LGBT Issues: Taking Political Correctness Too Far

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    Jul 26, 2013 9:25 PM GMT
    I just wanted to mention a few events that have popped up in the news over the last few years that I was a bit troubled by. These both happened in Canada (go figure), so perhaps we can hear what people from around the world think.

    Two years ago, the CBSC (Canadian Broadcast Standards Council) banned the unedited version of Dire Straights Money For Nothing to be played on the radio because it contains the word "faggot". Now initially this sounds somewhat reasonable. But for anyone who knows the song understands that it's used in a satirical sense. The lead singer was writing from the perspective of a blue collar man making ignorant remarks at what he's seeing on MTV.

    After some hundred or so complaints were made and after some radio stations played the song on repeat in protest, the CBSC eventually left it up to each station individually to decide whether to play the edited or unedited versions. So it's a bit of a dated issue, but it was pretty newsworthy at the time, and I think the whole thing was unnecessary.

    A few months ago, I was watching a news report where a mother had been disappointed to find out that she didn't receive a Mother's Day card from her child. Apparently, the school that her child was attending decided to stop allotting class time for students to make mothers day and fathers day cards. The reasoning behind this was because the school received a complaint from a same-sex couple saying that they weren't represented on those holidays. So instead, the children make one card for Family Day.

    The school defended their decision by saying that no child would be excluded this way. I get that, but why not just have the child make a card anyway. If I were a parent, and my child brought me home a card that said "Thanks for being a great MOM, I love you" I would still accept it.

    In the end, I think these are both really minor issues when you look at the big picture. But I wonder why some people make a fuss about these things. I don't think the change that was brought about by either of these issues improves society as a whole.
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    Jul 26, 2013 9:33 PM GMT
    go_dreaming saidI just wanted to mention a few events that have popped up in the news over the last few years that I was a bit troubled by. These both happened in Canada (go figure), so perhaps we can hear what people from around the world think.

    Two years ago, the CBSC (Canadian Broadcast Standards Council) banned the unedited version of Dire Straights Money For Nothing to be played on the radio because it contains the word "faggot". Now initially this sounds somewhat reasonable. But for anyone who knows the song understands that it's used in a satirical sense. The lead singer was writing from the perspective of a blue collar man making ignorant remarks at what he's seeing on MTV.

    After some hundred or so complaints were made and after some radio stations played the song on repeat in protest, the CBSC eventually left it up to each station individually to decide whether to play the edited or unedited versions. So it's a bit of a dated issue, but it was pretty newsworthy at the time, and I think the whole thing was unnecessary.

    A few months ago, I was watching a news report where a mother had been disappointed to find out that she didn't receive a Mother's Day card from her child. Apparently, the school that her child was attending decided to stop allotting class time for students to make mothers day and fathers day cards. The reasoning behind this was because the school received a complaint from a same-sex couple saying that they weren't represented on those holidays. So instead, the children make one card for Family Day.

    The school defended their decision by saying that no child would be excluded this way. I get that, but why not just have the child make a card anyway. If I were a parent, and my child brought me home a card that said "Thanks for being a great MOM, I love you" I would still accept it.

    In the end, I think these are both really minor issues when you look at the big picture. But I wonder why some people make a fuss about these things. I don't think the change that was brought about by either of these issues improves society as a whole.



    I think schools should encourage a child to make one if they had gay parents
    As for the radio stations that is their choice and I can understand the intention but also that some still may not like it. icon_smile.gif
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    Jul 26, 2013 9:35 PM GMT


    Well, had I known about that ( I didn't) I would have called the school and stated my position. Did you? icon_wink.gif

    If you provide me with a link I'll call them up, although I'll very likely have to wait til September.

    As for the dire straits song, I remember when that song was new, and faggot was a dirty word and never meant in jest.
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    Jul 26, 2013 9:40 PM GMT
    Never mind, found the National Post link. A petition is going around (already 350 signatures).

    The idea was that of a 13 year old (of the gay parents) who not only included gay parents, but single parent families or children being raised with grandparents or aunts and uncles etc.

    While the sentiment is well meant, the tomfoolery of it is huge.

    " Rather than making crafts for those holidays, students at the elementary school honour a parental figure of their choosing on a designated day, usually in the middle of May."

    O.o
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    Jul 27, 2013 12:28 AM GMT
    meninlove said
    As for the dire straits song, I remember when that song was new, and faggot was a dirty word and never meant in jest.


    Did you feel that way after hearing it yourself or was it after hearing of the controversy that was caused around that time?
  • HottJoe

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    Jul 27, 2013 12:43 AM GMT
    Censorship is everywhere, not just Canada, and I'm against it when it involves government intervention. I believe in freedom of speech.
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    Jul 27, 2013 12:50 AM GMT
    go_dreaming said
    meninlove said
    As for the dire straits song, I remember when that song was new, and faggot was a dirty word and never meant in jest.


    Did you feel that way after hearing it yourself or was it after hearing of the controversy that was caused around that time?


    A lot of us felt that way hearing it back in 85-86. Great song otherwise, though. Death was all around us and a fair number of straights (straits, lol)had outrageous opinions of gay people and how contagious gays were. Faggot was a word used to describe those filthy diseased gays. I don't remember ever hearing in played in a gay bar.
    *sad memories*

    I think the song should remain as it is, though. A tiny snapshot of the times and attitudes back then. Sanitizing, though noble in intent can have the side effect of revising history. The character using the word in the song was the CHARACTER (a straight guy the artist had heard talking) speaking, not the song writer. People forget this.


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    Jul 27, 2013 12:54 AM GMT
    HottJoe saidCensorship is everywhere, not just Canada, and I'm against it when it involves government intervention. I believe in freedom of speech.


    I do, too, to a certain extent. What's a little frustrating is that it is like editing a character's words in a play or story.

    For example, writing a story about a bigot who hated black people and cleaning up the bigot's language when he speaks.

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    Jul 27, 2013 1:55 AM GMT
    HottJoe saidCensorship is everywhere, not just Canada, and I'm against it when it involves government intervention. I believe in freedom of speech.


    Of course it is. Canada does differ from other parts of the world with it's hate speech laws, so I can see why it would be deemed a more acceptable practice for a government to intervene. But the CBSC is not a government institution. Rather, it's a union of private broadcasters.

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    Jul 27, 2013 10:04 AM GMT
    The lyrics in pop music have a HUGE influence on their listeners, whether those listeners are the primary target audience (teens) or older people. No one's putting words that come out of the radio into intellectual context. Ya kiddin' me? "The little faggot with the earring and the make-up? Yeah buddy, that's his own hair. That little faggot got his own jet airplane, that little faggot he's a millionaire." Rich + "obvious" + common slur = express delivery of homophobia. Since the premise of the song was blue-collar envy of the wealthy, who get their money for nothing and their chicks for free, what was the point of including that gay-bashing part to begin with? Uh-huh! Controversy and publicity sell. It sucks all the more because the "Brothers in Arms" album as a whole is outstanding.

    Similarly, there's a section of Pink Floyd's "The Wall" devoted to lining up "queers" and "coons" and people who "look Jewish" before a firing squad. You should've heard the justifying around that one. icon_rolleyes.gif All the while, clueless sheltered White boys were laughing and nodding along and agreeing "those people" should be done away with.

    I see nothing wrong with the causes of eradicating heterosexism and dismantling outdated norms. Barely a quarter of the households in the US consist of a man and woman on their first marriage raising children together. So it's not "taking things too far" by setting aside a day to recognize a parent figure instead of pushing Mother's Day and Father's Day on everybody. It's looking reality square in the eye. The sanctimonious Republican Fox News types with their baseless hysteria over "PC run amok" are the ones who need to give themselves a zippadalip.
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    Jul 27, 2013 2:36 PM GMT
    Okonomiyaki, the song is telling a story and telling what one of the characters in the story said. This a lot different than a song by, say, Buju Banton, which is the songwriter telling his own feelings etc.

    Like so:

    " World is in trouble
    Anytime Buju Banton come
    Batty bwoy get up an run
    At gunshot me head back
    Hear I tell him now crew

    Boom bye bye
    Inna batty bwoy head
    Rude bwoy no promote no nasty man
    Dem haffi dead
    Boom bye bye
    Inna batty bwoy head
    Rude bwoy no promote no nasty man
    Dem haffi dead"

    ...and really, the school could have simply decided that on Mother's Day and Father's Day the kids could choose any parent or whoever is being a parent to them to make a card for them, and celebrate that.

    In a single parent situation, it would mean they'd get a card twice a year instead of once. Compromise by inclusion is better than eradication, don't you think? icon_wink.gif

  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Jul 27, 2013 4:47 PM GMT
    go_dreaming said
    HottJoe saidCensorship is everywhere, not just Canada, and I'm against it when it involves government intervention. I believe in freedom of speech.


    Of course it is. Canada does differ from other parts of the world with it's hate speech laws, so I can see why it would be deemed a more acceptable practice for a government to intervene. But the CBSC is not a government institution. Rather, it's a union of private broadcasters.


    Yeah, I'm opposed to Canada's laws and similar laws in Europe. I don't think the government should infringe on free speech. I may not like what everyone has to say, but not everyone likes what I have to say either.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14380

    Jul 27, 2013 5:00 PM GMT
    HottJoe said
    go_dreaming said
    HottJoe saidCensorship is everywhere, not just Canada, and I'm against it when it involves government intervention. I believe in freedom of speech.


    Of course it is. Canada does differ from other parts of the world with it's hate speech laws, so I can see why it would be deemed a more acceptable practice for a government to intervene. But the CBSC is not a government institution. Rather, it's a union of private broadcasters.


    Yeah, I'm opposed to Canada's laws and similar laws in Europe. I don't think the government should infringe on free speech. I may not like what everyone has to say, but not everyone likes what I have to say either.
    I agree with you 100%. We can finally see eye to eye on something for a change.
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Jul 27, 2013 5:02 PM GMT
    roadbikeRob said
    HottJoe said
    go_dreaming said
    HottJoe saidCensorship is everywhere, not just Canada, and I'm against it when it involves government intervention. I believe in freedom of speech.


    Of course it is. Canada does differ from other parts of the world with it's hate speech laws, so I can see why it would be deemed a more acceptable practice for a government to intervene. But the CBSC is not a government institution. Rather, it's a union of private broadcasters.


    Yeah, I'm opposed to Canada's laws and similar laws in Europe. I don't think the government should infringe on free speech. I may not like what everyone has to say, but not everyone likes what I have to say either.
    I agree with you 100%. We can finally see eye to eye on something for a change.

    icon_wink.gif
  • Lincsbear

    Posts: 2605

    Jul 27, 2013 5:21 PM GMT
    It`s often the so called 'militant' or unreasonable people who drive progress forward as the reasonable ones accept the (often unjust) status quo.

    It`s different in the UK as we have no constitutional right to free speech, just a tradition of it. We also have some of the strongest libel laws in the democracies; in stark contrast to the US. I`m not sure of Canada`s position(possibly a hybrid of the two?) But this has changed recently here with the incorporation of the Human Right`s Act into British law in 1999/2000(?); strengthening that right.

    The BBC occasionally censors music played on its radio and television stations for various reasons: sexual, political, cultural, profanity, etc. Two recent examples include editing out the 'n' word in 'Oliver`s Army' by Elvis Costello, and a refusal to play a highly distasteful single that went to number two in the charts in the wake of Margaret Thatcher`s death.

    The UK is a more generally censored country than the US and there is more acceptance of it. But these decisions were still controversial and I thought their reasoning weak at best. We`re adults in a democracy. We should be allowed to cope with this moral ambiguity of offensive free speech.
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    Jul 27, 2013 5:42 PM GMT
    Of course over-zealous adherence to political correctness is a bad thing . In the UK (and probably elsewhere), however, a lot of this 'political correctness gone mad' shit is contrived by the gutter press (or by some clown on Facewhine) in order to provoke a reaction.

    Political correctness story not correct, or political
    http://www.mailwatch.co.uk/2009/08/19/political-correctness-not-correct/
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    Jul 27, 2013 9:26 PM GMT
    Nothing in particular. Just a thought that came to mind.

    I do want to mention though that I feel some people in this thread are incorrectly associating free speech and censorship. My understanding is that the US is far more censored than we are when it comes to media. Doesn't the FCC take part in censorship through it's "decency standards"? I always thought that freedom of speech meant that you could not be prosecuted for voicing your beliefs in a public setting.
  • awm55

    Posts: 619

    Jul 27, 2013 10:14 PM GMT
    Lincsbear saidIt`s often the so called 'militant' or unreasonable people who drive progress forward as the reasonable ones accept the (often unjust) status quo.

    It`s different in the UK as we have no constitutional right to free speech, just a tradition of it. We also have some of the strongest libel laws in the democracies; in stark contrast to the US. I`m not sure of Canada`s position(possibly a hybrid of the two?) But this has changed recently here with the incorporation of the Human Right`s Act into British law in 1999/2000(?); strengthening that right.

    The BBC occasionally censors music played on its radio and television stations for various reasons: sexual, political, cultural, profanity, etc. Two recent examples include editing out the 'n' word in 'Oliver`s Army' by Elvis Costello, and a refusal to play a highly distasteful single that went to number two in the charts in the wake of Margaret Thatcher`s death.

    The UK is a more generally censored country than the US and there is more acceptance of it. But these decisions were still controversial and I thought their reasoning weak at best. We`re adults in a democracy. We should be allowed to cope with this moral ambiguity of offensive free speech.


    The UK does have notoriously strict libel laws but the british population is not nearly as litigious as the US is. This is why the tabloid press is so powerful here, people are far less inclined to sue them then they would be in the US so the shit they get away with is horrific.
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    Jul 27, 2013 10:22 PM GMT
    meninlove said...and really, the school could have simply decided that on Mother's Day and Father's Day the kids could choose any parent or whoever is being a parent to them to make a card for them, and celebrate that.

    In a single parent situation, it would mean they'd get a card twice a year instead of once. Compromise by inclusion is better than eradication, don't you think? icon_wink.gif


    +1

    That's how we ended up with "Christian" holidays like Christmas. All the pagan kids were celebrating Saturnalia/Winter Solstice and the Christian kids felt left out, so the church fathers simply decided that Jesus was born on December 25th.

    Which makes the War on Xmas that Fox News laments ironic, since there must have been a time when the pagans said, "Look at what they did to Saturnalia! You can't even dance around the fire naked playing the pan flute and have sex with random strangers no more. These Christians spoil everything!!!"

    (WARNING! Depiction of Saturnalia ritual courtesy of Nasty Pictures' "When In Rome, Do the Romans in the A$$, Too")