Rebirth of Reason

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Post 0

Monday, May 6, 2002 - 11:37pmSanction this postReply
Seems to me like the way homosexuals used to get treated by objectivists is similar to the way in which objectivists treat fans of drum n bass and rap music.

If objectivists hold true the basic rules of life and existance, I can see how homosexuality could be incompatable. After all, mating is based around the notion of a breeding pair.

However the love of freedom overrules this, and I consider both homosexuality and drum n bass and rap music all to be compatable with objectivism.

Or is it a matter of degrees. I know objectivists tolerate drum n bass and rap as personal choice, even though its "frowned upon" as being (arbitrarily and subjectively) less beautiful than classical and opera.

Is it the same with sexuality? Do they merely tolerate homosexuality, preferring hetrosexuality as being (less arbitrarily) more "life affirming"?

Or are both somehow equal? I would like this to be cleared up.

Post 1

Wednesday, May 8, 2002 - 5:26amSanction this postReply
I think the issue is why someone holds a particular value, not what that value is.

If a person likes Rap because of flawed premises or a malevolent sense of life then it is not "OK" to like Rap. It is against ones Objective interests.

There are a few Rap songs that are funny or entertaining, but as a genre, there's not much to like. I seriously doubt that a big fan of Rap is philosophically healthy. If someone told you that they loved Jackson Pollock paintings, wouldn't think that there was something wrong?

On the other hand, I think the idea that sexual orientation is a choice has lost almost all its credibility. It doesn't seem to me that it tells you anything about a persons philosophical premises, so I would say that you can't put these two things on a continuum.

Post 2

Wednesday, May 8, 2002 - 2:02pmSanction this postReply
How has sexual orientation, as a choice, lost credibility? What you seem to be saying is that sexual orientation is genetically programmed, and probably becomes dictated to the individual during/after puberty. Wouldn't such an 'attraction' theory also suggest that I (having the straight gene) would be sexually attracted to all women? What exacly is the deterministic excuse for things like sexual animalism(?)? I'm sure there's a statistic for that too in the animal world.

Post 3

Thursday, May 9, 2002 - 12:25amSanction this postReply
Hey Russ,

Do I understand you to be making the claim that you could choose to be attracted to men? Or that you choose which women you are attracted to? If that's not the case, why do you suggest it's true for other people? Why would you assume that homosexuals have the ability to choose who they're attracted to, if you don't. If you do have that ability, let me assure you that you have a very rare talent. I've never heard of it being even possible. Personally, I'm stuck being attracted to some women, and not others. I don't get to choose.

Also, let's clear a few things up. The gay men I've met are not attracted to ALL men, just as you're not attracted to ALL women. So even if there is a "gay gene" vs. a "straight gene", it obviously doesn't decide everything.

And as for the lost credibility of the choice "theory", it may have something to do with the fact that it's just not true. Go talk to some homosexuals. They'll tell you it wasn't a choice. I assume, being on an Objectivist site, that you know that the arbitrary has no credibility. The statement that it's a choice is arbitrary.

Post 4

Thursday, May 9, 2002 - 7:56pmSanction this postReply

Yes i'm stating that I could choose to be attracted to a man. Granted it would take a while for an attraction to men to become as 'wide-spread' as my attraction to women currently is. Choice is not arbitrary; however, what seems to be arbitrary is your statement that you are dictated by your genes to be attracted to a woman, or women, you've never seen.

Something that you didn't advance on in your post is my statements on animalism(?) and other types of attraction. The idea dictation through an animalism gene seems even more arbitrary. Attraction through gene also cannot answer the questions about species being attracted to other species. For a real (my animals) example:

My springer spaniel (sp) had been raised by himself--no other dogs after birth and a short period after. When it was bought and brought to my house we had two cats. Time goes by... The dog is now attracted to both of my cats, and seems to have an attraction for one more than the other. We try to breed the dog as he is of pure breed, and he showed no obvious attraction to the other dogs--this doesn't prove anything for certain, but raises some questions as to why a dog would try to have sex with a cat on a frequent basis but not even attempt while being introduced with other dogs for long periods of time. The point is that attraction by gene cannot answer this question. This in fact would seem to cause an evolutionary problem for the lower species (who would rely on much instinct), in the natural selection process.

I personally believe that many Objectivists are using the gene vs. choice, in the context of sexuality, as a method to create harmony in the movement. Why? I don't see a rational reason, as I don't think that homosexuality per se is immoral. Though I haven't given very much thought to how homosexuality relates to Objectivism. However, I can see how most of the homosexual culture is contra to Objectivism.

Post 5

Thursday, May 9, 2002 - 8:04pmSanction this postReply
I will try and clean following posts of mine. The above should have been written better. I guess I'm just used to writing in other web-based forums where the presentation of ideas don't really matter.

Post 6

Thursday, May 9, 2002 - 9:22pmSanction this postReply
Hi Russ,

I don't think choice vs. genes exhausts the possibilities. You seem to be saying it's either/or. I have no information on what, if any, impact genes have on attraction. There could be any number of environmental factors. Also, there could be some role for your concious choices. If you mentally associate different looks with attitudes, personalities, etc., you might be less or more attracted to someone than before.

But let's clarify something. Even if your mind impacts who you are attracted to, that's far different from choosing. Just as your ideas can help shape your emotions or sense of life, it is not automatic. If I choose to be happy after a loved one just died, I will fail. Is this the level of choice that you're talking about?

I've been told by gay men that they were ashamed of their attraction to men, and tried very hard to be "normal", without success. I'm inclined to believe them. If that's true, then the word "choice" is not appropriate here.

As for your animalism, I'm not sure what the question here is. I don't think you're suggesting that animals have free will, so are choosing to mate with another species out of love. You may be attempting to argue against a gene explanation of attraction, but I never said I believed it was gene based. Did I miss something?

I think this really comes down to the meaning of the word choice. I have the choice right now to get up and put a load of laundry in the washing machine, or I can wash the dishes (among other choices). I can choose either. I claim that I do not make this kind of decision about being attracted to women. It's not a flip of the coin, whatever I decide to do today, choice. Do you agree with that?

And that is the essence of the sexual orientation question. Is it a conscious decision, which people can change at will? Or is it something you have no influence on? Or is it something you have some, but not complete control of? If the last, how much control do you have.

As I've said, if you can control who you're attracted to, it's a rare talent. I've known of gay people who want to be straight, and straight people who wanted to be gay (to fit in at art school). They were unsuccessful.

Post 7

Friday, May 10, 2002 - 9:37amSanction this postReply

Gene vs. Choice is the only possibility. You have to remember that even though there could be environmental factors, one still has to act on those factors. Obviously a five year old would be impacted a great deal by environmental/social factors, but all of his decisions are still decisions enabled by free will. Either genes program your attraction, or choice does.

If you are asking if I think that emotional reactions can be changed in an instant I agree. However, as I'm sure you'll agree, individuals have the choice to change their emotional reactions by changing their values.

That's unfortunate that those men were unable to accomplish a goal they set out to do. I wonder where their motive to change their sexual orientation came from? That could have harmed or helped their success.

My questions and statements on animalism asked and stated how it related to sexual attraction. You seem to not know what animalism is. Animalism is an attraction certain humans have to animals. Actually referencing my dictionary, I should have been using the term bestiality. I guess it's a growing fad in the subversive culture.

As for my reference to lower species attraction to different species I gave a true example of a dog and two cats. I wasn't trying to show how a dog has the same volitional faculty that a human has, but how the dog wouldn't be attracted to cats if his attraction was programmed by genes.

As I said before, I agree that you cannot become straight, or gay, with one thought or action; and it's not like doing laundry. But I do believe that homosexuals do have the opportunity to change their sexual orientation. Although, I see no reason why a homosexual, especially an older person, would want to try and do this.

Upon hearing your statements about how 'you' have no choice of the women you are attracted too, and how I could be a possible super-man, I went out and tested my capabilities :) In a computer lab there sat in front of me a women that I was indifferent too. She was a little chubby and very short (I'm 6'4). I started to think about her characteristics, excluding some, and believe it or not, within minutes I was attracted to her. She probably can see me looking at her, so she looks at me, and I get more attracted--I even thought about going to talk to her. It also occurred to me that your statement raises a lot of questions about sexual relationships. For example, how many relationships do you think would be happening right now if attraction was deterministic?

Post 8

Tuesday, May 14, 2002 - 12:43pmSanction this postReply

Wanted to respond to a couple of your points from your last posting.

The first concerns beastiality. You seem to think that because some people choose to have sex with animals, that being homosexual or heterosexual is also a choice. I think there are some key differences that you have overlooked. First is the difference between finding a mate whom you are compatible with, whom you have feelings for, and basically finding a way to "get off". I have a feeling that if you meet people who have sex with sheep, horses, etc., none of them are in love with the animal or plan to pursue any relationship. The animal is an alternate means to using a hand or a piece of machinery. If you view beastiality as proof of choice in sexuality, you have to add anything that can be used as a sexual tool into that list. And since you claim that it is all choice, then when you look at a beautiful girl, a hideous girl, a guy, your dog, and a blow up doll, all have equal potential for being your next "mate".

Your second example is about the girl in the computer cluster. Again, there is a difference between making yourself slightly interested in a girl, guy, etc., but what would happen if you started talking to her and she was a complete moron? Could you still make yourself attracted to her and pursue a relationship? What if she had sores all over her body or whatever it is that you just can't take. "A little chubby" can be overlooked if she has other features that you like. But if she has absolutely none, I don't think that you can make yourself like her. Just because you could get yourself to have physical relations with her, doesn't mean that you could make yourself attracted to her no matter how hard you tried. Could you do me a favor try the same test with the guy that is sitting in front of you? Look at him for a while. Forget that he's a guy (like you forgot that girl was chubby). Do you have any desire to go up to him and meet him/ask him out? There's absolutely no reason why you shouldn't have the same desire to ask him out if you claim that you have the potential to both be gay if you chose and you have the ability to choose who you like.

I am curious, too. Are you currently married? Would you object if I prearranged a marriage for you where you never got to meet the person beforehand and I got to pick if you married a boy or a girl? Do you have that much confidence in your ability to choose who you like and your ability to be gay if you wanted to be?

And lastly, your dog. Most dogs who haven't been socialized from birth (as yours hasn't) will never get along with other dogs. I am assuming that since he has these urges that you haven't gotten him neutered (which btw would take care of this for you and would be a nice thing to do if you haven't already). Is that correct? So all that is left for him is the cats. He can't relieve himself. Since he is unable to be around other dogs, the only way that he can think to get some satisfaction is by his dominance over the cats. It's probably not his choice, but a last resort.


Post 9

Tuesday, May 14, 2002 - 1:32pmSanction this postReply
In reading the posts here there seems to be some confusion between one's sexual orientation and paraphilias. No individual is attracted to all the members of the sex they find attractive. There seems to be a combination of things, similar to imprinting, which attacts one to specific types of people.

A man who is straight may find he is unusually attracted to women with thick ankles or who have dark hair or any other trait. That he is attracted to women implies his sexual orientation is heterosexual. His orientation is not that he's attracted to specific women just women. The specific part is what sexologists refer to a fetish or paraphilia.

Some men find fishnet stockings a big turn out (they look awful in my opinion). That is not a sexual orientation. It is a fetish.

If you like members of the opposite sex you are heterosexual. If you like members of the same sex you are bisexual. What types of men or women you like is not a sexual orientation but most likely the result of impressions you had about these types of people as a child.

What this would mean is that while sexual orientaiton may be genetic (I think it is) the sexual fetish is really the result accidental imprints as a child.

Post 10

Friday, May 17, 2002 - 4:53amSanction this postReply
The word attraction means "something that attracts by arousing interest or pleasure". With this definition, there are two actions that we need to examine. One, the person that presents an image of attraction, and the other, the person that is interested in that image that is being presented.

Now let me start with the person presenting the image.(Physical or emotional image)
Presenting an image, a self image, we do all day. In fact we have many self images that we portray every day.ie. When you are around the kids, you protray an image of a father. When you are amongst your employees you are the boss.etc.
It is like a mask that you wear and you decide which one is most suitable for the given circumstance. This usually happens quite naturally. The question is, why do we do this? Probably to fullfill our needs within, so that we can live happily.
In order for a homosexual person to attract a partner, he will need to portray a self image of homosexuality. There is a need within him to be loved by a male.
However, I do believe that this self image can be manipulated in order to achieve certain results, and to satisfy certain needs. ie. If you brake up with your girl that you've been dating for six years, it won't do you any good to project an image of a 'looser' for the rest of your life, because you will not find another partner. By changing your self image to a confident attractive male, you will probably attract someone else.

The other person that is interested or attracted by an image presented, seeks such an image, because there is a desire or need within him to be happy.ie. The child seeks a fatherly self image to feel secure. The employee seeks a boss's self image of confidence and leadership.
A homosexual person seeks an image of another homosexual in order to fullfill his needs and to be happy.
However on this side, I do believe there is also a choice. You may be intersted in or attracted to a few self images. This is where you get to choose. Once chosen, you get to see the real person behind the self image. If you don't like it, you need to choose to move on.

In Russ's case, with the computer lady, he may have chosen to approach her, even though her self image was unattractive. ie. he forced himself to approach her, because there was a need within him to prove a point. Upon getting to know her, he may have been suprised to find an image of attraction that would make him eternally grateful for making that choice.

In the previous examples you are questioning attraction. You should rather change your angle of thought and stop the argument. The question should be: What are the needs that you seek to be happy? Why are you seeking those needs to be happy? What are the needs within you, that makes you a homosexual?

Post 11

Tuesday, May 28, 2002 - 10:54pmSanction this postReply
Gay objectivists seem to be obssessed with sexual self-justification when it is something that shouldn't be a factor for any objectivist.

Objectivism presupposes that everyone has a right to go to hell in their own way, so long as they do so with other consenting adults, and do not infringe on anyone's personal liberty in so doing.

However, in an objective sense, I see little justification for the assertion that homosexuality is a "normal" lifestyle.

Male homosexuality could aptly be described as a pathological sexual addiction, one predicated upon youth, physical beauty, fleeting sexual encounters and always looking around for the next bit of fresh meat.

Why is it that all the gay men of my acquaintance seem forever unable to find the meaningful permanent relationship they all claim to want?

Why is everyone they meet somehow "not right" after a while?

How many gay men have been in a committed monogamous relationship for more than five years? Next to, if not nil, I think you'll discover.

Those who haven't done so should read "Sexual Ecology" by gay activist Gabriel Rotello and ask whether the sort of piggish sexual gluttony detailed in its pages is not a flight from commitment and intimacy symptomatic of deep psychological wounds in the childhoods of those concerned. Rotello, of course, ducks the question totally.

Is reducing sexual interaction to the expulsion of surplus bodily effluvia in a public lavatory amidst the reek of anonymous excrement without having even spoken to the other party or learned anything about them evidence of a psychologically and sexually healthy individual?

Why are many gay men (acknowledged by Rotello) in apparently "committed" relationships driven to continue this sexually compulsive behaviour on the side?

In an objective sense, sexual addiction of the type described is surely evidence of deep pyschological disturbance for anyone, gay or straight, as are certain sexual practices.

Are the practices referred to in Rotello's book as widely prevalent among sections of the gay community mentally (or physically) healthy and normal?

Why are activities like fisting, scats, mud sports and water sports are so widely practised in certain gay subgroups? Is this evidence of a healthy sexuality?

I think not.

Gay activists tell us that sexual addiction and bizarre sexual practices are due to "internalised homophobia" and the fact that society refuses to accept homosexuality as normal. Arrant nonsense. The more accepting society has become of homosexuality, the more extreme gay sexual behaviour seems to have become.

Not all gays are sexually compulsive (although percentage-wise far more gays than straights seem to be). Even less engage in hard-core sexual practices, which a small minority of straights also get into.

But whatever one's sexual preference, sexual addiction, fisting, coprophagia, coprophilia and micturation on one's partner have little to do with human intimacy and can only be symptomatic of massive self-disgust and self-hatred.

I accept that a minority of people [1 - 3 percent according to recent research] prefer their own gender sexually (for whatever reason) and that this is normal for them. I do not believe that they should be persecuted or ostracised for exercising that preference, as long as their sexual relations with other adults are not coercive.

I do however have grave objections to gay activists manipulating public debate and trying to tell me that what is "normal" for them on a personal level ought to be "normal" for everyone when it clearly isn't.

For 97 - 99 percent of people, "gay" is not a "normal" expression of sexuality. I place no moral judgement on it, but how can homosexuality be objectively "normal" when it is biologically redundant behaviour?

Homosexuality can't even be a naturally programmed form of population control when for most of human history we eked out a precarious existence and needed all the progeny we could get. It is simply something that has always been a sexual preference for a minority of individuals and therefore "normal" only for its practitioners.

I also have a problem with the more evangelical gay activists (with the connivance of anti-family leftists) selling homosexuality as a viable sexual alternative to kids in our schools .

As Joe Sobran says: "How bright do you have to be to work out the consequences of inserting a life-giving organ into the poop chute"?

Joe's right, in both a physical and spiritual sense.

Most objectivists and libertarians are happy to extol the spirituality of a beautiful piece of music or a wonderful architectural achievement.

Yet they cannot see that human behaviour has spiritual consequences (No, Im not a God-botherer, but an agnostic). What occultists commonly refer to as "the right-hand path" symbolises light, health, growth and life. "The left-hand path" on the other hand symbolises disease, ignorance, decay and death.

An act of heterosexual intercourse is therefore a celebration of life due to its potential to create life, while the anus is an organ of excretion, not procreation.

The bodily waste expelled from the anus has had all the life extracted from it. It is dead, not living matter. In a spiritual sense, sodomy is accordingly a celebration, not of life, but of death.

Post 12

Tuesday, May 28, 2002 - 11:18pmSanction this postReply

Well, putting aside the nonsense, I do wonder if anybody can answer the question about why homosexuals so consistently fail to engage in rewarding long-term relationships. Or isn't that true? I won't lay claim to a great store of knowledge on the topic, but I get the impression that such is the case...

Oh, and Mr Chapple -- regarding your last two paragraphs -- can I take that to mean that wearing a really dependable condom turn straight sex into a celebration of death, too? And that masturbation is a celebration of production, since the fingers are organs of tool-manipulation? (no pun intended, OF COURSE.)

Post 13

Monday, June 3, 2002 - 4:39pmSanction this postReply
Ha! Mr. Chapple is rather too serious about these matters! What on earth has micturation to do with anything at all? I am a gay male and I had to look the word up! What if Rand micturated from time to time? Would she be morally inferior? Incidentally can one imagine the fierce creativity she must have exacted of her bed partner? Ugh. What if she practiced Kama Sutra? Can you imagine going to bed with the author of the Fountainhead and not getting a little leak? I think rather, a watershed.

Mr Chapple seems to hold the rule of thumb that Johnny had better not spill or he will be banished from the Kingdom of Enlightenment. This chap thinks it is better to spill than to fester. And what if a gay male were to drink a gallon of water before making love to his partner. If he micturated and his partner took some gross indecent pleasure in the whole thing, what would come of it? Would this be "be symptomatic of massive self-disgust and self-hatred"?
Well, that is what paper towels are for.

I agree with Mr. Chapple that most gay relationships are not eternal. In fact, most of them can't even outlast a baseball season. Actually, they usually last a few years and then the partners move on. I do not believe that this is necessarily a "gay trait", and I know that it is not true in all cases. It seems more a general condition of modern society. It is only "wrong" if you value long term commitment above the "five year plan".

My last relationship with a man lasted only six years. Whew, I got past the fifth one. Seriously, I wish it could have been longer, but it was not right for us because he wanted to explore "other options". I didn't approve of his new lifestyle but I had to accept it because I couldn't, nor did I desire to change him. I learned that you cannot change people, but I did not learn that my experience has anything to do with the fact that I am gay.

You have to view gay relationships in their own context, not in the context of heterosexual relationships. You also have to view them diachronically because they have evolved over the centuries. You have to allow for diversity and difference within society. I am thinking of Mill's call for "variety not uniformity" or "human development in its richest diversity". I agree with Linda Dowling's thesis in Hellenism and Homosexuality in Victorian Oxford, that the rise of homosexuality in Victorian England (culminating in the trials of Oscar Wilde) came about as a response to the classical liberal views of men like Mill.

I don't think many people (including Objectivists) would want to go back to the way things were when fags were used to burn witches or "Mollies" were strung up in the public square. But I shudder to think that the rudiments of those actions and the premises, on which they are based, are still held by people who claim to be rational.

I don't think in those terms. I think that Rand was wrong to condemn homosexuality without knowing much about it. In fact Rand's assertion that homosexuality is morally evil and disgusting says more about her way of thinking than it does about the topic itself. She certainly was not being rational when she made such statements in public and had them published. It may be argued in her defense that the historical context in which she made her remarks was a time of increasing national irrational fear of "commies", "civil rights activists", and radicals for all sorts of social reform. In the 1950's there was a purge in Washington DC in which anyone suspected of being homosexual was dismissed. I think Rand often merely reacted to what she heard or read in the news. She should have just stuck to philosophy or literature instead of wasting her time venting over "cultural rot".

In the nature-nurture debate over the origins of "homosexuality" it would probably be better to understand that the social and biological factors that determine a persons sexual evolution cannot be and should not be "re-programmed" or "re-designed". It was immoral for Objectivists to try to engage in such useless activities. You cannot change the past nor can you change the nature of a person. As Rand once said quoting Francis Bacon: "nature in order to be commanded must be obeyed". She believed strongly in separating the "metaphysical" from the "man-made" and emphasized that reason allows us to distinguish between the two. She celebrated the motto of AA, desiring the wisdom to know the difference between those things that can be changed, and those that cannot.

The correctness in Objectivism lies in its emphasis and concentration on rational self-interest and the nurturing of self-esteem. You don't have to be an Objectivist to explore that. As a philosophy Objectivism certainly provides the tools to begin thinking in that way. For this reason I think it has immense value for gays who have been trained to think in terms of the collective. There have been many books recently published by gay males that are trying to direct other gays away from the "club scene" to other more rational self-promoting lifestyles.

Can a gay person be both gay and an Objectivist? Yes. Can a gay person lead a rational life in an irrational society? Yes. Remember Rand did not emphasize "normalcy", she always spoke of rationality. Rationality has no sex or sexual preference. If Objectivists believe that one thing has anything to do with the other, then they are thinking just like the Queer theorists who argue for a "queer epistemology" or a "straight epistemology". If you think I am joking, read Eve Sedgwick's The Epistemology of the Closet. Sedgwick, the mother of Queer theory lumped Foucault, Derrida, Thomas Kuhn and Szasz together as examples of alternative approaches to “ethical/political disengagement” from objective epistemological categories. Introducing neat little expressions furnished by “a plethora of ignorances”, Sedgwick presumes that we can objectify ignorance and categorize it. ("Epistemology of the Closet" p. 7).In the end the only thing she successfully proves is her own ignorance of epistmology.

Mr Chapple's view that 97-99 percent of people don't think gays are "normal" is absurd. What people? If he is referring to 97-99 percent of those living on Temple St. in Salt Lake City, I think maybe yes. If he refers to 97-99 percent of the homosexuals in Nazi concentration camps forced to wear pink triangles, I think they probably believed that they were not leading normal lives. The statement that everybody thinks a certain way proves nothing at all. I think perhaps 97-99 percent of all Nazis believed anyone who was not an "aryan" was not normal. Incidentally they probably would have applauded Mr. Chapple's assessments. No I do not believe dear Mr. Chapple is a Nazi, I think he should perhaps revise his cognitive assessments.

Just for the record, Mr. Chapple is not my ex-boyfriend! HA

Post 14

Tuesday, June 4, 2002 - 5:39amSanction this postReply
I am delighted to see healthy discussion of a long closeted issue: the issue of how homosexuality and homosexuals have been treated in the Objectivist movement. I'm honestly delighted that my series is provoking this exchange, and look forward to the day when exchanges of this sort are rendered obsolete. I suspect, however, that as long as there is prejudice and homophobia, such discussions will continue---even within a philosophy that is ostensibly designed to eradicate the irrational.

Just a couple of points:

1. Why is it that every person (invariably, every MAN) who objects to homosexuality and to the so-called "gay lifestyle" also, invariably, exhibits an OBSESSION with the gay MALE lifestyle? Methinks thou dost protest too much!

There is an enormous amount of diversity within that "gay male lifestyle," even though it is probably true that men, ON AVERAGE, have a more difficult time of sustaining long-term relationships in a gay MALE context. There are probably a lot of reasons for this: some legal, some cultural, some sociological---who knows, maybe there are some biological and evolutionary reasons too. One thing is pretty clear, at least to me: it probably has a lot less to do with GAY men than it does with MEN in general. Rand herself argued that we needed to fight the emotional repression and psychological consequences that result from certain culturally-defined gender roles. There haven't been a lot of studies in this area, but I'm fairly certain that gay WOMEN probably have more stable and longer-lasting relationships than straight couples OR gay men. Ah, the virtues of lesbianism!

2. Just for the record: Hear, Hear to Lindsay Perigo for his editorial today, June 4th. I couldn't have said it better.

Hope all of you enjoy the final two installments of the series.

Chris Matthew Sciabarra

Post 15

Tuesday, June 4, 2002 - 2:16pmSanction this postReply
Gee, Mr. Chapple thanks for making it so clear about what it means to be gay. Seems I've been getting it wrong for some time now.

I didn't realize that I was supposed to have fresh meat so often. Stupid me sitting in a committed relationship for about 7 years (ooops, I forgot that was a figment of my imagination since Chapple the gay expert says such things don't exist)

He does imply that gay men he has as "friends" (sic) seem forever unable to find a meaningful permanent relationship. Well obviously the gay people he knows aren't too picky in their choice of friends.

And since everyone we meet is somehow "not right" after a while I've learned that in the morning I'll have to tell Sean he's not right. Of course his response will be: "You never think anyone is right unless they agree with you." (Are we talking about the same thing here?)

That committed monogamous relationship of ours is next to nil. I'm not sure where nil is but it must be in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg since that's were we live.

I didn't get Rotello's book either -- which may explain why I'm so confused at what I'm supposed to be doing. On the other hand even if I had read it I can assure Mr. Chappell that I wouldn't do anything in a public lavatory in South Africa -- including the main functions for which they supposedly exist. These places in Africa are not the nicest of places. I did try to use one once in an airport in Nairobi -- big mistake. It was at the end of a long passage way and the lights in the airport were not working. Hence the hall and toilet were pitch dark. Having been stuck at the bloody airport for hours I really had to go so I thought I'd chance it. Once inside I realized that no matter how my eyes tried to adjust it was pitch dark and I couldn't tell where the urinals were. That didn't bother me until I realized the voices talking in the loo belonged to others who couldn't tell in which direction the urinal was either. At that point I figured I'd rather hold it in then risk having my leg mistaken for a ceramic appliance.

I also must confess I didn't know I had surpluse bodily effluvia. I always thought an effluvia was part of the female anatomy. But then I have no experience in that department. Of course I guess I don't have experience as being a gay person according to Chappel either.

No fisting and definetly no scats. I don't know what "mud sports" is and never heard of the term. I'm not into water sports but then I've never been athletic. My dictionary doesn't tell me what a coprophagia is so I can't deny it catetgorially since I haven't the slights idea what it is. It sounds Egyptian to me. Micturation is another practice of which I am woefully unaware. Mr. Chappel on the other hand seems quite the expert on bizarre practices which I have never heard of. (Do you think I was missing something?

I was once an evangelical gay myself but now I'm an atheist. I also found it unnecessary to "sell homosexuality" since there is no shortage of people wanting free samples. Good thing he quotes such Far Right religionists like Joe Sobran -- a source unusual for Objectivist wisdom to say the least.

I do know that Mr. Chappel seems woefully uninformed on the bulk of ideas regarding the evolution of human sexuality. But that's his privilege. After all his expertise in fetishes and weird sexual practices no doubt makes up for it.

Post 16

Tuesday, June 4, 2002 - 2:25pmSanction this postReply
I would like to add a comment for Matt. I highly recommend the Evolution of Human Sexuality by Symonds if you can find it.

When one is talking about gay male behaviour (in broad general terms) you should ask yourself if you are talking about gay behaviour or about male behaviour. Men have more sex than women. Straight men are more likely to cheat on their wives then straight women are likely to chear on their husbands.

GGay couples tend to have more sex than straight couples who tend to have more sex than lesbian couples. Why? Because men tend to have more sex than women for biological reasons. Thus a male/male couple will have more sex since both partners are male and a lesbian couple will tend to have less because both are female. And heterosexuals will fall inbetween since they are mixed.

Straight men would certainly act more like gay men if they had an easier time convincing women to cooperate.

Post 17

Tuesday, June 4, 2002 - 8:06pmSanction this postReply
I wanted to continue the discussion of Objectivism and homosexuals, but I think it preferable to speak from now on of "gays" rather than "homosexuals" simply because the word "homosexual" only emphasizes one single attribute of the entire experience. We are "gay" in the sense that we share certain aspects of our life experience which other people can identify with. The term gay has been used to describe people who are not exclusively "homosexual", but "homosexual" or "homosexuality" is almost always used in reference to the clinical or scientific description of the kinds of sexual behavior in which we engage. This is by no means an exhaustive definition of "gay", and I am painfully aware of the many ways in which the word can be misused. I nevertheless object to the term "homosexual" on the grounds that people like Mr. Chapple can be comfortable in referring to "homosexuals" as sexual perverts, and have the full force of clinical history on his side. My references to poor Mr. Chapple in the light of Nazism were not altogether nice, but I wished to emphasize that this particular "style" of thinking was characteristic of the Weimar period in Germany and grew dangerously popular as the Nazi's came to power. Notice how he equivocates and doesn't seem to distinguish between "gay" and "homosexual". I think that gay is a better term because in the discussion of Objectivism it leads Objectivists and neo-Objectivist to be more precise about the subject matter. There are more aspects to gay life than he seems to want to acknowledge, and this is also characteristic, I think of the Objectivists in general.

I previously mentioned that gay must be understood contextually. I actually said diachronically, referring to the way in which gay relationships have evolved through the centuries. In ancient Greece there was no concept of "homosexuality" or "gay". Males who engaged in sexual acts with one another were referred to in various ways. I would refer anyone interested in the topic to Dover's classic work Greek Homosexuality. It is an objective study not to be missed. One of the topics discussed there is Aristotle's writing on "homosexuality". Again Dover's book was written before the rise of "gay" activism, so he refers to it in the clinical sense I mentioned earlier. Apparently,in the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle explores the difference between those pleasures that are a result of natural inclination and those, which grow by way of habituation to become as it were of second nature. Throughout there is not to be found any explicit condemnation of homosexuality, neither is there the faintest hint that such topics should be considered in the light of morality.

We may move on to speak of the "same-sex marriages" John Boswell discovered among the Romans, the Byzantines, and the Europeans of the Middle Ages. Incidentally, it was Boswell who in his research opted for the term "gay" because he saw the enormous variety and difference that was an essential characteristic of the gay experience through the passage of time. I don't mean to bore those who are not interested in the history of gays, but I think I have made my point that the term itself is much more expandable as well as flexible.

In the light of the discussion of how gays are treated by Objectivists,like Sciabarra, I find it curious, that they cannot discuss such a topic without fomenting or describing it exclusively in terms of "irrationality". In the history of psychology there has been a gradual evolution from the exclusive treatment of "homosexuality" as a perversion, to a more objective view of it as a full life experience. Alot of this has come from Jungian psychology. Although many Objectivists probably would not read Carl Jung, his earliest ideas about homosexuality are exactly the same as those N. Branden held in The Psychology of Romantic Love (1980). Both originally held that "homosexuality" was the result of a "blockage on the pathway to full maturity" (Branden, 94) or an "underdevelopment of character” (Jung). Both gradually shifted their stance on it as they matured as psychologists. Peikoff decribes Jung as "burrowed in the subconscious" (The Ominous Parallels), but I find the the most ominous parallel to be Peikoff's amazing similarity with the early Jung. Unfortunately Peikoff did not evolve over time but remained entrenched in dogmatism.

Rand also seemed to want to trap the "homosexual" in her net of Dionysian recklessness. This is a fatal error. It has tended to force Objectivist homosexuals toward psychological inversion and prevented transformation through her philosophy. Indeed transformation is the goal she desires for each of her Objectivists. Her novels, when read, transform the reader psychologically and culturally regardless of the individual's sexuality.

Can anyone write why they may object to the use of the term gay, and prefer homosexual after what I have written? I am interested in opinions because if we wish to fight against the oppression of gays within Objectivism, we need to define our terms, and stake our grounds.

Post 18

Wednesday, June 5, 2002 - 4:06amSanction this postReply
Just a little note on what Russ said about his dog humping the cat.

Your dog humping the cat does not mean that your dog is a catosexual. It only means that in absence of other dogs with whom to form a pack, your dog percieves the cats as part of his pack. But since cats are not pack animals and fiercley independent they are not likely to subject to your dog. You dog humping the cat is only a way of the dog trying to be "top dog" and subjecting the cat. The fact that he only does it to one cat would suggest that this one is more resistant to his assumed leadership of the pack.

Another example would be our own dogs. My mother has 2, one male one female and my brother has 2 as well, again one male and one female. Now, my brother's male dog is a huge Doberman who mounts his "bitch" when ever he can (she is sterilised). Yet when the Dobe and my mother's much smaller Pointer get together it's either a really ugly fight or the Dobe mounting the Pointer. The Dobe is not homosexual or bisexual. This behaviour never happens with dogs we might meet on our daily walks and whom he wouldn't consider part of his pack. It is purely wanting to be "top dog" in his own family. That is also why so many dogs hump the legs of their owners. You will never see this happening with a dog who clearly accepts its human as its leader.

Again, that your dog shows no interest in breeding with other dogs does not mean he is a catosexual. It only means he never learnt to interact with other dogs.

Post 19

Wednesday, June 5, 2002 - 4:16amSanction this postReply
Actually as an afterthought, the cat who allows your dog to hump her/him probably is LESS resistant to his aspirations of leadership. Cause a cat usually would just slap a dog for trying such a thing. Mine certainly would with our dogs and they are both careful of her claws as it is, as they seem to come out as soon as they even look in her direction.

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