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Comment: Pots, kettles and the rise of the homo-hypocrites

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  1. The C*nt of Monte Crisco 21 Sep 2009, 11:45am

    But it’s the same deal that we can’t call people the “N” word, but rappers like 50-cent and Akon and others refer to themselves as such in their own music

  2. My goodness Mathew, what are you on? Calm down for goodness sake! Derren Brown also commented to a lady in the audience not to worry because she wasn’t his type, again alluding to his sexuality, but I am sure she did not take offence (after all, it couild also have been interpreted as a dig that she was unattractive!!). I see nothing contentious whatsoever in him saying the final ball was for women and gay men, and for you to suggest this was meant in any way snide makes you as reactionary as the tiresome Stonewall sirens who are fast making normal thought processes a crime in themselves. Read 1984 and see how dangerously deranged such paranoia is feeding the state’s infrastructure of tightening control mechanisms which, one day soon, will have totally removed all of our freedoms, rendering us unable to think for ourselves, period. Do you really want to live in a such a hell that you are beckoning ever nearer by such over-reactionary, ill-thought hysteria?

  3. Monkeychops 21 Sep 2009, 12:52pm

    RobN- Good comment. I’ve always found it hypocritical that only gay men can call each other queers and poofs, when straight people get a good ticking off. Doesn’t that fly in the face of equality? I hate both those words, as much as nigger, honkey, abo and chink. I don’t want to hear them anywhere, thanks. To me, gay isn’t offensive, that’s what we are, it’s not a derogatory nickname. A word is either offensive or it isn’t and we have to be consistent in how we use it. I have no issue with the likes of Chris Moyles or Jonathan Ross making fun of gay people or apparently gay music. Good, it means we are accepted and as fair game for piss-ripping as anyone else. I’d certainly have no trouble with ribbing him for being fat or northern – again, these aren’t nicknames, they are correctly used adjectives. If you dish it out, you have to be able to take it. Perhaps Matthew Hywel has realised that he’s too weak of character to take a bit of teasing and has thus decided he has to stop mocking other people to somehow justify his point. Homophobic homosexuals? No chance, just people who are comfortable with themselves. Is anyone saying Irish comics who make fun of their nationality as being anti-Irish? Of course not.

    If you have a Kylie mousemat and a golden Chinese cat on your desk, you are associating yourself with stereotypical gay paraphernalia and you have to accept that. As does the black guy sporting a ton of ice and listening to Beenie Man.

    Over PC, over-insecure and definitely paranoid. Matthew, chill out and learn to accept yourself and moreover laugh at yourself.

  4. Same deal with black people and the “N” word
    And 27 complaints out of how many million viewers just shows how stupid some people can be and how much spare time they must have

  5. The problem is people focus too much on words when what matters is the intention behind it. Of course I can call someone gay because I’m gay and I think gay is just a word. Some people, however, think that “gay” is an insult and they use the word in that sense. When they use the word it’s not the same as me using it. The same happens with the word “nigger” – (which I find a bit silly to call the N word since we all know what word we’re talking about). There was positive agreement that the word was an insult which got it banned, until the black community reclaimed it and started using it in a different way – which made it a different kind of word. And not offensive in that context. The gay community has done the same with the word “queer” although its use varies between different English-speaking countries.
    The question is not what word you use but what you mean by it. In a perfect world no one would think that gays are any less than straight people and we could all make fun of gay people and we could all make fun of straight people. It wouldn’t matter. The problem is we’re not in that perfect world yet – and no one knows if we’ll ever be so at the moment, making fun of a category that’s object of discrimination is only ok when everyone knows what your intentions are. If there’s uncertainty, it can lead you down two routes. The decision is understanding which route was taken every time a joke is made. And we can all make wrong judgements about that.
    I don’t think what Derren brown said was terribly offensive. It certainly was a bit offensive. Funnily enough everyone complains about the homophobia in his statement, but not the sexism. Like the issue is that he’s put gay men on the same level as women and that is terribly offensive! I think he’s made a stupid comment that was both offensive to women and gay people, deciding to endear himself to his audience deciding to side with the male heteros so that his homosexuality would be a bit more acceptable. For somebody who’s that perceptive, it seems like quite an error of judgement.

  6. Mathew, do you seriously want someone to make a public apology for saying that a bonus ball was for gays and women??!! For goodness sake, what next asking people to apologise every time they simply say the word ‘gay’ or ‘lesbian’. I am a passionate believer in equality and doing everything we can to prevent prejudice and in particular hate crime. However, preventing people from saying anything that could possibly be construed as being a ‘snide’ remark or friendly banter isn’t the way forward. Also with regards to Monkeychops’ comments about gay people using terms such as poof and queer, these terms only hold derogatory meaning because the way people have used them in the past, the only way to combat that is to reclaim such words by using them in a different way. This helps to reformulate their previously negative usage into something positive. The gay community, like the black community, have done this to ‘some’ extent which I feel is better than simply trying to ban people from using certain words which inevitably fails.

  7. ‘Maybe I’m being far too PC’: easily the most sensible part of your article. Just because something garnered complaints doesn’t mean the complainants are right & I don’t think they are in this instance. There have been lots of instances of complaints about gay friendly material that have been equally as absurd.

    The argument of replacing “women and gays” with “blacks and Jews” just doesn’t work here, not least because you haven’t declared whether you are black or Jewish – a factor significantly (but not wholly) contributing to the acceptability of the joke. Moreover people being more sensitive about race isn’t necessarily a good thing. Warranted sensitivity is all well and good but people can be unhelpfully hyper-sensitive about race too. I’m not saying either that it’s never acceptable for people who are not gay to quip about homosexuality. I think it is. I don’t think Chris Moyles is a very good humourist and I think he is a very bad sport and therefore would be well advised to steer clear of/ tread very carefully with satirical gay material because he just can’t pull it off. Jonathan Ross, I think misfired on the last occasion, but he generally gets the balance right so I don’t hold it against him.

    Your desk does sound really gay and who cares? It’s just what it is. Why not just say “thank you”? You seem to be the one who’s sensitive about something being described as gay. Aren’t you the one implying there’s something wrong with it? I frankly think yes … yes the bonus ball is OUR ball, and what a bloody great ball it is too, Derren! See? Banter!

  8. er. Monkeychops – That wasn’t me. I’m RobN. ;o)
    Now THATS going to REALLY confuse some people on here!

    I think Mathew is being far too sensitive. When the comments came up about this incident, everyone remarked “Big Deal!!” to which I commented “Had that been J. Ross etc, you would have been spraying your Babycham’s across the room”. However, on hindsight, I think it should really be the other way. People are WAY to sensitive about name calling. As to who it is saying them giving them some kind of legititimacy, that is bollocks. So black men call each other niggers, and we call each other fags. Frankly either everyone can say it, or nobody can. Personally, I thibnk it far better to keep it all out in the open. The more this stuff is used, the weaker it’s power. People were horrified back in the 60’s when someone accidentally said “f_ck” on TV. Now the aforementioned Mr Ross glibly uses it on chat shows.

    Sticks & Stones and all that. Words are only powerful if you allow them to be.

  9. I’m not for one sending in the censors every five minutes, but it was such an odd comment that people were bound to be confused as to what he meant by it. Most people can determine whether hurt is intended from a comment, and those we need to stomp on.

    I’d still be interested to know how many of the complaints were from people who didn’t know that Derren was gay.

  10. Phillis Dorris 21 Sep 2009, 10:22pm

    Oh puh-leez! Just because Derren isn’t a flag waving member of the community don’t feel as though he in any way hides it. He’s on the pink list twice running – happily and proudly so. We blogged it to hundreds of thousands of people. If anything D is just casual about it all and takes it in his stride. It shouldn’t be an issue and isn’t. As a happy and flamboyant transexual none of my previous bosses would even accept it was real and I know it affected my job. Derren regularly glorifies my girly ways and even allows me to claim certain prosthetic devices as part of my wages. Nothing worse than a jealous queen!

  11. How refreshing to see most people saw Derren’s comment as the harmless aside it was, and shame on you Matthew for trying to make this into some kind of a big deal that isn’t. There are far more worthy issues of comment to deal with these days, such as Iraqi men being murdered for their sexuality for example. A little perspective pur-lease!!!

  12. theotherone 21 Sep 2009, 11:20pm

    to be honest it was a stupid and unfunny comment but hey, not every joke’s funny.

    We have to allow out skins to be thickened considerably. I used to work in a record store staffed and ran mostly by Gay Men (no they didn’t specialize in Kylie) and I called them ‘fvck1ng poofs,’ ‘arse-bandits’ and a million other names while they called me a ‘fvck1ng dyke,’ ‘carpet muncher’ and, on more than one occasion, names referring to my Gender. Perhaps I should have been offended.

    As to the use of ‘Queer.’ ‘Queer’ is used (by some people anyway) as an umbrella term for the whole community that is inclusive rather than exclusive, that seeks to allow ‘membership’ of said ‘community’ to anyone who wishes to be a part of it and to any group of people who may feel the desire to walk with us a while.

    To quote from a flyer handed out at Heaven in 1991 (reproduced in Derik Jarman’s ‘At Your Own Risk’:

    ‘There are Straight Queers, Bi Queers, Tranny Queers, Lez Queers, Fag Queers, SM Queers, fisting Queers…’

    Hardly a comprehensive list but a good start.

  13. grow a backbone! derren brown can say what he likes… why must every tiny joke involving the word ‘gay’ be scrutinised so much?

  14. I’ve long held the view that there is not one rule for what people call a minority, and another for what they call each other. If black people are offended by being called “nigger”, then it’s not acceptable to use the word about themselves.

    But equally, I think people in the gay community cry foul too often. We need to have a sense of humour. There are stereotypes for all minorities, all majorities, and being able to share a joke should be cohesive, not divisive. If there’s a subject that’s taboo for humour, I really don’t want to be a part of it.

  15. that was homophobic? i didn’t even get it!

  16. I still think that joke could be construed any way you like… if the bonus ball is just for women and gays, you could argue that’s reverse descrimination. We get one extra chance of winning the jackpot because we’re the valued customer!
    I think the intention and context is a key issue here, and from the many months I’ve spent on Derren’s blog getting to know the gorgeous Phillis and the rest of the gang I think I can safely say Derren is out and proud and very much on our side.
    He made a point of posting that a recent magazine poll voted him as the 8th sexiest gay celebrity, which if he was a self-loathing gay man I couldn’t see him making much mileage out of.
    If this bonus ball thing was a slur I know it would’ve been completely tongue in cheek!
    Some jokes fall flat, that’s just the nature of edgy comedy.

  17. We do need to draw the line between stopping discrimination, prejudice and hate filled comments and political correctness (though I hate those two words). Can’t a gay guy make jokes about gays? I make jokes about myself all the time that tend to put me down, does that mean I have something against everyone that is similar to me? Actually, I don’t think I would of got upset if he was straight making that joke, it was merely a joke but that said he did offend some people and I would expect a “sorry for offending, I didn’t mean to offend” comment, if he really meant nothing by it then he should have no problem saying such an apology.

  18. Jason Finch 8 Oct 2009, 3:24pm

    My number plate is “R1 FAG” – does that make *me* a homo hypocrite too? Ho hum.

  19. It is like fat people making fat jokes/comments on black people using the ‘N’ word to describe themselves…

  20. I think most people here are missing the point: that he was making fun of people who would have that view – that the bonus ball is some kind of sissy ball – it’s ridiculous that someone would have that kind of matcho attitude towards something as neutral as the lottery balls, and that they would somehow feel that guessing it would threaten their sexuality is what he’s making fun of. I thought it was quite funny actually

  21. P.s. NOBODY has the right to not ever be offended – we are in danger of ridding the world of banter and jibes the same way we rid it of accidents when our litigious culture made everything someone’s fault

  22. Gabriel H Byrne 19 Aug 2010, 5:51am

    Mr Brown’s comment was not homophobic in the least. Balls, or testicles, ARE for straight women and gay men, and there’s nothing slighting, humiliating or derogatory about that.
    The regretted comment was, at best, a lame attempt at amusement, and, at worst, in bad taste.
    However these passages from the article by Mathew Hywel ….
    “…the orchid on my desk had started to wilt. Not to worry, as my Kylie mousemat and my lucky waving golden Chinese cat give me plenty to look at. A lesbian work colleague recently commented on how ‘gay’ my workspace was. I suppose the USB-powered disco ball doesn’t get me any man points…” and “I’m off now to listen to Will Young on my new Hannah Montana MP3 player. I may even buy a lottery ticket. How very straight of me.”
    ARE homophobic by definition.
    They play into the camp, emasculating stereotype many homophobes use to degrade gay men with, and one which many gay men find offensive. Personally I don’t give a toss, but think before you write, and especially before you criticize.

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