I was up late at the Underground Meeting last night. All I can tell you now is that the secret handshake is undergoing revisions to accommodate “L”, who lost his right ring finger in a barbed-wire-evasion training session. The good news is that everybody has settled on their code names.
Anyway, since all my attention was on cabal building, I did not complete the post on the latest admission of bloodlust from our progressive pals. Stay tuned for that tomorrow.
But to entertain you until then, and if you have the nerve, go and read this piece by David Benkof: Nobody is ‘born that way,’ gay historians say.
A very sympathetic but sobering review (the authors he cites are themselves mostly gay and lesbian).
Full of tidbits like this: “scholars of gay history and anthropology. They’re almost all LGBT themselves, and they have decisively shown that gayness is a product of Western society originating about 150 years ago.” This: “But no society before the 19th century had a gay minority or even discernibly gay-oriented individuals.” This: “According to the experts on homosexuality across centuries and continents, being gay is a relatively recent social construction.”
What about all those Greeks? This: “scholars don’t think the ancient Greeks had a gay minority.” And this: “It’s tempting to look for versions of our own lives and identities in other eras, but responsible history tries to understand the past on its own terms.”
And so on and so forth. As all serious scholars have long recognized, sexual “orientation” is a recent invention. And this being so, we should be especially cautious about rearranging all of society. It’s best to have an understanding of what is true and not what we hope is true (this does not argue, in the least, for a “return” to the “way things were”).
As regular readers know, getting people to consider arguments contrary to their beliefs is like getting an English professor to stop listening to NPR. So I don’t actually expect everybody to read Benkof’s article. Nevertheless, feel free to comment on the subject. It makes for a more florid and stimulating conversation.
The books to read are When Wish Replaces Thought: Why So Much of What You Believe is False by Stephen Goldberg and The Politics of Deviance by Anne Hendershott.
When I have the time, I’ll put up some relevant quotes. Meanwhile, try books.google.com and Amazon’s “look inside.”
Update From Goldberg, p. 49 (the problem with quoting this guy is that he is so lucid and writes so tightly, there is no better summary than his own words); nevertheless…).
However, it is worth nothing that a poll of thousands of APA members taken after the APA vote found that two-thirds of those polled feel that homosexuality is a disorder. The difference between the original vote and the poll may merely reflect a theoretical distinction between two types of abnormality; if this is the case, then—despite the fact that the APA vote is invariably invoked as evidence that the members fine homosexuality normal—the original vote did not indicate that the members considered homosexuality normal. More likely, the difference between the vote and the poll indicates, as Arno Karlen has suggested, that many members publicly argued that homosexuality is normal (and voted this way) while privately believing homosexuality to be abnormal. Many members do, in fact, admit privately that they did this. They justify this in terms on humanitarianism. It used to be called lying.