June 04, 2008

No person wears pink

Reaction to a news item on police forcing taggers to wear pink vests with the word "tagger" emblazoned on it when they are cleaning up their graffiti:
The Wellington community police constable who is making taggers wear pink vests as punishment has prompted alarm from the youth group OUT THERE.
“Wearing pink tagger vests draws on homophobic fears of wearing pink, and the whole concept of embarrassing young people rather than strengthening them is appalling.” said Nathan Brown, National Coordinator of OUT THERE, a youth development organisation for non-heterosexual and transgender youth.
“The homophobic part is what is said about the jackets by both taggers and the Police rather than the jackets themselves. They need to be careful presenting them in schools so that they are not playing on fears of not being seen as a real man.”
The reaction is as predictable as it is misguided. Wearing pink should not be done by anyone over the age of 3 as it is such a fashion faux pas. Yves Saint Laurent isn't even buried yet but he will be spinning! Why anyone would confuse wearing pink with being gay is really beyond me. Have you ever seen, met, spoken to, slept with a homosexual who wears pink? Where they get this correlation from is a mystery.
But back to the punishment issue. The regime that should be adopted is of course to have those guys scrub off their tags in the buff. If we're going to indulge in public humiliation it might as well have some return for my tax dollars by saving on penalty clothing.

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