Friday, March 02, 2007

After retaliating to the question, "Do you have 10 moms?" by saying, "That's so gay!", a Mormon schoolgirl in California was punished for offensive language.

In her defense, the girl said she was really just trying to indicate that what her bulliers were saying was stupid. Oh, ok then. That's fine. When you take into consideration the fact that for this kid, there's no difference between the word "gay" and the word ""stupid" everything falls into place. On your way then young lady!

On your way to court, as it happens, to sue the school for infringing on her freedom of speech.

The girl's parents are suing also because the kid equally bore the brunt of stereotypes ie. that Mormons all have multiple wives which is actually a fair enough point.

While the issue here is clearly about ingrained prejudices and unconscious insensitivity among students towards cultural variance in schools this is also a great story because we get to sit back and watch shrill religious parents defend their daughter's right to equate gay people with everything bad if for no other reason than the fact that they feel oppressed and self righteous. But, they also have a point and in winning their side they have to concede defeat at the same time. Everyone was being mean in this scenario.

What will happen now? Oh, let's see. Let's take into consideration that New York just banned the word "nigger" and that recent media coverage of the T R Knight incident at the set of Grey's Anatomy meant that the mainstream media has informed the public that the word "faggot"is the gay equivalent of "nigger".

SO - Seeing as banning individual words and ideas seems to be the technique du jour, no doubt the result will be that the specific progression of the words "That's so gay" will be banned meaning that every instance of it everywhere will be censored out of everything. Any student saying it will be instantly expelled. If the parents were big donators at yearly fundraising events for the school, they'll have the specific question "Do you have 10 moms? " banned, and then the issue will be laid to rest. If not, they'll concede that they can't afford to buy more justice so they'll just let it go.

The army of purpose starved mothers and fathers that back each side of the argument will feel sated and no one will say "That's so gay" or "Do you have 10 moms?" ever again in much the same way that you'd never ask for a small pair of nail scissors onboard and American Airlines flight and not expect to receive a look of horrified, gut wrenching shock and disapproval.

Well, no one except for the odd problem child with a learning disability or the class clown who just wants some negative attention because his parents only recently announced they're getting a divorce and his dad's moving to Colorado, the word gay will be replaced by a word like "homo" and Mormons will be asked an alternate question like, "Does your father have a harem?".

Teachers will notice this arbitrary linguistic change but will legally not be able to discipline their students for such behaviour because the school's legal insurance premiums against being sued are already sky high and the yearly budget doesn't allow for any more money to be paid to protect it against letigious parents who sue about things like potential poison birthday cupcakes.

It comes down to the choice between punishing the bigot and losing the music curriculum or letting the bigot go and keeping the problem child who can actually play the clarinet from biting the Kindergarters. The school will keep the kindergarteners bite free, the teacher will drink during lunch.
Everything will, however, continue on the surface as though nothing is or ever was wrong.

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