How Is Chile’s Government Cracking Down On Domestic Abuse? By Calling Violent Husbands ‘Faggots’

A federal Chilean public awareness campaign to fight domestic violence has a wonderful way of convincing macho men not to beat their wives: call them faggots. How creative!

You’re a “maricón” — slang for “faggot/pussy/weakling” — if you’re such a coward that you have to hit your woman, argues a new PSA airing on the network Chilevisión — which was until just a few weeks ago owned by, get this, Chilean President Sebastián Piñera; Time Warner’s Turner Broadcast finalized a purchase of the network Oct. 6. (Update: We’re told the PSA is airing on most major Chilean networks.) It might might explain why the PSA was created by the federal National Service of the Woman (Sernam), an organization dedicated to furthering the rights of women. And, evidently, shaming men into not wanting to be mistaken for a homo.

The real twist: The man appearing in the spot is the openly gay television presenter Jordi Castell. He tells viewers (in Spanish), “The real faggot is not a homosexual, but a man who beats his wife.”

Relays Chilean reader Jose, who tipped us off to the spot: “Local homosexual organizations say that the campaign is a good one because it hijacks the ‘maricón’ insult and it gives a new meaning. But I think that it legitimates it, and even worse it makes it comparable to something horrible as beating a woman. You are not a man, you’re a maricón.”

If the ultimate of Chilean pejoratives is being called a faggot, and that gets you to stop hitting your girl, then this is an excellent exercise in persuasive messaging! Because who cares about furthering stereotypes about faggots!

But let’s not forget gays are also at risk for domestic violence. What should we threaten to call LGBT abusers: breeders?