Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Facebook Homophobes and Racists

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Facebook logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I am quite appalled at the levels of homophobia and racism I see regularly on Facebook, and not on the pages of the EDL or other ultra right wing groups, but written by what you might otherwise assume to be nice middle class white class kids.

A popular Facebook activity is fraping, that is, to get hold of your mate's phone when everyone is drunk, and write something hilarious as said friends update status.  The point of fraping is also to write something often heavily sexualised, and to the writer, something deeply offensive and against their own mindset, for middle class white boys this means writing "I love cock" as their mate's status.  Nice middle class teenage white girls often like to clarify this position on their female friends statuses by adding "black" as a pejorative.

Here we are then in the freedom of 2012, in our modern freethinking society in which we have shaken free of the shackles of racism, religious intolerance and hating people based on who they choose to go to bed with. Except that we haven't, because really deep down inside a lot of people, when they let out their innermost thoughts, the thing that appals them the most and that they then assume will appal other people and embarrass their target is they they should be thought of as gay, or as sexually attracted to people of another skin colour.

I know some people might argue that it is harmless fun, just words, but words are all we are.  As humans our entire experience is built around words, we make sense of our condition, our lives and everything we interact with by use of description and metaphor, our diction makes us who we are, it builds our thoughts, education, social awareness and memory.

I'd like to think that at some point it just will not matter if people are gay or straight or somewhere in the middle, but we really haven't reached that point yet.  Being gay to a lot of young people is still shocking, still different in a somehow weird and unnatural way, they would not say this in normal conversation, but get enough booze inside them and they can point and laugh at someone whom they have made out to be different.

It is not only deeply insulting to gay people to have their sexuality used as a term of belittlement, it reflects very poorly indeed on the user. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck then it is a duck, and if it talks like a homophobe, then it is indeed a homophobe.
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