Friday, April 17, 2009

Stupid Internet Homophobia

A lot of people on the Internet are wrong. That is, there is a lot of homophobia on the nets. Some of it’s trollish, but a lot of the time it’s from people being purely honest in their anti-homosexuality. For a lot of them, I get the idea that the communication based entirely in text causes them to forget the kind of tact they would otherwise employ in a face to face conversation. Admittedly other homophobes are intelligent and write carefully written and basically civil arguments, but they all tend to follow certain trends that are often as flawed as the little trolls. I’ll cover some of the more stupid things I’ve heard and supply my ranting refutations.

“God invented Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.”

Wow. For such a silly line, this one is surprisingly ubiquitous. First of all, not everyone believes in God. Second, even those who do generally don’t take the Bible literally. Third, the different sexes of Adam and Eve are only really necessary for purposes of procreation. If the first humans are those who would propagate the species, there would have to be at least one of each sex because of the restrictions of biology. Okay, it’s Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve plus Ellen and Eve, but we can imagine there was only one of each sex among all the denizens of Eden easy enough.

Homosexual relationships are about love and respect between two individuals who care for each other, as are heterosexual relationships. Procreation is not necessarily a factor in it. Yes, biology keeps homosexuals from reproducing with each other, but similar restrictions befall heterosexuals. There’s always adoption for both groups.

“If we allow homosexuals to marry, we’ll soon have to also allow people to marry livestock/pets/children. It’s a slippery slope.”

Where to begin…?

Okay, first of all, why is there a connection being made between these two things? My guess is, it’s because those are all things the homophobe finds gross and perverted and also happen to be illegal at the time. This gut reaction is a bad way to determine whether or not laws should be put in place to prevent it from happening.

I am profoundly grossed out by certain foreign foods, to the degree that I feel like I’ll throw up just watching some guy on TV, but I would never stop people who like it from eating it. Likewise, there’re a lot of sexist, sexually objectifying things I find perverted and wrong, but I wouldn’t make it illegal unless it crosses the boundaries into assault. On that note, rape is gross, perverted, and wrong for its violation of the rights of a human being, and should most certainly be illegal.

Just as it’s asinine to compare a guy in a Korean restaurant eating a live octopus with a rapist and to suggest that allowing the first would put us on a slippery slope to allowing the second, it is such to compare gay marriage with people wanting to marry livestock/pets/children and make the same claim. Homosexuals wanting to get married are all consenting adults who love each other and want the same benefits offered to heterosexual couples. Some people might find that gross, but it’s hardly something legislature should be concerned with banning. Livestock/pets/children, on the other hand, cannot consent and marrying them would be rape.

Another reason for this line of thinking might be something along the lines of “God/my parents/the government/society says each of these is wrong. Should any of these be done, it would be opening Pandora’s Box and bad stuff in general will happen. If we turn our backs on morality as I understand it, we will all become corrupt.”

The problem with that line of thought is, first, that the authority’s validity is considered infallible. Second, this viewpoint is too black-and-white. The world is mostly in shades of grey, with few black and white areas. The part about making rape illegal is the only part that’s a black-and-white issue as it is a clear violation of human rights.

“Homosexuality isn’t natural.”

…Mama mia. This one is such a stupid notion that there are several layers of stupidity to work through.

First of all, no, homosexuality is very natural. It is seen in numerous animals, including but not limited to humans. Bonobo apes, dolphins, birds, hyenas, and other animals have been observed to have homosexual behavior.

Second is the notion that what is natural is inherently good and what is unnatural is bad. A lot of bad things come from nature, like disease, disasters, and predators that try to eat you. It’s civilization that does better things for the human race than what nature gives us. It’s a fair bet that the person making such homophobic comments lives a life comprised of artificial elements (house, car, processed food…) and certainly when you consider that they’re making these claims on the internet, about as far away from nature as you can get.

That means the claim doesn’t even make sense from a homophobic perspective! Why should it being natural or unnatural have any effect on its moral value? Taking whatever available – natural. Property laws, and by extension police – unnatural.

If the point is about human nature, saying that homosexuality is a social construct propagated by those evil LGBT folk with their gay agenda, then… Yeah, no. While the actual cause of homosexuality remains unknown, it certainly isn’t due to “conversion” efforts by the gay community.

Homosexual inclinations arrive as naturally and involuntarily as heterosexual inclinations. That involuntary adoration of another individual is basically the same regardless of what gender the people involved happen to be. Furthermore, there have been studies that prove the same parts of the brain are active when a homosexual person is aroused by a member of the same sex as when a heterosexual person is aroused by a member of the opposite sex.

If the point is that homosexuality does not perform the biological function of reproductive organs, it’s important to consider that a lot of accepted things do not perform the biological functions appropriate to the human animal. Art and friendship and humor are generally not necessary to Darwinian survival, but we do consider them valuable in our lives. Love and sexuality do not need to remain bound to the biological functions. That’s true for everyone.

This argument’s bogus.

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