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I'll admit the misoginy part as obviously heterocentric, but not the racism part, nor the raping and pillaging part. I'm sure male children or youths are raped by soldiers or "owners" just like female children and women are. And by that I don't mean, they are raped by gay soldiers or by gay "owners" - but they are raped by rapists.
Other than that, is it heterocentric (in a bad way) to say that heteros only have sex with heteros and gays with gays, so the postulated "great equalizer" effect of sex would have no effect on heterosexuals murdering gays ?
On your other point, I've been reading Swift lately - that accounts for the "smothering arms of England". I doubt you would object to this historical use.
I have no knowledge of present-time Ireland nor of its links to England, and I would not engage anyone on it. I was merely referencing the fact that, at least for now, Ireland is not actively trying to get out of Europe, though it's known for having tried for centuries to get out of the UK.
And frankly, I'm tired of the French bashing on the BBC and on Sullivan, so sometimes I feel I'm allowed a little rant against Proud Englanders.
I want to add that I'm not ranting against all Englishmen, far from it - only about those who think that England is the best thing that ever happened to humanity. Many Frenchmen have the same obnoxious feeling of their own country's importance and I hate it with passion, too.
The truth is that socializing with people who are less intelligent or less well-off can be very depressing. Even if the "higher-status" person acts as neutrally possible, often the other person takes on persona in response of jealousy, self-pity, etc. Often these people won't have much in common, which is a downer in and of itself.
How about giving him some advice instead of "you are a bad person and don't deserve companionship!" ?
We shut the door on potential love interests all the time for the most capricious of reasons and nobody takes us to task for it. Too old? Too fat? Wrong color? Not your "type"? Too bad! It's almost certain we'd have found common ground and perhaps even happiness with these rejects had we given them a chance. Sure, the pious will call us ageists or shapeists or looksists or racists, but for the most part we get a pass.
Add class to the mix, though, and it becomes a free-for-all. Not knowing that class is a radioactive topic, LOFD has been naive enough to talk about the problems he's having finding someone of his own socioeconomic background. OK, let's all take a deep breath and relax. Just think of it as LOFD's second coming out.
Look, LOFD has grown up in a cultural bubble. Now that he's out of the cocoon of his privileged family and education, he's a traveler in a foreign land. He's asking himself "Who are these people?" and "Where's my tribe?" Having been surrounded all his life with people of his own socioeconomic group, LOFD's in culture shock.
It would have been great if LOFD's parents and schools had taught him to embrace diversity, but that rarely happens. Because we're human we have an acute need to be with our own kind. When we encounter someone for the first time, we perceive key differences in nanoseconds. And, as history shows, we have very hard time seeing past them. Nothing in LOFD's experience has prepared him for having to fend for himself socially in the off-leash dog park that is American life.
If LOFD were straight, the institutions of his class would probably see to it that he met the right girl, er, woman in due course. But those institutions aren't working for him just now because he's gay.
So my advice to LOFD is to remember he's a double minority (a status that gets other types of people bonus points in LGBTQ theory-land) and it will take time for him to find a kindred spirit. They're out there. You'll find your niche. Keep looking and be yourself.
What I found heterocentric was that you seemed to assume that the effect on opposite-sexers and same-sexers would be identical. I admit on a reread that I did conflate your "having sex" with the general discussion of "having sex with people outside of one's intellectual/class/economic comfort level". If you meant yours more generally only, then I retract most of my point.
I might still ding you, though, for putting "misogyny" first in an anti-Sullivan argument. That made the post appear (to this same-sexer at least) as if you were viewing Mr Sullivan's entirely same-sex encounters through an opposite-sexer lens. To turn your question around, why would anyone expect Mr Sullivan's trysts to have any effect on misogyny? His opinion of women would be no more altered by them than your homophobe's opinion of gays would be by trysts with women of colour. No biggie, and I don't substantially disagree with you - it's just a ding.
Given your previous appreciation of Miss Austen, I didn't think you intended a very condemnation of all things English. But rant well and with style, and I shall at least appreciate your form whatever I might conclude about the substance.
As for Sullivan-bashing, my main quarrel with him is that he is king of the Assimilationists, while lacking the foresight to see that Overassimilation just creates a vicious circle.
if only there were arranged gay marriages - my mother's friends have such handsome and eligible sons. But alas, gay + kind + handsome + intelligent + old European money + je ne sais quoi doesn't seem to be a very common combination, so I've settled for gay + kind + je ne sais quoi, that's already hard enough to find.
Good luck with getting over yourself, if I could so can you :)
Also spot on about abortion " not a horrible, horrible thing. It is a medical, medical thing."
We'll see how normal (ha-ha!!) I really am the next time I go back to see my amazing ND.
@107 I second that! Bingo! That's basically the overwhelming majority of the GOP, though. There they sit in their big, cozy "Members Only" station, but somebody moved the railroad an insanely long, LONNNNNNNNG time ago.
I wonder what the GOP will do when all THEIR rapidly devalued safety net funds go poof?
And I for one, can relate to a degree. I don't agree with everything he said, and do agree with a lot you said, but at the same time, I have dated guys that don't make as much money as I do, or have as much spare, and it does put a cramp on the relationship when you want to go do things together, and that other person can't afford it, you feel like you have to pay and carry them a little financially, and you have to be superhuman for that not to cause some resentment.
So try seeing it from his pov, if there are incompatibilities there, it simply doesn't work. While yes, I think LOFD is a bit of an ass, I also want to applaud him for being honest about some things which do actually matter when it comes to LTRS and not just casual dating.
Eeesh! He's awful enough already.
"@96: Sure, orgasms are physically powerful- they bring forth life, or at least relax your shoulders. But the hearts and minds of bigots are not conquered by the ass of the righteous. After all, the bigot is not well versed in feeling empathy or logical thinking."
Yes, you're correct.
My point of view in making the 96 post had everything to do with the hypocrisy of denial. I'm sorry if this seems breeder-centric, but every human artifact and human came about due to at least an ejaculation. But this also creates and underscores our "togetherness of origin", and that, I think, addresses your points. I'm not so sure that the asses of the righteous haven't done a lot more than we give credit (or at least couldn't), the way we've been so brainwashed.
In any case, I love Dan's response.
As for the Andrew Sullivan's bit, I think some of you kinda missed the point. I think his general message was that "getting to know people that are not part of your social group is a good way to lose your prejudices against them, whether it's through sex or any other sort of social interaction, " as said by @87 although it doesn't mean that people who have sex with Blacks can't be racist either.
I'm sorry if this seems breeder-centric, but every human artifact and human came about due to at least an ejaculation.
It's not breeder-centric, it's true.
But this also creates and underscores our "togetherness of origin", and that, I think, addresses your points.
It addresses my points only if you've got some goddamn sense. My point was less to tear down the power of sex, and more to express my utter cynicism at sex's ability to transform bigots as claimed by Sullivan. I take as evidence of this his experience with the righteous ass of black men in his youth failing to make a heinous and fraudulent piece of race-baiting pseudo-science like The Bell Curve repugnant to him. Of course interacting with "the Other" demystifies and lays the stage for dialogue and empathy. But you have be open to that (and fundamentally- not selectively, fundamentally- decent) to begin with. And, if you'll allow me just a bit more cynicism, if one has earned the title of bigot they are almost certainly not fundamentally decent.
Also thank you for saying that "Abortion is not a horrible, horrible thing. It is a medical, medical thing."
"What I found heterocentric was that you seemed to assume that the effect on opposite-sexers and same-sexers would be identical"
For me sex is a mutually consented-to physical activity involving genitalia, and resulting in shared agreeable feelings. I fail to see how having sex could have different psychological effects on opposite-sexers than on same-sexers.
Do you mean that two same-sexers would identify more easily with one another than different-sexers, because society has taken care to bring up females and males so that they'll never be tempted to identify with one another ?
I myself find no difficulty in having empathy and identifying with a male's social position and/or his plights, and even with his orgasmic sensations - although I admittedly don't and will never experience, in real life, the sensations of a penis hanging from my underbelly. I can easily identify with like-minded males of vastly different backgrounds, just like I can with like-minded females. With different-minded people, it takes an effort, and I usually hate the feelings I bring back from the experience ; I seldom simply can't.
"To turn your question around, why would anyone expect Mr Sullivan's trysts to have any effect on misogyny?"
I was not meaning to adress his example of same-sexer trysts, but his theme of "trysts with the Other". I felt that Sullivan was not focusing on homoeroticism and what it could bring to the understanding of Nations, but that he was taking his own sex experience (which is same-sex) as an example of the Power of all forms of Sex against Bigotry. If that feeling of generality was mistaken, then my reasoning falls, of course.
My reasoning on "Sex with the Other destroys Bigotry" went like this : take the example of a heterosexual misogynist engaging in het sex. It is a true "tryst with the Other". But we know that het misogyny is not cured by het sex, at all. Therefore "Sex with the Other destroys Bigotry" is false.
Sure, using an hetero example is not very elegant in an anti-Sullivan post, but I lacked culture to find a similarily striking same-sex situation. And for people who believe that truth comes with numbers, surely misogynists males having sex with females suffering from misogyny is the more widespread kind of sex in the human race, maybe not by frequency, but by sheer number of participants.
Push for approval of RISUG in the US, or go to a reputable doctor in another country to get it. Just quitcherbithcin and take action already.
I can't off the top of my head recall who here among the women (looking for a corresponding example) is an Absolute Kinsey Zero, but such a woman has ALWAYS had sex with The Other. I have never had sex with that kind of Other. While I agree with your conclusion about not destroying bigotry, I don't think you can universalize from your example, particularly because I'll agree with your numbers. My quantity of Oppressor-Oppressed boinking will be much lower than that of Ms AKZ. If we agree that all women suffer from misogyny, then ALL her sexual experience includes an oppressor-oppressed element that could be entirely lacking from mine. Is it possible that Sex with AN Other might affect me differently from the way it affects either Ms AKZ or any of her partners, given the significant difference just cited? I don't think Sex with The Other Cures Bigotry, but it could well have a different effect on same-sexers than it does on opposite-sexers, especially as we have more non-orientational based others. Trying to universalize on Ms AKZ's experience, based primarily on an aspect of Sex with the Other that I have never experienced, at least appears to be unwilling to look at whether SWTO has a different effect in our lives.
I am sure you've had conversations going about some aspect of women's lives when along came someone to redirect the conversation and centre the experiences of men. Though you were nowhere near being in the same league as the Men's Rights Advocates I see elsewhere, this felt like something of the same sort. The LW is a same-sexer. The columnist and the well-known person mentioned as an example - the same. The key point of the Sullivan anecdote was arguably the quote about being gay being for him a moral blessing.
The point, while intended as universal, was felt sufficiently grounded in same-sexer perspective that it just felt recentred when the perspective was neither examined nor acknowledged.
It might be a question of standing, too. Mr Rhone made a comment similar to yours, which struck me as a more effective debunking just because of identity. He can presumably speak with more authority on this question than either of us.
It would be interesting, don't you think, to hear from some of those with widespread experience both OS and SS? Mr Sullivan goes too far, but there might be something.
I agree that we need bisexuals to solve that.
I would cynically expect all kinds of humans to be egotistical in bed, and more focused on their own pleasure than on that of their partner, be they same or different sexers (since we're talking about hook-ups, not love or actual relationships), but sometimes cynicism is wrong.
I'd very much like to know.
At your service, ma'am. *tips pink hat*
I don't know that my anecdotal evidence has any special insight, but the short of it is that--in my opinion--Sullivan is full of shit. I think the point that plenty of misogynists have sex with women is apt.
For me everyone is an other [i.e. they aren't me], and their physical, demographic, economic traits are dwarfed by that fundamental otherness. I don't feel more "other" when having sex with an Asian woman than with a Caucasian man. To me that kind of reasoning seems ridiculous. As a white male myself, who would be more "other" to me: a white female or black male?
I think sex can be one of the most intimate acts two humans can share, but obviously two people can fuck and go their separate ways without so much as eye-contact. It's even possible that sex is one of the least equalizing endeavors as it can be inherently exploitative, unlike working/living/finding common cause with someone different than one's self.
[Aussi, lolo peut utiliser "mon" avec moi. Nous sommes internet-marié.
@ lolo: Comment va-tu, mon acajou? *faisant les bises*]
Ms Sissou - I'm not necessarily pushing an answer; I'm more willing to consider possibilities. Same-sexers apparently go outside of the socio-economic box more often than opposite-sexers. We can look at why and we can look at what the effect might be or whether there wouldn't be any effect at all.
Mr Ophian - Thank you for your authoritative testimony. You have illustrated something, too, which was causing me a bit of disquiet. I can more or less relate to part of what you say, having never found any partner of colour to be any more or less other than anyone else, but then I never really viewed anyone of any particular colour as any more of an Other than anyone else. (I so rarely feel that I have anything in common with anyone human that everyone is Other, much more so than for most people.) How far can either of us really speak about someone who had an Other-based fear of a particular group? We are perhaps on safer ground if we just deny him the credit he seeks for getting over that problem because his having that problem was a moral failing on his part in the first place - the Big Whoop reply, more or less.
Having not read Sullivan's piece [I don't have the time to read something that will make me grit my teeth just now], I will continue to pronounce authoritatively.
I think, perhaps, for Sullivan being gay and wanting to date/get laid broadened his horizons, but I don't really think there is a greater point there.
I do think being queer can, in general, engender or fertilize empathy, as any experience of being the minority, the disfavored, the alien can. But then I consider anyone who has not experienced exclusion to be under-privileged.
"I so rarely feel that I have anything in common with anyone..."
The egalitarianism of alienation. By Nature and/or Nurture I've never had any capacity for group identity, be it a nationality, gender, sports team, &c. Not that I don't see gender, color, tax-bracket in others--those are traits people have--but since I don't know how to feel like one of Us, the other in question is not then one of Them.
As far as the point of otherness, raised by Mr. Vennominon and then picked up by Ophian (distinct from the Sullivan points): I think that every one is other from everyone and thus has the feeling of alienation breached momentarily and fleetingly by encounters of varying sorts with varying sorts of people. But to paraphrase George Orwell in Animal Farm, all animals are different. But some animals are more different than others.
There's difference of race, of age, of sex or gender, or culture or ethnicity, of nationality, of language, of religion. There's the compelling difference of exoticism and there's the off-putting of difference of discomfort. There's difference and there's alienation. I'm a white, middle-aged, Jewish straight woman, the true Zero on the Kinsey Scale Mr. Ven alluded to earlier. In my being, I provide many points of difference or dissimilarity, Yet none seem so profound to me as the relatively simple one of gender. Whether a man is gay or straight, no matter what culture or ethnicity he comes from or identifies as, no matter what shade his skin, or what religion, the most profound difference from me always seems to be in his maleness.
@Ophian thank you so much for your input - and congratulations for your internet marriage, I wouldn't dare to pronounce on your actual personas but as far as your internet personas go, I think both of you got a winner there.
Bisexual heh ? Dommage que je n'aie pas dix ans de moins, pour pouvoir vous draguer sans mauvaise conscience. Vous êtes appétissant... Then again, I wouldn't dream to compete with your awesome relationship with lolorhone !
Alienation : I've never felt I belonged either, and I've a hard time putting myself in the shoes of people who seem to do. I default to thinking they're just pretending. But the idea of "them" does come by, when I realize I'm adressing a misogynist, a homophobe or a racist - maybe because they're oppressors, maybe because their hate is not grown out of their own experience, but has been learned by living inside a group who shared the same prejudice.
How's the PJH research going? I get a toaster oven if I make one more fan of hers. : )
@nocutename, "as the relatively simple one of gender..." I can't put my finger on why, but that experience of "maleness" as opposed to--I suppose--"femaleness", is something I don't understand. That which is of principal obviousness to you, escapes me.
@sissoucat, vous pouvez draguer avec moi...je suis certain que mon mari ne serait pas vexé.
@sissoucat: Je ne serais choqué si vous n'avez pas flirter avec moi aussi. C'est agréable d'être invité à la fête, même si vous ne pouvez pas aller... Tell me if I messed that up, it's been awhile since I wrote a full sentence in French.
I never considered he might have issues interacting with people in general. That would be a much more complicated situation.
One of the reasons I like reading this column and its attendant comment thread is that I feel like I get a window into the male mind. And it always seems somehow fundamentally different from the way mine or most of the women I know experience sexuality. Let me add all the qualifiers. I know there's no monolithic male way of being, nor a lone female point of view (I often don't share the majority presupposed "female" point of view). Still, I often feel that the vast majority of men and women just react to sexual things in a way that's essentially different from each other, whether they're gay or straight. Even though you have represented yourself as pretty close to a Kinsey 3 if my memory is correct, you seem to me to be very male in your reactions to sexual matters, which leads me to think that what I see as essential differences has more to do with gender identification than sexual orientation.
I think "genderqueer" might be more accurate in the last sentence of your first paragraph.
And, that certainly is never enough - we cement additional ones into acceptable behavior all on our own. Where else is it acceptable to tell someone they're too fat, too femme (even if the one saying "no" is similarly endowed). God forbid anyone intentionally acting "stereotypical" should want to get laid (no one could actually ever be BORN that way).
I've even seen Cardinal Savage counsel an overweight teen on MTV about "expectations."
So - yeah - SOFD is out of line, but he isn't rowing that slightly fascist boat on his own. We're all a bit not so nice when it comes to who we want to bed. Mr. SOFD is just playing it at a much higher level.
So no, they haven't.
Here's a laundry list of SSRI side effects. It doesn't mention any morphological changes. Though it does list vaginal numbness and clitoral priapism (continuous erection). Yikes.
I have been supportive of several partners with less than me, and it gets very very old. I am not superhuman, you might be, if it doesn't bother you. Either that or you have just got very lucky in your choice of partners. That's nice, I wish you continued luck with that. I haven't been so lucky.
Wow. Replace "superhuman" with "human", and I think your statement would be more accurate. Given that even high earners can suddenly find themselves without a job, maybe you should stay out of the dating pool altogether.
FWIW, I've been the primary breadwinner in my relationship for 15 years, and it's a source of pride for me, not resentment.
Don't want to fuck a dumbass? Elitist.
Don't want to fuck a bum? Classist.
Don't want to fuck a fatass? Fat-shaming.
Don't want to fuck everyone? Repressed Prude.
But of course you're not an entitled asshole... only straight white men can be entitled. It's a privilege thing, you wouldn't get it.
Most guys I know ARE giving pretty much EVERYONE a chance, and though their sex lives may be very diverse, their love lives are without exception a fucking shambles. Maybe it's time to realise that's not getting us anywhere, it only serves to satisfy some activist's ideology of a universal gay brotherhood.
Dear LOFD, you may be full of it, you may not be, in any case there's nothing wrong with knowing what's important to you in a man and selecting people accordingly. Dan Savage is full of bad faith.