Wednesday, September 20, 2006

It's been suggested that I need to be more careful with the word 'homophobic' because I'm told that Newsround doesn't have "an anti-homosexual agenda, in the sense of perpetrating derogatory beliefs about them." I'm not sure I agree. Maybe Newsround doesn't in itself perpetrate derogatory beliefs, but by not treating people equally and fairly it perpetuates homophobic bullying and the homophobia which exists in so many schools. In the same way, if CBBC Newsround deliberately excluded black news and never had black people on tv or its website, I wouldn't say it was whitenormative - rather I'd say it was racist (Discrimination or prejudice based on race).

The perpetuation of homophobic bullying in schools is not irrelevant to primary school kids, as claimed by Newsround's former editor. The recent ChildLine Casenote (as not properly reported on Newsround) made the relevance perfectly clear. The problem is also covered in a recent study presented to the European Parliament on 13 September 2006. More in the next blog.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Hi again,
I just think we need a way to differentiate between the presence of something negative and the absence of something positive. If, say, the Guardian had as its headline 'Government Gives the Green Light to Perverted Marriages', then I would want to have a word to use that is stronger than whatever you want to use to accuse Newsround with. That would be homophobia, pure and simple. This is a more subtle, perhaps even more dangerous, sort of discrimination - neglect instead of murder.
If language has deteriorated so far that the word 'racism' could not distinguish between ignoring black people and lynching them, then that is a failing as I see it. One might call the first crime 'segregationism', in an abstract sort of way, and the second 'white supremacist'. But I can't help having the feeling that gay people sometimes embrace the equivalent of segregationism - wanting their community to be left in peace. But that's a complex issue, and I'm not sure what I think about it. At any rate, I'm pretty sure I support your fight against heteronormativity, just so long as it doesn't leave us impotent to talk about outright homophobia.
PS - my e-mail is, if you want to argue outwith the public domain.