Originally Posted by Lemondrop
For example, I was recently an avid homeschooler, and I still believe strongly in homeschooling. When people hear that you homeschool, they assume that your children are poorly socialized and isolated, i.e. stay home 24/7 and never play with children their own age, because this is what society says most often about homeschoolers. This is not normally the case, but is sadly true sometimes--rarely, from my experience, but only the radical neglect cases make the news. Now, if my homeschool support group one day involved the parents finding sitters and then meeting for group sex and the news got out to people who were inclined to stereotype, it's possible that soon everyone would be saying that homeschoolers were into orgies, though I doubt that stereotype would be true. (I will point out that it might be a refreshing change for some homeschoolers to stop hearing, "But what about socialization?" and start hearing, "But how will you get sitters for the orgies?")
If homeschooling parents were suddenly assumed to have orgies because some group somewhere in the belt of sin was reported doing this, trying to say "I'm not a homeschooling parent because I don't do orgies" is kind of tacitly saying that there is truth to the unfounded assumption that orgies among homeschoolers are a wide practice.
In other words deciding to define ourselves based on other people's assumptions (which are usually not reflective of the reality) rarely does much to dispel the the untruths and the assumptions. In fact, it usually perpetuates them.
Which is why I prefer to dispel the assumption directly rather than change the word so that people can continue to incorrectly assume the meanings or the practices behind the original word.