Re: Homosexuality: male & female

Lars Eighner (
12 Sep 1996 08:11:42 -0500

In our last episode <5184d0$>,
Broadcast on sci.anthropology
The lovely and talented (Yousuf Khan) wrote:

>On 10 Sep 1996 12:34:14 -0500, (Lars Eighner) wrote:
>One of the wierdest stories I've heard about justifying bisexuality is
>based on this positional argument. If a man enters another man, then the
>man doing the entry (the aggressor in other words) is still considered a
>completely straight guy, but the guy who was being entered is considered a
>pansy. The justification here is that the aggressor "is just being a man"
>by letting his penis enter any old hole, but the man that allowed that
>penis to enter him is a pansy for letting anything enter him. This is the
>justification used by some Pakistani and Indian men from working class
>These are all ways to avoid being labled homosexual or bisexual. They are
>excuses in other words.

This attitude is a very wide-spread pattern, and in many cases
I doubt it is an invented excuse to avoid identification
of the one partner as homosexual -- although it does serve as
such an excuse when an excuse is thought necessary.

I think it has everything to with concepts of masculinity and
the status of women. It is not that the act is homosexual
that is the perceived problem, but that one of the parties
accepts a role perceived as womanly. I think you will find
these sorts of correlates if you look at many such cultures:
1. rigid gender roles,
2. exceptionally low status of women
3. lesbianism generally tolerated or ignored
(no one can really blame the women if they want
to "play like men" because who wouldn't want
to be a man? Men believe that the women make
elaborate phallic substitutes--because of course
you can't have sex without a penis.)

Because of the rigidity of the sex roles, the receptive partner
can no longer be entirely a man. In some cultures he will have
the option of becoming a woman or a "maricon" which is the next
to being a woman.

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