I was walking through Walsall today, during a break from much hard work in college, when I encountered a rather unsavoury character. He would most definitely be classed as a chav, dressed in their general attire of trackies and ridiculous hat; emblazoned with a generic four-letter word. I have no qualms about these people anymore. My opinion of them is that they do not deserve the privilege of that all-important chemical symbol O2. However, please do not misconstrue my disliking of them to be an excuse to make a general swipe at them on here. On the contrary, in general I actually do not mind them and I am no longer offended by their banal leg-limping ways. I have learned to rise above them and simply walk past them in the street without even acknowledging their existence nowadays.
This particular chav in question, however, riled me to no end. I was walking past a well known greasy foods outlet, commonly known as Gregg’s, with my boyfriend, Kieren and this little vagabond decided to split from his friends and walk around both me and Kieren. When I almost bumped into him he pulled his arm away in disgust and told me to ‘fuck off, faggot!’ I am assuming that he was not using the punctuation within his verbal abuse because let’s face it, he was most definitely an uneducated little gerbil. That aside, it did annoy me greatly that he thought the use of the word ‘faggot’ was okay. Now, I often call Kieren a ‘faggot’, as he does me, purely because it is ironic and, in essence, changes the entire meaning of the hate slur for our own personal gain. It makes it something that it is not and recreates it from being what it is – a hate slur – and transforming it into a pithy counter curse. (A technique used within black theatre groups did the very same thing, in fact.)
In general, the word is mostly used for hate. It is usually found on social media sites by the kind of cretins of whom I had the displeasure of meeting today. It got me incredibly angry that he was allowed to use that word without any social backlash from others who were walking by at the time. The use of the ‘N’ word, (I’m sure you know which one I mean), is frequently used by the black community and, just like the ‘F’ word, has been recreated by their respective community to become known as a word of endearment in most cases. Yet, it is still used offensively and as such, upon usage of it in this way, is attached to a social stigma which would meet an outcry from both bystanders and police. The ‘F’ word, on the other hand, is not taken into consideration one iota. It is classed as a disrespectful slur yet not enforced with as much gusto as the ‘N’ word. I feel both safe and confident in saying that the LGBT community is met with a more widespread revilement than the black community in Britain today. I would even go so far as saying that the LGBT community is one of the remaining groups of people who are still oppressed by society as a whole – not excluding the black community. Obviously, I have concerns about this. I am trying to fight this in every way I can by joining different groups and societies to perpetuate the importance of equality. However, although the laws set in place by the British government condemn the usage of such harmful slurs, much like ‘faggot’, there is not enough stigma attached to them as others, which also target minorities. There needs to be a crackdown on the way which words like ‘faggot’ are viewed by the community as a whole.
Hate words are hate words are hate words.