Skip Nav
7 Things Your Partner Should Never Ask You to Do
Think (Millennial) Pink! 51 Products You and Your BFFs Will Swoon Over
12 Things I've Learned in 12 Years of Marriage

Gov. Easley Calls Rocky a Pansy

Pansy-Gate? Is the Campaign Scrutiny Getting Ridiculous?

Hillary Clinton received a key endorsement yesterday from North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley. The governor delivered his statement in a casual, jokesy kind of way, saying at one point there's "nothing I love more than a strong powerful woman." And then the floral word heard round the world: pansy. Easley wrapped up his campaign high-five saying this:

"I've been accused of being persistent and downright aggravating. But this lady right here makes Rocky Balboa look like a pansy."

Oops. Right? Reaction to the word was immediate. The editor of the blog Queerty, heard a slur, and worse — no response from Clinton. “Considering the Senator’s silence, we get the impression that she simply doesn’t care. And this is a gay ally?”

Everyone's been dusting off and cracking open the dictionaries. Is pansy really just a slur for a gay man? Or has a modern usage developed? Response on the Queerty blog seemed to think so:

Pansy when referring to a straight male boxer means weak and timid. Pansy when referring to Elton John means effeminate gay man. It's about context people and we are not so important that we need to inject our cause into every sentence that comes out of everyone’s mouth.

Is the clamor over the definition of one word, a sign that attention to campaign minutiae is out of control? Was the statement a real slap at the gay community? Should Clinton have responded? Do people even say "pansy" anymore?

Or should the real gay rights story of the day be the fact that the Australian government has just announced plans to remove about 100 laws it says discriminate against gay couples? Are we losing sight of what's important?


Join The Conversation
thorswitch thorswitch 9 years
popgoestheworld (that was a really fun song, btw *g*) I don't think "pussy" would get much better of a reaction than "pansy," especially since pussy, used in the context of saying a guy is a wimp, is a very crass way of saying, basically, that the guy is weak like a woman. Feminists would likely jump all over that, because insulting someone by comparing him to a woman indicates that women are (still) considered somehow "lesser" then men, and that men should be ashamed of showing any feminine characteristics. It's similar to why many people find someone describing something as being "so gay" (or even "so ghey," as some have taken to spelling it) offensive - the implication is that the thing in question is stupid, silly or otherwise just not a good thing, and by using "gay" as a shorthand for all that, it's saying that gays are stupid, silly and "not good." I have to agree with raciccarone - while I've long heard "pansy" used as a slur as a way of saying a guy is womanly or gay (or both, since so many people assume that womanly men are gay by default) I find it a lot less troubling than someone calling *anyone* - gay or straight - a faggot. As for the campaign, I really think it sad that something like this gets more attention that matters of substance. As a culture sometimes, we can be so pathetic, you know?
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
Maybe cuz they think theres no way it will really happen.
Jillness Jillness 9 years
" All these campaign "scandals" are really insignificant and not related to the issues at hand. however, the media gets bored with real issues like high gas, the economy, health care, education, etc. so they love to pounce on these gaffes and blow it up like its the world's most important issue!" I agree!!! I try to find as many sources as I can: magazines, newspapers, financial papers, various news websites. It is INCREDIBILY tough to find credible information, because even the "respected" sources do touch on the scandal of the day. I am really appauled a the lack of analysis of the gas tax suggestion. How come no one is breaking it down and the consequences, both pro and con?????????
syako syako 9 years
or boycott the outlets who sensationalize. Write letters to the editor. Don't buy into it. Personally I don't watch cable news (unless my husband is, and I'm sitting next to him, but it's totally against my will) because I think it is way dumbed down to the point of using colloquial language of a 6 year old. I'd much rather wait for my weekly New Yorker and get a really investigated and researched article and form an opinion then.
nicachica nicachica 9 years
i can dig your point Syako. it's a lot easier to go for the shallow, sensational news than heavy issues that bum people out. however, i think there's been way too much emphasis on the sensational over the substantial and that is DEFINITELY harmful to everyone (and by harmful i mean making us all a little bit dumber...). we need a little more balance in our news. of course you want to see some good news and levity sometimes, but when sensational crap that doesn't affect our lives becomes the focus, then yes, that is a problem. and i can see how it's consumer driven but then what? boycott the news?
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
hypnotic owns stock in aloe plants! i just know it!
syako syako 9 years
lain I think your :meow: is getting high!! And I want to reiterate something here, the media are not blame for all of our problems... sure it's easy to say oh the media are so terrible but the reality is the news media are driven by consumer demand to beef up that bottom line. So it may be that the CONSUMER is tired of hearing of gas/economy/etc. and the news media are just playing up that sentiment. :ponder:
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 9 years
popgoestheworld: "The gov should have used something less inflamatory though, like pussy." Well, that will offend all the feminists! And the cat lovers! :sigh:
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
*after shave.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
Haha! Leave it up to a gay man to turn a political discussion into a skin care symposium. Sorry citizen. You can also use the store bought aloe but just for purity and sentimental reasons I go straight to the plant. Granny used to cover her face and leave it on for an hour at a time. Now I don't do the mask method but I do apply daily and especially after shaving I don't use
nicachica nicachica 9 years
you know, i think this is something we can all agree on: 1. All these campaign "scandals" are really insignificant and not related to the issues at hand. however, the media gets bored with real issues like high gas, the economy, health care, education, etc. so they love to pounce on these gaffes and blow it up like its the world's most important issue! 2. We will all take Hypno's advice and go out and buy aloe vera plants because it will make our skin glowing and beautiful. ;)
nicachica nicachica 9 years
Hypno, how long are you supposed to leave the aloe gel on your face before washing it off?
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
I'm going to try that as well! And good Lord, the campaign "scandals" are getting out of hand. :OY:
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
I've never thought of pansy as a gay specific word. The gov should have used something less inflamatory though, like pussy.
piper23 piper23 9 years
I'm going to get an aloe plant on my lunch break!
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
I've only been a wino three times in my life syako and it was all because of MEN! LOL! No seriously though take the gel from an aloe plant. Scrape it out and mask your face. My grandmother did this a few times a week and at 85 her skin was exquisite.
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
good tip!
syako syako 9 years
FitSugar talked about how if you drink Red Wine you can fight aging... so let me guess hypno, you're a wino? ;)
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
Aloe Vera Gel Baby! Aloe Vera Gel. LOL!
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
you don't look 37.5! I would have thought you were like 28!
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
Rac the only reason I can think of is because the govenor race here in NC is REALLY getting nasty! I see attack ads, no joke like 1/3 of the time commercials are on. Maybe thast why its being made into a big deal... who knows! One of the attack ads says that one of the candidates didn't vote for a measure to investigate the KKK... if that gives you any indication about how nasty its gotten!
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
Oh Gees! "It's about context people and we are not so important that we need to inject our cause into every sentence that comes out of everyone’s mouth." As a gay man at 37.5 being out in the gay community since the age of 19 I have never heard the word pansy used as a point word towards homosexuals. This is a slur that has no sexual orientation if you will. A heterosexual male can be just as much a pansy as a homosexual male. If there is a particular gay group raising a fuss over this than they need to get a life. If this is a media outlet tossing fuel on the fire. Surprise..Surprise..Surprise
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 9 years
The only reason this is an issue at all is because it comes from "Clinton's Camp."
linb linb 9 years
I also was not aware that the word "pansy" was considered a gay slur. Can I please point out that the candidate did not even use the word. Someone else did! Why is this a big deal!? Why should she be expected to comment on it? That is ridiculous.
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
So Anne Coulter calls Edwards a "fa**ot" and no one cares, but someone says pansy and it's an issue? Where's that liberal bias you conservatives are always talking about?
Who Is Nabra Hassanen?
Dani Mathers Convicted For Invasion of Privacy
Historic Moments in LGBTQ History
Nonbinary Musician JD Samson on Pride
From Our Partners
Latest Love
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds