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Kahuna

LGBT: Critical Mass?

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Many people are celebrating the Stonewall Riots right now as the beginning of the gay rights movement, but the fact of the matter is that there have been modern concerted attempts going back to the Victorian age.

The book "Toward Stonewall" has large free segments on Google books that cover the Victorian movements, which mostly centered on boy love ("boy" in the Victorian sense means "teenager" in the modern), including Germany's first Scouting movement, the Wandervoegel ("migrating birds"). These Victorian movements focused on the beauty of the young male, and the power of homosexual sex in personal development. The feminist Germaine Greer has also written about this in her book The Beautiful Boy.

Gay Swedish publisher/writer Karl Andersson writes about the whitewashing tactic of the contemporary gay rights movement in his book "Gay Man's Worst Friend." Written from his personal perspective of going from gay publishing hero to zero for daring to break the image we're all being sold, Andersson explains how the contemporary gay rights movement has basically whittled down gay culture for a straight, voting audience to mean nothing more than "just like you, except with another man." Except, he tells us, that's not right at all.

Both are very interesting reads that can be bought cheap.

 

The critical mass we're at isn't really surprising. It's the product of 40 years of carefully managed whitewashing, image control, lobbying, and opposition demonizing (that last point not without plenty of help from oppositional loudmouths) toward a political ends of gay rights. Young people's concept of homosexuality has been shaped by a political machine, and that aptly. The issue is no longer engaging to me, it is (as your lunch crowd agreed) pretty much over.

What will be interesting now is seeing how long it takes for age of consent laws to be weakened and repealed, because at the same time we (as a society) have been learning not to judge people who pick up boys for sex in locker rooms and write Top 40 hits about it, we've ironically become much more conservative about teen sex (or maybe I should have said "wisely" rather than "ironically"--it depends on how much credit you give the average guy.)

Scouter99' date=' I don't know if I agree with your arguements, ( I haven't had to time to read those works), but I want to take a moment to give credit where it is due. Your rhetoric is well researched, it is very well written, and it's refreshing to see that on the internet. [/quote']

I'm glad you appreciate it. Most of those books are quick reads, and Toward Stonewall has a chapter specifically on youth movements. Unfortunately, as we see with packsaddle, when an issue becomes political scholarship ceases to matter and like Packsaddle, people will continue to attribute the thesis of a gay man to me.

 

Sentinel947' date=' perhaps you can clarify what Scouter99 means by the part of his statement, "....because at the same time we (as a society) have been learning not to judge people who pick up boys for sex in locker rooms and write Top 40 hits about it, we've ironically become much more conservative about teen sex "[/quote']

Perhaps my allusion was too vague. Surely you're familiar with The Village People's "YMCA."

 

First' date=' do you think that Scouter99 really speaks for all of society? And then do you think all of society really has been learning not to judge pedophiles? I confess my doubts regarding both of these things. [/quote']

I've made it very clear that I am not talking about pedophilia. That is a specific disorder with a specific definition which excludes all relationships with anyone over the age of 13.

 

And that part about all of society becoming "much more conservative about teen sex"....I am astonished. Perhaps I don't understand what 'conservative' means in that context but I would have concluded exactly the opposite IF I were bold enough to think I could speak for all of society. What do you think?

As Rick pointed out, American society has become more conservative (you can say "reserved" if you're allergic to the c-word) about teens' relationships with older people. Ages of consent have risen in US states from 7-12 in 1880 to 15-18 by 2007 in the case of unmarried people, and we know that even into the 1940s men often married girls as young as 13, but today of course marriageable age is much higher with exception in cases of parental or judicial consent.

So, that's adult-teen relationships in a nutshell. More conservative nationwide without regard to politically-liberal or politically-conservative states.

 

These same laws also govern teen-teen sex with a patchwork of laws across the country. In New York, two 16-yr-olds who have sex with each other are each guilty of a crime and are each victims of each other. In Virginia, there are complex age difference laws, so a 14-yr-old can consent to a 16-yr-old but not a 17, etc. In every state the specifics vary, but the tilt is the same.

 

I am not "speaking for" society, I am stating the fact of the matter of laws that govern adolescent relationships. This issue is made more complex,however, by the attitudes about those relationships. We can also say that our attitudes about teen-teen sex have in some ways loosened. But they have done so only narrowly, so that a person might not bat an eye about two 16-yr-olds having sex, but that same person would generally be very concerned to here about a 14-yr-old and a 16-yr-old doing the same thing.

So, in some cases more "permissive" but in the aggregate more conservative. And all based on widely-varying (by state) arbitrary and artificial age striations. You need not be "bold" to say anything I've just said, you only need to have a cursory, elementary understanding of the issue which comes with reading on it.

 

The use of the term 'whitewash' is Scouter99's interpretation and opinion. While I understand this his view of things is different I'm less certain that he's actually provided evidence to support it. Perhaps he can help both of us out with some clarification in that case.

More intellectual dishonesty. I have outlined the argument, I've given you the resources/sources. You'll either look into it like a person who has honest questions, or you'll keep trying to refocus the locus of these ideas to me personally. But we both know that you will not dare read those books which might challenge your worldview.

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I agree with packsaddle. I know that teenagers having babies out of wedlock in the last 50 years has changed from shuffling them off to a place far from home and putting the baby up for adoption so the girl can return and pretend nothing happened over the past six months of their absence, to making accommodations so the girls can stay in high school up until her due date. I have also heard that some schools who have a large population of unwed mothers have even setup a daycare for the children on the school grounds. Condoms and morning After pills can be obtained in the school also.. Now I know some republican governments are going back to only teaching abstinence in the high school health ed classes.. Which mean there high schools will need those daycares, especially as they make abortions harder to get.. So if he wanted to argue republican politics have gotten more conservative on the topic of sex, I would buy that.

 

Also I would say the reaction this past year by society on the whole Sandusky and Penn State scandal, I would also say society was not accepting pedophiles as fine.. Now colleges corruptive practices of anything goes if it revolves around those in the football program, had a light shown on it in a negative way.. But, they were getting pretty complacent about this as well as heterosexual males who raped women.. So they were pretty even handed over issues of sex on all fronts, as well as theft, vandalism etc..

Packsaddles' use of the word pedophile is (purposefully) erroneous and does not reflect reality or my argument which is exactly the opposite: That relationships with sexually mature/maturing people is not pedophilia. I've replied to him above. In either event, Sandusky's case has no bearing on the tpoic, because it is non-consensual, and I have already made the distinction that we're talking about consensual relationships.

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Actually I brought up Sandusky, not Packsaddle.. So you are talking about Romeo & Juliet laws, which some states have and some do not.. Mostly because pedophiles laws are getting stronger and being enforced and even out of prison you are labeled for life with where you can live, and having to register publically to which then you get neighbors complaining about you moving into the neighborhood.. This is tough punishment for a boy that is only 6 months to a year older then his girlfriend and does not think about the consequence of that year/6 months when he becomes of age and she is still underage.. Before the victims never came forward, the parents did not want to prosecute, it was the father doing the abuse and was considered a "family matter" no one got involved in, or no one believed the child.. The Romeo & Juliet laws are trying to help young kids from being ruined for life for things that in the past no one would have prosecuted him for.

 

Our own high school had one of these incidents, my son knew the two kids involved. The girls dad wanted to ruin the life of the boy who was 6 months older then the girl. and had been dating her for like 3 or 4 years. We did not have a Romeo & Juliet ruling, but the New Hampshire courts definitely did not want to throw the book at the boy.. I know there was a lot of counseling and mediating and finally something was settled out of court.. After that I know the law makers started looking into some governance around this, I don't know if anything was passed on it..

 

Still I will maintain these exception clauses are springing up due to the fact that we as a society are coming up with very strict and harsh punishments for true pedophiles, where as in the past we ignored the crime, and while some deserve the book thrown at them, some do not.. It is not all that different from punishments doled out to a person who stole a loaf of bread and someone who broke into an electronics store and ran off with $10,000 worth of merchandise, which focus on the amount stolen to decide whether it is petty theft or Grand Theft.

 

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Actually I brought up Sandusky, not Packsaddle.. So you are talking about Romeo & Juliet laws, which some states have and some do not.. Mostly because pedophiles laws are getting stronger and being enforced and even out of prison you are labeled for life with where you can live, and having to register publically to which then you get neighbors complaining about you moving into the neighborhood.. This is tough punishment for a boy that is only 6 months to a year older then his girlfriend and does not think about the consequence of that year/6 months when he becomes of age and she is still underage.. Before the victims never came forward, the parents did not want to prosecute, it was the father doing the abuse and was considered a "family matter" no one got involved in, or no one believed the child.. The Romeo & Juliet laws are trying to help young kids from being ruined for life for things that in the past no one would have prosecuted him for.

 

Our own high school had one of these incidents, my son knew the two kids involved. The girls dad wanted to ruin the life of the boy who was 6 months older then the girl. and had been dating her for like 3 or 4 years. We did not have a Romeo & Juliet ruling, but the New Hampshire courts definitely did not want to throw the book at the boy.. I know there was a lot of counseling and mediating and finally something was settled out of court.. After that I know the law makers started looking into some governance around this, I don't know if anything was passed on it..

 

Still I will maintain these exception clauses are springing up due to the fact that we as a society are coming up with very strict and harsh punishments for true pedophiles, where as in the past we ignored the crime, and while some deserve the book thrown at them, some do not.. It is not all that different from punishments doled out to a person who stole a loaf of bread and someone who broke into an electronics store and ran off with $10,000 worth of merchandise, which focus on the amount stolen to decide whether it is petty theft or Grand Theft.

To an extent, you are correct that these laws are coming from a desire to prosecute pedophiles. They are also mostly social attempts to control adolescent sexuality, which is something that large portions of the population is still uncomfortable with. There is a succinct article on the history of age of consent here: http://chnm.gmu.edu/cyh/teaching-modules/230 Basically, the role of those laws began as a way to protect very young children (10 and under) then transformed to a means of (trying) to control teen sexuality as well as protect young people from older people.

When a legislature enacts a law that negatively sanctions sex acts between teens, they are explicitly not protecting them from pedophiles, because by definition it is impossible that either party to the act is a pedophile. Those laws are social control laws, and, as your school found out the hard way (along with schoolkids all over the country every week) they don't work. They criminalize normal behavior between adolescents. Texas is one state which has been debating carving out exceptions to their sex and pornography laws for minors. Maybe National will move its HQ back to NY, or to California where the age of consent is even higher and more "conservative" :p

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The carving out of the law into lessor crimes with the Romeo & Juliet laws to me still says society is accepting of teenage sex, (more like prefer you didn't, but I have to live in reality and accept that most likely you will.) While Teens having sex (consensual or not) with people who have a large age gap is still being considered not as teenage sex, but more of older adults finding easy prey out of gullible teenage kids.. The adults should be old enough to know better, and the teens can still do stupid things.. Therefore the adults are expected to protect the children from themselves if need be.. (Say a young girl who throws herself at her teacher..) To me this isn't teen sex at all, as one of the sexual partners is not a teen..

 

I just looked up NH law, seems we have a rule that it is a misdemeanor if the age gap is no more the 4 years.. If you think about it, that is a very large range in years.. Since age of consent is 16 that means a 16yo would have to go after a 13yo to be labeled a pedophile..And you would need to be 19years old trying to date a 15yo to be a pedophile We use to have it as a 3 year gap in age, and moved it to a 4 year gap in age.. At those ages the gaps in years is very noticeable to young adults that they should feel that there is something wrong with a relationship with this age gap..

 

If a state hasn't carved out a Romeo/Juliet law perhaps you could say it is to be used to scare teens away from teenage sex.. But, since more states are carving out these rules while making the penalties for true pedophiles stricter.. I guess I just don't see it as society trying to use the rules to scare teenagers away from sex amongst themselves.

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Malcolm Gladwell's book, The Tipping Point (http://www.gladwell.com/tippingpoint/) provides a really interesting analysis of how trends build slowly and then suddenly reach the critical mass needed to 'tip' and become mainstream. He uses the term 'social epidemic'. Much of what Gladwell describes in his book applies to the progress made in gay rights. I do not agree with Scouter99 that our society has been manipulated in some sinister way. We are seeing the recognition that essential human rights should not be denied to any group. When on man's rights are taken away, we all lose something.

 

Much attention has been given to Nelson Mandela recently. In South Africa, where racial discrimination was law for decades, gay people can get married. How did South Africa get so far ahead of the United States?

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Many people are celebrating the Stonewall Riots right now as the beginning of the gay rights movement, but the fact of the matter is that there have been modern concerted attempts going back to the Victorian age.

The book "Toward Stonewall" has large free segments on Google books that cover the Victorian movements, which mostly centered on boy love ("boy" in the Victorian sense means "teenager" in the modern), including Germany's first Scouting movement, the Wandervoegel ("migrating birds"). These Victorian movements focused on the beauty of the young male, and the power of homosexual sex in personal development. The feminist Germaine Greer has also written about this in her book The Beautiful Boy.

Gay Swedish publisher/writer Karl Andersson writes about the whitewashing tactic of the contemporary gay rights movement in his book "Gay Man's Worst Friend." Written from his personal perspective of going from gay publishing hero to zero for daring to break the image we're all being sold, Andersson explains how the contemporary gay rights movement has basically whittled down gay culture for a straight, voting audience to mean nothing more than "just like you, except with another man." Except, he tells us, that's not right at all.

Both are very interesting reads that can be bought cheap.

 

The critical mass we're at isn't really surprising. It's the product of 40 years of carefully managed whitewashing, image control, lobbying, and opposition demonizing (that last point not without plenty of help from oppositional loudmouths) toward a political ends of gay rights. Young people's concept of homosexuality has been shaped by a political machine, and that aptly. The issue is no longer engaging to me, it is (as your lunch crowd agreed) pretty much over.

What will be interesting now is seeing how long it takes for age of consent laws to be weakened and repealed, because at the same time we (as a society) have been learning not to judge people who pick up boys for sex in locker rooms and write Top 40 hits about it, we've ironically become much more conservative about teen sex (or maybe I should have said "wisely" rather than "ironically"--it depends on how much credit you give the average guy.)

Scouter99,

 

Actually, I did read Karl's book years ago. I saw a copy in a bookstore and had heard that it was 'controversial'. My apologies. It was a great book. Truly visionary, now that I reflect on it. And about those other things. You're right about those too. The political machine worked perfectly and now in the 40 years since Victorian times, we've definitely "become much more conservative about teen sex." And much more tolerant of the whatever-you-want-to-call-it. No question about it, the evidence is all around us. My apologies.

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Many people are celebrating the Stonewall Riots right now as the beginning of the gay rights movement, but the fact of the matter is that there have been modern concerted attempts going back to the Victorian age.

The book "Toward Stonewall" has large free segments on Google books that cover the Victorian movements, which mostly centered on boy love ("boy" in the Victorian sense means "teenager" in the modern), including Germany's first Scouting movement, the Wandervoegel ("migrating birds"). These Victorian movements focused on the beauty of the young male, and the power of homosexual sex in personal development. The feminist Germaine Greer has also written about this in her book The Beautiful Boy.

Gay Swedish publisher/writer Karl Andersson writes about the whitewashing tactic of the contemporary gay rights movement in his book "Gay Man's Worst Friend." Written from his personal perspective of going from gay publishing hero to zero for daring to break the image we're all being sold, Andersson explains how the contemporary gay rights movement has basically whittled down gay culture for a straight, voting audience to mean nothing more than "just like you, except with another man." Except, he tells us, that's not right at all.

Both are very interesting reads that can be bought cheap.

 

The critical mass we're at isn't really surprising. It's the product of 40 years of carefully managed whitewashing, image control, lobbying, and opposition demonizing (that last point not without plenty of help from oppositional loudmouths) toward a political ends of gay rights. Young people's concept of homosexuality has been shaped by a political machine, and that aptly. The issue is no longer engaging to me, it is (as your lunch crowd agreed) pretty much over.

What will be interesting now is seeing how long it takes for age of consent laws to be weakened and repealed, because at the same time we (as a society) have been learning not to judge people who pick up boys for sex in locker rooms and write Top 40 hits about it, we've ironically become much more conservative about teen sex (or maybe I should have said "wisely" rather than "ironically"--it depends on how much credit you give the average guy.)

Well, then, sorry to peg you wrong :) At times, Andersson veers too far into the personal struggle (or the marketing of the book veers too far to away from its personal nature), so I found it lacking in detail, but his argument is lucid and his point is well demonstrated. "Toward Stonewall" fills in the gaps by giving in-depth coverage to pre-Stonewall gay movements. Reading Wilde or Mann's work, or viewing the paintings of Henry Tuke gives first-hand knowledge of what Andersson, Edsall, and Greer mean when they're talking about the emphasis on the youthful male form. (If you're short on time, Mann's "Death in Venice" was made into a movie in the 60s or 70s, and a photo of its star actually graced the first edition cover of Greer's book decades later, until he found out and objected since being in the movie had been a nightmare).

 

So, all I'm saying is that post-Stonewall, the intellectuals and activists made a sharp left turn in their message. Rather than stressing the virtues/masculinity of gay sex acts, which hadn't worked yet and indeed never would, they radically de-emphasized sex and took a "just like you guys" approach, especially by excluding gays who enjoy young men (but are not pedophiles). This was made very much easier because at the same time Americans were making teen girls off-limits, and our cultural understanding of "pedophile" became more strict than its actual definition. That's all, and if I got too ornery in trying to explain myself I do apologize, it's a charged subject.

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>>How did South Africa get so far ahead of the United States?<<

 

I wouldn't describe it as "far ahead," nor do most people I know who have spent time in SA. However, they got there by rewriting their constitution. It's a plethora of specific rights guaranteed to the people, including right to health care, a roof over your head and on and on. Of course, SA can't pay for those things, so they have taxed the rich right out of the country.

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What we will see next is a push for the legalization of polygamy under similar equal protection arguments because it is, after all, between consenting adults. Then as Scouter 99 points out, we will see consent and "statutory" rape weakened. After all, an 18-year old woman pursuing a 14-year old girl just does not have the same ring to it as an 18 year old man and a 14 year old girl: http://www.worldmag.com/2013/05/father_of_18_year_old_lesbian_calls_daughter_s_statutory_rape_charge_unfair. From that point, who knows? Everything moves faster when you're going downhill after all.

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Sorry Brew, I'm not going to go out on the extreme with you. Social progress is like this with a few steps forward and a step back, moving in lurches and not with predictable steadiness. I understand that some people oppose equal rights for certain groups of people. Some of these opponents even believe that their religious beliefs have legal relevance. Of all of our contemporary social topics, Jesus is quoted most often speaking about money. If he was as worried about homosexuality as today's conservatives would like to believe, I think that he would have had more to say about it.

 

Despite all of the hype by Christianists about protecting the institute of marriage, Christians get divorced at the same rate as non-Christians. Some of those folks should look at gay people getting married as true conservatives and not religious zealots. I think that parents raising children in families with two parents in a stable and committed relationship is a good thing. I don't care if it sometimes happens that some of those parents are gay.

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What we will see next is a push for the legalization of polygamy under similar equal protection arguments because it is, after all, between consenting adults. Then as Scouter 99 points out, we will see consent and "statutory" rape weakened. After all, an 18-year old woman pursuing a 14-year old girl just does not have the same ring to it as an 18 year old man and a 14 year old girl: http://www.worldmag.com/2013/05/father_of_18_year_old_lesbian_calls_daughter_s_statutory_rape_charge_unfair. From that point, who knows? Everything moves faster when you're going downhill after all.
For me, it's 6 of one, half-dozen of the other. Ages of consent in European countries range between 13 in Spain, 14 in Germany and Italy, 15 and 16 in Norway, Belgium, Denmark, etc. The early contemporary gay rights platform included removal or lowering of ages of consent, and in Britain gay rights activists continue to push for a lowering from 16 to 14. As we've covered, it wasn't a smart political move for the US gay rights movement to push that issue, so they didn't.

Once they get state-level recognition/rights, then they can contemplate a return to their more radical druthers--maybe they will, maybe they won't. The difficulty then will be the change in cultural beliefs about heterosexual young-old relationships. In the past, heterosexuals were routinely engaging in youth-adult relationships while condemning gay men for doing the same because of the perceptions--gay sex feminizes the boy. But, now heterosexual adult-youth relationships are also taboo, so there isn't a double-standard to be rectified by normalizing boy relationships.

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What we will see next is a push for the legalization of polygamy under similar equal protection arguments because it is, after all, between consenting adults. Then as Scouter 99 points out, we will see consent and "statutory" rape weakened. After all, an 18-year old woman pursuing a 14-year old girl just does not have the same ring to it as an 18 year old man and a 14 year old girl: http://www.worldmag.com/2013/05/father_of_18_year_old_lesbian_calls_daughter_s_statutory_rape_charge_unfair. From that point, who knows? Everything moves faster when you're going downhill after all.
The polygamy cases are already starting their journey through the courts.

http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Utah-polygamist-family-celebrating-DOMA-ruling-4623579.php

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The laws and their application evidently are changing rather quickly. I'm not so sure about people's attitudes. I think part of what we're seeing is a generational effect of young people who see things differently from their elders. But the elders are dying out and the young people are just beginning to flex their 'muscles'.

 

This is one of the wonderful aspects of being a teacher: I get to have a far greater influence on society than merely my meager contribution to the gene pool.

Some people's attitudes never change. In a poll taken in 2012, 29% of likely Republican voters in Mississippi feel that interracial marriage should be illegal. http://huff.to/wrfr8J [Huffington Post]

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The laws and their application evidently are changing rather quickly. I'm not so sure about people's attitudes. I think part of what we're seeing is a generational effect of young people who see things differently from their elders. But the elders are dying out and the young people are just beginning to flex their 'muscles'.

 

This is one of the wonderful aspects of being a teacher: I get to have a far greater influence on society than merely my meager contribution to the gene pool.

DigitalScout, if you will take Scouter99's excellently-researched post and apply it here, you will see that almost exactly the same arguments and reasons explain the change regarding as well as concern/opposition about interracial marriage (actually nearly all aspect of racial integration). I remember it well. The same conspiracies, Biblical references, etc. It makes perfect sense.

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