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Gay group attacks Mickey Rourke over homophobic slur

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  1. What a freak.

  2. Interesting, another homophobic-comment story.

    I’ve no idea who Mickey Rourke is, but it doesn’t sound like he had homophobia or even sexuality in mind when he made his exclamation. It sounds like an “[Insert expletive]” situation.

    It’s just not tenable to attribute “homophobic” to a word itself. It has to be associated with intention, otherwise it makes no sense. For example, “faggot” has at least five meanings, only one of them has a homosexual link.

    The article says he said “s**t” in the same sentence: was he really talking about bodily waste? It says he said “break his f*****g legs”: was he really saying the journalist’s legs were copulated?

    The article says “Rourke is showing himself to be painfully ignorant of how this vulgar, abusive slur feeds a climate of anti-gay hatred, intolerance and violence”.

    It’s nonsense, isn’t it. It doesn’t feed a climate of anti-gay hatred, because only a tiny minority of people would even associate the sentence with sexuality. I don’t believe he meant “gay man” any more or less than he meant “bundle of sticks”.

    I mean, if the insult had been “Tell that twat who wrote all that s**t in the paper”, how many people would associate the journalist with being female genitalia?

  3. “And tell that faggot who wrote all that s**t in the paper I’d like to break his f*****g legs.”

    Stunning example here of how boxing leads to the mind of a cabbage. Well done Mr. Rourke, you’re a paragon of intellect.

  4. Pumpkin Pie 12 Oct 2009, 3:24pm

    Oh, Rourke. You’re such a ****ing twat. You’re just lucky it’s “cool” to bash us – if you’d said the N-word, or the P-word, or the K-word, you’d be in a heap of trouble. But, since it’s us you’re insulting, you get off scot free.

  5. Pumpkin Pie 12 Oct 2009, 3:25pm

    Oh, and let’s not forget the return of the classic “some of my friends are gay, I can’t possibly be a homophobe”. We should make a bingo chart or something.

  6. The only way Rourke could be any smarter is if he died and came back as a turnip.

  7. darkmoonman 12 Oct 2009, 4:12pm

    Mr Rourke, you are an ignorant turd. You might know 50 folks who are gay/lesbian, but yyou can not call someone a “faggot” and still be their friend.

  8. Who is he again? He’s a washed up has been notable for a softcore porn movie. Name one other movie that he’s made apart from 91/2 weeks? Not excusing him but let’s face it he needs to do something like this to get his name mentioned again. I really have no interst in anything he has to say!

  9. bollockstothem 12 Oct 2009, 4:57pm

    what a caggot (cu*nt raper)

  10. tsuchan – Yes, “faggot” has many meanings. But no one in this day and age thinks “bundle of sticks” or “meatball” when they hear the word, and you’re kidding yourself if you think otherwise. Its use as a general insult or is directly derived from its use as a derogatory term for homosexuals.

    People love to claim that words like “faggot”, “gay” and “queer” have been removed from their original meaning when they’re used in this way, but it’s just not true; they’re associated with homosexuality above all else, and it’s practically impossible to be unaware of this. anyone who uses such words in this context (apart from perhaps young children who have them used without understanding their true meaning) knows exactly what they mean and therefore is using them because they feel, consciously or not, that gays are somehow inferior and therefore for a straight person to be compared to one is a legitimate way to insult them.

    The whole point of Rourke’s use of “faggot” as an insult is the comparison to a gay man, using what is generally considered a fairly harsh anti-gay slur, and that’s certainly homophobic as far as I’m concerned.

  11. also: it certainly does feed a climate of anti-gay hatred, particularly in schools. British schools are still pretty much the worst place to be gay in the country (outside of perhaps a Combat 18 meeting), and the fact that children know “gay” or “faggot” as an insult before they even know what homosexuality is creates a powerful sense that it’s something bad and wrong, something to be ashamed of. As long as homophobic bullying is still a major and largely ignored problem in schools, as long as suicides of gay kids far outnumber straight ones, you can be damn sure I’m going to have a problem with it when someone deems it appropriate to use these words in this way. Especially someone in the public eye like Rourke.

  12. Oh get over it! I go with Mickey. It’s not like he directly attacked gay people, it was an insult. I generally wouldn’t use the term myself, because it has no real meaning in the UK, but nobody likes being called a faggot, be they gay or straight, so it hit the mark. Stick and stones and all that. The man is obviously not a homophobe, but like myself, speaks his mind and won’t pull punches.

    Like the man said, “Life’s too short”.

  13. tsuchan, you’ve made an interesting point but I think you are deluding yourself. When people use the word “faggot” in that kind of context they mean one thing only. It would be an offensive way to refer to a gay person, and it’s equally offensive to gay people in general when it’s used as a casual insult to just anyone because it implies that simply being compared to a gay person is, in itself, an insult.
    Incidentally, I also think that comment #1 “what a freak” is insulting to people who have physical abnormalities. It something you might say, or I might say, without intending to insult anyone, but if people call you to it like they did Mickey Rourke, you should just apologise for it instead of claiming you have have a right to use offensive language because you have gay friends or friends who are missing fingers and toes.

  14. I think I’ll give Mickey a pass on this one. He probably does have 50 gay friends, living on South Beach as he does and fitting right into the community. What he says wasn’t so nice, but he’s a gruff old dude and probably says all sorts of things that are sort of R-rated. As do we all. I kinda like him.

  15. “The man is obviously not a homophone, but like myself, speaks his mind and won’t pull punches.”

    Yawn… more self-ingratiating nonsense from Mr. Neal. Well done on aligning yourself with a punch drunk moron with a face like a decomposing pineapple.

  16. RobN… I think I might not have made my case as clearly as I should have done. My point isn’t that when this guy said “faggot” as an expletive he meant “a bundle of sticks”… just that he probably didn’t have any meaning in mind at all.

    People will use any number of different alternative words in that case, and how many do you reckon have any thought to the meaning? For example, substitute “cretin”… lots of people would probably use that word in this context… how many of them have in mind a person of stunted physical and mental growth do to congenital thyroid deficiency? Or substitute the c***-word, the t***-word, the p****-word (etc, ad nauseum): unless I am unique in my innocence, nobody is seriously picturing the target of their insult as genitalia. They’re surely just words to express frustrated displeasure, period.

    Repeated out-of-context use of any expletive diminishes and unfocuses its meaning, so that eventually it can no longer be effectively targeted to the original meaning.

  17. Paul Brownsey 13 Oct 2009, 11:58am

    There is a lot of truth in what tsuchan says in comment 16; unfortunately, it ignores a dimension of the problem. Let it be granted that Rourke did not “have in mind” homosexuals when he was using the word in question and that he was using the word solely forits power of expressing hostility or contempt. Nevertheless, the word *is* commonly used to express hatred and contempt *of homosexuals* and Rourke’s use is likely to reinforce them in that use. He knows this, or ought to know it, and so shouldn’t have used “faggot”.

  18. I agree with Paul, (#17).

    Lets look at this another way. Say the reporter was black, and the enlightened and charismatic Mr. Rourke said:

    “And tell that nig**r who wrote all that s*** in the paper I’d like to break his f****** legs.”

    And his response to the complaint of using the word “nig**r” was:-

    “I don’t really give a f***. Life’s too short. I have more black friends than any 50 white people I know, so I don’t really give a s***. I meant what I said.”

    Does this sound okay too? Would black people think this statement was okay, as he was taking a word normally used to demean black people racially, but used it in an “unracist” way?

    I doubt it.

    [Incidentally, Pinknews doesn't allow the use of the word nig**r in comments, but its filter allows "faggot" without any problem. Curious.]

  19. Will (#18)… it’s a very challenging analogy, pretty difficult to argue against. I do think there are differences, and the comparison isn’t completely fair. But I take your point.

  20. tsuchan, the reason the analogy isn’t completely fair is only because its generally considered that calling someone a “nig**r” is racist language and unacceptable in this day and age, but yet (too) many people think using “faggot” is just “street talk” and not really “a bad word”.

  21. Will… Hmm, partly but it goes further than that..

    As an insult, “faggot” genuinely doesn’t have only the meaning of “homosexual male”. Several people I asked have always used for “old crone”… old female, where the usual male equivalent was “old codger”. This was also my perception for the longest time: it’s only in the last few years that I’ve even understood “faggot” to have any meaning related to homosexual male. I don’t know whether these are dialect meanings, but they definitely prove to me that this is not necessarily a homophobic insult, nor is it necessarily understood by the insulter as particularly strong.

    That’s quite interesting, because it means when gay men say this word is homophobic, they are (in a unknown proportion of cases) gathering the insult, re-directing it inappropriately to themselves and then crying homophobia. It seems comparable to the gay community appropriating the word “gay” itself (apart from the obvious difference).

    “Nig**r”, on the other hand is universally known as racist, even by the small proportion of black people who use it about themselves. I believe those people say use it of their own community for shock-effect. “Faggot” is used by members of the gay community about themselves, but I personally believe the motivation is personal identity without the required intention to shock.

    The other difference (and I think it’s important) is that your example specifically talked about applying the word to a black reporter. There is no suggestion that the reporter was gay.

    Suppose the proposed insult of “Nig**r” had been specifically made to a white journalist. Whereas many people would not even look for a meaning attached to the faggot insult (as I didn’t), it’s difficult to imagine anybody not feeling confused if “Nig**r” was applied to a white male.

    That’s what I think, anyway. (^_-)

  22. “The other difference (and I think it’s important) is that your example specifically talked about applying the word to a black reporter. There is no suggestion that the reporter was gay.”

    I see what you are trying to say, but I do not fully agree.

    In fact, what you say here, actually makes the situation worse:- You can see the skin colour of people, but the context of this outburst implies that being gay is a bad thing, that being a “faggot” is an insult, regardless of the reporters sexuality.

    Faggot may have different meanings, but 99% of the population (and 100% under the age of 40) will see this word not as a “bundle of sticks” or otherwise, but as a derogatory word for gay people, especially in English speaking Europe. Its context here was clearly not used as any other meaning.

    No, I cannot accept that using this word is in any way less offensive than using “nig**r”. He’s a fool if he thinks that its inoffensive simple because he uses the “I have gay friends” excuse. I would find the word offensive, and so would 99% of gay people on this side of the Atlantic.

    And its use by Mr. Rourke only shows that repeatedly getting punches to the skill only reduces what little gray matter he had to begin with to nothing more than a few lonely cells.

  23. “especially in English speaking Europe”

    Should read “especially in English speaking parts of Europe”

    Sorry, wasn’t trying to engage in cultural imperialism :)

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