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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Homophobia or Homophobiaphobia?

Posted by on Wed, Dec 5, 2012 at 8:55 AM

Slog tipper Mike Gore points our attention to a crisis gripping the internet:

Last week the Associated Press declared war on the word "homophobia," deciding its new stylebook would ban it (and "Islamophobia") because a "phobia" is an "illness" and connotes a "mental disability." Therefore, says the AP, it is not accurate and should not be used in a "political or social" context.

This was last month's crisis, granted. But I didn't see it on Slog and who knows if we are allowed to use "homophobia" ever again without feeling like bad people? So... now it's here to discuss, you homophobes.

 

Comments (42) RSS

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Fistique 1
I'm appalled at the stigmatization of mental illness and disability implied in this rule. Also I hate the New Yorker's umlaut policy.
Posted by Fistique on December 5, 2012 at 8:59 AM · Report this
2
Following this same "logic", the AP should ban words like "butterfly," because butter doesn't fly. Regardless of what the dictionary says about the individual components, "homophobia" is the word that describes bigotry against gay people, and "islamophobia" is the word that describes bigotry against Muslims.
Posted by TechBear on December 5, 2012 at 9:04 AM · Report this
3
Homophobia is a quite literal phobia (diagnosable mental disorder) referring to those who are actually afraid of gay people. Heterosexism is more accurate for most instances we're talking about.
Posted by there's a difference on December 5, 2012 at 9:08 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 4
I think homophobia is accurate, because that form of hate is often caused by fear. Fear of being objectified by another man, or fear of being regarded as gay, for example. And homophobes are often neurotic about it, so I think that if one insists on the mental disability angle, it still fits.
Posted by Matt from Denver on December 5, 2012 at 9:10 AM · Report this
douchus 5
I also think.
Posted by douchus on December 5, 2012 at 9:12 AM · Report this
6
Geez, what a bunch of homopheebs.
Posted by bobbelieu on December 5, 2012 at 9:16 AM · Report this
7
Since when did the AP declare itself the Word Police? As far as I'm concerned, they can just go fuck themselves (homosexually, since they are not homophobes) and the rest of us can continue to use the words we think best fit the need.
Posted by SeattleKim on December 5, 2012 at 9:17 AM · Report this
Pick1 8
Alrighty, I'll stick to just call them plain old bigots instead of homophobes.
Posted by Pick1 on December 5, 2012 at 9:17 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 9
I was under the impression it was an irrational fear.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on December 5, 2012 at 9:20 AM · Report this
Knat 10
It's worth reading the short column Dom linked to in order to understand why this change isn't a good idea.
Posted by Knat on December 5, 2012 at 9:20 AM · Report this
11
I have always disliked this term as it suggests there is something beyond the control of individual in their bigotry. Is Homophobia a diagnosable mental disorder? for some folks, maybe so, but probably not very many. We don't refer to people who are bigoted against other groups as 'phobic'. Maybe we should.
Posted by Chris Jury http://www.thebismarck.net on December 5, 2012 at 9:21 AM · Report this
12
We don't call people who are anti-Jewish Jewophobes, we call them anti-Semitic.

People who are anti-gay should be called that. It isn't an irrational fear of gay people, my experience is it is a hatred of gay people. Let's call them on it.
Posted by ProstSeattle on December 5, 2012 at 9:36 AM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 13
"Anti-homorphic". Is that too wordy? Does it state the case? What the hell does it mean! I'll try again.
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on December 5, 2012 at 9:44 AM · Report this
care bear 14
They should just be called bigots.
Posted by care bear on December 5, 2012 at 9:52 AM · Report this
Gus 15
What's wrong with bigot? It's a much better word than homophobe.

I don't care if someone is afraid of gays or not, just whether they try to oppress gays. I'm afraid of spiders, but I don't go around trying to keep them from getting married -- I'm an arachnophobia, not an anti-spider bigot, and I tolerate spiders.
Posted by Gus on December 5, 2012 at 9:57 AM · Report this
16
When people argue that GLBT people are trying to "force" gay marriage and a homosexual agenda on the rest of the country, they sound pretty phobic to me. So I'd say homophobia is a perfectly legitimate, perfectly functional word.
Posted by Clayton on December 5, 2012 at 9:59 AM · Report this
17
Seems to me that homophobia denoting an illness and a mental disability is exactly the point.
Posted by GermanSausage on December 5, 2012 at 9:59 AM · Report this
18
The Slog is right.
After all, Bigot works fine to describe Danny's feelings toward people of faith; Catholiphobe just doesn't sing.
Posted by Bigots is as Bigots does on December 5, 2012 at 10:05 AM · Report this
MacCrocodile 19
I propose calling them "hateful cockfaces" until the AP gives a more suitable alternative.
Posted by MacCrocodile http://maccrocodile.com/ on December 5, 2012 at 10:07 AM · Report this
20
You know... If only we could make a behavior go away by banning the word for it.
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on December 5, 2012 at 10:08 AM · Report this
venomlash 21
@3: Quite right. I once roomed with a guy who was a kind of freaked out by gay people. He didn't have anything against people being gay, he was just uncomfortable around gay people (male or female).
Granted, I roomed with him during a brief stay at a psychiatric facility, so...
Posted by venomlash on December 5, 2012 at 10:16 AM · Report this
T 22
"Homophobe" and "homophobia" as words are too soft for the vileness they're used to describe. I much prefer "bigot" and "anti-gay" - harsher sounding and doesn't allow the recipient to argue they're not *afraid* of gay people.

All that said, this is dumb.
Posted by T on December 5, 2012 at 10:17 AM · Report this
23
While I agree that the timing makes the ban seem ridiculous, and think that common usage is important and works against the dictate, I think the suggested alternatives, 'anti-gay' and 'bigot' are actually more powerful.
Posted by Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up. on December 5, 2012 at 10:17 AM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 24
On a slightly related note, I think "Homophobirotic" should be a word. It means "sexually arousing to homophobes." So like homoerotic, but with more self-loathing.
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings http://www.reddit.com/r/spaceclop on December 5, 2012 at 10:49 AM · Report this
Rob in Baltimore 25
Replace it with terms like "irrationally anti-gay","paranoiacally anti-gay, or "pathologically anti-gay." I'm sure sloggers can come up with some alternatives that fit the new guidelines, yet have an equivalent or bigger impact to "homophobia."
Posted by Rob in Baltimore http://www.wishbookweb.com/ on December 5, 2012 at 11:47 AM · Report this
treacle 26
@24 ftw
Posted by treacle on December 5, 2012 at 11:50 AM · Report this
Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In 27
Listen, the english language is sometimes confusing, but context is everything. I can talk about 'watts,' but everyone w/ any intelligence would understand by the context whether I'm talking about electricity or a suburb of LA. It's all very simple...

Wait, what?

I thought you were talking about 'homophones.' Never mind.
Posted by Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In on December 5, 2012 at 11:52 AM · Report this
28
Homophobia most certainly arises from an irrational fear. Far more irrational, certainly, than arachnophobia or acrophobia -- some spiders could actually kill you, as could falling from a great height.

The word as presently used is accurate.
Posted by d.p. on December 5, 2012 at 12:02 PM · Report this
29
#27, I like your sense of humor!
Posted by ProstSeattle on December 5, 2012 at 12:29 PM · Report this
balderdash 30
It was never a very accurate word to begin with; it's not a "phobia" if you hate gay people, you're just a fucking asshole. Maybe in some cases that is actually based on fear, but that's not what we mean when we say "homophobe." We mean hateful shithead.

Cat's out of the bag, though. Once a word is in the common parlance, you can't just issue an edict from on high being like, "YOU CANNOT USE THAT WORD IN THAT MANNER ANY LONGER. STOP IT. STOP IT RIGHT NOW, I HEARD THAT." At that point you're just the "Well, ACKtually..." douchebag at a party, magnified by authority, and everyone is going to ignore you. It would have been nice if we had a better word to start with, but this is the one that caught on.
Posted by balderdash http://introverse.blogspot.com on December 5, 2012 at 1:01 PM · Report this
31
Oh, great ... now we're going to need a czar to spearhead the War on Homophobiagate.
Posted by RonK, Seattle on December 5, 2012 at 1:13 PM · Report this
32
I'm a straight guy. Recently, at a bar, a drunk guy (who swore he wasn't gay) pinned me against the wall and kissed me. I realize that this type of thing happens not-infrequently to women, but it was a first time for me.

anyhow, I didn't punch him, because I didn't want him to think I was homophobic. Should I have punched him, then?
Posted by fetish on December 5, 2012 at 1:39 PM · Report this
33
Indeed, and how dare chemistry students refer to something like oil as hydrophobic. And how dare doctors refer to a symptom of migraines as photophobia when it is sentisitivity and pain caused by light and not an actual fear. Unless, you know, English uses terms in multiple ways sometimes. But no, that never happens, no word could ever have more than one meaning or connotation or our language would be a mess of difficult to understand madness!
Posted by uncreative on December 5, 2012 at 2:37 PM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 34
Wait, didn't I read somewhere the Vatican owns part of AP?
Posted by Pope Peabrain on December 5, 2012 at 4:02 PM · Report this
35
@27 -- I thought homophones had sparkles and glitter and vintage buttons set in a circle as if in a dial:

http://www.comparestoreprices.co.uk/imag…
Posted by six shooter on December 5, 2012 at 4:31 PM · Report this
36
Hey chemists, you need to come up with a different name for hydrophobic molecules. The alkanes are complaining that they're not afraid of water, they just think it's against God's plan.
Posted by ridia on December 5, 2012 at 4:40 PM · Report this
37
@32: Speaking as a gay man, I will give you the same response as I would to a woman in the same situation: PUT THE FUCKER'S LIGHTS OUT.
Posted by DonServo on December 5, 2012 at 6:55 PM · Report this
Free Lunch 38
@18 - "The Slog is right"

Finally, you admit that you are a bigot. Good for you. See, doesn't that feel better?
Posted by Free Lunch on December 5, 2012 at 8:38 PM · Report this
NotSean 39
@2 & 30: yup.
Posted by NotSean on December 5, 2012 at 9:35 PM · Report this
40
@7, since 1953.
Posted by clashfan on December 8, 2012 at 2:51 PM · Report this
41
dear sir or vagina:

regarding pro-gay bigotry:

as a gay "man" or masculivoid, please keep in mind that i lust for my own gender, i am getting sick and tired of society putting homosexuality into a good light by not stopping to ask themselves anything that can be regarded as "homophobic".

why isn't there a counterpart to the word "homophobia," and why isn't it considered a problem (or a "condition") for anyone to judge gay people in a favorable light based solely on who they sleep with? how many times have we heard "not that there's anything wrong with that," with regards to homosexuality? how much is it hammered into our thoughts that "it's okay to be gay," and why is "matthew shepard" a household name when names like "jesse dirkhising" are not? it's because matthew shepard's situation wcould elicit sadness and pity and would spawn gay-affirmations from the public, and little jesse's situation would not (jesse was bound, drugged, tortured and raped by gay people...come to think of it, matthew's murder was more about meth than men. it seems that gay people love their drugs and anything that gets them away from their semi-charmed kinds of lives).

homophobia. why is it a problem for people to automatically think bad things about "men" who lust for masculinity, why isn't it a problem for people to automatically think good things about these masculivoids?

homophobia. it's like gay people got so tired of automatically being put in a bad light, so they all got together and organized a grand ol' "pee-wee herman" defense of "i know you are, but what am i" to put their detractors in bad lights and to label whoever is anti-gay as the ones who have problems (or "phobias"), just to keep from facing their own problems. dare i bring up an old madonna-lyric sung by a self-righteous finger-pointer, "YOU'RE the one with the problem," but gays are ones to point out other peoples' problems in an effort to keep from acknowledging their own. "you hate me because you're scared of yourself" and "you hate me because you really envy me," how blind are gay people to say such things to their opposers without knowing anything about their opposers? don't they like to say "you can't judge me if you don't even know me" and stuff like that? they are blinded by their own spite which they commonly regard as "gay pride," but maybe we seem like we hate gay people because we don't want to be around self-righteous people. i know that, as a proud (i was vengeful and spiteful) 18 year-old who was walking down the school's hallway while smoking a cigarette, i realized that "gay pride" (or the ignorance and belittlement of any opinions, rules or customs counter to one's own) is a problem that is born of a low self-image. i did what i did because i felt that i was as much of a "little bitty pissant" as was the "country place" that dolly parton sung about. my "pride parade" and all "pride parades" are better defined as "spite parades" - pride is not loud and it is not haughty and it is not ignorant of other human beings' feelings.

the roots of "gay pride" are so closely linked to the roots of "a woman can do anything a man can do," i just feel the need to associate them. as gays hated their "bad light," vaginas from coast to coast got so tired of automatically being put in a weak and lesser light, so the vaginas all got together and organized the whole "Strongwoman" campaign. nowadays, we don't hear the word "woman" without hearing "strong" before it...unless, of course, it's preceded by "violence against," i guess. you know, because it's kind of a slap in the face to suggest that the Strongwoman isn't strong enough to prevent violence from happening to her.

badum-bum.

it is flat-out ridiculous that we use overcompensating placebo-words to placate the egos of members of the gender having the lesser physical statures. from athletic teams to eating competitions to the entry-level requirements of the military - there is a reason that these are all male/female and gender-based. the reason is that women are not strong, the reason is that women can only legitimately compete alongside of men (not with men). still,though, how they want people to know them as strong. this is the reason you rarely hear "woman" not having a prefix of "strong". it's like they all got together and organized that "i know you are, but what am i" defense...and called it "feminism: the strongwoman experiment".

just as ridiculous as the Strongwoman-placebo, is the overcompensating placebo to placate the gay "men" and their gender-identities. in reality, gay "men" are little boys who haven't internalized any masculine gender-identity and who therefore feel blessed to be in the presence of naked men. as gay "men," we rely on men as a crutch or as a seeing-eye dog to bring us to a state of masculine fulfillment, simply because we don't have enough masculine self-respect to rely on ourselves to fill our void for masculinity. now, despite the gay male's lackluster sense of masculine self-respect (just ask him who the man of his dreams is), he wants people to know him as a man who is all grown-up emotionally, so it is commonplace to hear gay "men" being referred to AS men - just as much as a vagina refers to her little son as a man - but an asexual "guys" is how we refer to the men who've developed both a physical superiority over vaginas and an emotional superiority over gays. the men who are justified both in body and mind AS men are not men in today's society - they are referred to with as asexual a word as "guys".

why is it constantly impressed upon the public that there's nothing wrong with finding security and fulfillment and something excitably taboo in other members of one's own gender, why can't anyone even fathom the self-compromising errs of homosexuality? speaking of which - why is it fine to regard as "men," every clueless masculivoid who lacks masculine gender-identity enough to want to inspect the masculine gender? why are men who are straight with themselves AS men (and with masculinity in general) more commonly referred to as "straight guys"?

manphobes. from vaginas to gay "men," they both disrespect real men because they all want masculine identity for themselves (vaginas want to be regarded as "strong" and they want society to give them a facade of the PHYSICAL masculine-identity, while gay "men" want to be regarded as "real men" and they want society to give them a facade of having an acceptable level of PSYCHOLOGICAL masculine-identity). this is why i refer to feminists and gay "men" as "masculine wannabees".

mr. dylan terreri, i
dr. sheldon cooper, ii
miss abingdon blazavich
www.abbyblazavich.com
--------------------------
"When I'm hungry, I eat. When I'm thirsty, I drink. When I feel like saying something, I say it." - Madonna
www.jaggedlittledyl.com/essays
--------------------------
More...
Posted by dylan terreri i on October 13, 2013 at 4:33 AM · Report this
42
dear sir or vagina:

regarding pro-gay bigotry:

as a gay "man" or masculivoid, please keep in mind that i lust for my own gender, i am getting sick and tired of society putting homosexuality into a good light by not stopping to ask themselves anything that can be regarded as "homophobic".

why isn't there a counterpart to the word "homophobia," and why isn't it considered a problem (or a "condition") for anyone to judge gay people in a favorable light based solely on who they sleep with? how many times have we heard "not that there's anything wrong with that," with regards to homosexuality? how much is it hammered into our thoughts that "it's okay to be gay," and why is "matthew shepard" a household name when names like "jesse dirkhising" are not? it's because matthew shepard's situation wcould elicit sadness and pity and would spawn gay-affirmations from the public, and little jesse's situation would not (jesse was bound, drugged, tortured and raped by gay people...come to think of it, matthew's murder was more about meth than men. it seems that gay people love their drugs and anything that gets them away from their semi-charmed kinds of lives).

homophobia. why is it a problem for people to automatically think bad things about "men" who lust for masculinity, why isn't it a problem for people to automatically think good things about these masculivoids?

homophobia. it's like gay people got so tired of automatically being put in a bad light, so they all got together and organized a grand ol' "pee-wee herman" defense of "i know you are, but what am i" to put their detractors in bad lights and to label whoever is anti-gay as the ones who have problems (or "phobias"), just to keep from facing their own problems. dare i bring up an old madonna-lyric sung by a self-righteous finger-pointer, "YOU'RE the one with the problem," but gays are ones to point out other peoples' problems in an effort to keep from acknowledging their own. "you hate me because you're scared of yourself" and "you hate me because you really envy me," how blind are gay people to say such things to their opposers without knowing anything about their opposers? don't they like to say "you can't judge me if you don't even know me" and stuff like that? they are blinded by their own spite which they commonly regard as "gay pride," but maybe we seem like we hate gay people because we don't want to be around self-righteous people. i know that, as a proud (i was vengeful and spiteful) 18 year-old who was walking down the school's hallway while smoking a cigarette, i realized that "gay pride" (or the ignorance and belittlement of any opinions, rules or customs counter to one's own) is a problem that is born of a low self-image. i did what i did because i felt that i was as much of a "little bitty pissant" as was the "country place" that dolly parton sung about. my "pride parade" and all "pride parades" are better defined as "spite parades" - pride is not loud and it is not haughty and it is not ignorant of other human beings' feelings.

the roots of "gay pride" are so closely linked to the roots of "a woman can do anything a man can do," i just feel the need to associate them. as gays hated their "bad light," vaginas from coast to coast got so tired of automatically being put in a weak and lesser light, so the vaginas all got together and organized the whole "Strongwoman" campaign. nowadays, we don't hear the word "woman" without hearing "strong" before it...unless, of course, it's preceded by "violence against," i guess. you know, because it's kind of a slap in the face to suggest that the Strongwoman isn't strong enough to prevent violence from happening to her.

badum-bum.

it is flat-out ridiculous that we use overcompensating placebo-words to placate the egos of members of the gender having the lesser physical statures. from athletic teams to eating competitions to the entry-level requirements of the military - there is a reason that these are all male/female and gender-based. the reason is that women are not strong, the reason is that women can only legitimately compete alongside of men (not with men). still,though, how they want people to know them as strong. this is the reason you rarely hear "woman" not having a prefix of "strong". it's like they all got together and organized that "i know you are, but what am i" defense...and called it "feminism: the strongwoman experiment".

just as ridiculous as the Strongwoman-placebo, is the overcompensating placebo to placate the gay "men" and their gender-identities. in reality, gay "men" are little boys who haven't internalized any masculine gender-identity and who therefore feel blessed to be in the presence of naked men. as gay "men," we rely on men as a crutch or as a seeing-eye dog to bring us to a state of masculine fulfillment, simply because we don't have enough masculine self-respect to rely on ourselves to fill our void for masculinity. now, despite the gay male's lackluster sense of masculine self-respect (just ask him who the man of his dreams is), he wants people to know him as a man who is all grown-up emotionally, so it is commonplace to hear gay "men" being referred to AS men - just as much as a vagina refers to her little son as a man - but an asexual "guys" is how we refer to the men who've developed both a physical superiority over vaginas and an emotional superiority over gays. the men who are justified both in body and mind AS men are not men in today's society - they are referred to with as asexual a word as "guys".

why is it constantly impressed upon the public that there's nothing wrong with finding security and fulfillment and something excitably taboo in other members of one's own gender, why can't anyone even fathom the self-compromising errs of homosexuality? speaking of which - why is it fine to regard as "men," every clueless masculivoid who lacks masculine gender-identity enough to want to inspect the masculine gender? why are men who are straight with themselves AS men (and with masculinity in general) more commonly referred to as "straight guys"?

manphobes. from vaginas to gay "men," they both disrespect real men because they all want masculine identity for themselves (vaginas want to be regarded as "strong" and they want society to give them a facade of the PHYSICAL masculine-identity, while gay "men" want to be regarded as "real men" and they want society to give them a facade of having an acceptable level of PSYCHOLOGICAL masculine-identity). this is why i refer to feminists and gay "men" as "masculine wannabees".

mr. dylan terreri, i
dr. sheldon cooper, ii
miss abingdon blazavich
www.abbyblazavich.com
--------------------------
"When I'm hungry, I eat. When I'm thirsty, I drink. When I feel like saying something, I say it." - Madonna
www.jaggedlittledyl.com/essays
--------------------------
More...
Posted by dylan terreri i on October 13, 2013 at 4:36 AM · Report this

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