Plumb Lines

February 22, 2009

Re: Desire, Stigma, Deviance, Ladies and Gentlemen: I present the 1950s

Filed under: Uncategorized — Keith Staples @ 9:10 am

Perhaps this is owing to the company I keep, but I don’t see a lot of conservatives stigmatizing groups in some way readily distinguishable from rejecting bad behavior or bad ideas. In the case of homosexuals, most conservatives of my acquaintance reject a characteristic package of behaviors (a bad and seductive “lifestyle” or “culture”) of which sodomy is merely the centerpiece.

We could resume talking about sodomy rather than gays, but I doubt this will dissolve the social reality of homosexual group identity, or unravel the rich polyphony of their vicious group culture. So long as group characteristics remain observable realities, people will find words to express their observations.

But yes, we should emphasize that it’s the behavior that offends. Gay “identity” may mean much more than choosing to commit sodomy, but, like sodomy, it is in fact chosen.

Oh, and I should say that while there’s a great deal of plausibility to David’s account of the invention of the homosexual, I’d like to see how he accounts for the 18th Century “molly houses,” which didn’t just facilitate sodomy, but also a fairly thick subculture of effeminacy.

-Keith Staples



  1. […] Inspired by this Andrew Sullivan post, the group blog Plumb Lines launched into an interesting discussion on gay culture and the fluidity of sexual identity: While the idea of the homosexual dates at least […]

    Pingback by e”I was chased all over the place and rather enjoyed it” « — February 24, 2009 @ 11:35 pm

  2. […] fired back: Perhaps this is owing to the company I keep, but I don’t see a lot of conservatives stigmatizing […]

    Pingback by Imagined by Stigma, Actualized by Desire « Plumb Lines — April 8, 2009 @ 10:33 am

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