A reader (well known to your author) had some insightful comments on “The Name Game” post, which he graciously agreed to allow me to share with you.
Herewith:”For what it’s worth; I’ve always referred to you (the blogger) as [my fiance’s]’s cousin’s husband. It seems that aside from the negative connotation of “husbandry” it is the most fitting name. It’s the only name that adequately describes your relationship. Your ‘spouse’ is the person you list on insurance forms and tax documents – is lacks all emotion. ‘Partner’ leaves one wondering if you’re referring to your business or your tennis game. (Blogger’s note: My tennis partners would probably have a few other words to describe me.) It certainly doesn’t imply a committed, loving relationship.
“It seems to me that an important (the most important?) part of equality resides in the minds of people. People think in words so names are powerful. I guess what I’m saying is that equal rights may be a crucial part of this struggle but I think it all pivots on (and starts with) an idea. People need to say to themselves: ‘Why doesn’t his husband have the same rights as my wife?’
“Speaking of names: There has to be a name for what’s going on here. If you don’t believe in equal rights (and treatment) for another race you are a racist. So, what are you if you don’t believe in equal rights for gay people? Perhaps two can play the name game.”
OK, let’s play the Blame Game. Obviously the writer doesn’t think “homophobe” suffices — and neither do I. The term does capture something vital, because in many (most? all?) cases those opposing equality for the LGBT community are operating from a place of fear. But there’s also a kind of mean-spiritedness to some of it that can’t be fully explained by the “fear” trope.One colleague and I were discussing this very issue last week. He has recently been thinking about the ancient roots of this animus against homosexuality (as we discussed, the word “anima” itself is a primitive expression).
So what is the source of this anti-gay feeling? Is it nothing more than a socio-biological expression of the need to reproduce? And if so (piling speculation upon speculation now), why does it persist in the face if radically different circumstances? What would be required to extirpate it?Any suggestions for a new term? Please, no vulgarities.