Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Paula Deen and the F word

Recently, celebrity chef, butter enthusiast, and diabetic Paula Deen got in a heap o’ trouble when it came out that she had used the N word and other racially charged words in her past. For the record, the N word was not nutrition, but rather the other N word, nigger.

With June being Pride Month for us LGBT folks, I posted the above pic that showed Paula with the words “Happy Pride Month Faggots!” written beneath her smiling chubby face. While most of my friends got it and Lol’d and HAHAHAHA’d all over the comment section of the post, one person did not get it and called the post offensive. 
But was it offensive?
Yes, it’s offensive, but it’s also funny as hell because I (an admitted faggot) posted it to MY timeline during Pride Month. I found the meme hysterical and timely considering the recent allegations against her. When you use the very words that were meant to hurt you, you diffuse their power to hurt you and take ownership of the word.
Make sense?
When I taught high school, I was truly called every name in the book.  What book you ask? It was my lesson plan book that I kept at the corner of my desk.
Whenever a student called me a name or said something hurtful to me, I would stop them and calmly go to the last page of my book and scan the names that I had been called prior to this incident. If they called me something that was already there, I tsk-tsk’d them and told them to try again and to be more creative. After all, it was an art class. If it was a new word, I congratulated them and put the word in the book for posterity. I would then escort their rude ass down to the principal’s office for a detention.
I have several good friends who routinely call me a faggot while we are talking or interacting and I am okay with that, because we are all faggots. We own the word. It is okay for us to use the words because it is used in jest between friends. If someone yells the same word to me without knowing me, that’s a different story. 

In the Joe Jackson song, “Real Man” he sings: You don't want to sound dumb, don't want to offend. So don't call me a faggot, not unless you are a friend.

Just like black rappers or entertainers will use the N word with each other, it’s okay, because they are taking ownership of the word. However, if I cut a track and start using the N word, that would be a problem.  But do all white folk get a pass if they use the word, even if it’s for entertainment purposes? In the 2004 film “Shaun of the Dead” Nick Frost’s character Ed pulls up to save his friends from a hoard of zombies and jumps out of the car saying “What’s up niggas?” 

When I first saw that scene, I truly laughed out loud and then slammed my hand to my face and quickly scanned the room to see if anyone was shooting daggers at me for laughing at his oblivious comment.
Was it racist?
Was it funny?
Fuck yes.
So how do we fix this situation? The offended person got his assless chaps in a bunch and lamented the fact that my twisted friends and I found this amusing. Some people get it, others don’t. The offended one referred to me as a “friend” (quotations were by him) in a comment, so I suggested that he un”friend” me and move on. Really now, I live with a 7 year old girl, I have enough drama in my life, so perhaps this is for the best.

Peace out fags, and have a great 4th of July!

P.S. If you are offended by anything I wrote here, or on my Facebook page, I suggest you go fuck yourself.