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Saturday, July 6, 2013

What does "homophobic" mean, anyway?

Here's a story on FoxNews about Alec Baldwin. I am pretty out of touch when it comes to entertainment celebrities (failing to see why they are either entertaining or celebrated), so I don't know much more about this actor than when he's in the news headlines. And he recently got a bunch of headlines for some tweets in retaliation for bad publicity his wife got.

So, these tweets are called "homophobic." Here's how FoxNews quoted those tweets:
Baldwin’s controversial tweets read, “[I’d] put my foot up your f**king ass, George Stark, but I’m sure you’d dig it too much,” and “I’m gonna find you George Stark, you toxic little queen, and I’m gonna f**k you…up.”
This is "homophobic"? Does this word mean something other than "fear of homosexuals"? How can anyone tweet like that about an individual out of fear of the group the individual belongs to? Has the word come to mean simply "anything that people who call themselves gay deem as offensive"?

Now look, I do not advocate meanness, and I think Baldwin is just a mean person (based on the headlines he gets), and I honestly think it would be just if the only acting jobs he could find were in poorly attended community theater in some Chicago suburb.

On the other hand, when someone has unusual inclinations, and that person becomes a target of derision, it is common enough for that derision to take the form of "I'd do xyz to you, but you'd probably enjoy it." At least I remember the girls at school using that formula as a comeback to the boys who were being jerks to them.

If anything, Baldwin is guilty of playground-style retaliation rather than homophobia.

Well, that's the world we live in. It's far, far, far worse to offend homosexuals than it is to be an immature and all-around jerk.

Oh, and I don't know who George Stark even is. HIS immature little whinings about someone else's wife definitely deserve reprimand -  not agreeing with Baldwin's approach, however. But the point is, he's ultimately a nobody that Baldwin should have ignored if he were just a little more grown up.

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