Yes, That Slur Is an Insult: A Response to a Barstool Article


Warning: The following material should not be read on a full stomach or near sharp objects or people who think they’re inherently better than you.

On October 9th, a man whose username on Barstool Sports is "kmarko" posted an article entitled "Chick writes Op Ed for the Ages About How Notre Dame Student Section Was Too Obscene and Rowdy During the Oklahoma Game." (I, too, am impressed with his conciseness.)


In this Barstool piece, kmarko responds to a well-written Viewpoint that Notre Dame senior, Lisa Taylor, wrote for the Observer.  This Viewpoint article is an insightful and necessary commentary on how shouts and comments coming from the Notre Dame student section at football games have reached an absurdly offensive level. She claims that she has repeatedly heard shouting of death threats, homosexual slurs, derogatory terms for women, and suggestions of torture devices to use on the players and coach. We should listen to her: as a senior, Lisa has been to and enjoyed a few football games in her day so this one must have triggered something.


Soooo, as with every great love story, an avid, manly, loud football fan and a Barstool blogger had a bit of an issue. kmarko didn’t like Taylor’s bold move of condemning offensive, crude and hateful slurs. (Psh, women, ammiright?) Our not-at-all-insecure-about-his-masculinity kmarko decided that this "chick" stepped way out of line because, though they may be hateful slurs, they are hateful slurs obviously void of malicious intent!


(Side note: Hey, is anyone else wondering how on EARTH a woman got access to a computer? Not to mention find her way to a FOOTBALL stadium.)


Back to this void-of-malicious-intent thing. Okay. So, kmarko is saying that a fan yelling out “gay” or “pussy” or “cocksucker” at the team has no hateful intentions.  But, correct if I’m wrong, these students are calling out “gay” and “pussy” as insults.  So by using “gay” or “pussy” as an insult, you are implying that to be gay is something to be ashamed of; to be a woman, something to be embarrassed by. This is non-negotiable. It is, objectively, how these insults function. If they didn’t function this way, they would not be insults. I know people say that these terms have taken on new means, that “faggot” just means “lame”. But you know what, when a person says, “cock-sucker” they are very aware — regardless of intent — that hetero-men do not suck cocks. As far as they are concerned, straight women and gay men suck cocks. So if it’s degrading for a person to do that, how should either of those two groups feel about their roles?


How wonderfully refreshing.  How delightfully reassuring.


Because I would never deny you, the reader, a chance to really understand the stupidity of kmarko’s response, here are some quotes coming at you right from his own thoughts:


“Some chick or uptight wuss goes to their first football game of the season” (Oh yay! We’re kicking it off with a “women don’t know sports” comment. Weird, I expected more from a misogynistic loser who writes articles for Barstool. Also, wrong. It wasn't the first football game of the season. Or her first football game ever.)


“It’s called a f*cking football game you clueless idiot.” (Oh, a football game…She probably didn’t realize it was a football game! You should have said that earlier. By all means, proceed. Whose cock should Tommy start sucking?)


“Nobody gave a f**k about the norms of white heterosexual patriarchy” (*Raises hand* Oh, I do! I give a f*k! Many of them! Hello, I am not a white, heterosexual male. My name is the Rest of the World.)


Kmarko’s objective (one can really only assume) was to correct Taylor by saying that these slurs have no criminal or harmful intent behind them. And you know what, I’m gonna put aside the fact that kmarko is offending women, homosexuals, and other marginalized groups by condoning these “intent-less” insults. Judging from recent experiences, I’ve learned that seeking empathy for the “other” from privileged persons doesn’t do much to change chauvinistic lifestyles.


So instead, let me just say this: Kmarko, you are doing a disservice to your beloved fellow football fans (which I’m guessing you only think of as male). You are offending your buddies in the stands when you imply that yelling obscene slurs is the “norm” and that everyone else should just get over it.  You are insulting the fans of all sports when you condone (and encourage) the clearly hateful and abusive comments with the following reasoning: it’s just a “f*cking football game.”  

By the way, I don’t know a lot about f*cking football games.  Maybe it’s because I’m a blonde woman. Maybe that’s why I just don’t get the “jokes”.  Maybe because I don’t have as much testosterone as the guys yelling behind me in the student section, I’ll just never get what it means to love football and therefore want to yell obscenities at people.

Or maybe, kmarko, you and all of Barstool are perpetuators of the same societal injustices that have been limiting both women and men for centuries.

And if that’s what being a Notre Dame football fan means, I hope we lose every game.


Katherine is a junior/senior, graduating a year early.  She is a Film, Television and Theatre major with a performance concentration. Active in the theatre community on campus, she has appeared in 8 theatrical performances and is a producer for a student theatre group. She is also an aspiring playwright; an original play she co-wrote is premiering at Notre Dame in the spring. She loves effective air fresheners and putting her Spotify account on private sessions.

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