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Monday, November 26, 2012

Associated Press Worried That Antigay Bigotry Is Not Irrational Enough To Be Called Homophobia?

Joe. My. God. is reporting that the Associated Press is officially discouraging the use of the word "homophobia" in the next update to their style guide for reporters, citing the concern that "phobia" incorrectly suggests an irrational fear. The guide does not propose a replacement term. If the default term to describe heterosexist politics, bullying, harassment, and defamation in journalism becomes "antigay bigotry" then I don't think this is necessarily a bad development, although I find it hard to believe that timorous journos who seek "balance" between those who declare the world round and flat will be comfortable calling a bigot a bigot when they should. I worry the default replacement for "homophobic" will end up becoming something like "pro-family" instead.


Barkeron said...

How about "misohomony", the irrational hatred of and the strong desire to gaschamber all fags?

Athena Andreadis said...

I tend to agree with AP that anti-gay is a better term. The term phobia is specific for instinctive "fight-or-flight" responses that are very different from bigotry. Also, the article writer in The Guardian did himself no favors by linking dislike of fundamental religions to dislike of gay people.

Dale Carrico said...

I have no problem with "anti-gay" as a replacement term either, my problem was that no replacement term was indicated in the early reporting about the shift.