Thursday, June 16, 2016

Why They Hate Us

After 9/11 there were numerous articles speculating on the motive of the terrorists whose suicide missions resulted in the deaths of thousands. Why do they hate us? a columnist would ask, and then the answer was often a variation of: they hate us because of our freedoms.

Maybe. Maybe it's more nuanced.

After the Orlando massacre (6/12) where a muslim American killed at least 50 people in a gay nightclub, I began to see the parallel strains of homophobia and Islamic extremism.

It's become almost a given, hasn't it, that the most homophobic people (men) are curious about the gay lifestyle? It started as a trope and then became a stereotype -- the kind of stereotype that persists because of a fundamental truth. For one obvious example, anti-gay Senator Larry Craig who was caught allegedly soliciting gay sex in an airport bathroom. More examples are documented in Kirby Dick's film "Outrage."

This hypocritical homophobia seems to stem from frustration and self-hatred by men who are unable to express their sexuality and are enraged by seeing other men who are comfortable with themselves.

I've never understood the anti-gay marriage argument that same sex marriages would destroy "traditional marriage." I don't see how it changes my marriage one way or another, but perhaps closeted men and women see a problem if they might feel more empowered to dissolve a "traditional" marriage for something else.

At this moment, there is not much we know about Omar Mateen, the Orlando shooter. The New York Times noted that his father noted the younger Mateen's homophobia. But Omar also allegedly called 911 to declare his allegiance to ISIS before his killing spree.


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