Are these Eminem lyrics homophobic?

I came across this article today from The Daily Beast. It complains that Eminem is bashing gay people in general, with these lyrics:

For his part, Eminem denies that he uses homophobic sounding slurs as references to gay people, and the above lyrics seem to conflate being gay with recording on an inferior label… so, I’m not sure what he’s talking about. While the rapper freely drops terms like “fag” and “queer” he alleges that he isn’t talking about gay people, per se, but only wimps. Is that a plausible interpretation of the above lyrics? If so, should it matter how he’s using (potentially) offensive words?

That’s still homophobic language since it equates gayness with wimpiness (and vice versa).

I’d say it’s certainly bigoted and ignorant, but probably not homophobic, as I’m not sure it shows a fear of homosexuals, just disdain, contempt and bigotry towards them.

Homophobia hasn’t meant “fear of homosexuals” for at least fifty years, now.

But couldn’t it be argued that if gayness is wimpiness in this context then gayness in this context doesn’t mean homosexual? Or is that a stretch?

The only reason that gay means wimpy, is the stereotype of gay men as weak and effeminate.

So, yes, quite a stretch.

No, that’s stereotyping. It doesn’t make much sense. I’m leery of judging song lyrics out of context, though- but I’m not going to sit there and listen to the whole thing right now.

Well, I was picking nits there just for laughs. It DOES still mean ‘fear of or dislike of homosexuals’, btw, but the common usage of the term is, as you indicate, a bigotry, hatred and/or contempt of homosexuals these days.

Is oil afraid of water? Is my raincoat afraid of the rain?

I don’t know, have you asked them? Personally, I’ve never talked to either water or a rain coat, so am not sure.

In what sense is that the “real” meaning?

Not going to let this go, ehe? Well, in this sense I guess:

All that Latin I took in school really pays off sometimes. Ok, it actually doesn’t, but since the root origins of the TERM have a ‘real’ meaning of homo=man and phobia=fear, the ‘real’ meaning is ‘man fear’. What ‘real’ meaning do YOU think the term actually has? As opposed to the common usage meaning which you and the OP are inferring?

BTW…why are we arguing about this, exactly?

The “real meaning” of a word is how it is used. “Hydrophobic” when referring to materials doesn’t mean “fear of water”, it means “water-repelling”. Words can have multiple meanings, and new ones grow. Even your own cite offers “dislike of homosexuals” as an option.

That’s still homophobic even if it is what he means. Calling a gay person a fag or a queer is obviously homophobic. But using fag or queer as a generic derogatory term even without meaning that the subject is literally gay is still homophobic because it implies that being gay is a negative thing.

Um, I’m completely aware of this. I mean, seriously guys? :stuck_out_tongue:

You have a point. We should invent a new word that means hatred of gays without implying fear of gays. Misomodry or something.

Personally, I think a tongue in cheek smiley is more needed in this thread than a new word, but perhaps you are right.

That’s the definition i use, too. Which is also the definition you used in your second post, so… Sorry about that.

It’s Greek, not Latin. In Greek, homos means “same.”

“Homophobia means ‘fear of gays,’ and I’m not scared of them,” is a fairly standard dodge employed by homophobes. I know you weren’t using it in that sense, but it a tired “joke” based on ignorance, and deserves to be refuted, even if posted in jest.

Honestly, I thought my first post would put paid to that and you (and others) would know I was speaking tongue in cheek. I mean, come on…here’s what I said:

My emphasis added to note the parts where I’m prodding the folks you are talking about. Translation: Yeah, his remarks are homophobic and bespeak his contempt and hatred for homosexuals, especially homosexual men who he is projecting to equate to ‘wimpy’, as if that excuses such blatant bigotry.

And yeah, it’s Greek, not Latin…says so right in my cite. :wink:

To attempt to put this one back on the rails, this is analogous to talking about “Jewing someone down” on the price of an item, “gypping” them, or “nigger-rigging” when you jury-rig something together. No, you’re not actually, literally talking about any Hebrews, Romani or African-Americans, but you’re using a word that originally described them pejoratively, slurring them by implication.