Have we all agreed to go to baseball commentator Ray Knight’s house with pitchforks, torches and effigies? Good. Because he dared use the most super-offensive gay slur of all time in the entire universe.
Yes, during the Washington Nationals match against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Phoenix, he dared say that you shouldn’t play baseball like a “sissy.”
Oh no sir. We’re afraid you’ve gone too far this time.
Wait. He felt bad enough about it to issue an apology about saying “sissy”? Really??
“I never thought one time that that would be a word that would be used to connote that,” he said, adding that he meant it as an expression calling for a baseball player to “come on, toughen up.” “But absolutely, I get it,” he said. “Now I get it.”
GLSEN also complained about Knight’s choice of words, saying that sissy is often used against teens who are bullied.
So… can we qualify this as hate speech then? Is “sissy” the new “faggot”?
You see, bullies often use “sissy” to torment femmy gay kids because it is:
“a pejorative term for a boy or man who violates or does not meet the traditional male gender role. Generally, sissy implies a lack of the courage and stoicism which are thought important to the male role. A man might also be considered a sissy for being interested in traditionally feminine hobbies or employment, for displaying effeminate behavior, for being unathletic, or for being homosexual.”
But Wikipedia also says, that it also has a positive feminine connotation:
“Sissy: a relationship nickname formed from sister, given to girls to indicate their role in the family, especially the oldest female sibling. It can also be applied to girls as a term of affection from friends who are not family members. See Sissy Spacek*.”
But it also means “feeble or cowardly”—someone not willing to take risks who gets real sour or sullen about having a good time. A wet blanket. someone who is obstinate, overly fussy, needy, and inconveniently delicate or finicky.
This accurately describe your typical sensitive queer kid who doesn’t want to be forced into bullshit heteronormative sports activities.
But it also accurately describes an uptight prig that refuses to have fun—the sort of person who might suck as baseball because they fear its flying balls, violence, and utter boredom.
Louis CK feels the same way about the word faggot. When he was a kid, “faggot” didn’t mean a gay person, it meant a prig. And he would never call a gay person a faggot… unless of course, they started acting like one.
* FYI, Sissy Spacek starred in the 2004 film Home At The End Of The World, a film about