Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What is UP With that SLUR and Why are People STILL using IT

I really wouldn't have come to my blog to celebrate the birthday of a celebrity [so not my style] - but I have a reason, as you soon will see.  Please read the birthday wishes and know I mean them, but I have a reason beyond wishing a happy birthday.  You will see why.

Today is Ellen Degeneres' birthday.  I am an absolute, unabashed fan of this lovely woman and her wife, Portia.  My husband and children are huge fans as well.  I DVR the show just so my 13 year old can watch it when she arrives home from school and we can replay the fun on the weekends.

Happy Birthday Ellen.  We love you!

Just gorgeous!

After watching Ellen's wonderful birthday celebration show today I received this phone call:

It was Squirrel.  As we were chatting about classes, snow, dinner - whatnot, she said, "Mom I have to tell you something."

Her voice was full of concern and worry.  
That made me worry.

I asked her "Honey, what is wrong?"

Squirrel said, "Mom I was on the elevator today with three other girls and one of the girls was messing with a hat another girl was wearing.  The girl wearing the hat smacked the other girl playfully and said 'Don't touch my hat you FAGGOT.'"

I was stunned and speechless for a moment and then asked "Squirrel are you serious?  What did you do?"

She said, quietly, "Mom I looked at her and asked 'Are you KIDDING?' Then I asked her if she really just used that word.  I couldn't believe it."

Me, "Then what happened sweetheart?"

Her, "They looked down at the floor and didn't say anything again.  They just got off on their floor and I went onto mine."

Couple of points Tadpoles.
  • I am INCREDIBLY PROUD of my daughter.
  • I am glad those girls didn't argue with Squirrel because I am sure they knew they were wrong. [I am actually incredulous they didn't kick her behind. Kids can be so mean.]
  • I am also shocked that this word is still coming out of the mouths of children.  Don't get me started on who I think is to blame, but I am going to suggest ignorant parents first. 
  • I am heartbroken that our world hasn't come far enough that people think that word is acceptable. I expect more.
You are welcome to your own opinions, and knowing you all, I am sure you agree, but if you disagree, it might be time to click off being a follower and Tadpole. I don't obsess over followers - so I am not going to fall over if any of you  leave.  I have never written this blog for anything other than my family.  The fact that I have Tadpoles - my great friends from it, turned into a GREAT bonus - I am not out to be a writer - but you lose your Tadpole status if you don't think what that girl said was wrong.

I have no problem with that.  If you think that kind of thing is appropriate and an accepted way to talk, then go. Away.

What happened is not a point I will argue with anyone.  I am right and if you disagree with me you are wrong. Period.

I am pretty restrained when it comes to politics, religion and all things controversial on my blog - but I will not tolerate the hurt and ignorance that people continue to spread against people that are born different from others.  You can form your own thoughts about politics, religion, etc while you are growing up - but we are all born a certain color, we are all born a certain sex and we are all born with a certain sexual orientation.  These ARE NOT choices and SHOULD NOT be discriminated against, dismissed or worse, vilified.

Those three things cannot change, will not change and the sooner everyone accepts that we are all human and should be here to help eachother, love eachother and not hate - the better off this world is going to be.

I can't stand that my daughter was put in this position tonight.  

The world needs to grow up.  
Grow up now.  

My 18 year old daughter just gave a BIG  "What for" to the bigots of the world.

I would expect the rest of the population to catch up.

In the words of Mrs. Degeneres "Be kind to one another."


hed said...

Good for her! I'm glad people her age speak up for themselves-you hear so much about bullying and badmouthing, and not enough about...goodmouthing? Is that a word?

Anyway, you raised a damn fine kid :)


lyndylou said...

I totally agree with you, it's not right and it's not on! I would openly say that parents need to stop their kids in their tracks when they use words like this but that wont happen until their world is affected by someone who is born different.

My daughter's friends use the word "retard" all the time when insulting each other and one even said it in my house but saved herself at the last minute. My son is very disabled and insulting people with his condition is totally juvenile, disrespectful and shows a poor grasp of the English language.

Your daughter is so much better than them :)

Diane Laney Fitzpatrick said...

Your daughter is awesome. Kids are ridiculously cavalier about the words they use and the hurt they spew. Good for Squirrel for speaking up.

This is why I can't believe people like Michelle Bachmann can get elected. And re-elected. The Michelle Bachmann who said: "And what a bizarre time we're in, when a judge will say to little children that you can't say the pledge of allegiance, but you must learn that homosexuality is normal and you should try it." Small-minded people have to have representation, too, I guess.

Mynx said...

There was a huge hoohaa here in australia recently when a sports celebrity(?) used that word on Twitter. She was crucified in the media and lost major sponsorship. The message was, this word is unacceptable.
Unfortunately, closed minded uneducated people fear those that are different and attempt to hide it by using derogatory names and violent acts.
In a perfect world difference would be accepted, not feared but the world is not perfect.
People like your daughter are to be praised for making a difference, for saying "that's not ok".
Be very proud Mum. You have an awesome daughter. You have taught her well. Congratulations

becca said...

good for squirrel she is amazing and i love your post today i totally agree with everything you just said so thank you. thiswas a great post i hope everyone takes the time to read it.

Marni said...

I, too, am proud of her. That is an awful word and should be abolished with all the other hateful speech out there.

We need to realize we are one in the same and celebrate our differences - learn from one another - and stop being so ugly.

Marni said...

Did the "one in the same" and "celebrate our differences" make sense? I meant we are all HUMAN BEINGS (one in the same) and yet we are different (and should celebrate those things).

Phew. Feel better now that is off my chest.

Thisisme. said...

Brilliant post. Well said indeed! I think you can tell by the number of comments so far that we are all with you one hundred per cent on this one. And you're certainly not going to lose this little tadpole!! I'm proud of Squirrel for speaking up, so I can imagine how you must be feeling. Bursting with pride I should day. Thank goodness that there are youngsters like that still out there, and as for lyndylou saying about the word 'retard' - that, again, is just awful. I really thought the world had moved on, but it makes you wonder sometimes. I've seen your comment on my post about you and me on our Vespa's. Sounds like a wonderful idea. Bring it on!! Incidentally, you didn't have to be funny, as you were't picking up the lOL Award, but the Awesome Blog Award, so please get right back over there and take it, because your blog is certainly awesome! Hugs.

RV Vagabonds said...

Ya done good, momma! It takes hard work and lots of positive reinforcement and good examples to make sure that children are open minded and fair. Good for Squirrel for not being afraid to stand up to someone although that can be scary in this world where people don't control their violent impulses.

And I love Ellen too.

Jeannie said...

Brave girl!

Seriously, I don't think I've heard anyone use that term in years except to mean a cigarette. (Irish)

Yum Yucky said...

Hmmmm...I've got these teenagers over here (but not saying that talk like that). And from what I see. And thinking about my own young years as well, these terms are used loosely, not really meant to attack someone for being a "faggot" or a "nigger" or whatever. Yep. The term "nigger" is very widely used among people. Faggot, nigger (when spoken to someone of same race), is no different than say bitch, punk, a**hole. The curse words of this generation have changed. And the words just fly out of these mouths. Even as I read your post and heard the word "faggot", I didn't think it as a term for gays and that person trying say the hat-hitter was gay. Faggot just means, like, "you're a jerk, leave me alone you punk"...stuff like that. Now, the word "nigger", if used by caucasian against black person is different (yep, I've been called that in hate). But a black person calling me nigger...or more precisely, "nigga" or bitch has a totally different meaning.... oh my, did I explain this well? I could go on and on.... but ummm, my kids have never used the word faggot and I would like it if they did.

ellen abbott said...

faggot? I thought that was a burning piece of wood. Why on earth would she call someone a piece of charred wood? hee hee.

seriously, good for her for not letting it go by unremarked. Both my kids, starting in junior high (and this was back in the very early 90s), stood up vociferously against discrimination against gays and lesbians and did all they could to educate people about AIDS. I was so proud of them.

Linda in New Mexico said...

As you and I have talked about in the past.....nothing surprises me anymore. I am hardly ever shocked at the lack of kindness and hyper entitled attitude of so many folks.
Yay for your girl. Scary but yay. Many well intentioned people are smacked down for standing up but that doesn't mean we should not continue to wo hoot the good and boo the bad.
I'm sure you are very proud and pleased with Squirrels behavior. The Olde Bagg, Linda
psssssst.... don't have the number anymore, it is gone with the com*&st. I'll email new #

Teresa - in the Middle Side of Life said...

I hate to hear disrespectful terms coming out of anyone's mouth - whether it be the "n" word, beyotch, fag, a**hole, or whatever. I agree that it could have been a word said in jest, such as idiot or jerk, but it sounds more disrespectful than those words. It's like using the "f" word... A cuss word is a cuss word is a cuss word, but saying "f" sounds so much worse than saying something like sh** or da**. Does that make sense? But, kids (and adults) of all ages have gotten very used to using that word and desensitized to hearing it. Doesn't make it "sound" any better but it happens.

I agree that we're all born with what we're born with (thin hair and lips and all) and no one should be discriminated against because of their race, creed, color, height, weight, political stance, religion, or sexual orientation. Period. Discrimination is still discrimination no matter what group it is directed toward.

Glad that Squirrel spoke up.

(p.s., I love Ellen, too - her show rocks)

Bouncin' Barb said...

There is nothing more to say than you have already said. Good for Squirrel.

Roundabout said...

Very proud of her! Its such a big deal to stand up & say something to those girls. Way to go!!
( I love Ellen's show too- its just so fun!)

Louba said...

Hi, just dropping in from Caterpillar's blog. It's great that your daughter is prepared to speak out rather than fall in line with her friends.

caterpillar said...

1. You should be proud of Squirrel. I feel so glad that she spoke up.

2. Someone needs to tell those people who choose to use these words that they are absolute idiots.

3. I'm happy to say that I agree with you 100%

Anonymous said...

I really hate that word (unless they call it for the cigarette which is what its ORIGINAL meaning comes from...)

With my brother being autistic and bipolar, and us not finding out about it until he was 17 (22 now) he was called many names because he was different.

That word being one of them. It's stupid and people need to be more loving.

I really don't appreciate hearing guys call each other that even if it's for "shits and giggles." It's offensive.

SkippyMom said...

I don't usually comment on my own posts - y'all know - but I want to apologize that I didn't add in the handicap world in my post. Lyndy and AD made very valid points, not to be ignored.

I do need to clarify that "faggot" was first coined to refer to effeminate men. Although it is a well known euphemism for cigarette in Britain it was originally coined to degrade men considered "sissy".

I really, really appreciate your comments on this.

Thank you Tadpoles. Truly.

Life in the mom lane said...

Unfortunately our society has accepted negative slang such as many of the ones listed by you and the tadpoles as acceptable parts of the English language. Good for squirrel for being the adult in that situation... the ripple effect from her standing up may have an awesome effect. B/c I am sure that each of those girls will think twice before using that word again... and maybe- just maybe -next time- one of them will do the same as squirrel... wouldn't that be totally AWESOME?

Amy said...

You should be very proud of your daughter - and you and pooldad. Way to raise a great girl!

Anonymous said...

As I always say "If you don't like gay marriage, then don't get gay married"

It makes me SO frustrated that people even CARE if someone else likes a man or a woman. It doesn't MATTER and it doesn't change who they are as a PERSON. Good for Squirrel for speaking up!

Anonymous said...

If only people would heed Ellen's words. I am sad about what comes out of children's and adult's mouths sometines. All to hurt someone else.

Phelan said...

Good on her! I have several gay friends that use th word almost obsessively, like teenagers. I have had to repeatedly remind them not to say it around my boys, unless they don't mind hearing it being used by straight men. These 2 call me the word call each other the word, and news programs the word, giggling the entire time. Some one brought up the "n" word. That is used often by my neighbor across the way that is black.

My boys want to know why some people can use certain words and not have consequences but if they use the same words, even not in malice, they get into trouble. As a lover of words, it is difficult to have off limit words of any kind, especially words that have a different meaning and have become derogatory.

christopher said...

Look at you raising such great children. :)