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Phobia & Hypocrisy - Nothing New Under The Sun
(the ARX acta diurna)
bellatrys
bellatrys
Phobia & Hypocrisy
Sorry, but if you believe, against all objective evidence, that a very small, unorganized minority of people from across all walks of life, social classes, ethnic groups, religious backgrounds and political alleigances united only by a shared nonconformity which cannot be shown (objectively, again) to be any more harmful to other individuals than traits which you approve of, are, by virtue of their mere existence liable to destroy the very fabric of civilization and so must be punished severely for their existence - then yes, you are indeed and practically the walking definition of, irrational fear. If you keep on saying so, publically, over the course of almost two decades, people have a right to point this out.

That it hurts your feelings, Mr. Card and others sharing oars in this boat, is irrelevant, because it is accurate. Refraining from using the word 'kleptomaniac' because it hurts Uncle Bob's feelings does not make it any safer to leave valuables unattended in poor dear Robert's presence, and no matter how many 'reasonable' excuses he comes up with to explain how he just 'accidentally' ended up with your wallet, your keys, your sunglasses and your class ring in his pocket, they are not going to be true, or valid, or make it right for him to go on "just holding on to them to keep them safe from neighborhood children who might sneak into the house and steal them"--! Hypothetical Uncle Bob is a kleptomaniac who cannot be trusted around anything that is not nailed down. Non-hypothetical Orson Scott Card is a homophobe who thinks that gays should be punished by the state in various unspecified ways to make them stop being gay in public, and has said so repeatedly in unlocked published articles. Q.E.D.

The state-sponsored, church-backed persecution that OSC would restore against GLBT citizens as it existed historically, and which goes on mostly-informally and often fatally to this very hour in this country, in his own mind does not hold a candle to the social disdain and ostracization by (mostly) strangers whom he does not have to deal with on a daily basis, but this is a sign of further lack of touch with reality - and his delusions start looking more and more like classic Narcissism, on top of the usual bubble-mentality of those True Believers who both don't get out very much and don't understand the concept of reciprocity, generally:

OSC. I think gay people should be punished by the government so that they can't Destroy Civilization!

A Large Chunk of the Internets: Card, you are irrationally afraid of gay people! And fear leads to hate, which is what you are displaying!

OSC. Waaaah! The mean lying h8ters are calling me irrationally afraid of gay people! And a h8ter! But THEY'RE the REAL haters!

Another Large Chunk of the Internets: We know! It's so unfair of them to pick on us and call us irrationally afraid just because we aren't afraid of the Lavender Mafia and will Fearlessly Tell The Truth about how they're going to Destroy Civilization if allowed to go on as they are!

First Large Chunk of the Internets: Well, you totally ARE! You're afraid for stupid, hateful 'reasons' that make no sense.

OSC and ALCI following: Waaaah! We're being persecuted! The meanies are calling us stupid, hateful cowards for saying that those scary, scary queers are scary and dangerous! Fetch us our smelling salts! How can we go on in the face of such persecution?!?

FLCI: That word - we do not think it means what you think it means...


But hey, what about all the people who say "I'm not SCARED of Teh Gay, I just think it's Morally Wrong!" Walp, I've addressed this before, but I'll happily say it again: if you really "just" think something's a sin, then what are you doing trying to legislate it? Unless you can prove it's an injustice - not just a violation of your personal religious code - then you have no right to drag the government in, unless you really want the state in there dragging you out of bed and into a church on Sunday, or synagogue on Saturday, or mosque on Friday, or yanking that bacon-double-cheeseburger out of your mouth, or making every state in the union drier than Utah - but for some reason, though drinking so much as a wine cooler is a sin in his church, you never hear (afaik) OSC demanding a return of the Volstead Act, though FAR more lives are destroyed by alcoholism and alcohol abuse every year than by consensual adult sex of any sort.

So unless you're trying to get the state to stop marrying divorcees, or keep track of people's confessions and ban them from the communion line if they haven't made quota, or punish heretics by making it impossible for them to adopt or have any protection against being fired for their heterodoxy, then you're a homophobe AND a hypocrite - and if you are then you're a theocrat who's arguably doing far more to Destroy Civilization As We Know It than any two men or two women making out, even on the streetcorner in broad daylight.

Likewise, the excuse that "I'm not SCARED of homosexuality, I just think it's GROSS! mumblemumbleunless it's two chicks" falls apart. There's lots of stuff that lots of people think is gross, but few of us try to legislate it - or its enjoyers - out of existence. I, personally, as I mentioned in comments at Feministe, find the idea of people eating raw shellfish to be revolting in the extreme. I get queasy hearing people talk about it. I get queasy thinking about it. I don't understand how anyone can want to do it, and I find it difficult to regard people the same way if I found out they like to slurp down raw oysters. I can make a mental exception for people in shipwreck/survival situations, but don't for the love of Mike tell me about it!

And yet, you never have, and never will, seen me agitating for the banning of oyster bars, or the legislating of raw shellfish serving at restaurants out of existence, or for punishing people purchasing molluscs for the purpose of taking them home and not baking or frying or sauteeing them. Not even on the grounds of "protecting" said raw-shellfish consumers from their own folly, from the risks of food poisoning and parasites. And, if there were some 'libertarian' movement started to stop health inspection of shellfish on the grounds that raw oyster eaters ought to 'take responsibility' for themselves (by carrying a microscope at all times, I guess) and stop wasting tax money, I'd be duty-bound to oppose that.

It's not a moral issue. It's not even a justice issue. It's a squick, and nobody has the right to legislate their squicks. I don't eat raw oysters, and I avoid the matter whenever possible. That's all. (I wouldn't even be talking about it now, if I didn't need to provide a personal example of something that squicks me so badly - the thing itself, not any specific execution - that was nonetheless fairly widespread, for the sake of discussion, because I am not secretly attracted to the idea, I would eat beetles first.)

And I have friends - poor things! - who are completely grossed out by the idea of eating cooked fish, but if they tried to take my haddock away from me they wouldn't be friends very much longer. But, since they're not piscaphobes, not rampaging narcissists whose very identity is threatened by the existence of people making different choices, they don't, and I don't try to force them to eat cooked fish, either.

But that's what it looks like, when something is really just a matter of visceral disgust: only complete cranks and unconscious narcissists think that their personal distate for something in itself harmless overrides (or ought to, if the world were properly run) everyone else's freedom to enjoy the same.

Mere visceral disgust doesn't result in death threats for public dissenters. Mere visceral disgust doesn't result in death for nonconformists. (The very existence of the 'Gay/Trans Panic Defense' is an admission by the state and by the public at large that it is nothing but phobia: but there is never any attempt to explain why the irrational terrors of the perpetrators are considered justification for anything but a straight-jacket and a one-way ticket to a Home for the violently-insane.)

Neither does mere disapproval of that which is considered verboten under the terms of one's religion or ethical beliefs. If every market and restaurant in town were required to keep and enforce the terms of Catholic fasts in Lent, most anti-gay crusaders' demands for legislated religion would dry up in a hurry. ("No, sir, your blood sugar test shows that you've already had the equivalent of a full meal today, all I can give you is a half-sandwich. No, you can only have cheese or fish, it's Friday.") It takes something more to push one over the edge from refraining myself from this action into persecution of others who do not refrain.

And it's the same thing whether it's torturing/killing/imprisoning/discriminating against/banishing (& stealing their stuff) - or just endorsing some or any of that, and turning a blind eye when it happens - of people who are a different color, or speak a different language, or worship on a different day and in a different way than you, or don't worship at all, or who wear their hair and clothes in a way that you think is funny and listen to different music than you like (what IS with all the hippie-hate from people who weren't even BORN in 1968?) or live together without being married, or in this case want to get married, or who vocally disagree with you and aren't directly smitten down by lightning from above so you need to do the smiting yourself in order to prove that you're not wrong for disagreeing with them - it's hate, it's fear, it's irrational, and it doesn't deserve to be justified with any kind of respect.

The burden is on the fearer to prove that his/her fear is rational and nothing that OSC - or an of the "Don't call us homophobes!" brigade - have written, being riddled with outright historical lies and unproven metaphysical assertions - does that in the least. And if you insist on your right to call a group of random people society-destroying monsters more dangerous than enemies with bombs and guns, who are damaging their fellow citizens by their very existence and ought to be imprisoned - which is eliminationist talk, incitement to violence even if you then say in your mealy mouthed way 'but nobody should HURT them, oh no', and whether you realize it or not - then you damn well better be prepared to have angry words dished right back at you by those people and their friends, and only a hypocrite would disallow the validity of such a response.

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Comments
karenhealey From: karenhealey Date: August 2nd, 2008 03:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
*applauds wildly*

charlesks From: charlesks Date: August 2nd, 2008 04:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
THIS.
evilstorm From: evilstorm Date: August 2nd, 2008 04:40 pm (UTC) (Link)

there's nothing to say that hasn't been said

So I'll just comment that I'll eat pretty much any kind of seafood, cooked or raw. Except for cephalopods, because they're terrifyingly intelligent. And mantis shrimp, who are too cool for that fate.
smurasaki From: smurasaki Date: August 2nd, 2008 05:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Spot on!
warriorofworry From: warriorofworry Date: August 2nd, 2008 06:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well put.
I'd been thinking about dipping a toe into these fish-infested waters, if only to point out an (additional)oddity: the same day I read Card's stunningly parochial screed against gay marriage I also read Janis Ian's autobiography - and Card not only maintains a correspondence with this married lesbian singer/songwriter, he sent her a laptop while she was sick and blurbed her autobiography . . .
randwolf From: randwolf Date: August 3rd, 2008 01:14 am (UTC) (Link)
Mmmm, apparently Card hates gays more in theory than in practice. ai-yi-yi.
stardragonca From: stardragonca Date: August 20th, 2008 05:41 am (UTC) (Link)
He meant the ones with penises.
Long, thick, pulsating, throbbing,tantalising,mocking penises.
fledgist From: fledgist Date: August 2nd, 2008 07:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
The funny thing is that if I were to point out that the criminal religious organisation to which Mr Card belongs discriminated against persons of African descent until I was 22 years old, had scriptures (recently redacted, I gather) which state that black skin is a divinely imposed curse, has actively objected to heterosexual marriages involving persons of African and European descent (which includes both my parents and myself), and actively opposed, as an organisation, the Civil Rights legislation of the 1950s and 1960s, Mr Card would no doubt call me a bigot. He'd no doubt tell me I was a bad person for reducing a young, female Moron missionary to tears for asking her why her church didn't count me as a human being before 1978?
fjm From: fjm Date: August 2nd, 2008 07:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
See _Folk of the Fringe_ where he wibbles on precisely this topic.
fledgist From: fledgist Date: August 2nd, 2008 07:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've no plans to purchase anything of his in the future. Certainly not after this exercise in homophobia.
fjm From: fjm Date: August 2nd, 2008 07:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Me too. That was the last I bought, it upset me so much.
fjm From: fjm Date: August 2nd, 2008 07:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Great post!
julifolo From: julifolo Date: August 2nd, 2008 09:31 pm (UTC) (Link)

More applause

can't read it all. Going to print this out & the things you link to for reading when I'm offline. Thanks!

(I was wearing one of my gay rights t-shirts today at the Saturday market -- Being ticked off because I just watched youTubes on Friday of whoever Donally saying how bad gays in the military would be. Yuck.
From: jenny_islander Date: August 5th, 2008 12:01 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: More applause

Everytime I hear that argument I remember a gay comedian's routine--he says that as far as he can tell, the objection as made by certain military brass boils down to, "I'm not gay, but I must be irresistibly attractive to all gay men and I just CAN'T TAKE THE THOUGHT OF THEIR LUST!!!!" to which his response is, "Wow, I want the mirrors they have. Because yikes."
From: nenya_kanadka Date: August 3rd, 2008 12:41 am (UTC) (Link)
who vocally disagree with you and aren't directly smitten down by lightning from above so you need to do the smiting yourself in order to prove that you're not wrong for disagreeing with them

This! Seems to fit the psychology.

It's all kind of like the "men fear women will laugh at them; women fear men will kill them" thing, only replace "men" with "homophobes" and "women" with "LGBT or looks like it".
From: violaswamp Date: August 3rd, 2008 12:53 am (UTC) (Link)

The burden is on the fearer to prove that his/her fear is rational


A succinct summation of why I have absolute contempt for the "Just because I'm against gay marriage and think homosexuality is wrong doesn't mean I'm a homophobe!" crowd.
From: jenny_islander Date: August 5th, 2008 12:07 am (UTC) (Link)
How about the, "Yeah, it's a sin, but it's so far down the ladder that the endless carping and howling about it is utterly absurd, and we're supposed to be following someone who pointed out that people who pick at other people's sins are generally unaware of their own horrific spiritual injuries, and anyway what the State chooses to define as marriage has little or no bearing on what the Church chooses to call by that word" crowd?
From: violaswamp Date: August 8th, 2008 08:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Not quite sure what I think of that, actually. It's infinitely superior to the run-of-the-mill anti-gay commentary, of course, but I'm not sure whether I can actually respect it or not. Will have to think more about it.
randwolf From: randwolf Date: August 3rd, 2008 01:21 am (UTC) (Link)
We really need to repaint the line and rebuild the wall between secular and church law, and remind everyone of why it's there. Which is to say that, it's there to prevent irresoluble religious conflicts from spilling over into the civil law-making process, and to prevent secular law enforcement from being hijacked by any particular group. As a Saint, Card knows very well that his church would be one of the first outlawed, should that barrier fail. But whatever the basis of his anti-gay beliefs it is sufficient to override his common sense, rationality, and self-interest; perhaps it is an actual phobia.
voxwoman From: voxwoman Date: August 3rd, 2008 01:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, sigh. Now I have to get rid of all these OSC books that I have. Well, that's shelf space for an author that I can still respect (though the list seems to be getting shorter on a daily basis).
eruvadhril From: eruvadhril Date: August 3rd, 2008 02:27 am (UTC) (Link)
This..
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 3rd, 2008 03:10 am (UTC) (Link)

Raw Oysters

Check out the website www.rawoysteralert.com. I was shocked to learn that several individuals die each year from the consumption of raw oysters that are contaminated with naturally occurring Vibrio bacteria. Some gulf states have chosen to not take action in order to make raw oysters safe for ALL consumers.
Several years ago, the state of California made a requirement that all imported raw oysters must be pasteurized and since that requirement was put into place there have been NO FURTHER DEATHS in that state.
In order to affect change, consumers need to only accept oysters that are SAFE through post harvest processing or through being cooked. Consumer demand drives the market and the industry would be forced to provide oysters that did not lead to unnecessary deaths.
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 3rd, 2008 09:53 am (UTC) (Link)

Couldn't agree more

So true, and so well said.
spoggly From: spoggly Date: August 3rd, 2008 07:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Awesome, perfect post.
From: anna_wing Date: August 4th, 2008 09:22 am (UTC) (Link)
I remember being told in great detail by a specialist in the matter about the many and fascinating parasites that inhabit the flesh of large, ocean-going fish like tuna. I haven't touched sushi or sashimi since.

Card I gave up on long before I knew anything about his personal views, simply because I found something ...off about his fiction. The smell of an author with issues, who was using his fiction to work out same. Since I do not pay money to be anyone's therapist, I stopped reading his books. When I found out about his, er, mental proclivities, it didn't surprise me at all. An intellectual and emotional disconnection of that degree cannot but affect the writing.
From: jenny_islander Date: August 5th, 2008 12:16 am (UTC) (Link)
Just freeze the fish solid, then thaw and use. A friend of mine learned this trick from a Japanese woman. If you buy absolutely fresh fish or, better yet, catch it yourself, and pop it into the freezer right away, it will be indistinguishable from live-this-morning fish when you thaw it out, and any parasites will be dead.

I don't remember what put me off the Alvin Maker series, exactly--there was something about the way one of the characters acted that smelled of a man who knew in advance about his High and Lonely Destiny, which, no thanks.

John Ringo is getting that way for me and was before NO JOHN RINGO NOOOOOOOO. So many of his books have a subplot about a woman being sexually subjugated in some way, presented from her perspective and generally in a way that is somehow creepily sympathetic. And then there's the apparent assumption that every woman has a submissive side and/or every man has fantasies about underage girls/rape/blah blah blah. I finally realized that I was wasting brainspace on something that resembled bad fanfic just because it was in hardcover. It's a shame because he does really cool world building and his characters are generally very believable until they start working out Mr. Ringo's Issues.
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