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Old 01-30-2006, 08:46 PM   #436
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Originally posted by Se7en
don't you know communists go to hell, irvine?
Yeah, but in the Marxist circle of hell you get to spend eternity listening to Karl and Friedrich drone on about dialectical materialism, with only the occasional hit of opium for relief. I hear the queer circle is a lot more light-hearted.
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Old 01-30-2006, 09:05 PM   #437
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Yeah, but in the Marxist circle of hell you get to spend eternity listening to Karl and Friedrich drone on about dialectical materialism, with only the occasional hit of opium for relief. I hear the queer circle is a lot more light-hearted.

a bright, fiery red is the *perfect* color to accent any festivity.

will respond to your lovely earlier post tomorrow when i'm not as spent from the day.
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Old 01-30-2006, 09:16 PM   #438
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OK.

Se7en, I hope my post didn't come across the wrong way--I have no idea what your actual ideological loyalties are, but anyways I meant it as a joke. As you know, the Jews are going to hell too, and I daresay there will be quite a lot of boorish droning in our circle as well. Talmudic disputation in hell , --I'll be bringing my bouzouki along for the musical interludes.
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Old 01-30-2006, 09:19 PM   #439
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OK.

Se7en, I hope my post didn't come across the wrong way--I have no idea what your actual ideological loyalties are, but anyways I meant it as a joke. As you know, the Jews are going to hell too, and I daresay there will be quite a lot of boorish droning in our circle as well. Talmudic disputation in hell , --I'll be bringing my bouzouki along for the musical interludes.

with jews, gays, and commies, i think i'd RATHER be in hell.

all the fun people will be around.
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Old 01-30-2006, 09:21 PM   #440
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with jews, gays, and commies, i think i'd RATHER be in hell.

all the fun people will be around.

See you in hell!
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Old 01-30-2006, 10:15 PM   #441
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I'm doomed to hell too. well according to some girl in my health class with 3 designer purses...

This may be a dumb question but do gay guys have a much harder time than lesbians in high school particularly? Because I know tons of openly lesbian girls who even make a point of making out as often as possible in the halls...and yet it's almost impossible to find any guys willing to admit they're gay at this age.
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Old 01-30-2006, 10:38 PM   #442
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Originally posted by yolland

Yeah, but in the Marxist circle of hell you get to spend eternity listening to Karl and Friedrich drone on about dialectical materialism, with only the occasional hit of opium for relief. I hear the queer circle is a lot more light-hearted.
in the grand scheme of things, i don't think dialectics played a critical role in marx's thought. historical materialism, yes aboslutely.

besides, someone still has to stick it to the man in hell...i mean there must be a man in hell, right?
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Old 01-30-2006, 10:42 PM   #443
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Originally posted by Irvine511

with jews, gays, and commies, i think i'd RATHER be in hell.

all the fun people will be around.
Don't forget idol-worshipping lapsed Catholics!
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Old 01-30-2006, 11:34 PM   #444
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I want to go to hell, too!
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Old 02-01-2006, 02:30 PM   #445
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Is it too late for me to toss in my random two cents on some of the issues in here?

I liked very much what you had to say about the connections between camp and comedy and the common reasons why blacks, Jews and gays are disproportionately drawn to comedy as a profession. I once had the surreal experience of a weekend at one of those now-endangered, old-timey Jewish weekend resorts in the Catskills, where a standup show over dinner is the order of the day.


like in "Dirty Dancing"?!?!?!


[q]Regarding the lack of closeness between the gay and lesbian communities...would it be naive on my part to suggest that the amplified-through-emotional-independence grievance which lesbians feel towards male privilege (which gay men do certainly enjoy *some* benefits from) has something to do with it? In my experience no one loathes gay conservatives (and their real or imagined associations with Good Ol' Boy politics) quite so much as lesbians, and that too might cast a pall of mistrust over relations overall. [/q]


it's a complex matter ... in some ways, gays and lesbians have little in common culturally -- i've heard stories of Pride parades past where, once the parading was over, the lesbians would announce, "let's march on the Capitol!" and the boys would respond, "but there's no beer over there ..." there does seem to be the stereotype that lesbians are intensely political, and gay men are just in it for a few laughs and a killer soundtrack. as with all stereotypes, some truth in there, and it's tough to create a sense of solidarity when people are bound together through a common oppressor and similar methods of oppression, and little else (which, come to think of it, explains a whole lot about how ineffective the Left is). there has historically been a component of the political in lesbianism, whereas male homosexuality has become political after the fact of its existence.

at the end of the day, the common oppressor is less homophobia than it's much more pervasive father, sexism. yes, i think gay men can and do benefit from sexism, though they are also it's targets -- what else is gay bashing than an expression of disgust and hatred at the existence of a "feminine" male?

gay men can be sexist as well, and there can be a bit of an "ugh" factor towards lesbians -- they're not any fun, downers, it's only political, etc. i think it's less lesbians, per say, and more the stereotype (adopted by many conservatives, actually) of un-fun hippies living in Northampton moaning about modalities of oppression and eating granola.

and some lesbians will point to how strongly they stood in solidarity to their gay brothers during the 1980 crisis years of AIDS, and how there seems to be little appreciation or respect accorded in return. that might be true. i'm too young to know. but i will say that, the younger you go, the less of a culture clash there is between lesbians and gay men. as stereotypes and narratives of what it means to be gay and male and gay and female are further destabilized and contradicted, the more cross-cultural exchange there will be.



[q]I have known a few gay men for whom scornful ridicule of various common female neuroses and idiosyncrasies was a stock part of their running commentary on greater society. Which rightly or wrongly, I think tends to be heard by most women, lesbian or straight, as somehow being more malignant than when straight men do the same, as the awareness that this particular speaker doesn't share straight men's "redeeming" "virtue" of being emotionally dependent on women amplifies the wound somewhat.[/q]


this is interesting.

i'd think that the mocking of female idiosyncrasies -- aside from drag, which is performance -- by gay men would be less offensive because sexism by gay men does not pose a threat, per say.

but, anyway, this is something i might be guilty of -- in several relationships, we've told each other, "ugh, don't be such a girl." this could extend to any kind of behavior that might be deemed less than masculine -- being needy, clingy, neurotic, out-thinking a situation, etc. i think, in some ways, it's a personal defense against feeling or acting feminine in ways more real than camp, as well as a means of defining yourself not as a same-sex couple where one is the male and the other is the female, but as gay couple, something unique and independent of traditional sex-roles with it's own set of rules.

[q]"Hate the sin, not the sinner"...I have never been able to see what is virtuous in this philosophy. At a bare mimimum, why could it not instead be "Love the sinner, not the sin" and start from there?[/q]

beautiful twist. i'm going to remember that one.


[q]Also, for me personally, repeatedly witnessing the awful taint of innate disgust underlying so many people's otherwise "rationalized" aversions to gay rights and gay pride led me to draw some sobering connections between this prejudice and the one which meant I had no living relatives save my parents and sibs growing up[/q]


i think that all victims of any kinds of social-oppression -- especially the kind of oppression that can turn into violence, whether a baseball bat to the back of the head or mass extermination in the 1940s -- share a nagging sense of fear that the majority/power structure/whoever is capable of dehumanizing and then exterminiating you, and you'd be powerless to stop it. i mentioned before, and i haven't returned to it, but i will, interesting parallels between something like the Holocaust and the AIDS crisis of the 1980s -- it's not a perfect comparison, by any means, but there are interesting parallels to be drawn between the two, but i really don't have time for that now.

i will follow up though, eventually.

still, i bet we've both had the experience of looking at photographs of the past -- for me, it was the hollowed out cheeks and KS marks on the faces of men in the 1980s, as well as stories of bashings, and combined with ample evidence i see every day of painful, tragic lives -- and imagining ourselves in that situation. on the basis of our membership in a respective social "group," that could indeed be us were circumstances any different.

i obsess over stuff like that, sometimes. it both freaks me out in a cosmic sort of way -- a journal entry is planned on that -- as well as makes me grateful for being born where i was to the parents i have and growing up amongst generally good people.

it does take a village. and no child should be cast out of his/her village on the basis of an immutable (and harmless, and ultimately beautiful) characteristic that s/he cannot change.


[q]But, I do have one last little question. It's not really for you, but for your Southern boyfriend (of all people!) should you have the time or interest to pose it. It's pursuant to a lunchtime conversation I had recently with a visiting black friend from childhood, a fellow Itta Bena-ian, who like me has lived outside the South for many years now. We were reminiscing on the kinds of prejudices we experienced as "minorities" in childhood (blacks were not truly "minorities" in Itta Bena, but you know what I mean) and how they compare to the far subtler and more disguised prejudices we've encountered north of the Mason-Dixon line, where folks are far more inhibited about revealing their prejudices publicly. And we wound up laughing bleakly about how you can *sometimes* actually get to feeling a perverse nostalgia for the days when your enemies announced themselves upfront by openly saying, We don't like you niggers coming 'round our fine store/church/school here, or All you Christ-killing leeches is gonna burn in hell someday (in a tone that gleefully implied, And the sooner the better). Now being gay is quite different from these identities of course, in that gays are not "a people" per se and are less likely (I think?) to be seen as generic representatives of some congenitally disagreeable entity, but nonetheless I am curious to know if your bf, as a gay Southerner, has ever felt himself--or noted in others of that description--any twinges of this sentiment.[/q]

i will email him this and post his response (if he's up for that).

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Old 02-01-2006, 04:43 PM   #446
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like in "Dirty Dancing"?!?!?!
No, more like Woody Allen's Love and Death, with a judiciously tasteless pinch of John Waters thrown in for good measure.
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there does seem to be the stereotype that lesbians are intensely political, and gay men are just in it for a few laughs and a killer soundtrack. as with all stereotypes, some truth in there, and it's tough to create a sense of solidarity when people are bound together through a common oppressor and similar methods of oppression, and little else (which, come to think of it, explains a whole lot about how ineffective the Left is). there has historically been a component of the political in lesbianism, whereas male homosexuality has become political after the fact of its existence.
Much of this is also true of relations between lesbians and other feminists--there is a similarly quasi-alienated stereotype that lesbians are all just a bit too serious about this Smash Patriarchy Now! stuff. Though my sense is that lesbian involvement was directly behind much of the more "fun," media-assassin type feminist activism of the '60s and '70s, with its tongue-in-cheek (camp?) sense of pageantry. I mean, storming the Miss America pageant and hurling chunks of raw meat onstage--brilliant! Compare that to some of the far more earnest spectacles of today.
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at the end of the day, the common oppressor is less homophobia than it's much more pervasive father, sexism. yes, i think gay men can and do benefit from sexism, though they are also it's targets -- what else is gay bashing than an expression of disgust and hatred at the existence of a "feminine" male?
Very true, and there's that "ick factor" again there--macho concepts of maleness do indeed draw much of their revulsion towards homosexuality from a sense that it is unforgivable for men to want to be "feminized" in that way. This machismo, by the way, is what I was optimistically speculating to be less prevalent among Orthodox Jews--though to be sure, repeatedly having the idea that something is an abomination before God beaten into your head creates its own kind of "ick." (Tangential but relevant example: I've known Orthodox Jews who vomited spontaneously upon discovering that a dish they'd been told contained no shellfish or pork, in fact did. Completely irrational reaction, of course; anger at the waiter would be a more logical response, and besides it's not like these laws are based on any idea that these animals are "filthy"--God made them and pronounced them good, after all!--but nonetheless, there's the impact of years of religiously motivated avoidance for you.)

I'm sure you already know this, but in many parts of Asia (and, from what I hear, Latin America as well) there is an interesting variant definition of "homosexuality" as being limited to men who want to play the "woman's" role in sex. Or as an outraged Afghan mujahideen who'd been bragging (contemptuously) about his exploits with some of the "gay" locals once told a journalist friend of mine, who'd innocently asked whether this fellow himself must then be gay: "No, no, no! We fuck them--they don't fuck us!"
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i'd think that the mocking of female idiosyncrasies -- aside from drag, which is performance -- by gay men would be less offensive because sexism by gay men does not pose a threat, per say.
That's per se, BTW. Latin for "as itself."

Yes, you're right, that would probably be a more *logical* way to look at it. But the resentment of the perceived hostility is less about the realistic possibility of any "threat" underlying it, and more indignation about the fact that the tacit acknowledgment of women's inferiority it implies could be seen as OK, period. Of course it's just as to rationalize that straight men "really don't mean it" as much because they depend emotionally on women's approval despite their ambivalence, but for better or for worse, I think this often happens. More for straight women than for lesbians, obviously.
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i think that all victims of any kinds of social-oppression -- especially the kind of oppression that can turn into violence, whether a baseball bat to the back of the head or mass extermination in the 1940s -- share a nagging sense of fear that the majority/power structure/whoever is capable of dehumanizing and then exterminiating you, and you'd be powerless to stop it. i mentioned before, and i haven't returned to it, but i will, interesting parallels between something like the Holocaust and the AIDS crisis of the 1980s -- it's not a perfect comparison, by any means, but there are interesting parallels to be drawn between the two, but i really don't have time for that now.

i will follow up though, eventually.
Yeah, i would very much like to have that discussion sometime. But to address the fear-of-dehumanization thing, yes, it's blindingly and at times pathetically obvious that Jews everywhere, even in America, remain haunted by that fear on a very profound level, despite the fact (which I hope it goes without saying I'm aware of) that it's far, far safer to be Jewish here today than to be gay, or black, or Latino, or for that matter a woman. Still, it's amazing how quick that old shrill vocabulary of Jewish scum, leeches, trash, etc. is to leap to some people's lips when stories of prominent Jews behaving badly (usually either through underhanded support of Israeli hardliners, or vulgar millionaire flamboyance) appear in the news, and I can't help shuddering when I hear it.
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still, i bet we've both had the experience of looking at photographs of the past -- for me, it was the hollowed out cheeks and KS marks on the faces of men in the 1980s, as well as stories of bashings, and combined with ample evidence i see every day of painful, tragic lives -- and imagining ourselves in that situation. on the basis of our membership in a respective social "group," that could indeed be us were circumstances any different.
I posted this in another thread recently:
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I can still remember being sort of twelve or thirteenish and looking at at a Holocaust history book, one I'd perused dozens of times before, and looking at a fairly typical photo of piles of wasted tortured corpses carelessly heaped up like so much lawn garbage and suddenly grasping for the first time, Oh, OK, well, so this must be how my parents remember their parents and siblings and cousins and all winding up. I can't really think of a word for this feeling--something kind of like what you feel when you're much older and notice your mother sobbing or your father slumped over with his head in his hands, and suddenly feel this sort of searing, alarming, achingly tender but also deeply saddened and helpless rush of emotions because you realize how horribly vulnerable and alone the people keeping you from feeling that way really are themselves. Kind of like that feeling, but a whole lot more chilling and disturbing, because you can't empathize your way across that gulf and you can't recognize or read it in their behavior.
So for me, it's perhaps a little bit less about imagining myself in that situation than about experiencing this indescribably insurmountable gulf (which is also simultaneously a suffocatingly binding tie) to my people's past. Have you ever had the experience of feeling totally understood, yet also totally misunderstood, by people who mistakenly imagine this intimate relationship to your community's tragedies to be a source of warm, affirmative, group cohesion feelings? It is so true, and yet so horribly awfully not.

Anyway, for better or for worse, I have always imagined what it must be like to be gay in a homophobic world in light of this.
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you are anything but insufferable.
Well that's always good to hear, needily insecure though that remark probably sounded. Being a professor's kid myself, I am all too aware how that impluse to pontificate can unwittingly spill over into areas of your life where it's not always welcome!

Thanks so much for the considered response.
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Old 02-20-2006, 05:46 PM   #447
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I finally have a question.

But first, a lengthy preface:
I've been reading another Anita Brookner novel; she tends to have rather ruthless observations of gender roles, particularly those of husband and wife, with the wife more often than not getting the bad end of the deal. Not abusive relationships, but relationships in which the woman easily and willingly subsumes into the man's life, to her great cost.

And then I went to see the new Neil Young movie, which was wonderful. The music was extraordinary (Do we expect anything less from him?), but the movie was exceptionally sentimental. Neil's father had died, and then he'd developed an annurysm (sp?), which made things a little dicey. As a result, the songs from the new album, which were featured in the movie, were all about his family. Some of the songs were about his beloved wife, and he performed others about his love for his wife as well.

And now I'm getting to the end of nearly three years of living apart from my husband of nearly 17 years. He's been in graduate school in Nevada, and while we've had most of our summers together, and almost every other weekend, it's been a real separation.

And now the introduction:
My question is about roles in a gay relationship. My husband and I have assumed comfortable roles in our marriage, some traditional, some not. We've known each other since we were 11 or 12 years old, so we know that neither of us is a "traditional" person. It has taken a while for us to get to know each other within the context of our marriage, yet I don't remember any real negotiation or discussion about which one of us would do what. He gets rid of the spiders; I load the dishwasher.

So, the question:
How do gay couples make decisions about their roles in a marriage/relationship? (I guess I can figure out how lesbian couples do it. Being a woman, I tend to think of women as being inherently more flexible about the way they live.) Does the fact that each one is a man help the other understand the thought processes of the other as these things are either being decided or evolving as a natural part of the relationship? Straight couples have countless role models for every kind of relationship to look to. Gay couples, it would seem, have been limited in their access to role models. (I have no doubt that this will change for the next generations of gay couples, as gay relationships become more public.)

So, long-winded, but I've been thinking about this for a few days.
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Old 02-20-2006, 07:15 PM   #448
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Hi


Do you currently have a partner? How long have you been together?

I guess I fit in with the U-Haul joke becuase when I came out to my family I ended up moving in with who is now my Fiancee because yay for discrimination against your own daughter, and all that jazz.

Very good topic for a thread. Glad to see another gay U2 fan
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Old 02-21-2006, 07:18 PM   #449
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Old 02-22-2006, 11:29 AM   #450
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So, the question:
How do gay couples make decisions about their roles in a marriage/relationship? (I guess I can figure out how lesbian couples do it. Being a woman, I tend to think of women as being inherently more flexible about the way they live.) Does the fact that each one is a man help the other understand the thought processes of the other as these things are either being decided or evolving as a natural part of the relationship? Straight couples have countless role models for every kind of relationship to look to. Gay couples, it would seem, have been limited in their access to role models. (I have no doubt that this will change for the next generations of gay couples, as gay relationships become more public.)


your question is very perceptive, and within it lies most of the answers i can give. i can't speak too much from personal experience -- i've never had a long term partner, and i've never co-habitated with anyone in a romantic context, but from what i've seen, much of the relationship is a constant negotiation that approaches what i'd see as a model of genuine equality. if someone likes to cook, and someone doesn't, that person cooks. if you both like to cook (as both i and the BF like to do), you sort of switch on and off, depending. when it comes to, say, paying for things -- like dinner, movies, etc. -- we sort of keep an ongoing amount in our heads, like i paid for an expensive dinner on friday night, so saturday he picked up lunch and then after dinner drinks on Saturday night.

and this is half the fun. the relationship is almost built around discovering the interests and talents of the other, and then how those interets and talents play themselves out in the relationship. it can be a little bit frustrating, having no role models, or ways-to-be, but at the same time that's fairly liberating. expectations can be comforting, but they can also be oppressive.

ultimately, a successful homosexual relationship (like most relationships, i assume) requires being very considerate of the other person to maintain this equality so that one doesn't feel like he's being taken advantage of -- i would imagine that in many hetero relationships, especially the older you go, it's the working assumption that the woman cooks (the man might BBQ), the man pays, etc. i know that's not always true, but i do think that since a template already exists, it's very easy to slide into that model without much of a second thought (and i would imagine that, for many guys, its sort of a compliment to pay for things -- i.e., being able to fufill his mascuilne role).

some gay couples are a bit more gendered, but this is usually (though not always) predicated on age difference.

i do think that living inside your partner's gender does provide a way to sometimes better communicate, though it can be a slippery slope -- you could have two women who are so openly expressive of every feeling and every emotion, that an unhealthy web of interdependence is spun between the two; you could have two men who are so non-expressive and self-sufficient that there's little genuine emotional bonding between the two ... that same-sex couples can magnify certain gender traits, whether positive or negative. on the filp side, two women might be able to meet each other's emotional needs in a way that a hetero couple might not be able to, and two men might be able to provide unspoken but deeply felt respect and solidarity with their partners that might be difficult for a hetero couple.

perhaps i'll know more about this in 20 years, but for now, that's all i've got.
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