Azealia Banks Won’t Quit Saying ‘Faggot’ and Everyone is Just Done

Enough.

Please shut up

So, Azealia Banks.

The Youtube sensation turned next-big-thing is a rapper like none other. She’s openly bisexual, oddly stylish, a little off-kilter and very funny. Just take a look at her busy Twitter account.

Unless you hate the word “faggot”. Because this girl REALLY  likes it. A lot.

Banks seems to believe she’s living in an age where such words have no power, in a post-faggot world as it were.

But she’s wrong.

And also a hypocrite.

Last month we watched her fully embrace gender norms as it suited her in order to ridicule a fellow female musician for being too masculine (“YOU HAVE AN ADAMS APPLE THO!!!!” and some other choice words) and more recently she used the f-word over and over in tirades against other industry people (“Harlem Shake” artist Baauer and one of his producers, Brillz) as well as those who follow the industry (Perez Hilton took sides and was roundly admonished by Banks, who called him a faggot, uhhhgain).

All this, and then she has the audacity to tell society that it’s the one who’s wrong. Not her.

“It’s like society is so bored with itself,” Banks tweeted in response to demands she shut up,  ”it needs to hold on to these outdated rules of what you can say and cannot say.”

Here’s the deal, young Azealia. In certain circles, people use the word faggot in a just between us girls kind of way. It may seem crude and regressive and vulgar to most of us, but that doesn’t change the fact that it happens. And no, it isn’t really about re-appropriation or advocacy so much as it’s about some people who like to be crude and regressive and vulgar.

And even those people are usually smart enough not to say it in the public sphere, where people can get offended or angry or, worse, where someone might start to believe it is okay. And as a public figure with LGBT fans, you’re saying it to a crowd full of likely sensitive people.

If the word were really owned by LGBT people, we wouldn’t hear it in the context of homophobic attacks (looking at you Chris Brown) because it would have no power. Nor would Azealia Banks be lobbing it at people’s she’s pissed at.

Instead, we would hear it in lighthearted romantic comedies with gay best friend characters who find love in all the zaniest places. Imagine Paul Rudd being all “I love you faaaaaaggot!” in The Object of My Affection while making his trademark puppy dog faces and giving Jennifer Aniston Eskimo kisses on her old nose.

Can’t imagine it? That’s ’cause it isn’t a thing. It wasn’t in that terrible but well-intentioned (possibly) 1998 movie and it is not a thing now.

Azealia Banks was 7-years-old in 1998 and she is now 21. Still very young. The struggle to make sure everyone knows that LGBT people are just people has made giant strides since Banks was dancing to the Spice Girls (imagine what people would say if they made The Object of My Affection now…) but one thing that has yet to go away is homophobia. In the hip hop community, in the black community, the white community. In all communities, it is still a thing.

By using the language of homophobia and transphobia, Banks has become a high-profile homophobe and transphobe. She can plead bisexual or post-modern or young and irreverent all she wants, she can compare this issue to issues of race, but that doesn’t change the fact that she used hate-charged words to try to hurt others.

So let’s everyone give this talented, (very) young thing the side eye, like she deserves, and sashay on with our day.