Homophobia in Society

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  • Topic: Homosexuality, Gender, Gender role
  • Pages : 4 (1323 words )
  • Download(s) : 240
  • Published : February 9, 2008
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Explain and critique masculinity as homophobia. Homophobia: -noun
irrational fear of, aversion to, hatred of, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals.
According to Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary, that is the definition of homophobia. Interesting isn't it? to see homophobia on the same page as hepatitis, herpes, and HIV among others. Before this class I wouldn't have expected to find it there. I mean honestly, what significance could homophobia have in comparison to those other three seriously-taken "real" medical terms? Despite homophobia being a matter of life and death as well, probably the most serious aspect of the disease of homophobia is that it infects a larger number in population than hepatitis, herpes, and HIV combined. Homophobia is probably the most widespread disease on the planet, but why is this so? The dictionary definition describes it as irrational. How can it be that the infected majority of men suffer from a disease akin to other irrational fears that send patients to psychiatric institutions?

Masculinity is the characteristic of men that defines them amongst themselves and to women. It is socially defined as how "manly" a male is seen as but in our society "the birthright of every American male is a chronic sense of personal inadequacy," and this inadequacy leads us to counteract weakness and sense of failure with a faux display of masculinity. (Kimmel, CP pp. 218) As stated in class discussion, men "do masculinity" not for women, but for other men, who are always watching and evaluating us. From the day of birth, a male is being constantly evaluated in terms of his masculinity, at first from his father, whose eyes will follow him through life, and then from every other male figure in one's life; teachers, coaches, bosses, coworkers, friends, and all other men in society. (Kimmel, CP Page 217) These ever-watching eyes are quick to...
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