Alex Blaze

Not all f-words are created equal

Filed By Alex Blaze | June 23, 2009 1:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment
Tags: faggot, glaad, homophobic behavior, isaiah washington, perez hilton, toronto, will.i.am

Hey, remember when Perez Hilton was one of the leading voices in trying to get Isaiah Washington fired from Grey's Anatomy because he used the word "faggot"? More than a leading voice, Perez launched a full-scale campaign to demonize Washington as an "angry man," a "hater," and the devil. He was one of the most offended of the gays, someone who just couldn't stand that level of homophobia, who thought that it had absolutely no place in the public discourse, who promoted a petition to get Washington fired....

Well, until this weekend, when he called Will.I.Am the same:

you're not a fucking artist ... you're a fucking faggot

GLAAD released a statement condemning Hilton, as they would have done for any other celebrity who called someone else a "faggot" on video, saying "it sends a message that it is OK to attempt to dehumanize people by exploiting anti-gay attitudes." Well, yeah. It's already pretty dumb that Hilton would call someone else a faggot, since he's gay, but considering his history with the word it makes even less sense. It's hard not to see him as one of those gays who so desperately wants to be accepted he'll toss around some homophobia to get attention.

Anyway, he responded to GLAAD saying that they've further "victimized" him:

I am saddened GLAAD chose to victimize me further by criticizing me for how I non-violently dealt with a very scary situation that, unfortunately, turned violent. While I doubt I will get an apology from GLAAD, nor do I expect one, I would just hope people know how difficult it is to intellectualize a situation and think rationally when a thug disguised as a musician is screaming at your face and intimidating you. I am just very fortunate and grateful that nothing more serious happened to me.

It appears as though Will.I.Am's manager punched Hilton in the altercation, which is wrong. But, in my book, if you call someone a faggot or the n-word or a spic or any other slur to put them down, you're participating in the violence too. Especially when he's now and was before referring to Will.I.Am as a "thug," and let's not pretend that that's not a racially charged word either.

I have surprisingly little sympathy for Hilton here. That man's committed more verbal violence than most people in this country in his career, and it seems like his chickens are coming home to roost, in more ways than one.


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Mario Democrat | June 23, 2009 2:04 PM

Perez Hilton, GLAAD and Alex Blaze are all guilty of imbuing the word in question with more power than it deserves.

Also, I find it curious that the above article doesn't shy away from using the words "faggot" and "spic" but apparently draws the line with "n-word"

It certainly is curious how those things develop. But there's no culturally equivelant euphemism for those other two words. If you said "The F Word" folks would assume you mean "fuck" and if you said "The S Word" I'd assume you meant "shemale."

In any case, I'd say that pointing out someone using a word like a weapon does not indicate the word can only be used as a weapon or that there aren't other meaningful uses of it. You don't have to imbue the word with intense meaning to point out that many folks see it as having intense meaning and using it in an attempt to cause harm hurts not only the target but everyone who has felt hurt by the word.

When Perez Hilton appears on a TV screen, I change the channel. What has he ever done for anyone that was useful? He is a joke.

A. J. Lopp | June 24, 2009 12:27 PM

I couldn't agree more! 98% of the time, Perez Hilton deserves to be ignored. I suggest we all do so.

I just wish it had been Fergie who clocked him. That would have been so cool!~

Perez Hilton? *yawn* Is s/he still talking?
Where's Andy Warhol's stopwatch when we need it?

Point of Information:
Didn't the word 'faggot' become associated with gay men because faggots were the small bundles of sticks used to start the larger fires when we were burned at the stake as the 'warm-up' for Witch burnings? I kind of like being a faggot - hope I have started a BIG fire under this culture in the last 37 years!

Kisses!

A. J. Lopp | June 24, 2009 12:32 PM

There are various theories about how this term came into being. Another one is that, in 19th Century British boarding schools for boys, each incoming freshman was assigned to an upperclassman. The upperclassman taught the new student "all the ropes" and the underclassman was his mentor's valet or assistant, or whatever (use your imagination here, and I'm sure many of you will). The younger boy was often referred to as the upperclassman's "fag" ... as in "to fag someone out" by exhausting them with a lot of work.