PC is great! I really love it! Replacing pejorative terms with neutral ones makes a lot of sense and I even think it takes quite a bit of courage. Just this week, the hearing impaired parents of a fallen Israeli soldier were called deaf-mutes by the Israeli media, even by TV channels that featured interviews in which the so-called mute father spoke coherently about his loss.
What I hate about American Political Correctness is the notion that anything bad one might say can be taken back by an apology. Made a catastrophic faux pas? No worries! As long as you are on US soil you can just apologize and move on. Forgiveness is automatic.
Recently, Oklahoma State Representative Sally Kern gave a speech in which she expressed her anti-gay beliefs. After the speech was secretly recorded and made public, The Cimarron Alliance, a local LGBT group asked Speaker of the House that she be censured if she does not apologize. I completely understand the request for a censure, but what use would an apology make? Anyone who listens to her speech can appreciate how articulate her hatred is, and how she firmly believes homosexuality is “the biggest threat our nation has, even more so than terrorism or Islam”. It is quite possible that public pressure will force her to apologize in a day or two, but what good does an apology do when it comes from someone who thinks gays “want to get our young children into the government schools so they can indoctrinate them”.
There are now claims that Rep. Kern is the not-so-proud mother of a gay son named Jesse. Yes, it is a worn out cliché and it should not make a difference, but it needs to be pointed out. Mysteriously, her official bio page was very recently changed and now does not mention any of her children:
|Before (March 4, 2008)
||After (March 13, 2008)
|[singlepic id=53 w=220 h=600 float=center]
||[singlepic id=52 w=220 h=600 float=center]
In light of the 2007 Israeli Pride Parade, commencing today at noon in Tel-Aviv, and later this month in Jerusalem (God willing), and in light of two recent articles discussing the ‘Glass Closet‘ (Michael Musto for Out Magazine, Gal Uchovsky for Time Out Tel-Aviv), I just wanted to convey it is a shame that successful people in the media cannot summon up the courage it takes to come out of the closet, and become a role model for teenagers struggling in life. Izhar Cohen missed the opportunity to tackle gay invisibility in the seventies, Ofra Haza missed the opportunity to raise AIDS awareness in the nineties, but it is never too late to be a hero in the eyes of Israeli teens. I reckon that singers with sold-out events and songwriters who write hit songs about love, have no business avoiding what everyone in this tiny country already knows.
Here are some positive role models:
And others who can be positive role models:
In a changing world
There’s so much you could be
Why can’t you choose your self
Like your enemy?
Have you ever imagined
A new you?
I could be someone else
I want a positive role model
– – From The Musical ‘Closer To Heaven’ by the Pet Shop Boys
Update: On December 23, 2009 singer-songwriter Yehudit Ravitz finally came out as a lesbian. This post was joyfully updated to reflect the news.
Update #2: On March 18, 2010 singer-songwriter Yehuda Poliker sorta-kinda came out. In a Channel 10 documentary film he used wording that left many disappointed. On July 16, 2010 in a newspaper interview in Yedioth Ahronoth, Poliker finally admitted falling in love in the past with men. Only then was this post finally updated to reflect the news.
Update #3: On October 22, 2010 singer Harel Skaat came out as gay. This post was joyfully updated to reflect the news.
Update #4: On December 30, 2011 comedienne Orna Banai came out as a lesbian. This post was joyfully updated to reflect the news.