Like so many other elements of our culture and language, the radical Left have hijacked and redefined the word “phobia.” Phobias are a form of anxiety disorder, defined by a strong and irrational fear of something that poses little or no danger in reality. Some examples of well-known phobias are the irrational fear of spiders (arachnophobia), confined spaces (claustrophobia), or heights (acrophobia).
The radical Left have intentionally stretched this objective definition to apply to any dissenting opinion which relates to a minority group. The terms “transphobia,” “homophobia,” and “Islamophobia” appear often in political debate. While it is clearly true that some viewpoints may be motivated by fear or hatred, the radical Left ignore all content or context and apply the suffix “phobia” to all opposing viewpoints, rejecting any such opinion as “hateful.”
If we are intellectually honest, it is clear that there is a concrete division between the hatred of a group and a difference of opinion regarding policies which relate to that group. This fact is being willingly ignored by the increasingly radical American Left in order to avoid objective debate under the guise of “rejecting hate.” The net they have cast over language is growing ever wider.
The claim that any criticism is simply the result of a “phobia” appears in political debate time and time again. Religious Christians are defined as “homophobic” if they hold traditional views of marriage, without first determining whether their opinions are built upon fear or hate. Critics of Rep. Ilhan Omar’s language regarding Jews or Israel are dismissed as “Islamophobic,” without analyzing the content of their arguments. Parents who are concerned about government intervention regarding their child’s gender identity are demonized as “transphobic,” with the clear assumption that this opinion can only be held due to an underlying fear of the transgender community.
The intentional redefinition of “phobia” by the radical Left was exemplified this week by Sonalee Rashatwar. Known as “The Fat Sex Therapist” on Instagram, she gave a speech at St. Olaf College, during which she argued that it is “fatphobic” to describe obesity as unhealthy. This subtle phrase demonstrates the inevitable outcome of the far-Left’s domination of culture and language. Criticism of morbid obesity is clearly not rooted in an irrational fear of obese people, but based on the scientific fact that obesity can cause severe health problems. Instead of recognizing medical reality, Rashatwar is able to dismiss any criticism of her own obesity or the obesity of children by claiming (with no evidence) that the criticism is irrationally fearful or hateful.
The word “phobia” is yet another word that we have allowed to fall under the control of the radical Left. In a similar way to the conflation of “speech” and “violence,” the definition of any dissenting viewpoint as an inherently hateful “phobia” is one more step toward an inescapable linguistic tyranny, where the only ideas that are allowed to survive bear the radical Left’s seal of approval.
Let’s take our language back.