Fallout continues for Mike Huckabee's use of the phrase "ick factor" in describing how some people react to gay sex and his effort to defend his choice of words by saying it was a phrase in common use.
The Huckster went so far as to attribute the phrase to Martha Nussbaum, a University of Chicago academic. She says she's never used the phrase and demanded an apology from Huckabee. What's more, she said the feeling of "projective disgust" that some people might get about sexual matters was misapplied by Huck. It's not a phrase used by the gay and lesbian community, she told Politico.
The view I develop, on the basis of recent psychological research, is that projective disgust has its origin in a discomfort with one's own body and its messier animal aspects, including sexuality, and that, in a defense mechanism, disgust is then projected outward onto vulnerable groups who are characterized as hyperphysical and hypersexual. In this way, the uncomfortable people displace their discomfort onto others, who are then targeted for various forms of social discrimination.
Thus the people to whom the term "projective disgust" applies are the insecure and emotionally stunted people who campaign against equal rights for gays and lesbians, not gays and lesbians themselves.
Mr. Huckabee has gotten bad information about my work and has completely turned its meaning upside down, imputing to me a position (that gays and lesbians are disgusting) that I criticize as childish and morally deficient.
He owes me a public apology.