Saturday, May 17, 2014

A Crude Conspiracy

One quasi-conspiracy I sometimes entertain is the idea that the modern obsession with LGB(T) 'rights' and 'respect' has far less to do with LGB people, and far more to do with heterosexual people.

Basically, I suspect LGB people are at least sometimes used as a proxy for justifying some heterosexual's own sexual hangups and proclivities. When a heterosexual says 'whatever happens between two consenting adults is okay!', they're not taking a stand for LGB sexual activity alone, but for pretty well everything under the consenting, adult sun. I do not think this is always accidental.

(T is edited out here because, for as often as I talk about LGBT footsoldiers, really - the T's are off in their own territory as near as I can tell. Tumblr may scream and shout, but too many people, including LGB, tell me in confidence that while they may all onboard with gay marriage or this and that, those T's are, in their opinion, pretty damn crazy more often than not.)

16 comments:

RD Miksa said...

Dear Crude,

Just thinking out loud here, but I would even say that, at times, certain heterosexual people use the LGBT agenda in order to make their own sexual activities seem not so bad in comparison.

For example, the heterosexual male who engages in sodomy may try to argue: "Yeah, sodomy is wrong, but at least my kind of sodomy is between a man and a woman rather than between two men, so it is not as bad. And since we approve of it in the case of two men, how much more so should we approve of it in the case of a man and a woman."

Thus, the heterosexual male uses society's approval of homosexual activities as a way of engaging in the same types of activities, but making himself seem comparably "better" when he does so.

Anyway, just a thought.

Take care,

RD Miksa
www.idontgiveadamnapologetics.blogspot.com

Crude said...

RD,

I imagine that's part of it at times. On the other hand, I run into Christians who insist that the only problem with sodomy is homosexual sodomy because bible quote, so hey.

At the same time, I'm hesitant here, because I'm going off a suspicion which is hard to verify - it's far more 'hunch' than 'observation'. I also realize it's not so simple - there's a certain narrative about the eternally oppressed, crying LGB people who everyone hates and wants to kill for the crime of daring to love someone of the same sex. Simple affection for victims is at play too. Multiple causes, etc.

But, but... yeah. And I think it's not just sodomy, which to most people's minds I think only means 'anal' - popular now compared to what it was, but only the tip of the iceberg.

Mr. Green said...

Crude: I suspect LGB people are at least sometimes used as a proxy for justifying some heterosexual's own sexual hangups and proclivities.

Wait, did you say "conspiracy" or "common sense"? I've always taken it for granted that it is at root a defence of sexual immorality in general — but of course "being moved by compassion for an oppressed minority" sounds better than "I insist on being free to pursue the slightest self-gratificatory whim, no matter how perverse".

Not that I think these people get together for secret meetings — it's an accidental "conspiracy"; and most people probably aren't even thinking of it that explicitly. But Western society has been largely brainwashed into accepting that we have no obligation to exercise any self-control... if sexuality has a specific purpose (i.e. standard natural law), then we aren't free to indulge our base urges; and if it doesn't, then there really isn't any justification for objecting to anyone else's proclivities.

too many people, including LGB, tell me in confidence that while they may all onboard with gay marriage or this and that, those T's are, in their opinion, pretty damn crazy more often than not.

Well, people in general don't understand natural law any more, but they still tend to react that way. Guess it's just a — well, natural — instinct.

Goldenrush Apple said...

>> tumblr

Oh dear.

Like YouTube, tumblr (to me) is a great site, but there are pockets of insanity (not the fun kind) that make me want to reach inside the screen and tell the angsty YA to shut it. If I did their mantra would be "But We Have Found Our Voice Which Must Be Heard!" while spamming my inbox.

Crude said...

Green,

Well, conspiracy implies conscious cooperation. This is something else. I wonder if Thomists believe that cultures are themselves irreducible in some ways, that cultures or organizations act in this way and that, and it isn't all reducible to the acts of its members? Probably not, but still, it's a thought.

Some of it is ignorance. A lot of it is, in fact. There's also cultural inertia and more. I also think that quite a lot of them, in their private moments, think they themselves are just putting on an act - but that it's important to keep up those appearances.

Either way, I think the heterosexual 'benefit' of LGB activism is often overlooked, so I decided to highlight it a little. Looks like I'm not the only one who noticed it.

Crude said...

Green,

Well, conspiracy implies conscious cooperation. This is something else. I wonder if Thomists believe that cultures are themselves irreducible in some ways, that cultures or organizations act in this way and that, and it isn't all reducible to the acts of its members? Probably not, but still, it's a thought.

Some of it is ignorance. A lot of it is, in fact. There's also cultural inertia and more. I also think that quite a lot of them, in their private moments, think they themselves are just putting on an act - but that it's important to keep up those appearances.

Either way, I think the heterosexual 'benefit' of LGB activism is often overlooked, so I decided to highlight it a little. Looks like I'm not the only one who noticed it.

Crude said...

Golden,

I exaggerate of course. Tumblr is filled with all kinds of neat stuff - great comics, good humor, etc. But it has this contingent, apparently, that is not only crazy, but coordinated in a way. Like a hornet's nest, if hornets couldn't shut up about "Social Justice" and the like.

malcolmthecynic said...

I note dryly that as a millennial in the age range of the average tumblr writer I instead chose to write anonymously on a wordpress blog. I have yet to find a reason to regret this decision.

The Fez said...

I think you are largely right in your observation, but you'll note that this same reasoning has also been used against Christians and generally anyone who is remotely conservative on the matters of sex. That is,"you're opposed to sexual activity A/B/C because you posses some sexual hangup based in shame/timidity/ect." It is argued that LGBT people become a proxy for realizing our immense and uncompromising prudity.

Of course, this is typically the de-facto assumption of anyone arguing for LGBT marriage (or whatever) in the first place, so you might say they invite some retaliatory psychoanalysis themselves.

Crude said...

Fez,

I think psychoanalysis in the course of a discussion or argument with an opponent is pretty low in general, and something I actively try to avoid unless someone goes for it first. That said, psychological motivations are pretty important to at least be aware of in the broad sense, so here we are.

But considering 'homophobic' is in common currency for any critic of gay marriage or sexual critiques, it looks like all bets are off to a degree anyway.

Scintimandrion said...

Crude,

I'm not sure if it's quite just about making their own activities seem "not so bad", but, human nature being what it is, I wouldn't be surprised!

I could imagine two other things going on, though.

One is the "sexual fetish" angle. By that I mean that someone wants to engage in something - anal intercourse, for instance, or a threesome - that is pretty close to gay or lesbian sex anyway, and may even involve that as a component. In order to legitimise this fetish, the person has to legitimise same-sex sex acts at the same time.

The other is a problematic understanding of what sex is for. A lot of people, I'm sure, have sex primarily because it brings them physical pleasure. It's easy, then, to make the leap that "the purpose of sex is physical pleasure", and from there to "any sex act that brings physical pleasure is a good thing" (with certain limits around consent, avoiding obvious physical injury, and so on). Once you get to that point, it's hard to say "same-sex sex acts are bad" without either sounding arbitrary or having to re-examine one's own understanding of sex, and maybe even one's motives in having it.

Thoughts?

The Fez said...

I suppose that my question, then, is where does this observation get us in terms of the rhetoric we're already using? Meaning, how do we use this information during the course of a discussion?

In my own experience, the debate over the morality of homosexual acts almost always dovetails into a discussion about the morality of sex at large. I generally welcome this transition, as it becomes easy to establish certain baselines of obvious sexual immorality (even with the most libertine of individuals) and then work backwards from there.

Many that I've argued against have not been forthcoming about their own sexual history (not that I've asked them, or even desire to hear about it), but you do run across people who argue that engaging in large amounts of non-committal or casual sex isn't particularly malign. These individuals, as far as I can tell, don't see LGBT groups as proxies, but rather as allies for the cause of sexual liberation.

Point being, even if a person is utilizing the LGBT community as a proxy for normalizing their own sexual proclivities, I don't know what sort of advantage this gives us in the overall discussion, other than it's to our benefit to shift the discussion toward general sexual morality as quickly as possible, as it forces the issue as to the real nature of sex.

Crude said...

Scintimandrion,

One is the "sexual fetish" angle. By that I mean that someone wants to engage in something - anal intercourse, for instance, or a threesome - that is pretty close to gay or lesbian sex anyway, and may even involve that as a component. In order to legitimise this fetish, the person has to legitimise same-sex sex acts at the same time.

This I've thought about, but I'm skeptical of it outside a group like 'people who are heterosexual but Christian or nominally Christian and who have hangups about what they do in the bedroom'. I'm sure they exist, but I don't think they'd be significant.

Instead I suspect - working off hunches, experience, and bits of remembered statistical data - that if the motivation is anywhere, it's in the area of premarital sex and marriage. 'I'm not hurting anyone / it was love!' Etc, etc.

Once you get to that point, it's hard to say "same-sex sex acts are bad" without either sounding arbitrary or having to re-examine one's own understanding of sex, and maybe even one's motives in having it.

This one I think comes closer to describing a portion of what's going on, yeah. Not even acts between couples - I suspect porn is at work here too. 'If this is alright for me, and if I'm going to mentally categorize this as alright, therefore...' That's working a bit in reverse, but these things can be a two-way street.

Crude said...

Fez,

I suppose that my question, then, is where does this observation get us in terms of the rhetoric we're already using? Meaning, how do we use this information during the course of a discussion?

If you mean 'What can I say about this in a conversation that will help?', that's a whole other question that I've only begun to consider. In general, though, I think it's never a bad thing to realize the possibilities that can be at work when considering these questions - if nothing else, if you're perceptive, it can save you some time in an argument. I recently had someone tell me, basically, 'I'm a Christian but I REALLY believe gay marriage is right, I can't even think of a hypothetical bit of evidence or argument that could convince me I'm wrong'. That was great, because the cue was - well, okay, we can stop this then. And that's valuable itself.

On the other hand, it also helps that you can actually know in this case what the primary topic of conversation should be. If someone's main interest is in, say... justify their own wants and desires, well, at least I know they don't give a shit about 'the purpose of marriage'. I know where I at least, odds are, need to focus.

In my own experience, the debate over the morality of homosexual acts almost always dovetails into a discussion about the morality of sex at large.

You've got different experiences from mine, clearly - when the conversation goes that way, most people just bolt. That may be because I will start speaking franker and franker as the topic shifts that way, and a lot of people get more and more abstract. Not sure how you handle it.

These individuals, as far as I can tell, don't see LGBT groups as proxies, but rather as allies for the cause of sexual liberation.

See, I think it's the same thing. Few people are arguing in favor of sexual liberation directly now - but plenty argue for the morality of LGB this or that. Seems like the very definition of a proxy.

Ha, 'sexual liberation'. I wouldn't call it that. And I say that as a guy who is far from sinless or lacking desire. I'm tired of the Nice Words for that kind of thing, even if the Traditional Words (lascivious!) don't work either.

For the record? I recommend getting graphic in those conversations if you're able. I have run into plenty of people who will gleefully defend abstracts, few who will defend concretes, in this subject. 'I think it's totally healthy for boyfriend to use non-procreative forms of sex to express his love and emotional union with his partner!' gets lots of defenders. 'I think there's nothing wrong with someone's boyfriend roughly fucking his girlfriend's ass while acting out a rape fantasy!' less so.

GoldRush Apple said...

>>I think psychoanalysis in the course of a discussion or argument with an opponent is pretty low in general,

Why?

Crude said...

Mostly because, once you do it, you are jettisoning the ability to have a productive discussion. As Vox Day may say, the moment you decide to sidestep your opponent's argument and start talking about their mental weaknesses, you're either A) in a conversation with a very close friend who will welcome your insight, and who I hope you are prepared to appropriately approach such a delicate topic with, or B) you're signalling that (for whatever reason) all possibility of real dialogue (if that's what you ever wanted) has been abandoned, and now it's time to pull out the rhetorical guns.

I actually prefer having a productive discussion, if I can get one. A truly productive one, complete with mutual respect and courtesy, acknowledgment of good points and problems, etc. The difference between my approach and many others is that I don't believe in pursuing this /at all costs/ (which separates me from guys like, say, Tom Gilson, who - for all the respect I have of them - I think are polite to a fault), and once the line is crossed, I'm more than happy to play (which separates me from others, because usually someone willing to dive into insinuations, name-calling and rhetoric is going to play that card immediately, instead of conditionally.)

That said: note that I'm talking specifically about /in conversation/. I think it's tremendously important to be aware of, and to think about, people's psychological motivations and hangups in general. I think the entirety of the LGBT activist movement doesn't have very much at all in the way of 'intellectual arguments' that animate them, but holy hell, do they have some fascinating psychological issues that put gas in their engines. Though part of the problem there is SoCons seem to be split between 'people focusing on the argument and reasoning side of the LGBT discussion, as if anyone really gives a shit about that for all they say' on the one hand, and on the other, 'people who fire wildly and are completely off-base with their hip-shot analysis and just write off every LGBT person as a full-blown pedophile with a sob story'.

It's unfortunate.