Post # 1
Hi LGBTQ Bees (and any other bees that want to chime in),
Right off the bat, I absolutely do not mean to offend anyone. This comment of my professor’s just struck me as different and I wanted your opinion on it.
My prof was talking about sexuality in Ancient Greece and he said that there was no such distinction as we have in our society between homosexual and heterosexual. People were just considered to be sexual and the norm was what we consider now to be bisexuality. Different expressions of sexuality were considered appropriate for different times in a person’s life. He said that labelling someone as “homosexual” or “heterosexual” in that society would have been meaningless, as everyone was pretty much expected to contain elements of both. He said that the term homosexuality (referring not to the act of homosexual sex, but as an exclusive sexual orientation) was only invented around 150 years ago and is a relatively new idea.
What do you make of that? Does that fit your experience? Do you find that notion offensive in any way?
I can’t say I know what I think of it.
Post # 3
I’m not sure how I’d analyze the comment, but I don’t read it as being offensive. It’s interesting, though!
Post # 4
I don’t really know enough to say if that is true or not. But it isn’t at all surprising to me. I did know that what we would consider homosexuality was very common in ancient rome, so greece makes sense as well. I would find it surprising if this switch just happened 150 years ago because that seems VERY recent to me and I would think with the uprising of the Catholic church it would’ve been earlier… but who knows.
As for what I make of it… it’s a shame it can’t be that way now. And that people can’t just be who they are without having to put a label on their foreheads for the world to categorize them most easily.
Post # 5
I don’t see it as offensive, and I’ve also heard that same fact throughout my history classes in college. I don’t know if 150 years is accurate, but I do know the Ancient Greeks practiced both homosexual and heterosexual love
Post # 6
It’s a pretty accurate statement in western history. “Gay” wasn’t really a thing in renaissance Europe. Sexual people just liked having sex with ALL the people. Women playing with other women’s bits wasn’t even really considered sexual… it was considered a form of sisterly affection and a great way to cheer up a friend when she was feeling down.
Post # 7
150 years ago? So, Civil War era? I find that a bit hard to believe but everything else seems sensible. I believe sexuality is mostly a social construct, created by how we define it.
Post # 8
I don’t read that as being offensive at all and I think, based on my limited history knowledge, that it is accurate.
Post # 9
I don’t find this offensive in any way, it is historically accurate however, so I’m not sure what about this is bothering you specifically or if it’s just such a broad approach to something that’s been narrowed to an almost painful acuity in our society that your generally uncomfortable with it because you feel you need to be….
History is filled with all kinds of terribly interesting little hiccups of different behavior and ideas, the Fijian Islands were home to cannibalistic tribes, the Aztec’s were certainly not the most friendly of neighbors and America’s own history has a rather savage and politically incorrect history behind it at times….
It’s ok to subscribe your own feelings to these things, just know that it doesn’t make a difference because it’s already happened, and like it or love it, these things have shaped society as we know it in one way or another.
Post # 10
@CorgiTales: My comment about about “lesbian sex” was actually something taught by the Catholic church. It wasn’t sexual. Just sisterly affection. The Church had ZERO teachings about relations between women because it wasn’t considered wrong at all.
Post # 11
Have you heard of the Kinsey Scale? Alfred Kinsey was one of the fathers of sexuality research (1940s-50s), and he proposed that very few people were completely homosexual or completely heterosexual. He argued that nearly all people are somewhere along a continuum of sexuality, which he called the Kinsey Scale: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinsey_scale
Anyway, I think it’s fascinating — and it definitely gives scientific weight to your professor’s comment!
Post # 12
- Wedding: January 2011 - Gardens of the World
I was taught in English class that the strict definition between heterosexuality and homosexuality in Western society only arose during Victorian times when people became concerned about defining the “right” way to be masculine. Oscar Wilde wrote quite a bit about it.
Post # 13
- Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort
@AdriannaJean: Your professor is right. I have a PhD in Classics, and the distinction in the ancient world was totally different than today.
Post # 14
@Nona99: Oh I wasn’t questioning it’s historical validity. I absolutely agree that’s probably what the Greeks thought. I was just wondering if people find that idea pertinent in their lives now, particularly those that identify themselves as homosexual.
Post # 15
We were talking about Greek Pederasty in my anthropology class just the other day. It is sexual relations between an adult male and an adolescent boy. It was seen as a way of socialization and education. I don’t think your prof was meaning it to be offensive. I didn’t really see it as offensive. I have no idea about the 150 years thing though.
Post # 16
It’s definitely pertinent. I think everyone falls on the scale somewhere – some far on the homosexual side, some far on the heterosexual side, and a whole lot of people in between. While I identify as heterosexual, you bet I find some females damn attractive in a great way than just thinking “oh, she’s pretty.”