Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Essex teachers telling gay pupils to tone it down are right!

In a report for Essex County Council on school bullying, it was revealed that, in some instances, homosexual pupils were advised by teachers to act “less gay” or to change their hairstyles to make life easier for themselves.

This has led to predictable howls of outrage from gay rights campaigners and anti-bullying charities. According to Sherry Adhami, director of communications at the Beat Bullying charity: "Because someone is a particular way, the victim should not have to change their ways, particularly on issues of such sensitivity as sexuality, race, colour or religion.”

Race and colour are irreversible facts of existence. Kids who are black or oriental can’t choose not to be, so picking on them purely for being black or oriental is a particularly horrible thing to do. Ditto, obviously, disabilities. Similarly, being homosexual is – in most cases – probably not a matter of choice. It could be argued that, when you’re a child, religion isn’t a matter of choice either, especially if your parents are strict observers of a particular faith.

Any instance of kids ganging up on other kids (or adults ganging up on other adults, for that matter) simply because they are any of the above should be stopped and punished.

What I’m far less certain of is that, say, blacks, gays, Muslims and disabled people who set out to stuff their differences up the noses of “normal” people in a deliberately provocative fashion – in the UK, that would be vaguely Christian or mildly unbelieving white, heterosexual, able-bodied folk – should expect the law to come down like a ton of bricks on those who react badly to their deliberate provocation. Society as a whole sets the limits of acceptable behaviour – not the individual concerned, or the minority group to which they belong.

When an Asian accountant or black barrister or a devout Muslim family or a gay man out with his partner or some chap in a wheelchair trying to get on a bus suffer abuse purely because of what they are, that’s plain wrong – legally and morally.

But when a group of young Muslims demonstrate against British soldiers on Remembrance Day, calling them “butchers” and “crusaders”, when a gang of young blacks with their arses hanging out their trousers set out to intimidate white or Asian kids or adults, when a homosexual couple dressed in tutus and leather caps indulge in vigorous tonsil-licking in a public place, and when a disabled person behaves as if everyone else should be inconvenienced in order that their disability shouldn’t inconvenience them in any way – well, when people are determined to behave in that sort of way, I think they should expect the odd harsh word and for the police to turn a blind eye (fat chance, given the enforced liberal wetness of today's constabulary).

And the best place to learn that there are limits to the way you express your differentness is surely school. If children are brought up to believe that being different gives them carte blanche to behave in any way they like – no matter how annoying or upsetting to the majority – then the rest of us might begin to feel that we had a right to express our relative normality in any way we saw fit.

School isn’t just about revealing possibilities: it’s just as much about civilising children by teaching them that (a) the sun doesn’t necessarily shine out of their backsides, and (b) there are limits.

And now I'm off to put on my pointy-hooded top with eye-slits in it to express my whiteness, a smock with a red crusader cross on it to express my Christianity and a version of the "Black Russian" codpiece worn by Rowan Atkinson in the first series of Blackadder to express my heterosexuality.

And if anyone objects, I'll just tell them I'm simply expressing who I am.


  1. Mincer, I cannot help being what I am! You, of all people, should understand that.

  2. Yes, life's changed a bit since some of our contemporaries thought it fun to go "queer- bashing" on Wimbledon Common. Isn't the point really that yoof should be told by their teachers to tone it down a bit in general, public tonsil probing being unsightly whether gay or straight.

  3. When you say "contemporaries" you don't mean from KCSl, do you? If so, I wasn't aware any of us went in for that sort of thing. If you mean generally, I'mnot sure it doesn't still go on - I seem to remember a very nasty case involving teenagers killing a gay waiter on the South Bank not too long ago. The bastards were caught and found guilty, I recall.

    Couldn't agree with you more about the need for teachers to encourage all of us to reconnect with our inner conservative, behaviourally. I still remember with horror seeing several young heterosexual couples energetically swapping saliva on the tube during the morning commute, and wondering whether I was going to hurl chunks before reaching my destination. Ditto young men walking around semi-naked whenever the temperature gets abvove 75. Ditto filthy language in public places (or, more usually, on BBC comedy shows). I also think couple of whatever sex should be dissuaded from holding hands for longer than about 30" at a time - I don't mind public displays of affection, but not when they're for effect, and one's hands do get terribly sweaty.

  4. Sadly, there was a small skinhead element at KCS who organised several sorties to the common for exactly that purpose and were caught boasting about it. It didn't last for long. They're probably all upstanding dentists and opticians now.

  5. Bonjour, matelot! Your post prompted me to try and discover the size of the homosexual population in Britain - according to The Integrated Household Survey [2011] there are 480,000 [male&female] and an additional 245,000 bi-sexuals. Another quoted figure is that out of a population of just under 60m. 95% claimed to be heterosexual. OK. statistics? But I was staggered about the small number. And they are a very vociferous and noisy lot mainly I suspect because they dominate the entertainment and broadcasting industries and earn away above the national average [£36K vs £24K roughly]. God, I wish they would pipe down and stop being so strident.

  6. I offer no further criticism or comment on this community, but I need your advice in the area of political correctness. I am 65 years old and am confused about what is acceptable these days in terms of "nomenclature". I can't bring myself to use "gay" or"lesbian" because it sounds wet [like "loved ones" instead of "family and friends"] and is an insult to Hussars and Caballeros and "blades" in general - and to a nice island in the Mediterrenean. In terms of male practitioners, "pederast" or "raving queer" is too pejorative and "deviant" is a bit grim [although Norman Tebbit gets away with this]. Is "homosexual" or "homosexualist" [Auberon Waugh's preferred term] still acceptable?

  7. Older Gronmark blog fans will tell you that the great man favours the term "player of the pink oboe" which I think was coined by the late Peter Cook at the time of the Thorpe trial in the 70s. Alternatively, you might consider "an afficianado of the musical theatre" or the Telegraph obituary formula "A confirmed bachelor, he never married."

  8. I always rather liked the 1920s formulation "a musical gentleman", evidently a variant on your "musical theatre" one, EX-KCS.

    As far as I'm aware, Satsuma Man, "homosexual" is still acceptable amongst members of the older generation. I can't for the life of me imagine how anyone could possibly object to it (Auberon Waugh obviously added "ist" just to be annoying). I find myself using "gay" more frequently, and am getting used to it (much as one has had to get used to offering other worshippers the sign of peace in church).

    The trouble with "gay" is that young people often use it as a synonym for "crappy" or "rubbish", which apparently gets liberal teachers in a frightful strop. Like most sensible people, I too would like the word to return to its original usage, as it was a nice word, and practically irreplaceable (you missed out "The Gordons", by the way). You absolutely can't use "queer" unless you yourself are a practicing homosexualist - apparently are some "universities" offer courses in "Queer Theory", but I struggle to imagine what they might comprise.

    Until "Mincer" tells us what he would find acceptable, here's a list of synonyms taken from the first website Google offered me when I typed in "synonyms for homosexual":
    (to be continued...)

  9. ace queen; ambiente; anal advocate; anal buckaneer; anal jabber; Anderson; androgyne; androtrope; Angelina; antiman; arse bandit; ass boy; ass clown; ass fucker; assleech; ass pirate; ass rider; aunt fancy; assleech; aunt fancy; aunt mame; aunt Mathilda;
    bachelor; back door bandit; backside; banana(s); banty; bat; batty boy; batty man; beard flit; beauns; beautocks; beauts; beauty; belle; bender; bent; bent as a 9 bob; bentwrist; bird(ie); birl; bitch; biscuit; biscuits; blue; bonobo; bonbons; boody; booty; bottom; boy; broad; broken arrow; bronc(o); bronk; bucket; bugger; bum; bum bandit; bum boy; bun; bunger; bunghole; bun-bun; buns; bunt; bunter; butch; butt; butt bumper; butt bunny; buttercup; butterfly; butterfly boy; buttocks; butt pirate;
    caboose; cake boy; cakes; camp; camp bitch; can; canetta; canister set; capon; carnivore; Cashmerian togas; catamite; change-machine; change-register; Cheeks; chips; chirujo; chundini; cissy; clear; cooch; coolie; copper penny; cornholer; cot betty; cotquean; cow; cozy drop; culo; cunt; cupcake; cushion;
    daffodilly; dainties dandy; daisy; darling; dass; degenerate; derriere; deviate; dish; dokus; donut puncher; doric (lover); do the work; double adapter; drop; duchess; duck; duff; duster;
    effie; être aux hommes; evil; eye candy;
    fag; fagateeny; faggot; faggotry; faggoty; fagola; fairy; fanny; fay; fegelah; feigele; fellow; fem; femme; fesse; feygelah; filly; Finn's place names; finocchio; fish queen; flame; flame artist; flame thrower; flamer; flaming bitch; flaming faggot; flaming lady; flaming queen; flapping fag; flicker; flip side; flit; flitty; flossy one; flower; fluff; flute; fluter; flutterer; flying faggot; F.o.D.; foop; forty-one; freak (of nature); friend of Dorothy; frit; fruit; fruitcake; fruity; fu; fudge packer; fuff; funboy; fundillo; funny boy;
    gatees; gay; gay as a goose; gay bait; gay girl; gazeet; gentleman of the back door; giddy woman; ginger; girl; glitter girl; gold star; goober smoocher; good buddy; grindle packer; gump; gurl;
    hair fairy; ham; hernandies [mid 60s]; hill-lock; hint of mint; hips; homo; homogenic; homophile; homosexual; hot pockeroo; hundred-and-seventy-fiver;
    intermediate sex; intersex; invert; invertebrate;
    jamblocks; joey; john & joan;
    kazoo; keester; Kinsey 6; knob polisher; knob shiner;
    labonza; lacy; lad; laddie; lavender boy; lavender lad; left-handed; lick-box; light in the loafers; light number (a suspected homosexual); light on his feet; lily; lily white; limp wrist(ed); lisper; little dear; lizzie; loaves; loca; love buns;
    male sexual pervert; male tale; mama's boy; manlover; maricó(n); mariposa; mavis; meat browner; member of the unions; mexoga; milksop; milquetoast; min; mince; mince meat; mintie; minty; miss boy; mo; moe; moffie; molly; molly coddle; moon; money-maker; morphodite; motor; moumoune; mouser; muffie; mujerado; muzzler;
    nachas; naka-nake; nance; nancy (boy); nellie; nelly; neon-carrier; neon-sign; neuter; niceling; nicht; ninan; nola;
    off-color; okole-mas; omi-poloni; on the team; orange crush;
    paddies; painted willy; pansy; panz; papaout; patapouf; pato; patties; pederast; pee willy; pellin; people like us; Percy; Percy boy; Percy-pants; perthy; petal; peter eater; piece of luggage; pillow biter; pink; pix; pixie; ponce; pood; poof; poofter; poo pusher; poove; popo; porch backs; potcharooney; pouf; pouffe; poundcake; powder puff; pratt; punta; puff; puss; pussy;
    (to be continued...)

  10. quean; queen; queenie; queer; queue; quin; quince;
    rectum raper; rectum rider; rectum robber; red lip; red one; reverse parker; ring wraith; rodent; rolls; roscas; rosey; rum; rump ranger;
    sausage jockey; scammered; screamer; screaming-bitch; screaming-faggot; screaming-fairy; screaming-mimi; screaming-queen; screecher; set of cakes; set of pears; sexual invert; sex variant; shirt lifter; sis; sissy; sissy-queen; sister boy; sitzbein; sizzlers; skippy; skoptsy; smiley; snake handler; south-end; spare tire; smaller; sphincter proder; Squeaking fag; squealer; strange; sugar cookies; sugar in his blood; sugar sweet; sweet; sweet boy; sweetheart; sweetie; sweet William; swish; swisher; swishy;
    tail; tail gunner; tapette; taquitos; tauatane; temperamental; tender lily; third; three dollar bill (in his pocket); three letter man; tinker bell; tit-face; that way; third; third sexer; three-letter man; tokus; tooky; toots; torch; tripper; triss; tulip; tweener; twilight; twink; twinkie; twinkle-toes; twit; twixter;
    udder; uffimay; unstraight; up hill gardener; uranian; urning;
    waffle; waste hole wanderer; whoopsie boy; wienie washer; Willy; winny; woof; woofter; woop; woopter;
    yoo-hoo boy;

    Perhaps a replacement for "gay" will eventually emerge from that assortment - although I really hope it isn't "biscuit" or "cakes". Or "bunghole" or "anal jabber" come to that.