So… There I was. Clicking around on Facebook, and then I saw this Buzzfeed post from a few days ago… It had what I was pretty sure was a slur in the title, but – curious about what exactly the hell a Twink is – I clicked it. And, excuse my usage in this post so far, but it felt jarring and had a certain tinge of antiquated ignorance to it.
You can find a link to the article, in-full + comments, lower down in this post. I don’t want to send traffic to Buzzfeed for this one, so if you want to read it – please read it here using that PDF link. I have no claim to the material, and it is owned by Buzzfeed, Inc.
Why This Bothers Me a Bit
Being a minority with a certain color skin in the United States, I’ve developed a sort of sixth sense for when someone is kinda’ tossing out a “No Word” – LOL! In my case, for those who didn’t pick it up, I’m talking about the word “nigger” (one of the biggest “No Words” in American History — if not THE biggest).
I’ve been called the n-word a few times in my life to my face by a non-Black person, and it carries a certain stink to it.
The word Buzzfeed tossed around had the same foul feeling to it as I read their copy. It was as though I was reading other words from my very early younger years, that just kind of went out of style (much like the n-word is no longer something casually tossed around by the masses in public), repeated again and again. Words like “fag” and “retard” (again, apologies)…
Sure a segment of the current population still tosses those words around (and the c-word for women) like a hibachi chef tosses shrimp, but those words just aren’t cool in certain circles. And one would think that they wouldn’t be cool in BuzzFeed‘s target demographic.
Something just felt a little like… Even if the word is said among the LGBTQIA2S+ group, it just sounds a little “outside the house” or “among mixed company” for it to just be plastered all over BuzzFeed like it was.
Let me put it this way, you have women who endearingly call themselves and their friends “Bitch” but wouldn’t do that so casually in mixed company. You also have Black people who use the n-word with people they are extremely familiar with or grew up around who wouldn’t drop that word at all in mixed company. As a Cisgender Heterosexual Black Man (who sometimes debates carrying the label of Demisexual ever since I found out about it), I would NEVER call any of my friends… Twinks. (last time — sorry).
Calling Out BuzzFeed + The Full Article
Look, I get that the article started with them defending Cardi B. I like Cardi B. She’s cool. But… Na. This literally felt like an article defending and attempting to popularize a slur. Almost like Cardi’s people paid BuzzFeed to write it – LOL (I’m not saying she or anyone who represents her did such a thing — don’t get me sued for slander or libel)!
It was like watching the “Fetch” portions of Mean Girls all over again… Only… The slur version.
They talk about ancient history to try to make the term sound like it’s ok. Pretty sure it wasn’t used in ancient times. They then pull up other old things like pictures of monks and an old Abe Lincoln status (I don’t know).
And then the cascade of naming popular male celebrities from different eras and tossing the word around like it’s a free sample at Costco or something.
Seriously — don’t give them traffic for putting up trash like that. The world doesn’t need it.
Instead, I’ll just focus on some of the reactions I’m seeing on Facebook to the post…
(As of right now, the post has 67 little angry face emojis.)
This is posted out on a public Social Media site, so I don’t think I need to blur faces and names as they appear on the site, so here we go…
Those aren’t presented in order, but I just scrolled down through the latest most relevant (according to Facebook) reactions. This wasn’t like a deep scroll or search — pretty much all of the reactions to the post are kind of along the lines of either those above, people expressing shock, or trolling.
All that I’m saying is if most of your user base is calling you out for the word, and if you see there’s like a swell against the term online — maybe the web traffic isn’t worth the damage being done to your reputation?
Yo – I searched the article for the word and they dropped it 45 times in one post — fifty if you included what came back in the comment section (that’s 5-0).
If I came across an article from a mainstream entertainment and news outlet like BuzzFeed dropping the n-word or c-word 50 times in the way that this post does… Ehhh… I don’t know if someone would have a job afterward, and I don’t know how much longer they’d stay employed.
That is it for this one. I am just going to stop it here because there isn’t much else to say.
“To people reading, don’t do this (what Buzzfeed did)?” *shrugs*
Look, I don’t think I’m overreacting or anything by expressing a bit of shock to this one on my personal blog. I’m not calling for people to boycott Buzzfeed or anything — I don’t take them that seriously. But, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed in them for this one.
I know that we live in a world where shock value gets you eyeballs and that translates into money, but this particular article from them just felt in poor taste to me. None of their stuff is especially highbrow – but… Damn.