Sunday, April 13, 2008

Misusing The Word "Phobia"

Al Siebring wrote a great article on the subject, showing us how the word "phobia" (which means irrational fear of a specific object) is being used against anyone whose views are contrary to the political or sociological mainstream.
Take, for example, the notion of “homophobia.” It’s a term that’s attached to anyone who tries to advocate for what has been – pretty much since the dawn of civilization – considered “normal” behaviour in the area of human sexuality. In the past 25 years, our society has arrived at the point where anyone who dares to say that monogamous, hetero relations should be the benchmark for human sexuality has become “homophobic.” In other words, people who don’t think homosexuality is “normal” must have some kind of deep-seated phobia about this. And if it’s a phobia, they must be irrational. What follows from this, of course, is that traditionalists never stand a chance in this discussion. After all, they have a phobia - that’s a “persistent and irrational fear” - and well, there’s no point trying to have a rational discussion with people who are demonstrably irrational.

But that dog won’t hunt with me. I happen to hold to a traditional view of sexuality, and I equally know that there’s not a single shred of “phobia” in my heart on this. I have known homosexuals. I have worked with them. I have befriended them; had them over to my house. Like my other friends, I have disagreed with them at times about various issues, and I’ve told them so. But I’ve never been scared of them. The very notion that I have a “phobia” about this is stupid. But because of the views I hold, I’m homophobic, and therefore irrational. Ergo, neither me nor my views are to be taken seriously in polite company.
If the so called "homophobia" has anything to do with fear - it's nothing but a fear of reprisals from homosexual lobby. But that fear is fully rational. So it's time we demand that our opponents let go of their beloved word. Just like Al Siebring, I'm tired of being called irrational.

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