Thursday, March 28, 2013

Is it Fair to All Concerned?

Been reading quite a bit lately on the history of sexuality and how various societies have treated gender and orientation differences.  Turns out that prior to the last couple hundred years or so, there was far less angst about who slept together.  Native American societies had the “berdache” who were generally men who had a spiritual awakening to their gender bender-ness and often lived as women, including marrying masculine men.  Some societies have believed that ingesting male semen was right up there with mother’s milk as a vital ingredient for healthy development.  And, the all-male societies throughout history have accepted the reality of male sex... pirates, cowboys, war parties in all their forms all have stories.  Not too many women around.  Fascinating.   Virtually every early society has evidence of gender and sexual diversity beyond the polarized "straight or gay" labels we find ourselves with today. And, in many cases those men who identified as homosexual or similarly oriented were given high status as mediators, educators, shamans, and damn good homemakers.  It’s also interesting to look at societal laws around homosexuality… sodomy laws put in place in times where population increase was desired and eliminated when population decrease was desired.

I'm also intrigued by the general absence of sexual instruction in the Bible.  Makes me think that maybe it just isn't the big deal.  The sexual references in the Bible seem to have more to do with rampant sexual debauchery (right up there with drunkenness) and rejecting pedophilia than the acceptance or rejection of homosexual orientation.  It was only a thousand years or so after the Bible was written that some Europeans decided to use their religion as a way of rejecting those who were different.
So, here we are today.  I’ve got to hand it to the smart folks who shifted the argument from the moral question of “legalizing gay marriage” to simply “promoting marriage equality.”  Brilliant move.   One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.  Tough to argue against that.
More?  "Sex at Dawn" by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha, and "The Spirit and the Flesh" by Walter Williams.