MAPs are queer but are we in here?

What are we to make of the Queer Britain museum, which opened a couple of weeks ago in London? How inclusive, especially, is its presentation of queerness? Is there any space for MAPs?

Housed in a quietly elegant conversion at Granary Square, King’s Cross, the building suggests up-market office space rather than anything daring. Going by what director Joseph Galliano has reportedly said, and by the website, the inside is no more outré than the exterior. The focus is to be “on celebrating queer accomplishments” rather than “the tragic parts”, such as AIDS or, one would think, the unresolved tragedies of MAP oppression and the denial of children’s sexuality.

Philosopher Kathleen Stock’s critique for UnHerd, is scathing. A famously controversial figure herself, who resigned from the University of Sussex in the face of an aggressive campaign against her alleged “transphobia”, she takes a pop at the whole idea of queerness, seeing it as an unholy alliance between sexual libertarians and “rainbow bureaucrats”. The libertarians – mainly men, she claims – are into absolutely anything deemed consensual, including “chemsex, BDSM, furries, sexual choking”, while the mainly female bureaucrats focus on endless moralistic rulemaking and the relentless policing of prohibitions against saying things that might upset minorities.

But not all minorities, of course. Just the fashionable ones admitted under the “consensual” rainbow umbrella.  As for those beyond the pale, she writes:

Should a sexual libertarian ever go rogue and overdo the transgression (say, by claiming that “children have sexual desires at an early age”), … bureaucrats will instantly appear in reassuring mummy-mode to steady the horses, talking soothingly about best international practice and strong safeguarding policies…

The rogue referred to in Stock’s link is Peter Tatchell, who sadly recanted many years ago his 1980s embrace of children’s sexuality and paedophilia. Briefly, we need to revisit that story. You may recall a gem from last year, in which Tatchell told an Irish newspaper, “I never met Tom O’Carroll and would never want to. I condemn all that he stands for. His views are disgusting.” But as I wrote at the time, if my views are disgusting, so were his back in the day: we were saying much the same things. You may remember there was a Netflix documentary about Tatchell. He was being lauded as a gay saint. But his record was challenged in some quarters at least, including a piece by Julie Bindel in UnHerd. I made my own contribution to that debate in the comments there, and later in a blog with genuinely exclusive revelations on the early radicalism of his writing, as proven by published work unearthed from a rarely visited shelf of the British Library.

Until now, I assumed my big story had fallen on deaf ears. The MSM, it seemed, wanted only the saintly Netflix narrative. But no! Have a look at Stock’s link. It is a weighty (three named co-writers) report in the totally mainstream Daily Telegraph. And guess what? It is clearly cribbed from my blog, especially the hot news that Tatchell’s early support for consensual child-adult sexual relations had been truly nailed via a book review he had written for an obscure communist journal (gathering dust in said library) that had been brought to my notice by an old PIE friend of mine who knew about it. Look at the date: the Telegraph piece came out shortly after Heretic TOC’s. Look at the writers: Bindel is one of them. She would have seen my comments in UnHerd in response to her piece, including my announcement that I had a blog exclusive in the pipeline.

Queer Britain is not just about metropolitan glamour. This photo is for the theme Chosen Family, in the museum’s permanent collection. It is by Poland-born artist Kuba Ryniewicz, and depicts himself with his husband Jon, who are based in the north-east. The affection and down-to-earth domesticity make a strong and heart-warming point. But do not be deceived. Ryniewicz has his own corporate credentials. His clients include Gucci, Levi’s, Google, Stella McCartney, Sky Arts, Financial Times, and many other big names.

Obviously, I could not let this Heretic TOC triumph pass unnoticed, although there is a horrible irony in joining forces with the likes of Stock, Bindel, and the deeply conservative Daily Telegraph in order to denounce Tatchell. I would prefer to praise his early radicalism than trash his multiple St Peter-style denials at cockcrow. Where Stock and Co. denounce him for going rogue, our problem is precisely that queerness is being policed to muzzle radical voices and to erase children’s sexuality: note that the energy powering transgender rights (which are important but we need to be clear what we mean) has been all about children’s gender identity, while fiercely denying any trans connection to gay sexuality, and still less to early sexual expression with either peers or adults.

We have already seen that Queer Britain is keen on a celebratory approach. Another big hint as to its “don’t frighten the horses” blandness is to be found in where the money and partnership support are coming from. It all looks very Establishment. The website is littered with the logos of prestigious corporate sponsors. As Stock herself notes: “The venture is financially supported by M&C Saatchi, Allen and Overy, Levis, and Coutts, and lists partnership with the V&A, the National Trust, the Tate, the British Library, and English Heritage…” Nor is Stock the only one to be struck by the commercial aspect. Ella Braidwood notes for Huffington Post:

Once inside the fully-accessible threshold, the gift shop to the left is most immediately obvious. Laden with colourful memorabilia, it’s got the usual staples: high-end chocolate, greetings cards and candles. But it’s clear that this is an LGBTQ+ space: a table of books curated by the Gay’s the Word bookshop sits in the centre, and there are plenty of rainbows – on badges, bottles and fridge magnets – plus Queer Britain’s own branded merchandise.

Nothing wrong with any of that, although I would add that I have personal experience of the baleful contribution Gay’s the Word has made to the erasure of pederasty from gay history. The manager there refused to stock my book Michael Jackson’s Dangerous Liaisons, based on my support for the late entertainer’s boy-love. When I pointed out to him there are strong indications that gay icon Oscar Wilde had sexual encounters with several boys in their earlier teens, he was curtly dismissive: “That was then, this is now”, he snapped.

Will history be just as unwelcome and irrelevant to the museum itself, as well as its bookshop? Officially, Queer Britain is “the first UK museum dedicated to exploring LGBTQ+ histories, people and ideas”, thus expressly acknowledging queer pasts as well as current culture.  One of the rooms, Braidwood tells us, exhibits art works which “show the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community, including people of colour and those of marginalised gender identities.” That’s fine, except that none of the pictures shown on the website, of these artworks or anything else, or any of the website text, appears to have anything to say about either children’s sexuality or MAPs. There is no sign of historic pederasty getting a look in at all, neither via Wilde and his circle nor even through the British tradition of classical studies, with its emphasis on the “pedagogic pederasty” of ancient Greece. As for children, Freud famously described their early sexuality as “polymorphous perverse”. You could hardly get more queer than that! So where are they?

I would like to be proven wrong, but I live a long way out of London and will not be able to check out Queer Britain for myself anytime soon. Maybe other heretics here could do that? Entry is free. What is sure, though, is that until future acquisitions and exhibitions become fully inclusive, Queer Britain will necessarily remain a great deal less queer than the folk it is supposed to be celebrating.

 

HOW TO READ DONALD DUCK

The sponsorship setup at Queer Britain finds an interesting echo on the other side of the Atlantic, where, as cultural theorist Geoff Shullenberger observes, “corporate America has now largely aligned itself with the values of the cultural Left”.

Family values, Disney-style: cover of the 2018 English-language edition.

This was strikingly demonstrated recently by the Disney Corporation when it officially deplored a new Florida law prohibiting classroom teaching about such matters as homosexuality and transgender identity to “kindergarten through third-grade students” i.e. children mainly aged nine and under. This so-called “Don’t say gay” law “should never have passed and should never have been signed into law,” said Disney in a policy statement. “Our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts.” Bearing in mind that Disney World is in Florida, this comes across as deadly serious: more a declaration of war than a mere token gesture. Hitting back from the cultural Right, Bailey Duran in The Federalist goes so far as to accuse Disney of “grooming” children.

As with Queer Britain, the historical dimension looms large here. Back in the 1970s, as Shullenberger points out, Disney was facing similar accusations – but from the Left! This attack came in the form of a book by playwright Ariel Dorfman and sociologist Armand Mattelart, called How to Read Donald Duck. Published in Chile in 1971, it critiques Disney comics from a Marxist point of view as capitalist propaganda for American corporate and cultural imperialism. It became a bestseller throughout Latin America and is still considered a cultural studies classic. It was reissued in 2018 to a general audience in the US, with a new introduction by Dorfman.

As the title suggests, the focus is on Donald Duck and his extended family. Shullenberger takes up the story:

… this is an odd family: Donald Duck, along with Mickey Mouse and much of the rest of the Disney pantheon, exists in a “universe of uncles and grand-uncles, nephews and cousins”. Indeed, “there is one basic product that is never stocked in the Disney store: parents”. The “innocence” of this world, it turns out, required even the exclusion of normative heterosexual coupling.

The real significance of the disappearance of parental relationships, we hear, is to universalise the capitalist “law of the jungle”:

In other words, the elimination of the nuclear family unit reduces all Disney characters to “island-individuals”, strivers for whom “all that is left . . . is to compete”. The patriarch of Duckburg, after all, is none other than Uncle Scrooge, who takes his name from the Victorian icon of cruel rapacity and avarice; the adventures of his nephews tend to concern the acquisition of even more treasures for his horde.

The point of all this, according to Dorfman and Mattelart, is to “lend innocence to the adult world”. In the dominion of Uncle Scrooge, “gold, criticized ever since the beginning of a monetary economy as a contamination of human relations and the corruption of human nature, mingles with the innocence of the child.” The riches he and his nephews acquire always lack a material origin: gold simply appears, with no source or origin, just as the children are parentless. This “simultaneous lack of biological reproduction and direct economic production is not coincidental”: Disney’s “innocence” requires eradication of “all reference to the real world”.

One illustration of the propaganda functions taken on by Disney in the Global South reported by the authors is that the US Agency for International Development circulated films featuring Disney characters promoting contraception. They reinforce this association with the title of their chapter on Disney family dynamics: “Uncle, buy me a contraceptive…”

The US state, according to Dorfman and Mattelart, wanted to suppress fertility in the developing world, where the value placed on family was seen as undermining what was most important for the expansion of capitalism, namely the promotion of efficiency, productivity, individualism, and competition. Shullenberger reads this as “less like an attempt to protect childhood innocence, than part and parcel of the larger modern decoupling of sex from reproduction”.

All very queer, one might say! It’s a fascinating analysis, whatever one makes of it. But Disney has moved on, and so has Dorfman. In an introduction to a 2018 re-issue of the book, published in an English translation, his hostility to the corporation has reportedly softened, in line with the corporation’s own fashionable move to the cultural Left.

Finally, a short note about Shullenberger, who first came to my attention late last year when he did a great piece on Allyn Walker and the precarious status of academic freedom in the US. On his personal website, he tells us:

I’m a Clinical Associate Professor in the Expository Writing Program at NYU. I’ve written extensively about the intersection of cultural theory and the internet, the decline of academia, conspiracy theory, the recent evolution of biopolitical technocracy, and more. My blog is outsidertheory.com.

What caught my eye was the Outsider Theory stuff, which looks interesting. I won’t go into it now, as that would be a whole new blog, but here is a very deep and fascinating article to start with: The scapegoating machine. If you get around to reading this you will see that a key point of reference is the works of French philosophical anthropologist René Girard. I mention this simply because Girard has been a significant influence in the thinking of our very own Warbling J Turpitude. Mr Turp was a student of Eric Gans, who was himself one of Girard’s students. I say no more, although Mr Turp himself would be very welcome to do so!

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Prue

Just in case Tom and others here haven’t heard the news, Nelson Maatman has been arrested… Article from the UK Daily Mail here https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10893199/Fugitive-Dutch-child-predator-arrested-Mexico-City.html

I don’t want to sound conspiratorial but i find it hard to believe Nelson would be travelling around with “cp” in his possession. A gun, sure, cocaine, maaaybe, but cp on a “device” on his person [sounds like a phone]?!

Perhaps, I fear, the news media (and in this case Mexican authorities) are using some very broad definitions of what can constitute cp…

Strat

By the way, Tom, am I right re. the heteroped > “girllover” thing being around the start of the 90s?

https://www.newgon.net/wiki/Girllove

Strat

Thanks, Tom. I was unaware that an online magazine existed in the early 90s. Can I quote this reply in the article?

matt

No museum for us- a different type of building they want for us. im not really a supporter of LGBTIQWEDSZ….. whatever it is now. they seem to be an extraordinarily bigoted movement. (apologies to any homosexual maps). i would like to make a museum of famous maps and minor attracted adults. and campaigners. maybe one day.. i can include charlie chaplin, kate winslet, rolling stones..
and in the same museum antis will be shown to be like the monsters they are.. i will certainly include the likes of scwarzeneger and the psycho youtubers .. disney? well, im surprised hollywood released licorice pizza as there is a realtionship between a 15 year old and a 25 year old… maybe its not as evil as cuties?

Densetsu

I’m of the firm belief that continuing to strive to be part of the long since politically coopted and corporatized alphabet soup will do nothing but hurt MAP and AAM goals. Modern LGBT and queerness, just like feminism, is a trap, not a sanctuary.

Pretty Dude

In July 2021, in an article by Hayley Dixon, Melanie Newman and Julie Bindel for the Daily Telegraph, Peter Tatchell: Children have sexual desires at an early age…. it emerged that a positive review attributed to Peter Tatchell of the same pro-paedophila book – “Betrayal of Youth: Radical Perspectives on Childhood Sexuality, Intergenerational Sex and the Social Oppression of Children and Young People” – appeared in the June 1987 edition of 7 Days, the newsletter of the Communist Party of Great Britain.

He also comments on an interview he conducted in the late 1990s on the subject of paedophilia and child prostitution, in which he interviewed a 14-year-old boy (under the pseudonym “Lee”) who had had sex with older men, in some cases for money. In this interview, Tatchell makes various counterarguments against Lee’s point of view, such as: “How can a young child understand sex and give meaningful consent?”, “Perhaps your friends were particularly mature for their age. Most young people are not so sophisticated about sex”, “Many people worry that the power imbalance in a relationship between a youth and an adult means the younger person can be easily manipulated and exploited”, “Many people fear that making sex easier for under-age teenagers will expose them to dangers like HIV. Isn’t that a legitimate worry?”.[105][106]

In 1997 Tatchell wrote a letter to The Guardian, defending an academic book about “boy-love“, calling the work “courageous”, before writing:

The positive nature of some child–adult sexual relationships is not confined to non-Western cultures. Several of my friends—gay and straight, male and female—had sex with adults from the ages of nine to 13. None feel they were abused. All say it was their conscious choice and gave them great joy. While it may be impossible to condone paedophilia, it is time society acknowledged the truth that not all sex involving children is unwanted, abusive and harmful.[107]

On Tatchell’s personal website he clarifies,

My Guardian letter cited examples of youths in Papuan tribes and some of my friends who, when they were under 16, had sex with adults (over 18s), but who do not feel they were harmed. I was not endorsing their viewpoint but merely stating that they had a different perspective from the mainstream opinion about inter-generational sex. They have every right for their perspective to be heard.”[105]

Following the publication of a photo of Tatchell alongside the Irish Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and YouthRoderic O’Gorman, on Twitter, at a Pride event, O’Gorman issued a statement outlining that the apparent views in Tatchell’s letter—written 23 years ago, when O’Gorman was just 15—were “abhorrent” to him, and his appreciation that Tatchell clarified his own position.[108][109]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Tatchell#Age_of_consent_laws_and_Paedophile_Information_Exchange

Zen Thinker

Public figures obviously run scared of any association with a MAP position, and to be fair, if I was in the public eye (which I feel incredibly blessed not to be) I too would deny more than St Peter in my haste to escape harsh public vitriol.

Even on Twitter, as a small account, I would not even dare suggest a fair treatment of MAPs, to avoid the flood of abuse coming my way. I’ve seen normal blokes very reasonably say: “we need due process of law, we can’t just execute or mutilate MAPs” and they get a flood of violent hatred in response. It’s literally no holds barred crazy out there.

In this deranged environment, would we expect any bravery to be shown by the likes of Peter Tatchell, Harriet Harman, etc? Of course not. And on this count I can hardly blame them. It’s an impossible environment, and change needs to come from the top. That means government, the tech titans managing their platforms, think tanks, people with a high degree of cultural influence…

The masses have been whipped into a witch-hunting frenzy and it is suicide to take arms against a sea of troubles.

sugarboy

Is it prescribed by the Quran that people must support that cesspool called “social media?” What is then the point of having an account on Twitter if one is to be there with the muzzle on?

Zen Thinker

Because I quite like social media, and I have many intellectual interests which I can talk about – as long as I recognise the boundaries of what constitutes “acceptable speech”. As it is, my account is a harmless academic one.

If I want to discuss MAP issues, that is what Tom’s blog is for 🙂

Strat

Or you could get in touch with PCMA [the group based off FreeSpeechTube and NewgonWiki], and we will give you a free secondary account for MAP advocacy on Twitter, like we do with just about anybody else who has passed basic vetting.

https://www.freespeechtube.org/v/180q

Last edited 2 months ago by Strat
Zen Thinker

Thanks for the offer, and I respect what you do. However writing positively about MAPs on Twitter is a somewhat terrifying prospect, and I feel as though it would be a kamikaze mission.

Sayaka Fermi

Fortunately real names aren’t required on Twitter. You can maintain one account where you avoid certain topics, and another(s) where you don’t. Anonymous online activists have tricks for opening new accounts that can’t be tied to an earlier one that’s been deleted.

Zen Thinker

Reading Foucault (Discipline and Punish) and the ways in which laws were and are enforced. Breaking the law was seen as a direct attack on the sovereign and often cruel tortures were devised as the State enacting her revenge. Anyone who has seen prosecution papers will know it is still “Regina vs…”.

As we became more enlightened we moved away from torture, opting for painless execution, and eventually even this was dropped. Now we call it the Carceral State because punishment is deprivation of liberty. I see the next stage as being rehabilitation, such as in community orders.

Yet can it be right that the tool of shame has become ever more prominent as a societal control? That sexual decoys are widely deployed to entrap naïve low IQ or mentally ill men and stamp them with the eternal shame of an internet media article and three years’ incarceration?

What are the root causes of attraction to children? Is it not an innate biological tendency and therefore deserves some support and recognition? Queerness has universal recognition, especially in Pride month. Minor attraction has universal bigoted hatred, and it is punished socially, culturally, legally and even economically through loss of employment.

Foucault tells us discipline and punishment is constantly evolving. Surely a worthy evolution is to see the inherent injustice which extends far away from the worthy goal of protecting the feeble, towards a vicious attitude against “unpopular” minorities. It is clear moral progress to help unpopular minorities, but our amygdalas, our crowds and our governing powers are trapped in the Stone Age. Change is painfully slow it seems.

Prue

Nice quote from Cantor explaining that the whole “pedophiles are left-handed” isn’t a particularly meaningful / significant finding:

“The left-handedness is not directly causal,” Dr. Cantor explained.

“Because left-handedness is entirely a phenomenon of patterns causing one hemisphere of the brain to be dominant. The fact it shows up here is simply an echo and indication that some things are going differently [in pedophiles] before birth.”

So it would be completely the wrong conclusion to draw any sinister link between pedophilia and left-handedness?

“Yes, that would be utter nonsense—the number of left-handers who will be [pedophiles] would be a tiny fraction of a percent,” said Dr. Cantor.

And so it’s certainly not useful in any criminal profiling sense?

“No. It’s several orders of magnitude away from telling us anything meaningful about a particular person, so there’s nothing in any of this that could allow us to do any meaningful profiling.”

From https://www.vice.com/en/article/nnqpg7/stereotypical-paedophile-look-189

Maybe it’s that MAPs are “queer” (non-normative), but not that queer, since, according to Cantor, “the number of left-handers who will be [pedophiles] would be a tiny fraction of a percent” :p

Leonerd

Exactly. Even one of the monozygotic twins can be born left-handed (or gay). This is formed from 6 to 20 weeks of pregnancy. I assume that the sexuality is also formed during this period.

Fata Morgana

Also, aren’t the studies based on convicted child molesters? That’s like drawing conclusions about heterosexual men purely on the basis of studying the brains of men who have raped women. Except not quite, because Lanning already showed that most child molesters aren’t paedophiles but adult-attracted situational offenders, so it’s more akin to drawing conclusions about homosexual men on the basis of studying the brains of straight men who have raped other men in prison.

Prue

https://www.historyandpolicy.org/policy-papers/papers/the-legacy-of-1885-girls-and-the-age-of-sexual-consent

“Sexual consent is now understood by many – although not all – as a marker of when girls (and boys) are ‘allowed’ or likely to have sexual intercourse as much as a signifier of their capacity to consent. For the Victorians, sexual consent was certainly not a recommended or permitted age of sexual activity. The 1885 law on sexual consent meant, to cite the 1908 Royal Commissioners on the Care and Control of the Feeble-Minded, that ‘[t]he power of consenting to unlawful defilement … has been taken from girls under sixteen’. This wording is significant: the right to consent was ‘taken away’ from girls under the age of consent, rather than given to those above it. Few commentators approved of sexual intercourse outside of marriage, which was expected to occur in the mid-20s rather than at the legal age of marriage (14 for boys and 12 for girls) or age of sexual consent.”

Interesting historical overview of the AOC raise for young females in victorian britain and the sharp contrast in thinking behind it compared to current dominant discourse. I’m sure we’re all aware of this to some extent, but I thought it’s a nice overview ppl might want to keep a record of…

thehangedman

Disney is not on the side of queer people. If you notice in recent disney films if they have an lgbt character it is only mentioned in small sequences. For example in the latest Dr. Strange movie the lesbian parents of America Chavez are only mentioned for a second and then is never explored again. This is so they could easily edit out the scene and sell their movie to other places in the world where LGBT content is not allowed (Like Saudi Arabia.) If Disney made a film where the LGBT theme is deeply embedded into the movie’s plot then they wouldn’t be able to edit it out and it would prevent them from selling the film on a global market. So Disney’s “shift to the left” is really just a sham meant to satisfy western liberals while not compromising their global sales.

If you want actual LGBT stories it always comes from smaller distributors like A24 who bought the production for the movie “Everything everywhere at once” which is a really good movie and the LGBT theme is pivotal to the plot unlike Disney Movies. A mother learns through exploring the multi-verse to love and accept her lesbian daughter, and the fact that she is lesbian is important. It’s not in the movie just to score cheap points for the left.

thehangedman

I’d be willing to change my mind if and when Disney releases a movie that is actually about queer people, but I doubt they will. The upcoming Buzz Lightyear film is suppose to have a lesbian kiss that was originally edited out but now is allegedly going to be included. Of course you can bet it will still be edited out for Saudi Arabia’s release. And again it’s just one scene, it’s not actually important to the film at all.

This is why I can’t believe any queer person actually takes Disney seriously when they make public statements about the “don’t say gay” bill. If Disney were sincere about defending queer people then they would stop distributing their films in places that outlaw it. Instead they bend the knee for more profit.

Cyril

Such Disney characters as Violet Sabrewing and Lena Sabrewing behave and considered as lesbians

Zen Thinker

Notable that the mass killing of primary school children (RIP) attracts only soft sentiments about tragedy, and the deranged shooter will no doubt be hero worshipped by some fringe community. Meanwhile a MAP who made the mistake of viewing indecent images invites a hellish vitriol and incandescent rage.

Perfect encapsulation of this twisted society.

Yure

Indeed, “there is one basic product that is never stocked in the Disney store: parents”.

I was about to say “what about Goofy and Max?”, then I remembered I read somewhere that Max is adopted. Which explains why he lives alone with Goofy, with no mother.

Franklin James

Thank you! Much to look into here; I’d never heard of Gans…

Concerning the Queer Britain Museum, it is exactly what we would have expected, and it makes me barf.

I do like Schullenberger’s earlier take on Disney. In fact, I think it applies just as well now as it ever has: The corporation’s current woke embrace of precisely those “genders” and “sexualities” that are non-familial, atomized, commercialized, and generally infertile, is perfectly in line with technocratic capitalism and the “eradication of ‘all reference to the real world’.”

I can’t say I think much more of Schullenberger’s analysis of Thiel than I do of Thiel. Girard’s influence on Thiel seems to have amounted to little more than a preoccupation with the concept of the “scapegoat,” which is not a concept Girard has a monopoly on. The real power of Girard’s thought lies in its complex re-thinking of the relation between desire, mimesis, violence, sacrifice, innocence, the sacred, and morality, none of which is evident in Thiel and certainly not in Schullenberg’s take on him.

(Religious skeptics might be interested to know that Girard was so amazed by Christianity’s capacity to envision a way to step out of the cycle of sacrificial violence that he became a Catholic.)

Mine Traction

the value placed on family was seen as undermining what was most important for the expansion of capitalism, namely the promotion of efficiency, productivity, individualism, and competition.

Interesting to read this in the context of Bertolucci’s 1976 masterpiece: 1900.

An analysis I’ve read [sorry, no ref] saw the film as representing the fascist project to break up large, rural, communitarian, multigenerational peasant families into nuclear, mobile labour units needed to power urban industrialisation.

The little boys figured in the films opening scene seem to be playing out the erotics of the old order, at the expense of class barriers, while the game with the train prefigures the fragility of such structures of feeling in the face of modernity and real politik.

Family is love and fascism condemns love in order to put the family to work. Something like that…

Last edited 2 months ago by Mine Traction
Mine Traction

You haven’t seen it?! 😮
Make sure you get hold of the unmolested version. You’ll love it!

Mine Traction

No sorry.. I’ve seen it on the big screen a couple of times, and maybe on VHS sometime back then, but not for years.. 🙁

Saw this about a restored version..
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TY2hneWCiiQ

The An opening scene has heretical elements, which may be elided in some prints. Not sure.

Last edited 2 months ago by Mine Traction
Cyril

don’t know about English sub-titles but Russian version seems to be available here and here.

Cyril

No, Tom, the film is split into two “episodes” available though the sites’ menus.

1900-1.gif
Cyril

Besides, there is another menu nearby where you can choose the “Original”, Italian version!

1900-2.gif
Cyril

English subtitles are also available! See the ⚙-menu.

1900-3.gif
Cyril

Good news, Tom, I have found the first part with English subtitles available here (see in the “cc” menu). It is a good site with lots of films I could not have found.

Cyril

Actually, Disney was a rather MAP-friendly filmmaker. In his Fantasia (1940) he not only equated racial theories to Ancient myths, but also shown that asexual, non-genital children are as fantastic as centaurs – a cinematographic message from the times when Freudianism was trendy: https://youtu.be/gyPFibRadto

Cyril

children are shown here even without anuses, girls do not have nipples – a world of total mythic innocence without any erogenous zones

Zen Thinker

Interesting philosophical question about whether minor attraction is inherently queer. I see it as part of the spectrum of an alternative sexuality, if that is what is meant by “queerness”. But also, each individual has a spectrum to their own sexuality: some of mine is entirely normative, in that I find many eighteen-year-olds cute and desirable, and some of it is more notably off the beaten track, such as seeing great beauty in a seven-year-old girl. I’m quite happy to call the latter “queer”, perhaps as much in the Tolkien-esque sense of being strange, uncanny or unfamiliar, as in contemporary notions of queerness. The extreme heteronormativity of having a life partner of the opposite sex within five years of one’s own age is perhaps increasingly rare in our society, and queer ideologies rooted in “fringe” culture are increasingly common.

This is something of a dilemma for me, because in many respects I am classically educated, normal and rather traditional, but I just happen to have this “queerness” (if you like) in my sexuality. I’m sure a century ago many a homosexual man who found himself bound to traditional and classical culture was similarly caricatured into a fringe figure. Meanwhile, the real far left “fringe” seem to find elements of my sexuality to be too radical, which is certainly a puzzle and difficult to get my head around.

In any case, the “acceptable” cultural left, so loved by the corporate world, is not an easy bedfellow for me. Maybe I have too much respect for dead white males, and Western civilisation. Meanwhile the Pope famously likened “paedophilia” (a terminology I reject btw) to ancient child sacrifice, and perpetrators as “tools of Satan”. While this is in reference to CSA, still the inference is that even minor attraction is somehow deeply morally tainted in the eyes of the Holy Father. But popes were never ones for queerness, or at least most of the historical popes…!

This plays into the notion of to what extent MAPs have to embrace leftist ideologies. Personally I don’t think it is necessary, and in any case there are virtually no allies on the left. So while minor attraction can be grouped under “queerness”, I believe it is also possible to be a cultural traditionalist who sees the beauty in young children.

Sugarboy

Take it easy: As laid out in the Canon 749 of the Roman Catholic Church, the Pope is only infallible in matters of faith:

“Infallibiliter definita nulla intellegitur doctrina, nisi id manifesto constiterit” – No doctrine is understood to be infallibly defined unless this is manifestly demonstrated.

Stephen James

How is the infallibility of a statement meant to be manifestly demonstrated? Is it just that the Pole declares it to be infallible?

Stephen James

Proof-read every word, I always tell people. Now I’m hoist by my own petard!

Sugarboy

You can read more here:

https://gavvie.tripod.com/pope.html

Stephen James

Thanks. It pretty much confirmed what I suspected.

Franklin James

It was written to confirm such suspicions as I suspect you have. Even wikipedia (gasp!) has a better handle on the facts of the matter. Infallibility is conditioned by the question of ex cathedra. Not everything is about power and sophistry, not even in the Catholic Church.

Traction

I understand the ur-document is: Epistemology of the Closet by Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick.
I also recommend Sexual Dissidence: Augustine to Wilde, Freud to Foucault by Jonathan Dollimore, especially the section opposing Wilde’s cultural radicalism to Gide’s bio-essentialism. It asks whether ‘queerness’ is cultural or innate.

Traction

There’s a history of essentialising and homogenising homosexuality, as if it were a single coherent phenomenon, when it’s actually very heterogenous, with a multiplicity of causal factors and modes of expression. The only common factors are same sex attraction and/or sexual behaviour. There are no others.

This homogenising and categorising impulse is derived from the systematic ‘diagnosis’ of sexual deviance, beginning with Krafft-Ebing in the 19th century. The epistemological error of identifying a single ‘homosexuality’ has been repeated more or less without adjustment in clinical theories of ‘paedophilia’. At it’s most faulty, this categorical approach even situates child molesting within this umbrella.

I’d argue there are both cultural and biological underpinnings to homosexuality and paedophilia, and that ‘queer’ is a cultural term, denoting the cultural aspect of both deviations. It’s the ‘nature/nurture’ debate again, and this can be resolved by showing that nature and nurture are not separate ontologies. There’s no ‘nature’ without ‘nurture’ and vice versa.

I’d propose a paedophilia rooted in nurturing (Money’s ‘affiliative p~’), and another that’s a fetishistic elevation of children and childhood. I think the former is probably innate and the latter may be a psychological response to childhood experiences. I also think a capacity for arousal to children is more or less universal, much like homosexuality (as per the Kinsey scale).

All of this can play a role in the sexual development of a single individual, and it’s a lot more complex, for example ‘autopaedophilia’ may be another way of using a child fetish to reprocess early experiences. Also, much as we’d prefer not to think about it, a theory of paedophilia needs to account for actual sexual assaults on children (Money’s ‘sadistic p~’).

The internet has played a huge role in amplifying a culture of paedophilia, but the substrate has always been there. Also, Kincaid showed that the ‘culture of child molesting’ is more or less universal in modern societies, and that has also influenced the expression of an otherwise innate paedophilic orientation.

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Traction

Unfortunately, cultural theorists often still tend to write as though we are disembodied minds, rather than flesh and blood.

Hence: “My brain made me do it!” 😀

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Traction

I read Kincaid’s two books […] but the evidence he adduces to support his thesis strikes me as very slender and easily open to contested interpretation. […] he plainly writes with a paedophilic eye (or “I”) while mischievously attributing his perceptions to that of a notional “we”, thereby implicating the whole of society as paedophilic.

I had a similar response but, on reflection, I’m convinced that his analysis is broadly correct. I’m not sure if he made these specific points, but I think they’re consistent with his thesis:

  • Paedophilic affect is hidden in plain sight, in familiar social norms, such as the winsome girl child of Victorian popular culture. It’s difficult to fetishise innocence and purity without bringing it’s opposites along for the ride.
  • The erotic power of children is knowingly exploited by advertising and other propagandists. It doesn’t take long to find underaged crotch shots and other ‘accidental’ wardrobe malfunctions in mainstream ads.
  • Subjective denial of paedophilic impulses powers personal hostility to perceived or objective manifestations of the same feelings in others.

The last point is underlined in the reviewers appeal to the demographic he imagines himself part of, normal blokes, free of any detectable paedophilic impulse:

“Speak for yourself, buddy!”

My response to that would be “No, I’m speaking for you too, mate. That’s the whole point.”

As you hinted above, in “the multiplicity of dimensions, the ‘Kinsey scale’ can be extended to include age. Denial of homosexual impulses by a person who identifies as heterosexual is a tactical defence of self image. The more disjoint the self image is from actuality, the more energy is devoted to refuting the disjunction. The same situation pertains to denial of paedophilic impulses.

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Zen Thinker

You make some excellent points – the last two bullet points are especially interesting.

“The erotic power of children is knowingly exploited by advertising” – absolutely. This is even more apparent in child Instagram accounts, which cannot be censored, because not indecent, or even objectionable, but which contain pseudo-erotic depictions of children in various degrees of subtlety. This has also been increasingly apparent in television advertising.

“Subjective denial of paedophilic impulses powers personal hostility to…the same feelings in others” – this I think is especially important. I am reminded of the repressed gay neighbour in the film American Beauty. But it also explains the rage at MAP sexual identity and various misdemeanours in a way that far more serious things such as mass murder do not attract.

The mental energy needed to repress taboo impulses in the unconscious certainly manifests itself in outward anger or other negative emotion based on the extent of the repression. This accords with the (metaphorically) lynched MAP as the scapegoat for repressed impulses – a guilt sacrifice, if you will.

Zen Thinker

True, such as Tahiti which the painter Paul Gauguin visited in the 1890s. They had a very relaxed sexual attitude and open sensuality, very different to Western civilisation. In fact Gauguin took a thirteen year old native as his wife.

Traction

There’s no basis for a powerful taboo against something no-one wants to do. The incest taboo is evidence that incestuous desires exist, not that they don’t.

Also, wrt the predominance of (male) heterosexuality, I don’t dispute that. I didn’t make the point well, but I was implying that men who are attracted to other men, but present as heterosexual and repress their homosexual desire, project that conflict outward as hostility toward overt homosexuality. “The lady [sic] doth protest too much, methinks”.

Also, I think it’s likely that most men have a greater erotic response to children than to other men. If so, that might explain some of the intensity of hostility to overt paedophilia.

Obviously, protective instincts and anger in response to child sexual abuse also explains a good deal of it.

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Traction

Even father–daughter sexual contact was relaxed, as they were not regarded as strictly close kin: the father was seen as a sort of “in law”.

The reason for this is that the function of the male in reproduction was poorly understood in this society.

It’s no surprise that innate incest avoidance mechanisms are culturally elaborated. Maybe I should have said there’s no particular reason not to be sexually attracted to close kin, unless mechanisms are in place to discourage it, rather than suggest incest is a sexual preference. Avoidance mechanisms range from the biological (kin recognition in mate selection, which is effectively universal in the animal kingdom) to the cultural (moiety systems, church prohibitions, etc).

Unsurprisingly, the cultural mechanisms are subject to influences other than genetic fitness, such as preservation of theocratic lineage (brother sister marriage in dynastic Egypt) or of family wealth (first cousin marriages in the Middle East, South Asia and European aristocracies), so there are cultural mechanisms that run counter to the biological preference for outbreeding and exogamy.

The cultural picture is made even more complex by the fact that evolutionary constraints favour both outbreeding (for hybrid vigour) and inbreeding (for trait definition and stability), so the ideal mate is related, but not too closely related. This gives considerable latitude to social mores before they become maladaptive.

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Traction

Sorry Tom, I have to disagree with most of your points!

“the preponderance of ethnographic evidence … refutes Malinowski’s notorious claims of Islanders’ supposed “ignorance of physiological paternity”.

Mosko looks interesting but tl;dr at the moment. However, it’s easy to see which cultures put maternal uncles as the key male figures in a child’s life, and this is clearly because their consanguinity is irrefutable. Also, the emergence of ‘the father’ coincides with the emergence of herding and agrarian cultures, along with mate guarding and valuation of female virginity. They obviously had a more sophisticated understanding of sexual reproduction than tropical gardening cultures, most of whose crops were vegetatively propagated.

The Westermarck Effect, for which the evidence is strong

My understanding has been that this research hasn’t been reliably replicated, but I don’t see how it conflicts with anything I’ve said: unless mechanisms are in place to discourage it. Why shouldn’t the Westermarck Effect be just such a mechanism? Little has been shown regarding it’s basis, which could be pheromonal or psychological, but my point was that humans would mate with close kin unless something discouraged them.

“kin recognition in mate selection…is effectively universal in the animal kingdom”, which is not necessarily true. Also, to the extent that many animals recognise kin by smell it has little relevance to humans

The MHC (aka HLA in humans) is one of the most highly conserved** regions in the animal genome, and it’s key function is kin recognition. In addition to being involved in kin recognition among shellfish, experiments abound that verify this function in humans, testing mate preference based on sweat odour.

Familiarity may have some influence on mate selection, but avoidance of close kin mating and female exogamy are the biological bases of incest avoidance, and have evolved under the negative selective pressure of double recessive gene expression and genetic defects.

Madison (2009) Human female exogamy is supported by cross-species comparisons

Thornhill N (1993) The Natural History of Inbreeding and Outbreeding.

Wedekind et al. (1995) MHC-dependent mate preferences in humans

MHC: Major histocompatibility complex
HLA: Human leucocyte antigen (blood type)
** technical detail, although highly conserved, the MHC is also highly variable internally.

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Traction

Its most basic key function, I suggest, is not kin recognition but self-recognition

Can’t get much closer kin that your own self.

my point is that as a proximate cause the Westermarck Effect sufficiently explains the unattractiveness of incest without having to find an ultimate cause in terms of biological underpinning.

But the biological (ultimate) cause has motive, means and opportunity. The Westermarck effect may have opportunity, but where are the motive and means? What would it be for? And how does it happen?

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Traction

Executive summary: I think there’s a difference between being completely ignorant of paternity and being conscious enough of it for it to become ingrained in social practices. 😀

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Traction

Very classy! 

Thank you. 🙂

Traction

I think the Derridian obscurantism of Mosko’s critique is a category error.

Malinowski attended to the live performance of culture, where Mosko is more interested in speculating on the subtext and it’s ‘meanings’.


Traction

Apologies for the lecture! 😀

But…

Tom, you might be interested in this book chapter: Fille Fatale: Regulating Images of Adolescent Girls by Kristen Hatch (in “Sugar, spice, and everything nice: cinemas of girlhood” 2002).

It argues that the incestuous father-daughter dyad is represented in post war US popular culture as the older man / young girl romance, and that, according to prevailing psychoanalytic doctrine, this experience was essential for healthy female sexual development, and fundamental to the institution of patriarchy. It has an interesting analysis of Nabokov’s “Lolita” and subsequent films, and the film “Pretty Baby” as conscous critiques of this trope, centring male rather than female desire.

It then looks at the impact of child pornography laws circa 1977, developing awareness of child sexual abuse and emerging female agency on the recapitulation of this central myth of patriarchy.

It’s an interesting illustration of the lability of cultural attitudes in this domain.

The biological bases of human kinship and mating are real, and they can only change on an evolutionary time scale, but human behaviour is extremely flexible and responsive to cultural context. I think it’s best to think of the biological aspect as a fixed set of constraints and counterfactuals. Within these bounds, cultural elaboration is limited only by human imagination.

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Traction

social attitudes are highly labile; personal sexual orientation, by contrast, is relatively unresponsive to changes in fashion, especially in males. However, cultural change may permit expression of formerly repressed desires, or require their inhibition.

Absolutely!

The role of culture igenerating and shaping desire is a deeper story and I have yet to see a good account of it.

Indeed. Exploitation of behavioural responses to supernormal stimuli in marketing provides one model. The desire of Westerners for a diet of fat, sugar and salt, even when unhealthy, is a product of innate, physiologically driven food preferences and the fat, sugar and salt rich choice environment created by the food industry. A similar argument could be applied to sex in marketing and, I reckon, to world religions.
_____________________

Just as an aside on the MHC. You’re correct, the MHC is fundamentally engaged with the immune system and self/other recognition.

But, to demonstrate: the HLA is the human version of the MHC and the basis of tissue typing, as used in medicine to identify suitable donors for blood, organs, etc. A brother or sister is the perfect donor for a kidney or a bit of liver or bone marrow, and that’s kin recognition. Also, sexually reproducing colonial shellfish, like mussels, identify close kin by detecting MHC proteins, and compete collectively with them to exclude more distantly related colonies. More kin recognition.

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Traction

Oops! Fatal to forget the “appalling” bit

😀

Leonerd

Gender attributes are learned, but deciding whether we identify with these culturally embedded attributes runs deeper, as indicated in the case of cisgender Reimer.

Tom thanks to you I learned about this sad Raimer’s case. Money acted cruelly and irresponsibly. The researcher must assume that his ideas may be false. According to the descriptions of the brothers, he was quite rude and forced them to do what they did not want.

I believe gender identity (and sexuality) forms in the early weeks of pregnancy during fetal brain development. The brain develops in a female/male pattern and this forms male/female identity, but this may not match the biological sex.

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Traction

Ps: wrt my comment below… by ‘paedophilia rooted in nurturing’ I mean that paedophilic attraction is a kind of nurturing impulse (ie, innate or ‘instinctive’), not that paedophilia is a consequence of nurturing. Sorry about the confusion of contexts there! 🙂

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Zen Thinker

Thanks for the recommendations. However upon investigation it seems the subject matter, although intriguing, would not be a good investment of time for my particular interests. Gay cultural studies per se is not a subject area I typically investigate. I’m happy to accept that everyone lies somewhere on the spectrum and that while the male body, such as Michelangelo’s David (or perhaps Donatello’s David from a more MAP perspective) can be aesthetically pleasing and beautiful, I very rarely find the male body sexually pleasing. I would say I am 90% skewed towards the female.

Where gay studies can help is in understanding cultural rejections of certain sexualities and the reasons behind this. We define minors in our society as helpless, innately pure, passive, heavily sentimentalised and incredibly fragile, and this characterisation goes a long way to understanding the abhorrence and rage felt at the child as sexual object. In a similar way, strong Biblical precedent – especially the Pentateuch and St Paul – set the cultural stage for the abhorrence of male-male sexual acts which became punishable by death, and “sodomy” was often associated with anti-Christian cults such as Baphomet.

In other words, male-male sex was seen as culturally and societally subversive, damaging the very fabric of civilised values. It is obvious to me that this bogeyman has been displaced by children, who now are seen as impossibly pure, where to impugn the sanctity of their person is met with incandescent rage. Therefore to work back and understand the “anti-gay” moment in our cultural history helps us understand the “anti-MAP” moment now.

Traction

In other words, male-male sex was seen as culturally and societally subversive, damaging the very fabric of civilised values. It is obvious to me that this bogeyman has been displaced by children,

Absolutely. Of course, there is some basis to the idea that male-male and adult-child erotics are destabilising. The question is, is this a bad thing? The static inertia of prevailing hegemonies may even be one of the prime faults of human societies. For example, consider the civil rights, anti-war and sexual emancipation movements of the ’60s. It’s a popular game nowadays to denigrate the social progress of the 60’s, but the fact is those movements were subversive and did damage the existing power structures. Something we should thank them for.

Stephen Law examines the the problem of who gets to influence children’s development in The War for Children’s Minds.

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Zen Thinker

“The War for Children’s Minds” looks really good, thanks for that recommendation. It’s a tad expensive or I would have bought it straight away.

Yes, any conservative who wants to denigrate the ’60s for sexual libertinism must remember this wave of social progress also ended Jim Crow. America is often very sensitive about its racial legacy but we know from this that public perception can be blind to unjust laws. Whenever a minority are involved the status quo like to trample on them. There’s a nasty MAP-lynching account called “An Open Secret” @AnOpenSecret on Twitter, with over 100,000 followers, that I wish would be taken down, it easily qualifies as hate speech but no-one cares because there is a gap in our public conscience about MAPs.

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