BYU Fans Accused of Being Homophobic Over A Sign
BYU fans were recently criticized because a woman in the front row was holding a sign that read " You can't say Mississippi without saying sissy." The entire student body was called homophobic. One newspaper that I won't mention, went as far as saying that there was no arguing that sissy is a homophobic slur.
Here's my opinion. No, it isn't a homophobic slur. And yes, I can argue it. I've always viewed the word sissy as a synonym to coward. Actually, by definition that's pretty much what it is. However, I don't get to tell you what you're offended by. I also don't have to care if the word sissy offends you. If the word "banana" offended me, would you stop using it? Granted, that's neither here nor there. The point I'm trying to make is there are words that are used to intentionally degrade other groups. That's hate speech. That's unacceptable. There is strong sexual language than can also be offensive to others. That's also unacceptable when you're around a person offended by it. Then there are other words that aren't hate speech, and just because you're offended by them, doesn't mean anyone has to care. It also doesn't make them a bigot. Calling an oppossing football team a bunch of sissies is as old as the coin toss. That is until adult males between the ages of 18-32 came up with new insulting names. But at no point was sissy used as a homophobic slur. It was used to insinuate the other team is a bunch of cowards.
We could go on and on about BYU's policies and whether that discriminates against the LGBT community, but that's a seperate issue and a separate discussion. The issue they're under fire for today is the word sissy on a sign. It's not hate speech, it's not strong sexual content. It's just a word. And you can twist the word however you'd like to your exact choosing. But it doesn't make anyone else a bigot, nor does it instantly make you right. Being offended by hate speech makes you a victim of bigotry. Being offended by indecent sexual language makes you a victim of inappropriate behavior. Being offended by any other words makes you.......well, a sissy.