Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Old and Older Stereotypes

There are stereotypes that have persisted in American society for a long time now concerning gays. Among evangelical Christians gays are considered everything anti-male, anti-American, anti-moral. They are the antithesis of all that is good in this world. Your stereotypical gay man is a slut, sissy, shallow, without morals, molesting children, doing every drug he can get his hands on, drinking away his liver, hateful of religion, and a sick and perverse creeper.

In the book Homosexuality and Civilization the author describes the stereotypical (or even mythological) gay man or men that engaged in same-sex relations (whether with young men or adults) in ancient Greece. Those kind of men were athletic, courageous, devoted to the preservation and sanctity of the state. Statues were built to such men, their acts were memorialized until they slipped into myths. Some of the great Greek philosophers argued that the ideal love is that between a man and a man.

Stereotypes reveal how societies think and view the world. They are a reflection of a desire to turn complex individuals into 2-dimensional, flat beings. My point in comparing ancient Greece's view of men that seek other men for romance and that of America's views is to show the drastically different views of things.

I find it fascinating that one society saw a man that took another man for his lover was someone to be saluted and admired. That man was expected to be a pillar of city and to defend all that was good. I also find it fascinating that over 2,000 years later my society thinks the opposite of such people. 

Society is strange, wouldn't you agree? Thankfully, people are realizing that gays (men and women) are not made different by their sexual preference from their heterosexual peers. Whether you choose for your partner a man or a woman should make no difference to anyone. It does not prevent the opportunity to have children (or refrain from having children), expressing the fullness of love for your partner, hinder your spiritual journey, etc.

One last thought until next week. Whether you believe in some kind of divinity or spiritual realm or not, your conduct towards others is always important.

And now videos that have nothing to do with each other, but are in some ways thought-provoking.

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