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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Looking for a word to replace Homophobe. (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Looking for a word to replace Homophobe.
Darth_Mauve
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Homophobia is a overt fear of homosexuality and homosexuals.

I want a word for people who are not afraid, but are against gay marriage and other rights/benefits being given to homosexuals.

It is wrong for these people to call homosexuals by insulting names, and few do so. It is similarly wrong for those for gay rights to use an insulting pejorative for there opponents.

If we want to have a discussion on gay rights, gay marriage, and the equality of the LBGT community we need to avoid name calling.

I can't say "Conservative" because many conservatives, fiscal conservatives, log cabin republicans, and Libertarians are pro-Gay rights.

I can't say "Christian" because many Christians see the love of Christ as cause for gay marriage.

I can't say "Evangelicals" because others, who are not Christian Evangelical, want gay marriage to stop. Islamic and Jewish conservatives band together on this issue.

"Culture Warriors" can be those on either side.

How about:

Homodiacs--those who hate or annoyed by homosexuals? (from Homo-1 and the latin Odius or loathsome, annoying, hated)

Homoconteptics--those who have contempt for homosexuality?

Heterosupremists--those who believe that heterosexuals are the supreme sexual choice.

Yeah, I like Heterosupremists.

Other suggestions?

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Mucus
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I'm not sure that the "supremacist" construction captures the right meaning here. Even white supremacists, while lynching black people and against intermarriage, didn't necessarily have an issue with black people marrying each other.

The group that we're talking about goes that extra step.

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Heterosupremist
Do you really think that doesn't sound like a perjorative? It sure does to me.

Why do you need a label? What's wrong with the strictly factual "anti same sex marriage" or "gay marriage opponents"? They even have the same number of syllables as "heterosupremist".

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Darth_Mauve
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Yeah, Heterosupremist does sound to close to white supremist to be useful.

Why not "anti same sex marriage?" Basically, because I want to go beyond the same-sex marriage argument, and get into things like "don't Ask/don't tell" and other gay rights issues.

Similarly, we can't use "anti gay rights" because those people who are against gay marriage and gays serving in the military and gay adoptions, etc, don't see themselves as being "anti". They see themselves as being "pro-marriage" and "pro-military" and "pro-child".

And I can't say "pro-child" in an adoption debate, because that puts gay adoptees at a disadvantage. If they are against the pro-child people are they anti-child?

The same goes with pro-military and pro-marriage.

If I try Pro-heterosexual--it sounds like a prostitute.

Why a label? Because with out a label people will argue about a label. We will have arguments if a person is afraid of gays or anti family or not.

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Stone_Wolf_
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We discussed this before and the best we could come up with is "anti-gay".

I know at first that tends to sound harsh, but in the end it, it is accurate, and short n sweet to boot.

I remember someone (Rabbit?) wanted it to be "anti-homosexuality" as it delineates the practice from the practitioners. But it's much longer and not as catchy and "gay" doesn't necessarily mean the people who do it.

I personally think "anti-gay" is the winner.

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Vadon
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The issue with titles is that they often create implication for the other side of an issue. To be pro-choice implies that those who disagree with you are anti-choice. To be pro-life implies that those who disagree with you are anti-life. Even if it doesn't imply that those with whom you disagree are of the opposite opinion, it at least implies that people aren't on board with your "positive" agenda. I don't think it's fair to say that those who aren't pro-life don't care about life, just as I don't think it's fair to say those who are not pro-choice don't care about liberty.

That's why I take issue with "anti-gay." Is it that you're simply opposed to homosexual marriage, or is it that you are opposed to homosexuals? I think it's possible to believe in heterosexual marriage without necessarily thinking less of homosexuals. Why not simply say that you are in favor of marriage pertaining to heterosexuals only and leave it at that? Why do we need to title people with this opinion?

I support homosexual marriage, I support keeping abortion legal. I don't think of myself as either "pro-gay" or "pro-choice."

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
Similarly, we can't use "anti gay rights" because those people who are against gay marriage and gays serving in the military and gay adoptions, etc, don't see themselves as being "anti".
You asked a word to describe the people who are against those things, and now you're saying that we can't describe them based on their opposition to those things.

This is nonsense. If you want language to actually communicate meaning, then you should be *trying* to keep your language as close as to that intended meaning.

Your suggestions are likewise all nonsense. If you want to describe people who're opposed to homosexuality, then you should be using the term "anti-homosexuality". If you want to describe people who're opposed to gay rights, then you should be using the term "anti-gay rights".

Instead you tried to confuse the issue with *more* connotations, instead of less -- by using words that talk about "annoyance" or "contempt" or "supremacy" -- instead of the mere fact of OPPOSITION -- which is described by the word "anti-".

Now, if it's not actually OPPOSITION TO GAY RIGHTS that you want to be the descriptive characteristic of this group, then you should figure out what it is.

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advice for robots
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Partialists?
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AchillesHeel
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Bigot
Anti-Civil rights
Pro Hetero Ruling Class

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Stone_Wolf_
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quote:
Originally posted by Vadon:
That's why I take issue with "anti-gay." Is it that you're simply opposed to homosexual marriage, or is it that you are opposed to homosexuals?

I might agree, but the original goal was:

quote:
Originally posted by Darth_Mauve:
I want a word for people who are not afraid, but are against gay marriage and other rights/benefits being given to homosexuals.

If say you were okay with gays, but not gay marriage only, then a more appropriate title would be "anti-SSM". But he is looking for a catch all title for against all things gay and "anti-gay" fits the ticket nicely.
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Stone_Wolf_
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quote:
Originally posted by AchillesHeel:
Bigot
Anti-Civil rights
Pro Hetero Ruling Class

I understand where you are coming from AH, but if these two groups are ever going to be able to discuss and resolve their differences some of the righteous indignation which fuels comments like this must be put aside. I tend to agree with your sentiments, but sharing points of view through discussion is a good goal and you can't change people's minds or hearts with a fist.
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Aros
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Racist. . .
Sexist. . .
Gayist. . .?

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Stone_Wolf_
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Aros: See above.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Darth_Mauve:
Homophobia is a overt fear of homosexuality and homosexuals.

I want a word for people who are not afraid, but are against gay marriage and other rights/benefits being given to homosexuals.

That would still be homophobia.

quote:
Homophobia is a range of negative attitudes and feelings towards homosexuality and people who are identified or perceived as being homosexual. Although the suffix phobia normally refers to irrational fear, definitions of homophobia have expanded to refer variably to antipathy, contempt, prejudice, and aversion, as well as irrational fear.[1][2][3] It is observable in critical and hostile behavior such as discrimination[1][2] and violence on the basis of a perceived non-heterosexual orientation.
Yes. It is a descriptive term that is very easily used as a pejorative. So's "racist" or "anti-semite." Any word that we come up with to avoid pejoratively labeling homophobes will end up just being another pejorative label under some feelgood attempted PC. For instance, do you really think it would help to move to calling them "heterosupremist?"

If we're supposed to be against insulting labeling for its own sake, do we also have to come up with mewling, friendly labels for racists and antisemites? Both of those are insulting labels too!

It is a serious question.

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Orincoro
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Really it would be orientationist.

But the issue there is that the -ism suffix was co-opted from racism with the meaning being changed effectively to bigotry over what racism actually sort of is in a technical sense.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
Really it would be orientationist.

People prejudiced against gays would indeed like the dovetailed connotations of the word orientation, due to the still greatly prevalent belief among them that it's like other orientations in like that you can switch and change if you really want to.
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Orincoro
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Perhaps so. But the "ist" suffix doesn't sound too favorable. Maybe that kind of a wash is what's needed.
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odouls268
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What we do is add "Anti Federalist" with "Homo" somehow.

AntiHomoFederalist?
HomoAntiFederalist?

HomoDisaLegitimist is what I'm going with.

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odouls268
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quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
Racist. . .
Sexist. . .
Gayist. . .?

I think it would be Homoist.

..Which sounds dirtier than one might intend, when sounded out phonetically.

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Aros
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Why do we want a clean, non-offensive way to call a bigot what he / she is? As I was explaining to my son, it's no different than suffrage or slavery. A minority group is being oppressed and they haven't been granted protections yet by the government. We have a bunch of old and ignorant people who think that the rule of the majority is king to civil protections of minorities from said majority.

Are you interested in finding a non-offensive term for a racist or sexist? The problem is, the people that you are defining are inherently negative. Whatever label you give will take on the definition and become negative anyway in time. So why not call them homophobes?

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aspectre
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Sorry, 'homophobe' is the proper term. If they didn't feel strong attraction to homosexual experiences -- and that they needed strong barriers to prevent themselves from acting out on that attraction -- they wouldn't assume that everybody else is like them, and thus in need of laws to prevent gay marriages.
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BlackBlade
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Aros: Oh please. People who oppose same sex marriage are not universally afraid of or angry at homosexuals. You may disagree with the rubric they use to judge what should and should not be a law, specifically the religious justification they use to vote their conscience. But even you must accept that in a democracy, there are times where the majority wins over the minority. Even in the case of civil rights. Otherwise you would support every single land claim the Native Americans make today.

If a person supports equalizing the government's handling of marriage to include same sex couples, but they also support their church in its belief that same sex couples cannot marry within that faith, are they still a homophobe? Or is it only if you oppose civil recognition that you suddenly become a mean name?

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Liz B
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quote:
Why do we want a clean, non-offensive way to call a bigot what he / she is? ...

Are you interested in finding a non-offensive term for a racist or sexist? The problem is, the people that you are defining are inherently negative. Whatever label you give will take on the definition and become negative anyway in time. So why not call them homophobes?

QFT.

It reminds me of having to dance around the idea of calling someone out on racism or sexism...as if it's somehow more offensive to point out racism than to say something racist.

If it sounds pejorative it probably should. Being homophobic is more unpleasant than the word "homophobic."

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Jeff C.
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My only question is this: Why would someone be opposed to homosexual rights if they weren't already a homophobe?
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
... But even you must accept that in a democracy, there are times where the majority wins over the minority. Even in the case of civil rights. Otherwise you would support every single land claim the Native Americans make today ...

That doesn't necessarily follow.

There are a number of ways to resolve this, but one could for example, believe that there are no cases where the majority can restrict minority civil rights while simultaneously holding the belief that land claims can't be inherited across 'X' generations.

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Stone_Wolf_
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Most change like this happens when the old school die out and the next generation is more tolerant.

That being said, it should still be a goal to have the ability to discuss this and other hard topics without instant antagonism. Labels like "homophobe" and "bigot" are not at all helpful to an open dialog, just as "fag" or "queer" are not.

Change is difficult, and even harder when religious beliefs are involved.

The hugely vast majority of people with strong feelings on this matter are going to take those beliefs to the grave. But some people can change their view of the world. And if you hope to reach that minority even a little bit, name calling will drastically limit your success.

So, it is really a question of intentions. If you want to antagonize those who see gay rights as something to be opposed, continue calling them bigots and homophobes. If you are trying to have a serious discussion and maybe change some hearts and minds, I suggest a gentler approach.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Jeff C.:
My only question is this: Why would someone be opposed to homosexual rights if they weren't already a homophobe?

I'm sure some do. And all the rest are nearly always assured that they're part of that select few, too.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
That being said, it should still be a goal to have the ability to discuss this and other hard topics without instant antagonism. Labels like "homophobe" and "bigot" are not at all helpful to an open dialog, just as "fag" or "queer" are not.

"fag" is the only word in that list that is unlikely to be helpful in an open dialog. For instance, in any open dialog with victims and perpetrators of bigotry, I defy anyone to tell me that the word bigot is off the table.
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Stone_Wolf_
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There is a world of difference between trying to show someone that their beliefs culminate in bigotry and calling someone a bigot. Name calling (even truthful names) rarely lead people to having the open mind set necessary for change.

The question in the op is what label can be used to avoid words like bigot.

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Samprimary
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quote:
The question in the op is what label can be used to avoid words like bigot.
That's all well and fine when the primary consideration is the relatively plausible and worthwhile conversion and betterment via discourse of people who would otherwise be turned off by labeling, and there are no significant issues beyond this. There is, though, and it's the part that's way more important with their comfort level about labels describing what they are doing — it's about the vulnerable minority population who are victims of the things that they do that have earned them the labels in the first place.
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capaxinfiniti
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quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
Why do we want a clean, non-offensive way to call a bigot what he / she is?

Are you interested in finding a non-offensive term for a racist or sexist? The problem is, the people that you are defining are inherently negative. Whatever label you give will take on the definition and become negative anyway in time. So why not call them homophobes?

That's like saying, "Why do we want a clean, non-offensive way to call a baby killer (pro-choice) what he / she is?"

A non-offensive term is being sought in order to foster more open discussion. In a debate concerning abortion, if I call the opposing side "pro-baby killing" or something less dramatic like "anti-life" I shouldn't expect a calm and productive discussion to ensue. Even if such terms are accurate and politically correct to some, their use wouldn't bolster my arguments. In addition to sounding spiteful, "anti-life" wouldn't be an accurate description either because the person isn't likely to be all-around against life, as others have pointed out. Good communication comes from avoiding needlessly antagonistic language.

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Stone_Wolf_
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I don't disagree that the title is well earned, but honestly that old saw about two wrongs apply. I do not think that being called names is going to accomplish anything other then more anger and polarization.

We have more then stared down a path that is inevitable. Homosexuality will be a nonissue in a generation or two.

One does not win a war over intolerance with more intolerance. Reasonable people can disagree.

That their side is wrong is without question in my mind, but it is a mistake to hate them even if they have wronged some. It is short sighted to dehumanize them as they are people too, both flawed and virtuious like all of us.

I'm sure some who advocate oppression of those different from "the norm" are selfish, fear filled, small minded bigots, but not all or even most. Espessually those who are called to see homosexuality as a sin against God and a danger to family structure.

For these people, anger and name calling will only further alienate them and drive them further from the possibility of identifying with the feeling of injustice of their victims.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
We have more then stared down a path that is inevitable. Homosexuality will be a nonissue in a generation or two.

I'd actually be surprised if this is the case. We've been working on race not being an issue for far longer and that's still not true.
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Stone_Wolf_
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Compare race issues of 1932-1972 (one or two generations ago) to today. Nonissue. Sure, there's still progress to be made, but is racism a -real- problem in this country? Are the minority races struggling to be able to join the main stream culture or have an impact on our society?

Or to put it another way, if you were to list the top five problems that are facing this country, would racism be on that list? Top ten?

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:

One does not win a war over intolerance with more intolerance. Reasonable people can disagree.

An idealistic appraisal, but not really ... true. At all. You can use intolerance of one kind to properly and effectively challenge intolerance of another kind, drive it into submission, curtail it from being transmitted from generation to generation. Choke it out of the sociocultural milieu to the edges. Make it incredibly un-P.C., and association with it inherently derogatory. It has been done before. It is, actually, what is being done now. Is it wrong? It's certainly easy to argue it is, until it comes down to the issue of how this is something of an active fight to give people rights, respect, and a place in society that they should already have by now.

I get what the issue is here. I agree that homophobe doesn't have to be the term and that it could easily be better to opt to swap it out for a better word, so that The Anti-Gay Discriminators Formerly Known As Homophobes won't get hung up on phobe and won't feel tiresomely forced to assume and preach, regardless of common definition, that the term necessarily implies only direct and clear fear and/or hatred for homosexuals, a phobia, and that if they don't jump at the sight of homosexuals in the same way that an arachnophobe jumps at the sight of a spider, then the term is hateful and wrong and totally not about them, even when their personal attitude and intended legislative discriminatory measures against homosexuals clearly apply a worldview that is straightforwardly terrified of what happens when homosexuals aren't forced to hide their behavior, terrified of their children learning about them in contexts which don't start and stay on "homosexuality is bad," and terrified of letting them marry or serve openly in the military.

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millernumber1
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I still think "heteronormative" makes the most sense (as well as having provenance).

"Of, designating, or based on a world view which regards gender roles as fixed to biological sex and heterosexuality as the normal and preferred sexual orientation." (OED)

Though it sounds to me like the discussion is getting hung up on the definition of truth as something which exists objectively vs. a constructed tool to wield as power.

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Aros
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I think the flawed assumption is that you can have a productive discussion about a topic like gay marriage or abortion. People's views are generally fixed, and they'll just regurgitate the talking points that they were given at church or some website. Or worse yet, the aggressive quips that were birthed by original thought.

Do you think discussion about controversial topics actually changes minds? Do you think that the other person is even listening? They're just preparing their next talking point.

Conservatives only change their mind about homosexuals when they have personal experiences. Or through a lot of soul searching. Certainly the debate isn't about the word "marriage". We don't see conservatives lobbying for "civil unions". It's a strawman. They don't want to legitimize homosexuals. They don't want gays to be acceptable in our society. They don't want to speak to their kids about why gays are allowed to live and marry and adopt kids. And it's because they were raised that way, or their church tells them to believe that way. But when a loved one "becomes gay" they're forced to rethink.

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BlackBlade
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quote:
I think the flawed assumption is that you can have a productive discussion about a topic like gay marriage or abortion. People's views are generally fixed, and they'll just regurgitate the talking points that they were given at church or some website. Or worse yet, the aggressive quips that were birthed by original thought.

People's views are not fixed. The art of persuasion is just as real as any other. But if you fall back on derogatory language, the common reflex is to fall back on talking points.

quote:
Do you think discussion about controversial topics actually changes minds? Do you think that the other person is even listening? They're just preparing their next talking point.
This is definitely the case much of the time, and if you are talking to somebody where this is the case, and nothing you do changes it, then discussion is fruitless. I have certain relatives where this is definitely the case.

quote:
Conservatives only change their mind about homosexuals when they have personal experiences. Or through a lot of soul searching.
Replace the word only with usually and I'm more inclined to agree with you. So be the impetus that gives them experiences, or cause to search their souls.

There are definitely aggressive bigots who are against homosexuality, and at times one should call them out on it. But to paint the whole group that way with the justification "Well, what they are doing to gay people is worse than what I am doing, and ultimately this will shame them into seeing things my way" is short sighted and never really part of the solution. If somebody were doing it to you, you'd never appreciate it, even if they were right.

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Jeff C.
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Since we are making up a word, let's at least have fun with it. How about "Poodlecup" or "fuddleboopy" or "Bekkio"?
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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
Why do we want a clean, non-offensive way to call a bigot what he / she is?

Because politics is the mind-killer, and if you don't have a neutral term to describe *EXACTLY WHAT YOU MEAN TO DESCRIBE* without deliberately adding negative connotations, then you just speed up the process of killing your mind.

quote:
We have a bunch of old and ignorant people who think that the rule of the majority is king to civil protections of minorities from said majority.
Now, see, your mind has been killed already. Because you heard "opposed to same-sex marriage", you automatically assume you know what they believe about e.g. the role of the majority. What if they're Islamists who completely disapprove the rule of the majority they just want everyone to obey to Quran, regardless of whether they are majority or not? What if they're anarchists, who want the government to be abolished and no marriage to be granted *any* recognition? What if they're queer radical leftists who believe that same-sex marriage is a tool in service to the conservative status-quo (an attempt to 'normalize' the queer sex life) which should be fought.

BUT POLITICS IS THE MIND-KILLER. You heard *one* enemy idea (opposition to same-sex marriage and gay rights) and you immediately assume that everyone sharing that idea shares the whole list of traits you associate with that enemy.

Your mind has been effectively killed to the point you can't actually think about the issue itself BY ITSELF, you can only think it in terms of what it connotates to you.

quote:
Are you interested in finding a non-offensive term for a racist or sexist?
Yes, I'm definitely interested in having different and specific terms for people who think different things about race and gender. For example there's a vast difference between people who think races can have on average significantly different physical traits (e.g. that West Africans are on average better sprinters), the people who think races can have on average significantly different mental traits (e.g. that the Ashkenazi have on average higher IQs), the people who discriminate against races because they believe it financially beneficial (e.g. the people who made Ged of Earthsea white in the tv adaptations), the people who believe that the state itself should en masse discriminate against people of other races, and those people and gangs who inflict physical racial violence on other races.

If you aren't capable of distinguishing between all the above, and just call all of them "racists", then at best you are incapable of actually discussing issues relating to race on any kind of intelligent fashion.

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
Compare race issues of 1932-1972 (one or two generations ago) to today. Nonissue. Sure, there's still progress to be made, but is racism a -real- problem in this country? Are the minority races struggling to be able to join the main stream culture or have an impact on our society?

Or to put it another way, if you were to list the top five problems that are facing this country, would racism be on that list? Top ten?

Yes!!

I won't deny that racism has decreased enormously in the US over the past half century, but only the privileged don't realize how big the problem is. The most explicit forms of racism have been disappeared but implicit racism runs so deep in our society that most people don't even recognize it.

Look at the stats. African Americans make up 12.2% of the American population but constitute 22% of the people living below poverty level, 39% of the people in prison, and 24% of the people who are food insecure. Conversely, they make up less the 9% of home owners, only 5.7% of people in the top 20% of household income, 4% of lawyers and medical doctors, and 1% of US senators and congressmen.

If you don't think racism is a real problem, how do you explain those facts? I only see two options. Either black people are still disadvantaged by a combination of current racist attitudes and a long history of racial discrimination or there's something else about being black (which has nothing to do with racism past or present) that makes people more likely to be poor and commit crime. That second option is, by definition, racist.

I know its a rather harsh conclusion, but I can't see a real third option. To believe that racism isn't still a major problem in the US, a person would either have to be ignorant of the enormous economic disparity between the races or have fundamentally racist attitudes.

[ March 01, 2012, 12:11 PM: Message edited by: The Rabbit ]

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Orincoro
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Well, to be perfectly fair, I think TW was probably raised in the same educational environment as most of us. In 2nd grade, they teach you about how in the 60s, there were "colored" bathrooms, and "white" bathrooms. And those are gone now, so racism is gone.

It's kind of hard to explain to an 8 year old that the bathrooms now being open to everybody is an indication of progress- not of real problem solving. I know for a fact that this general impression stayed with me for years after I first heard about it. Racism = segregation.

In some ways I think the gays will have it easier. They aren't as visible, as has often been said. For them, de-segregation is a huge piece of the puzzle. If the law doesn't actively discriminate against them, they're more or less free to operate in their professional and personal lives without nearly as much superficial discrimination as African Americans suffer on a daily basis. You know when you're talking to someone, even on the phone (quite often) what their race is. Their sexual preferences? Not so often.

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
Either black people are still disadvantaged by a combination of current racist attitudes and a long history of racial discrimination or there's something else about being black (which has nothing to do with racism past or present) that makes people more likely to be poor and commit crime. That second option is, by definition, racist.
What's your definition of racism? And also does your definition of racist beliefs include the necessity for those beliefs to be false, or can true beliefs also be considered racist?
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Aros
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My comments generalized and painted broad strokes. It was sort of a tongue-in-cheek commentary on the types of people I was critiquing.

But I certainly recognize that I was applying glittering generalities to a psychographic demographic (probably multiple demographics).

Most people don't discuss to persuade on "hot topic issues", they discuss to argue (justify their own beliefs). I'm not really sure that 99% of people can have a productive discussion on gay marriage or abortion (or many other issues). And I don't feel that there is generally any value whatsoever in attempting such a discussion, short of on an intellectual level.

Most people only really think about "big topic" issues once or twice in their lives, form an opinion, and generate an anchoring bias. It's really difficult to change most people's views. And the more diametrically opposed the point is to their counterpoint, the more difficult it becomes. I'd wager that the difficulty approaches infinity in when intelligence is low or religious fervor is high.

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advice for robots
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quote:

Most people only really think about "big topic" issues once or twice in their lives, form an opinion, and generate an anchoring bias. It's really difficult to change most people's views. And the more diametrically opposed the point is to their counterpoint, the more difficult it becomes. I'd wager that the difficulty approaches infinity in when intelligence is low or religious fervor is high.

Or when someone wrote a paper on the subject and had to funnel a bunch of points into a coherent thesis. Or when someone's favorite blogger espouses a certain view. The reasons why someone might be resistant to having their views changed are legion.

However, I think it has more to do with what you yourself are willing to change. You said it in the preceding paragraph: it's possible to have a productive discussion in which people are persuaded to change their views. But that never works when you think of the other person as hopelessly boneheaded and entrenched. If you can't start your own approach with openness and understanding, why would you ever expect the other person to reach out to you?

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
I'm not really sure that 99% of people can have a productive discussion on gay marriage or abortion (or many other issues).
If only 1% of the people can have a productive discussion, that still leaves almost 70 million people around the world who are capable of having one.

Besides, that's exactly why we must support productive methods of discussion, and oppose unproductive methods -- because productive discussions are rare and precious.

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Stone_Wolf_
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
You can use intolerance of one kind to properly and effectively challenge intolerance of another kind, drive it into submission, curtail it from being transmitted from generation to generation. Choke it out of the sociocultural milieu to the edges. Make it incredibly un-P.C., and association with it inherently derogatory. It has been done before. It is, actually, what is being done now. Is it wrong?

It is not wrong, as a movement, to have no acceptance of this kind of prejudice and socially brand it as what it is, bigotry.

But there is a huge difference between a social movement and a discussion between individuals. For the sake of individual discussion, where minds can be changed and -how- you talk is as important as what is said, name calling is poison.

quote:
Originally posted by millernumber1:
I still think "heteronormative" makes the most sense (as well as having provenance).

Like "Pro-Choice" and "Pro-Life" which only look at the label's belief holder's view of the topic, this title will likely stick. I still think that "Anti-Gay" is more accurate, as well as "Pro-Body-Freedom" and "Pro-Fetus-Rights" would be more accurate too. To quote Princess Bride, "Get used to disappointment."

quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
I think the flawed assumption is that you can have a productive discussion about a topic like gay marriage or abortion. People's views are generally fixed...

It is hugely important that we do not give up on the power of discussion to change minds. Words do fail at times, but to not even try is just giving up hope of avoiding violence. Wars are what happen when words fail.

quote:
Originally posted by Jeff C.:
Since we are making up a word, let's at least have fun with it. How about "Poodlecup" or "fuddleboopy" or "Bekkio"?

Because it negates the whole point. The point being that to facilitate discussion we need a title that is a accurate but not offensive. "Poodlecup" fails on both criteria.

quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:
If you aren't capable of distinguishing between all the above, and just call all of them "racists", then at best you are incapable of actually discussing issues relating to race on any kind of intelligent fashion.

Slightly stronger worded then I would have put it, but right on the money none the less.

quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
If you don't think racism is a real problem, how do you explain those facts? I only see two options...

.I don't buy for a second that the statistical lack of success of African Americans automatically means racism is the cause -and- therefore is one of the top problems in this country.

Only two options? Simple answers to complicated problems are comforting and wrong. Take into account parent's education level, urban or suburban setting, quality of schools available, importance of education and work ethic in whichever subculture individuals belong, prevalence of drug use, marital status of parents, and twenty or thirty other variables and might start to scratch the surface of the whys behind the stats you quoted.

"Blacks aren't doing as well = racism" is about as good proof as "The cookies I left were eaten, so Santa Clause is real."

quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
Well, to be perfectly fair, I think TW was probably raised in the same educational environment as most of us.

I assume you meant SW...I didn't spot any other posters with the initials TW.
quote:
In 2nd grade, they teach you about how in the 60s, there were "colored" bathrooms, and "white" bathrooms. And those are gone now, so racism is gone.
To an extent you are right on. Every single "isum" out there will not die entirely, they will live on in the hearts of us, the people, well, forever. But the battle is to push those "isums" into the dark recesses of the human heart and out of legislature. The "hump" is when the law no longer can be used as a tool to discriminate. This "hump" has been crossed by many minority groups, and now it is time to get homosexuals on the down hill side of their struggle.

quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
Most people don't discuss to persuade on "hot topic issues", they discuss to argue (justify their own beliefs). I'm not really sure that 99% of people can have a productive discussion on gay marriage or abortion (or many other issues). And I don't feel that there is generally any value whatsoever in attempting such a discussion, short of on an intellectual level.

Oh I agree about "most people" but not 99%. As an example, I was raised Pro-Life, my mother told me often that if she were raped she would have the child as it wasn't the babies fault. I was convinced by discussion, and changed my views. People who are convinceable are rare, but not so incredibly rare that it isn't worth trying.

quote:
Originally posted by advice for robots:
...it's possible to have a productive discussion in which people are persuaded to change their views. But that never works when you think of the other person as hopelessly boneheaded and entrenched. If you can't start your own approach with openness and understanding, why would you ever expect the other person to reach out to you?

This. Exactly. This is why it is important to not start a discussion with name calling, with dehumanizing the other side and reducing them to the perpetrators of the worst consequence of their beliefs and not even try to understand the process involved with those beliefs.

quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:
If only 1% of the people can have a productive discussion, that still leaves almost 70 million people around the world who are capable of having one.

Besides, that's exactly why we must support productive methods of discussion, and oppose unproductive methods -- because productive discussions are rare and precious.

+1

P.S. Sorry for the long post.

[ March 01, 2012, 01:27 PM: Message edited by: Stone_Wolf_ ]

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Aros
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Okay, maybe my point is that I find it pointless to endlessly debate these issues in family / friend group settings. You only have a slim chance to change someone's mind. And I don't think that it's worth the effort or the damage to relationships.

It's like protesting. It's good, and someone has to do it. But I'd rather be reading or playing the guitar with my free time. The internet is the only place that I dabble in conflict.

Eh, in 50 years all the activists will have resolved these issues. That's the beauty of America. I kind of argue from the long-view perspective.

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kmbboots
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Excellent attitude for a citizen in a democracy!
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Darth_Mauve
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When you call a group, "homophobe" some one in that group would respond by thinking "I'm not afraid of gays. He is wrong about that. He is probably wrong about everything."

When you call them, "anti-gay" some will think "I am not anit-gay. I am pro-straight." Then we get all the arguments about the "Gay agenda" etc.

But if we use a term like, "Hetronorms" or the "Hetrosupremisist" you stop people and they have to think about it. "Is that an insult? Well I do think Hetrosex is normal, or superior to homosex." It opens up their ears.

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