A friend of mine referred to a mutual friend as “Islamophobic” and I disagreed. I said, “Islamophobia” is a psychiatric diagnosis which you have no justification for making. It implies extreme fear. I support my friend’s intention to challenge stereotypes and to stand up for the humanity in every person. But the term he used promotes another dismissive stereotype. He thanked me for my intervention.
We hear the word “homophobic” often, too. But take four minutes of your life and listen to this gorgeous 1965 performance by Joan Baez of an Appalachian folk song titled “Silver Dagger”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MX-QApWIXs4. No one would use the term “heterophobic” to label the women in these lyrics.
The group that controls the terminology wins the debate. There are serious questions pertaining to sexual conduct and religious activity that deserve fair debate, free of the battle of stereotypes. Mature people can discuss these things, and they represent the future beyond this time of heightened social antagonism.