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“Homophobia” here, “Homophobia” there, “Homophobia” Every, Everywhere!

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 5:48 pm - March 12, 2007.
Filed under: Gay America,Gay PC Silliness,General

The diligent reader will note that in the title to this post, I put the word homophobia in quotation marks. Simply put, I don’t like the word. I understand that it means an aversion to homosexuality and gay people, but as a lover of words, I also know that it is derived from Greek words meaning same (“homo”) and phobia (“fear”) so it really means fear of sameness whereas I believe that most people described as “homophobic” are really afraid — or incapable — of understanding, appreciating and/or accepting difference.

That said, I find that more often than not, many of those who bandy about the term “homophobia” seem to use it to explain any attitude towards gay people — or gay cultural products — with which they do not agree. They seem to think that the only reason someone may not agree with their opinion on such issues is because of an animosity towards homosexuality, because that individual is, as they put it, homophobic, or, as others (including yours truly) might say, anti-gay.

A case in point is the attitude some people have to the failure of the movie, Brokeback Mountain to win an Oscar last year. In its latest issue, the Advocate published two letters of readers upset that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences invited Ellen de Generes (who happens to be a lesbian) to host the Oscars because of its anti-gay attitudes. Reader L. Martin believes “last year’s snub of Brokeback Mountain came down to homophobia.” David Perry was even more harsh describing last year’s Oscars as a “gay-bashing fest.”

If the Oscars were such a “gay-bashing” fest last year, then Brokeback wouldn’t have garnered eight nominations, taking home three statuettes, including Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. The issue at last year’s Oscars was not so much that Brokeback failed to win Best Picture, but that Crash did. It seemed the Academy voters wanted to congratulate themselves for their social consciousness by honoring a film which dealt with “difficult” issues of ethnic difference. I also happened to think that it was a pretty good flick.

Last year, many gay people (and not only gay people) hoped that Brokeback would win Best Picture. Too many attributed its failure to anti-gay attitudes at the Academy. I don’t know why it is that people see anti-gay attitudes in so many decisions which run counter to our expectations.

Just because I don’t much care for Rose O’Donnell doesn’t mean I dislike lesbians. I just don’t appreciate the attitudes (and opinions) of that individual who happens to be a lesbian. By the same token, Academy voters who preferred Crash to Brokeback didn’t (necessarily) prefer the prefer the former to the latter because they were uncomfortable with the latter film’s gay theme, but likely because they thought the former was a better film. I can certainly understand that assessment.

To be sure, there are many people in our society who still harbor anti-gay attitudes. But, such animus is not as widespread as it once was — or as many imagine it to be. It’s time we accept that someone’s (or some group’s) attitude toward certain gay-themed cultural products or toward certain gay individuals don’t necessarily indicate such an animus, but rather their own individual (or collective) value judgments.

But, I still wonder what certain people so readily jump to the conclusion that such judgments must necessarily mean that such people are “homophobic.”

– B. Daniel Blatt (GayPatriotWest@aol.com)

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28 Comments

  1. Because if someone is “homophobic” it means that no one has to try to understand their opinion. No one has to be engaged or convinced, they can simply be categorized and dismissed.

    Comment by Synova — March 12, 2007 @ 6:12 pm - March 12, 2007

  2. GPW: Good post. We tend to forget the obvious sometimes: that people need to commit a bigger sin than merely disagreeing with a gay person to get saddled with the label “homophobe.” I don’t like the word either, but it does serve as a useful term for those who do exhibit the signs you mention: outright animus towards gays and gay rights, those who claim to believe in equal rights yet oppose normalization of homosexuality in the public arena. What term or terms would you suggest? I might go even further though and say that “homophobia” isn’t a good term for other extreme either: those who don’t fear homosexuality or gay people but actively hate them. I would say that when dealing with some of the more rabid members of the right, the CWA and FotF organizations who actively lie and misrepresent the truth for the express purpose of defeating gay rights legislation, scaring parents, etc., a term which relies on fear as its root word such as “homophobia” is not sufficient to describe how they feel and act; maybe a new term based on hate or contempt is needed.

    And your last comment has a sad echo: But, I still wonder what certain people so readily jump to the conclusion that such judgments must necessarily mean that such people are “homophobic.”. Probably for the same reason that certain people are so ready to jump to the conclusion that those who oppose the Administrations’ handling of the war on terror are “anti-American” or “treasonous;” name-calling is always easier than intelligent thought or discourse. It doesn’t mean it’s not sometimes right, but a knee-jerk response is never a rational course.

    Comment by torrentprime — March 12, 2007 @ 6:58 pm - March 12, 2007

  3. torrent: People who want Iraq to descend into chaos and to allow the terrorists to regroup and plan against us are traitors.

    Comment by Vince P — March 12, 2007 @ 7:27 pm - March 12, 2007

  4. As Ann Coulter would say, the world LOVES faggots.

    Comment by sean — March 12, 2007 @ 11:40 pm - March 12, 2007

  5. #3. Then this administration is led by traitors…because that is exactly what is happening as a result of their botched and poorly executed war. Direct your derision their way.

    Comment by sean — March 12, 2007 @ 11:41 pm - March 12, 2007

  6. sean has the maturity of a child

    By Evan Sayet:

    In my series of lectures entitled “Regurgitating the Apple: How Modern Liberals ‘Think’”, I summarize the dominant force in today’s Democratic Party’s philosophy by saying that “in order to eliminate discrimination, the Modern Liberal has opted to become utterly indiscriminate.”

    The Modern Liberal is convinced that rational and moral thought is so contaminated by one’s predispositions and prejudices that the only way to eliminate the evils of discrimination from society is to eliminate all thought. It’s why the “think” in the title of my talks is in quotation marks. The reality is that Modern Liberals not only do not think, they consider thought to be an act of evil.

    It is not a surprise, in fact it could be no other way, then, that in San Francisco — the most Liberal city in America — thousands of people marched down the street recently in favor of Hezbollah, the vicious terrorist organization seeking not only the destruction of the democracy of Israel, but an oppressive Caliphate the world over.

    Nor is it surprising to see these same folks championing Tookie Williams, the founder of America’s most vicious and murderous terror gang. Nor is it surprising that in France — the de facto capitol of today’s Democrat party — Jews are murdered on streets named after cop killers and terrorists.

    It’s why the Democrats adore the United Nations, where there is utter indiscriminateness of thought, with no special rewards for good and free and democratic nations like, say, Australia, nor any special punishments for the most murderous of terror states like The Sudan. Here, too, indiscriminateness of thought does not bring about indiscriminateness of policy, but rather an incessant attack upon one of the great states of the world, Israel.

    Comment by Vince P — March 13, 2007 @ 12:00 am - March 13, 2007

  7. Modern Liberalism is based on the belief that all people, peoples, cultures — including the behaviors that stem from those cultures — religions, forms of government and everything else is equally good and equally right and any other conclusion is bigotry (see the Democrat in the Assembly, his name’s not coming readily to mind, whose argument for teaching our children about transvestitism and bisexuality at tender ages is because we cannot be trusted not to be bigots and thus must outlaw rational, critical and moral judgments).

    To folks like Jimmy Carter, then, the ONLY explanation for people to behave in evil ways cannot be because they are evil, since they are the same as you and me, but rather then because somehow they were forced — victimized into — behaving that way. Thus the Modern Liberal — the dominant force in today’s Democrat party, INVARIABLY sides with those who commit evil acts. Similarly, since nothing is better than anything else, that which succeeds can only have done so by somehow cheating. Thus the Democrats (with the Modern Liberal mentality in control) will INVARIABLY seek to confiscate the “ill-gotten” gains of the successful and redistribute it to the failed who can only have failed because of vicitimzation as recognizing “fault” would require the critical, moral and factual judgment that Modern Liberals reject as nothing other than bigotry.

    Comment by Vince P — March 13, 2007 @ 12:03 am - March 13, 2007

  8. WHY DEMOCRATS HATE PATRIOTISM
    by Evan Sayet

    http://www.modernconservative.com/process.php?month=01&p=forums_metablog&year=2006

    Karl Rove recently said (yet again) that the Democrats are not unpatriotic. It’s a brilliant political move akin to the President’s repeated claims that Islam is a religion of peace. No one really believes either claim, making the statements win-win for the Republican politicians.

    By saying Islam is a religion of peace the President shows his Christian charity in perfect contradiction to the on-going hatefest that is the Arab/Moslem world just as the Republicans, by saying that the Democrats aren’t unpatriotic, show the good guys to be bending over backwards to be civil even as nothing but hateful slanders are offered against America and Americans from today’s left.

    But I am not a Christian or a politician and I’m not feeling any more charitable towards the Democrats than I do towards Islamic fascists so I’ll speak the truth: Democrats are not only not patriotic, they despise and fear anyone who is.

    The reason for this is simple: Modern Liberalism — the dominant ideology of today’s Democrat party — is wedded to the childish philosophy of “multiculturalism.” Multiculturalism is the fantasy that all cultures are equally good and equally right. This is why the Democrat believes that the United Nations and not the United States should decide what is best for America. It is why the Democrats believe we should “celebrate diversity,” as if all differences — say freedom of religion and massacring all infidels — are equally worthy of celebration.

    Since the multiculturalist sees nothing special about America, patriotism is nothing other than a form of bigotry. To the Democrat, one loves America not for the freedoms and opportunities it affords its citizens, nor for the goodness of our people and institutions, but rather only because we were born here. After all, don’t people who were born in North Korea love North Korea?

    Since freedom is of no special value to the Democrat (this is why Democrat heroes like Cindy Sheehan and Michael Moore can argue with a straight face that fascist terrorists seeking to create a Taliban-like Caliphate around the world are “freedom fighters”) Americans’ love of freedom is nothing more than a mindless “hooray for our side” and their hatred of oppression is but mere xenophobia.

    Worst of all American patriots are those so blindly led by their mindless love of freedom as to actually be willing to fight and kill (or even die) for it. Imagine, if you will, something utterly undistinguished — a piece of chewing gum, for example. Now imagine someone cherishing that gum. Now imagine someone who so cherishes that piece of gum he’s willing to fight, kill or even die to protect it. And now imagine that person well trained, well fed and well armed. Pretty scary stuff.

    Well, that’s exactly how the Democrat sees the American soldier. Insane, bigoted and well-armed. And all for something — freedom — that, to the Democrat, is of no more value than a piece of chewed up gum. No wonder they so hate and fear the patriot.

    Comment by Vince P — March 13, 2007 @ 12:06 am - March 13, 2007

  9. oh my, i must be a terrorist. rotf

    Comment by markie — March 13, 2007 @ 8:43 am - March 13, 2007

  10. #9 – No, you’re not a terrorist. Technically, you are a “useful idiot.”

    Regards,
    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — March 13, 2007 @ 10:06 am - March 13, 2007

  11. #4 – Lower-case-sean is wrong again. (What else is new?)

    Ann Coulter has already apologized to the gay community for offending us by likening us to someone like John Edwards. And as a viable representative of such a community, I have accepted her apology on our behalves.

    Get over it.

    Regards,
    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — March 13, 2007 @ 10:08 am - March 13, 2007

  12. you can censor all you want. doesn’t change the fact that your glad to be relegated to second class citizenship.

    Comment by markie — March 13, 2007 @ 1:53 pm - March 13, 2007

  13. you’re, doncha know.

    Comment by markie — March 13, 2007 @ 1:54 pm - March 13, 2007

  14. Libtrolls are even funnier when they sputter. Just my observation.

    Regards,
    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — March 13, 2007 @ 2:26 pm - March 13, 2007

  15. rant on pattymelt

    Comment by markie — March 13, 2007 @ 3:38 pm - March 13, 2007

  16. No thank you, I gave up meat for Lent. I appreciate the thought anyway.

    Regards,
    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — March 13, 2007 @ 4:00 pm - March 13, 2007

  17. Dan, I’m not a big lover of words as you are, so it doesn’t matter that the term homophobia is used the way it’s intended to be used. No matter what you call it, there is always the danger of overusing it, and have it lose it’s intended meaning.

    Regarding Brokeback Mountain/Crash, I suspect it was because of homophobia that Crash won, but there is no way to prove it. Although I am sure that most of the Academy members who voted for Crash thought it was a better movie, I am also sure there are members who did not vote for it simply out of homophobia. Depending on how close the vote was, homophobia could very well have been a factor.

    As for my personal opinion, I haven’t seen Crash yet.

    Comment by Pat — March 13, 2007 @ 4:31 pm - March 13, 2007

  18. What’s your point? Is it that homophobia doesn’t exist, and therefore anyone who uses the term is making an invalid complaint?

    Comment by Willy — March 13, 2007 @ 7:12 pm - March 13, 2007

  19. I’m sick of busybodies who go around monitoring the speech of other people. Words like “homophobia” have no place in a free society.

    Comment by Vince P — March 13, 2007 @ 7:15 pm - March 13, 2007

  20. Vince, are you trying to be a self-parody or did that happen by mistake?

    Comment by Willy — March 13, 2007 @ 7:28 pm - March 13, 2007

  21. I’m not that concerned about it.

    Comment by Vince P — March 13, 2007 @ 8:16 pm - March 13, 2007

  22. Vince, I disagree. I do agree with you that if a person wants to spew anti-gay venom, they are free to do so. But anyone is also free to call that person homophobic. Free speech works all sorts of ways. In fact, free speech allows anyone to say that anti-gay people shouldn’t be allowed to speak. And it allows people to say that the “[w]ords like’homophobia’ have no place in society,” like you just wrote, even though I believe it curtails free speech.

    Comment by Pat — March 14, 2007 @ 6:56 am - March 14, 2007

  23. My objection with “homophobic” is that it’s a term impossible to counter. It means , “fear of homos”.

    Do you think the Army guy is afraid of homos? I really doubt that. Instead he’s acting upon his convinctions as a Christian. Is Christianity afraid of homos? no.

    The Bible expresses God’s disapproval of basically anything other than hetero marrage.

    Its not malice that compells the statement but instead obediance to God.

    Now how does a term like “homophobic” address that? It doesn’t. instead it adds to the polarization of the discussion by introducing an even more extreme term than immoral. It’s designed to shut off debate, not engage in one.

    That’s why I object to it.

    I dont object to objecting to the army guy, but to me, it takes more than rhetorical tactic to do it right,.

    Comment by Vince P — March 14, 2007 @ 8:10 am - March 14, 2007

  24. Vince, will you delete this comment because you don’t like it, too? Funny how a Cabinette like you runs from words he doesn’t approve of. You really are caricaturing yourself.

    Comment by Willy — March 14, 2007 @ 12:38 pm - March 14, 2007

  25. Uh, Willy, Vince doesn’t delete comments because this is not his blog. If you wish to know about those things, try asking Bruce or Dan, the co-bloggers on this site.

    (Shaking head) A mind is a terrible thing to waste, eh Willy Wonka?

    Does that make you a Wonkette?

    Sorry, couldn’t resist. 😉

    Regards,
    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — March 14, 2007 @ 3:50 pm - March 14, 2007

  26. Academy…

    Gaypatriot has a good review on academy ……

    Trackback by Academy Blog — September 5, 2007 @ 10:04 am - September 5, 2007

  27. […] March, I pointed out why I don’t use the word, “homophobia,” a term which many gay people and even […]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » On “Homophobia” & Gay Marriage Debate — May 28, 2008 @ 2:53 pm - May 28, 2008

  28. […] it.“  Not sure I agree with him there, but I do share his distaste for the word.  (He, like me, would prefer a term like “anti-gay […]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » If you disagree with Barney Frank, you’re a bigot! — March 24, 2009 @ 8:15 pm - March 24, 2009

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