Friday, October 30, 2015

Homophobia and the War of the Words

Words have a lot of power.

Of course, the words we say to others directly can nurture or hurt their feelings, thoughts, and self-image. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Our choice of words can turn what could have been a constructive conversation into a destructive argument. They can represent or misrepresent ideas. They can open or close both minds and hearts.

And that’s why this post is about a word: homophobia.

It may seem pretty straightforward. Homophobic people are those with an unwarranted fear of homosexuals. But as the debate over LGBT+ rights rages on, this word has picked up a lot of weight. It’s a sharp word, the user often indicating a certain closed-mindedness or hatefulness that the one being labeled may find insulting.

Thus, I dare ask the question:

Should we call everyone who doesn’t “agree” with homosexuality homophobic?

I mean don’t get me wrong, I get why this word would be directed at anyone who believes that homosexuality is a sin. Regarding anything as a sin or defect does seem to entail a certain kind of “phobia.”

But here’s the thing-believing that homosexuality is not a part of God’s original intent for humanity or isn’t what is best for a particular person doesn’t require fear or hatred. Yes, it can. Oh it definitely can. But it doesn’t have to.

There are many people who concede to the taboos incorporated into the religious doctrine they find most appealing or convincing without then adopting aggression toward or disgust with whatever the taboo is on. I know many evangelical Christians who know many people who don’t identify as heterosexual and who treat those people like normal people.

There are parents who are heart broken by their child’s sexual identity but love them no less and treat them no differently. There are friends who “don’t agree” with other friends’ sexuality but talk, laugh, and fight with them just like the rest of the people they hang out with. And there are perfect strangers who might not have voted in support of homosexual marriage but would never treat other strangers disrespectfully or even feel it appropriate to discuss their objections when seeing said strangers with their partners at work, the mall, or wherever.

I’m not saying that it doesn’t suck that many people see LGBT+ folks as different, influenced by the sinful nature, or anything else or than ordinary people just being people. And I’m not saying that homophobia doesn’t exist.

On the contrary....what I’m saying is that because homophobia DOES exist and has very real consequences on multiple levels and all over the world, we should diagnose it correctly that we may treat it effectively. Trying to force people into changing their beliefs by insulting them doesn’t work and directing aggression at people who haven’t directed it at us won’t help them see through our eyes.

As someone who identifies as bisexual, I don’t want to force anyone to believe what I believe. Of course I would like it if they did. And of course I will attempt to communicate the reasons behind my worldview in the hopes that others will consider it. I would love to live in a world where no one thinks anything is “wrong” with me because I’m not straight. But I also want to live in a world where everyone is free to think what they think as long as they treat other human beings like human beings.

I guess in the end my request is not that we stop using the word. But like I said, it is a weighty one with a sharp edge. Thus, my request is simply this: watch where you point that thing. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

3 Unnatural Things Women Do Because of Feminism

I’ve not been very active lately since I’ve been preoccupied with moving to Scotland for grad school, starting grad school, and finishing up a very time and energy consuming scholarship application. But I’m officially settled in and back at the blog! And today, I’d like to discuss three things that the outlandish realm of feminism has inspired some of my fellow womenfolk to do against their feminine nature.
1) Not shaving

As absurd as it sounds, there are women walking among us more civilized creatures who do not shave. Not the armpit hair, not the leg hair....not even those moderately noticeable hairs that can sometimes crop up around the naval. Feminism has these women believing that appreciation for a hairless female body reflects an arbitrary and even unfair standard which our modern society holds for us. And to that I ask: why would we have finally decided to start doing it if it weren’t in our nature this whole time?

2) Casual Sex

Everyone knows that men are the more sexually veracious of the two genders. It’s only natural that men would be too physical to control their own thoughts and desires while women long only to attach themselves to one man. A man making a lewd joke at, following, or otherwise harassing a women who is scantily clad? What else could you expect from him? Men are so sexual they cannot control themselves, while women desire monogamy so direly they are willing to bear with men and their weaknesses. How could such an arrangement possibly result from the cultural conditioning of a male-dominated society as the feminazis claim?

And now the aftershock of the “sexual revolution” has women of all kinds engaging in hook-ups and swiping right on Tinder. The only explanation: feminism makes women think they want things they don’t really want.

Feminism even has women believing they want to engage in dangerous contact sports. Instead of preserving the beautiful delicate features that all of us of the fairer sex are of course born with, they rebel against their nature in favor of sweat, concussions, and grass stains. I don’t really need to explain why this is’s all too obvious. Seriously, when have you ever heard of women tackling each other outside of sexy, panty-clad pillow fights? Nothing else is natural.

Okay, okay, let’s get serious for a minute. Obviously I’m being a bit snarky here. But unfortunately, each of the sarcastic points above was inspired by something I’ve read, heard, or seen in the real world.  

And let’s face it...whichever side of the fence you’re on, you have to concede a substantial amount of power to culture and ideas. If the feminist movement could make women chase after casual sex when that isn’t what we are wired to want-that is powerful. But if the long ideological history of a misogynistic society can influence women to suppress and be blind to their own sexual desires-that is powerful as well!

The stone I’m hoping to put in your shoe is this: what is more likely? That a movement which basically says “Hey, you should just go ahead and do what you want no matter what others think” would make human beings go haywire doing things they don’t actually have any natural desire to do? Or that the pressures of fitting into society and adhering to its interwoven worldview could indeed give human beings a distorted view of their own nature?

For me, the second is much more plausible. And honestly, if we could learn to recognize and break free from the expectations we were never meant to have for ourselves or others, the world would probably be a much better place.

Feel free to comment-but keep it civil, please!