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« Equality Riders: discussion and clarifications | Main | Spiritual cross-training »

March 19, 2006

Comments

Jerry Ybanez

I think that we are our worst enemy, when it comes to being butch..keeps us in the closet. I dont know how we expect to have a relationship, if what we have to decide what is butch or not. I am considered a fem but I am a human first and then a man.

DSH

Okay, folks, let's not get bent out of shape over "genderification," which is nothing more than a mental construct about particular features. "Masculinity" and "femininity" aren't real; they're just shorthand for features, perhaps particular features, we pick out with language. No one's sexual orientation or identification is a stake, only some "idealization" about characteristics picked out by language.

First, I believe the transgendered folks use this term. Why, escapes me. If I understand their issues, gender isn't the issue at all. Rather, it's "sexual identity," not "gender" identity. T/S are sexually equipped one way, but their sexual identity is opposite to their biological configuration. To correct the misfire, T/S undergo a sexual operation (not a gender operation) to match their biological identity with their sexual identity. Basically, pretty straightforward. So, how did "gender" enter into the foray? If my intuition is correct, T/G is a total misnomer that, in part, rests with the T/S community.

Everyone else: "Masculinity" and "femininity" are nothing more than linguistic markers. Neither marker picks out anything more than an idealization. I'm hardly the person to give examples, but let's assume that the Marlboro Man picks out "masculinity" and Estee Lauder ads pick out "femininity." I think this is fairly accurate, but I'm not insisting my markers are everyone else's markers.

Since I'm gay, let me focus on the male side of things. In the Seventies in the Castro District in San Francisco the Marlboro Man was widely imitated. Not to be facetious, but even "nelly queens" put on 501 blue jeans, cotton flannel shirts, wore cowboy boots, grew moustaches, and even wore cowboy hats. In San Francisco in the Seventies, which has no history of this "image," you'd be hard pressed to find someone not costumed like the Marlboro Man. Personally, I thought it was hot. Still do!

But it was always understood to be just an "image." It didn't presage what one did in the bedroom (or the baths), and once the clothes came off, most queers basically behaved however they liked. The image was nothing more than a calling-card writ "macho." But however one cuts it, it was total drag, no different substantively from the "leather" or the "cross-dresser" images. Even businessmen, like myself, wore three-piece suits to "fit" in in the world of finance. So "drag" is intrinsic to our culture. Maybe some thought this "exhibition" was less than authentic, but it sure turned tricks.

Today: In the gay environs, one frequently (too frequently IMHO) sees gay men in a new "drag." Buzz cuts, tattoos, and piercings, frequently accompanied by highly-toned muscles. Is this the new "masculinity?" I would never have thought so until Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise appeared in the same guise." What? Are you guys kidding me? Gorgeous hair buzzed off! No piercings, but I saw tattoos. Hyper-muscularity! The world had gone to hell in a hen basket. (Yes, I like some muscle, but let's not get carried away.)

Pitt and Cruise and other dudes got over the phase (thank gawd). But many gay men still carry around that image. Is that image "masculine" or "macho?" Well, I for one have never thought so. To me, they look like geeks turned upside down. But I think you get my point. "Masculinity" and "macho" are in the eye of the beholder. It's a perspective and a perception that has no corollary in anything other than our frames of reference.

So let's leave the whole genderification matter to the marketing people. It's their shtick. Some women, for example, would not be caught dressed in anything other than Ann Taylor clothes. That's their image. For twenty years I didn't wear anything other than Brooks Brothers. That was my image. But let's not lose sight over the fact that it's all "drag."

"Masculinity" and "femininity" are nothing more than drag writ large. It's as capricous as the wind, and retailers and marketers could not be happier. Yes, I still yearn for the Marlboro Man, but he's faded into the sunset. Let's let genderification go with him!

John Ballew

I'm not at all sure I'd agree that masculinity and femininity are reducible to drag, marketing concepts or social constructs.

Sure, transgender folks are helping us to question assumptions about gender, and that's good. But the idea that gender is inherently fluid runs counter to the expereince of most people whether they are female or male, heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual.

The point of the post isn't about trans folks -- its about gay men. I think gay men benefit from rethinking and taking back their masculinity, looking at what it means to be male from a different perspective.

I wouldn't presume to speak for women or trans folks.

--John

sactopete

DHS, I think you perfectly characterized John’s definition of what masculinity isn’t. John stated “we wound ourselves when we learn to think of masculinity as something that resides outside of our own selves”. Isn’t that exactly what you’ve done by reducing it to a costume which one puts on?

John, are you assuming a power relationship between the gay male and the larger culture or straight males? You state “gay boys are sometimes taunted with words like “sissy,” that imply they are deficient in the masculinity department. Many of the images of gay men in the media are unmanly in way that’s supposed to be funny – La Cage aux Folles, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”. So do you mean that those “funny” images on television are propagated by the culture to belittle and subjugate gay men? Do you feel that the black male has faced a similar subjugation by the larger culture? Do you see any similarities between the gay assumption of the hypermasculine with a similar hypermasculinity among African American males?

“Many of the qualities that lead us to see a man as manly may make him a great sexual fantasy, but a questionable candidate for a flesh-and-blood relationship.” In your opinion, is the duality between “great f**k” and “husband material” implied in this statement at the heart of the difficulties so many gay men seem to have in their relationships or lack of them?

John Ballew

Hi, Pete --

I think you raise several thoughtful questions. Seems to me that Queer Eye, Will and Grace, etc., present safely desexualized images of gay men. They don't want have sex (or marry other men) they just want to redecorate your apartment and toss out clever jokes! Fags are funny!

Those of us old enough to remember early images of African Americans on TV in the 60's recall how those images were similarly "safe" and sexless. Most of the African American faces on TV in the 60's and early 70's were nurturing women (think "Julia"). Male roles were often buffoonish (remember the young man who's name I can't recall who was always saying "DY-NO-MITE!" or Redd Foxx cast as a garbage man on "Sanford & Son"). Middle class white folks could smile at these shows without being required to address their own racism.

In big cities like Atlanta (where I live) one of the ways that hypermasculinity shows up in gay culture is the highly-sexual image of African American "thugs." The saggy pants and affected attitude are the 21st century urban equivalent of the 70's Marlboro Man Castro clone. I don't think it's any coincidence that this intimidating pose has been adopted at a time when young African American men -- including gay ones -- are highly threatened in US society.

It's a complicated subject, and I don't want to oversimplify. But I think you've put your finger on something important in raising the issue.

About fantasy men and potential husbands: this is a dilemma gay men share with straight men in our culture. It's sometimes been called the "Madonna/whore complex." Bad girls/boys are for fun and good girls/boys are for marrying. It reflects the problems our culture has with sex in general. I've written more about it in articles on "Bad Boys" and "Transgressive sex" on my web site, www.bodymindsoul.org. We need to make peace with our inner bad boys!

-- John

DSH

Pete:

Two senses of genderification are involved here: (1) the image of masculinity or femininity as a class of characteristics that define it; (2) one's constitutional dispostion and/or mannerisms that stand in contrast (Jerry's use).

(1) The Marlboro Man and the Estee Lauder Woman are illustrations of the class of characteristics we associate with an idealized image of being a man or a woman; we often "wear" these images in the same exaggerated sense that Madison Avenue creates them. They pick out the set of characteristics that define the class. That's all. And we "wear" all sorts of images: The Brooks Brothers' Professional, The Castro Clone, The Slut, The Military Man, The Housewife, The Wrestler, etc. But no one should mistake these various images for a person's true self. They are at best marketing devices, tools, for negotiating life. One is free to accept, reject, or change them on a moment's notice. They're not really who we are, but images we project. And, as long as that is how we understand them, they're harmless to ourselve or to others. And whatever the class of characteristics that "masculinity" and "femininity" pick out, such norms are not normative, only instantiations, by which I mean they are something we elect to exaggerate or defy to no one's detriment, especially to one's self. We do not have to play the game if we do not want to, and if we do it is not because we must, but because it's fun or benefits us. It's a part of the "play" of life.

(2) The other sense -- raised by Jerry -- is that set of behaviors, mannerisms, traits, etc., that, while not necessarily indelible, are fairly enmeshed in how we are perceived, express ourselves, or both. In this sense, it's part of the person's personality and constitution. And more precisely, these characteristics are often considered counter to the paradigmatic class of characteristics, as in the case of male "effeminancy" or female "masculinity." Gays themselves use the words "nelly" and "butch" to describe what is meant. The atypical set of characteristics that define this class are men behaving/perceived as feminine and women behaving/perceived as masculine.

But let's be clear about what is NOT an issue: The person's sex. The male is still a man, the female is still a woman, each has no problem with sexual identity, and indeed is comfortable in his/her own skin. What is at issue is either (1) an exaggerated performance of or an identification with the characteristics or (2) a set of characteristic(s) of one gender applied to the other.

My fundamental point is that either situation is basically meaningless. At best it's an exaggeration of traits or a reversal of them, and in either case it should not (I'm making a normative claim) be an issue at all. In (1), it's basically "play," and in (2) its just an atypical feature. Genderification is nothing more than a mental construct of a class of characteristics that typically define the class. "These" features typically define "masculine," while "those" features typically define "feminine." But the definition is nothing more than a typical type of categorization that humans are prone to do. These cases are prime examples why such classifications are often meaningless, and ultimately irrelevant.

I've already addressed (1) above. Let me focus on (2) here. What is the significance of a person expressing himself in typically feminine traits or vice versa? I suggest nothing. It may not be typical, but so what? Being gay or lesbian is not typical either, but it definitely goes to the heart of who we are, and after we've wrestled with that dynamic, I would think the genderification issue would melt away. One's attraction to the same gender fundamentally reorients one; a whole different set of assumptions, aspirations, plans, questions, etc. are involved.

But displaying a certain characteristic trait atypically is hardly earth shattering. One's appearance, physical traits, and mannerisms are fundamentally about appearances, not about anything substantial. So a woman appears/acts "butch," or a man appears/acts "fem." Even straights do this. The majority class may pick out the definition, but no one is obligated to live differently because of it. At most, a different set of expressions/traits/manners are exhibited from the "defining" class. I got over this matter quite quickly, and I should think after confronting our sexual orientation, this matter is pretty much a non-starter. So some people don't play it like its scripted. It's just a definition of the typical class, so one doesn't fit the definition, or "bends" it. Being left-handed is atypical too, but most no longer lose sleep over it.

Fundamentally, genderification is a linguistic practice. It's something language picks out to define a class of characteristics. Certain characteristics pick out "masculinity" and others pick out "femininity." But it's nothing more than a language game that involves a set of characteristics, traits, and mannerisms of the dominant class. Being an exception to the definition of "masculine" seems hardly bothersome.

Conversely, we're not heterosexual, but homosexual, and that's more than a language game; it's about who we are. We can't be atypical "heterosexuals." That doesn't even make sense. We're homosexuals, because that word picks out the class of people attracted to their own sex. Now that's important. That language game is one we need to play. But the language game about our genderfication is about as interesting as it is useful. Which is not at all.

nosferatudasvampir

I think that trying to dissociate sexual identity from gender identity is a tricky and unfruitful task. They both depend on each other and are parallel cultural constructions. I believe it is also important for people not to be naive about the consequences of the roles we play. It's not just that a mask tells us more than a face, it is the inherent and surrounding dymanics of "playing" that constitute the shape of being. I am not an essentialist, I don't believe something perennial lurks underneath the presentation. That is not to say that you can't find substrata underneath the epiphenomenical reality. I'm just saying that we are traversed by culture and that to believe that underneath our superficial corruption lies a pure underneath-ness - or vice-versa - is a fallacy.

I think that we play the wordgame too much without acknowledging how much we contribute to its corroboration. When we are attracted to a presentation of gender we are, always and ever, radically unquestioning its construction at that precise moment of attraction. It is not so much that we reify parts of our selves, it's the idea that we sustain and demand of others that they perpetrate against themselves and for ourselves a performativity of gender for themselves and ourselves so that the project of emancipation some of us work for actively ends up fueled by acts of political and emotional sabotage we love to complain about. This tension becomes somewhat more obvious - and therefore even more desperately avoided - by gay men, perpetually barred from access to that glittering mirage of masculinity, the same one that condemns them to sub-masculinity, a gender inferiority based on sexual behaviour turned identity.

To think that trans people are alien to this powerflux says even more about our phantasmatic reality. Those who cross the binary gender/binary sex barrier do not free themselves, not even for a few transitional moments, from the power relational framework we inhabit. And neither do we. The recent public upsurge of the asexual and androgyne categories - what we could define as sexual identity and gender identity - changes nothing about identity politics. They are sustained by binary ideas of self. How else can we cross the borderline if there is no line to cross?

It will always be unfruitful to demonize people for their gender preferences, even within a sexual minority group. To truly understand why some act or love a gender would require an extensive emotional biography - and even that knowledge would never escape the politics of the language it tries to deconstruct. Some political things are - and should be?? - left to the personal.

But to ignore our cultural anxiety about gender, the heightened validity of some genders and diminished validity of others, is a disservice, both on a purely personal and non-personal level. (Should I continue to maintain this division???)

This is a territorial assertiveness issue because this is a cultural of ownership and definition by definition. My greatest anxiety rises from the commerce I am daily forced to engage in concerning my access to the public recognition of my desire and the public request to present myself in a gender recognisable manner. In doing so, I may enact a gender for public recognition, but that gender will always be a confession of an inner desire to desire the recognition of a recognisable self.

I sometimes wonder, in my best utopian nightmare daydreaming, what would happen if I radically refused a public gender. Surely I would perpetuate a gender in me, but refusing a presentation of gender: where would that lead? Is that possible at all? To be perceived as genderless still seems to me as a nascent category of gender. Would ignoring gender be like trying to ignore gravity?

I think my prelude is my epilogue here: sexual identity is the other side of the mirror to gender identity. One without the other is a one sided cold war. What should be done, and is seldom done, is to inquire on the economic and political structure that can lego up this machine of desire we inhabit and reproduce.

What would desire be like rid of sexual identity and gender?

Ken Stofft

Much said already that doesn't need to be repeated but rather affirmed. Whether men are gay, straight, bisexual or anything in between, men seem most often to crumble when they need to ask for what they need! Giving voice to their own inner authority, not the ego props we may use in the work place, but the very real vulnerability that cries out to be recognized, seen, affirmed by at least one other in this world.

I work with men, no matter what their sexual orientation, and I find them to be most reticent to give "voice" to their sexual pleasures, to their need to be heard, to their own inner truths. Fear of the unknown, of being rejected, and ending up out of control are so limiting but can be faced.

Natural Manhood

The very concept of gay and homosexuality is based on the traditional third sex space. The third sex space comprises of people who are both males and females at the sametime, one way being, male on the outside and female on the inside.

The third sex space is anti-masculinity. It is rightfully deprived of social manhood. You can't be gay and be a man at the same time. You can be a gay male but not a gay man.

The fact is, and it is evident all across the non-western/ non-heterosexual world, which is that "All men have a sexual need for men" ... normal societies do not isolate such men into a separate category. The separate category is only for the transgendered or the third gender, whether they are attracted to men or women, while the striaght space is for the masculine males, whether they are attracted to men or women (actually most are attracted to both).

But, western gays and women will never understand that because they take the heterosexuality of the straight men at their face value, ignoring the strong pressures and conditioning that make straight men exclusively heterosexual.

http://youth-masculinity.blogspot.com

pennyjane

common misconception...often made in western cultures as well...that sexual orientation and gender have some relationship....they don't.

as one with a lifetime of experience of having a gender other then my own being culturalized, beat, cajoled, coerced and rationalized into me...i can assure you that all the culturalization in the world has not one iota of affect on one's gender. to me, the very suggestion that homosexual males are less "men" then straight ones, or as you catagorically state, "a gay male cannot be a man" is laughable in it's ignorance. don't you think if sexual orientation could be affected by culture homosexuality wouldn't exist at all? do many homosexuals live lives unfulfilled because of homophobia? youbetcha! can culture make one straight? nope, can make people act straight, pretend to be straight and in extreme cases even believe they are straight...but that's all self-delusion...it's not real. the truth is that some of the finest men in the history of our species have been gay. some of the finest men i know today are gay...men, i say...not males.

Whit

Natural Manhood caused firestorm after firestorm on a blogsite called straightacting.com. Nice to know he is still on his soap box.

Natural manhood

Pennyjane,

"Gay males cannot be men" because 'gay' in reality -- an in a non-western, natural setting -- does not mean "man's sexual attraction for men" but "a feminine gendered male", "a third gender" irrespective of whether (s)he likes men or not.

Sexual orientation is an illogical and invalid western concept, so I do not recognize it, neither does the non-westernized world.

Of course, I've said it again and again that it doesn't make men any less of a man to like men sexually, even if it is exclusive. It does however make him a lesser male if he gives himself another identity (which is based historically and culturally on the third gender/ half-male, half-female identity) because of it, whether its called 'homosexual' or 'gay' or whatever.

One fact that the western society has obliterated from its midst is that "All men have a sexual need for men".

If you are a man and you like another man, then do it without taking an identity different from other mainstream men. Who is stopping you. But if you align with the half-males/ half-females, you can't expect to be seen as a man. That is why gays are not considered men even in the popular western conception.

pennyjane

ok, that's a concept i admit i am not at all familiar with. the "gay" men i know, and i know quite a few, consider themselves "men"....not half & half or any such thing. i confess too, i'm speaking only in the here and now and in the american culture.

eunich's, or emasculated men might fit into some such genre, but i don't think that fits into what the gay men i know think of themselves.

from intimate experience i can state catagorically that sexual orientation and gender identity are very different things....and both exist in this and every culture i've ever been exposed to...that's certainly not all cultures in this world but does add up to quite a few. i think that questioning the masculinity of gay men serves no good purpose...just convolutes and adds to general misunderstanding. i think if one sees him or herself as a part of some mystical "third gender" good for them, but i don't think i'd go so far as to define another in such a way...coming from my own pespective. it may not come as much of a surprise to many but i believe that individuals are the only ones capable of defining their own gender....others can only guess. i spent alot of time having others do everything possible to define my gender for me....they were all wrong...when i stopped listening to them and looked into myself for my own answers things cleared up and i became a happy and whole person. there are lots and lots of different ideas and expressions of gender...i believe that the truth lies only within each individual and they alone have standing to define it for themselves.

in other words, your opinion of my gender identity don't amount to a hill of beans...mine is all that counts. you can accept it or not, that's up to you...but i'll just go right ahead defining myself and i hope others will do the same....in spite of you.

pennyjane

just thinking: this may be one of those places where some might find dispelling the invalid supposition a waste of time. the ideas expressed by "natural manhood" seem so absurd even to those of only moderate enlightenment as to not rate much more than a chuckle.

i'm reminded though of another time and another absurd assumption...that is that black people are really just not bright enough to learn to function in a competitive society...they're really just stupid...nothing more than beasts of burden. in this day and age conventional wisdom dispells the notion out of hand...but you know what? it still sells in some circles...still, after all this time, should be dispelled when it comes up.

in another time and another place the idea that jews were sub-humans took hold...many found the idea so absurd as to seem to be a waste of time to invalidate...maybe if there were other simple minded people such as myself running around dispelling it anyway.....well, who knows?

living in this culture as a transsexual, i guess, keeps me acutely aware of how damaging and how regressive invalid assumptions can be...it seems that the vast majority of assumptions about transsexuals are invalid in our culture. so, for me dispelling invalid assumptions has really become second nature...i do it reactively...almost instinctively.

so, i guess when some hear something so silly as one saying that gay men just simply cannot be "real men" they just shake their heads and move on...deal with real issues...feel no need to respond to such foolishness....good for them...we need people like that...keep the focus on the bigger picture...lead in other words.

but that doesn't invalidate folks like me. those who have the time and energy, the will and the desire to stop and engage this skirmish. i'm no leader, no general...i'm just a simple soldier...engaging the enemy where i find him. just doing my compartmentalized little part, leaving the bigger picture to those more qualified and gifted in that genre to engage.

counter productive?...a waste of time and energy? no, not for me...i don't really think so.

much love and hope. pj

Natural Manhood

There is nothing wrong in being a half-male/ half-female. It's only that they are different from both men and women. That is why they are called third gender.

They are absolutely normal, healthy and an important part of nature's scheme of things. Half-male/ half-female have been reverred as gifted people by ancient cultures because they possess both the female as well as the male energies.

There are several ways of being a half-male/ half-female. Eunuch is actually not a natural way of being one.

Some of these ways are:

1. Being a hermaphrodite.
2. Being a male from outside, and a female from inside, or vice versa (as in the case of homosexuals and other transgendered people).
3. Being an intersexed person.

pennyjane

intersexed is not half one half the other, it is having characteristics generally described as applying to both genders...the rates may vary widely. hermaphrodites and transsexuals are intersexed people, we are not "half and half."

homosexuals are not intersexed. transvestites are not intersexed.
homosexuals are not transgendered.
crossdressers are not intersexed.

you cannot make up your own definitions and expect to communicate with others. you must share the accepted vanacular or you just come off as looking silly.

your conception of homosexuality fits well in the dark ages...we have learned much since then. homosexuality is about orientation...some homosexuals are intersexed...i am one of them...but my gender contributes nothing to that identity...gender is about gender identity, homosexuality is about orientation. homosexuality is identity, but it's not about gender. many perfectly comfortable, perfectly well adjusted men, masculine in all it's beauty, identify as homosexual...they are not intersexed or less then full men...they don't have a female bone in their body, feeling in their soul or thought in their head....they are men.

i am woman....in all it's beauty...i am not half and half...i identify as 100% female. as i said, your opinion doesn't matter, mine is all that counts. you are free to suffer under whatever misconception you choose, but the truth about me lies only in me, you have no vantage point to make any reliable assessment.

you aren't the definition police...the world at large, here and everywhere else i know of, does not see homosexuality as "transgender"....just look it up. you cannot make truths up out of whole cloth, they exist with or without your personal acquessance. if you have ideas you wish to convey, you must speak the language of those to whom you speak....you can't teach only english speakers when you are speaking russian...or in this case...gobbledegoop. you just don't make any sense.

you say..."seen as gifted by ancient cultures". a vast overstatement. what you are actully saying here is that every ancient culture views intersexed people as gifted. that's simply not true. though there are a few, a very few, ancient cultures we have identified who leaned in that direction at times....the vast majority of cutures in ancient times and these lean very far in the opposite direction...intersexed has been seen as a flaw.

you can't just make up truth...it is what it is. if you want to change attitudes you have to face them clearly...for what they are, not what you wish they were.

as a person who is both intersexed and homosexual i can say clearly that they aren't related. that's the truth as it is.

Natural Manhood

>>

a) You have to come out of your western definitions in a globalized world and look at things in a broader perspective.

Please read carefully... third gender is a gender category for people who have both male and female characteristics at the sametime. These may be physical as well as internal, emotional characteristics.

Third gender is not just intersexed. It's just one way to be both male and female.

b) homosexuals are not "men who like men". Men who like men are no different from other regular (straight) men. Homosexuals are effeminate males/ females in male bodies who like men.


It's the same the world over, in human history, and even science has proven it now.

>>

Your Western definitions are wrong ... part of an anti-man conspiracy ... and accepted only in the unnatural west.

Why should we discuss things with western definitions? Why not non-western definitions? How about testing which definitions are right and which ones wrong? Maybe we need a definition which is different from both western and non-western definitions.

>>

You have learned nothing, just fucked up the truth about male gender and sexuality.

The truth is "ALL MEN HAVE A SEXUAL NEED FOR MEN". But only males with a feminine gender want to adopt a different identity. It's always been that, whether in the Greek times, or the dark ages and even today in the modern west.

>>

Oh, is that why the feminine heterosexuals align with the homosexuals, rather than the straights as LGBT?

Comeon, admit it. The real issue here is gender, not sexuality. It's only made to appear as if it is about sexuality in order to confuse male gender and sexuality. The ultimate goal being to discourage straight men from being sexual or intimate with each other.

>>

These are just mavericks, a handful, who get brainwashed by all the misinformation.

When the entire social machinery conspires to misinform on an issue, some straight males are bound to think they are part of the 'homosexuals' because they like men, when actually they only belong with the straights.

>>

a) But your own society doesn't accept you as a woman.

b) You do have a male body.

c) If you're indeed a woman, and you like 'men', then how can you be a 'homosexual', because you're opposite of 'men'.

See, your definitions are so contradictory they fly in your face. But our non-western definitions have a solid base. You'd be considered a heterosexual in our society. A heterosexual third gender.

>>

(a) What world are you talking about. I live in India and work on these issues. And I hate how the western homosexuals are trying to use their enormous money to suppress our definitions and impose your own, without even feeling the need to justify your definitions with a discussion.

(b) So-called homosexuals love to live in their own well and ignore everything that goes against their artificial, unsustainable identities. The entire concept of homosexuality is based on the traditional third gender identity. Indeed the concept was mooted by someone called Karl ulrichs who described hirself (him+her) and those (s)he called homosexuals as "females inside male bodies" and even a 'third sex'.

Even to this day the entire western society, the homosexuals themselves, including the homosexual scholars treat 'homosexuality' and 'transgenderism' to be interchangeable concepts. No discussion about homosexuality is complete without reference to transgenderism ... e.g. take the topic "homosexuality and transgenderism in Theraveda Buddhism" ... the two always go hand-in-hand.

Other examples:

1. In Indian mythology, there is a god called Shiva, who is considered as containing both male and female energies, and is half-male/ half-female, i.e., ardhnarishwar. Now this god is married to a woman so will be heterosexual by western standards and has no myths about any kind of sexual relations or desires for men.

Yet, the Indian homosexual community, including the scholars, talk about this god as being a representative of 'homosexuals'.

This means only one thing, homosexuals see 'transgenderism' and 'sexuality for men' as one and the same thing. This is because homosexuals are people in which both the traits combine. (But, in reality they are not combined. so the very concept of treating 'men who like men' as different is flawed.) And in fact, the essence of the identity of homosexuals is transgenderism and not sexuality for men.

2) Similarly, homosexuals consider all the erstwhile third gender categories, even where they are known to be mostly heterosexuals (as in the case of Berdaches of native American tribes, and Fa 'afafine of polynesia), as being their legacy.

3) I remember in my first interaction with homosexuals, although I had nothing against men having sex with men, but I did comment to one of them who was 'straight-acting' that "why do homosexuals need to dress up and behave like women" (and that time I believed literally in the western definitions).

I was accused by the gay as being 'homophobic'. Now, if 'homosexuality' means sexuality between men, then I had only supported it. How can disagreeing with transgenderism amount to 'homophobia' unless, for homosexuals the both are one and the same thing.

I mean, will a straight guy accuse me of being heterophobic if I were to disagree with the transgenderism of queer heterosexuals?

4) The entire western world portrays gays as being third gender, effeminate beings. They always walk, talk, dress and behave differently from men? Now, before you write it off as 'stereotyping' you have to ask yourself if this stereotyping is real or untrue? You have to explain then, how come the majority of people at gay prides are of third gender. Or at gay bars? Or at gay parties? Or at any gay event for that matter. The truth is gay or homosexual IS a third gender space and identity, where men are forced to be, as punishment, if they don't choose to act on their sexuality for men.

5.) In several workshops taken by an NGO in India with men in different cities of North India, they asked men if they would identify two masculine, regular guy who have sex only with each other and not with women, as 'homos'. And the answer was unanimously, 'No!".

When further asked to identify an effeminate 'heterosexual' male character Dilruba from a popular Hindi sit com TV serial, they called him a 'homo' only because of his effeminacy, even when he only chased women and had no inclination for men.

Apparently, in India, as in any other part of the non-westernized world, 'homo' means transgender, not 'sex or sexuality between 'normal' men. I am using 'normal' because, if I use straight, you will get confused.


>>

a) Unfortunately, the western homosexuals don't practice what they preach, when they go to the non-west. They blatantly force their definitions on us. And they reinvent our histories and identities to suit their own fucked concept of 'sexual orientation', when the real issue and difference is 'gender orientation'.

b) Also, don't forget, its an age of globalization. You want your identities to be accepted by the world ... then you will have to justify them, and you have to speak in an international language. Otherwise, you have to define 'homosexuals' as "western males that like men" ... don't talk for the entire men's race ... in fact you don't even speak for the western men, you only represent the western third genders.


>>

I'm only talking about the societies at the beginning of the human civilizations ... that includes native American tribes, where the third gender (and they are not intersexed, as you're saying, most have them have perfect male bodies, but female identity) enjoyed the highest status than men or women, the polynesian tribes who shared a similar belief, and so on. Also, in societies like India, even if that high status do not exist (anymore), the third gender (Hijras) is seen as being spiritually gifted, and their blessings are still sought on auspicious occasions like marriage and childbirth.

>>

I have first hand experience of what I'm saying. I have not made anything up. It's what really exists outside of your western gay ghetto, where you guys are free to invent any lies that fits your ideology.

I have thoroughly researched the issue. And I can provide any number of published scientific, historical and empirical evidences that you may want me to provide.

>>

It's funny that you're a living proof that 'they' are related (not intersexed and homosexulality, but third gender and homosexuality, third gender is not the same as intersexed, there are others too), yet you 'clearly' say they're not related!!!

pennyjane

ok...i confess...i did not read your whole book here...when it first became clear that you could not make your point without resorting to profanity and vulgarness i quit reading. to me, this adolescant behavior denotes too much immaturity to take as serious text.

bye bye now, have a nice life.

Natural Manhood

Here's my corrected post:

Sorry, I have to repost because the earlier post did not accept the quotes. I HAVE ALSO ADDED MORE STUFF TO THIS ONE:

===intersexed is not half one half the other, ... homosexuals are not intersexed. transvestites are not intersexed.
homosexuals are not transgendered.
crossdressers are not intersexed.===

a) You have to come out of your western definitions in a globalized world and look at things in a broader perspective.

Please read carefully... third gender is a gender category for people who have both male and female characteristics at the sametime. These may be physical as well as internal, emotional characteristics.

Third gender is not just intersexed. It's just one way to be both male and female. But there are others.

b) homosexuals are not "men who like men". Men who like men are no different from other regular (straight) men. Homosexuals are effeminate males/ females in male bodies who like men.


It's the same the world over, in human history, and even science has proven it now.

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===you cannot make up your own definitions and expect to communicate with others. you must share the accepted vanacular or you just come off as looking silly.===

Your Western definitions are wrong ... part of an anti-man conspiracy ... and accepted only in the unnatural west.

Why should we discuss things with western definitions? Why not non-western definitions? How about testing which definitions are right and which ones wrong? Maybe we need a definition which is different from both western and non-western definitions.

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===your conception of homosexuality fits well in the dark ages...we have learned much since then.===

You have learned nothing, just fucked up the truth about male gender and sexuality.

The truth is "ALL MEN HAVE A SEXUAL NEED FOR MEN". But only males with a feminine gender want to adopt a different identity. It's always been that, whether in the Greek times, or the dark ages and even today in the modern west.
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***gender is about gender identity, homosexuality is about orientation. homosexuality is identity, but it's not about gender.***

a) Oh, is that why the feminine heterosexuals align with the homosexuals, rather than the straights as LGBT?

Comeon, admit it. The real issue here is gender, not sexuality. It's only made to appear as if it is about sexuality in order to confuse male gender and sexuality. The ultimate goal being to discourage straight men from being sexual or intimate with each other.

b) There is no such thing as 'sexual identity'. Sexuality doesn't lend itself to an identity. And certainly not a one which divides the society so sharply as if its a separate gender on its own. Sexuality is fluid and exists on a spectrum.

However, Gender is felt by people as an identity. Gender is historically accepted as the most basic human identity, along which line societies are sharply divided and segregated.
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===many perfectly comfortable, perfectly well adjusted men, masculine in all it's beauty, identify as homosexual===

a) These are just mavericks, a handful, who get brainwashed by all the misinformation.

When the entire social machinery conspires to misinform on an issue, some straight males are bound to think they are part of the 'homosexuals' because they like men, when actually they only belong with the straights.

b) And these guys always feel uncomfortable in your space and identity. The truth is they are the real men who like men, and they don't belong with you. They belong as one of the straights.

c) And what do you call these masculine guys who adopt your third gender identity? You call them 'straight-acting', which shows that your space considers them as contrary to the essence of 'homosexuality'. They are seen as people who are trying to imitate the 'straights' and not being themselves.

d) Once these men adopt your third (feminine) gender 'homosexual' identity, they virtually loose their manhood in the eyes of the society. They are never seen as real men, or as manly. Their manhood becomes permanently suspect. It's because you're known by the company you keep. And if you adopt a third gender identity, you can't expect to be seen as a man.

Why else do you think masculine men fight, suppress or hide their sexual feelings for men, and have a hard time accepting them? While third gender males happily jump and accept their sexual feelings for men and the homosexual identity.
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===i am woman....in all it's beauty...i am not half and half...i identify as 100% female. as i said, your opinion doesn't matter, mine is all that counts. you are free to suffer under whatever misconception you choose, but the truth about me lies only in me, you have no vantage point to make any reliable assessment.===


a) But your own society doesn't accept you as a woman.

b) You do have a male body.

c) If you're indeed a woman, and you like 'men', then how can you be a 'homosexual', because you're opposite of 'men'.

See, your definitions are so contradictory they fly in your own face. But our non-western definitions have a solid base. You'd be considered a heterosexual in our society. A heterosexual third gender. The third gender identity formally acknowledges both, your male body and your female inner-sex identity. The western homosexual identity treats you as a man, albeit an abnormal man, who thinks he is a woman.

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===you have no vantage point to make any reliable assessment.===

As a matter of fact I have.

You are free to define yourself as a duck or a cat or even god if it pleases you. But if your definition infringes on mine, and restricts my choices and freedom in life (because they are wrongly validated by the society as a conspiracy against me and my group), then its perfectly valid for me to challenge your definition of yourself and ask you to justify yours or accept mine.

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===you aren't the definition police...===

I guess that is only the prerogative of the GLBT.


===the world at large, here and everywhere else i know of, does not see homosexuality as "transgender"...===

(a) What world are you talking about. The problem is you and other gays don't know much beyond your small gay 'well', and if you see any further, you insist on wearing your pink glasses.

(b) I live in India and work on these issues. And I hate how the western homosexuals are trying to use their enormous money to suppress our definitions and impose their own, without even feeling the need to justify their definitions with a discussion.

(c) The entire concept of homosexuality is based on the traditional third gender identity. Indeed the concept was mooted by someone called Karl ulrichs who described hirself (him+her) and those (s)he called homosexuals as "females inside male bodies" and even a 'third sex'.

(d) Even to this day the entire western society, the homosexuals themselves, including the homosexual scholars treat 'homosexuality' and 'transgenderism' to be interchangeable concepts. No discussion about homosexuality is complete without reference to transgenderism ... e.g. take the topic "homosexuality and transgenderism in Theraveda Buddhism" ... the two always go hand-in-hand.

Other examples:

d.1. In Indian mythology, there is a god called Shiva, who is considered as containing both male and female energies, and is half-male/ half-female, i.e., ardhnarishwar. Now this god is married to a female god so will be heterosexual by western standards and has no myths about any kind of sexual relations or desires for men.

Yet, the Indian homosexual community, including the scholars, talk about this god as being a representative of 'homosexuals'.

This means only one thing, homosexuals see 'transgenderism' and 'sexuality for men' as one and the same thing. This is because, although homosexuals call themselves 'men who like men', they are actually people in whom both the traits of 'liking men' and 'transgenderism' combine. (But, for the actual men who like men, their sexuality for men is not accompanied by being third gender at all, so the very concept of being different from 'normal' men doesn't arise.) The essence of the identity of homosexuals, which sees them as being a separate category from other 'normal' men, is 'transgenderism' and not sexuality for men.

The sexuality of the third gender for men flows from their femininity, but for 'normal' men who like men, their sexuality for men is part of their masculinity. These two sexualities cannot be combined under one category.

d.2) Similarly, homosexuals consider all the erstwhile third gender categories in human history, even where they are known to be mostly heterosexuals (as in the case of Berdaches of native American tribes, and Fa 'afafine of polynesia), as being their legacy.

d.3) I remember in my first interaction with homosexuals, although I had nothing against men having sex with men, but I did comment to one of them who was 'straight-acting' that "why do homosexuals need to dress up and behave like women" (at that time I believed literally in the western definitions).

I was accused by the gay as being 'homophobic'. Now, if 'homosexuality' means sexuality between men, then I had not shown any phobia for it at all. How can disagreeing with transgenderism amount to 'homophobia' unless, for homosexuals both are one and the same thing.

I mean, will a straight guy accuse me of being heterophobic if I were to disagree with the transgenderism of queer heterosexuals?

e) The entire western world portrays gays as being third gender, effeminate beings. They always walk, talk, dress and behave differently from men? Now, before you write it off as 'stereotyping' you have to ask yourself if this stereotyping is real or untrue? You have to explain then, how come the majority of people at gay prides are of third gender. Or at gay bars? Or at gay parties? Or at any gay event for that matter. The truth is gay or homosexual IS a third gender space and identity, which serves as a banishment zone for men, if they rebel against the society and choose to acknowledge their sexuality for men, which straight men are expected not to do.

f) What is this statement in the west supposed to mean (whether used in a gay space or outside of it!):

- He looks so gay!

Does it mean, he looks so much as if he "likes men"!

No, it means he looks so effeminate. Even if the person is known only to like women. Clearly, there is something else to the concept of 'gay' than what is claimed to be.

Again, what is the term 'straight-acting' supposed to mean?

Do these guys pretend to like women?

Not at all. These guys are openly 'gay' and court men openly in 'gay' spaces and have no qualms to liking women. So, does 'straight' really mean 'liking women' or does it mean a normal, regular, masculine male, who is not a third gender.

g) If the homo-hetero division is really about sexuality and not about third gender and male-gender, then why are transgendered heterosexuals on the side of the 'homosexuals' (as LGBT), rather than on the side of the heterosexuals.

If Queer means 'gay' then how on earth can there be a term like a 'Queer-heterosexual'?

h.) In several workshops taken by an NGO, with men in different cities of North India, they asked men if they would identify two masculine, regular guys who have sex only with each other and not with women, as 'homos'. And the answer was unanimously, 'No!".

When further asked to identify an effeminate 'heterosexual' male character Dilruba from a popular Hindi sit com TV serial, they called him a 'homo' only because of his effeminacy, even when he only chased women and had no inclination for men.

Apparently, in India, as in any other part of the non-westernized world, 'homo' means transgender, not 'sex or sexuality between 'normal' men. I am using 'normal' because, if I use straight, you will get confused.

i) All the biological studies conducted on homosexuals so far, has revealed that their inner biology is very much like those of females, and are vastly different from men. Whether its the structure of their brain, or their PPR (or something) ratio, or their gait, most of their biological characteristics match those of women.

Now, the western science, like the rest of the society, deliberately confuses these biological markers that represent the feminine gender orientation of the so-called 'homosexuals' as being markers for their 'sexuality for men'.

If they were to study queer heterosexuals, they'll find the same markers. And if they study real men who like men, they will find them similar to straights. Because real men who like men are straights. In fact, ALL STRAIGHT MEN LIKE MEN.

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===if you have ideas you wish to convey, you must speak the language of those to whom you speak===

a) Unfortunately, the western homosexuals don't practice what they preach, when they go to the non-west. They blatantly force their definitions on us. And they reinvent our histories and identities to suit their own fucked up concept of 'sexual orientation', when the real issue and difference is 'gender orientation'.

b) Also, don't forget, its an age of globalization. You want your identities to be accepted by the world ... then you will have to justify them, and you have to speak in an international language. Otherwise, you have to define 'homosexuals' as "western males that like men" ... don't talk for the entire men's race ... in fact you don't even speak for the western men, you only represent the western third genders.

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===you say..."seen as gifted by ancient cultures". a vast overstatement.===

I'm only talking about the societies at the beginning of the human civilizations ... that includes native American tribes, where the third gender (and they are not intersexed, as you're saying, most of them have perfect male bodies, but female identity) enjoyed the highest status than men or women, the polynesian tribes who shared a similar belief, and so on. Also, in societies like India, even if that high status do not exist (anymore), the third gender (Hijras) is seen as being spiritually gifted, and their blessings are still sought on auspicious occasions like marriage and childbirth.

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===you can't just make up truth...it is what it is. if you want to change attitudes you have to face them clearly...for what they are, not what you wish they were.===

I have first hand experience of what I'm saying. I have not made anything up. It's what really exists outside of your western gay ghetto, a ghetto within which, you guys (actually gals) are free to invent any lies that fit your ideology.

I have thoroughly researched the issue. And I can provide any number of published scientific, historical and empirical evidences that you may want me to provide.

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===as a person who is both intersexed and homosexual i can say clearly that they aren't related.===

It's funny that you're a living proof that 'they' are related (not intersexed and homosexulality, but third gender and homosexuality, third gender is not the same as intersexed, there are others too), yet you 'clearly' say they're not related!!!

Natural Manhood

nosferatudasvampir: (What would desire be like rid of sexual identity and gender?)

Natural Manhood: ... fluid, unbounded, natural as it is meant to be.

pennyjane

well....i, for one, hope i never have an opportunity to answer that question. i am thrilled with both my sexual identity and my gender. all manhood is natural...nothing to it...just get born that way.

Natural Manhood

there is only one manhood. That of a male body with a male identity.

The others that the West calls manhood is "queerhood" not manhood. Manhood and Queerhood are two different qualities/ identities/ spaces.

Being born with a penis makes you a 'male' but not necessarily a 'man.' The Western society, because of its Christian 'unnatural' interference is bent upon negating this gender (masculinity/ male idenitty as against femininity/ female identity) aspect of manhood.

Franco Benson

I hate it when masculine gay guys put down feminine gay guys like they're better. Although I don't consider myself either one, I think feminine gay guys are more macho than the masculine type.

Ray

Masculine gay guys are hot. When I fall in love with a guy or get steamy for a guy, it's generally because they're male and inherently have masculine traits. I have never looked towards a woman-like man and thought of eating off his chest; I'm a fag, I like men. Real men, with body hair and packages.

Femmes purely annoy me me, sorry to say. You can love yourself, but I don't want to.

I understood what you were saying - you say "gay" and people think of twinks in fairy costumes fluttering their wrists; not a man in a relationship with another man. "Gay" doesn't have to do with gender identity or masculinity/femininity; and I hate the stereotype. I love dick and hairy legs, doesn't mean I don't love HAVING a dick and hairy legs.

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