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Author Topic: Assumptions and Homophobia  (Read 23051 times)

tbones

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Re: Assumptions and Homophobia
« Reply #50 on: 22 Feb 2011, 19:22 »

Also, you don't need to keep the gays at arm's length.  Everyone knows that the gay is only transmitted sexually.
Please, pleeeease tell me you are joking.
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Armadillo

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Re: Assumptions and Homophobia
« Reply #51 on: 22 Feb 2011, 19:41 »

Also, you don't need to keep the gays at arm's length.  Everyone knows that the gay is only transmitted sexually.
Please, pleeeease tell me you are joking.

I think saying "the gay" is a pretty good sarcasm indicator.
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cabbagehut

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Re: Assumptions and Homophobia
« Reply #52 on: 22 Feb 2011, 20:01 »

Also, you don't need to keep the gays at arm's length.  Everyone knows that the gay is only transmitted sexually.
Please, pleeeease tell me you are joking.

Yes, I most certainly was!  It'd be pretty fantastically hypocritical to criticize someone for being homophobic and then say something like that.
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akronnick

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Re: Assumptions and Homophobia
« Reply #53 on: 22 Feb 2011, 21:28 »


...with a little luck, may calm down some...


[/wishful thinking]


Where can I get a bowl of whatever you're smoking?
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westrim

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Re: Assumptions and Homophobia
« Reply #54 on: 22 Feb 2011, 22:07 »


Where can I get a bowl of whatever you're smoking?
But... it's cheerios... Why would you smoke cheerios?
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akronnick

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Re: Assumptions and Homophobia
« Reply #55 on: 22 Feb 2011, 22:20 »

Because they work quicker that way. :wink:




Or so I've been told...  :evil: :angel: :mrgreen:
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Dr. ROFLPWN

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Re: Assumptions and Homophobia
« Reply #56 on: 22 Feb 2011, 23:01 »

There were times I used to wonder why Jeph would come in here drunk.

The past few pages are pretty stellar examples of why.
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Re: Assumptions and Homophobia
« Reply #57 on: 22 Feb 2011, 23:21 »

(moderator)
On the bright side, people have been keeping it relatively civil.
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westrim

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Re: Assumptions and Homophobia
« Reply #58 on: 22 Feb 2011, 23:28 »

I'd think they'd be stellar examples of why not to come in here drunk, so he can be rational and ignore all the arguing rather than get worked up about it and start a thread posting random weird stuff like he did during the Doracalypse. Although, I came in rational and still got a bit mixed up in it, so eh  :oops:. I shouldn't have tried to catch up. This isn't too bad really, provided you skim and/or try not to think about the unfortunate implications of some statements.

As for the comic: why would Big Guy be quietly making cloth?  8-) Also, Renee sure is grumpy. (edited)

What's under Martin's drink? it's red and somewhat amorphous... actually, I don't think I want to know.
A coaster...
« Last Edit: 22 Feb 2011, 23:49 by westrim »
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Akima

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Re: Assumptions and Homophobia
« Reply #59 on: 23 Feb 2011, 02:58 »

We need to de-couple this concept of homophobic/other discriminatory belief=bad person. While they are not good traits, people have unfortunately come to the conclusion that, for example, homophobes are bad people, and I'm not a bad person, so I can't be homophobic. Er, no. We are somewhat socialised to be prejudiced, and recognising that prejudice and making an effort to change is what stops you being a "bad person", not attempting to change the definition of your behaviour.

And your second part - QUOTED FOR TRUTH.  Having homophobic beliefs absolutely does not make you a bad person.  You can have all sorts of wonderful qualities and still be a homophobe.  It's still bad and hurtful to be a homophobe, but it doesn't invalidate all the good things about a person.  People are very complex!  You said it much more eloquently than I could, and I guess I just wanted to reinforce it.

It doesn't seem to me that the messages in these two quotes are the same at all.

Fenris' point, it seems to me, is that people who are prejudiced against homosexuality self-identify as "good people", and so believe that since homophobia is "bad", they as "good people" cannot possibly be homophobic, because nothing that "good people" do can be bad. He goes on to say that recognising ones own prejudice, and making the effort to change is what stops one being a bad person, not changing the definition of bad behaviour to exclude your own.

Cabbagehut's line, by contrast, seems to be that you can be a "good person" while doing bad things, because your wonderful other qualities somehow cancel out the bad. And people are complex.

I am much more in sympathy with Fenris' view, but a crucial problem I believe is that people self-identify as "good people" in the first place, apparently ignoring their actual thoughts, words, and actions.
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Odin

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Re: Assumptions and Homophobia
« Reply #60 on: 23 Feb 2011, 03:02 »

Guys, guys, what about all the good things Hitler did?  :mrgreen:

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Re: Assumptions and Homophobia
« Reply #61 on: 23 Feb 2011, 03:47 »

Stabilizing the currency... Volkswagens...

Can't think of much else, but I think that's more of an example of an evil person doing a few good things, rather than a "good person" doing a few evil things. 

Which, as I wake up and think more about it, is probably your point.  Everyone has some good, some bad, and it's proportionally different.  And we all need to realize that, even as "good people", that some of our opinions (and even deeply held beliefs) can actually be pretty fucking bad! 


OK, now it makes more sense, and I don't need to throw out Godwin's law. 
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Re: Assumptions and Homophobia
« Reply #62 on: 23 Feb 2011, 09:50 »

If someone makes an incorrect assumption about me, it doesn't really offend me for the most part.  If someone acts on that assumption, that's a different matter.  If I found out that someone who I had recently met thought I was gay, I would probably find it a bit amusing, but if I found out that they had been going around telling everyone else that I was gay, I'd be pissed.  It wouldn't have to be anything about sexuality;  other incorrect assumptions would have the same effect.

BTW, the OP seems to suggest that Steve threw his drink in Padma's face.  That doesn't seem to be the case--he was surprised, and jerked, which sloshed the drink around in his glass, but he doesn't appear to have gotten any on her or anyone else.  It's not even clear if any of it actually got spilled.
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cabbagehut

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Re: Assumptions and Homophobia
« Reply #63 on: 23 Feb 2011, 11:32 »

It doesn't seem to me that the messages in these two quotes are the same at all.

Fenris' point, it seems to me, is that people who are prejudiced against homosexuality self-identify as "good people", and so believe that since homophobia is "bad", they as "good people" cannot possibly be homophobic, because nothing that "good people" do can be bad. He goes on to say that recognising ones own prejudice, and making the effort to change is what stops one being a bad person, not changing the definition of bad behaviour to exclude your own.

Cabbagehut's line, by contrast, seems to be that you can be a "good person" while doing bad things, because your wonderful other qualities somehow cancel out the bad. And people are complex.

I am much more in sympathy with Fenris' view, but a crucial problem I believe is that people self-identify as "good people" in the first place, apparently ignoring their actual thoughts, words, and actions.

I'm sorry, I do agree with Fenris; I apparently wasn't very clear about what I meant. 

What I meant was that sometimes, when you call someone on homophobia (or racism, or other -isms, etc.), they cite all the good things about themselves or that person in order to invalidate the accusation, and to "prove" that they can't be this bad thing you've said - they're a good person, and homophobia/racism/etc. is only practiced by bad people.  Generally, they think of violence or hateful bigotry, like lynching or slurs.  But that's not the only way it's practiced, you know?  It's calling someone on their privilege (often, not always), and them getting defensive.  But if we change the view, like Fenris suggested, from homophobe = entirely bad person into homophobia = bad beliefs that can change, it makes it easier for people to accept criticism of their own behavior.

My main point was that one bad thing doesn't invalidate good things, and a bunch of good things doesn't invalidate the bad ones, either.  That's what I was trying to get at by saying that people are complex.  Just because I've done X number of good things doesn't give me a pass on homophobia or bigotry.  But just because someone's called me on my homophobia doesn't mean I've never done anything of value.  Instead, it's what Fenris has said - changing your behavior is the key, not changing the definition of your behavior.

What I'm writing is awfully clumsy, and I'm really sorry about that.  I can't seem to quite put my finger on what I'm trying to actually communicate.
« Last Edit: 23 Feb 2011, 11:41 by cabbagehut »
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Blood-Tree

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Re: Assumptions and Homophobia
« Reply #64 on: 23 Feb 2011, 11:55 »

What I'm writing is awfully clumsy, and I'm really sorry about that.  I can't seem to quite put my finger on what I'm trying to actually communicate.

Only a Sith deals in absolutes..?

It occurs to me that homophobia (i.e. a fear or aversion to homosexuality), and actively discriminating against homosexuals, are subtly different things.
« Last Edit: 23 Feb 2011, 12:14 by Blood-Tree »
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Kugai

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Re: Assumptions and Homophobia
« Reply #65 on: 23 Feb 2011, 12:31 »

Understanding is a three edged sword.
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cabbagehut

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Re: Assumptions and Homophobia
« Reply #66 on: 23 Feb 2011, 12:38 »

Only a Sith deals in absolutes..?
It occurs to me that homophobia (i.e. a fear or aversion to homosexuality), and actively discriminating against homosexuals, are subtly different things.

If I'm understanding your first quote (I've never seen Star Wars, and not sure if I fully understand the reference), yes, I think so?  Very rarely are people entirely good or entirely bad.  I like to think I'm a good person, but sometimes, I totally fuck that up and need to be called on it.  And lots of people are probably don't mean harm, but that doesn't mean that they don't cause it.

I think they are subtly different.  I have a friend who is deeply Christian, and I know she thinks that gay people are just "wrong".  But I also know that she thinks it's wrong to treat gay people differently than straight people.  Jesus loved us all, she says, and we all sin, so let God judge.  She's homophobic, but doesn't necessarily discriminate.  She's still wrong to be homophobic, no matter what her reasoning, but I can appreciate that she makes a conscious effort (in her mind) to live up to the ideals of loving your neighbor, etc.  But at the same time, I can also understand a gay person not wanting to be friends with her.
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tbones

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Re: Assumptions and Homophobia
« Reply #67 on: 23 Feb 2011, 12:56 »

Yes, I most certainly was!  It'd be pretty fantastically hypocritical to criticize someone for being homophobic and then say something like that.
Sorry sorry, i once had a disscussion with some one that thought that being homosexual could be transmited, and it was pretty fierce. i still have bad memories from it... And i just go nuts when someone even jokes about it.

So yeah, my bad!  :psyduck:
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cabbagehut

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Re: Assumptions and Homophobia
« Reply #68 on: 23 Feb 2011, 13:29 »

Yes, I most certainly was!  It'd be pretty fantastically hypocritical to criticize someone for being homophobic and then say something like that.
Sorry sorry, i once had a disscussion with some one that thought that being homosexual could be transmited, and it was pretty fierce. i still have bad memories from it... And i just go nuts when someone even jokes about it.

So yeah, my bad!  :psyduck:

Haha, no problem!  And I'm sorry that someone seriously thought that.  How terrible! 
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jwhouk

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Re: Assumptions and Homophobia
« Reply #69 on: 23 Feb 2011, 18:35 »

(Mods: good job, splitting this one off.)
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Re: Assumptions and Homophobia
« Reply #70 on: 23 Feb 2011, 20:36 »

Guys, guys, what about all the good things Hitler did?  :mrgreen:

I was wondering when someone would invoke Godwin's law (albeit ironically)

What I meant was that sometimes, when you call someone on homophobia (or racism, or other -isms, etc.), they cite all the good things about themselves or that person in order to invalidate the accusation, and to "prove" that they can't be this bad thing you've said - they're a good person, and homophobia/racism/etc. is only practiced by bad people.  Generally, they think of violence or hateful bigotry, like lynching or slurs.  But that's not the only way it's practiced, you know?  It's calling someone on their privilege (often, not always), and them getting defensive.  But if we change the view, like Fenris suggested, from homophobe = entirely bad person into homophobia = bad beliefs that can change, it makes it easier for people to accept criticism of their own behavior.
...
changing your behavior is the key, not changing the definition of your behavior.

Have you ever read or studied Critical Theory (Critical Queer Theory, Critical Race Theory, etc.)?  If not, I think you might find it interesting, since your comments about calling people on their privilege and owning up to one's own prejudices and trying to change them rather than hiding behind a wall of denial both reflect some of the central themes of Critical Theory.  Google "unpacking the invisible knapsack" for a good start.  (Even if you don't want to delve into the subject, this is an article I think everyone should read.)
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cabbagehut

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Re: Assumptions and Homophobia
« Reply #71 on: 23 Feb 2011, 22:27 »

Guys, guys, what about all the good things Hitler did?  :mrgreen:

I was wondering when someone would invoke Godwin's law (albeit ironically)

What I meant was that sometimes, when you call someone on homophobia (or racism, or other -isms, etc.), they cite all the good things about themselves or that person in order to invalidate the accusation, and to "prove" that they can't be this bad thing you've said - they're a good person, and homophobia/racism/etc. is only practiced by bad people.  Generally, they think of violence or hateful bigotry, like lynching or slurs.  But that's not the only way it's practiced, you know?  It's calling someone on their privilege (often, not always), and them getting defensive.  But if we change the view, like Fenris suggested, from homophobe = entirely bad person into homophobia = bad beliefs that can change, it makes it easier for people to accept criticism of their own behavior.
...
changing your behavior is the key, not changing the definition of your behavior.

Have you ever read or studied Critical Theory (Critical Queer Theory, Critical Race Theory, etc.)?  If not, I think you might find it interesting, since your comments about calling people on their privilege and owning up to one's own prejudices and trying to change them rather than hiding behind a wall of denial both reflect some of the central themes of Critical Theory.  Google "unpacking the invisible knapsack" for a good start.  (Even if you don't want to delve into the subject, this is an article I think everyone should read.)

I have, actually.  I think "Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack" is a pretty good way to look at it, and enjoyed it.  Alas, I am not anywhere nearly as eloquent as the author, so I kind of mess it up when I try to explain.  Thanks for the suggestion!
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westrim

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Re: Assumptions and Homophobia
« Reply #72 on: 24 Feb 2011, 12:08 »

http://notalwaysright.com/separates-the-men-from-the-boys/10358
Well that's timely. It's Australians, though.
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Akima

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Re: Assumptions and Homophobia
« Reply #73 on: 24 Feb 2011, 13:40 »

http://notalwaysright.com/separates-the-men-from-the-boys/10358
Well that's timely. It's Australians, though.
LOL! And not just Australians. Queenslanders!
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muffin_of_chaos

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Re: Assumptions and Homophobia
« Reply #74 on: 24 Feb 2011, 18:12 »

I personally don't like people assuming things about me.  While I feel more strongly negative about them assuming false things about me, any assumption made will be either far too simplistic to be relevant to anything or completely out of context.
Should I be offended by someone doing so?  No.  In theory, no one should be offended by anything.  To be offended is to combine a signal of distaste or disagreement with anger towards the originator, and anger pretty much never works as a better motivator for friendly diplomacy than not-anger as a general rule.  (There are arguments against this claim, especially over the terminology, but when you get to their bones they are tough and short-sighted.)  And friendly diplomacy leads to mediation, gains from trade and lowered transaction costs of interpersonal interaction, and eventually "better" (more cooperation = more production, more division of labor) society, which most people want.

Here's a common counterargument -- "Oh, but we need to be able to get offended in order to be motivated to counteract flaws in the system!"
I disagree.  After a long life of arguing with people who desire to offend as a tactic in their oratory, I feel I almost cannot be offended.  But I'm still extremely interested in acting to promote and work out problems between people, peoples and societies.  Probably moreso than most people who get caught up in how they feel about the subject such that they cannot think straight or relate to the "offender."

Anyway, the error Padma made was the automatic nature of the assumption, not the fact that the assumption had to do with homosexuality.  I would think slightly less of her (i.e. lower my opinion of her ability to make and follow through with good choices) for the assumption, because she was speaking and acting based on an unconfirmed assumption, except that she seems merely dense.  The kind of dense with the capacity to learn from mistakes, which is almost better than...non-dense.
As opposed to her assumption being the spawn of some sort of personality trait derived from self-centeredness.  Even if it was, I would be extremely hard-pressed to criticize someone for basing their harmless actions on unconfirmed assumptions.

If I'm understanding your first quote (I've never seen Star Wars, and not sure if I fully understand the reference), yes, I think so?  Very rarely are people entirely good or entirely bad.  I like to think I'm a good person, but sometimes, I totally fuck that up and need to be called on it.  And lots of people are probably don't mean harm, but that doesn't mean that they don't cause it.

I think they are subtly different.  I have a friend who is deeply Christian, and I know she thinks that gay people are just "wrong".  But I also know that she thinks it's wrong to treat gay people differently than straight people.  Jesus loved us all, she says, and we all sin, so let God judge.  She's homophobic, but doesn't necessarily discriminate.  She's still wrong to be homophobic, no matter what her reasoning, but I can appreciate that she makes a conscious effort (in her mind) to live up to the ideals of loving your neighbor, etc.  But at the same time, I can also understand a gay person not wanting to be friends with her.

I guess most people here aren't moral relativists?  Most people, including myself, think that homophobia is imprinted, awkward, backwards, reactionary, delusional, unfair, exclusionary, bad for society as a whole and terrible for the safety or peace of mind for individuals affected.  I'm not sure that makes homophobia wrong, and I think that terminology is...unhelpful.  "Right" and "wrong" are absolutist claims, and thus extremely easy to tear down (or slip down the slope into tunnel vision), especially by people who think of everything in terms of absolutes.

TL; DR!
Carpe diem!
:psyduck:
« Last Edit: 24 Feb 2011, 18:15 by muffin_of_chaos »
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chaironic

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Re: Assumptions and Homophobia
« Reply #75 on: 24 Feb 2011, 19:35 »

The discussion pertaining to 1866 misses a very important point: the joke wasn't to enforce the stereotype of the homophobic man, but to subvert it. In panel 3, we're tricked into thinking Steve was offended at being thought to be gay, but it turns out he's just shocked that anyone could think he wasn't out of Marten's league.
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Re: Assumptions and Homophobia
« Reply #76 on: 24 Feb 2011, 21:04 »

In theory, no one should be offended by anything.  
If the other party has resorted to verbal aggression, it's too late for friendly mediation, and they're only doing it to signal that physical aggression is not far behind. I'm offended by being put in danger. Anger is a survival emotion for a reason.
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Re: Assumptions and Homophobia
« Reply #77 on: 25 Feb 2011, 00:36 »

In theory, no one should be offended by anything  To be offended is to combine a signal of distaste or disagreement with anger towards the originator, and anger pretty much never works as a better motivator for friendly diplomacy than not-anger as a general rule..
This sounds like something between a massively condescending cop-out and a bullies' charter. It essentially says to the victim of abuse: "Your feelings are invalid. Your feelings are something that you are not entitled to have. Your feelings are the problem, not the way you've been treated."   Just imagine telling victims of gay-bashing that they shouldn't be offended by it. Or women who've been raped. Or even just subjected to racial abuse. Just imagine telling them that their feelings are unhelpful and that "friendly diplomacy" will "work things out" if only they "relate" to the "offender"....
:psyduck:

And yeah, I'm comfortable with saying that gay-bashing and rape, and racial abuse are wrong, however horribly absolutist and unsophisticated that view apparently is. Sure it's a messy world, with lots of shades of grey, but retreating behind the idea that nothing is ever right or wrong is a cop-out.
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Re: Assumptions and Homophobia
« Reply #78 on: 25 Feb 2011, 10:14 »

I think alot of people love to slap on labels.
I worked with a couple of gay guys and got along fine with them!
One was a Liberache type and I was constantly joking with him (since he insisted on being in the closet I would ask him for pointers on cruising the babes - they all loved him! It was great fun for all of us ESPECIALLY him - he genuinely laughed at the things I would say.)
The other one I asked alot about the gay lifestyle because I was as interested as I would be in another culture.
Like one question: does it ever bore you or get annoying to have sex so often?
Turns out it's quite satisfying apparently.

Well, great for him! As for me, I'm not interested in being any part gay, and so I'm sorry - when people try the stunt of "well you haven't TRIED it" I'll tell them they're frikkin idiots and to fuck off. What makes me a homophobe simply because I don't want to be any closer to a gay guy than arm's length? Why should I have to have no problem with a gay in my personal space to NOT be a homophobe? Why aren't some of them HETEROphobes for insisting that there's something wrong with straight men?

I think alot of people today are very fast to slap a label on something without even thinking about it, simply because they're raised to do so.
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Re: Assumptions and Homophobia
« Reply #79 on: 25 Feb 2011, 10:28 »

A person can be closer than arm's length and not be making a pass. 

Or even be interested. 

Now, different cultures have different definitions of personal space, and even within a culture, you'll get wide differences - most New York City dwellers have a much smaller sense of personal space than people from the rural areas, and that will, occasionally, lead to severe misunderstandings and even confrontations. 

If you're talking about people (gay or otherwise) getting in your space to the point where you're uncomfortable, that's pretty reasonable.  I think the problem most people had with your statement was the quantification, and the fact that "at arm's length" is an expression commonly used for things we find disgusting. 

Of course, your reactions cited at the end of the post are  pretty homophobic.  You wouldn't tell someone to fuck off if they said you didn't like broccolli because you never tried it, would you?  It's yhe vehemence that makes it so!
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Re: Assumptions and Homophobia
« Reply #80 on: 25 Feb 2011, 11:02 »

No. I'm not interested and I sure don't need to be told that I don't know what I'm saying when I find something revolting.
 
I could see where that can be called 'phobic' (in the sense of how chemistry uses the word); because it certainly isn't a phobia. There is nothing irrational about it, and that's where others love to slap on a label and call it so. I don't fear gay guys; I respect their right to live and pursue what they wish (I even advocate their right to marry) but I am revolted by seeing gay sex and gay kissing.

Are you a vomit- or copro- (or choco-) phobe because you get revolted by "2 girls 1 cup"??? Seems like an extreme label slapping to me.
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Armadillo

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Re: Assumptions and Homophobia
« Reply #81 on: 25 Feb 2011, 12:09 »

It's up to the individual, ANY individual, to respond to words or actions how they see fit; nobody can control the response of another human being.  Let me use an extreme example to make a point: say somebody walks into an NAACP convention and yells the N-word through a bullhorn.  Now, I don't think you'd find too many people who would argue that this person isn't a dipshit of the highest order, and most likely a straight-up a-hole.  However, the response this gets is ONLY up to the people who choose to respond.  One response is to roll your eyes and declare this person a simpleton most likely incapable of tying their own shoes, much less forming a coherent thought.  Another response is to get angry and challenge this man's assertions verbally, yet calmly.  A more extreme response is to walk up and punch the dude square in the mush and then kick the shit out of him for the next ten minutes. 

My point is, there's always more than one way to handle a given situation.  Getting offended is but one response, and is completely in the purview of the individual who is responding.  Nobody can MAKE someone else feel offended.  This isn't meant to say that feelings of offense are invalid or wrong, just that you and YOU ALONE are responsible for your actions and feelings. 
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Re: Assumptions and Homophobia
« Reply #82 on: 25 Feb 2011, 13:53 »


I guess most people here aren't moral relativists?  Most people, including myself, think that homophobia is imprinted, awkward, backwards, reactionary, delusional, unfair, exclusionary, bad for society as a whole and terrible for the safety or peace of mind for individuals affected.  I'm not sure that makes homophobia wrong, and I think that terminology is...unhelpful.  "Right" and "wrong" are absolutist claims, and thus extremely easy to tear down (or slip down the slope into tunnel vision), especially by people who think of everything in terms of absolutes.

TL; DR!
Carpe diem!
:psyduck:

I'm a moral relativist in some places, not so much in others.  I can see what you mean about absolutist terms, and I guess I agree, but I don't really know how else to describe my reaction and my viewpoint, so I don't know what words might be better. 

I don't mean to sound combative, but I can't just carpe diem when homophobia leads to violence.  And the thing is, I never know when that might be.  I've had people follow me into parking lots with the intent to beat the snot out of me; at the time, these people were total strangers.  I later found out that they were friends of friends - people that I thought were "on my side", so to speak (I lived in a small town at the time, so the coincidence wasn't that shocking).  For LGBTQ people, that's often a pretty real fear.  Sure, in a lot of places, it's rare now, and you don't have to worry so much.  But in others, it's part of life.  Someone might try to hurt you for who you are.  Of course, that's a pretty extreme example.  But for the majority of my life, it's been my reality.  I know you were talking about the whole slippery-slope thing, and that's kind of my view on it.  Most people aren't going to do anything to me, except maybe throw out some rude words.  But there's always going to be people who will hate me for who I am, and how do I tell someone who's just a bigot, and someone who's going to use that bigotry?  There's no litmus test, unfortunately.  It would be super-convenient!

I think alot of people love to slap on labels.
I worked with a couple of gay guys and got along fine with them!
One was a Liberache type and I was constantly joking with him (since he insisted on being in the closet I would ask him for pointers on cruising the babes - they all loved him! It was great fun for all of us ESPECIALLY him - he genuinely laughed at the things I would say.)
The other one I asked alot about the gay lifestyle because I was as interested as I would be in another culture.
Like one question: does it ever bore you or get annoying to have sex so often?
Turns out it's quite satisfying apparently.

Well, great for him! As for me, I'm not interested in being any part gay, and so I'm sorry - when people try the stunt of "well you haven't TRIED it" I'll tell them they're frikkin idiots and to fuck off. What makes me a homophobe simply because I don't want to be any closer to a gay guy than arm's length? Why should I have to have no problem with a gay in my personal space to NOT be a homophobe? Why aren't some of them HETEROphobes for insisting that there's something wrong with straight men?

I think alot of people today are very fast to slap a label on something without even thinking about it, simply because they're raised to do so.


What makes that a homophobic view is that the language you've used suggests that you have a special standard for gay men.  You're presumably okay with people who aren't gay men in your person space.  Generally, when we say we want to stay "an arm's length" away (or other units of measurement, like "wouldn't touch it with a ten-foot pole"), we're doing that out of protection for ourselves, disgust, or fear.  If you can't catch being gay, then why is it a problem?  To say you don't want men hitting on you isn't necessarily homophobic, because you're not attracted to them - it's not a whole lot different than saying you don't want women you're not attracted to hitting on you.  It's the special standard that does it.

If gay men are insisting that something's wrong with straight men, yes, that's a crappy thing to do.  If they don't want to be any closer than an arm's length away, then I suppose you could use "heterophobe" - again, it would have to be the special standard applied to only straight people.  But the sheer numbers of people suggest that it's not very likely that a gay person could really enforce such a thing, as the majority of people in the world aren't gay.  I've never personally known a gay person who thinks that straight people are "wrong", but of course, I don't know all the gay people in the world, so it's totally possible (nay, probable!) that people like that exist.  And they're being crappy for it.  But that's not really the issue at hand.  The issue is talking about how assumptions and homophobia are enacted, and why it bothers people.  I'm guessing that the forum members who are reacting strongly are close to GLBTQ people, or are GLBTQ themselves.  It tends to hit a little closer to home, and there's a certain amount of emotional engagement that's really hard to explain to someone who isn't affected like you are.  If you're a straight man, you've never experienced the fear that comes from a gay-bashing.  I can't explain it to you - it's not the same as getting beaten up on the playground.  And the connections that are made between a casually homophobic comment and the attitudes that affect our lives negatively can seem like exaggerations or overreactions to people who aren't in the same position.  When I hear someone around me make a homophobic comment, everything changes for me - is this person dangerous?  Do they know about me?  How deep does this go, and how am I going to handle being around a person like this?  It's never an easy thing.

But my goodness, this is getting TL;DR!

Short version: GLBTQ people are probably going to see a homophobic comment in a very, very different light than someone who isn't GLBTQ!
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Carl-E

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Re: Assumptions and Homophobia
« Reply #83 on: 25 Feb 2011, 14:27 »

Cabbagehut, for someone who spent their first few posts apologizing for not getting your message across, you've said that extremely well. 

Homophobia (and racism, and sexism, and...) has  to be in the eye of the beholder.  Because if the perpetrator (and I do not  use that term lightly) could see it, then they wouldn't use it. 

El Flesh, you may or may not believe it, but you have shown the world (OK, this forum at least) that you are in fact homophobic.  Regardless of how you treat your homosexual "friends". 

Sorry. 

I hope you'll eventually come to terms with it, although I know it's unlikely. 
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Re: Assumptions and Homophobia
« Reply #84 on: 25 Feb 2011, 15:25 »

I don't fear gay guys; I respect their right to live and pursue what they wish (I even advocate their right to marry) but I am revolted by seeing gay sex and gay kissing.

Doesn't it burn up a lot of energy unnecessarily to prevent that from interfering with your obligation to treat gay people as people?

If positions were reversed, would you be comfortable with the friendship of someone who considered your love life revolting?

Do you consider your gut reaction to be something you should work to overcome?
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Re: Assumptions and Homophobia
« Reply #85 on: 25 Feb 2011, 15:59 »

This isn't meant to say that feelings of offense are invalid or wrong, just that you and YOU ALONE are responsible for your actions and feelings.
I fully accept that I am responsible for my actions and feelings. But the corollary of that is that every other adult is fully and solely responsible for their words and actions. Recognising offensive words and actions and responding to them is one way one holds others accountable for their actions. To suggest that some people are entitled to be treated more indulgently than others is to divide the world into aristocrats and serfs. You know, just like real life...

Homophobia (and racism, and sexism, and...) has  to be in the eye of the beholder. Because if the perpetrator (and I do not  use that term lightly) could see it, then they wouldn't use it.
That is a hugely generous assessment, Carl. Many people are neither ignorant nor ashamed of their bigotry. Instead they feel fully entitled to see people of different race, religion, gender, sexual orientation etc. as second-class citizens, or indeed as not really human at all. Sure they don't like it when they're called out on it, and people label them "racist", "sexist", "homophobe" etc. but that's just ducking responsibility.
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Re: Assumptions and Homophobia
« Reply #86 on: 25 Feb 2011, 16:09 »

I personally don't like people assuming things about me.  While I feel more strongly negative about them assuming false things about me, any assumption made will be either far too simplistic to be relevant to anything or completely out of context.

Anyway, the error Padma made was the automatic nature of the assumption, not the fact that the assumption had to do with homosexuality.  I would think slightly less of her (i.e. lower my opinion of her ability to make and follow through with good choices) for the assumption, because she was speaking and acting based on an unconfirmed assumption, except that she seems merely dense.  The kind of dense with the capacity to learn from mistakes, which is almost better than...non-dense.

Everyone judges, and everyone assumes. We take our basic ideas about people's attributes and apply other characteristics to that person, based on what we think about those attributes. We rarely have good reasons for these assumptions, since many are imprinted at a young age, and if not altered during adolescence generally remain, but there they are. We all do what Padma did, even if it is subconscious. It's a way to categorize others, and it's pretty well instinctive. As for the acting on unconfirmed assumptions, most people filter others' behaviour through their assumptions, and so it becomes confirmed to them, and so they treat the other person like their assumption is true. It's a self fulfilling prophecy of sorts.
That's not to say that we shouldn't monitor these assumptions, and try to correct them when they are found to be wrong. Trying to be open minded and fair about things is very important. There are whole theories dedicated to trying to remove prejudice and discrimination.
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Carl-E

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Re: Assumptions and Homophobia
« Reply #87 on: 25 Feb 2011, 16:46 »

Homophobia (and racism, and sexism, and...) has  to be in the eye of the beholder. Because if the perpetrator (and I do not  use that term lightly) could see it, then they wouldn't use it.
That is a hugely generous assessment, Carl. Many people are neither ignorant nor ashamed of their bigotry. Instead they feel fully entitled to see people of different race, religion, gender, sexual orientation etc. as second-class citizens, or indeed as not really human at all. Sure they don't like it when they're called out on it, and people label them "racist", "sexist", "homophobe" etc. but that's just ducking responsibility.

I suppose it is generous, but maybe I need to explain where it came from a little better.  People who genuinely hold such opinions really do  see these "other" people as second (or even lower) class people, and that was my point.  By doing so, they've removed the responsibility of empathy, and are free to treat these "others" as less than themselves, and maybe even less than human. 

When I said "...if the perpetrator could see it, then they wouldn't use it", I meant to imply that they don't  see it, that they need to have their eyes opened to the fact that these "others" are on par with themselves, equally human, and deserving of equal treatment.  They need to obtain empathy for the "others" in some way.  And I also mentioned later in the post that it will probably never happen. 

A person with these opinions and beleifs will readily acknowledge them, even flaunt them, since they beleive they are correct.  There needs to be some education, as skelpunk intimated in his (her?) post.  damn gendered pronouns...

So I don't think I was being overly generous, just pointing out a dismal fact.  Maybe it was your prejudicial opinion that I'm just a nice person that made you see it as so generous!   :angel:
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Blackjoker

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Re: Assumptions and Homophobia
« Reply #88 on: 25 Feb 2011, 19:55 »

I suppose I am going a bit off topic with this but it might offer a, theoretically anyway, less charged comparison for the question of assumptions and reactions in the context of homophobia. I was a Christian until a couple of years ago, I am an atheist now, I have had people assume that I was a Christian either because of work that I did or because a lot of people tend to be christian they just sort of took it as the default. Does it bother me to be assumed as a christian...sort of but it doesn't annoy me as much because I also know I used to be one. I have known some of my friends who are christian who get irritated if they get mistaken for atheists, conservatives, liberals, whatever because of their branch of faith or something similar. In one case I had a friend finally snap angrily "Yes, I am a christian, yes I am pro choice, quit assuming that I am anti-womens rights as it is REALLY irritating."

Is it the same as someone assuming you're gay, not exactly but I think it does show that some people get irritated by being assumed to be something they aren't. I was at a party, struck up a conversation with a woman that interested me, asked her out, and she rather angrily told me that she was a lesbian and asked why I would assume she was straight. I have had people assume I was gay, and I have had them try to attack me for it so yeah, I do react a little bit more...negatively shall we say. Does a person who is offended by being assumed gay have to be branded homophobic? I think it's based on the reasons why they feel that way. After all, I don't assume that people who are offended at being thought atheists, liberals, conservatives, etc. have a phobia of those things, they are merely irritated at being prejudged.

That's my take, and I probably garbled a few things anyhow and made an irrelevant comparison, but meh.
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cabbagehut

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Re: Assumptions and Homophobia
« Reply #89 on: 26 Feb 2011, 13:23 »

Well, thanks, Carl-E!  I have a tendency to ramble and lose my focus, so I worry that I'm not quite making sense, or that I'm using the wrong words or something.

Blackjoker, I'm sorry if it seemed I was linking Christianity to homophobia.  They're linked in my friend, but not for all people!  Actually, when we talked about how I felt about her homophobia, she asked me, puzzled, "But you knew when you met me I was a Christian.  What did you expect?", and I told her that there are many kinds of Christians, so one never knows.  When she said she was a Christian, I assumed she probably believed in a God and a Jesus, but you can't know a whole lot beyond that.

Does a person who is offended by being assumed gay have to be branded homophobic? I think it's based on the reasons why they feel that way.

I think that's what a lot of us have been trying to get at.  If you're irritated at being assumed to be gay because it happens ALL THE TIME and you're tired of correcting people (like a poster mentioned earlier), no, that's not homophobic.  If you're irritated because eew, gays are gross, you'd like to not be associated with that, or it threatens your masculinity, yeah, that's homophobic.
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Re: Assumptions and Homophobia
« Reply #90 on: 26 Feb 2011, 23:20 »

Well, thanks, Carl-E!  I have a tendency to ramble and lose my focus, so I worry that I'm not quite making sense, or that I'm using the wrong words or something.

Blackjoker, I'm sorry if it seemed I was linking Christianity to homophobia.  They're linked in my friend, but not for all people!  Actually, when we talked about how I felt about her homophobia, she asked me, puzzled, "But you knew when you met me I was a Christian.  What did you expect?", and I told her that there are many kinds of Christians, so one never knows.  When she said she was a Christian, I assumed she probably believed in a God and a Jesus, but you can't know a whole lot beyond that.

Does a person who is offended by being assumed gay have to be branded homophobic? I think it's based on the reasons why they feel that way.

I think that's what a lot of us have been trying to get at.  If you're irritated at being assumed to be gay because it happens ALL THE TIME and you're tired of correcting people (like a poster mentioned earlier), no, that's not homophobic.  If you're irritated because eew, gays are gross, you'd like to not be associated with that, or it threatens your masculinity, yeah, that's homophobic.

Oh, I wasn't thinking that homophobia and christianity were linked.  I just used the comparison because it is something I have personally experienced and figured it might work as a useful different context.
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Re: Assumptions and Homophobia
« Reply #91 on: 27 Feb 2011, 03:17 »

Y'all know what happens when you assume, right.

You make an ass of u and me.
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Re: Assumptions and Homophobia
« Reply #92 on: 27 Feb 2011, 04:42 »

Does a person who is offended by being assumed gay have to be branded homophobic? I think it's based on the reasons why they feel that way.

I think that's what a lot of us have been trying to get at.  If you're irritated at being assumed to be gay because it happens ALL THE TIME and you're tired of correcting people (like a poster mentioned earlier), no, that's not homophobic.  If you're irritated because eew, gays are gross, you'd like to not be associated with that, or it threatens your masculinity, yeah, that's homophobic.

There's a difference between being offended because assumptions are made about you (some of us are, some aren't - see below) and just being plain old offended by gays, as El Flesh's "arm's length" comment indicates, despite his/her interactions with them. 

Would you be equally judgemental of a woman being offended by someone saying to her "You're a woman? I assumed you were a man!" (or vice versa). Or "You're just fat? I assumed you were pregnant!"

The fact is, few people would be judgemental of someone who got offended by comments like that.  It's natural to get upset when other people make assumptions.  If they're made once or twice, most people will just laugh it off, but it will still disturb others.  Same when it happens repeatedly - some people get disturbed, some don't (a lesbian friend of mine considers it a point of pride when she's mistaken for a man, though she doesn't consider herself as "passing" - that might just be denial of the next step on her journey, though).  And as several posts have pointed out before this, if you're repeatedly assumed to be something you aren't, it's natural to get upset to various degrees.  Being upset about being assumed you're gay when you're not isn't necessarily homophobia. 

But if you're upset by it because you find gays offensive, then yes, it really is! 

Looking at this I realize I haven't added anything to the conversation that hasn't already been said - consider it a summary!   :psyduck:
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