Rumors, Gossip, and Jokes!
Wednesday September 22nd 2010, 9:15 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

In a college environment one can’t help but notice the insinuations, stereotypes, and accusations students have about one another. From my perspective it feels as if I live in a tourist like snow globe and I am constantly being watched and shaken by my peers who are waiting to make a comment about what I do, say, or wear.  Like most nights, a few of my friends and myself sat around and just talked; had a typical girls night.    Like most nights we talked about guys, relationships, sex, drama, and personal issues.  While on the topics of guys each girl was naming who they thought the cutest guy on campus was and if they would ever approach him.  As one of my friends was listing off a guy she thought was attractive another friend blurted out “Eww, that fag***!” Soon the whole room burst into laughter, and guilty as I am, I joined in with the laughter.  The guy who my friend named was a well groomed, fashionably dress, poetic guy who happened to have a lighter voice.  Not once did he say that he was of the homosexual/bisexual orientation nor have she ever witnessed him romantically involved with another guy, so her comment was composed of assumption.  Like the rest of the girls there, as the laughter died down, we continue talking as if nothing wrong was said and enjoyed the rest of our night.

Analyzing the situation now, I noticed that I did nothing more than encourage ignorance to be acknowledged and joked upon.  We socially constructed the idea that a man should be masculine in voice and rugged in appearance.  We have an idea that they should be sweaty and handy and when they go outside the norm and decide to take upon activities that aren’t socially placed on them they get categorized into unaccepted territory.  Given that he has a sense of style he was given the persona of being gay but the fact that he was previously in a committed long term relationship with a girl was irrelevant to her comment.  What is considered  heterosexual, masculine, homosexual, and feminine are socially constructed ideas implanted to allow people to generalize people into groups.  Addressing ignorant comments is important because when laughed at or unacknowledged it gives the speaker a sense that their comment was appropriate and doesn’t help with social change that is trying to occur.  There are two ways to be apart of a problem: your either the noticeable perpetrator or the passive observer, and in the above scenario I was the passive observer. Now I acknowledge unwelcoming comments and encourage everyone to say only appropriate things when addressing someone; as my father told me, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, than don’t say anything at all.”