School of Thought
I just read an op-ed piece written by a gay New York public middle school teacher. He told a story of finding a note two female students were writing which referred to him as a "faggot" and depicted him in crude sexual illustrations. He goes on to mention that another gay teacher at the school, a lesbian, had faced similar homophobia in her classroom. In his case, the school's solution was to have the students write an entended letter of apology. In the lesbian teacher's scenario, the students had to do a report on Matthew Shepard. The idea was to raise awareness about the consequences of homophobia.
Am I the only one who thinks that this was a complete waste of time? Does the school really think the kids are going to change their ways after copying an article off the Internet? As for the apology--well, I don't think there's anyone better at an insincere "I'm sorry" than a adolescent kid.
Here's my solution: The troublemakers should be put in the middle of the classroom, while the rest of the class is encouraged to hurl epithets at them. Whatever specific problem the kids have--acne, obesity, a lazy eye--should be targeted to cause the most emotional damage. That would shut those little pieces of shit up, right quick.
The bottom line is that we're obsessed with "raising awareness"--about homophobia, about drug abuse, about poverty in Africa (thank you, Live 8). Raising awarness is just code for feeling good about doing absolutely nothing. If your goal is something vague like raising awarness--rather than generating funds or stopping legislation--you cant really fail, can you? Everyone goes home happy.
The gay community is the worst offender of this: That drugged-out circuit party? Oh, it was a "AIDS Awareness" benefit. That sexy poster on the bus shelter? It's a crystal meth awarness ad. It's like we can't bring ourselves to accept that people just don't give a fuck, so we tell ourselves they're just not "aware" of the problem.
And on that note: Happy Pride, everyone!