Well, it all depends on the dictionary you use I guess. My last blog post was about word use in our society…I guess this is just a continuation.
Oxford Dictionary’s definition of the word ‘homophobia’:
Syllabification: ho·mo·pho·bi·aPronunciation: /ˌhōməˈfōbēə
nounDislike of or prejudice against homosexual people.
It goes on to say that the use of the word started in the 1960s, so it is a relatively new word.
But if you look up how the same dictionary defines the word ‘phobia’?
pho·bia noun \ˈfō-bē-ə\
: an exaggerated usually inexplicable and illogical fear of a particular object, class of objects, or situation
How come, when talking about ‘homophobia’, all of a sudden, the definition of ‘phobia’ changes?
Now, per my logic, if you were to combine ‘homosexual’ with ‘phobia’, using their definitions of the words independently, it would mean it was the irrational fear of homosexual people. How did the term all of a sudden change to a hate or extreme dislike of them?
Because it works in their favor is why. Dictionaries will change definitions to fit how it is used in society at the time. God forbid we use words by what they mean. Society wants to take a word and change it’s meaning to something acceptable to them.
Even the term ‘hate’ isn’t used properly. We have been desensitized to that word to a point where we use it in regards to something we would just as soon not eat or some foolishness.
But back on the ‘homophobic’ topic, folks have called me that before. Even though I don’t fit the definition as stated in the dictionary. The folks who use this term use it like a bludgeon. It is supposed to be and argument winner. When folks say, “well, you’re just a homophobe,” what they really mean is, “you don’t agree with me so you should stop talking now.”
Now, I have never once went up to someone on the street, unsolicited, and told them that their lifestyle choice was wrong and they need to get right. The times where I have been called a homophobe, is when someone asked me what I thought, then they didn’t like the answer.
If you are close enough to me, socially, to broach this topic with me, you already have a pretty good idea as to what answer you are going to get. You can’t really get all butt-hurt when you ask a question knowing you ain’t going to like the answer.
They really aren’t getting butt-hurt though. They are just trying to make an example out of me to those present at the time.
Do I think their lifestyle choice is acceptable? No. But do I hate them for being gay? No I do not. Do I fear them? lol…no I don’t fear them. I don’t even hold the fact that they are trying to make an example out of me against them. I am not hateful to gay people, why do they feel justified being hateful to me?
So how is it that they can call me a homophobe and it be acceptable? Because society let’s them get away with it, that’s why. Pulling the ‘homophobe’ card let’s them come out on top of a discussion that they wanted to have.
So I guess saying something someone doesn’t like is either ok or not ok depending on who present has the proverbial trump card in today’s society.
Societal norms change…definitions of words change…a lot of things change. But if you wanna know about a subject that NEVER changes, ask me some time. I will tell you about that as long as you wanna listen.
Y’all stay safe and keep a round in the chamber…