Thursday, July 30, 2009

Kid Rock: Twitter is Gay

Well like the brilliant sage that he is, Kid Rock has rendered his most valued opinion on twitter.

"It's gay. If one more person asks me if I have a Twitter, I'm going to tell them, 'Twitter this [bleep], mother[bleep]er.'

image What, like gay as an happy or gay as in I am such an uneducated douche, that taking peoples lives and using them for a descriptor somehow seems acceptable.  I suppose creating songs in which the lyrics include saying his  name over and over again, is simply so mentally tasking that actual thought is beyond his capabilities.  Oh if only he had stopped there……

"I don't have anything to say, and what I have to say is not that relevant. Anything that is relevant, I'm going to bottle it up and then squeeze it onto a record somewhere."

He certainly is right about the relevant part.  I am sure I could gain more wisdom and insight from a magic eight ball.  

Alright moving to the serious part of this post.  Insulting Kid Rock is far too easy. What attracted me to this little blurb were not his thoughts on twitter but the fact that he was so quick to use gay as a negative descriptor.  Though many gay rights activists have worked heard to spread the word that saying, “that’s just gay” or “that’s so gay,” is insulting it continues to be part of the common vernacular.

Those with privilege have a tendency to avoid thought about the ways in which language is used to perpetuate difference. Many consider it an affront when they are asked to think about how the ways in which they speak is harmful and most cases detrimental to the ability of others to live lives free of discrimination.  One need not say, “God hates fags” to engage in homophobic language.

When we think of hate speech, we think of epithets like “nigger”, or “spic ,” rarely do we realize that using terms like “tranny,” is a conscious decision to “other” another human being.  It is a sign of privilege to tell an oppressed body that they are being to sensitive when they find a negative descriptor insulting.  Simply because one has a desire to demean, does not mean that a marginalized body must accept such treatment.

Much of this conversation is wrapped up in a debate on what is and is not politically correct speech, though the term itself is largely a misnomer.  Instead of thinking of it as politically correct, what we should be acknowledging, is that factoring in the ways in which privilege grants us certain rights, means that centering the desires of a marginalized body in our  conversations means a conscious decision to respect the basic humanity of others.   This is about equality.  This is about understanding that the systems of oppression effect us all in different ways and by not paying attention to the language that we use, we  reproduce many of the elements that lead to negative social cohesion.

It is not a hardship to avoid using terminology that marginalized bodies find oppressive and yet those with privilege continually behave as though they are being asked to hand over their first born child.  The resistance is based in the fact that we view the expression of coercive power as a signifier of our social status.  Only the truly powerful are able to oppress without consequences and the degree to which we are able to participate in such behaviour, is a marker of our position in our social hierarchy.  No one wants to occupy the bottom rung. 

What we must begin to understand, is that instead of  reproducing systems which we know to be harmful, that the best way to subvert or disturb hierarchy is by a refusal to participate.  Owning ones privilege can be a difficult process however, in the process not only does it allow for a greater respect for humanity, it is a step toward conquering the ways in which you as an individual may face oppression.  We are not disconnected beings and each affirmative action we make towards acknowledging our common stake in our social organization, the better world we will create for future generations.