‘That’s so gay’

I recently re-watched an episode of Doctor Who. Chris Eccelstone, northern accent, brilliant. However, at the end of I was jolted out of my familiar, happy, sci-fi zone when I heard ‘that’s so gay’, not from a villain but from Rose Tyler, the moral, grounding influence (I say Rose Tyler rather than Billy Piper because it was the character that said it not the actress, if you catch my meaning).

In recent years I’ve had friends warn me against re-watching the shows I loved as a kid, ‘Don’t watch Friends, they’re so homophobic…fat shaming…whitewashed’ etc, because viewed through a modern lens we see how problematic they are. I’m sure there were plenty of people watching them first time round that realised this but as a young, straight, white girl it wasn’t until I re-watched them (yes I ignored the warnings), with a greater awareness of my privilege, that I saw it.

This links into this blog post about the changing nature of language from the Eng Lang Blog.

http://englishlangsfx.blogspot.com/2019/01/topics-topic-areas-and-overlap.html

It includes some interesting graphs looking at how words like ‘awesome’ and ‘gay’ have changed their meanings over time and about what they mean to people of different ages.

Is this just an issue that crops up when we re-watched old TV programs?

No.

I still have to pull students up for using gay as a pejorative (insult) and whilst many understand, after a moments reflection, how inappropriate it is to use someones sexuality as an insult, I still get my fair share of blank looks or ‘it’s only a joke’.

What’s your opinion? Have you heard the word ‘gay’ used as in insult?

Please comment below.

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Welcome back…

New year, new us, right?

Many of us start January with an abundance of resolutions and even if they don’t always see out the year they can still do us good.

If your resolution was to read more books or to read more widely check out these recommendations.

Miss Holdrick:- ‘The Power’ by Naomi Alderman: an excellent book dealing with identity and what it means to be a man or a woman.

Ms Eyre:- ‘Life After Life’ Kat Atkinson (and then anything – anything – by Kate Atkinson).  Because it’s creative storytelling and explores the idea that we can go back and start again and who wouldn’t want that?!

Mrs Jefferson:- ‘The Tennant of Wildfell Hall’ by Anne Bronte which is about a mysterious young widow who arrives at Wildfell Hall, an Elizabethan mansion which has been empty for many years. She lives there in strict seclusion under the assumed name Helen Graham and soon finds herself the victim of local slander.   I would recommend it because the plot has twists and turns, violating social conventions and the laws of the day.  I also think she is possibly the best writer when compared to her sisters as it seems as though her ideas were ahead of the time she was writing in.  Unlike her sisters, Anne Bronte’s novel achieved instant success when first published; sadly, after her death, her sister, Charlotte, prevented its re-publication.

Please comment and recommend a book.

 

 

Literature and Gender

I was having an interesting discussion with year 12 today about ‘The Snow Child’ by Angela Carter.

A student commented on how passive one of the characters was and that led to a discussion about the messages of fairy tales and how, as a society, we still accept them and teach them to the next generation.

Here are a clip that I think helps to explore this idea.

 

Book recommendation…

This week from Mrs Jefferson, Head of English.

One of my favourite books is, ‘The Tenant of Wildfell Hall’ by Anne Bronte which is about a mysterious young widow who arrives at Wildfell Hall, an Elizabethan mansion which has been empty for many years. She lives there in strict seclusion under the assumed name Helen Graham and soon finds herself the victim of local slander.

I would recommend it because the plot has twists and turns, violating social conventions and the laws of the day.  I also think she is possibly the best writer when compared to her sisters as it seems as though her ideas were ahead of the time she was writing in.  Unlike her sisters, Anne Bronte’s novel achieved instant success when first published; sadly, after her death, her sister, Charlotte, prevented its re-publication.