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Homosexuality 1966 July 19, 2009

Posted by Dwight Furrow in Culture, Current Events, Dwight Furrow's Posts.
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In honor of Pride weekend, it is good to have a reminder of how far gays and lesbians have come. Here is a Time Magazine article about homosexuality from 1966. (h/t Tyler Cowen)

Beset by inner conflicts, the homosexual is unsure of his position in society, ambivalent about his attitudes and identity—but he gains a certain amount of security through the fact that society is equally ambivalent about him. A vast majority of people retain a deep loathing toward him, but there is a growing mixture of tolerance, empathy or apathy. Society is torn between condemnation and compassion, fear and curiosity, between attempts to turn the problem into a joke and the knowledge that it is anything but funny, between the deviate’s plea to be treated just like everybody else and the knowledge that he simply is not like everybody else.

Deviates?

For many a woman with a busy or absent husband, the presentable homosexual is in demand as an escort —witty, pretty, catty, and no problem to keep at arm’s length. Rich dowagers often have a permanent traveling court of charming international types who exert influence over what pictures and houses their patronesses buy, what decorators they use, and where they spend which season.

Witty, pretty, and catty? Swishy life counselors for the I-have-too-much-money-and-I-don’t-know-how-to-spend-it set. There is an important social function on which our whole economy depends.

There is no denying the considerable talent of a great many homosexuals, and ideally, talent alone is what should count. But the great artists so often cited as evidence of the homosexual’s creativity—the Leonardos and Michelangelos —are probably the exceptions of genius. For the most part, thinks Los Angeles Psychiatrist Edward Stainbrook, homosexuals are failed artists, and their special creative gift a myth. No less an authority than Somerset Maugham felt that the homosexual, “however subtly he sees life, cannot see it whole,” and lacks “the deep seriousness over certain things that normal men take seriously … He has small power of invention, but a wonderful gift for delightful embroidery. He has vitality, brilliance, but seldom strength.”

A warning to all you art students! Fail at art and you will become teh gay!

Homosexual ethics and esthetics are staging a vengeful, derisive counterattack on what deviates call the “straight” world. This is evident in “pop,” which insists on reducing art to the trivial, and in the “camp” movement, which pretends that the ugly and banal are fun. It is evident among writers, who used to disguise homosexual stories in heterosexual dress but now delight in explicit descriptions of male intercourse and orgiastic nightmares. It is evident in the theater, with many a play dedicated to the degradation of women and the derision of normal sex.

Yes. Gay men are responsible for the degradation of women, who have been treated so well by straight men. The woman’s liberation movement was a reaction to gay men. Who knew?

Another homosexual trait noted by Bergler and others is chronic dissatisfaction, a constant tendency to prowl or “cruise” in search of new partners. This is one reason why the “gay” bars flourishing all over the U.S. attract even the more respectable deviates. Sociologists regard the gay bar as the center of a kind of minor subculture with its own social scale and class warfare.

Of course the “straight” bars are full of monogamous, family types who would never think of prowling for new partners.

Fear of the opposite sex is also believed to be the cause of Lesbianism, which is far less visible but, according to many experts, no less widespread than male homosexuality—and far more readily tolerated. Both forms are essentially a case of arrested development, a failure of learning, a refusal to accept the full responsibilities of life. This is nowhere more apparent than in the pathetic pseudo marriages in which many homosexuals act out conventional roles—wearing wedding rings, calling themselves “he” and “she.”

A failure of learning? I guess a few more romance novels in English lit class or another lecture about responsibility from a glowering, third grade teacher with two chins and a ruler in hand would have just made the whole problem go away.

There is more but you get the drift.

I guess it is comforting to know that the journalists of the past could be just as bigoted and captivated by stereotypes as today’s chroniclers of conventional “wisdom”. It is important to remember that much of the drivel pouring out of the mainstream news media today will sound just as preposterous in 40 years as this article does.

book-section-book-cover2 Dwight Furrow is author of

Reviving the Left: The Need to Restore Liberal Values in America

or Visit the Website: www.revivingliberalism.com

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