Wednesday, April 23, 2003

REDEFINIG BIGOTRY
John Scalzi continues the quest to brand Rick Santorum as a bigot as follows:

Allow me to make the following suggestion to clear up the confusion, if in fact no one's done this before: Let's make concrete this distinction between desiring members of the same sex and actually having sex with them. Let's call the desire for members of one's own sex homophilia, and actually having sex with them homosexuality. Likewise, the desire for members of the opposite sex is heterophilia, while actually having sex with them is heterosexuality.
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This is clarifying in a number of ways, but the most obvious advantage is that it helps pin people down. If "homosexual" simply means having sex with members of your own sex, then people like Santorum can no longer wiggle around saying "I have no problems with homosexuals." He will in fact have to admit he does have problems with homosexuals; the population he has no problem with is in fact the homophiliacs -- the relatively few ones that are heterosexual or asexual, that is. And that's not at all the same thing.

Santorum and others like him will no longer be able to deny that X is inseparable from X' -- In short, they'll have to admit their own bigotry, even to themselves. And what a refreshing change that will be

Except that if you redefine "homosexual" as those who engage in homosexual sex, then the statement "I have a problem with homosexuals" is not longer an expression of bigotry.

If someone were to say, "I have a problem with women," one could conclude that that person is sexist. However, if I redefine "woman" to mean "prostitute", then the sentence now has a different meaning altogether, and thus we can't draw the same conclusions.

In fact, this is quite clarifying. The "problem" is now based on that person's actions, "the content of their character" if you will, not a trait that is likely genetic in nature. Isn't this what we're supposed to be working towards? Seems to strange to call it bigotry.
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