STATIC DISCLAIMER: All the stuff in here is purely my opinions, and they tend to change depending on what mood I'm in. If you're going to get bitter if I say something about you that you don't like, then maybe don't read. I avoid using names as much as possible, and would request that people who know me do the same in their comments. Basically, I often vent my frustrations on here, so if you happen to be someone who frustrates me, expect to read a description of someone very much like you in here!

Monday, May 09, 2005

Random thing that makes me cranky

Today, I'm not in a good mood. So I thought I'd take 30 seconds (well, probably more likely to be 30 minutes) out and write something in my blog.

My gripe of the day is the word homophobia. Check it:

Main Entry: ho·mo·pho·bia
Pronunciation: "hO-m&-'fO-bE-&
Function: noun: irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals —ho·mo·phobe /'hO-m&-"fOb/ noun —ho·mo·pho·bic /"hO-m&-'fO-bik/ adjective
Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary, © 2002 Merriam-Webster, Inc.

Main Entry: an·dro·pho·bia
Pronunciation: "an-dr&-'fO-bE-&
Function: noun: an abnormal dread of men : repugnance to the male sex
—an·dro·pho·bic /-'fO-bik/ adjective
Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary, © 2002 Merriam-Webster, Inc.

I don't like the definition of homophobia here. Phobias are irrational fears, right? Well, you'll notice that androphobia says "repugnance to the male sex", which can be quantified by the fact the person is afraid of the male sex. However, in homophobia's definition they specify "...or discrimination against..." Same dictionary, very different meanings for what is essentially two forms of the same thing. According to this, a person who disagrees with homosexuality on moral grounds, and then discriminates against a homosexual on those grounds, is classified as homophobic. Now, phobias are pretty much considered synonymous with mental illness, at least of the "anxiety disorder" variety. However, the person in my example is not mentally ill. Nor are they suffering from irrational fear. They've made a concious choice to uphold a certain set of morals or beliefs that include a belief that it is an immoral thing to do to be a homosexual. Now, I've heard all the arguments for and against homosexuality being something genetic, but as such my understanding is that there has been no solid evedince for this premise, even though the homosexual activist community as a whole cling to this idea as truth (Just in case, if you're about to make a comment that I'm wrong, then you better reference an official medical journal article when you do).
So where does that leave the person in this example? Or me, for instance, who believes that it is morally wrong to be a homosexual? I bare no malice towards people who are homosexuals - there are lots of people who continue to do things that I believe are morally wrong. People have affairs, lie, steal, marry horses (man in Arkansas - yay for the southern states of the US), cheat on their taxes, look up porn on the internet, make porn for the internet... None of these I believe to be right things to do, but I'm not going to despise anyone for doing them. Although I'd be pretty weirded out by the horse guy...
The old outage that "if it doesn't hurt anyone, who's business is it?" could be also applied to a variety of things that we know are wrong - it doesn't necissarily hurt a child to photograph them nude and then post it on the internet, but everyone knows that to do that is VERY wrong. Aside from the very obvious moral conflict in most people (ie: child porn = very very bad), and the legal ramifications, it also encourages sexual tendancies towards minors in those who would seek out these kind of images. At the outset, it hurts no one - but that doesn't make it right. Not only that, it doesn't mean that it isn't hurting someone in the long term. People say that the fall of the Roman empire can be attributed to primarily a loss of the moral values that were key to the society. It began with things like homosexuality and prostitution, and led eventually to a depravity that caused the entire society to collapse in on itself. Are we so much more intelligent then the people of that day that we are beyond this kind of collapse? I'm going with no.

This whole rant came about from watching the opening night of Big Brother on TV last night. There's this one guy in particular, who said in his "intro package movie bit" that he hates people who can't accept others: you know, homophobics and stuff. Oh, but hang on a second - isn't that not accepting me based on my beliefs??? I'm going with 'yes' this time.

On an entirely different note: Finally, a sport that I could be good at! :P

Oh, and as it turns out, interspersed with work this has taken me about an hour and a half to write. Longest 30 seconds I ever saw. Tee hee.


Joel Baltaks said...

Yeah, I'm right there with you on the whole homophobia technically means an irrational fear of homosexuality. I think it's a carefully chosen (constructed!) word that's very loaded language - very pro-homosexuality. A better word would be one that implies a disapproval rather than irrational fear.

Nathan Zamprogno said...

I think Justin is suffering from a case of homophobiphobia.

"Homer: I want everyone to know that this is Ned Flanders... my friend!
Lenny: What did he say?
Carl: I dunno. Somethin' about being gay." ---The Simpsons.