Thursday, 11 August 2011

An argument - and why why why do they bother?

So today I had a fun time arguing with someone – yes a straight someone - whether “Batty Boy” is a slur and whether it's ok to call me that.

Now there's a lot we can say here, but it's very very tiresome and I am very very tired so I'll confine myself to questioning why I had to ARGUE this. Especially whether or not it's ok to call me something.

I just said it wasn't. I get to decide what I am called and what it's ok to call me especially when the world is completely and utterly a slur with minimal attempt at general reclamation and most certainly none from me.

But really – he says it, I say no, do not say that, then we have an argument? Why? Why even fight this? Why try to make me concede that it's ok to call me a slur? Why is it so hard to say “sorry, didn't realise, I won't in future”? Why was I reduced to using threats to make him drop it?

And it's the same question I've asked a lot of times. Well, ok, it's the same things I've shouted and raved about with a lot of imaginative cursing a lot of times. It's one of the reasons I refused the beta requests from people I don't know (beyond the entitlement issues) – because if I turn round and say “hey this is so homophobic that it should be on the Westboro Baptist Church reading list” then I get an argument, usually outraged and huffy. I've seen this over and over

I know there is often going to be debate on many issues, but I am astonished at some of the things I have to argue. Some of the things I have to fight for, some of the things I have to be prepared to have a full blown raging battle over are ridiculous. There is no reason why they should be this hard or why the concept is so damn hard to understand.

“Batty boy” is a slur. It's an insult. It offends me – don't call me it, ever, in any context. Why do I have to argue this? Why do such basic things have to be a battle?

And beyond things being easy to understand I just want to know why they bother? I mean, really, what do they have invested in this argument? I know what I have invested. I don't want to be dehumanised, I don't want to cringe, I don't want to be insulted and demeaned and hurt and I think such language creates a casual atmosphere of disrespect which in turn leads to more severe and dangerous homophobia – daily dehumanisation makes larger offences seem more reasonable.

That's why I am arguing this, despite it being less than fun, draining and headache causing.

But why is he? Or the gazillion other people arguing over such ridiculous things? What do they have invested in this? Why is this argument worth their time and energy? Gods, why are they not conceding the point just to humour me for crying out loud?

But, then, I think this with a lot of homophobias – and prejudice in general – why do these people put in so much time and effort and energy and money into something that can't make even the slightest bit of difference to them?