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Clare Balding complains to PCC over journalist’s ‘dyke on a bike’ jibe

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  1. I remember there was once quite a popular rock band called “Dykes on Bikes” who eventually changed their name due to political correctness to “Dopeheads on Mopeds”.

    One has to see the fun in a jibe, when it is intended that way. People should also learn to not take offence at every little pop. That’s the way of the world, and it’s never going to change.
    There is no point in getting in a lather about every little comment, but always be willing to stand your ground when it is quite obviously malicious and barbed. Let’s be honest, most people had they seen Claire on a bike may have said the same thing, it almost *demands* it!

    However, odious little turds like A.A.Gill just take pot-shots at everybody and anyone that can fire back at him ought to.

    As for “legitimising” the word, I don’t know. Many gay people, particularly the ubiquitous Peter Tatchell love to use the word “queer” at every opportunity in the hope that people will slip it into common conversation and it will lose it’s derogatory power, but personally, I hate it and wish he would drop it. I guess that is down to how many Lesbians like to be called dykes, but I for one still think it is a rather ugly word.

  2. It’s not just the ‘dyke on a bike’ bit (which people seem to have got hung up on on many comments pages). Yes, I find that word offensive and yes, it’s generally used as an insult.

    But I find the other parts of the article far more offensive eg

    “…puffing up the nooks and crannies at the bottom end of the nation…Clare has heroically assertive nipples.”

    WTF has that got to do with the programme or Clare herself? It’s immature, lewd, dribbling innuendo that is doubly disgusting because it comes from an adult not a 12 year old boy.

    And to cap it all the response to Clare’s complaint is totally inadequate.

  3. She absolutely has a case. What an ignorant fool this ‘journalist’ is. The article itself was bad enough, but the reply just skyrocketed the pig-headedness.

  4. AA Gill bought Ms Baldinng’s sexuality front and forward in his review. Would he do that with a person’s race or religion? Would anyone expect to have their work reviewed with copious snarking references to their sexuality?
    As for the brigade that will doubtless demand us all to have a sense of humour over these things, I want the world to move on from the days when “poof”, “lezza” and “dyke” are acceptable labels because at least one of those words were ringing in my ears when I was gay bashed.
    Words matter and to see The Times, of all places, legitimising and defending this blatant piece of garbage writing is sickening.
    And we all know that the PCC will side with them as per Jan Moir and every other bit of recent homophobic bile…

  5. @spanner
    I think you’re thinking of Gaye Bikers on Acid? And they were never that ‘popular’. They didn’t change their name because of political correctness but they did play gigs (dressed in women’s clothing) under the name ‘Lesbian Dopeheads on Mopeds’, supporting themselves, and thus getting paid twice. They were that kind of a band. As for Dykes on Bikes, they’re a society of lesbian bikers based in the United States…

  6. AA Gill is a scream; someone you think is gay, like Laurence Llewellyn-Bowen, but, apparently, not.

    Gill is the same person who described the Church of England as ‘Hampstead Heath with a roof’ which I thought was great. What a fantastic wordsmith he is. I would love to read something he has written on the RC church.

    As for Claire, I understand lesbians are more commonly know as ‘leprecons’ nowadays.

  7. Newspaniard 2 Aug 2010, 2:50pm

    COME ON! This country gets more like the USA every day. “Oh Dear I’m offended. Who shall I sue?” If you’re in public life, you must accept the good AND bad observations. The saying “Any publicity is better than none”. Get over it, and stop behaving like a “Distressed Islamofascist”.

  8. Oo-er Missus ooo no 2 Aug 2010, 3:05pm

    Is it nobler to suffer the slings and arrows or by opposing end them?

  9. This is exactly why I try and keep away from gay news sites like this now. Too much victim status

  10. Kate Lancaster 2 Aug 2010, 3:31pm

    Clare Balding, as far as Iunderstand it, is not objecting to being ‘made fun of’ but rather the use of the word ‘dyke’. Would this journalist have written ‘straight on a bike’. Clare, stick to your guns and pursue this, it’s picking up on so called ‘humerous’ articles like this that helps to make a difference.

  11. Call me old-fashioned, but I found the whole piece by AA Gill totally offensive and rude – indeed, only a couple of weeks ago, another Sunday Times Journalist – a nasty little man, Rod Liddle, who admitted in his column to have had one affair too many and was, as a result, leaving his wife and family and shacking up with another bird, came up with an equally offensive piece about “hairy Lesbians” and how he found difficulty in seducing them.
    I’m suprised this creep can seduce anything – man, woman or beast, with his disgraceful attitude towards women, be they gay or straight.
    The Sunday Times has nothing to be proud of when it comes to its attitude to gay people; it’s attitude is hardly fair and definitely non-discriminatory – I wonder for just how long I should continue to take it on a weekly basis; the trouble is, most of its content is good, stimulating and thought-provoking.
    Clare Balding is quite right in drawing attention to Gill’s piece. She’s a great commentator and from what I have heard, a delightful, caring and amusing person.
    Leave her alone and let her get on with her life.

  12. Have you noticed how unsexy and indeed creepy are these straight guys who make these crude comments. I’m surprised any straight woman would even look at them never mind have sex with them. Words such as ‘poof,’ ‘dyke,’ ‘queer,’ etc. are in frequent use in the school playground (most go unchallenged) so we owe it to ourselves to complain to the authorities when adults use insulting language (regardless of whether or not it is said light heartedly or in jest). If adults get away with it then children will think they can too.

  13. I agree with Clare. I don’t believe she is lacking in humour by objecting to the comments. I cannot put it more eloquently than she has already said . Society still has an attitude towards lesbians which differentiates them from other sexualities. Sexuality other than heterosexuality still remains an issue in so many ways as does gender. Take the ordination of women in the Church of England. Death, abandonment and loss of job still happen. Just the tip of the iceberg . Nice one Clare.

  14. Anyone commenting on this saying it isn’t offensive obviously didn’t read the article.

    Anyone claiming that freedom of speech of the offending article is being attacked… freedom of speech is a two way street. Everyone here has just as much a right to oppose the language as you have to glorify it.

  15. I know words like poof, dyke, or queer can be very hurtful and/or offensive, especially when used by straights; gays use them all the time.

    But it could be worse, far worse nowadays to be described as a ‘priest’, e.g. Look, he’s a Roman Catholic priest!!! Now that would be really awful.

    Laugh and the world laughs with you. Weep and you weep alone.

  16. Although as a Lesbian presenting “Britain By Bike” she could have predicted some idiot would be unable to resist the wordplay…
    similarly if the programme had been “Great Views From British Roofs” hosted by Graham Norton or Dale Winton you could probably make a prediction.
    AA Gill is anyway as camp as a row of pink frilly tents whether or not he’s straight.

  17. Mihangel apYrs 2 Aug 2010, 5:42pm

    If Gill would use the word “nigger” then I have no problem with him using poof, queer, dyke. If he wouldn’t, or if his editor wouldn’t let him, then he’s a hypocrite and coward.

    At one time the Times, and its sister paper Sunday Times were once papers of record and esteem; unfortunately they’ve become rather like the other whores in Murdoch’s brothel: Sun, NotW

  18. Clare was rather nasty to a toothless jockey twice so she kinda deserves it. And michael N’gger would also do i’m suprised PN let you post that and Murdoch owns part of sky too so gey people shouldnt have it in their home

  19. @17,
    You are right, the snide use of dyke in this way is the same as using names like nigger, poof etc. He wouldn’t use nigger to describe a black presenter like Moira Stewart or someone.

    It’s okay for blacks to call each other nigger that’s understood and same for gays and lesbians to call each other poofs and dykes but this cheap joke from this very camp straight man really is just unnecessary and unfair.
    AA Gill looked his best ever in a photo shoot on Waterloo Bridge wearing red stiletto’s and a grey suit…sums him up somehow.

  20. Her letter to the papers was great!

  21. I seem to remember she was extremely insulting to a jockey a few months ago when she commented on his teeth. I dont recall he complained though … So is she thinking she can insult people but cannot be criticised herself? What a sad woman.

  22. Such ‘jibes’ would not be tolerated if it was about blacks, Jews or certain other minorities.

    So, I don’t see why this should be any different. The response of the editor to Balding’s complaint is all the more shocking.

  23. She’s reported it to the PCC?

    They are an utterly worthless, ineffectual organisation.

    At least if/when they reject her complaint it will add more fuel to the view that the British press is incapable of sekf regulation when it comes to homophobia.

  24. ‘Such ‘jibes’ would not be tolerated if it was about blacks, Jews or certain other minorities.’

    So Blacks , Jews etc and certain other minoritie’ do not have Gays in their midst?

  25. Hannah Darvill 12 Aug 2010, 3:48pm

    Not sure what I think about this. I agree with what CB said about school playgrounds etc. She should definitely call the next series ‘Dyke on a Bike’ – let’s reclaim the word! And am I the only one thinking this is a great opportunity for tshirt printers? I’d buy one!

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