Rhetorical trickery doesn’t stop Alexander Boot being a homophobe

Frequent propagator of well articulated piles of intolerant bile Alexander Boot has come up with a stunner even by his standards: “Homosexuality IS a departure from the norm: We must beware of our civilisation being battered by the PC brigade.

The moral problems with posting an article arguing that it’s legitimate to ask people to stop being gay are astounding. In short, his article argues that it’s ok to ask people to stop being gay if you find them being gay a bit weird. Great.

One thing I really wanted to pick up on, though, is this;

Any reasonably educated person will be aware that homosexuality isn’t a disease. It is, however, an aberration.

Now before I’m tarred and feathered as yet another manifestation of the prevailing tolerance, I hasten to add that I use the word ‘aberration’ strictly in its dictionary definition: ‘a departure from what is normal or desirable’.

Since only about one percent of us are that way inclined, homosexuality is obviously a departure from the norm.

This is a prime example of something which really irritates me – the “now, I’m not asserting anything ideological here, I’m just compelled by some inexplicable desire to share dictionary definitions which might be semi-relevant to this discussion with you” approach to getting across bigoted messages without being honest about your bigotry. The core of the deception practised here is that the act of sharing information is, unless you’re an encyclopaedia, itself political. Actors choose what information they want to share and privilege, and manifestations of these choices communicate a great deal about the personal agenda of the actor. As such, it is impossible to innocently write an article claiming that homosexuality is an aberration; when you choose to write that, your choice and resulting action are homophobic.

Anyway, Boot conveniently chooses to ignore a set of other definitions of aberration which a responsible writer would probably consider. Take one from the Collins’ dictionary: “departure from truth, morality, etc”.

Even by the Mail’s standards, this is shocking stuff.

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About Jon Robinson

Lefty ex-politics student turned med student, interested in current affairs, economics, gender politics and health issues. Occasionally pretends to understand philosophy. @jon__robinson

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