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Gay In The South: Uncle Poodle Speaks Out
October 17, 2012 7:18 PM   Subscribe

It all started on Sept 27, when Honey Boo Boo's Uncle Lee "Poodle" Thompson made his first appearance on the show. Not a week had passed before Karen Cox's October 3rd op-ed for the New York Times using him as an example for the encouraging state of being gay in the South. October 8th, Jonathan Capehart wrote his own op-ed column for the Washington Post taking Cox to task for painting too rosy a picture of what GLBT life is like in the South, and calling for Uncle Poodle to speak out. Finally, October 10, Lee Thompson did speak out, in a profile column with the GA Voice, Georgia's gay newspaper. And what he had to say is getting positive attention.
posted by hippybear (57 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
Honestly, I'm slightly ashamed I'm even making a Honey Boo Boo post, but I heard something about this briefly on the radio this morning and upon doing a bit of research this evening after work it seemed pretty interesting, so here we are.

I still won't be watching the show, but enough other people seem to be, having a positive gay person as part of that circus seems like a good thing in my mind.
posted by hippybear at 7:24 PM on October 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


I don't care how it came about, this is something lovely.
posted by Countess Elena at 7:30 PM on October 17, 2012 [10 favorites]


Oh jesus fuck. I'd managed to avoid any serious engagement with the Honey Boo shit until now, but of course, this. I mean, moses on a stick, I had to know.

Now I do.

You people and your culture.

*shiver*
posted by mediareport at 7:33 PM on October 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


You people and your culture.

...said the man living in North Carolina.
posted by hippybear at 7:36 PM on October 17, 2012 [9 favorites]


I like the way he consistently emphasized the normality of it all. Honestly, he's probably the most normal part of the show to a lot of viewers.

Which I think is all to the good, really.
posted by Scattercat at 7:38 PM on October 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


All right, now that's out of my system, I like Southern fucking rednecks. I've fucked Southern fucking rednecks. If ever you need someone at your back, Southern fucking rednecks should be your top choice. And this:

The Washington Post piece was entitled, “Uncle Poodle Needs to Speak Up.”

“Come on now,” says Thompson. “Who writes a story saying Uncle Poodle needs to speak up, and then doesn’t call Uncle Poodle to find out what he has to say?”


is just perfect.
posted by mediareport at 7:39 PM on October 17, 2012 [18 favorites]


What people do you mean?

I haven't watched this show because it seems pretty exploitative and I'm not interested in the kid pageant thing, but I've seen interviews and they seem like decent enough people. Not the downfall of civilization they're made out to be.
posted by sweetkid at 7:39 PM on October 17, 2012


I was born, raised and still live in North Carolina. Is that a bad thing now?
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 7:40 PM on October 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


On non-preview, hippybear misses the point entirely. I've lived in NC for 25 years; it's not the culture of the South I'm annoyed at.
posted by mediareport at 7:41 PM on October 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


The last line of the "Lee Thomas did speak out" link makes me love him. Never going to watch Honey Boo Boo, but glad this man is being true to himself - all parts of himself.
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:42 PM on October 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


I was born, raised and still live in North Carolina. Is that a bad thing now?

Not at all. Just seemed kind of hilarious to me, someone living in the south denouncing a reality show about the south as being someone else's culture, is all.
posted by hippybear at 7:42 PM on October 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Thanks for the update. Honey Boo Boo came on my radar the first day of my media literacy class this semester, and when it came time to talk about representation in the media I got around to watching it. The show is a brilliantly rich bit of text to examine for American anxieties about crossing racial boundaries and middle class "fear of falling," and about working-class and poor people generally.
posted by gusandrews at 7:44 PM on October 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


It's called Hollywood, hippybear. It exploits and panders to stereotypes. Calling it a "reality" show is a crock. The first I heard about this was the 5 letters the NYT printed in response to Cox's piece last week. Worth highlighting some excerpts:

Karen L. Cox paints a pretty picture of harmony between gays and straights in the rural South. Unfortunately, she does not mention that gays pay the price for this facade of harmony, and they pay it in self-respect...

What Karen L. Cox describes is a giant Southern closet designed to keep gays in their second-class place. You can bet that if those gay couples started correcting the slight of being referred to as “friends” or requesting votes against a gay marriage ban, there’d be an uptick in crimes against them...

As a gay man, and as someone who grew up in the South during the 1960s, I found that a phrase I heard a lot then — albeit not about gay people — kept coming back to me as I read Karen L. Cox’s article: They’re fine, so long as they know their place.


Anyway, I'm out. This is another one of those threads it's best for me to avoid.
posted by mediareport at 7:48 PM on October 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


For those of you avoiding the show, let me tell you that the most offensive thing about it is the producers' decisions to play up the family's tackiness and "blackness" (look for it, it's there, and YouTube commenters are reacting to it by labelling six-year-old Alana a "ghetto slut"). The family themselves are somehow charming. I was surprised that even the pageant element didn't bug me in this one -- the kid is clearly a ham who enjoys the spotlight, and her performances coached by her mom are so silly and crass sometimes that they really do just look like a fun mother-daughter thing. (I know, I KNOW. Gender makeup double-standard exploitation oversexualization blah blah blah.)
posted by gusandrews at 7:49 PM on October 17, 2012 [8 favorites]


No more threadsitting for me, time to go make some Honey Boo Boo/Die Antwoord mashup videos...
posted by gusandrews at 7:52 PM on October 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's called Hollywood, hippybear.

Clarity in expression is valued. Your meaning was not clear. You don't need to lecture me about the non-reality of such shows, or the way they pander to stereotyping, or about the problems gay people in nearly all of the US face if they don't live in a large urban area.

But next time, please be a bit less opaque with your meaning, and I won't be able to think you're saying something you aren't.
posted by hippybear at 7:55 PM on October 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


So is that you saying you agree that expecting serious positive gains in queer equality to spring from the culture of Hollywood "reality" shows is a joke?
posted by mediareport at 8:05 PM on October 17, 2012




You can bet that if those gay couples started correcting the slight of being referred to as “friends” or requesting votes against a gay marriage ban, there’d be an uptick in crimes against them...

mediareport, I hope that before you go you notice that "Uncle Poodle" was married in his family's living room, and everyone had a grand time. This is fascinating, actually, not least because it's happening in the abject/mainstream zone of exploitative reality TV.

Most interesting to me was this bit: "“It’s not like there’s a gay bar here. We go to the same bars as everybody else, we’re all part of the same community... If there’s people who have a problem with it, they keep it to themselves, just like if I have a problem with them, I keep it to myself.”

I grew up in Alaska, which is an odd mix of redneck and libertarian, but there were two bars with heavily gay clientele (though not quite "gay bars", more like 50/50) in town, everyone knew about them, and no one had much of a problem with it. Partly, this was the libertarian part of the Alaska equation---there's a pretty strong attitude of tolerance for all manner of difference (or was before those assholes from Wasilla invaded the rest of the state).

But also, while there was definitely prejudice, the smallness of the town meant that once people were the least bit out, everyone knew and everyone had to live with it. In many ways, those small towns are much less segregated than big cities, where people chose their communities and don't get out of 'em much.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 8:09 PM on October 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


I watched an episode of the show the other night, because I wanted to see what this "Honey Boo Boo" thing was all about, and whether or not it was the end of Western Civilization, the worst thing ever, etc. etc.


And it was... fine. Compared to some of the attention starved bullies, drug addled narcissists, avaricious sixteen year olds and screeching Kardashians that seem to lurk behind every number on my remote, they seemed like really normal people. They could have lived nest door to me. They certainly seem to care about each other. I don't care for the People of Walmart treatment TLC seems to want to give them, but the family themselves seemed pretty nice, actually.
posted by louche mustachio at 8:10 PM on October 17, 2012 [15 favorites]


I grew up poor in a way that could easily be as ridiculous as Honey Boo Boo's family, which makes me love the show for showing that aspect of life. And I especially love it for being as inclusive as it is. Maybe it's not graceful and politically correct, and yes indeed the person I am now wants to feed everyone a healthy meal and give the girls a solid feminist upbringing, but on the other hand, that family really seems to love one another, in a way the Kardashians of the world don't present.

And for what it's worth, that kid is smart and funny as hell, and my hope is that they channel the hell out of that into something that takes her as far as she can go. And I hope she takes Pumpkin with her, because that kid's pretty hilarious too.
posted by padraigin at 8:11 PM on October 17, 2012 [11 favorites]


So is that you saying you agree that expecting serious positive gains in queer equality to spring from the culture of Hollywood "reality" shows is a joke?

No, I'm actually saying the opposite of that. I'm saying that any and every positive appearance of GLBT people in popular media is going to create an atmosphere in which they are less Othered and more seen as a normal part of life.

I have problems with Thompson being used as a bit of a gay Magic Negro character for this, being brought in to teach new routines and give the child a leg-up in her pageant. There are issues of stereotyping taking place which I'm not entirely happy with.

But at least he's not a swishy joke character who is only present to deliver clever one-liners and otherwise be laughed at, as was common for decades. At least he's not being presented as some über-knowledgable metrosexual who can reshape someone's life into something entirely new like on Queer Eye For The Straight Guy. He's being presented as a member of a family who love him, who reportedly have no issue with him or his partner. He's well spoken, at least according to that interview, and he's not pulling any punches about just being a guy who likes guy things who also happens to like guys.

If reality programs are actually fiction, which I think they largely are, then the producers of this show are making quality choices where this character is concerned. I'm not saying he's going to have the same kind of impact on the greater culture's acceptance that, say, Ellen has had. But there doesn't seem to be much negative about his portrayal, and his willingness to speak out in such a lucid manner about his life is a definite plus overall.
posted by hippybear at 8:26 PM on October 17, 2012 [18 favorites]


/clings to Project Runway in terror.
posted by Artw at 8:36 PM on October 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


All right, now that's out of my system, I like Southern fucking rednecks. I've fucked Southern fucking rednecks. If ever you need someone at your back, Southern fucking rednecks should be your top choice.

This sounds suspiciously like you are selectively liking these theoretical rednecks from afar. Try living in a small town for an indefinite period of time, having to work and get along and get all your socializing from said rednecks. In time you would have a more sober--and less condescending--attitude about them.
posted by zardoz at 8:43 PM on October 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I still won't be watching the show, but enough other people seem to be, having a positive gay person as part of that circus seems like a good thing in my mind.

You might do well to put aside your assumptions and actually watch the show. Despite what one might obviously assume from surface exposure to it, the show is actually (and I don't know if it's an accident of the universe or if someone at TLC finally woke up from their MDMT haze) excellent and surprising in how it destroys all of ones prejudicial expectations. The subject of this post being just one example.
posted by spicynuts at 8:53 PM on October 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Fuck you, hippybear, for finally making me click on a Honey Boo Boo link. I'm only 25 seconds into the first, but I'm going to watch the rest. And that's what warrants a fuck-you, you fucker.
posted by mudpuppie at 9:23 PM on October 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


You know what? My abject apologies. Thank you, hippybear, for enticing me to click on the second link.

We all -- all of us -- need to deal with knee-jerk prejudices. Mine came to light at the mention of this Honey Boo Boo phenom.

I'm going to work hard not to let that happen again.
posted by mudpuppie at 9:31 PM on October 17, 2012 [9 favorites]


I'll admit I cracked up at "He's got a little fruit in his tank."

I think it's great that a) LGBT is being normalized more and more all the time, including on this show, and b) that the gay guy on this show isn't being totally shoehorned into being the One True Gay Character -- that there is now a diversity of gay characters. Neither of those existed when I was young, and to me this represents a genuine improvement in the world.
posted by Forktine at 9:35 PM on October 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


Okay, at this point, three links in, I realize I'm liveblogging. But I'm also learning as I go, so stick with me.
Karen Cox meant well. Her op-ed piece in the New York Times last Thursday — “We’re here, we’re queer, y’all” — was supposed to be a celebration of openly gay people in the rural South. Instead, the author and University of North Carolina at Charlotte professor presented a rather dispiriting view of Southern gay life that isn’t much better than the closeted days Cox would have you think are largely gone.

Cox builds her argument around “Uncle Poodle,” the beloved gay uncle of the improbable reality TV star Honey Boo Boo. The 7-year-old beauty queen affectionately calls gay men “poodles.” But because “Uncle Poodle,” a.k.a. Lee Thompson, is openly gay to the family, that’s taken as a sign of progress.

“[H]is appearance on the show has opened people’s eyes to something many have never considered: that you can be openly gay and accepted in the rural South,” wrote Cox. She cited other examples of rural Southern gay living that left me scratching my head.

It’s an unspoken truth that Helen and Kathleen are in a committed relationship, and yet they’re invited to social gatherings as a couple, and only a few months ago Helen gave the graduation address at the local high school. People know who they are and very likely understand the nature of their relationship, and it’s clear they value the investment that Helen and Kathleen have made in their community....
This is what got me. Where I am now, and thinking of where I come from, that unspoken truth, those invitations to parties, are a huge -- HUGE -- step forward.

It all depends on who you ask, and which generation they belong to. Invitations to parties, and complicit non-recognition of your relationship? In some locales, that's fucking progress.
posted by mudpuppie at 9:38 PM on October 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


Florence King discussed the nuances of small town southern(upper and middle class)gays in 1975's Southern ladies and gentlemen.
posted by brujita at 9:47 PM on October 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Final comment, having read through all the links.

It's easy for me, as a snob, to despair at the Honey Boo Boo thing. That show is popular? Fuck, What have we come to? That's what my coworkers are watching when they go home? Fuck! What are they going to think of ME?

But that's a knee jerk. I've never seen the show, but I also realize that my reaction is classist. And having read through those links, I realize that the Honey Boo Boo family I instinctively look down on, because of the press they receive, is actually more open to the gay stuff than some branches of my own (more educated) family.

I hereby vow to drop the knee jerks, whether they're based on family, or neilsen ratings, or hunches, or whatever. In the end, it all comes back to a selfish feedback loop. And I acknowledge there that in assuming certain comments have homophobic intent, I'm no better than the actual homophobes. Maybe those comments are genuine and harmless, and maybe I'm filtering them through my own lens and turning them into something they're not meant to be.

And good god almighty, the fucking Honey Boo Boo show (which I've never seen, I swear!) taught me all this, via metafilter.

God help us all, and me especially.

And someone please remind me of this at a later date, because I'm pretty sure it's a one-off epiphany.
posted by mudpuppie at 9:55 PM on October 17, 2012 [15 favorites]


Continue to drop the knee jerks by giving the fucking Honey Boo Boo show a chance then.
posted by elsietheeel at 10:12 PM on October 17, 2012


Wow, I had never even HEARD of Honey Boo Boo until this post, and reading this exchange is fascinating because it may as well be about a particularly contentious match between the top two teams in the West Pomeranian Snorfball Premiere League. Fascinating, but I have absolutely no idea.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 10:25 PM on October 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


That show is popular? Fuck, What have we come to? That's what my coworkers are watching when they go home? Fuck! What are they going to think of ME?...

...I realize that the Honey Boo Boo family I instinctively look down on...


You've answered your own question. People watch this show so they can feel better about themselves. Which is mostly why reality TV is so popular: we watch it and think "what a bunch of losers". Rednecks watch Honey Boo Boo and think "what a bunch of rednecks", and even if they are more enlightened rednecks they might think "I may be a redneck but I'm nothing like those turds".

There must be a psychological term for this; I never studied.
posted by zardoz at 10:26 PM on October 17, 2012


I'm lost; what group of people possess this so-called Hollywood reality show culture? Is it a culture that was created by people who watch reality TV?
posted by Brocktoon at 11:23 PM on October 17, 2012


I realize that the Honey Boo Boo family I instinctively look down on, because of the press they receive, is actually more open to the gay stuff than some branches of my own (more educated) family.

This. I'm amazed sometimes at how accepting the uh, well, nowadays they're self-described rednecks even though we're talking about Wisconsin, can actually be. Racism, for example, isn't something they engage in -- there's a lot of interracial baby-making, for example (not so many interracial marriages, though). Gayness, even the local little person, aren't obvious social bars. The most racist guy I knew growing up, for instance, was firmly lower-middle-class.

the most offensive thing about it is the producers' decisions to play up the family's tackiness and "blackness" (look for it, it's there, and YouTube commenters are reacting to it by labelling six-year-old Alana a "ghetto slut").

Pursuant to both this and my own comment above, there's a historical rationale for this.

a sense of illegitimacy pervaded the Southern elite. They knew they had no true claim of aristocracy, as they were drawn from the same pool of common whites just years earlier. The elite began to view the poor whites in two completely different lights. First, they saw the people of simple goodness--good country folk--and sympathized with them. Second, they saw crudeness and anger--savages--and feared them, all the while denying that what they saw in the poor whites they also saw in themselves. The elite understood that they were not too far removed from the poor whites and shared the same roots with the group that would soon be monikered white trash....

The poor whites contended with two forces residual from the plantation system. First, the "masses" of poor whites had lost their social and economic focus. The plantation system did not include them as a viable force in economic or institutional terms, so they disassociated with it. In the years prior to the Civil War they had become self-sufficient and economically independent. They had no reason to believe that they could have any impact on the institutional infrastructures. Secondly, the poor whites divorced themselves from the notion of pride of achievement and effort. Their existence had become one of self-sustaining adequacy, doing enough to keep their families warm, dry, and well-fed. The institutions that instilled the ideas of a Protestant work ethic had rejected them. Thus, they had no exposure or desire to believe in the idea that through hard work one could advance in society.


For some time, this led to a reinforcing of Jim Crow and Southern racism by these very same poor whites, but I think there has been a decisive break from that institutionalized racism. I'm curious what music the Honey Boo Boo family listens to -- country or hip-hop?
posted by dhartung at 11:35 PM on October 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


I've never seen the show, and only know of Honey Boo Boo via MSM saturation, but "uncle poodle" and I could be cousins, twice removed. I'm a "good ol' southern boy" who has done well, (or done good!) and my family and neighbors have always treated my partner like family. My brother, a true redneck (intolerant, argumentative, hyper-religious) is more of an outcast than I am.

My dad, when asked to compare my partner and my brother's wife, remarked "well, at least we like him".

People who think the South is full of racist homophobes are just ignorant sophists that need to get out of their "liberal"(sic) ghettoes. People in the South are more "liberal" (in the classical "live and let live") sense than my neighbors in Manhattan.
posted by dickfitz2 at 11:54 PM on October 17, 2012 [9 favorites]


Just want to point out that this is discussing being gay in the rural South. The rural South is a very different thing than the urban South (probably true for every cardinal direction, actually), so talking about how things are in "the South" is kinda like talking about what things are like in "New York", referring to both the state and the city.
posted by Bugbread at 12:09 AM on October 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


What I found interesting about this is not so much the idea that southern rednecks could be gay or not be too bothered about their family, neighbours or friends being gay, but that this should be seen as so remarkable by the national media. It's almost as if the usual rightwing complaints about the outdated, patronising librul media do have some kernel of truth to them...
posted by MartinWisse at 12:31 AM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


One of the speakers at my high school commencement in Selma, Alabama, was an openly partnered lesbian who had been out for ten years. In 1976. Where y'all been?
posted by halfbuckaroo at 2:34 AM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


There's an old American saying about black peoples' relationships with whites:

In the South, they don't care how close you get, so long as you don't get too high.
In the North, they don't care how high you get, so long as you don't get too close.



Seems as if the same thing applies to gays. Karen Cox's article outlined a perfect series of examples of gays being "close", without getting "too high". They aren't above themselves. They aren't claiming status equal to straights. Or, as the one letter to the editor said, they're fine, because they know their place.

I would love for Ms. Cox to do an experiment: have her friend Helen, for the next week, correct people who referred to her partner as her "friend." Correct them and say, "No, I'm sorry, she's my wife" (or partner, or whatever term the two them prefer). If it's anything like the small towns I know, I'd bet next week's paycheck that by the end of the week, their social position will have changed dramatically.
posted by magstheaxe at 7:49 AM on October 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I need a sign above every computer I use that says "NEVER READ THE COMMENTS".

EVER.
posted by Theta States at 7:51 AM on October 18, 2012


I don't know, to me being called "Uncle Poodle" is like being called fruity or anything else derrogative.

Hate this fucking show.
posted by stormpooper at 9:34 AM on October 18, 2012


Lemme get this straight.

Why is it uplifting for LGBTHQ to be represented on Honey Boo Boo?

I don't think anyone wants to be represented on Honey Boo Boo. Even getting busted on COPS has more prestige.
posted by Yakuman at 9:37 AM on October 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: The West Pomeranian Snorfball Premiere League
posted by 4ster at 9:39 AM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have only heard "honey boo boo" in passing. I have (had, still have) no idea what it was in reference to. Now I know it's a teevee show, reality-style. There is a character/person named Honey Boo Boo, I think, and her people and she (he?) are self-described as "rednecks". (Which is cool, I mean, it's where we are all from one way or another.) And she has an uncle/person she calls "Uncle" who is gay, which Honey Boo Boo calls "poodle". Thus, "Uncle Poodle".

And he's okay with it. And she's okay with it. And it is affecting people in a positive manner ie encouraging acceptance of people who are gay and diversity.

Still, I am not clicking video links or googling honey boo boo. I don't know why, I just feel scared I'm going to learn something that once learned I can never unlearn. It's like that, isn't it?
posted by Mike Mongo at 11:45 AM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Come on, it's just a show about a kid and her family. All this play acting about the "horror" of learning about it is kind of ridiculous.

her people and she (he?)

What is the point of that?
posted by sweetkid at 11:49 AM on October 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


Theta States: "I need a sign above every computer I use that says "NEVER READ THE COMMENTS"."

How on earth did you get this far down the page?
posted by schmod at 11:57 AM on October 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


sweetkid: "All this play acting about the "horror" of learning about it is kind of ridiculous."

Shh, you'll spoil all the effort they're putting into building up indie cred.
posted by Bugbread at 4:05 PM on October 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


I'd managed to avoid any serious engagement with the Honey Boo shit until now

This show is on The Learning Channel?

I don't think anyone wants to be represented on Honey Boo Boo.

Yeah, watching that video reminded me of the bad parts of Kentucky. I don't think it's a good thing or a bad thing for gay acceptance. It does accurately represent "the way it is." I guess it is Learning!
posted by mrgrimm at 11:59 AM on October 19, 2012


Actually, the show is on TLC. The initials ceased to be promoted as having any meaning in the late 1990s, as programming shifted away from educational content to mass-market appealing shows. At this point, you'd be hard pressed to find the word "learning" referred to anywhere in material generated by the channel.
posted by hippybear at 5:11 PM on October 19, 2012


dhartung, I'm totally including the article you linked to in next semester's Honey Boo Boo unit.

I think the thing I'll regret most is when this show gets too dated and I can't use it anymore to get my students accidentally saying "white trash" casually so I can call them on how it's racist and classist.
posted by gusandrews at 6:24 PM on October 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


"white trash" casually so I can call them on how it's racist and classist.

Can you explain why it's racist? (I get classist). I have my theory but I've never gotten anyone to engage with me on it so I'm curious.
posted by sweetkid at 6:27 PM on October 20, 2012


I hadn't thought it through myself but a friend (who oddly is not from the States) suggested that it implies you need to classify "trash" with "white" -- because otherwise someone would just think you were talking about nonwhite people, implying they are all trash.
posted by gusandrews at 7:49 PM on October 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


it implies you need to classify "trash" with "white" -- because otherwise someone would just think you were talking about nonwhite people, implying they are all trash

That's what I thought, too.
posted by sweetkid at 7:56 PM on October 21, 2012


What is the point of that?

I just wasn't sure yet if this Honey Boo Boo is a person who is a girl or who is a boy. I have inferred Honey Boo Boo is female. But like I said, I am shy of the subject matter in a less-is-more way.

Only praise is intended for whatever good is coming from the Honey Boo Boo experience.
posted by Mike Mongo at 9:10 AM on October 25, 2012


I hadn't thought it through myself but a friend (who oddly is not from the States) suggested that it implies you need to classify "trash" with "white" -- because otherwise someone would just think you were talking about nonwhite people, implying they are all trash.

Yes this. It is refreshing to hear another person note this, also. I have yet to hear anyone use the expression "[other color] trash".

So "white trash" as an expression is offensive all the way around. When I hear it in popular culture or even in ordinary conversation, I am compelled to stop and bring people's attention to how offensive an expression it is. Racist and classist, that's right. It is.
posted by Mike Mongo at 9:18 AM on October 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


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