The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #119441   Message #2591651
Posted By: Azizi
18-Mar-09 - 07:56 AM
Thread Name: Homophobia in Playground Rhymes
Subject: RE: Homophobia in Playground Rhymes
Thanks for such an interesting discussion.

I agree that the word "homophobic" is not a perfect fit for children's disapproval of people who are homosexual and people who they think are homosexuals. But I'm gonna go with the term people are familiar with, and add some explanatory comments in my notes to that section of my book on "Down By The Banks Of The Hanky Panky" rhymes.

I should note that pnly about 1/3 of the 165 examples that I've collected from Internet "mining" (meaning those examples that were posted on websites that I have permission to use)*, refer to Michael Jackson. And most of those rhymes use an insulting line such as "Michael Jackson makes me gag" instead of using the line "Michael Jackson is a fag". Note that in the YouTube video of the two teens chanting this rhyme, they appear to say "Michael Jackson is a brag". Furthermore, in two of these examples, the contributors mention that she/he and their friends either alternate/d the versions of this rhyme from the "homophobic" version to the "gag" version, or they stopped using the "homophobic" version, though no reason was given why they stopped using it. It would be nice to think that someone (and adult, an older teen, or a child around their age) intervened and let them know that it's not a good idea to insult individuals or groups of people because of their sexual orientation.