Yesterday I had the joy of explaining to a six-year-old that “homo” wasn’t an expletive or an insult, and using it as one makes you sound backwards and stupid.
This was a moderate issue for a couple of reasons. First, and hopefully obviously, the kid wasn’t mine. Other parents can get squirmy about their kids getting braingear from outside sources, but I’d say the horse has bolted on that one so they can just suck it up. You knew your kid was car-pooling with a hippie.
Second, I had to do it all in Finnish, and keep in mind that this is just something kids absorb at school (not home, I’m sure; his parents are nice folks), and wasn’t malicious. And in his defence, he did know what “homo” meant and didn’t seem to think there was anything particularly wrong with it. It was just a naughty word to yell out when I refused to show him my Pokémon game on my phone.
I’m also very aware that in my world, it’s only been a couple of decades since “homo” was a funny way to insult someone who declined his ninth beer. And parents bring a lot more baggage to this than kids have. I didn’t go overboard with the lecturing (what would be the point?), I just explained better what a homo was and that calling someone “homo” was the same as calling them a “person” or a “human” as an insult.
Where I think I fell in a hole with that was … well, “human” is an insult as far as I’m concerned. But oh well. I did my liberal snowflake best.
I don’t think it made much difference. Kids are gonna say dumb things they learn from other kids and giggle proudly like they invented that shit. And I did have a chat with the guy about Pokémons after that and reassured him that my Pokémon collection was sub-par and his was way better. But I did have to show him the game shortcut on my phone before I was allowed a seat at the table. Which is fair.
Anyway, he’s a good kid. Not so good that he’s not getting a lot of benefit out of his friendship with Wump, but still.
– Posted from my Huawei mobile phone while on the bus.