[PLUG-TALK] Racism

Jeme A Brelin jeme at brelin.net
Tue Jan 6 04:50:01 PST 2009


On Mon, 5 Jan 2009, Michael Robinson wrote:
> Now then, I noticed a link to a definition of homophobia which people
> have also been accusing me of.
>
> "The National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality, an 
> organization affiliated with the ex-gay movement, describes the term 
> homophobia as being "often used inaccurately to describe any person who 
> objects to homosexual behavior on either moral, psychological or medical 
> grounds." They claim that, "Technically, however, the terms actually 
> denotes a person who has a phobia — or irrational fear — of 
> homosexuality. Principled disagreement, therefore, cannot be labeled 
> 'homophobia.'"[15]

"Homophobia" does not mean "an irrational fear of homosexuality" any more 
than "hydrophobia" means "an irrational fear of water".  This is a 
misapplication of linguistic etymology when cultural or usage-based 
etymology is more appropriate.

"Homophobia" wouldn't even mean that if you did take it as literal 
translation of its components -- it would be something more like "an 
irrational fear of sameness".  When you read the "homo-" prefix and infer 
homosexuality, you are already accepting the usage of the term 
"homophobia" and going on to give a strict transliteration of the "phobia" 
portion of the word is just plain inconsistent and unreasonable.

"Homophobia", as we all know as speakers of modern American English, is 
any attitude or position that rejects, denigrades, or discredits 
homosexual relationships or the people who engage in them.  And 
"hydrophobia" is rabies.

J.

PS.  I would also stand by the notion that you, Mr. Robinson, have an 
irrational fear of homosexuality as expressed in your witless insistence 
that homosexual behavior somehow degrades or endangers heterosexual 
relationships.  But that's something else entirely.


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