Red herring of the year


3 comments posted
What I think David V and so m

What I think David V and so many other men and women should do is spend more time examining their own fears

This is exactly what I was complaining about in my post. You don't know me at all. You have no way of knowing whether I have any fears of the sort you're talking about.

David Velleman's picture
Posted by David Velleman (not verified) on 29 December 2004 - 6:33am
You're right

I don't know you. But where do these concerns about a word like homophobe come from? Our culture codifies these fears, and you are a part of this culture. Your post is an attack on a label for things it might mean. Why are you so threatened by this word?

I'm not saying you're a repressed homosexual, a fear you expressed in your post. I did not even use that "H word" you're so upset about. What I am saying is that men have an irrational and extraordinary fear of homosexuality, and it shows in not only aggressive and abusive behavior but also in those little benign ways too numerous to list here.

It just seemed to me your post is an expression of fear. Women have learned to tiptoe around men's insecurities — that's part of female culture. To me, it just seems obvious that this is about fear.

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe it was my mistake to even respond. My apologies.

-media girl

[Edited to add: After coffee and a meal, I see that these words come off a bit harsher than my intent. A childhood with an argumentative father and an education in gothic buildings have trained me to write in simple and direct prose — often at the expense of tact. I do apologize if offense is taken. Such was not my intent. I'm leaving the original response up as I don't want to pretend I never said these things. You see, I too have my fears. For example, I do feel somewhat threatened by male privilege, especially when it is coupled with male insecurity. We all have our personal issues, but our culture gives implied consent to behaviors until and when enough people stand up and say something about it. My response is not to you personally, but uses your words as a touchstone to a greater issue. My last line in my original post was not meant as a jibe but as a suggestion that men as a whole have some unexamined issues and attitudes which our culture does not invite them to question.]

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 29 December 2004 - 11:17am
Irrational Fear of Gay People

When two consenting adults choose to express themselves sexually in the privacy of their own home, or if two adults fall in love with one another and choose to make a long-term, if not an "until death do us part," commitment to one another, I see nothing harmful in that.

I do not want to hurt anyone's feelings, insult anyone, or inflame passions so I tread lightly, but tread I do.

Okay, it seems you object to the term "homophobia" because the term implies that there is an underlying psychological component that is at least slightly irrational - where the subjective versus objective danger are not in alignment.

The qualification of the term "irrational" as in "irrational fear" means that there is no clear and present danger, yet the fear is there. Agoraphobia is a fear of crowds (literally "of the marketplace") where people congregate, yet there is no real danger there.

In my view, homosexuals do not present any harm to society that is greater than any other group of consenting adults presents who happen to love one another.

To "prove" something is not a phobia means that the fear is NOT irrational. There would have to be some proof that harm is created when two individuals of the same sex happen to fall in love and if not fall in love, at least do the same things that straight couples do routinely. That is, going on dates with the expectation that they might fall in love, a right which we heterosexuals take for granted.

Heterosexuals commit plenty of "excesses" and as I see it, there indeed is a "heterosexual agenda" that is being pushed hard by people who do not want homosexuality to exist.

To my mind, unless a cogent argument can be produced as to what greater danger homosexuality produces versus heterosexuality, right or wrong, it will seem like a phobia to most folks.


Matsu's picture
Posted by Matsu on 29 December 2004 - 12:35pm