A few weeks ago my boyfriend dumped me. Perhaps boyfriend is not exactly the term to use here, we were actually more like acquaintances with benefits. There is nothing particularly unique about my story, though I must add here that I am happily married with almost grown children. However, like some women obsessively collect china or Pandora jewelry, I collect men.
Everyone needs a hobby.
So my friend breaking things off with me was no big deal, I’ll just go get a new one. What was unique was the reason that he ended our affair.
He was tired of me using him for sex.
This all occurred on my Monday appointment setting time. At the beginning of the week I line up my appointments; nails, blow outs, personal trainer, chiropractor, fuck buddy. Tuesday and Thursday evenings are reserved for my encounters. My family thinks I am at a Hadassah meeting or the gym, thus cannot be reached via cell phone for a few hours.
However that morning was different. He was nervous when he called me back on his “special” phone line. I keep a Tracfone (also referred to as my “booty call phone”) for my monsieur du jour, so that way there is no chance of them showing up on my regular cell phone bill. He had apparently thought through what he wanted to say ahead of time and the tightness of stress in his voice was evident. Read the rest of this entry »
Hillary Duff and Wanda Sykes star in a series of public service announcements dedicated to getting teens to stop saying the phrase, “That’s so gay!” The idea is to discourage anti-gay language after the latest student climatereport shows nearly 90% of gay middle and high school students reported being harassed, sometimes violently.
. . .
The first time I heard a teenager say, “That’s so gay,” she was referring to a vacation she took with her parents. I got that look ostriches get when they hear two whistles: WHAT? It was completely out of context to anything I know about being gay.
I asked a nineteen-year-old friend for a reality check. “Yeah, I got a brain fart the first time my younger brother, who’s 17 and straight, used it,” he said. “I couldn’t understand the context–there was no connection to being gay.”
That’s because teens don’t really say, “That’s so gay” to refer to gay people or our perceived characteristics or activities. Not only is it pretty much divorced from the offensive gay stereotypes-like being campy or effeminate-it doesn’t even reference the positive ones-that we’re all hip, stylish trend-setters. Teens use it to tag objects, places or activities as lame, tired, or silly. There’s no venom in the phrase-it’s just the updated 50′s version of, “That’s so square.”
Yet, the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN) is using Hillary Duff and Wanda Sykes as spokespeople on national TV to stop middle and high school students from saying the phrase. (see below)
GLSEN is rightfully worried about the latest student climate report that shows almost 90% of students have suffered some form of harassment in school. But they should be more worried that they’re adding fuel to the fire. By trying ban the phrase for a meaning it doesn’t have, they’re just going to rile up straight students.
Teens, who have an unerring sense of when they’re being manipulated for no good reason are going to seize on this campaign and use the phrase even more. Try telling a teen not to do something he knows is harmless and see what’ll happen. GLSEN should stop doing the new math and go back to basics:
Best of intentions + worst of tactics = More of what you don’t want.
GLSEN should be discouraging students from saying incendiary words like Faggot or Dyke, not banning some kitschy phrase. It’s noble to discourage language that sets up an environment for harassment or violence, but as somebody who’s been attacked on the street by a bunch of homophobes, I can promise you when they swung their bats and tire irons they weren’t yelling, “That’s so gay!”
There are better words to discourage teens from using.If you want to stop a fire, douse the matches, not the pin lights. If I were a teen, I’d take one look at this campaign and say, “That’s so gay.”