Posted: February 28, 2011 in Gender, Sexuality
Tags: , , , , ,

As mentioned in the previous post, I have been looking for non-ableist alternatives for words following the pattern of homophobia, transphobia etc. The ableism inherant in appropriating the word ‘phobia’ is a discussion that I have seen a lot of on Tumblr, and I can also see that getting rid of it would remove the common defence ‘I’m not scared of them.’ I will continue to use words in this pattern as tags until alternatives – not necessarily mine – become widespread in the anti-kyriarchy movement, but in posts I will be using the following alternatives unless others become more widely used and accepted;

Misohomy – homophobia (I prefer to maintain a distinction between the elevating of heterosexuality and the denigrating of homosexuality, hence not using the term heterosexism instead of homophobia). I may also use misahetery (mis=hatred, a=non, hetery=adaptation of hetero) for the hatred of non-heterosexuals, not to replace a -phobia word but to try to avoid monosexism.

Transhatred – transphobia (again, I’d prefer to maintain a distinction between this and cissexism).

Misoxeny – xenophobia.

I will continue to write other -phobia endings in long form, such as hatred of Islam/Muslims for Islamophobia, since I do not feel it is right for me, as a non-member of these groups, to coin terminology for them. I was unsure even about coining misoxeny.

These words are merely what I prefer to use, and do not represent me attempting to force them on others or create a more-progressive-than-thou dialogue, which is not productive. I will probably be linking this post a lot when I use the words, simply for understanding’s sake.

  1. genderbitch says:

    Oh hey, these are really good alternatives actually. I totally forgot about using the miso- prefix for bigotry words. I might start spreading these around.

  2. Very interesting… arround me for a long time I only heard words like racISM sexISM and homoPHOBIA… It’s only when I have discovered these social justice blogs and websites (in english)* that I have heard about these other ISMs (ableISM, ageISM, classISM, CissexISM, heterosexISM and (specISM and so on)) during all this time I didn’t understand why when the attitudes that cause the oppression of people or women where called … well attitudes and oppression when oppressive attitudes against gay/lesbian/bi and pan/queer/trans/non-binary and other people whose sex, gender or sexual identity is considered as atypical were called phobia.
    But until your post I didn’t realize the ableism of these words, which is interesting because the only kind of privilege I don’t have are the neurotypical privilege… but it’s true that I only knows the word “ableism” since around one year… while I was touched by it since childhood… I have still many things to learn.
    Thank you, I think I like your blog very much.

    *I’m from Switzerland and my maternal language is french

    • JKBC says:

      I know what you mean – it’s always puzzled me as well where the -phobia ending for oppression comes from. Wikipedia says that ‘homophobia’ originates medically, from a description of heterosexual men in the 60s who were afraid of being perceived as homosexual, but it’s not a great word and nor are the other -phobia words related to oppression. They’ve become the normal words to use, but they’re both counterproductive to the cause by allowing people to argue ‘I’m not scared of [x] people’ and ableist. And trying to fight one oppression by perpetuating another is never right.
      I’m glad you like this blog!

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