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Post 40

Sunday, August 28, 2005 - 6:54amSanction this postReply
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Linz,

You are prejudiced against nose rings, but sanction ear rings?

Dayaamm!

Whatever happened to Solo being that warm place in the sun? Did all the passionate reason become anatomy bashing? Woe is me...

//;-)

Michael




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Post 41

Sunday, August 28, 2005 - 7:21amSanction this postReply
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Wayne, to my knowledge, neither Sciabarra nor Perigo has criticized ARI exclusively or TOC exclusively on the question of homosexuality.  My own SOLO HQ monograph (for which Linz wrote the Preface) does not single out either organization.  I can say that of the 100 or so interviews I conducted (90% of the interview subjects asking for anonymity) for that monograph, there were probably an equal number of ARI and TOC members represented.

In the second chapter of the monograph, I do survey the various pronouncements, tapes, and other statements about homosexuality made by members of both ARI and TOC; all are now agreed, it would seem, that homosexuality is not a moral issue.  That was not always the case, btw---since Rand herself thought homosexuality was "immoral" and "disgusting" and Nathaniel Branden, who has come a long way on this issue, suggested similar views in various Rand-approved essays.

But even though all are seemingly agreed now that homosexuality is not a moral issue, the facts remain:  Peikoff is still peddling the view that homosexuality is "abnormal" because it "presupposes a problem or error of a major kind."  Edith Packer, when she was associated with ARI, had the same view.  This is not some organization-dictated view; it's not a statement of purpose or policy, but it does seem to be the view among a number of vocal ARI-associated individuals.

TOC, by contrast, published a much more "tolerant" FAQ by Damian Moskovitz on this question (see here).  That was the extent of TOC's statements on the subject, but it shouldn't be ignored since, to my knowledge, ARI-affiliated periodicals have never published a single essay on homosexuality (virtually all of the post-Randian statements by ARI-affiliated individuals have come in lectures or radio broadcasts).

Now, aside from a "single-issue" organization like the Rattigan Society, it is only The Free Radical and SOLO, through the guidance and insistence of their founder Lindsay Perigo, which placed this issue at center stage because, at the time of their creation, the issue had been relegated to the sidelines or into utter oblivion, as if it were some deep, dark, embarrassing, closeted secret (given the now documented previous intolerance toward gays and lesbians in Randian circles).  SOLO aimed to fill a gap in the intellectual marketplace----and it did so, resoundingly, not only through my own work in this area, but in essays that Lindsay encouraged from other contributors (including, for example, David C. Adams, Nick Wiltgen, etc.).  And since my last statement on this subject on September 18, 2004, "It's Time To Move On," I think SOLO has moved on as well.  There have been other discussions of gay sexuality here, but I don't think it is the issue it once was even on this site.

As Lindsay says in the Preface to Ayn Rand, Homosexuality, and Human Liberation:  "Mission Accomplished."

Let's move on, indeed.




Post 42

Sunday, August 28, 2005 - 3:57pmSanction this postReply
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Thanks, Chris. And I can certainly confirm I have never criticised ARI or TOC exclusively over their under-the-carpet attitude on this matter. The fact that 90% of those who agreed to be interviewed for the monograph did so only on condition of anonymity, & that they came from both organisations, shows that neither has a monopoly on under-the-carpet, or, for that matter, outright bigotry of the kind that the founding figures of Objectivism used to evince. I said at the time of co-conceiving the monograph with Chris that I wanted to put the issue on the front page so that we could get it off the front page. It does not, after all, pertain to fundamentals of Objectivism (which is what this thread is ostensibly about! :-)). And yes, mission accomplished, at least in the SOLOverse!

Linz



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Post 43

Sunday, August 28, 2005 - 5:26pmSanction this postReply
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Marty Lewinter wrote:
I will not, however, engage bigots, "fag-bashers," and, finally, know-it-all philosophers like Binswanger (sp?) who describe homosexuality as "gender role confusion."
Now, Marty, Harry Binswanger (correctly spelled) has a lot of valuable and correct ideas to consider, beyond his confused blathering about homosexuality. To refuse to engage him because of the latter...well, wouldn't that be throwing out the baby with the Binswanger?  <g>

REB




Post 44

Sunday, August 28, 2005 - 7:41pmSanction this postReply
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Chris, when John Ridpath answered the question about Homosexuality he made it clear that it was a not a moral issue.  There's still a subtle attempt to make ARI intolerant of Homosexuals and, in my experience, that's just not the case. Perhaps, there was intolerance in the past, but that's the past and I think most Objectivsts have voluntarily  moved on without  patronizing pronouncements.   

Marty, homosexuality is not the norm. There I said it. So what? There are normal healthy homosexual relationships as there are normal healthy heterosexual relationships.  And the reverse is true. Perhaps, in some cases, bisexuality, could have more to do with psychological issues a man or woman are evading - or have evaded.  Boys generally start  by making friends with other boys faster than they do with girls. I think the same is true for girls. Tom-boy girls are a god-sent for us male heterosexuals  because that enables us to develop a comfort level with girls. There might be males who had a mother that never cared for them and girls they could never get close to.  One result could be homosexual experiences and next to zero with the opposite sex.  This has not been my life experience because I had many Tomboy girls that I was friends with, yet,  based on conversations I've had I can't say this theory is without some merit.

 "Should we ask, "why are some men exclusively heterosexual?" and answer with "nature hard-wired (no pun intended) men to reproduce?"

For the most part: Yes!

(Edited by Wayne Simmons on 8/28, 7:44pm)




Post 45

Sunday, August 28, 2005 - 10:53pmSanction this postReply
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Wayne:

I wrote:

I will gladly discuss sexual orientation with anyone of good will who desires truth - including ARI guys. I will not, however, engage bigots, "fag-bashers," and, finally, know-it-all philosophers like Binswanger (sp?) who describe homosexuality as "gender role confusion." 
 
Notice that engage clearly means "discuss sexual orientation with" in the context of the above paragraph. Binswanger does good work in philosophy, and I recently attended a lecture by him. But shouldn't misuse the pulpit by wearing a psychologist's hat. Note that in my sentence  
I will not, however, engage bigots, "fag-bashers," and, finally, know-it-all philosophers like Binswanger (sp?) who describe homosexuality as "gender role confusion."
I indicate that only "know-it-all philosophers" applies to Binswanger.

As to your statement "homosexuality is not the norm," neither is brilliance, deep artistic talent, etc. but so what?

Your statement,

Tom-boy girls are a god-sent for us male heterosexuals  because that enables us to develop a comfort level with girls. There might be males who had a mother that never cared for them and girls they could never get close to.  One result could be homosexual experiences and next to zero with the opposite sex.  This has not been my life experience because I had many Tomboy girls that I was friends with, yet,  based on conversations I've had I can't say this theory is without some merit.
  
represents an interesting investigation based on the presumption that your conversations yielded sufficient data. I have had an infinite number of conversations with bi and gay men and a host of psychologists  and did not find a significant number of people matching your description:

There might be males who had a mother that never cared for them and girls they could never get close to.  One result could be homosexual experiences and next to zero with the opposite sex.  
 
Some psychologists, by the way, theorize that gays had macho,  fathers, others that their mothers were dominant and wouldn't let go. Most gays told me they had tons of female friends in school.

Why do we look for a weird and unhealthy situation to explain sexual preference? And why would we call something a pathology or a result of confusion if there are happy gay relationships and there is no demonstrable damage? Yes -- gays, bisexuals and lesbians love their romantic partners.
 
Do we look for abnormalities of mathematicians -- (there are many more gays than mathematicians) searching for a sad event in childhood that drove them to love math? (Yes, sexual orientation is about love.)   

Anyway, your post was food for thought. I hope mine was, too.

Marty 





Post 46

Monday, August 29, 2005 - 3:56amSanction this postReply
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Binswanger represents everything that is wrong with ortho-Objectivism. I wouldn't give him the time of day. He's not only worse than Peikoff, he's partially responsible for Peikoff (allowing that Peikoff is primarily responsible for Peikoff). What both of them have to say about homosexuality should be filed into the round one, sight unseen.

One day, the underlying motivations in this matter of various protagonists will be revealed.

Linz



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