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NO HOMO
November 10, 2009 11:01 AM   Subscribe

No Homo! Current's "That's Gay" addresses a hip-hop trend. (NSFW Language).
posted by hermitosis (285 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
There's also A Beginner's Guide to "No Homo" from jsmooth995 at Ill Doctrine.
posted by txsebastien at 11:04 AM on November 10, 2009 [15 favorites]


Ha, I've been seeing this for the past couple years on myspace pages of corner kids in Philly whose drug crews I keep tabs on and wanted to write about it but had no idea how to approach it or what to really say about it.
posted by The Straightener at 11:06 AM on November 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


And, while we're at it, some info on No Lesbo.
posted by smartyboots at 11:06 AM on November 10, 2009


There was actually some homophobia-based burglary and knife threats made in my building recently. This attitude is no fucking joke.
posted by fuq at 11:08 AM on November 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Dipset Dipset Dipset Dipset Dipset!
posted by box at 11:09 AM on November 10, 2009


If you're being sarcastic, the appropriate usage is NO HOMO HAMBURGER.
posted by brain_drain at 11:09 AM on November 10, 2009


That was pretty damn funny.
ObMF: "MetaFilter: No Homo"
posted by milnak at 11:11 AM on November 10, 2009


I think it's actually spelled NOHOMOBURGER, Brain_Drain.

What's funny is whenever I hear a hipster or a rapper say "No Homo," my brain does the same thing it does whenever I hear someone start a sentence by saying "I'm not a racist, but..."
posted by mccarty.tim at 11:11 AM on November 10, 2009 [15 favorites]


Sorry, I didn't mean, "ha," like that's funny, but "ha," like I've known about this for a really long time and always wondered if it would make news and eventually wind up on the front page of Metafilter.
posted by The Straightener at 11:11 AM on November 10, 2009


P.S: Gayngstaz
posted by fuq at 11:12 AM on November 10, 2009


I think it's actually spelled NOHOMOBURGER, Brain_Drain.

Sure, if you want to be all informal and casual about it.
posted by brain_drain at 11:13 AM on November 10, 2009


"MPFOFPMOMO"

That's "No Homo" with a dick in the mouth.
posted by wcfields at 11:15 AM on November 10, 2009 [19 favorites]


hermitosis: "Current's "That's Gay" "

Man, I know language evolves and all that, but I can't keep up with the changing meanings behind 'gay': when did it start meaning tedious?
posted by boo_radley at 11:16 AM on November 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


See also The Beginner's Guide to No Homo by Jay Smooth

(I think Jay Smooth is kind of handsome (no homo?))
posted by orville sash at 11:16 AM on November 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


It would be funny if there weren't so much damn violence associated with mentioning it.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:18 AM on November 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


And, for a little perspective, this phrase emanates from the same culture in whic this picture caused a sensation for months. Months!
posted by orville sash at 11:18 AM on November 10, 2009


I'm loving the backslash to "no homo" that I've been seeing on the internet, but the best example I saw was an older cross-dressing guy who screamed such songs as "I'm a pussy faggot (and you can't handle it)" and "No 'no homo' " over some pre-recorded beats at a show in Philly. We need more people coming out swinging against no homo.
posted by piratebowling at 11:19 AM on November 10, 2009 [4 favorites]


Jay Smooth's cat: The best cat.
posted by boo_radley at 11:23 AM on November 10, 2009


Oh gods. A pal of mine has fallen in with a horrible group that has a website where they say this every 15 seconds. They are all white rich NYC 30-somethings, as far as I can tell. I hate them. I am contemplating offering money to goons from something awful or 4chan to destroy their lame webgroup on the grounds that the "rampaging ignorant asshat" corner of the internet belongs to them, not this new group that I hate. My pal is all like "join the site we are so cool NO HOMO and I want to pyro them TF2 style.

As we used to say back at Umass, STRAIGHT NOT NARROW.
posted by vrakatar at 11:27 AM on November 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


I just want to reaffirm my love for Jay Smooth. Check out his video on the Christopher Street Boy diss too.
posted by lazaruslong at 11:29 AM on November 10, 2009 [7 favorites]


No jew, but oy gevalt!
posted by StickyCarpet at 11:30 AM on November 10, 2009 [12 favorites]


Is there any backstory that doesn't involve having to watch a video clip? It's the middle of the workday and all.. just saying.
posted by crapmatic at 11:30 AM on November 10, 2009 [8 favorites]


I actually like no homo because when someone compliments me, like hey dude, way to go on that thing yesterday, or even when they ask me to do something, like hey man could you hand me that salt shaker, my question is, how do I know they're not a gayston trying to pound my heinie and this is the way I know they're not.
posted by billysumday at 11:31 AM on November 10, 2009 [24 favorites]


One more and I'm done. It's so hard....to say goodbye....to my external hard drive.
posted by lazaruslong at 11:31 AM on November 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


If you can't rhyme, you might as well use an offensive crutch.
posted by peeedro at 11:33 AM on November 10, 2009


Okay but seriously this is like the stupidest saying ever. I find it odd that these guys are so obsessed with whether or not people think they're gay. As I always say: live and let bone.
posted by billysumday at 11:33 AM on November 10, 2009


I actually like no homo because when someone compliments me, like hey dude, way to go on that thing yesterday, or even when they ask me to do something, like hey man could you hand me that salt shaker, my question is, how do I know they're not a gayston trying to pound my heinie and this is the way I know they're not.

Um, wait what? you're so insecure in your own sexuality that you cannot take a compliment from someone of the same gender without picturing them having sex with you?

Fuck. See a therapist.
posted by hippybear at 11:36 AM on November 10, 2009 [6 favorites]


The backstory I have is that over the past couple years I've used myspace as a way to track different drug crews around the city, and sometime in maybe early 2008 any time a kid in one of these crews posted a picture of himself in any proximity to one of his male friends the caption under the photo was always "no homo". Also, kids started to tack it onto the end of their shout outs in their friends' comment sections like, "yo, millz, grind hard, love you nigga (no homo)."

That's it. I couldn't really figure out how to expand that into an article.

Follow it in real time on Twitter.
posted by The Straightener at 11:37 AM on November 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


My fratboy younger brother has started doing this, even going out of his way to say gay things to his buddies as an excuse to use it.

>: "MPFOFPMOMO"

That's "No Homo" with a dick in the mouth.


I really think the term "bro job" needs to get around more in the public vocabulary- I certainly can't imagine how slouching around with other guys scratching your nuts is something done by people who like girls.
posted by dunkadunc at 11:37 AM on November 10, 2009 [6 favorites]


Hippybear, I think billysumday just forgot the hamburger tag.
posted by orville sash at 11:40 AM on November 10, 2009


NO I WAS SERIUS
posted by billysumday at 11:41 AM on November 10, 2009 [23 favorites]


Perhaps. Maybe I've just been thinking about this too hard in the last little while.

I actually had to fire someone at my last job because he would not stop using "that's so gay" as a derogatory phrase. Don't come working for me and pretend that it's not a homophobic phrase. "No homo" is only slightly better in my book.
posted by hippybear at 11:44 AM on November 10, 2009 [4 favorites]


As a male who identifies as straight, perhaps the gay fellows among us could answer a question I have about the appending of "Homo": Do you guys do this? Like, when you see a handsome dude wearing a nice pair of shoes: "Hey, man, cool shoes. EXTREMELY HOMO."

'Cause I usually follow up all compliments to women with "I AM A VIRILE HETEROSEXUAL", but I don't know how they do in your community.
posted by Greg Nog at 11:44 AM on November 10, 2009 [27 favorites]


you're so insecure in your own sexuality that you cannot take a compliment from someone of the same gender without picturing them having sex with you?

Someone asking you to pass the salt is a compliment? Gee, I get complimented more than I thought.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:44 AM on November 10, 2009


perhaps the gay fellows among us could answer a question I have about the appending of "Homo": Do you guys do this?

If you are asking, do the queers amongst you enjoy having their sexuality pointed out as being a Loathed Minority all the time?

The answer is no.
posted by hippybear at 11:48 AM on November 10, 2009 [6 favorites]


That's Gay has the best logo EVAR
posted by Scoo at 11:50 AM on November 10, 2009


But...I keep hearing that "kids today" are more accepting of homosexuality than previous generations. There are even two mainstream network TV comedies I'm watching ("Glee" and "Ugly Betty") with gay teens.

*sigh*
posted by JoanArkham at 11:50 AM on November 10, 2009


I'm assuming Greg Nog was joking, but positive stereotypes (e.g. "Asians are good at math") are still harmful.
posted by explosion at 11:50 AM on November 10, 2009


I really have come to the conclusion that most of humanity is about three beers and two shots of tequila away from having sex with the rest of humanity, regardless of gender, nationality, age, or religion, and so, when people say things like "No homo" after saying something suggestively homoerotic, all they're saying is "Buy me a few drinks and we can talk about it."
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:52 AM on November 10, 2009 [60 favorites]


Anybody who asks me to pass the salt is dissing me subliminally--why you want me to pass the salt? You gonna throw salt in my game? You wanna take it there? Because we can throw hands right now!

I don't get a lot of dinner invitations.
posted by box at 11:52 AM on November 10, 2009 [11 favorites]


What a pathetic meme.
posted by caddis at 11:52 AM on November 10, 2009


Hey, Tom, I got a new user name for you. NO HERMO.
posted by The Bellman at 11:55 AM on November 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Total tangent, but I just wanted to express my love for InfoMania (the show from which the clip is taken - the channel is Current TV, but the show is InfoMania). I found them through a link to Sarah Haskins' latest "Target Women" bit, which is just so funny!

For those puzzling over this at work: Men who say something that could theoretically be construed as homosexual are tacking on "NO HOMO" to clarify that they are not actually gay. As demonstrated in the clip, "That's a really nice shirt NO HOMO."

It reaches the peak of ludicrous when used in a rap song, tacked on after a request for gay sexual favors. Yes, really.
posted by ErikaB at 11:55 AM on November 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


College Humor hit this back in May. Not so much on the explaining or editorializing, just straight parody to the point of absurdity.
posted by Science! at 11:56 AM on November 10, 2009


HAMFUCKINGBURGER
posted by adamdschneider at 11:57 AM on November 10, 2009


There are even two mainstream network TV comedies I'm watching ("Glee" and "Ugly Betty") with gay teens.

I love Kurt's character on Glee, but it would be nice if they actually gave his character something to do besides go shopping. Oh yeah, there was that one episode where he like, struggled with his sexuality and came out. All in one episode. Now that THAT's taken care of... shopping!
posted by hermitosis at 11:57 AM on November 10, 2009 [4 favorites]


The only show I've seen thus far to tackle teen homosexuality with any sense of emotional realism was My So-Called Life.
posted by hippybear at 11:58 AM on November 10, 2009 [4 favorites]


This is about as useful as the evil bit in TCP/IP.
posted by Rhomboid at 11:59 AM on November 10, 2009


The new Degrassi actually had an extended plot-line concerning its gay character, Marco. He even actually got to date someone.
posted by hermitosis at 12:00 PM on November 10, 2009


The new Degrassi actually had an extended plot-line concerning its gay character, Marco.

Did it involve peer abuse, rejection by the world at large, and a large amount of angst on top of the typical adolescent dose?

If not, it was fantasy.
posted by hippybear at 12:03 PM on November 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


I JUS WANNA DO SOME POPPERS AND LOOK AT BEARDSLEY PRINTS WITH MA DOGG, NO HOMO
posted by everichon at 12:03 PM on November 10, 2009 [13 favorites]


Did it involve peer abuse, rejection by the world at large, and a large amount of angst on top of the typical adolescent dose?

Not all gays coming out in high school have this experience.
posted by andoatnp at 12:06 PM on November 10, 2009 [3 favorites]


Did it involve peer abuse, rejection by the world at large, and a large amount of angst on top of the typical adolescent dose?

Yes, it did. Also, is everything okay, hippybear? Because you seem a little... angsty today.
posted by hermitosis at 12:08 PM on November 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Not all gays coming out in high school have this experience.

Perhaps not, but I'd be willing to be that it is the experience of 99% of them, and the other 1% are lying about what is really happening to them in gym class or during the hallway time between classrooms.

I have great hopes for our society, but have a lot of realism about what is ACTUALLY happening as opposed to what we all like to think is happening. And I know that high school boys are NOT mature enough (nor is our culture at large) to deal with the faggots in their midst without some harassment taking place.
posted by hippybear at 12:10 PM on November 10, 2009


hermitosis: thanks for asking. I'm fine. The "that's so gay" and "no homo" thing really strikes my nerve in a deep and painful way. I should probably go away from this thread for a while.

Y'all treat each other with kindness and re-read your postings for unconscious stereotyping and negative inferences while I'm gone, okay???
posted by hippybear at 12:12 PM on November 10, 2009


Did it involve peer abuse, rejection by the world at large, and a large amount of angst on top of the typical adolescent dose?

I'm not gay and this describes my experiences dating in high school.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:12 PM on November 10, 2009 [7 favorites]


Did it involve peer abuse, rejection by the world at large, and a large amount of angst on top of the typical adolescent dose?

He was accepted by a bunch of his friends, but not all. Well, really just his douche bag best friend. And he was gay bashed while walking home on Church. And he had a pretend girlfriend for the first season, who was covering for him.

New Degrassi is almost as awesome as Old Degrassi.
posted by chunking express at 12:14 PM on November 10, 2009


Also, dude up thread talking about salt shakers was obviously being sarcastic so you might want to chill out a bit.
posted by chunking express at 12:17 PM on November 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


My biggest experience with this was at a packed frat party. I was joking with a friend about something and a kid over hearing said no homo. I immediately lost any respect this guy and started talking about the strangest sexual practices I could make up. His only response while I was talking was to say no homo about eight more times and then walk away as if his brain had cracked somewhere.
posted by JackarypQQ at 12:18 PM on November 10, 2009 [3 favorites]


MetaFilter: Fuck. See a therapist.
posted by teferi at 12:22 PM on November 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


Let's start a new thing to mock and confuse those who say no homo. I'm thinking that in the future, whenever someone around me says it, I'm going to go, "Did you just say no homo?" And then if they respond in the affirmative, I'm going to say, "I thought so. Look, don't push it, or I'll give you a war you won't believe." Pause. Then, as their smiling face turns to confusion, anger, or fear, I smile knowingly, slap them on the back, and shout "NO RAMBO!"
posted by billysumday at 12:25 PM on November 10, 2009 [22 favorites]


(The last time I jumped into one of these debates, I got accused of not understanding gay culture, which really cracked my gay siblings up, so I'll pass.)
posted by Ron Thanagar at 12:26 PM on November 10, 2009


cracked has this covered:

http://www.cracked.com/article_16158_11-most-unintentionally-gay-rap-lyrics-ever.html

and

http://www.cracked.com/article_17391_14-more-most-unintentionally-gay-rap-lyrics-ever.html

tbh, they don't do themselves many favours with their lyrics
posted by marienbad at 12:26 PM on November 10, 2009


Anyone want to share my glass of water mixed with arsenic? NO HOMEO
posted by brain_drain at 12:29 PM on November 10, 2009 [15 favorites]


I'm not gay and this describes my experiences dating in high school.

I'm sure you feel that way. And hell, suffering is not really quantifiable, and no one man has a monopoly on grief. But I'll point you toward this thread about sexual harassment of women as a reminder of how receptive people are to comments from straight men that minimize a cultural group's "ownership" of a particular experience. Which is to say, I'm sure that it was hell for you -- for most of us here, nerdy as we all are -- but trust me when I say that it's Not The Same.
posted by hermitosis at 12:29 PM on November 10, 2009 [12 favorites]


NO DOMO
posted by threetoed at 12:31 PM on November 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Did it involve peer abuse, rejection by the world at large, and a large amount of angst on top of the typical adolescent dose?

Of course it did.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:32 PM on November 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


I JUST WANT MY MILK NICELY STRATIFIED INTO LAYERS OF CREAM AND MILK, NO HOMO
posted by everichon at 12:35 PM on November 10, 2009 [31 favorites]


-- but trust me when I say that it's Not The Same.

I'm sure that's true. Once I was walking down the street, minding my own business, and I happened to be practicing winking with my left eye. Some guy appeared all in my face wanting to fight me for coming on to him. I imagine he may have felt something similar if I had the wrong haircut. The cheerleaders that snubbed me in High School did not offer to beat me up.
posted by StickyCarpet at 12:35 PM on November 10, 2009


"I really have come to the conclusion that most of humanity is about three beers and two shots of tequila away from having sex with the rest of humanity," - astro zombie

wow, you're easy ;) - although i agree in principle!
posted by marienbad at 12:36 PM on November 10, 2009


The problem with NO HOMO is it sounds like something you'd say to a misbehaving pet before swatting it on the nose with a rolled up newspaper; "Get off the couch! Bad homo! No Homo! *smack*"

Which, to my mind, completely undermines it's used meaning. Because, let's face it, that's kinda kinky and sweet.
posted by quin at 12:37 PM on November 10, 2009 [4 favorites]


If you're into the Cracked-style deconstruction of rap lyrics, I can recommend no finer source than Chris Macho and Chris D'Elia's No Room Service, Just Snacks and Shit, which prominently features a handful of the folks cited in marienbad's Cracked links.

Their "kinda gay" tag features a lot of things that rappers would probably end with "no homo" these days (and might be offensive in spots, just be warned).
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 12:37 PM on November 10, 2009


I JUST WANT MY MILK NICELY STRATIFIED INTO LAYERS OF CREAM AND MILK, NO HOMO

winner
posted by billysumday at 12:38 PM on November 10, 2009


ALSO - the current_ vids (sarah haskins) do not load in my browser? well, it just says loading and gets nowhere. am using ff3.5. anyone else had this problem?
posted by marienbad at 12:38 PM on November 10, 2009


I no longer use 'gay' as a synonym for 'lame'
I now say 'that's so fundie'

It's possibly no less bigoted but it makes me laugh.
posted by Fuka at 12:39 PM on November 10, 2009 [3 favorites]


marienbad, this will happen fairly frequently if you're using something like Ad-Block.
posted by elizardbits at 12:39 PM on November 10, 2009


I'm sure you feel that way. And hell, suffering is not really quantifiable, and no one man has a monopoly on grief.

Oh, no, don't take that the wrong way. I am certain the experience of being gay in homophobic American is exponentially harder than being straight. My comment was intended as a joke, not intended as a rebuke.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:43 PM on November 10, 2009


There's a line in Jay Z and Kanye West's song "Run this town" that goes "Everybody on my dick, no homo." All of the local (Chicago) radio stations have altered the line, but in different ways:

1 - Everybody on my [silence], no homo
2 - Everybody on my [silence], no [silence]
3 - Everybody on my [silence], no [unintelligible word overdubbed]

Can anyone tell me what the last one says? Not knowing is driving me crazy, and it doesn't rhyme with "homo."
posted by desjardins at 12:44 PM on November 10, 2009


As a civil rights attorney I'll take on any cases that arise out of any of you torturing the idiots who use this phrase in earnest, PRO BONO!
posted by Divine_Wino at 12:44 PM on November 10, 2009 [21 favorites]


Actually the old school hip hoppers, if you can call them that, like George Clinton et al, have since forever used the term "corny" instead of "gay" to mean lame and weak.
posted by StickyCarpet at 12:45 PM on November 10, 2009 [3 favorites]


Did it involve peer abuse, rejection by the world at large, and a large amount of angst on top of the typical adolescent dose?

This also describes my high-school experience. EPONYSTERICAL NO HOMO.
posted by straight at 12:49 PM on November 10, 2009


desjardins, it might just be "homo" backmasked.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 12:49 PM on November 10, 2009


hippybear: I actually like no homo because when someone compliments me, like hey dude, way to go on that thing yesterday, or even when they ask me to do something, like hey man could you hand me that salt shaker, my question is, how do I know they're not a gayston trying to pound my heinie and this is the way I know they're not.
-------------------
Um, wait what? you're so insecure in your own sexuality that you cannot take a compliment from someone of the same gender without picturing them having sex with you?

Fuck. See a therapist


This is a HAMBURGER moment.
posted by Decimask at 12:51 PM on November 10, 2009


Nullus
posted by Big Fat Tycoon at 12:51 PM on November 10, 2009


When I was a teenager my friends and I had a roundabout way of doing the "no homo" thing. We'd make not-so-terribly-sly sexual innuendos/single-entendres to each other and we'd all laugh because we weren't homosexuals hahahahaha isnt that funny. Because gays are the "other" and we aren't. Yeah, plenty funny up until about age sixteen or seventeen, when we all just kinda grew out of that behavior.

Years pass and I move to another area and I'm making new friends, when it starts all over, only the guys doing it are in their 30's and 40's, and I'm thinking, why is this behavior bugging me so much? I used to do it too, and it was funny, right? And then, right on cue, somebody says HA HA I'M TOTALLY NOT GAY FOR YOU again, and I just want to throttle them for constantly feeling like the have to display how not-gay they are. It's not funny, it's othering people who are already marginalized.

Maybe I'm over-reacting, maybe it's not the same thing. But I don't hang out with those guys any more.
posted by lekvar at 12:54 PM on November 10, 2009 [4 favorites]


Did it involve peer abuse, rejection by the world at large, and a large amount of angst on top of the typical adolescent dose?

I'm not gay and this describes my experiences dating in high school.

I'm not saying that it was nearly as bad as it would've been had I been gay, but I think telling people who were constantly physically and mentally harassed and always felt like an outsider for their entire pre-college years that they Just Can't Understand is... not quite right. I can't be the only one that ended up with the conclusion "wow if it was that bad for me, then how horrible must it have been for..." from their experience.

I know I'm not trying to minimize any groups ownership of an experience - the only feelings I have are of solidarity and a strong desire to defend anyone who feels or felt harassed because of who they are. I hope that you don't think anyone who says how bad they had it is trying to say they It Sucked For Everyone So Just Suck It Up And Deal. Cause... not everyone is.
posted by flaterik at 12:54 PM on November 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


Holy shit. You guys have totally turned me on to Jay Smooth.
posted by hifiparasol at 12:56 PM on November 10, 2009


This is a HAMBURGER moment.

It's also kind of insensitive and pretty much follows Poe's law. Seriously, there's enough real bigotry in the world, do we have to pretend that we're bigots to prove that we're not?

Related concept.

I prefer to face these kinds of things with open and honest communication. Of course, I'm a white ally in an upper-middle class social sphere, so I usually hear things like this "ironically". It's completely different for someone who faces this as part and parcel of a systematic devaluation of their personhood.

When my friends use ironic phrases like "No homo!" or "Gaaaay!", I give them a very wide-eyed look and pollyannishly state, "You don't have to prove yourself to me. I like you no matter what your sexual preference."

Either they feel chastened or they get annoyed and stop hanging out with me. Win-win.
posted by muddgirl at 1:04 PM on November 10, 2009 [7 favorites]


I'm just trying to understand how electrons behave on single atoms, NO HOMO (or LUMO).
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 1:09 PM on November 10, 2009 [7 favorites]


This comes up all the time, when I'm talking about functions that don't preserve algebraic structure and I have to say "NO HOMO" just to clarify.
posted by albrecht at 1:12 PM on November 10, 2009 [5 favorites]


My experience with high school was that people really mellowed out around 10th grade. Also there were out gay kids and I never witnessed (or heard about) anyone harassing them on that basis. Not that it didn't happen, but I never saw or heard about it.
posted by delmoi at 1:13 PM on November 10, 2009


I think there's also a generation gap at work here. Some of grew up in an era where homosexuality is an acknowledged thing that is openly talked about in popular culture. There's a difference between being gay in high school in the late 90's and being gay in high school in the late 70's.
posted by edbles at 1:16 PM on November 10, 2009 [3 favorites]


hey Mefi

thanks for the advice re: adblock - it worked and the vid is hilarious. have seen her vids before but not this one. well funny.

also thanks for the snacks and shit link - also hilarious.

mefi: funnier by the hour.

also i stole the "no homeo" gag and used it in the awesome homoepathy thread. sorry.
posted by marienbad at 1:18 PM on November 10, 2009


I hope that you don't think anyone who says how bad they had it is trying to say they It Sucked For Everyone So Just Suck It Up And Deal. Cause... not everyone is.

Yeah I get that. But sometimes people do mean that. How am we supposed to be able to tell the difference, by using our magical gay powers of telepathy?

telling people who were constantly physically and mentally harassed and always felt like an outsider for their entire pre-college years that they Just Can't Understand is... not quite right.

No. You don't get to claim to really understand all the sorts of things that never happened to you. I don't care how good your imagination is, or how analogous you think your situation was, or how deeply moved you are by another's plight. People who have endured specific abuses or occupied specific margins of society are going to be really grateful for your interest and acceptance of them, but even if you grew up alongside them, you must never mistake their story for your own. There is always more that they're not telling you, more that you can never know.

And maybe that's the curse of the well-meaning educated liberal straight white male, and maybe it is hard to accept, but I won't heap extra insult on top of that plight by pretending that I totally relate.
posted by hermitosis at 1:24 PM on November 10, 2009 [9 favorites]


hermitosis: Current's "That's Gay" addresses a hip-hop trend [from 2006].

"Current," apparently, isn't eponysterical at all.
posted by paisley henosis at 1:25 PM on November 10, 2009


I'MA JUST INTERROGATE THE TEXT FOR HINTS OF AN UR-NARRATIVE, NO POMO
posted by everichon at 1:27 PM on November 10, 2009 [56 favorites]


So can you use No Hamburger to indicate lack of sarcasm? Or maybe just No Ham?
posted by NoraReed at 1:29 PM on November 10, 2009


muddgirl: I prefer to face these kinds of things with open and honest communication.

Me too, though in my case it might have more to do with being sarcasm-deficient. There have been some really great threads the last few days discussing these topics without devolving into some lulz-sarcasm-insultfest.

There was a period in my adolescence where I would call things gay in a negative sense, but then one of my friends brought it to my attention that he was offended by it, and I was all "Oh, right I just that makes sense huh?" I grew a little that day and whenever I hear people using phrases like 'NO HOMO' I always rank them as essentially having the emotional state of an adolescent. It's like they never reached that level in development where you're able to perceive how your comments, whether inadvertent or intentional, make others feel.
posted by scrutiny at 1:31 PM on November 10, 2009


Jay Smooth rocks - reminds me slightly of ZeFrank, which is good.

Shame about his disk problems, but really, NO COLO?
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 1:33 PM on November 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


Rap culture= Yes Homo
posted by Liquidwolf at 1:35 PM on November 10, 2009


No. You don't get to claim to really understand all the sorts of things that never happened to you.

I don't really like this statement as it seems to argue against empathy and against trying to understand what someone went through in general. I know that's not what you actually mean, but sometimes when people are trying to understand what you went through they simply have to put in terms of things that they've experienced. It's not that they're trying to marginalize your experience. Rather they're trying to take it and give it personal meaning for themselves which gives them a greater, though obviously still imperfect, understanding by making it similar to an experience that they've already had. I'm not saying this is what everyone does, but it is arguably the best method to try to understand what someone's gone through.

That being said, no one really understands what anyone went through - even within similarly discriminated groups. But the experiences are similar enough that people feel like they can relate and that's enough.
posted by scrutiny at 1:38 PM on November 10, 2009 [6 favorites]


I TOTALLY UNDERSTAND HIP-HOP CULTURE EVEN THOUGH I'M WHITE, UPPER-MIDDLE-CLASS, AND GOOGLE RAP LYRICS TO FIGURE OUT WHAT THEY MEAN

...NO BOBO
posted by kittyprecious at 1:39 PM on November 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


Did you guys know that Kanye West was born 9 months after the queen of the ocean stuck his penis in a magical gay space alien?

If my origins were that gay I guess I would have to temper it somehow too...

In my experience the more homophobic, the more of a closet case you are. "fag"
posted by cbecker333 at 1:42 PM on November 10, 2009


I occasionally give money to support development in Africa, NO BONO.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:43 PM on November 10, 2009 [4 favorites]


the experiences are similar enough that people feel like they can relate and that's enough.

I can accept that. I guess I'm still a little shell-shocked by that MeTa thread about sexual harassment, and I am realizing that I can no longer take for granted that people understand what they claim to understand, even in a community as close-knit as this one often is.
posted by hermitosis at 1:44 PM on November 10, 2009


Okay, I've loved Jay Smooth for a long time and now I love Bryan Safi.
posted by msali at 1:46 PM on November 10, 2009


What's my second-favorite Joseph Conrad novel? NOSTROMO.
posted by box at 1:47 PM on November 10, 2009 [6 favorites]


Dude, if I were drunk, I'd totally go pigmy chimpansee on you. Seriously. Straight up Pan paniscus. BO NOBO.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:49 PM on November 10, 2009 [21 favorites]


"... So what do you call your act, then?"

"'The Aristocrats (no homo)!'"
posted by PontifexPrimus at 1:49 PM on November 10, 2009


Just the other day I was teaching about violations of the assumptions underlying OLS, no homoskedastic.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:56 PM on November 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


It's not that they're trying to marginalize your experience. Rather they're trying to take it and give it personal meaning for themselves which gives them a greater, though obviously still imperfect, understanding by making it similar to an experience that they've already had.

The problem is that a lot of times this leads to "you don't really have it that bad, I was there, stop whining" or "I got over it, why don't you?" or "Why should they get special treatment? That happens to all of us."
posted by kathrineg at 1:56 PM on November 10, 2009 [3 favorites]


Reading this thread's been fun, but now I've got to run upstairs to the fly lab and work on making mutant/wild type crosses in order to preserve our nifty new lethal mutation. NO HOMO.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 1:57 PM on November 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


Or "I know how you could stop being mistreated, you just have to do x! I do x, and it totally worked."
posted by kathrineg at 1:57 PM on November 10, 2009


shell-shocked by that MeTa thread about sexual harassment

I know what you mean. I am literally looking at the world through a different lens. For whatever reason the lens I've ended up using is power, as in "Who has power over whom," and how that affects interactions between everybody. It's stunning how commonplace it is when you just sit back and observe it. I mean, everything can be viewed through this lens. People demonstrate abhorrent behavior x to gain/feel/demonstrate power over others. The worst offenders are those with the least power inside of themselves.
posted by scrutiny at 1:58 PM on November 10, 2009 [3 favorites]


The problem is that a lot of times this leads to "you don't really have it that bad, I was there, stop whining" or "I got over it, why don't you?" or "Why should they get special treatment? That happens to all of us."

Yeah, I'm not really trying to justify that behavior at all. I mean, granted those people think they're being helpful but I'm not convinced that they don't make it worse in general - though that's an entirely separate discussion.

All I'm saying is that sometimes a person is simply trying to understand what someone else went through and that's all. It's rare that someone wants to simply understand without offering any sort of judgment, but that's the behavior that I'm defending.
posted by scrutiny at 2:02 PM on November 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


So can you use No Hamburger to indicate lack of sarcasm? Or maybe just No Ham?

How about SALISBURY-STEAK?
posted by MikeKD at 2:15 PM on November 10, 2009


I think scrutiny already said what I was thinking much better than I can but I'm going to try a bit.

I don't think I can really understand or totally relate, but isn't all understanding in degrees? I do realize that if someone was in the middle of talking about personal experiences and pain, me saying "oh I totally get it I was ostracized in high school too" is wrong and insulting. But during a more general discussion I think it can be germane.

It's a tricky line, and it has to be walked carefully in order to communicate the difference between "I have empathy for you that is aided by some marginally similar experiences" and "I [wrongly think that] I fully understand what you went through and thus can issue proclamations about how you should deal or feel about it". Sadly I have learned that the latter is a lot more common. And really shitty.

It's not on your magical gay telepathy (is that some sort of cybernetic add-on that comes with the toaster and your copy of The Agenda, or is it genetic?) to discern between them, but I hope you're giving a chance to people that fall into the former category and don't yet realize how many of the latter there are and how obnoxious they are. When you don't yet understand how people who think/pretend to fully understand have soured communication, you don't yet understand how important how you communicate your feelings on the matter is. I know it took me a while to learn that, and I've had close gay friends for many years.
posted by flaterik at 2:16 PM on November 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


There was a kid in my high school who stuck a gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger in part because he was constantly ostracized for being gay. No one actually knew if he was gay or just effeminate, but he definitely had a different degree of alienation and pain in high school than I did, and I feel about high school the way people feel about chemotherapy.

Nevertheless, I'm ashamed to say that I couldn't resist a NO HOMO of my own.
posted by BrotherCaine at 2:25 PM on November 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


Is it bad I want to name my dog "homo" now and spend a lot of the time at a dog park?

"No homo" underlines something that has been brought up in the various gender threads here: A lot of men, I think myself included, were lamenting that they couldn't compliment a woman on her appearance because it would be considered harassing--they just wanted to be nice. But it's interesting that a lot of dudes need to make sure you know their compliments about other men aren't invitations to sex, which implies that the default state of saying something nice (for them) is an invitation. And I can see where that would get old pretty quickly.
posted by maxwelton at 2:37 PM on November 10, 2009 [9 favorites]


EXTREMELY HOMO

The proper term is "so homo." I'm glad you asked...so homo.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 2:38 PM on November 10, 2009


[A couple comments removed. Cool down and come back without the Fuck You stuff if you want to participate in this discussion, please.]
posted by cortex at 2:38 PM on November 10, 2009


Wow. Just wow.

Although my office-mate put it very succinctly when he said, "That's just sad."
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 2:42 PM on November 10, 2009


most of humanity is about three beers and two shots of tequila away from having sex with the rest of humanity

This is why I have greatly increased my tolerence through years of abusepractice, as my partner wouldn't be amused if I started sleeping with the rest of humanity, and thus I can be trusted to go to S&M's bar and play camp bingo with The Duchess on wednesdays.

I'd add a no homo to the end of that, but, really, remove the Greek prefix Homo- (same, i.e. homogenous - same kind) from whatever it preceeded, and it becomes the Latin Homo (man, i.e. Ecce Homo, behold the man), and I do not wish to join all those rappers in denouncing their own manhood.
posted by Sparx at 2:48 PM on November 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Do you know how I know you're gay? No homo.
posted by blucevalo at 2:51 PM on November 10, 2009


Oh, also, I love you, Metafilter. These alternative 'no homo' puns are delicious and I hope utterly confusing when I use them in the future.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 2:53 PM on November 10, 2009


Let me try to break it down for the allies trying to "be helpful" by talking about how horrible being a teen can be.

I wore a back brace and orthodontia for much of my teen years. Until I was like, a junior in high school, the only people who were nice to me were the Christian Club kids, and that's only because they had to. Even the biggest losers at the school made fun of me on a near daily basis. And yet, there were boys and girls like me who were also gay.

It's nice that we all want to express solidarity as allies against homophobia, but can't we do that without comparing them to our own experiences? Or are we saying that straight kids who were homeschooled can never be allies because they "don't understand how it feels"? Or that gay kids who weren't overtly tormented in high school have less of a gay experience than us straight kids who were?
posted by muddgirl at 2:54 PM on November 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


From the NYMAG article:

"The idea that this phrase represents the glimmers of a new awakening in hip-hop certainly makes sense when you consider that for gays to be considered equals, they must first, in some primordial stage of social understanding, be understood to even exist."

LOL
posted by hermitosis at 3:00 PM on November 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


Is it "to" or "too," NO HOMONYM.
posted by zippy at 3:02 PM on November 10, 2009


haha. the irony is that this both draws attention to and makes it ok within hip hop for performers to make comments with homosexual overtones. there is definitely the possibility that in the end when no homo gets played out, hip hop is going to be much more gay-friendly.
posted by mano at 3:02 PM on November 10, 2009


I'm sure you feel that way. And hell, suffering is not really quantifiable, and no one man has a monopoly on grief.

Unless you're the Monopoly Man. I believe he has a monopoly on everything. Or is that a monopoly for everything?
posted by filthy light thief at 3:02 PM on November 10, 2009


So I've never really talked about this, as it's one of my top five most shameful memories, but in the wake of the sexual harassment threads, I feel like I should. All through high school, from 1998 through 2002, my friends and I used the sadly typical "that's so gay" and "GAAAAAY" smears for things we found lame, dumb, annoying, frustrating, and so on. We were, I'll be the first to admit, dumb kids; we went to a high school that was on the line between suburban and rural, and there weren't any out kids in our school, which wasn't very big. (At least, there were no out kids that I knew about, but I was big-time nerdy and wasn't close with most of the school, so it's possible there were). Pretty much every guy and a significant number of the girls in the school talked the same way. I won't deny that there was some homophobia behind it, even from me, who was raised in a very liberal, NPR listening household; gays were Others, people who none of us had ever knowingly met. But mostly it was just the way people talked, with no thought given to what we were actually saying or implying.

Our senior year, about three months before graduation, one of my best friends, who had always disliked the school more than the rest of us, dropped out and transfered to some other program that would still allow him to get a diploma. It didn't really surprise any of the rest of us, as we'd always known he'd hated the school, though we weren't actually clear about exactly why, beyond the general, instinctively rebellious distaste for education that so many teens have.

About a month before we graduated, my friend came out of the closet. It came as a surprise, and possibly even a shock, to the rest of our social group. Several of the group really didn't know how to react, and basically started pretending he didn't exist, which was easy to do, because he didn't go to school with us anymore. I and several others tried our best to be supportive, and still hang out with him sometimes. He'd come out with the support of a slightly older, already out man, and after he came out they pretty much went everywhere together, so even though we were doing our best to be supportive and treat him normally, there was suddenly this older guy who none of us knew around whenever we were hanging out, which amped up the awkwardness of a situation already made awkward by the fact that we were stupid ignorant kids, a boy howdy, were they gay. Within a couple of months we'd all pretty much dropped contact with him, because he didn't go to school with us and it was just easier than trying to deal with the awkwardness.

I've felt terrible about this for 8 years. Terrible about not being a better friend, about not being sufficiently supportive, about losing touch with him. But perhaps most of all, terrible about using the term gay in such a pejorative way for so many years. The worst part of using it like that was that I should have known, and still kept using it. Two years before he came out, I was over at his house for a general sort of video game party, and I went to use Kazaa or Limewire or something to download some music, as he was the only one of us who had a CD burner at the time. I started typing and the autocomplete function brought up a ton of different gay search terms. I stared at it for a minute, looked around to make sure no one had noticed, cleared the autocomplete, and went about my business. I put it out of mind completely; it was totally gone until he came out two years later. I never asked him about it. I guess it's good that I didn't out someone who wasn't ready to be outed, but I went on to spend another two years calling things gay that in fact had nothing to do with homosexuality, but were instead just sucky and annoying. I can't imagine how this constant litany of negativity we threw around with regards to the term gay must have made him feel; I doubt terrible even begins to describe it. When I think about this (which I don't let myself do often, or I'd go crazy), it eats me up inside.

I've not used the term gay in a pejorative manner since he came out of the closet, and since then I've done my best to educate myself about gay and human rights issues and to stand up for them. In general, I like to think that I stand up for gay rights because they're exactly that, rights, and doing so is the right thing to do, and that no matter what I'd be standing up for them. I think I would, in the abstract, but sometimes I wonder if I'd be so conscious about it if I hadn't had a close friend come out of the closet, and more or less as the result, lost (sabotaged, really) the friendship. Would I still be throwing about gay as a pejorative? I went to a left-leaning liberal arts college, so probably not, but it's possible. I really can't know for sure.

I really think we need to educate people better, at a younger age, about things like this. This "no homo" bullshit is the same sort of thing as "that's so gay." Discrimination isn't just the big things like assault and murder and hate crimes. It's all the little things, these constant little cultural implications like "no homo" and "that's so gay" and the evil-dead lesbian cliche that constantly, nigglingly, make homosexuality out to be a bad thing. Without this sort of tiny, stupid bullshit, prop 8 and the anti-gay churches and all of that wouldn't have the solid foundation to succeed; they'd collapse into their foundation of sand. This isn't a long time ago, either. I graduated eight years ago. I still occasionally here people my age and younger, in Portland, OR, one of the most liberal places in America, call things "so gay." I call people on it whenever I think I can do so successfully (which thankfully is most of the time), but it still happens. And the only solution I can think of is better, earlier education. Which of course is opposed by all the anti-gay churches and the republican party, who have that solid foundation of negative connotations and implications to build on. Sometimes I just don't even know what to do.
posted by Caduceus at 3:03 PM on November 10, 2009 [35 favorites]


"The idea that this phrase represents the glimmers of a new awakening in hip-hop certainly makes sense when you consider that for gays to be considered equals, they must first, in some primordial stage of social understanding, be understood to even exist."

Jesus god.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 3:03 PM on November 10, 2009


I don't like the idea that I'm not allowed to draw parallels and find parts of our shared humanity. I view that as divisive. It's saying "we're so different than you, don't even bother trying to understand". It seems to just reinforce the false dichotomy of us vs them. And that's what gets us into NO HOMO territory to start with.
posted by flaterik at 3:04 PM on November 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


From the NYMAG article:

"The idea that this phrase represents the glimmers of a new awakening in hip-hop certainly makes sense when you consider that for gays to be considered equals, they must first, in some primordial stage of social understanding, be understood to even exist."

LOL


Actually, this is true on a lot of levels. If you look at the larger sweep of gay history in the US, it started out as 1) invisibility, 2) loathed rumor, 3) loathed stereotyped minority, 4) stereotyped minority, and we're still struggling to get beyond that into simply being a minority.

But without being visible, all you are is a rumor, a myth, a boogyman who will snatch the children from their cradles at night. Until you are at least acknowledged as being present, there is no reason to even recognize your existence.

So, yeah, that is progress. Not progress worthy of existence nearly a decade into the 21st Century, but it's better than nothing.
posted by hippybear at 3:04 PM on November 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


I don't like the idea that I'm not allowed to draw parallels and find parts of our shared humanity. I view that as divisive.

You're not "allowed"? By who?
posted by kathrineg at 3:13 PM on November 10, 2009


I don't like the idea that I'm not allowed to draw parallels and find parts of our shared humanity.

Wait, I have the power to disallow things here? Wow, thanks for letting me know.

I can't imagine how this constant litany of negativity we threw around with regards to the term gay must have made him feel; I doubt terrible even begins to describe it. When I think about this (which I don't let myself do often, or I'd go crazy), it eats me up inside.

Thank you for sharing, Caduceus.

I struggle with "hipster homophobia" sometimes, most recently after I started reading PvP a couple years back and the "typical high school white nerd" in that strip used the term "GAAAAAAY" all the damned time.

And you know what? That's not OK. That's no where near OK. It's not OK for me to use that intonation in an ironic manner even to describe things that are, ya know, actually gay, which I sort of did reflexively and still do sometimes.
posted by muddgirl at 3:20 PM on November 10, 2009


No hamburger/salisbury steak, thanks for telling us about your awakening, Cadaceus.
posted by bearwife at 3:27 PM on November 10, 2009


Or that gay kids who weren't overtly tormented in high school have less of a gay experience than us straight kids who were?

This is interesting, because I am now friends with a few gay people who weren't tormented in school, and it's pretty strange. On one hand, they underwent a full identity crisis in their own way as they realized that they were very unlike the people around them, appearances to the contrary.

Part of me is so grateful to them for reminding me that gay-friendly people and places really do exist -- something I never imagined as a teenager.

I am a little bitter too, though. Like many gay teens, my education was all but destroyed for me. I nearly failed out of high school, which left me ill-equipped for college, which certainly had an impact on my adult life. I face the reality of this every day. A certain friend of mine was raised in Connecticut by liberal schoolteachers. He got top grades in school, had normal relationships in college, and works in the field he got his degree in. I don't think he had it "easy" and I don't wish my own hardships on anyone, but I have to say that my view of my own life and experience have changed greatly because of exposure to people like him. My experience was so damaging that I am still only now discovering certain aspects of what I lost, what might have been. I'm trying not to get angrier as I get older -- it should work the opposite way, I think -- but it's not easy.

Chicago opens gay-friendly school to combat gay truancy stats.

Gay teens are 190% likely to abuse drugs and alcohol than other teens.
posted by hermitosis at 3:27 PM on November 10, 2009 [5 favorites]


There's a line in Jay Z and Kanye West's song "Run this town" that goes "Everybody on my dick, no homo."

So I've been trying to decide if this is, as Idolator suggests, maybe an ironic use of the term. Kanye, after all, is famously a middle-class kid from the suburbs, so maybe he's goofing on the stereotypical image of rappers as hypermasculine drug dealers and whatnot? I mean, in the same song, he raps about "beasting off the riesling." Would someone so insecure about his image as a big, tough, heterosexual male boast about getting drunk off the same wine my mom has for dinner? I'm still not sure, though.
posted by Rangeboy at 3:32 PM on November 10, 2009


Kanye is not that subtle with his lyrics, so I highly doubt it's ironic.

Really, he lacks nuance.
posted by kathrineg at 3:37 PM on November 10, 2009


I've had arguments about the mere existence of gay black men. Despite the fact that I knew some. Nope, they insisted, not possible. There are no gay black men. This "fact" has been pointed out to me by black men both college-educated and high school dropout. It's sad.
posted by waraw at 3:38 PM on November 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't like the idea that I'm not allowed to draw parallels and find parts of our shared humanity.

The thing is, and this has been said before, but this isn't about you. When people who are gay talk about their experiences in high school, it isn't about you. It's about them, and their stories. It's about their experiences. It doesn't matter if you think your experience was parallel or not, because it isn't about you.

Are you allowed to draw parallels? Sure. But even if you mean it in only the best way, talking about your experience being similar only serves to make the conversation about you again.
posted by rosethorn at 3:39 PM on November 10, 2009 [5 favorites]


It's like that guy who tells you about the time he had a cold and you're like, dude, my lung collapsed. It's not really the same. And he's like "I'm just trying to sympathize!" And maybe he is, but it's not really particularly helpful and can be annoying and minimizing.
posted by kathrineg at 3:43 PM on November 10, 2009


I think it's possible and in fact desirable to say "wow, that's terrible! I sympathise!" without going on to add "... and I know how you feel because it sounds just like what happened to me."
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 3:44 PM on November 10, 2009


I don't like the idea that I'm not allowed to draw parallels and find parts of our shared humanity. I view that as divisive.

I welcome people do draw parallels and so forth, and explore the way our various stories overlap. I just think you have to choose your words as carefully and specifically as possible to make sure you're saying what you really think you're saying. And you have to accept that it might not be heard in the spirit you intended.

I also think that attempting to empathize with people like this works better on a person-to-person basis, so that everyone involved feels engaged. It works less well when addressing a general crowd, you risk giving off an unintentional "you people" vibe that only reinforces your otherness. "HI I'M STRAIGHT BUT I TOTALLY FEEL YOUR PAIN" is a nice but utterly contentless offering, and risky because it can be (mis)interpreted as really presumptuous. You have scars? Show them to me, and I'll show you mine, and that's sharing.
posted by hermitosis at 3:45 PM on November 10, 2009 [3 favorites]


Really, he lacks nuance.

I disagree. I think he's a flawed, but talented and self-aware artist. I mean, half of Late Registration is him despairing over what a giant jackass he is but he can't seem to do anything about it.

That lyric does bother me, though, which is unfortunate since I like the song and I think Kanye totally steals it out from under Jay's feet.
posted by Rangeboy at 3:47 PM on November 10, 2009


I think he's talented too, but he's not really nuanced on a regular basis. He likes to beat you over the head with everything. Let's not forget that this is the same lyricist who penned the phrase "a shorty armless".
posted by kathrineg at 3:49 PM on November 10, 2009


Yeah, I see what you're saying. Point taken.
posted by Rangeboy at 3:53 PM on November 10, 2009


That quarterback for the Cowboys is pretty hot, NO ROMO.
posted by albrecht at 3:54 PM on November 10, 2009


I think he's talented too, but he's not really nuanced on a regular basis. He likes to beat you over the head with everything. Let's not forget that this is the same lyricist...

Ima let you finish...
posted by hippybear at 3:59 PM on November 10, 2009


It's sad because I think part of the origin of this particular expression might have been men trying to negotiate how to say nice things to each without having to engage in the masculine ritual of proving one's manliness after. Like, just a quick way of saying "we know what I mean, let's accept that." but with a very poor word choice. Maybe the sentiment can somehow survive and the vocabulary can change so men in this very testosterone-soaked environment can find ways to compliment one another and just turn down the tension a little bit.
posted by Space Coyote at 3:59 PM on November 10, 2009


"Lame" isn't great, either, while we're at it.
posted by ServSci at 4:15 PM on November 10, 2009 [3 favorites]


I *really* love Italian-American singers. NO COMO.
posted by milnak at 4:21 PM on November 10, 2009


Wolverine's ass full of Adamantium, NO HOMO SUPERIOR.
posted by Superfrankenstein at 4:24 PM on November 10, 2009


As a straight white male, I totally understand where you bitter dudes and dudettes are coming from. ECCE HOMO.
posted by fleacircus at 4:29 PM on November 10, 2009


men trying to negotiate how to say nice things to each without having to engage in the masculine ritual of proving one's manliness after.

Who are these men? I don't know them. If I like my friends shirt, I say, "hey man, I like your shirt, where'd you get it?" Or, "did you get a haircut? It looks good." And then we talk about football. There's no negotiation or masculine ritual. What the eff David Blaine.
posted by billysumday at 4:34 PM on November 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


You're not "allowed"? By who?
Wait, I have the power to disallow things here? Wow, thanks for letting me know.


*sigh* I had hoped the tone of my previous comments would help set some sort of non-aggressive conversational context, but it did not. I guess it was not obvious that I don't actually think anyone is being censored or anything like that. At some point I fell back on more linguistic shorthand. Anyway, I had hoped there would be an implied "without being castigated for being insensitive" somewhere after the "allowed".

Hermitosis, you're totally right. And of course this is made complicated for me because I jumped right into the meta conversation about bringing up your own experiences in the context of this topic.. without actually participating in the non-meta conversation.

You have scars? Show them to me, and I'll show you mine, and that's sharing.

That makes total sense... but I have to say I have previously avoided trying to get into specifics, because specifics seems to get closer to the line of equating rather than comparing or just empathizing. Maybe this is just too tricky a line to be worth walking when it's not in person with a friend and a beer.

But the sticking point for me is that completely rejecting any attempt at experience based empathy seems to reinforce the Otherness, and I hate the Otherness. Blerg.
posted by flaterik at 4:37 PM on November 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think it's sad that stuff like this still hangs around, but I am struck by how very unshocking the phrase probably would have been, say, twenty-five or thirty years ago. Homophobia was so casual then that you could have comedians like Eddie Murphy devoting whole huge routines to pretty much just making fun of gay people and it not only wouldn't cause a stir, but would sell like hotcakes (and then, ironically enough, you'd see Eddie Murphy on Merv fucking Griffin hyping the concert album). I love old Eddie Murphy (...yeah, I'm not making that joke), but I was pretty damn horrified the last time I listened to Delirious. I figure he's probably pretty embarrassed about it himself. As they say: It was a different time.

Like probably a lot of guys who were teenagers in the late '80s/early '90s, I was -- among my many more charming qualities -- a homophobic little douchebag, to be really honest. I can come up with all kinds of reasons for why this was the case (as an ectomorphic longhair who was sometimes mistaken for, I must say, a strikingly attractive young woman, I may well have felt I had something to prove), but more than anything really personal, I think this was just part and parcel of being a young man in an age of macho bullshit and backlash against the social progress of the previous couple decades. What's funny about this is that we were, like kids will often tend to be, all self-styled non-conformists (who all dressed similarly and owned most of the same albums and read all the same books and watched the same TV shows and...well, you know what I mean, I'm sure). Anyway, I wish I had some wonderful story about how I had this epiphany one day and et cetera, but pretty much what happened was I eventually realized the one gay male peer I had was a good guy my friends and I were basically treating like a non-entity -- which, as socially stigmatized weirdos ourselves, was sort of not that cool and fairly hypocritical -- and also that my favorite writer at the time was Clive Barker and, well, and that we all liked Queen, and that we all hung out with gay/bi women and thought nothing of it (nothing...bad; I mean, we all thought about it, I assure you), and...uh...well, yeah, that's my story of personal social progress, which was basically young me realizing his prejudices were dumb. It's not a very inspiring story, I am afraid.

Point being, it IS a different time, and while this whole thing seems depressingly old school to me, I am cheered by the fact that everyone here thinks it's moronic and sad. Not that long ago, that would have been the minority opinion.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:43 PM on November 10, 2009 [3 favorites]


I hate everybody in the entire world. NO HOMO SAPIENS.
posted by spoobnooble at 4:44 PM on November 10, 2009


I like Italian lakes, but nothing too deep. NO COMO.
posted by box at 4:50 PM on November 10, 2009


Sure, I love art photography, but not that hipster stuff. NO LOMO.
posted by box at 4:52 PM on November 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


I have a thing for New York Mayors. NO CUOMO.
posted by albrecht at 4:55 PM on November 10, 2009


It's not a very inspiring story, I am afraid.

You are very wrong, sir, because it inspired the heck out of me. (Me being a gay man who grew up in a time and place in which Delirious was laughed at, quoted endlessly and loudly, and devoured voraciously by every other guy in my high school. If you didn't like that movie or album, or worse had never spent money and seen the movie or listened to the album, something was very abnormal about you. Somewhat amusing in hindsight is the blinding hot-cherry-red leather suit that Eddie wears through the performance, which is more flamboyant than anything Liberace ever dreamed of wearing.)
posted by blucevalo at 4:56 PM on November 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


I enjoy graffiti that warns me of angry dogs and nice women. No hobo.
posted by NoraReed at 5:03 PM on November 10, 2009 [8 favorites]


You know what's incredibly disempowering too? When straight guys feel the need to make absolutely clear that they may well be talking to you but they sure as hell aren't flirting and there is absolutely no other subtext. Cue repeat mentions of girlfriends and/or ex-girlfriends, dropping comments like "yeah but that girl is hawt!", or start talking about Shakira (no seriously). Some guys seem to have this idea that they are irresistible to gay men (narcissism hmm?) and must create a clear barrier.

I can deal with this to an extent, but when it gets me down is when I'm really getting along with someone I don't yet know that well and we're both start warming to the conversation and then they turn tact completely, realising what they have done: left themselves open to possible allegations of being gay, of having a crush on a guy. The conversation doesn't quite stop, but you know that however well you may get along, you've got an uphill struggle before they'll become anything more than an acquaintance.

It's not exactly homophobic, more a reaction to other's homophobia, but jesus is it disheartening.
posted by litleozy at 5:10 PM on November 10, 2009 [5 favorites]


I don't think that denouncing hiphop for using a phrase that people find offensive is going to do any good, if historical precedent pertains.

I'm just psyched that the meme seems to be played out, and this is the first I've heard of it. That in and of itself makes me hopeful about the progress we're making.

And now, I've got an upset stomach. I'm going to go take some Alka-Seltzer. NO BROMO
posted by MrVisible at 5:11 PM on November 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Sometimes I like weird for the sake of weird, NO POMO.
posted by BrotherCaine at 5:13 PM on November 10, 2009


I've had arguments about the mere existence of gay black men. Despite the fact that I knew some. Nope, they insisted, not possible. There are no gay black men. This "fact" has been pointed out to me by black men both college-educated and high school dropout. It's sad.

Not possible? Oh please. A number of those Black men you argued with were probably "on the down low" and their denials were probably something like reaction formation.

As far as these hip-hop fellows are concerned (some of whom are so over-the-top macho they're practically flaming), methinks they doth protest too much. No homo.
posted by fuse theorem at 5:17 PM on November 10, 2009


To me NOHOMO sounds like the family name of a new Japanese pitcher in Major League Baseball.
posted by bwg at 5:18 PM on November 10, 2009


I love post-Afrobeat bands. YES NOMO.
posted by box at 5:34 PM on November 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


I've got a gut feelin' that there's just too much paranoias in here, so I've put my praying hands together, fighting this uncontrollable urge for satisfaction, lest we devolve into a sloppy mess and shrivel up. JOCKO HOMO.
posted by namewithoutwords at 5:37 PM on November 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Asian American comics adopting punk aesthetics for photo shoots make me smile, NO CHOMO.
posted by cortex at 5:38 PM on November 10, 2009


My nucleophile just backside attacked you (no HOMO).

I'm so sorry

And let me echo ErikaB's endorsement of Infomania. I already had one reason to like it (the wonderful Sarah Haskins and her segment Target Women -- previously), and now I have another.
posted by en forme de poire at 5:45 PM on November 10, 2009


@litleozy: yeah, I can understand how that would be frustrating, but I've been in a situation in the past where I had a friendship with a coworker who was (to my eyes) pretty obviously gay. He thought that the friendship was more than it was, and it made things pretty awkard after that was revealed. So part of the distancing of a straight man and a gay friend might be to "spare" their feelings (so the straight man is thinking) and to make absolutely clear that he's not interested in a romantic relationship. The same thing can happen in friendships between straight people of opposite sexes, where the girl (or guy) may make repeated mention of their SO, or other clues that explicitely rule out a romantic relationship to save awkwardness down the line.

Some of them may just be homophobic as well.
posted by codacorolla at 5:48 PM on November 10, 2009


It's sad because I think part of the origin of this particular expression might have been men trying to negotiate how to say nice things to each without having to engage in the masculine ritual of proving one's manliness after. Like, just a quick way of saying "we know what I mean, let's accept that." but with a very poor word choice. Maybe the sentiment can somehow survive and the vocabulary can change so men in this very testosterone-soaked environment can find ways to compliment one another and just turn down the tension a little bit.

Isn't that the whole problem, though? "no homo" is a manifestation of latent homophobia which is there because of whatever host of reasons. If that's dealt with, you wouldn't need a linguistic device. Having a synonym is no better.
posted by odinsdream at 5:51 PM on November 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm a big fan of mid-20th century European avant-garde music of the Darmstadt school. NO NONO
posted by speicus at 6:11 PM on November 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


I like staying at affordable hotel chains NO HOJO
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 6:11 PM on November 10, 2009


Not that there's anything wrong with that.
posted by I'm Doing the Dishes at 6:15 PM on November 10, 2009


When it comes to the ability if rap music to be really backwards, offensive, and downright stupid, I defer to the wisdom of Saul Williams.

"The current standard is the equivalent of an adolescent restricted to the
diet of an infant. The rapidly changing body would acquire dysfunctional and deformative
symptoms and could not properly mature on a diet of apple sauce and crushed
pears."

Rap music has been starved of anything positive or progressive, because just as in most every other form of mass media, stupid is what sells.
posted by billyfleetwood at 6:31 PM on November 10, 2009 [3 favorites]


I just wanted to say that I really like David Byrne. REI MOMO.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 6:32 PM on November 10, 2009


I usually don't watch "South Park" but a recent episode was pretty darn funny, I thought.

Fag. (făg) n. 1. An extremely annoying, inconsiderate person most commonly associated with Harley riders. 2. A person who owns or frequently rides a Harley.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:34 PM on November 10, 2009


I'm working on a kung-fu training center in my basement for the local kids. Nothing too crazy, just trying to defend our town from marauding tribes. NO DOJO.
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:36 PM on November 10, 2009


I love the feeling of a double-reed against my lips. NO OBOE.

... especially when it's accompanied by an Asian cellist. NO YO-YO

I want a snack cake that shoots cream in my mouth. NO HOHO.

... or maybe something that's like ice-cream but not as good. NO FROYO.

I can't get enough of those University of New Mexico students. NO LOBO.

I love New York, but I never go down south of Houston. NO SOHO.

... because I live closer to the border between Yonkers and the North Bronx: NoYoBro.

When I sing children's nursery rhymes, I only say "row your boat." No "Row, Row."

OK, I'm done.
posted by albrecht at 6:36 PM on November 10, 2009 [7 favorites]


I like me some clown fish. NO NEMO.
posted by drezdn at 6:42 PM on November 10, 2009


Yes we can! OH BAMO
posted by maxwelton at 6:45 PM on November 10, 2009


I woke up on July 3, 2008 to a sadder world...NO BOZO!
posted by quakerjono at 6:48 PM on November 10, 2009


Oh, no, wait, this is better:

You campaign in poetry. You govern in prose. --MARIO CUOMO
posted by quakerjono at 6:51 PM on November 10, 2009


EVERYBODY ON MY DICK - NO HOMO is so obviously a joke. The people on this thread who are only entertaining the wildly improbable possibility that a rapper might, possibly have the wherewithal to make an absurd joke on purpose are pissing me off way more than the kids who say NO HOMO ever could.
I learned of NO HOMO from my teacher friend, and for what it's worth, it's not the equivalent of "THAT'S GAY" with gay = bad. It means - "I am not gay, even though I could totally see how you'd think so, given what I just said or did". Most of the time it's deployed in the same manner as THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID - to retroactively create a double entendre. It's a struggle at her school to maintain the (absolutely appropriate) ban on the expression, but it's also not necessarily a homophobic term.
posted by moxiedoll at 7:04 PM on November 10, 2009


I LIKE SONGS NAMED AFTER CONTINENTS, NO TOTO
posted by threetoed at 7:06 PM on November 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


I hate the trend of using high-speed film effects in movies that has shown up during the last decade. NO SLOMO!
posted by ymgve at 7:08 PM on November 10, 2009


> Wait, I have the power to disallow things here? Wow, thanks for letting me know.

Disingenuous. You, and others who have posted, certainly do have the power to slap away and reject expressions of fellow-feeling from sympathetic straights--and those straights, since they are allies and sympathizers, will do their best to do as you say you wish. That's not disallow the way the mods do it but it's disallow just the same.

"Sympathy" specifically means the ability to feel the pain and distress of others. So does "compassion." If the oppression and marginalization experienced by straight outcasts really is "Not The Same," as hermitosis put it, not similar enough in kind and depth to support true mutual understanding, in fact a presumptuous insult to the gay experience of pain if they are ignorantly offered as parallel; and if we conclude that they are rightfully to be slapped away and rejected on that account...what has just been rejected is the possibility of sympathy and compassion. Because, being respectively definition and thing defined, the two are identical. Reject one, reject the other. fuller says please do that only in full awareness. And if you press ahead in full awareness and do it anyway then, y'know, rotsa ruck.

This thread is redolent of tenderness of one's own scars before any other consideration, and of the attitude that my dreadful suffering is greater, broader, deeper, and more profoundly tragic than your much less important suffering. (It takes a pretty damn great disparity to turn a mere implied comparison into a presumptuous insult.) But if suffering really is commensurable and comparable like that, so that the greater should silence the less, then the suffering of those who grew up in countries where gays face not just harassment and marginalization by their classmates but arrest and execution by their own governments for the crime of gayness should certainly overwhelm and silence anything being suffered now by gays in North America and Europe. Do I hear silence? Lead by example!

But I myself deny the notion that suffering can be parsed and weighed to such a nicety as has been seen in this thread. Lesser suffering is still suffering and may still cry out even in the presence of much greater suffering. If it is much greater, which in the present case I also deny and, bearing in mind those executed by their States for being gay, deny with a horse laugh. Accept sympathy and compassion where it's offered even if it doesn't meet your standards for refined sensitivity and get over yourselves.
posted by jfuller at 7:10 PM on November 10, 2009 [6 favorites]


After much deliberation my friends and I have decided to end most anything with 'go homo!' If we feel like playing the game, that is. I guess it's an improvement, if nothing else.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 7:17 PM on November 10, 2009


Mostly I'm disappointed that I heard Christmas music in a grocery store within days of Halloween. NO HOHO!
posted by Decimask at 7:50 PM on November 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


yes, that's all very funny. No Humo.

If I may derail a little:
Last week, a friend of mine got gay-bashed at a bar in my neighbourhood. He was there with a friend, and hit it off with a guy there who outed himself by saying he sometimes feels excluded by the gay crowd because he looks rather straight.
Two guys in the bar, dressed with Lonsdale-jackets and "Skinhead" knuckle-tattoos noticed the conversation and started throwing lighters at them, and when my friend complained, threatening them. The barkeeper said they should leave, which the nazis took as an excuse to get violent. One guy came up to my friend and started hitting him, breaking his nose and injuring his eye. He fell down, bleeding heavily.
The reaction of the barkeeper was: Don't spill your blood everywhere, I got to clean that up.

My only reason to mention this incident is: I cannot find anything remotly funny about homophobia at the moment. You might find a reason to giggle about that "no homo" crap, but for me and my friends this is a thing threatening our survival.
That's also why i thought the recent South Park episode wasn't only in bad taste, it was offensive and hurtful for any victim of gay bashing.
Survivors of anti-gay violence tend to be lacking a certain kind of humour and tolerance to the ridiculous notion that homophobic hate-speach somehow isn't directed at gays at all.
I don't buy that. Never did. And since last thursday, I lost any kind of patience with people who tell me to do laugh it off despite the evidence that homophobic slurs are hate-speach directed at gays.
posted by ts;dr at 7:56 PM on November 10, 2009 [7 favorites]


Something something . . . No Schlomo!
posted by Mid at 8:02 PM on November 10, 2009


MAN THOSE SUNGLASSES ARE SWEET, NO BONO
posted by yhbc at 8:04 PM on November 10, 2009


O BEWARE MY LORD OF JEALOUSY IT IS THE GREEN-EY'D MONSTER WHICH DOTH MOCK THE MEAT IT FEEDS ON THAT SUCKOLD LIVES IN BLISS WHO CERTAIN OF HIS FATE LOVES NOT HIS WRONGER BUT O WHAT DAMNED MINUTES TELLS HE OER WHO DOTES YET DOUBTS SUSPECTS YET STRONGLY LOVES, NO IAGO
posted by threetoed at 8:06 PM on November 10, 2009


Yo, wassUUUUP, homies! No negro.
posted by jimfl at 8:07 PM on November 10, 2009


Also: HELVETICA! No homo.
posted by jimfl at 8:08 PM on November 10, 2009


btw, I don't want to slap away the possibility of sympathy and compassion.
I think many all kinds of people suffer a similar kind of violence.
In this case it was gays, or trans-guys, but those nazis could as easily have targeted any other minority group.
(this happened in Berlin/Germany, to give you some perspective)

Solidarity is a weapon. Onliy if intolerance is seen as a threat to everyone, and not just minority groups, we can start making a difference.
posted by ts;dr at 8:09 PM on November 10, 2009


Hey, want to cruise the Eastside? No cholo.
posted by jimfl at 8:33 PM on November 10, 2009


I space no one can hear you scream. Nostromo.
posted by jimfl at 8:34 PM on November 10, 2009 [9 favorites]


I think I'm a little late with this, but let me share a quick story from my own high school days.

I went to a really nice public high school. Good neighborhood, good kids. There really wasn't a "popular crowd," and though there were discrete groups, people could travel between them pretty easily or join multiple groups, so there were theater kids who also did sports stuff and cheerleaders in art class or what have you. I'd say it was about as nice a place as a high school can be, and pretty open and welcoming of difference. We had our share of nonconforming people, and they were just part of the school, no one went out of their way to ostracize them or anything. I was pretty weird for a while, too, but of course I'm really speaking only about what I personally observed.

Anyway it was great. Really a safe-feeling place. Maybe that is why I didn't realize until after I graduated that no one was out. After people would graduate, they would just explode out of the closet. But only after graduation. And when I realized that, I just couldn't let go of it. It was so bizarre to me. I mean, it was such a wonderful school! The teachers were great, and definitely wouldn't have tolerated open homophobic slurs or acts. We had a day of silence, it was all very enlightened. So why wasn't anybody out in high school? I knew like three out people in a 1,600 member student body! Not possible! I just kept thinking about it trying to figure it out. What could possibly be keeping people in the closet? It didn't make sense to me.

It took me a really long time to understand that my (straight) experience of high school did not give me a real window onto what that high school was like for a gay person. I am pretty invested in being a gay-friendly person, so it was hard for me to accept that being gay-friendly and having reserves of empathy wasn't actually the same as being a gay person at that school.

I guess this comment is a response to the people in this discussion who have said that they, too, had a hard time in high school. You know, and I believe them. Actually, I had a hard time in high school, for my own reasons. And no life is really free from pain. So this is not my attempt to silence those voices, and I am not saying that a straight person doesn't know suffering and can't imagine harassment and that their life is not relevant and that their experiences don't matter.

Nor do I think that empathy is a myth. Nor do I think that we can't truly communicate and understand each other. I do believe that communication is possible, and that empathy and understanding are possible. But I don't think empathy results from an interruption, me too! Though this is a very common and totally natural response. Someone tells you that something terrible happened to them, and you want them to know that you really care and understand and they have been heard, so you tell them, me too! You tell them your story so that they know that you've felt something similar and can analogize and feel their pain and you really hear them. But that isn't always what "me too" communicates. Sometimes, it can sound like you're drowning out your friend, speaking over their words. Sometimes, the story you tell shows that you actually haven't understood or heard them, and you can't yet relate or truly empathize.

I really don't mean to be insulting. That's why I started by explaining that I myself have had pretty significant failures of the imagination. I'm writing this to say that the most important thing to do is just really to listen, and sort of restrain the impulse to say, I support you because - me too. Once you have heard more than you think you need to hear and start to understand, you might find yourself sharing a different story, anyway.

By that I mean that once, when I was basically a kid, some then-friend of mine told me I was a shitty American and I should go back to Russia. (By the way I am a totally kickass American, true story). And this was like my "me too" discrimination story, but it was a lame "me too" because I kind of knew she was an idiot and it only happened the one time and it didn't actually hurt my feelings so much as I knew it was the kind of thing that was supposed to be a really big deal, and so in a way it was almost exciting to get to tell this dramatic story of my own oppression. If someone were to share their story of oppression with me, I would never say oh, I hear your words, I know how you feel, me too, this one time.
posted by prefpara at 8:35 PM on November 10, 2009 [14 favorites]


I'm sorry, I feel like I didn't explain myself well, especially at the end. I am really tired. This is just to say that I think in this context, if what you want to achieve is empathy, if what you want to communicate is your support, I think sharing the story of your analogous experiences is not going to be productive. I don't think it will communicate the things you really want to communicate. I am not trying to suggest anyone is other than well-intentioned.
posted by prefpara at 8:42 PM on November 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


Moxiedoll:: ...but it's also not necessarily a homophobic term.

I disagree, I think that's precisely what it is. Now, whether or not the person uttering it is a homophobe is up for debate I suppose, but saying "no homo" propagates the concept that homosexuality is something that must be vigilantly defended against by heterosexuals. Whether it is said in jest or not doesn't change the fact that those words, once spoken, enforce the notion that being "homo" is bad, different, etc. If it wasn't, why would I need to follow a statement with the addendum that reassures everyone that I am not, in fact, gay, even though I just made a comment about eating a sausage? It is creating a negative connotation around homosexuality, joke or no joke.

Like I said, I'm not saying that everyone who uses that term is a homophobe, but it is not at all helping us get to a place where homosexuality is no longer something so divisive.

And on preview, ts;dr has given us a really good reason why it makes an awful joke or double entendre.
posted by dnesan at 8:52 PM on November 10, 2009 [3 favorites]


Just get those goddamned paparazzi away from me! NO PHOTO
posted by armage at 8:54 PM on November 10, 2009


OMG what prefpara said. Thank you so much for saying that.

And ts;dr, I'm so sorry to hear about your friend. What a nightmare.
posted by hermitosis at 9:09 PM on November 10, 2009


I love me some Lord of the Rings. NO BILBO.
posted by bwg at 9:12 PM on November 10, 2009


I love me some Return of the King. NO FRODO.
posted by bwg at 9:12 PM on November 10, 2009


I don't know what this is about and I can't watch video right now. Can someone point out some TEXT I can read to edify myself?
posted by zardoz at 9:21 PM on November 10, 2009


The people on this thread who are only entertaining the wildly improbable possibility that a rapper might, possibly have the wherewithal to make an absurd joke on purpose are pissing me off way more than the kids who say NO HOMO ever could.

Who is doing this? Fascinating theory.

It's a struggle at her school to maintain the (absolutely appropriate) ban on the expression, but it's also not necessarily a homophobic term.

So if the term is not necessarily homophobic, and is merely a double entendre or a convoluted in-joke, why is a ban on it "absolutely appropriate"? Why should it be banned at all?
posted by blucevalo at 9:24 PM on November 10, 2009


Also, I'm completely against modular data backup systems. NO DROBO.



You guys, all the good ones were already taken.
posted by dnesan at 9:32 PM on November 10, 2009


Sighting: "No homo" is said among boys at the high school I work at in Portland, Oregon USA. Staff generally do not approve.

Counterpoint: homo.
posted by eccnineten at 9:48 PM on November 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Caduceus, I too thank you for sharing.

I really wanted to limit my participation to raising questions about Kanye's orientation based on the intensity of his homophobia, but your story reminds me so exactly of my high school experiences that it made my juvenile joke seem really lame.

In my evolution towards being non-homophobic, it took something a little more embarrassing and pathetic (from me) to show me what I was doing by kicking around "thats gay" constantly.

I made some comments that were really really inappropriate, among a group of friends. I couldn't repeat it here, or anywhere, because its far too embarrassing. Lets just say that in response at least one of those in the room compared me to Hitler.

My anti-gay programming hadn't prepared me for this, and a few minutes later, one of my very dearest childhood friends took me aside to talk. She seemed upset and said that what just happened (my comments) was particularly difficult for her because her father had recently come out as gay. After processing a few seconds, I burst out crying pretty much as hard as I ever had in my life. It took me many many minutes to regain control.

Homophobic culture dehumanizes gays but it also dehumanizes the hater. The problem is, as a hater, you won't ever know of your inhumanity until THE moment of transition.

It took many more years, one outed aunt, and one outed uncle, for me to TOTALLY understand what it was to be gay tolerant. Now I've finally reached the point where a guy can come on to me (and they do) and I'm actually flattered. Its cool.
posted by cbecker333 at 10:30 PM on November 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Over 200 comments and no love for the Gangstalicious? (Video link. Run a google search for some text.)

Honestly, whenever I hear "no homo," I immediately assign the speaker to Gangstalicious' crew. But then again, I tend to ascribe repressed homosexuality to most homophobes.
posted by Hactar at 10:30 PM on November 10, 2009


Wait a minute, considering that this is Hip HOP, shouldn't it be NO POGO?
posted by BrotherCaine at 11:27 PM on November 10, 2009


Among my friends, we say "I'm so gay for that" meaning we like it a lot. E.g., "I'm so gay for gay marriage."

I'm uncertain if that's homophobic or not. Or is it just gay?
posted by Jimmy Havok at 12:59 AM on November 11, 2009


"I'm uncertain if that's homophobic or not."

Well, if you have a tin ear for this stuff, why not try substituting in another group? Does "I'm such a Jew for that" sound like a good thing to say, for example? How about "I like that like a black person would?" Or (if you're a man) "that makes me feel all womanly?"

Mmmm.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 1:10 AM on November 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


I cannot find anything remotly funny about homophobia at the moment. You might find a reason to giggle about that "no homo" crap, but for me and my friends this is a thing threatening our survival.

Absolutely this. A thousand times this. An old friend of mine was murdered last month -- strangled to death and her flat set on fire -- and she, like me, was trans. Trans people, and especially trans women, are usually attacked for the same reasons that gay men are. In fact, among African-American trans women, murder is more common than any other cause of death.

Into this environment comes NO HOMO. It's indefensible and unreclaimable by those who are using it, and it comes from the same place as the people who killed my friend and attacked ts;dr's friend. Even the people making puns on it -- no homeo and the like -- are making me feel a little sick. This is an attitude that is razoring through our peers at an astonishing rate, and when the world is already full of knives, even a dull edge makes me wince.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 1:38 AM on November 11, 2009 [9 favorites]


A few years ago, my younger sister told me that one of her teachers (who, incidentally, was in my class when I went there) was mildly annoyed when the administration told the faculty that they were to no longer use the phrase "that's gay" as a term of dismissiveness. Annoyed because, I assume, she (the teacher) used it pretty frequently. (I can imagine her saying, "I can't say 'that's gay' any more? That's gay.")

Later, I found out that my former classmate, my sister's teacher, was a lesbian.

I'm not sure what to make of that.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 1:46 AM on November 11, 2009


My previous comment feels inordinately ill-timed.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 1:47 AM on November 11, 2009


Anyone saying "no homo" as a qualifier is full of the fear of ridicule and peer rejection; thus, an essentially weak and inferior-feeling person. Those who shout this out are not men; they are sad excuses for men, using a put-down to elevate themselves - posers, all.
posted by Vibrissae at 2:27 AM on November 11, 2009


Another thing. NOTHING has changed in the education of boys on this topic since I was a kid - nothing essential, anyway. I still see the "no homo" attitude all over the school hall, with ignorant little boys saying "you're gay" as a put down. And what do the schools do about this? Essentially, nothing. A kid would get suspended for using the N-word, but it's OK to bash gays? Give me a break!
posted by Vibrissae at 2:30 AM on November 11, 2009


Is that what that meant?!?! I learned something today, this world is a lot dumber than I gave it credit for. Thank you hip hop.
posted by Mastercheddaar at 5:44 AM on November 11, 2009


IMA JUS PRAYIN AT BASILICA DI SANTA MARIA DEL FIORE, NO DUOMO.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:46 AM on November 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


I am a fried extruded dough product sprinkled with sugar and served with hot chocolate, NO CHURRO.
posted by asok at 5:51 AM on November 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


I loved Hervé Villechaize on Fantasy Island. NO MAJOR-DOMO.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:36 AM on November 11, 2009


Good Lord. I can't imagine any rappers or rap aficionados would find it acceptable for people to say things like "I ate some fried chicken today, no n*****".
posted by Cookiebastard at 8:26 AM on November 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


txsebastien, I can't thank you enough for linking to Ill Doctrine. That guy's is a genius at taking an idea and expressing it in a way that it seems like the most brain-dead-obvious common sense. From Asher Roth and the Racial Crossroads:

We are in a new place right now...and as we make progress, we get more comfortable. Some of us...start acting as if coming closer together means not having to care how our words affect each other.

"Respecting each other's humanity is such a pain in the ass...Can't you all just lighten up so I don't have to respect you anymore? Isn't the whole point of coming together as one that I don't have to care what you think?"

We're all basically at a crossroads now where we can choose between one path that starts with a committment to caring more as we get closer and another path that starts with feeling entitled to care less.

posted by straight at 8:41 AM on November 11, 2009


My A, S, D, F, G, H, J, K, L, ;, ', and Enter keys are missing. NO HOME ROW.
Yes, I'm late to the party.
posted by xedrik at 10:01 AM on November 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


I just bought a computer case. NO MOBO

I love movies where children get left behind as their parents go on vacataion. NO HOME ALONE

I also love NBA players that change teams at the end their careers to win championships. NO KARL MALONE

I too am late for the party
posted by askmehow at 10:09 AM on November 11, 2009


I do love me some lap steel guitar, no dobro.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 10:31 AM on November 11, 2009


Come Sail Away is clearly the best Styx song of all time! No domo arigato Mr. Roboto.
posted by dnesan at 10:56 AM on November 11, 2009


I love Dr. Zoidberg. YES OM NOM NOMO
posted by zippy at 11:35 AM on November 11, 2009


This might actually be something fun for the gays to reclaim.

"I kinda want to fuck Lady Gaga. No Hetero."

Seems like it works both ways.
posted by andoatnp at 11:46 AM on November 11, 2009


moxiedoll: "EVERYBODY ON MY DICK - NO HOMO is so obviously a joke. The people on this thread who are only entertaining the wildly improbable possibility that a rapper might, possibly have the wherewithal to make an absurd joke on purpose are pissing me off way more than the kids who say NO HOMO ever could."

...really?
posted by kathrineg at 11:54 AM on November 11, 2009


I just want to say that Dollaz and Sense is a pretty hype song. Apparently DJ Quik and MC Eiht are friends now.
posted by chunking express at 1:05 PM on November 11, 2009


I would make sweet love to the major scale if I could. NO DO, RE, MI, FA, SOL, LA, TI, DO
posted by drezdn at 1:14 PM on November 11, 2009


"Everybody on my dick" sounds, out of context, like an imperative sentence, like "Everybody out of the pool," or "Everybody! Get down!"
posted by Mister Moofoo at 1:33 PM on November 11, 2009


Not to pile-on Moxiedoll too much, but I don't think anyone was saying that no rappers have the wherewithal to make an absurd joke on purpose, simply that Kanye (who has, you know, recently made himself look cartoonishly foolish) does not possess such wherewithal.

Now, I actually disagree and think that Kanye does have some pretty good lyrical chops, and is often good with joking wordplay. Examples: his lyrics on American Boy (before he speak his suit bespoke), and his riff on Slum Village's Selfish (I got family in high places like Jesus' niece) are both pretty amusing.

But just because I think Kanye is capable of intending such a line ironically/jokingly, doesn't mean I think it's actually the case. I'm not sure at all, but am leaning towards him using it unironically.


In other news, for those just getting hip to the magic of Jay Smooth at Ill Doctrine, check his post Dance You into the Sunlight, which was his reaction to Michael Jackson's death. It's very very good.
posted by dnesan at 1:55 PM on November 11, 2009


"Lame" isn't great, either, while we're at it.
posted by ServSci at 6:15 PM
This; although there is a certain amusement in seeing 'lame' regularly proffered as an inoffensive disparagement alternative to 'gay,' it gets pretty sour after a while

and I am so totally stealing NO RAMBO
posted by jtron at 2:01 PM on November 11, 2009


"Lame" isn't great, either, while we're at it.

Best to never open your mouth, lest the PC police beat you down.

No homo.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 5:31 PM on November 11, 2009


Yes, because clearly reminding people that language can be hurtful is exactly the same thing as the sorts of physical violence specifically targeted towards people who are gay. Violence that has been described in this thread.

Fuck. Do you want me to start linking to examples of violence targeted at people who are, as you say, "lame"? Because I can.
posted by muddgirl at 5:54 PM on November 11, 2009


I was going to tell you to stop being such a faggot, but then I realized that if we all stopped using words that you don't approve of, there would be no more violence.

So I didn't.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 6:16 PM on November 11, 2009


You misunderstand me. To quote:
Best to never open your mouth, lest the PC police beat you down.
No one is beating you down. You are double-parking and then screaming about fascism when you get a ticket.
posted by muddgirl at 6:41 PM on November 11, 2009


I can't believe I forgot to put "no homo" at the end of that post. Now people are going to think I'm all queer.

I promise not to use metaphors any more if you won't.

No homo.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 7:03 PM on November 11, 2009


I was going to tell you to stop being such a faggot, but then I realized that if we all stopped using words that you don't approve of, there would be no more violence.

So I didn't.


Partial & Very Incomplete List of Other Shit That Won't Happen If You Never Use The Word Faggot Again:

1. No more cancer
2. End of global warming
3. Nuclear disarmament
4. AIDS vaccine

...shit. I guess it's not worth it, man. I mean sure, some people might not have to feel oppressed, discriminated against, isolated, somehow both invisible and exposed... but like... it won't end all violence.

You should probably just keep on shitting in people's faces. Screw those PC police! Who says you have to treat others with civility and respect!
posted by prefpara at 7:04 PM on November 11, 2009


shitting in people's faces

I think we were told that metaphors are not allowed. Besides, why would you want to single out coprophages for abuse? They are people too.

No homo.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 7:13 PM on November 11, 2009


Stop digging.
posted by box at 7:28 PM on November 11, 2009


Jimmy Havok, please cut it out. You are not doing yourself or this thread any good.
posted by cortex at 7:38 PM on November 11, 2009 [4 favorites]


I like the fight scenes in The Matrix. NO SLOMO!
posted by cerulgalactus at 10:35 PM on November 11, 2009


I realized that if we all stopped using words that you don't approve of, there would be no more violence.

"Respecting each other's humanity is such a pain in the ass...Can't you all just lighten up so I don't have to respect you anymore? Isn't the whole point of coming together as one that I don't have to care what you think?"
posted by straight at 9:09 AM on November 12, 2009 [4 favorites]


Well, hippybear has convinced me. I saw this expression for the first time in this post, and I thought it was (a) totally ridiculous, and therefore hilarious and ripe for parody, and (b) just an extension of the long tradition of double-entendre humour, in the tradition of Julian Clary and Mrs. Slocombe's pussy. But it bothers someone who I respect a lot on Metafilter, and I don't need a proof from first principles to see that that makes it a bad thing.
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 11:57 AM on November 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


Best to never open your mouth, lest the PC police beat you down.

No homo.
I was speaking to people who care about being unintentionally offensive. Obviously, there are some people who have much more serious adjustments to make before worrying about the unexamined impact of their words.

I wouldn't have mentioned it if it didn't appear upthread as an alternative to "gay", as jtron noted, too. "retarded" is probably the more obvious ableist relic from our teenage years, but "lame" is just as bad.

Anyone who's starting to feel really burdened by all the restrictions being put on their self-expression has my deep and abiding sympathy. I can hardly imagine what is must be like to go through life with the types of demands being made on you, and the threat of physical danger from these PC police who harass you for your simple straight-talkin' ways.
posted by ServSci at 1:17 PM on November 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Okay, as much as I hate the fact that I'm going to be perceived as being on Havok's side here... I just can't agree to equivalence between "gay" and "lame" as pejoratives.

Sure, I would never call someone that's mentally handicapped "retarded". That would be rude and insensitive given the meanings the word has taken on.

But to me there's a huge difference between the meanings of "gay" and "lame". Gay is... the way people are. But it's just different. It's not worse.

But "lame" means "having a disabled limb". If I call something other than a disabled or injured person "lame", I'm pointing out that it's something that doesn't work right or is in some way not nominal. Because that's what the word means.
posted by flaterik at 2:24 PM on November 12, 2009


flaterik - there is a great series at the FWD/Forward blog about ableist language. Here is their entry on "lame".

Disclaimer: Those of you who feel very strongly about the freedom to say whatever you want to whomever you want without chastisement, and like to use terms like "PC Police" or perhaps even "liberal fascist" unironically, feel free to ignore this link to a blog that will surely offend your sense of libertarianism.
posted by muddgirl at 3:27 PM on November 12, 2009


I'm having an awful lot of trouble with the concept of "ableism". I'm all for not discriminating in hiring practices, and requiring wheelchair access or large type or all sorts of other concessions for people that are disabled.

But, from your linked blog post:

it assumes that having difficulty walking is objectively bad

I... it isn't? I mean, it's bad to take someone's difficultly walking and use it make other assumptions about them, but come on. The word "difficultly" is right there. If you make something difficult for someone, that's bad. It's difficult for them to walk. That's bad. It doesn't mean anything else bad about the person, but...

I think conflating the pejorative uses of "lame" and "gay" is insulting to gay people.
posted by flaterik at 3:59 PM on November 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


flaterik, consider this portion of the linked blog post as perhaps more important:

when we talk about language usage, it’s worth considering how our use of language impacts others.
posted by prefpara at 4:18 PM on November 12, 2009


For a lot of people, having a lame leg isn't 'bad' any more than any other physical characteristic. It's just part of their daily life - the frustrating and disabling part isn't the injury itself, it is the way that society is seemingly constructed to make life harder for anyone who is not in the 25th-75th percentile.
posted by muddgirl at 4:48 PM on November 12, 2009


If necessary, I'll cop to being ableist here and say that the criticism of "lame" is misplaced.

The argument starts out by characterizing the use of "lame" as assuming that having a limp is objectively bad, then implying that this is wrong and unsupportable, shoring the argument up with emotional appeals and arguments from consequence (makes people feel bad, therefore bad).

But having a limp is objectively bad, and it takes a lot of sophistry to pretend that it isn't. No one's ever glad to get a limp; anyone who's been temporarily lame will tell you that it was something they endured and worked to avoid in the future. It's poor function, the same way having diabetes is bad, or getting hit by a car is bad, or contracting cancer is bad. When you tell someone you have cancer, no one ever says, "Congratulations!"

The problem is the conflation of disability with identity—having a disability, be it a limp or something worse (because not all disabilities are equal)—does not make someone worse person. I realize that the objection to using "lame" comes because the conflation is two-sided, with the disabled often saying that they are seen primarily as their disability and not as people; it is othering. But that doesn't mean that the criticism of "lame" isn't weak, and that extending that line of thought doesn't turn to ridiculousness pretty quickly (what's wrong with being weak?).
posted by klangklangston at 4:59 PM on November 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


I have mixed feelings, klang. I was called a cripple throughout junior high because of a disability. That's not a word in common usage, but it means practically the same thing as "lame." If it were to be used in the same way as "lame," it would definitely bother the shit out of me. The difference is that I don't think that "lame" is commonly used as a slur against an actually disabled person; I think assholes are more likely to use "cripple."

And sure, being lame or crippled is objectively a bad thing. I'd rather not be disabled. No shit. Of course it doesn't make me a worse person. Still, I can see how it could be triggering for someone who is actually lame. "Retarded" is another good example of such a word; you'd be a complete asshole to use it in front of someone with Down syndrome.
posted by desjardins at 6:10 PM on November 12, 2009


...you'd be a complete asshole to use it in front of someone with Down syndrome.

And therefore, to use it at all on the internet.

Look, if actual people with disabilities objecting to the word isn't enough to convince people to stop using it, then there's not much to do. Arguing about semantics and dictionary definitions doesn't change the fact that
Eradicating ableist language is not about meeting some politically correct ideal (and when did “politically correct” become a pejorative), it’s about thinking about our actions and considering the ways in which they impact others
posted by muddgirl at 6:41 PM on November 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


klangklangston: "It's poor function, the same way having diabetes is bad, or getting hit by a car is bad, or contracting cancer is bad. When you tell someone you have cancer, no one ever says, "Congratulations!""

Would you say something "had cancer" in order to indicate that it was bad, klangklangton? Or, "oh, wow, Eliza Dushku is such a diabetic actor."
posted by kathrineg at 7:17 PM on November 12, 2009


Point of information -- if you speak Dutch, there are lots of pejorative expressions involving cancer.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 7:23 PM on November 12, 2009


I might say 'Eliza Dushku is a cancer on the entertainment industry.' Well, I might if I was one hundred percent sure who Eliza Dushku was. And I guess I might not say it now, because it occurs to me that someone might take it in a way other than I intended.
posted by box at 7:36 PM on November 12, 2009


"And therefore, to use it at all on the internet."

Really? Are there a lot of people with Downs on the internet? Slightly more than Amish, maybe. More prevalent are those who would take offense on behalf of the developmentally disabled, who I have less sympathy for. (Sympathy would decrease at the same rate for people who would be offended on behalf of friends and family of the developmentally disabled.)

And just in the interest of furthering communication, "politically correct" is pejorative because it inherently carries the idea of doing good not for the sake of good, but "political" good. Consider "impolitic," which is "unwise" due not to concerns of truth, but of how that truth is received. That doesn't mean that political correctness isn't overused as a charge or that it's not just generally a retort given after ugly idiocy, but given that there are an equal number of inept and authoritarian folks amongst those most vocally agitating for policies and language changes, it's fair to be skeptical of their claims too.

Furthermore, I think of the internet as a pretty casual place. I can be precise in my language, but it takes effort. I'm fine with saying, y'know, if people think I'm an asshole because I call the Star Wars prequels lame, well, I'm not going to let it bother me. I think that trying to reconceptualize the internet, or even Metafilter, as a more formal communication space is obnoxious, and if someone who has a limp can't tell the difference between my referring to something as lame and my making a value judgment regarding them as a person, they're more interested in looking for ways to be offended than they are in having any sort of real conversation, and there are always better, more pressing things for them to be offended by. Normative privilege? Yep, sure is. Something I'm going to lose sleep over? Nope.

"The difference is that I don't think that "lame" is commonly used as a slur against an actually disabled person; I think assholes are more likely to use "cripple.""

And I think that's a pretty significant difference. "Lame" for disabled people is pretty archaic by now. You're much more likely to hear "gimp" or "crip."

"Would you say something "had cancer" in order to indicate that it was bad, klangklangton? Or, "oh, wow, Eliza Dushku is such a diabetic actor.""

I've said that people are cancers, or cancerous, or that songs will give me ear cancer or that day glo clothes give eye cancer. Or any number of ailment-related hyperboles. I've also said that people should be shot, or ground up, or drowned in monkey urine. I've laughed at all sorts of situations that would be tragic to experience, and the current catch-all for anything bad in the house is "swine flu." And you know what? I don't think there's anything wrong with that. And I tend to think that someone's lying to me if they say they haven't or don't ever laugh at the misfortune of others, and because of that, I don't think it's really that big of a deal in the general. Specific instances can be a big deal, but that's where context comes into play. And I think that in the vast, vast, vast majority of contexts, calling something lame is no big deal. For some people it is a big deal in every context, but I disagree with them.
posted by klangklangston at 9:05 PM on November 12, 2009


I don't want to give the impression I'm siding with Jimmy Havok, because he's a dick, but in the world beyond the dictionary, I'm pretty sure in general use lame is almost always within the realms of definitions 2 and 4 in Merriam-Webster's. I don't think I've ever heard anyone use the word "lame" to refer to the state of having a limp or otherwise being disabled in real life, except with regards to horses.

Honestly, I'd like to know which definition developed first. If I had access to the OED I'd look it up and report back, but I don't.
posted by Caduceus at 9:27 PM on November 12, 2009


Yes, muddgirl, that desire to control what other people say is indeed fascist, not to mention futile. Newspeak doesn't work. You ban a word, and it just gets replaced with another one that you have to ban, which gets replaced with another one that you have to ban. Language follows thought, not the other way around. You can't force culture, you can only lead it.

The thing that irks me most about PC is that it stuffs the right-wing straw man with reality. Speech codes are stupid, whether they are on the right or the left, and I hate it when the people on my side of the fence start acting stupid. So I mock them.

Taking back queer, homo and faggot is a much better tactic than getting your panties all in a bunch when you hear them. The homophobes took back gay...take it right back by making it a positive term, as in "I'm so gay for that." I, for one, am totally gay for letting people say what they want to say. I am totally not gay for trying to lay down some list of all the bad words that the good people don't say.

ServSci: being unintentionally offensive

If you take offense when no offense was intended, then you're an ass. No homo.

box: someone might take it in a way other than I intended.

Someone will always take what you say in a way other than what you intended. Every single time you say something. Because you can't control the way people interpret your words, and everyone has a slightly different experience of every word you will ever say. The best you'll ever get is an adequate understanding of your intentions.

"oh, wow, Eliza Dushku is such a diabetic actor.""

That's SO OFFENSIVE!!!! On the other hand, Bill Cosby will give you type II diabetes if you hear his voice for more than thirty seconds. No Jello.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 9:39 PM on November 12, 2009


because he's a dick

That is SO SEXIST!
posted by Jimmy Havok at 9:40 PM on November 12, 2009


Taking back queer, homo and faggot is a much better tactic than getting your panties all in a bunch when you hear them. The homophobes took back gay...take it right back by making it a positive term, as in "I'm so gay for that." I, for one, am totally gay for letting people say what they want to say. I am totally not gay for trying to lay down some list of all the bad words that the good people don't say.

Well, for myself, my own inner jury is still out on the use of gay as you have used it here. On the surface it is positive, and I can certainly get behind positive uses of words which describe my sexuality. I use queer and faggot quite a bit to describe myself, depending on the reaction I want to elicit from my audience. I find that using faggot is much more a slap across the face than queer, which really doesn't have a deep veneer of negative to it for most, and when I use faggot, it is specifically to snap people out of their comfort zone. Gay is pretty friendly, overall, and homosexual sounds very clinical. The shortened "homo" still has a schoolyard pejorative quality to it which strikes my ear as wrong nearly every way it is used.

My objection to the "no homo" thing, specifically, is that it's a way for supposedly straight men to express something which they utterly DO NOT MEAN, and then supposedly counteract that by claiming that they would NOT POSSIBLY BE THAT WAY. It's not a friendly co-opting of gay subculture in order to allow them a more free expression within their non-queer sexuality. Instead, its defining characteristic is the negation, which turns the earlier statement (often one makes as a joke to begin with) into a mockery of homosexuality.

Imagine being Jewish, and having someone take you to lunch, and they constantly say things like "Of course I'll pay for your meal, I don't want to come across as a Jew." During the meal, a conversation about going to the flea market and liberal use of how he wasn't too aggressive with his bartering because he "didn't want to jew down the price and be unfair." At the end of the meal, "I'd better tip 25% -- don't want to jew our waitress." Okay, aside from those statements being a really awful untrue stereotype to begin with, the message which is sent throughout the conversation is that there is something wrong with being Jewish, and that wrongness is something based on an uninformed concept being spouted by someone who is entirely outside the Jewish experience.

As a gay person, when I hear things like "everyone on my dick -- no homo", what I think is "okay, my entire wealth of experience of struggling to overcome oppression and claim an identity within the dominant culture AND to forge a positive self within the gay subculture is being boiled down to what I do in the bedroom, and is being disparaged as something that the speaker has no experience with and finds so offensive he feels required to make sure everyone knows he is not that." Or, a more simple message "everyone on my dick -- no homo" is saying "everyone does not include people of my same gender, they are excluded from my worldview of worthwhile people who should be participating in the celebration of me." Or any number of other messages, all of them exclusionary, none of them leaving me feel valued as a person, or admiring of those who spoke the words.

I guess, to sum this up, there are only two ways to take back a word. The first is through your own speech, by making sure your use of language means what you want it to mean, and using supposedly pejorative words in a positive manner. The other, is by telling others that their use of the word seems hurtful, even if they haven't thought through the context or deeper meaning of their language, and hope to change their mind about how they, also, use their language. If a gentle request for empathy coming from members of a loathed minority to change your speech patterns because perhaps you have not fully considered their use due to your position of privilege is unreasonable, then there is no hope for truly discovering unity and peace with you and others like you.
posted by hippybear at 11:09 PM on November 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


Good points about the different words. I'm not against people saying how they feel, I'm against people thinking they have the right, or even the ability, to control other people's speech.

Not that I want to control what other people think...
posted by Jimmy Havok at 11:35 PM on November 12, 2009


"My objection to the "no homo" thing, specifically, is that it's a way for supposedly straight men to express something which they utterly DO NOT MEAN, and then supposedly counteract that by claiming that they would NOT POSSIBLY BE THAT WAY. It's not a friendly co-opting of gay subculture in order to allow them a more free expression within their non-queer sexuality. Instead, its defining characteristic is the negation, which turns the earlier statement (often one makes as a joke to begin with) into a mockery of homosexuality."

I get that, and have definitely been with brosefs who would totally go into that. I think the only ways that I'd laugh at No Homo would either be hearing it punctuate a lurid description of gay sex, or a consciousness-raising t-shirt, "Know Homo."

In fact, from here on out, I'm going to remember it as a slangy abbreviation for, "[You] know [what I mean], [my] homo." You can reply, "I know." It's about time that "homie" mutated in rap slang, why not "homo"?
posted by klangklangston at 11:41 PM on November 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm just going to say klangklangston+ and leave my commentary at that
posted by flaterik at 1:37 AM on November 13, 2009


I'm against people thinking they have the right, or even the ability, to control other people's speech

For the last time, I DO NOT have the right or ability to "control" your speech. I have the right to inform you that you're being rude and perhaps even intentionally cruel (IE, what we might call "trolling"). I have the right to make judgments about you based on the words that you use.

Really? Are there a lot of people with Downs on the internet?

Yes, there are people with Down syndrome on the internet (Pablo Pineda, for example, almost certainly uses the internet), as well as people who have family members and friends with Down syndrome. I don't know how you'd qualify "a lot".

This assumption - that people with disabilities or people who have tested to a lower IQ "don't" use the internet - reveals the reason why anti-ableism activism is so important, don't you think?
posted by muddgirl at 7:15 AM on November 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Taking back queer, homo and faggot is a much better tactic than getting your panties all in a bunch when you hear them. The homophobes took back gay...take it right back by making it a positive term, as in "I'm so gay for that." I, for one, am totally gay for letting people say what they want to say. I am totally not gay for trying to lay down some list of all the bad words that the good people don't say.

Taking back a word is something I can do for myself, it's not something I can do for someone else, nor can I change their intentions when they say them, nor can I always ignore when someone revels in being willfully ignorant or deliberately hurtful.

Not that I think you've presented a POV to this thread so far that's even worth rebutting.

I don't want to control what people think, I want them to take responsibility for what they say, even if that requires them to question or change the way they think. Which is part of becoming an adult and an educated person anyway, so they'd better either get used to it.
posted by hermitosis at 7:19 AM on November 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


while that was the logic I was using for a long time — that it didn’t really matter what the logic behind seeing this as an insult was, or if I disagreed with that logic, I still shouldn’t be an ass by using words that a number of disability activists have made clear are hurtful and perceived as ableist — I think I get the deeper logic now. Finally.

Let’s start with that point from earlier that it DOES suck — in this society — not to have the same freedom of movement an abled person. (Although of course, here, we’re already starting in with ableist assumptions, because a big portion of the reason it sucks is because society is set up for people with bodies we consider normal.) OK, so let’s rephrase. Having functional legs is useful. Therefore, the state of having legs which are not as functional as other legs is not as nice as the state of having normally functional legs. (Again, there’s some ableism around the concept of normal, but moving on.)

But even accepting that impairment to mobility is itself a sucky thing, MAYBE DISABLED PEOPLE DO NOT APPRECIATE BEING THE CULTURAL GO-TO FOR THINGS THAT SUCK.
(link)
posted by jtron at 7:20 AM on November 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


In fact, from here on out, I'm going to remember it as a slangy abbreviation for, "[You] know [what I mean], [my] homo." You can reply, "I know."

Oh, I love this. I think my response from now on will be, "oh, believe me, I know homo" and let the other deal with what I just said in response to his own homophobic remarks. I love it.
posted by hippybear at 7:44 AM on November 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


If you take offense when no offense was intended, then you're an ass

But if someone informs you that your language is offensive and you persist, then the offense is intentional, which makes you the ass.
posted by straight at 11:21 AM on November 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Depending on how I was informed, I might decide that intentional offense is called for.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 5:37 PM on November 13, 2009


If a faggot is using the word "homo" back at you because you used it in a way which might cause offense... believe me, he's intending to offend you. It's one of the few weapons the faggots have against horrid language -- humor, or reflected offense. If those in position of privilege because they are not part of the loathed minority take offense when members of the loathed minority echo their offensive language back at them, well, "turnabout is fair play" is the phrase I use.
posted by hippybear at 6:21 PM on November 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


believe me, he's intending to offend you

Frankly, I have no problem with that sort of reaction. What I loathe is the sort of thing where "lame" is labeled ""ableist," "I'm gay for that" is equated with "I jewed him down," and so on in a cascade of disapproval of the use of an ever-expanding list of disapproved words.

The video that launched this is a useful reaction to the phrase "no homo." So is using it in an ironic manner. Whining about how words can hurt so you shouldn't use them is not.

Dealing with language in a prescriptive manner is, in general, futile and foolish,. All it really does is reveal you as a control freak. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 10:06 AM on November 14, 2009


I been bleedin' for five days and I still ain't dead! NO HEMO.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 3:41 PM on November 15, 2009


Sorry, I was away for a few days.

Jimmy Havok:
"If you take offense when no offense was intended, then you're an ass. No homo."
Great, I explained my intention in bringing it up, which had nothing to do with censoring you or forcing you to bow down before my PC agenda, so relax. People who think it's awesome to say "Lame" are free to do that.

"The video that launched this is a useful reaction to the phrase "no homo." So is using it in an ironic manner. Whining about how words can hurt so you shouldn't use them is not."
You seem like the type of person who thinks everyone else should be real interested in what you intend, and real interested in what's a useful approach in dealing with you. Like I said above, I was sort of intending my comment for a different type of person. Sorry about the miscommunication.
posted by ServSci at 10:56 AM on November 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


"Generally speaking, if you aren't the original target of the insult, you can't be the one to reclaim it." - jsmooth
posted by lazaruslong at 11:12 AM on November 20, 2009


So, lazaruslong...you're saying that since "gay" as a derogatory term isn't being aimed at me, I can't jam the culture by using it as a positive term?

That's a losing proposition, because it means you are rejecting allies. There simply aren't enough homos out there to do the job themselves.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 8:09 PM on November 20, 2009


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