Vince Vaughn has been asked to apologize for a line in his upcoming movie. The line was, “Electric cars are gay. Not “homosexual” gay. But, you know, “my parents are chaperoning the dance” gay.”
Vince has come out, not with an apology, but with a statement, saying in part, “Drawing dividing lines over what we can and cannot joke about does exactly that; it divides us. Most importantly, where does it stop?”
The man has a point.
In related news, half the country is up in arms over Jerry Brown, or one of his acquaintances, referring to political opponent Meg Whitman, as a “whore”. People are screaming that he should do everything from issuing an apology to removing himself from the race. I don’t know what he’s done, if anything, and frankly, it’s irrelevant to this particular conversation.
What I’d like to know is this… it was brought up on the discussion board about the Vince Vaughn quote, and it makes a ton of sense.
Where is the list of ‘acceptable slurs’? Because apparently, we can’t ‘offend’ people by uttering certain words which slur a particular group of people. On the surface, I get that. It’s just bad form to call names, and to slur people on top of that – any name calling is really just a form of slur – is wrong, even though it’s common practice. But…
Which slurs are ok, and which are verboten?
In Vaughn’s case, “gay”, as used the way people have used it for decades, means “stupid”. And that’s the way he used it. But the homosexual community – who, I’m told, use it regularly in the same way – is all up in arms, saying that it’s a slur against them.
But what if he’d said the exact same thing, but replaced “gay” with “lame”? As in, “Electric cars are lame.” Would the disabled community be all twitchy then, demanding an apology, and insisting that word be removed from the vernacular, even though it’s a commonly used word?
And the “whore” issue… people refer to others as a “whore” all the time, not only in the sense of sexual promiscuity, but also referring to greed… as in, whoring oneself (or selling out) for financial gain. Nobody blinks an eye any time it’s used, except when it’s part of a political campaign and can be used to crush one person’s career while elevating another’s… you know, kind of whoring for political gain. Oh, wait, I just used a forbidden slur! I’m a sexist!
And how is that different, as one pundit asked, from using “The N Word”? People in the African-American community use that word all the time with each other. It pops up in songs, they refer jokingly, or affectionately to one another with it. But Heaven forbid, anyone else use the word in the exact same way, that person is a racist and a bigot, and should lose everything for exercising his freedom of speech.
So can someone please tell me…. Where is The List? What words can I use, and which can’t I? Or am I simply not allowed to use any slang or slur words because I’m not a member of a “protected class”?