2 articles Tag hatred

Is This Really What Passes for Humour in 2013?

Sometimes, it’s really difficult to maintain a sense of humour at the same time as upholding certain standards. I consider myself to be a person with a good sense of humour but I do also feel like I spend a disproportionate amount of time in a state of moral outrage. I’ve been told by family members, in the past, that I take things too seriously, which may well be true but I prefer to think that I don’t settle for the bordeline-offensive tripe that some people find amusing.

Sometimes, I see or hear things and I think “Does anyone find that amusing?”. Yesterday was one of those days. I was in the Post Office waiting to pay in a cheque for work and I glanced at the greetings cards. This was one of them:

At best it’s a clumsy, outdated attempt at irony which misses the mark by a mile. At worst it’s a massively misogynistic, insult of a card that I’d shove where the sun doesn’t shine if someone bought it for me. Either way, it’s just not funny and I’m so fed up with this kind of thinly-veiled woman-hatred plied by a MAJOR card company as humour.

On a completely base level, I know I don’t have a single female friend or relative who chose their spouse based on the size of his packet, be it his pay or the one in his pants. I’m sure there are women out there who are ruthless enough to factor these things into their choice of partner, but this card flippantly portrays ALL women like this and I resent the implication.

Maybe this is one of those occasions where I’m taking things too seriously, but my gender has dealt with enough shit over the years and things like this card being blindly swallowed up by the masses are exactly the reason that a glass ceiling still exists and women are overlooked in many fields. As a mother to a daughter, I don’t want her growing up thinking that this is okay, or worse, falling into a stereotype because of what’s expected of her as a female.

It’s about time women were afforded more respect and dignity, which is a shocking statement to have to make in 2013.

I Don’t Use The ‘C’ Word.

What would you think of me if you were reading a blog post and I used the word ‘nigger’?

What would you think of me if you were reading a blog post and I used the word ‘queer’?

What would you think of me if you were reading a blog post and I used the word ‘retard’?

I’m guessing you’d be really shocked and appalled, right? Shocked that a (reasonably) well-educated woman would use such inflammatory, bigoted and ignorant language, yes?

Well, dear readers, this happens to me all the time. There’s a word that I see popping up here and there, from people I consider to be pretty enlightened, that makes me feel increasingly uncomfortable.

The ‘C’ word. No, not c*nt, I’m not that delicate. The word that offends me so is chav.

This is a word that has now made it into the Oxford English dictionary and is defined thusly:

a young lower-class person typified by brash and loutish behaviour and the wearing of (real or imitation) designer clothes.

According to the dictionary, it could be either a contraction of the Romany word ‘chavvy’, meaning child or young person, or from the place ‘Chatham’ in Kent where the word supposedly started.

Either way, do you see the key phrase in there?

‘Lower class’.

This is the point – if you wouldn’t use nigger, queer or retard, you have no place using the word chav. If you’re shocked and offended by racism, homophobia or discrimination against disability, why does classist intolerance not have the same effect? It’s not okay to hate or judge someone because of the colour of their skin, their sexuality or how able-bodied they are, so can someone explain why it’s okay to mock, deride and write off a subset of society because of what they were born into? What they’ve been brought up knowing? What they maybe couldn’t afford or have the resources to remove themselves from?

I think Plan B put it a lot better than me in his TED lecture when he said this:

“I believe that there is a demonisation of the youth throughout the media. And people are falling for it, because if you’d had no direct contact with the kids that I’m talking about how the hell can you judge them? Because you’re only judging them based on something you read in a newspaper, aren’t you?

See, this fuels the fire. If you call kids words that are derogatory to them just because they are unlucky enough to be born into a family that couldn’t afford to give them the education that you had, they’re going to hate you. Of course they’re going to hate you and you’re going to hate them because of their actions. And it’s this vicious circle that goes round. By calling these kids these words you push them out of your society and they don’t feel part of it. You beat them into apathy and in the end they just say: “Cool, I don’t care. I don’t want to be part of your society.””

So, maybe you should think about that, next time you label someone a chav.