Essay The Matthew Shepard Event

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The Matthew Shepard Event The human body is an object in which one lives and the medium through which one experiences oneself and the world. The human body vests claims on ideology and space; and thus participates as the site on which conflicts about belief systems and territory contest violently. Gay bodies become entangled in violence when they enter into arenas that combat certain ideas. Gay bashing illustrates incidences all in which bodies experience physical injury. In modern U.S. communities various militant conservatives individually target homosexuals in "gay bashing." Though few conservative political groups explicitly avow targeting gays for physical violence, their members individually carry out anti-gay brutality. Mathew…show more content…
Ironically, the word panic originates from the Greek god Pan, who was noted for causing terror. Gay panic implies that causing terror in violence is due to forgivable bouts of misjudgment. The defense's language suggests a lack of both premeditation and cognitive participation brought about by the unexpected fright. Sociologists use panic to refer to irrational group behaviors, such as those arising from riot mentality. This statute barrows language from social science for the purpose of linking gay-bashing to an academically accepted explanation for seemingly illogical group behavior. Defense attornies often argue that the victim's sexual advancement on the defendants who are already extrememly insecure about their own heterosexual orientation gave their precarious sanity just enough of a nudge to tip over and hence produce irrational violent behavior. The defense also assumes that homosexuality is such a terror as to uproot even something so supposedly stable as heterosexuality. If gay-bashing is a symptom of a mental "disease" then the defendents must be suffering patients instead of knowing criminals. By pathologizing gay-bashing, the medical and social jargon legitimizes it through institutional recognition. To facilitate exploring a specific anti-gay defense, I locate this statute within its homophobic political

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