Thursday, July 05, 2007

there's 0 between the 'n'-word and the 'p'-word

I don’t really want my blog to turn into a Big Brother commentary for the next 2 months, or however long it’s going to be on for, but it’s no good; I just can’t ignore what Laura said to Gerry about Liam on Wednesday night’s episode!! In reference to the gimp outfit BB made him wear for this week’s task, Laura told Gerry that Liam looked like a p**f. Now, admittedly BB called Laura into the diary room for a reprimand. And she apologised… to BB, not to Liam or to Gerry. But last month Emily was unceremoniously thrown out of Big Brother for calling Charley the ‘n’-word.

I’m not going to start a debate about whether this was the right course of action in the first place – since I’m divided on it. But what frustrates me more than anything is the double standards, and the inequality and inconsistency within semantic laws and social rules. Why is it considered so much worse to be attacked on the basis of your race or colour than on the basis of your sexuality or gender? If BB is going to be consistently politically correct then they should have also thrown out Laura for using a derogatory and disrespectful term for homosexuals.

In fact, by the same token, derogatory terminology about women should also be outlawed. Yes, that would make general conversation a linguistic minefield, because – would you believe it?? – there is a seemingly endless stream of potentially abusive language about women. Racism in language is perhaps easier to recognise and police because the words stand out, but words like c**t, t**t, w***e, s**t and s**g pass through conversation as if they were nothing more than a bit of verbal punctuation. I am, of course, in complete support of any anti-racism measures, but I am fed up with its unequal position as the ‘favourite’ social injustice. No one should ever face abuse directed at any aspect of an identity that they have no control over. We have no control over our race or colour. But we also have no control over our biological sex, or our sexuality and sexual preferences. So there is no justification for condemning one, whilst merely mildly frowning at the other.

If BB can kick Emily out for making a racist comment to Charley, then BB should show some consistency in Big Brother Land’s Judicial Legislation and kick Laura out for making a homophobic comment to Gerry.

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