Sharp teeth, one leg, lesbian, and Lithuanian; what a picture!

To be honest, I am baffled. I’ve been rummaging through the darkest corners of my memory trying to recall the name of at least one ‘one-legged Lithuanian lesbian’ that would be not only world-famous, but notorious, too. So notorious, in fact, that rumours of such an individual had reached the ears of Mr David Cameron, who was so horrified at the thought that he couldn’t resist using it in what has become the strangest gaffe to make the headlines recently.

Oh dear. And we tried so hard to shake off the international image of being ‘Lithuanians with sharp teeth crawling up the beach with golf clubs to beat your brains out’ (as Mel Gibson famously put it).

However, the “Lithuanian lesbian” slip-up is not just about Lithuanians. It’s a wonderful example of a comment that can upset many more people other than just Lithuanians. What about disabled people? What about the sexual minorities? You don’t have to be Lithuanian to get offended!

That’s Cameron: he does his best to not exclude anyone.

Anyway, unfortunately for Mr. Cameron, his remark only applies to the female half of the nation (and only the one legged gay ones at that), so all Lithuanian men are left out.

I’m not sure this was a wise move, because they’ll probably get very upset and whip out the golf clubs.

On a related note, let’s remember the classic trademark blunders committed by the Duke of Edinburgh, who is normally the one to put his foot in his mouth:

“Aren’t most of you descended from pirates?” (in 1994, to an islander in the Cayman Islands)

“It looks as if it was put in by an Indian.” (in 1999, referring to an old-fashioned fuse box in a factory near Edinburgh)

“Still throwing spears?” (Question put to an Australian Aborigine during a visit in March 2002)

1 Response

23 December, 2008, 3:24 am, Naomi said:

That reminds me of the old joke:

The king was in the bathroom, bending over the Royal Basin to brush his teeth, when the court jester came in, kicked him in the Royal Backside and knocked him to the floor.

Furious, the king roared “Give me an apology even more insulting than your actions and I’ll refrain from having you beheaded!”

The jester replied: “I’m sorry Your Majesty, I thought it was the Queen!”

I realise it can be difficult to accept stereotype-based humour when you’re a minority who’s been sensitised to insult over a long period of mistreatment (and worse), but in order to move on we need to stop being so precious and learn to laugh at ourselves.

No-one is so important that they are above being laughed at.

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