Wednesday, September 15, 2010

"Why are men afraid of astrology?" and "Why are some people afraid of Flarf?" are two paraphrased examples from real life of people asking why someone is afraid of something. But why does not liking something or being against something mean you're afraid of it? I'm not a fan of seafood, but that doesn't mean I'm afraid of it. (I mean, I am afraid of most things that live under the sea, but once they're on land and dead I'm no longer afraid.) Another thing is homophobia. This isn't a real "phobia", is it? I mean, I'm pretty sure a homophobe's main emotion is hate, not fear. (Actually, I think "homophobia" really means something more like, for example, a straight guy uncomfortable around other straight guys, such as in a locker room situation, say. The "homo" in "homophobe" isn't "homosexual", it's "same", fear of the same sex, regardless of sexual orientation. But that's another issue. By the way, if anyone thinks this is some kind of defense of homophobes, uh, no. All I'm saying is that their main motivation is hate rather than fear. Which is actually worse.) But anyway, people are always saying things like this, "Why are you afraid, why do you feel threatened", when quite often the dislike is not about fear at all. The dislike might be due to irrational hate and stupidity (in the case of homophobia), or, in the case of astrology, to an opinion, based on a rational, non-fantasy based view of reality, that astrology is just plain baloney.