My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Language cops come to Queens...

You'd think we were in the Soviet Union....
Your friend's new fuchsia fedora might be hideous. But don't call it gay, or you might get a language lesson from the conversation cops.

Students at Queen's University who sprinkle their dialogue with an assortment of "homo" or "retarded" could find out the hard way that not everyone finds their remarks acceptable.

The Kingston university has hired student facilitators to step in when they overhear homophobic slurs, remarks bashing women or racially tinged insults, along with an array of other language that could be deemed offensive.

That means tête-à-têtes in the residence hallways may no longer be just between friends.

"If people are having a conversation with offensive content and they're doing it loud enough for a third person to hear it ... it's not private," said Jason Laker, dean of student affairs at Queen's.

"If you're doing anything that's interfering with what other people need to be doing, that's not cool."


Anonymous x2para said...

think this is bad? what do you think would happen if the left wing NDP ever came to power in this country; "hey kids, do your parents ever say ......"
I'll bet Commie Jack Layton thinks its just great

5:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My father used to say there were no fraternities or sororities at Queen's, because it was good enough to be a Queen's man. I wonder what he would say today about this political correctness gone mad.

I think there must be something in the water in Ontario - such a nanny state.

5:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fact that Queens thinks it is quite alright to have 3rd parties monitoring private conversations is seriously misguided. Among other things, I think it shows disrespect for the autonomy and intelligence of their students.

5:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I'm sure no one is arguing with the intention just the implementation. Personally I used to be terrible- I would say "gay" to describe something bad or I didn't like frequently. I still do on occasion. But it dropped off markedly when in my Grade 12 year one of the students told a touching story about his brother coming out of the closet and at the end all the student leaders pledged that they would not improperly use the word 'gay'. So no one was told not to throw around that language but it was heavily suggested and shown by example.

Unfortunately I could see how this method wouldn't work at a university. Maybe incorporated into a general intro talk by the dons- like "hey your in uni now so your are expected to act like adults not four graders- you can pass out in your own vomit as long as you clean it up but please refrain from using homophobic, sexist or racist language."

I realized that this hard because homophobia, sexism and rascism is incorporated into the language. I didn't realized that "to spic" something was racist until grade 8 and it took till grade 11 to realize that "to gypt" something was also racist.

It is a different line to walk because you certainly can't condone this language but you must gauge your response as you dont want to alienate people who could potentially be really supportive which is what seems to be happening in this case.

I dont know- tough call- any other suggestions for combating homophobia in our universities?

8:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I disagree - I don't think this is a bad step at all, nor is it Soviet Russia.
While I don't think that Queen's should have hired facilitators (it should be volunteer based, like a social organization), I think it is a good move. People should be told that using gay, or retarded in negative ways and slurs are NOT okay. These people aren't going to put you in prison, nor will they tap your phone service; but if they hear you say "That's so gay!" they'll tell you that it could be offensive.
I don't see why it's so wrong to be polite...

12:40 AM  

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