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Stonewall: Tesco’s inflatable gay doll ‘is like trying to sell ice to Eskimos’

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  1. Stonewall seem tone deaf – The issue is not so much one of an asinine product, but of Tesco’s embracing of a “don’t say gay” attitude, in terms of general erasure and presumption that our very existence must be erased.

    Are Tesco going for a trifecta of being offensive this week? They’ve already offended the mentally ill/disabled and now this nonsense. Who is next? And who is next to hear from the privileged majority sneering and saying it’s all just “in fun” and all their other excuse making noxious rhetoric?

    1. You basically said all I was about to say-it seems Stonewall have slightly missed the point with their comment. And yeah, what the hell is with censoring out the word gay?!?!?! Just bizarre!!!

    2. (teach me not to proof read – “Our very existence must be censored”

      1. Teach you not to proofread?! :-D

        1. That sound? That was my own facepalm ;)

  2. I think Summerskill’s statement is a little odd really, though perhaps that’s only because I find the idea that the role of gay men is to be an entertaining support to women more than a little patronising (not to mention the unpleasant thought of friends being chosen on the basis of their sexuality in the first place).

    1. de Villiers 27 Sep 2013, 7:31pm

      I agree. But I also find it irritating that the word gay was written with an asterisk to read “g*y” as if the word requires to be censored – and that Mr Summerskill said nothing about that.

      1. Absolutely – it is actually the far more serious issue, IMO.

  3. Are Tesco financial contributors to Stonewall.

    Probably.

    Which would explain Summerskill’s absurd response.

    Remember, when it comes to Stonewall ALL issues are judged on how it affects their bottom line.

  4. Michael 2912 27 Sep 2013, 1:47pm

    Is this guy being post ironic? No; as has been said earlier; he’s tone deaf. For the record – I WILL NOT BE SOMEONE’S GAY BEST FRIEND!!!

  5. Just a fortnight ago a work collegue took out a pair of £8 PVC beige Primark slingbacks which she’d bought as a gift and asked my honest opinion of them, cause ‘you people’ are so good with that type of thing.

    It put me in mind of this youtube clip…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCry8TvCsng&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    If this is what straight women expect from us, then frankly I’m relieved there’s now a blowup doll to perform this function instead of me.

  6. Robert in S. Kensington 27 Sep 2013, 2:04pm

    Obviously Tesco thinks we are a fashion accessory. Reinforcing stereotypes is just not on. Why is this necessary?

    1. Not just Tesco, it seems Ben Summerskill and Stonewall think the same and are only annoyed at Tesco selling fake gay best friends when there are loads of real gay best friends to go around!

      I find his comments bizarre and patronising and reinforcing stereotypes, like you say. He’s supposed to be a spokesman for gay people but he keeps making these same mistakes over and over again. He always seems to miss the point entirely and seems to have a knack for thinking the opposite to most gay people.

    2. And now Ben.S’s remarks have been quoted on the BBC Radio 4’s 5 o’clock news bulletin!

      1. No doubt as representative of every single gay person in Britain!

  7. Everyone seems to be assuming gay = male. Ben S seems to be assuming only women would want a gay friend.

  8. You’ve been using the same photo of Ben Summerskill since about 2004, maybe it’s time for an update.

    1. Or, maybe it’s Maybelline?

      1. Or maybe Stonewall could sack him and replace him with someone who actually knows what they’re doing, and PN wouldn’t need to use Summerskill’s photo ever again!

        1. Michael 2911 27 Sep 2013, 4:32pm

          Maybe they should hire an inflatable doll. Have a nice day.

  9. jamestoronto 27 Sep 2013, 3:47pm

    An FYI to Ben Summerskill: The term used to describe the indigent inhabitants of the Arctic region of North America (especially Canada) is Inuit NOT Eskimo. The latter word is never used, except by the uneducated, and is considered highly offensive by the Inuit. It occupies a space akin to n*****r or f****t. The word itself is an insult used by other native Canadian peoples that found its way into the English language. One would think that a person like Ben Summerskill would be a bit more sensitive when he is commenting on stereotyping and bigotry.

    1. I did wonder about that – I did think Inuit became standard quite some time ago.

    2. Graham in Vancouver BC 27 Sep 2013, 8:35pm

      And let us be specific the Inuit are of the Eastern Arctic while the Inuvaluit are of the Western Arctic. This is one of the reasons for the division of the Northwest Territories. Having lived among the Inuvaluit of the Western Arctic I know they find the term Eskimo very offensive and are irritated when they are mixed up with the Inuit.

      1. jamestoronto 28 Sep 2013, 3:47am

        You are absolutely right Graham. My bad! They are distinctive groups but my main reason for commenting was the use of the offensive word Eskimo.

  10. Hell no Stonewall – the last thing we need is you ENCOURAGING this gay best friend nonesense. I’m tired of women I barely know expecting me to play agony uncle, side-kick, pet and fashion accessory because of this damn stereotype

  11. Wonder if they will start to sell “my best yidish friend”?????

  12. grand duke of stonewall at it again, completely missing the point. stonewall is quickly becoming irrelevant entity

  13. Paul Essex/London 27 Sep 2013, 5:37pm

    Even if Summerskill was trying to be witty and sarcastic, he’s missed the point and in some ways compounded the stereotype that makes the doll so offensive.

    As a gay teenager in the 90’s this gay best-friend cr*p was one of the things that caused me so many problems with my sexuality and identity. Sure I can be a sarcastic bitch and have more straight friends who are female than male, but I’m not a Gucci Handbag – I don’t exist to be bit part for a ‘Grace’ or ‘Carrie Bradshaw’. A v good friend & old flatmate couldn’t believe I’d unapologetically belch loudly in front of her (yes OK, that’s one bad habit of mine out of the bag)…my response: “Sweet heart, I don’t want to shag you so why am I supposed to care?” Likewise my response to requests for to go on shopping trips because their boyfriends will only sulk the whole way round the shoe store: “Take your boyfriend, he’s not going to hate it any less than I am but at least he might get a thank you sh*g at the end of the day.”

  14. Is it not ironic that they played on stereotypes in the football campaign but now are criticising Tesco for doing the same?

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