The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #119441   Message #2590895
Posted By: Azizi
17-Mar-09 - 08:26 AM
Thread Name: Homophobia in Playground Rhymes
Subject: RE: Homophobia in Playground Rhymes
It also occurs to me that the line "Michael Jackson is a fag" line proabably wouldn't be used in the UK since in that nation* 'fag' means 'cigarette' (something else I learned from hangin' out on Mudcat).

*However, I'm not certain whether it's politically incorrect to make the word nation as a reference to The United Kingdom singular or plural. Would someone please post which is the correct usage. Thanks.


I've also been thinking that people could read homophobic references into children's playground rhymes when they may not be meant. And even if the rhyme does refer to homosexuality, that doesn't mean that every child who recites it or reads it will get (understand)that meaning.

For example, there's this rhyme:

Batman and Robin
Flying through the air
Robin lost his underwear
Robin said "Me don't care"*
Batman'll buy me another pair.
-African American boy, age 7, Pittsburgh, PA, 2000 (versions also found on a lot of children's playground rhymes)

*also given as "Robin said "I don't care".

Some children (most children?) might understand this rhyme as Batman being a nice guy because he buys his friend Robin underwear (boxers or briefs) just to help him out because Robin lost his. But this rhyme could also imply that the male superheroes Batman and Robin were doing something together which necesitated that they take off their underwear and accidentally resulted in Robin losing his (underwear, that is).

I just think that adults have to be cautious about reading too much into every children's rhyme (I'm writing this especially for myself).