Friday, January 1, 2010

Knock It Off


Since I've busted on a few tv commercial messages in this space before I thought it only fitting that I point out a television campaign that I think gets it right.

I had no idea that teens and college student think "that's so gay" is appropriate slang to apply to their day-to-day lives. It's not and although the persons saying it may not intend it to be hurtful, it is-- Just like making a slam against someone for their race, religion, gender, profession or the likes.

Check this out....

This award-winning campaign makes, I think, a great point. I hope it appears on tv and the Internet often enough to make an impact and change people's use of this and other offensive comments and one-liners.

In 2010 I'm making a point of watching how I express myself.

How about you?
Welcome to The Fifty Factor - Joanna
Photo Credit: © Susan Montgomery - Fotolia.com

58 comments:

jane said...

hey i still say that´s so "cool"... warm wishes joanna! and thanks for keeping us grounded!

Kathy said...

I agree with you! I do hear this from my *teens* and speak to them about how wrong it is. We recently had a crime against a local synagogue and the town had a peace rally about it. The kids really don't understand that saying "so gay" is wrong. I had a difficult time convincing them that it was the same as making a jewish joke or any other joke against people.

My example was using their names a a swear or put-down.

Kristina P. said...

It's a HUGE issue, actually. I work with at-risk teenagers and they say it all the time. We are constantly having to talk to them about it and tell them it's not appropriate, why, etc.

Same thing with "retarded."

I love this commercial.

TechnoBabe said...

It is a shame that something has to be pointed out to grown people that something they say without thinking could be something that a) could be hurtful to someone and b) could make the people saying it look stupid.
Really good post, Joanna!

Joanne said...

I think that is an awesome way to spend the new decade. I have always prided myself on thinking of others but sometimes not enough and that clip was perfect.

Happy 2010!!!

Brian Miller said...

happy new year jj!

i think that one is a pretty obvious one when it comes to offensive...there are others that are much more subtle as well...watching your mouth, always a good thing.

Ms Sparrow said...

Wow! I had no idea that expression was so prevalent. It stikes me as being as an inadequate way to express yourself since it doesn't convey anything specific--at least not to me. I'd have to request more information to know what the "gayness" was and why. I think a lot of kids started saying that because they thought it was sophisticated, but now it just makes them sound like an airhead!
Thanks for the enlightened post.

Ami said...

I hate that phrase.

It really, really aggravates me.

And I jump all over it when I hear it.

Nezzy said...

This chick totally agrees that one should engage the brain before one speaks. There are so many ways our words can be hurtful. Kudos to you for drawing attention to this phrase and others.

Happy New Year my friend!

Spencer L Casey said...

Great post, Joanna. The comments are not malicious, just mindless. Like Kristina said, "retarded" used to be such a common negative term substitute. So did queer for that matter.

Most often, simple awareness does the trick, which is why I love this campaign. Teens go through "cool" and "not cool" terms like a hot knife through butter.

Bravo!

Traci said...

You are so right and thank you for sharing this. It is a shame that there are still phrases out there used so casually that can be so hurtful. I think that it is important that we all remember to think before we speak. Words matter. Far more than we often give them credit. I think it is a wonderful challenge to spread the word. Here's to a more considerate decade than the last!
Happy 2010!
:-)

anne h said...

Right!
At work this week, a family member stopped short of saying "That's so gay!" She took one look at me and actually apologized for saying something offensive, and out-of-line.
Since I am so gay!
Thanks for posting this, Joanna!
Happy New Year - 2010 - here we are!

Alix said...

I tend to say "retarded" a lot. Gotta nip that one in the bud immediately. Of course I don't intend it as an insult to anyone... but it's wrong nonetheless.

Thanks for the reminder. As for "That's so gay," I will only say that to Garret from now on. He likes the attention.

Love ya, Joanna. Happy New Year chica!

Beth said...

Yep! I agree. There is the same issue with the word "retard". I still say cool beans. It drives my kids crazy.

You don't think the beans mind, do you?

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Fascinating. At one time over here it was not an offensive term. In fact round the corner we had a shop called Gay Shoes. but we are not in the world to offend people.

Fireblossom said...

Even my son went through a period of saying this. They just don't think what they are saying. That's what makes this ad so good!

Jeanie said...

We have learned to quit saying so many phrases that were at one time generally and thoughtlessly used. We can certainly add this one to the list.

tattytiara said...

There is a general trend in society toward consideration that's wonderful to see happening.

Joanie M said...

Wow! Great message!! Another word that really rankles me is RETARD. Or people talking like they're deaf (people at work were actually doing this and one of the co-worker's parents are deaf... and she was also doing it... I wanted to bitch slap her!

Unknown Mami said...

I might borrow this idea and repost the video on my blog because I am sorry to say that I've come across bloggers using the term pejoratively and it really bums me out.

Kathy said...

I hear things all the time that make me cringe. I am very careful to think before I speak. Thanks Joanna.

Gran said...

My 6 year old grandson said this, and my son and daughter-in-law had a long talk with him!

Happy New Year!

erin said...

love the campaign!! love the shopper putting those girls in their place and they are too dumb to get it! i have done that myself........put people in their place , i mean. there's a lot of dumb people out there.

Maureen@IslandRoar said...

Here, here!
I have 3 teens and Ihear this among their friends. They don't mean to be cruel, but it slides out of their mouths way too easily!

Eva Gallant said...

Good post, Joanna!

Green-Eyed Momster said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Green-Eyed Momster said...

Correction: I haven't noticed it before. I will make them knock it off!

Thanks and hugs!!

yorksnbeans said...

Being Jewish, I know about those kind of one-liners.

Sassy Pants Freckle Face said...

sadly I have said, "that is so Gay"
and it was never menat to offend anyone,.. I will step with caution from now on!

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Nicely done. It's been going on a long time already. I had not thought of an appropriate comeback for my students, but this commercial gives me a great idea.

-elle♡ said...

i hate that phrase
i hate it more when people say it and let the "gay" drag on for very long...which is basically most people in my school. ughugh

-elle♡ said...

i hate that phrase
i hate it more when people say it and let the "gay" drag on for very long...which is basically most people in my school. ughugh

Christine said...

I like this video, Joanna, I'll pass it on.

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

You are so right..can it really be 2010....So glad I found your blog and look forward to many reads in 2010..Happy New Year..

Madison said...

That saying is so '80's. I'm stunned it's still being used. I learned about a man who greeted the security guard at the gate of the company with a 'hi ho, hi ho', which was apparently interpreted as very offensive. He was reprimanded for insinuating the guard was a whore. Oh, my, we have to be so careful nowadays. Good post.

Yaya said...

I agree. I can't stand when people say "That's so gay". Ohhhh, it gets under my skin....as much as when people say "That's retarded". I just wanna slap someone when they say those things. THINK people THINK!

Ribbon said...

Brilliant!

I too will post this video in the future as a reminder.

thank you and all the best for this new year :)

Ribbon

lisleman said...

good clip - it does point out how stupid that phrase sounds. I wonder if replacing it with lame would help. I agree with you but something tells me slang will always be tough to control.
- change of subject - I've read some post of yours about a sewer pipe I recall. We just had a surprise sewer problem maybe you could relate - come take a read thanks -
Christmas and sewage

Nancy C said...

Like a lot of other people have said saying something is so "gay" and/or "retarded" is awful. Thanks for sending a message that can never be heard enough.

gayle said...

Thanks for posting this...Words do hurt more than people know!!

angelcel said...

It's part of being a teen to have your own language that identifies you with others of a similar age and I know it doesn't make it right but it's rarely *meant* to be offensive. I think the campaign is very laudable therefore but is probably ultimately 'shouting into the wind' in general terms. Teens will move away from 'gay' and eventually find another word that bonds them together.

I smiled at GrumpyOldKen's response. I remember my mother and father using phrases like 'a gay time' (for 'a very good time') and 'gay blade' (only ever meaning a carefree heterosexual male). It's interesting how language and its usage changes with each generation.

Mike Smith said...

Scots have a saying where two positives form a negative. Such as when Mrs Smith asks me 'do you fancy having my mother stay with us next weekend?' my answer, invariably is 'Aye, right!'

CatLadyLarew said...

Well said, Joanna!

diane said...

My youngest daughter was the vice-president of her high school gay awareness club, two years in a row, and she's straight.

Good post.

Cindy La Ferle said...

I've seen this one too and applaud the message. Funny thing, this morning I opened a new toothbrush package, and as I placed the new brush on the bathroom counter (and threw out the old one), I decided to make the new brush a reminder to watch what I say, how I say it. So many people I know say hurtful things, usually without thinking. Thanks for the reminder that we can do better.

LadyFi said...

I've never heard the expression, but the ad makes a good point. The way we say things is so important - it's what communication is all about!

Eleonora said...

I didn't even know about this expression... The campaign is very intelligent, thank you for sharing it.


Ciao
Eleonora

Tattoos and Teething Rings said...

My husband works nights at once was solely a gay bar (but has become more and more trendy amongst all younger peoples); he was a little taken aback when he would hear the gay guys using offensive slang with each other. He realized after awhile that they used the words amongst themselves but in no way wanted anyone else to use the words; I think everyone should be mindful of how they speak.

Angie said...

Great message. I yelled at my husband about this so much that he doesn't say it any more. He actually winces when other people say it around us (I think from the bad memories). I need to break myself from saying "that's retarded"...I'm getting better, but I'm kinda slow, so it's taking a while.

Christine Forest, M.D. said...

There are so many stereotypes the society at large kept inventing that it's hard to keep up. Thank you for calling on them, Joanna. Is there a solution for the eternal divide of "who isn't like us can't play with us?"

My name is PJ. said...

It's like so many racial slurs....overuse creates a situation where people stop thinking before they say it AND people stop actually hearing what's being said. No one stops it cold.

I really don't get the gay issue. I'm not just great friends with them, I give birth to them...and I don't know about you, but when I introduce myself to someone, I don't say, "I'm PJ and I'm a hetero-sexual."

More evidence that people are idiots. Oh wait, was that one of those vague generalizations, bashing an entire species? You bet, it's a time saver. ;)

Mommakin said...

I used to teach a college level course on diversity and this would always come up (as well as 'that's so retarded' - as mentioned by several of your other commenters) I just watched the eye-rolling when I discussed it. Folks really seem to think that if they use terms without meaning to be malicious that it's not. I had similar arguments with a young man about symbols of the confederacy. I didn't get through to him, either. I hope campaigns like this get through where I failed.

Kristin said...

I'm going to watch the looks I give. When I'm not pleased with something it's written way too much all over my face. Ah ha ha. Happy new year!

GutsyWriter said...

I watched the clip with great interest and showed it to my 19-yesr-old for his opinion. He's a no troubles kid and his comment was, "Mom, even gays use it." He also said, "People used to say that's so lame, but no one complained about that even though some people are lame." I honestly think young kids use it like we use, "that's cool," without meaning to be offensive. I haven't heard my 19-year-old use it, but thought I would bring up another aspect. Doesn't mean I agree with using the term either.

Oh My Goddess said...

It's so true. Words have so much power. And some things can never be unsaid.
I like this ad.
Have you seen the James Lipton ones?

Christina said...

Once a girl in my class used that phrase years ago. I was completely shocked because our so-gay classmate stood right next to her.
She was discriminated against herself before, she'd told us. Some people just don't get it I think.

pita-woman said...

A friend of mine started spouting a remark a while back that really pissed me off: "That's so ghetto". And the fact that she says it without even looking around to see who might overhear her pisses me off even worse!
Needless to say, I've found I'm spending less and less time around this person.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I began banning that from my classroom when I was a teacher...starting in 1994. Sad to see this STILL has to be explained and taught.