Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Join Us at the Hero Round Table!

This November, I have the pleasure of running a breakout session at the first ever Hero Round Table, a conference on heroism, which will be in central Michigan on November 9 & 10, 2013. It will feature some huge names in the field of psychology, anti-bullying, education, and others that spend their time.

The breakout session I've proposed is on "Starting a Hero Fund," where I take many of the ideas I've developed as part of my 40 Days of Giving project and will give tips and ideas on how to incorporate philanthropic giving into one's life on a regular basis ... and, to my surprise, I even made it into the promo video!

If you have a desire to learn more about heroism and to be involved in the discussions about how we can work on being heroic individuals in our daily lives, I urge you to attend the conference.

Of course, if you can't, then there are still ways you can working on your heroism:

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

The Heterosexist Agenda

Source: Flickr (Creative Commons)
I have really grown to hate the term "homophobe," because it just really doesn't seem particularly descriptive of many people it's applied to. For one thing, just because a person opposes gay marriage doesn't necessarily mean that they're afraid of gay people. When you apply that term to someone, you can't actually know whether or not it's true.

Whether it's true or not, it's very easy to deflect, with the classic response, "Hey, I don't fear people, so I can't be a homophobe." While this seems like a highly suspect claim from someone claiming that a homosexual lifestyle is an abomination that will send them to hell, since we don't know whether or not they're experiencing fear, we can never really know if the homophobe label is or is not accurate in that particular case.

For that reason, I've begun to find the term "heterosexist" a lot more appropriate. 
A heterosexist is someone who believes that heterosexual/opposite-sex relationships are inherently superior and/or more deserving of legal recognition/protection than homosexual/same-sex relationships.
Heterosexism is a clearer description of the ideology that these people hold (whether or not they are actually homophobic on top of this). And, if this label is applied to someone, they really can't deny it ... unless, of course, they aren't heterosexist. Denying one's heterosexism requires saying, "No, I don't believe that heterosexual relationships are superior to homosexual ones" ... at which point, the heterosexist argument falls apart.

So I suggest that people begin using the term heterosexist instead of homophobe. If the debate over whether a "civil union" is equivalent to a "marriage" has taught us anything, it's that words have a very real meaning, and calling something by its true name is a worthy endeavor.

Related Article: