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Clinton Cards sells ‘batty boy’ card

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  1. dave wainwright 3 Feb 2011, 4:18pm

    Have complained and advise others to do the same , this is unacceptable ,

  2. “Secondly, the card phrasing doesn’t even appear accurate as Batman actually looks quite happy with the gayer version of Robin!”

    I think that’s meant to be his nose.

    I’m interested in the differences of opinion on the card. Personally, this card really bothers me but I feel that I may be a little hypocritical in my thinking as I think some of the “abusive” greetings cards produced today (e.g. are quite funny.

  3. I just sent a complaint too

  4. It’s obviously a joke and it’s obviously not meant to be offensive. Really people, there’s more important things to get our knickers in a twist over.

  5. Am I the only one that doesn’t find this offensive?

  6. Although it is meant as a joke…and I don’t have the overall issue with the card and it’s joke. It’s the use of ‘batty boy’ which is a derogatory saying that I have issue with.

  7. Paul Jones 3 Feb 2011, 4:34pm

    I too have registered a complaint using the web-page link to their Customer Support. It’s worth doing; such hate language doesn’t belong on products from a High Street retailer. ‘Batty Boy’ is a hurtful phrase of hate and shouldn’t be legitimised in this way. Thanks.

  8. Christine Beckett 3 Feb 2011, 4:34pm

    I am not usually regarded as being over-sensitive, but I think given the normal usage of that term, this card is not acceptable.


  9. Oh really, i find this rather funny, there homophobia and then theres a joke…made me laugh :)

  10. “Batty boy” is incredibly derogatory, regardless of the humour (or lack thereof) on the card itself.

    cf darkie, kike etc

  11. In the context of this silly card, I find Batty Boy to be a rather amusing term. It would never even cross my mind to be offended something like this.

  12. Jay Haych 3 Feb 2011, 4:49pm

    Just sent this:

    To Whom This May Concern,

    I would like to bring to your attention my frank and utter dismay at a card on sale in your stores.
    The has a picture of Batman and a new ‘Robin’, wherein the top reads the slogan “Batman wasn’t happy with his new side kick”.
    The new Robin is limp wristed and blindfolded and has ‘batty boy’ printed on his t-shirt.

    This term is used widely as a form of homophobic insult and popular singers such as Beanie Man have been disallowed entry into the UK for using the very same language in their songs.

    I am currently extremely surprised that such material was allowed to be sold in your stores, and this makes me question Clinton Cards’ commitment to equal rights in the work place. Such language is at par with words like ‘paki’ and ‘nigger’, and would result in criminal prosecution of hate crime if used towards an individual as an insult – regardless of whether or not they were homosexual.

    I have therefore decided as a result, I will no longer be shopping at your stores and urging all friends and family to do the same. Only when Clinton Cards removes this product from their shelves and issues a full apology to it’s GLBT customers will I consider shopping with you again.

    Yours Sincerely

  13. Thanks for the link, dave. I have sent a message. The use of ‘Batty boy’ is especially unacceptable, and is really what made me complain. The language of an explicit hate culture is apparently so cool and amusing. Makes you want to vomit.

  14. Jay Haych – Excellent message. Below is a copy of mine –
    ‘It has come to my attention that your company has begun to sell a homophobic greeting card in your high street outlets. It features a stereotypically effeminate figure bearing the term ‘Batty boy’ on its chest. This is grossly denigrating to gay and lesbian people and, I suggest, reveals an attitude which you would not dare exhibit towards other minorities on your cards. The use of the words ‘Batty boy’ is especially offensive, as these are directly derived from an Afro-Caribbean musical subculture notorious for openly advocating the murder of lesbians and gay men. You are thus not only seeking commercial benefit from legitimising homophobia, but directly trivialising and affirming one of its most dangerous manifestations. Until this card is withdrawn I will boycott your products and advise my family and friends to do likewise.’

  15. I drew this to the attention of people on FB due to the violent overtones of the use of the phrase “batty boy” which I find completely unfunny and unacceptable. I am in the business of jokes and this isn’t one. It’s legitimising a hate phrase. Glad that Clinton have seen sense and removed this offensive and stupid card.

  16. I just got this reply:

    Dear Reb,
    Thank you for your email regarding your enquiry to our website.

    We are aware of the card in question and are withdrawing it from our stores. The stocking of this card was a result of a flaw in our procurement process. The content is clearly not appropriate for our customers and we apologise for any offence caused.

    Kind regards


  17. Just had a reply to an email I sent this morning:

    “Thank you for your email regarding your enquiry to our website.

    “We are aware of the card in question and are withdrawing it from our stores. The stocking of this card was a result of a flaw in our procurement process. The content is clearly not appropriate for our customers and we apologise for any offence caused”.

    Well done ecerybody!

  18. They’ve already acknowledged ‘mea culpa’ and apologised. Under the circumstances I can’t see the point in any more complaints.

  19. For the idiots who do not find this term offensive, they need to get out of their bubble world. Maybe when they are being punched in the face having someone yell”batwy boi” they would reconsider.Maybe these fools think using the word “ni***r” is equally unoffensive. Both equally evil terms of abuse.

  20. Rapture, I’m one of the “idiots” you refer to. I didn’t find it offensive. What views would you prefer me to have?

  21. Dave North 3 Feb 2011, 6:16pm


    Been there. Got the “blood soaked” T-Shirt etc.

    And “Batty boy” was indeed the words used at the time.

    I was 12 years old.

    It really p!ss3s me off when you get gays that have never experienced this type of abuse and because they personally haven’t been on the receiving end, find it funny and inoffensive.

    Well, “Chucky” / “Lee” still find it funny?

    Ha Ha Bl00dy Ha.

  22. Dave North 3 Feb 2011, 6:18pm


    Good on Clinton cards for their swift actions…

  23. @toby If you are not capable of finding the homophobic language of hate offensive, then you are a very misguided person. Although you have had some progress in your admission “i’m one of the idiots you refer to”.

  24. Rapture…have a cup of tea and calm down x

  25. @dave north I agree completely. But some gays in this country are very weak and self loathing, and passive to the reality of being 2nd class citizens and discrimination. They are sheltered from the harsh reality possibly by adapting monitored behaviour or just being on the down low.

  26. I had never heard the term batty boy before. It’s obviously meant here in reference to batman. You have to read things in context, not pull at terms to have something to be offended at. That’s what the right wing haters do – are you trying to be more like them? This is not worth all the time spent getting outraged at – there are real issues and you’re getting upset at a CARD? Get a life.

  27. @toby bludclot.

  28. Dave North 3 Feb 2011, 6:44pm


    Batty boy (also spelled bhatti boy, batty bwoy), batty man are pejorative sexual slurs used to describe gay, bisexual and effeminate men, or those presumed to be gay and bisexual. The term is a Jamaican Patois abbreviation of the word bottom into batty; “batty boy” is a cognate of the American English “butt boy”.

    Learned anything yet.

  29. @Dave – You’re still seeing slurs where I doubt any were intended, The use of the term in other circumstances I could understand the offense, but not in this case. If you want to spend your life offended at everything, go for it. I have better things to do with my time.

  30. Dave North 3 Feb 2011, 7:04pm


    “I have better things to do with my time.”

    If you had your nose broken and your teeth knocked out of your head as a 12 year old kid and been called BATTY BOY during the assault, I think you would see things differently.

    Or are you just so unsympathetic to other peoples hurt that you are a just an uncaring bitch.

    It affected most of my late childhood and I attempted suicide twice, so don’t you dare denigrate or belittle that experience with your twee comments.

    “Words” can burn into your soul just as easily as a knife can sink into your chest.

  31. I don’t find this offensive, but I don’t really find it very funny, either…

  32. de Villiers 3 Feb 2011, 7:20pm

    > It affected most of my late childhood and I attempted suicide twice, so don’t you dare denigrate or belittle that experience with your twee comments.

    I am very sorry to hear that, genuinely. But that undoubtedly unhappy history does not act as a trump in a discussion.

  33. I think its ridiculous that people are making such an issue about it. There are quite few people in the gay community who are far from polite about effeminate/camp gay men. To criticise a card before poor attitudes within the community seems – a joke!

  34. Yet again I see posts on here stating that people are getting upset over nothing. I think the people posting those comments are missing the point. It is possible to make humorous references to a flamboyant gay man without being offensive. What’s offensive is the use of the derogatory term “batty” used to describe a gay male. That term is homophobic and can never be anything other than an insult. I think a good measure of whether people are justified in their outrage, or simply “looking for an opportunity to be offended” is to substitute the item supposedly causing offence with one of a similar nature. So replace “batty man” with a racial slur and see if that’s acceptable. Most people will probably think not.

  35. i’m horrified to find that some people on here think that these kind of slurs are acceptable. I have been racially and homophobically abused on the street and it is not pleasant. To see the comments here finding this hate language acceptable is digusting. I guess even bnp supporters visit this site.

  36. I accept that these things can be seen as unacceptable but at the end of the day there are far worse things than words. I have been stoned in this country which i found more unnerving than the abuse that accompanied it.

    However, i feel that making an issue of things such as the one highlighted here does not combat the problem of homophobia. Rather it just makes people who lack understanding/compassion more agressive. You can’t force people to overcome their prejudices, you can only create frameworks that discourages them and overtime, reduce the prejudices through restraint.

    To quote a politician we’ve never had it so good – but – things are never assured. Things will progress but be happy with what we have now and patient about what may improve in the future. If a card is such an issue people are unrealistic.

  37. I can choose to be completely outraged or I can choose to get on with my life and enjoy my dinner and watch Coronation Street. I have made my choice.

  38. Dave North 3 Feb 2011, 8:17pm

    “I am very sorry to hear that, genuinely. But that undoubtedly unhappy history does not act as a trump in a discussion.”

    Online discussions are not about trump cards.

    That was my experience as a child.

    To see someone belittle that experience, perhaps due to poor education or just general ignorance is not nice.

    And PS. I do not live in the whatever you deem to be the Gay Community.

    I’m a 45 year old gay Scotsman, who, at the moment lives in a village in South Wales with his Civil Partner of just 2 days.

    But I remember the pulped black and blue child my parents had to visit.


    Debbie C still thinks its about Batman.

    I see RTD. When laws change and they come for you.

    Dont expect help from me.

    I work as the man that sows the likes of you and your pub falls back together or indeed send you to autopsy.

    You lot are obviously too young and stupid to have any idea about life.

  39. So far, people who are simply not offended have been called “idiots”, “stupid” and “BNP members”.

    Nice way to conduct an exchange of views.

    Do you talk like that to anyone who disagrees with you?

  40. @ Dave you illustrate all my points thanks!
    @ Toby right on!

    Off to discuss a ‘battle’ worth acting on!

    Toodles and much love,

    ‘The batty man’

  41. @rtd, you obviously felt rattled enough to act on leaving an inane commentry.”be happy wiyh what we have now” you may be content with the crumbs of the table, but do not give out that inferior advice to less submissive members of the lgbt community.

  42. “with”

  43. friday jones 3 Feb 2011, 11:18pm

    Nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh, BAD TASTE!

  44. I’ve read this argument with some disdain this evening – why do some of the people on here think that because they *are* offended, their views trump those who *aren’t*, and that it’s therefore okay to call those people “weak”, “idiots” or “BNP supporters”?

    If any of you actually stopped to think for a moment, you’d realise that we should be looking for a world in which people have the right to their opinions so long as their actions harm no-one. Those folk on here who aren’t offended are merely expressing their views, and since you lot have had to repeatedly post the same points and insults over and over again, it’s safe to say you have failed to encourage them otherwise.

    I think that many of the people who aren’t overly offended by this (including myself) just think that there are better battles to be fought.

    Let’s face it – who’s going to actually *buy* a card like this? It’s not going to be some young Jamaican guy who gets swayed by the language on the card. Neither is it likely to be some young Caucasian kid who could be tempted to start using this language.

    Likely it will be bought middle class morons for their gay friends, thinking that they’re being incredibly witty. Look, some of you felt strongly enough that you complained, and you succeeded in the withdrawal of the card, and receiving an apology. That’s an excellent result. Now stop being so bloody fascist with your opinions and let other people have their say too.

    I personally find it offensive that the one or two of you who feel you have the right to ram your opinions down everyone else’s throat would even *dare* to call those of us who don’t “misguided” or “self-loathing”. Some of us are living wonderful, perfectly valid lives, comfortable in our sexuality, willing to stand up when we feel it’s necessary, and forging the path ahead by being open-minded, level-headed and tolerant. It’s a shame not everyone can manage that…

  45. The people who invented the phrase Batty Boy, would cut your throat for using the word N***er at them, it is meant as a phrase of hate and to whip the crowd against people.

    You can either decide they can do that, or petition pink news to take N***er off the banned word list and we can freely use that word.

  46. I think I agree with some of the people leaving comments on here. Specifically, the ones who find the card offensive. The exact same card making reference to the exact same sidekick under a different name that made it equally obvious that he was quite gay (something like…”Super Queero”?) would be far more humourous and far less offensive.

    In my view, accepting the use of these derogatory words (batty boy, fag, etc) means that their use is acceptable. If it’s ok to use in a joke, why isn’t it ok to use while beating the crap out of someone? I do not accept being described as a batty boy or a fag. I am gay. I can accept being called homosexual, I can accept being called queer (though I don’t really like that one either). Similarly, black people should accept being described as black, while they should never accept being called a N|GG3R.

  47. I’d like to know the name of the design company responsible for the card or was it an in-house designer for Clinton Cards?

  48. “Maybe when they are being punched in the face having someone yell”batwy boi” they would reconsider.”

    Not really, it didn’t make me reconsider the use of the word ‘gay’ when that was the one used by someone who attacked me on the Tube.

  49. Dr Robin Guthrie 4 Feb 2011, 11:25am

    “and forging the path ahead by being open-minded, level-headed and tolerant.”

    It is quite difficult to be tolerant to the intolerant.

  50. “It is quite difficult to be tolerant to the intolerant.”

    But nevertheless important.

  51. For the idiots who do not find this term offensive, they need to get out of their bubble world. Maybe when they are being punched in the face having someone yell”batwy boi” they would reconsider.Maybe these fools think using the word “ni***r” is equally unoffensive. Both equally evil terms of abuse.

    I take exception to this comment rapure, being trans, but also strongly involved with the LGBT movement as a whole, I don’t believe I live in a bubble neither am I a fool, but I have never come across this phase. I would never insult anyone, but that phrase would pass me by because I am uneducated on it, not isolated in a bubble. Perhaps we should club together and write a book on every last word we find offensive, then at least everyone will know what offends us, cos sometimes people make inadvertant mistakes…

  52. @janet Well for someone strongly involved with the lgbt movement as a whole, i’m shocked that you have never come across this as term of abuse used widely against the gay community.batty boi originated from patois/jamaican especially used in the murder music scene, but is now used widely and crossed into mainstream as we now live in a multicultural society or at least some of us do.Have you ever heard of the term faggot or dyke or are you ignorant that they are terms of abuse also. I am astonished and take exception that someone proclaiming strong involvement in our community is not aware of homophobic language used daily.

  53. Dr Robin Guthrie 4 Feb 2011, 11:44pm

    Well said rapture.

    Despite outlining my experience of homophobic battery and abuse to so called “professionals” on this forum, you are hitting your head against a brick wall.

    These so called experts know nothing.

    And Janet. You are not a fool.

    You are someone who has experienced things differently from others.

    Do not apply your personal experience as that which everyone else encounters.

  54. hahahaha i work at clinton cards and this did make me LOL why is there a news article on this hahah

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