Updated: Jan 22
The term “phobic” in sociopolitical discourse is an idiot’s lollipop. Look up any of the popular flavors – homophobe, islamophobe, transphobe, francophobe, xenophobe, fatphobe, whorephobe, etc. You’ll find plenty of mindless chatter amongst the bottom feeders of civil rights enthusiasts who couldn’t emulate Atticus Finch even with the blessings of a fairy godmother’s magic wand.
The medically correct term phobia, derived from Latin, indicates fear so crippling that the patient has an overt physiological reaction such as fight-or-flight, fainting, or a panic attack.
Phobic does not even aptly describe violent socialist demonstrators, who exhibit anger instead of fear. The targets of these "phobic" insults most often are engaged in nonviolent conflict. They show emotions related to anger – disdain, contempt, disgust, or resentment. If those normal emotions constitute extreme physiological reaction to unreasonable fear, then every human being on the planet is “phobic” because everyone has experienced those gradations of anger.
The sinister result of accusing sociopolitical opposition of “phobia” is that the target becomes a figurative mental patient. We don’t engage a crazy person as a cognitive peer – we engage them like an adult engages a child. Rather than exchanging facts and critique, they now exchange emotions and disrespect.
Neither anger, nor criticism, nor disapproval constitute pathological fear. The targets of "phobia" insults tend to get defensive, pander, and deny “phobia.” They say, “But I have gay friends! But Muslims like me!” This is playing into the mind rape and should never be done. It tacitly admits that irrational emotions towards groups of people could even be a motivator, rather than criticism of events and trends within that collective.
The correct reaction is to expose how the accuser is the fearful one – hiding their own fear of respectful and factual debate that could challenge their identity, beliefs, and values. The users of “phobia” language have dehumanized their opposition, while advancing their own agenda with dishonesty, and should thus be treated as aggressors.
Where did this dysfunctional sociopolitical dynamic begin? If you’ve noticed that homophobic is the most common “phobic” mind rape, you are perceptive. George Weinberg, a psychotherapist and homosexual activist, promulgated the dishonest tactic in his 1972 book Society and the Healthy Homosexual.
Borrowing from the primitive value system of socialism, where “the ends justify the means,” he did not have remorse for spreading the idiot’s lollipop. In 2012, he wrote in reflection, “As it turned out, the word ‘homophobia’ was exactly the concept that gay men and lesbians needed to achieve liberation.” What a shame that he credited rhetoric instead of something eternal like empiricism. A disgrace to LGBT history.
Semantic deception is not limited to pejorative “phobia.” It changed prostitutes to sex workers, swamp to wetlands, trolleys to light rail, and illegal aliens to migrants. With the flip of a tongue, centuries of human experience captured in vocabulary can be erased and replaced with modern agendas.
Semantic deception of any sort should be the first sign to an intelligent and dignified citizen that the manipulative speaker is unjustified. George Weinberg soiled the LGBT movement with these dishonest tactics, in tacit admission that the cultural truths were not so axiomatic. People with confidence in the veracity of their position do not choose such manipulative tactics.
In 1973, the APA voted to depathologize homosexuality. But sociopolitical tactics like semantic deception, buying APA mailing lists for anonymous propaganda before the vote, rioting, and disrupting professional meetings make such policy changes Pyrrhic victories to anyone with a sense of decency. They can try to erase history, and bury the skeleton in their political closet, but truth seekers will always hold them accountable in the hopes that future activists adopt civilized methods.
People who recognize the catastrophic impact of illegal immigration on social insurance, public services, and cultural continuity are not xenophobic – in fact, by speaking up, they are courageous. There are many stupid and emotional people who will ostracize or punish them for criticizing illegal immigration.
People who criticized France for abstaining from the Iraq War are not Francophobes, they are people with an opinion on warfare.
People who point out the negative impact of promiscuity and gluttony are not “whorephobes” and “fatphobes,” they are people who think critically about sexual behavior and nutrition.
People who criticize Islamic culture for security, crime, and civil rights are not fearful of Islam – in fact, they are courageous to even speak out in a time where violence is threatened against those who oppose Islamic sociopolitical norms.
I have a friend who called me Tron for my cutting edge technology implementation in my lifestyle, elite knowledge of science and engineering, and overall empirical approach to the world. It is funny. It caricatures me as some kind of digital being who has lost a part of his humanity. We laugh about it. I call her Trog (for troglodyte, cave dweller) in response, for her pining of a future in Walden alongside Henry David Thoreau. We laugh about that too.
Imagine if I was an insecure person. Imagine that when she first called me Tron, my reaction was, “YOU TECHNOPHOBE!” In one fell swoop I would have intimidated her free expression of distinction, mystique, and deference to features she does not share in common. Would that have been positive for our relationship? The wicked drive behind the “phobic” mind rape is fearful in and of itself – a grand irony. They fear having to justify themselves, so they turn their opponents into mental patients.
Call me an improbophobe (fear of the wickedly dishonest). In the conception of people who casually use the term “phobia” to malign their sociopolitical opposition, improbophobe is the only term that could lazily describe the confrontations I choose. To be sure, any person accusing me of a figurative “phobia” will get nothing out of me but disrespect and derision, and a consummate doubling-down of my criticism towards whatever they are scared to justify.