race, I've seen that quite a few more people are willing to support a gay president than a Mormon president (although this statement combines two polls that didn't have comparable questions). Personally, I'm offended that anybody wouldn't want either kind of president because I think you should elect an official based on their character, policy, and leadership ability not on some ridiculous non-issue like religion or orientation. But the comparison does underline that it's becoming mighty unpopular to be Mormon these days, and apparently increasingly acceptable to be gay.

Well, if I can't have everything, I'll just be glad for the increased tolerance for gays.

But then I had to read the story about the Mormon girl disciplined for saying "that's so gay" in response to being teased about having 11 mothers. So, she was being harassed for being a Mormon, used an inappropriate come-back and lands in the principal's office being disciplined for her crimes while her provokers got off scot free. Hmmm.... Lawsuits and crankiness all around.

I don't think her behavior is acceptable, but I do think it's more likely that she was not being deliberately offensive than it is that the kids who were harassing her were not being deliberately offensive. Basically, it seems that the school's policy is that insulting/harassing Mormons is just fine and dandy, but insulting/harassing gays is hateful and borders on criminal.


Anonymous said...

Another way to look at it is that even a good Mormon girl doesn't think twice about using a gay slur (yes, that's what it is).

That she was not being "deliberately offensive" shows the degree to which a gay slur can quickly gain acceptance and become mainstream with such little resistance (until now).

It's disturbing because it's not some historical slur like "spook" that a teenager these days might not connect to its racist etymology. Instead, children are using "gay" in place of dumb, stupid, lame, etc. The claim that she wasn't being "deliberately offensive" is a weak one.

In my opinion Mormons (myself included here) should have to take some teasing for polygamy. They practiced it for years. It's still Church doctrine. I'm not sure why you call it an "insult" equal to the one she responded with. This isn't the tit for tat situation you make it out to be.

Scot said...

…while her provokers got off scot free.

I’ll have you know I take great offence with your usage of the word scot. To just throw that around as some synonym for a lack of responsibility for one’s actions, well, it hurts.

Did you set that up for me ;-)?

Can’t disagree with you, L, really. All the students should have gotten the same “referral”, warning (if I read the story correctly). Is it clear what part of the incident the teacher actually heard? Not that I think the teacher couldn’t have been an anti-LDS bigot, I just didn’t see the detail and it is important.

But the comparison does underline that it's becoming mighty unpopular to be Mormon these days, and apparently increasingly acceptable to be gay.

My sense is that it’s becoming far easier to be both, but the change has been most dramatic for gays in the last decade. The problems with comparing polls aside, LDS folks are certainly gaining high national positions; I can’t yet imagine a gay person being senate majority leader or making a serious bid for the presidency.

If you’re right, though, I promise to stand side by side with you in protest if they start annulling your marriages, for what it’s worth. Heck, I’d write a letter suggesting referrals for the other teasers in this case if you have the address :-).

-L- said...

Anon, I didn't excuse what she said. I specifically said it was inappropriate. I know lots of people (and I bet you do too) who use gay in this less-than-politically-correct way but who harbor no ill will toward gays, but it's still a wrong thing to say.

I didn't make it out to be "tit for tat", I made it out that the girl was less culpable than those who insulted her because I suspect she meant nothing at all toward any of them personally or to gays in general as opposed to their frank personal harassment. The way you defend them harassing her is like me saying, "Well, I called him a fudge packer, but it's only because of what they really do." Take a step back and look at why you're so eager to condemn on one hand and excuse on the other. It's kind of ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

it all depends on the context. in that school the year before one kid was hired to beat up some gay student. i think it's been a while in that community since mormons have been beaten up.

its not easy being a school administrator. damned if you do, damned if you don't. let them make these minor adminstrative decisions without constant second guessing and certainly without threat of a lawsuit.

-L- said...

I have no quarrel with the policy, and I think the lawsuit may or may not have merit (depending on what precisely was included in the student's permanent record). I do think administrators have a responsibility to divert from policy when common sense demands it, and the student's treatment seems blatantly unfair from the limited particulars in the article.

Anonymous said...

without dragging this into the ground, my final concern is that these parents seem to be teaching their child that when she makes a mistake, rather than acknowledge it, make amends and move on, she should focus on the injustice of being "caught" when others are getting away.

sorry, honey, life isn't fair; the sooner you realize this, the happier you will be.