The suffix “phobia” implies an irrational fear of something. If you have arachnophobia, that means you have an irrational fear of spiders. It doesn’t mean you’re ideologically opposed to spiders. That’s why I don’t like the words homophobia, transphobia, or islamophobia. Despite their suffix, those words aren’t used to mean irrational fear. They indicate dislike and hatred, which isn’t the same thing at all.
It’s possible to fear something or be uncomfortable with it without being against it. Radical social justice warriors (SJWs) ignore this distinction and act as if being uncomfortable around or afraid of homosexuals, trans people, and muslims is equivalent to being anti-gay, anti-trans, and anti-Muslim. Fear and hate often do go together, but they don’t necessarily.
SJWs conflate fear/disgust and hate at their own peril. People are labeled anti-gay just because they don’t like to see two men kissing. We lose people who would otherwise be in support of homosexuality because the only people they can turn towards for understanding are people who actually hate gays.
To clear this confusion up, we should use the suffixes “ism” and “ist” instead of “phobia”. Instead of saying “homophobic” to mean “gay-hating”, we should use the terms “antihomosexualist”, “antihomosexualism”, or simply “antigay” instead. For opposition to trans rights, we can use “antitransgenderist”, “antitransgenderism”, or simply “antitrans”.
The word “islamophobia” is doubly misleading. Despite the prefix “islam”, it actually means anti-Muslim. Islam is a despicable religion that decent people should ideologically oppose. Being anti-Islam is totally different from being anti-Muslim. So I propose the terms “antimuslimism” and “antimuslimist” instead.
Language affects how we think, so we should be careful what words we include in our vocabulary. Are there any other words we should change? Let me know what you think.
1: The “Religion of Peace”
2: Linguistic Relativity