Charter Member of the Sub-Media

May 16, 2004

Homosexual Blogcest « Link O' Admiration »

With a title like that, you have to read the post, dontcha?

Sean makes some nice points in his essay over here, itself a response in part to my post over here regarding John Derbyshire's post.

Sean correctly notes that I was extremely vague about what, exactly, I agree or disagree with in Derb's post. There are good reasons for that vagueness:
1) There are some people who dislike John Derbyshire to the point that they will attack anything he says and anyone who agrees with him. Derb could say 1+1=2, and if I write a post saying I agree with that wholeheartedly, I've probably just let myself in for a great deal of grief from people who want to get their hatred of Derb off their chest. I can take it, but I don't enjoy it.
2) Homosexuality is an emotionally-charged issue. There is no position you can take in any shade of disapproval of homosexuality that is reasonable enough to avoid anger, insults, and ad hominem attacks. Again, I can take it, but I don't enjoy it.

In any case, here the points from Sean that I appreciate:

However, when that initial stage of big-time identity shift hits the spoiled leftovers of '60's anti-establishmentism, the results are not pretty.

But I don't think they're intrinsic to homosexuality, either...Despite the many troubled aspects of gay life, I think we're steadily getting our act together.

I hope that they aren't instrinsic, and I hope things are steadily improving. I've seen dueced little evidence to the contrary, but I'll allow that Sean has seen more than me, and I'll defer to his experience, and pray for that development coming to fruition.

That means that when conservatives say that they believe homosexuality should be decriminalized but still think it's immoral behavior, gays have to quit wringing their every word for evidence that they "really" hate us and want us all lined up and shot. It also means that conservatives have to stop picking over the lives of gays who say they're happy for evidence of the slightest misgiving or strain of melancholy to prove that we "really" aren't.
Yeah. 100% agreement.

As for Derb's article, well, there were previous articles that had stuff I actually agree with. It's no so much a neat "agree/disagree" choice on this article, as much as I think he raises some interesting points that should be a part of the debate, like "mild, tolerant homophobia" and the idea that it would be interesting if homosexuals got their wish and there were a clearly identifiable gene marker for homosexuality...because there would then be the possibility of "fixing" it. I guess the nature of homosexuality is what it is, regardless of anyone's assumptions, hopes, or wishes, but it seems to me that it would be in the long term interest of the homosexual movement to insist that homosexuality is the result of complex environmental forces, culminated in a choice made among alternatives that are so limited as to not even feel like a choice, and that homosexuality is the best among the remaining choices....

And the one paragraph I actually absolutely agree with is:

This state of doublethink is impervious to reason or evidence. Male homosexuals apparently all believe that (a) AIDS has been a ghastly tragedy for them, deserving of widespread sympathy from the rest of us, not to mention lavish government-research funding paid from our taxes; (b) that the presence of this horrible disease in our society is no responsibility of theirs whatsoever; and (c) that AIDS is pretty harmless anyway, now easily controlled by drugs.

That is the exact same impression I have of homosexual attitude towards AIDS. It is destructive and counterproductive, but it is also absolutely ineradicable from homosexual society, at least for now....

So. Who wants to call me names?

Posted by Nathan at 06:01 AM | Comments (10)
» cut on the bias links with: John the Unrepentent Homophobe

Right on, Nathan.

Tolerance of homosexuality is demanded of us as citizens of a free society. As little as I think of it, I must concede that it's better left untouched by the law. I feel much the same about many other forms of behavior that I strongly disapprove.

But to demand my approval of said behaviors is arrogant in the extreme. It risks my good will. It's the likely source of a lot of current backlash against homosexuals. Similarly, to demand that the rest of us open up institutions with thousands of years of meaning and tradition behind them, to embrace persons who don't qualify for them and are proud of the fact, is asking for trouble as well.

Americans have to relearn the fine art of tolerating without condoning -- and the tolerated have to learn to accept that that's all they're due, by any standard of right or reason.

Posted by: Francis W. Porretto at May 16, 2004 06:59 AM

It absolutely fascinates me that whenever homosexuality is discussed it is invariably specific to *male* homosexuals -- Apparently Queen Victoria was right.


Posted by: Myria at May 16, 2004 12:00 PM

Okay, I'll bite: What did Queen Victoria say?

I do think that "homosexuality" is a beast that no one knows how to handle.

Male and female homosexuality are different from each other, and as different as they from heterosexualtiy.
Heterosexuality is based upon the joining of complementary "differents". No matter how much variation there may be within a gender, you can't logically make "complementation of 'differents'" an aspect of homosexuality without then directly implying that homosexuals are instrinsically different than heterosexuals of the same gender, and that open's a Pandora's box, if you think it through.
And the causes of homosexuality are just as rife with self-contradictions. If there were absolutely no choice involved with becoming a homosexual, many things would be absent from homosexual society that are clearly present. And yet, if homosexuality were absolutely due to choice rather than behavioral or biological "destiny", then there are other aspects that would be absent that are clearly present.

And so, I must conclude that a woman becomes a homosexual for entirely different reasons than a male does, and so there are different expressions of that homosexuality. It's probably as complex as why someone ended up at the height and build they are: a complex combination of genetic and environmental influence...

But in the heterosexual world, women are significantly different than men on any specific subject. Take domestic violence. When the subject comes up, most people discuss what men do to women. Other people absolutely deny that women could ever be violent except in retaliation...but there are strong indications that women are often more violent to their loved ones than men's just that women are more subtle and indirect.

...and so I think when someone is struggling with some aspect of homosexuality that they have a problem with, it is the easiest to target male homosexuals. They tend to have the most graphic, most flamboyant, most easily designated negative behaviors.

Personally, one thing I've learned through all these discussions of homosexuality is that I have a far bigger problem with homosexual activists than I do homosexuals. I could see myself being very good friends with Sean, but I've met few other homosexuals who will stop "being gay" long enough to just be friends.
(referencing Sean's line about "not baiting heterosexual friends: it made me realize that every friendship I've had with a homosexual has ended because they wouldn't stop coming on to me despite repeated requests they cease and desist...)

Posted by: Nathan at May 16, 2004 12:14 PM

The perhaps apocryphal story (though whether strictly true or not it clearly fits the tenor of the times and is far from unbelievable) goes that in 1885 there was an anti-homosexual law passed by parliament that included both gays and lesbians. Queen Victoria refused to sign it into law until all references to women were removed because women would not act in such a way and she would not allow women to be blemished by references to such acts.

Frankly I think you are creating distinctions were there are none, I fail to see how male homosexuality, female homosexuality, and heterosexuality are fundamentally different except in how we as a society wish to deal with them. In my view no one needs to know how to "handle" the homosexual "beast" save those individuals who are homosexuals who should be free to associate as they like -- as they say, don't make me no nevermind. In the end we as a society treat them as different creatures because, like Victoria, we either ignore or aren't bothered by female homosexuality (a common theme in many men's fantasies, actually, judging from what I hear about porn), and wish to see the majority heterosexuality as somehow objectively "right" when frankly the terms "right" and "wrong" have no meaning here. Male homosexuality elicits that irrational "Ick factor" in many, especially non-homosexual men, and that's pretty much all it boils down to.


Posted by: Myria at May 16, 2004 02:20 PM

Oh. No, if that's what she said, Queen Victoria was dead wrong, either coldbloodedly refusing to recognize the problems of her own gender or naively ignorant of the same.

Your "scare quotes" imply that you really didn't understand my point, looking for offense in words where none is implied. There was no implied "right" and "wrong", merely a recognition of reality: men and women are different.
You yourself use that as the basis of being amused that people only deal with male homosexuality.
Follow the logic: men and women are different. Two sides of the same coin, if you will. When a man and a woman join together, they must accomodate and compromise on the difference, the different attitudes, the different approaches. The combination of a complementary difference expands horizons and broadens understandings in the way that mere friendships cannot, because you are joining lives together.
Compare and contrast that with homosexuals, who are joining with similarities. Instead of an accomodation and compromise of differences, you get a duplication and intensification. There are minor accomodations, but we're talking in broad terms here: thus, you get an emphasis on sex in male homosexuality (emphasis on sex being generally masculine), and you get control issues and manipulation with female homosexuals. But in no case is it like a heterosexual relationship.
This is borne out in things as simple as the rate of sexual activity: it has been demonstrated that you can accurately predict the general rate of sexual activity by the nature of the partnership.

The only way a homosexual partnership can be like a heterosexual partnership in these issues is if homosexuals are fundamentally different than heterosexuals...and then that becomes a conundrum, since only one of the partners could be significantly different than the norm to bring about the same complementation aspect.

Which is not to say that homosexuality is wrong on that basis. There was no value judgment given, and you are jumping at shadows. (there are other aspects upon which I do make value judgments, but not this one)

But if you wish to ignore everything I've said and try to dismiss all evidence and logic as mere "Ick" factor, that is your prerogative. However, I won't let it go unchallenged here.

See, Sean? This is why I originally preferred to remain vague.

Posted by: Nathan at May 16, 2004 08:14 PM

"I do think that 'homosexuality' is a beast that no one knows how to handle."

Yow! When you talk all hot like that, no wonder your friends can't stop coming on to you. :)

Seriously, though: I've had women friends who kept after me after I made it clear that I wasn't feeling bohemian and experimental. In my experience, there are some people you just can't draw out in an attempt to be a nice and understanding intimate friend. It's unfortunate that it has to be that way, but I think that these days, the problem swings all ways, as it were. Most of my straight friends (the women more than the men, unsurprisingly) seem to have encountered the same thing. Maybe a strategic fist in the jaw when necessary?

(And I wasn't seriously implying that you had failed your civic duty, BTW.)

Posted by: Sean Kinsell at May 16, 2004 09:13 PM

Hmm, perhaps I've been unclear. the use of the word "beast" in my phrase "...homosexuality is a beast..." is merely an attempt to show that no one agrees on the nature of homosexuality. Everyone has their own view, and people argue past each other without understanding (or proabably even listening), resulting in a beast of a debate in which people get feelings hurt with no real productive gains. It is most assuredly not an expression of a value judgment. According to my understanding of the English language, I used the term appropriately...however, I admit I could have made it more clear by saying "the topic of homosexuality is a beast..."

Is that better?

Oh, and you lost me on the "civic duty" sentence. I didn't think you'd implied anything at all, so I'm puzzled. I'm also not trying to imply I've ever tried to be someone's friend on the basis of civic duty. I like people. If someone is interesting and funny and fun to be with, I want to relax and be friends with them. But it gets to be tiresome if everything you say is twisted around into a sexual entendre. It just got to be not worth it anymore. And I am as unsurprised as you that women have that experience. Part of the reason I am the honorable man I am is based on understanding what, exactly, most men do (or try to do) to women.
Personally, I feel sexuality is and should be a minor portion of the total being. I can understand why circumstances in current society are not conducive for a homosexual to do that...but it always seems imbalanced to me. In fact, I really can't stand hanging around anyone who sees the entire world through the focused lens of one aspect of life.

Posted by: Nathan at May 16, 2004 09:58 PM

The "civic duty" thing was in reference to the "See, Sean? This is why I originally preferred to remain vague" line...meaning, the beginning of my original post was a joke: I didn't really mean to say that you and Susanna were, like, falling down on the job because you linked something without giving line-by-line commentary on it. I can certainly see now how the connection wasn't clear. Sorry. It had nothing to do with your reasons for being friends with people.

I'm not fond of emoticons--they seem like mugging to me, but I use the :) when I think that's the only safe way to make it clear that I'm joking around. If even that isn't going to work, I'll just stop making jokes and remove the problem altogether.

Posted by: Sean Kinsell at May 16, 2004 10:30 PM

No, keep trying to be funny. It was obvious you were joking, but the subject wasn't obvious to me.

The reason why I mention you by name (i.e., "See, Sean?") is because I note in the first paragraph that your assessment of my vagueness is correct; ...since the second reason for that vagueness came true in scant hours from the posting, I wanted to call your attention to it. In a joking manner. I, too, hate using emoticons, but only outside of email.

Posted by: Nathan at May 16, 2004 10:34 PM

That's really interesting. My readers will like this, buy fine womens wallets. I'll send a link.

Posted by: womens fine leather wallets at March 29, 2005 03:53 AM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?