We might live in the 21st century, but homophobia still forms a fundamental part of society — be it subliminal or deliberate. As are homophobic slurs, which seem to just flow out of mouths of most youths these days.
You know what I mean? “Gay this, gay that.” “Fag this, queer that.”. People are repeating these words like it’s about to run out of fashion. Is this really part of the Australian culture?
I don’t normally follow the NRL (nor the AFL for that matter), but recent developments have really caught my attention. Primarily after my research into the repeal of Section 18C, I’ve come to realise that rules against bullying, discrimination or bigotry in general is quite strict in the sporting codes. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that those two sports could in fact be the safest association for minorities to be “protected” from discrimination.
This is why when Mitchell Moses made the homophobic slur last week, which was caught on the referee mic, I was quite surprised it got the attention it did. While I’m not advocating or encouraging these slurs in any way, I do of course acknowledge that people do “slip up”. Perhaps being a carer debut, this slip up could be considered really bad timing.
Of course, you’ll have your naysayers, like “journalist” Miranda Devine wrote her ironicly offensive and completely missing-the-point article “NRL bosses are totally gay” to explain that in fact, what Moses said was not a homophobic slur! Wait, what? A homophobic slur was in fact… not homophobic at all? You have me dumbfounded. Let’s hear from the women herself:
“Gay” no longer just means “homosexual”. The word has changed meaning over the last decade. Young people use “gay” to mean lame, or dumb or stupid, as in: “That’s so gay.”
In my honest opinion, that’s the dumbest piece of crap I’ve ever read.
The only reason why the word “gay” is used in the derogatory manner it is today is because of the word’s meaning of homosexuality. The phrase “that’s so gay” does not directly translate to “that’s so dumb”. It’s because “young people” (as Miranda puts it) think homosexuality is unacceptable, something that should be challenged or humiliated for. The use of these words in the manner they’re expressed is the result of homophobic attitudes, full stop.
Before you start redefining the English language, Miranda, I remind you that I am a “young” person. I’m not gay, I would consider myself quite straight on the spectrum. I certainly do not agree with what Moses had said. I’m not in the position to comment on his personality, as I don’t know him at all! He might well be supportive of the LGBTIQ community… but if the NRL did not respond to those comments, it’s putting out a message that those comments are acceptable and tolerated in society. He is, I believe, the first of many martyrs in this growing movement against homophobic intolerance in sport.
The moment role models start using these slurs and “journalists” start believing that it’s “acceptable”… you seriously start to wonder the integrity of Australian culture. Mateship? Fair go for all? Nah, just a growing homophobic epidemic.