Denmark: Killing itself with kindness?

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This topic contains 34 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Autumn 4 months, 4 weeks ago.

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  • #40966

    Unseen
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    Phobias are fears. I’m sure some people fear something about LGBTQ+. I’m looking for the corresponding technical descriptor for, not a fear but a hatred.

    Homophobia does not mean fear of homosexuals or homosexuality. Despite use of the term ‘phobia’ in the suffix, it is not a phobia in the the psychological/ psychiatric sense. In the 19th (and perhaps early 20th) century, the -phobia suffix was used to describe societal attitudes of hatred, contempt, or aversion of certain groups. Terms like negrophobia, sinophobia, and Judeophobia eventually fell out of favour, perhaps eclipsed by terms like racism and antisemitism. The term ‘xenophobia’, however, survived to this day and is generally used in this sociological sense of the word rather than its antiquated psychiatric meaning. Terms like Islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia (etc.) are almost certainly patterned off the sociological sense of the suffix, not the psychiatric sense.

    But, as I wrote, I know we’re kind of used to lumping it all together under homophobia, but there are benefits to be gained by making relevant distinctions.

    I can think of no downside to recognizing a distinction that many who don’t think about what they are saying may not recognize.

    What makes the distinction between phobia and misia relevant? Homomisia places the burden of hate on the hater. Conversely, homophobia implies that the subject of fear is somehow legitimately terrifying. (source)

    In terms of homophobia, what is this fear a fear of? Of being converted to the LGBTQ+ Dark Side?

    I think, in fact, most of the animosity toward LGBTQ+ actually just hatred and not fear at all.

    I see no fault in using language that’s literal and clear, other than that we’ll have to do some teaching as we do so.

     

    #40967

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    most of the animosity toward LGBTQ+ actually just hatred and not fear at all.

    I think it’s moral anger – a hatred of people who break the prevailing moral code.  People hated hippies and punks when they first came along, because they ripped a hole in the moral fabric.

    This raises the question, why on Earth is there anti-gay prejudice in many societies, in the first place?  I think the answer is patriarchy and the fetishisation of the male-female pair-bond.  Anything else condemns a person to hell.

    I understand that the Muslim world was tolerant of homosexuality before they encountered Western imperialism.  The subsequent turning of the tide was maybe an effort to assert their masculinity.

    In terms of homophobia, what is this fear a fear of? Of being converted to the LGBTQ+ Dark Side?

    A surprising number of men are closet bisexuals.  Perhaps most people are a little bit “bi-curious”.

    #40968

    Autumn
    Participant

    But, as I wrote, I know we’re kind of used to lumping it all together under homophobia, but there are benefits to be gained by making relevant distinctions. I can think of no downside to recognizing a distinction that many who don’t think about what they are saying may not recognize. What makes the distinction between phobia and misia relevant? Homomisia places the burden of hate on the hater.

    The term ‘homophobia’ has less to do with the emotional state of the individual and more to do with general attitudes and ideas, and how they contribute to prejudice and harm. I read the link you posted and accept that origin, but that’s just not the prevailing use of the term and hasn’t been for quite some time.

    Conversely, homophobia implies that the subject of fear is somehow legitimately terrifying. (source) In terms of homophobia, what is this fear a fear of?

    You’re stuck on an etymological fallacy. We have decades of the term not being used to describe a psychological phobia. It’s not that much of an issue in practice.

    Now, if you happen to want to engage with someone who expresses a lot of homophobic views or displays a lot of homophobic behaviours—perhaps to help them or confront them or persuade them—it can be useful to understand the emotions behind the behaviour. But it’s seldom going to be as simple as hate or fear. It can be some mixture of ignorance combined with a lack of empathy combined with misogyny combined with a fear that they are losing the societal norms that once brought them comfort. It can be a misunderstanding. It can be a matter of indoctrination. It can be misplaced love. It can be misogyny. We aren’t going to find a singular word that gets the job done.

    #40975

    Unseen
    Participant

    @autumn We can have a singular word the slices a constellation of reasons in two general categories rather than lumping them all together incoherently.

    #40982

    Autumn
    Participant

    @autumn We can have a singular word the slices a constellation of reasons in two general categories rather than lumping them all together incoherently.

    At present, ‘homophobia’ doesn’t typically address reasons. It just describes antipathy and harmful attitudes toward homosexuality (or sometimes the broader LGBTQ+ grouping as a whole).

    But if you find use for another term, by all means, use it. I mean, if there’s one thing that fits in with much of the queer community, it’s coining new terminology for things.

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