Adventures and Such

Tolkien blog at: ALWENDIL.tumblr.com

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thirliewhirl:

girls who were bullied most of their life and gain confidence at one point should be feared most because they dont take anyone’s shit no longer and they will destroy you if you think otherwise

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cloudmarsh:

MBTI in Fiction: INTJs have original minds and great drive for implementing their ideas and achieving their goals. They quickly see patterns in external events and develop long-range explanatory perspectives. Skeptical and independent, INTJs have high standards of competence and performance – for themselves and others. (x)

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'The elimination of the medieval gay' by Magistra

medievalpoc:

blue-author:

shredsandpatches:

I think the money quote from this very good post is actually this one:

But such a refusal needs to be handled very carefully, because it’s not symmetric. If you say there are no ‘heterosexuals’ in the Middle Ages, everyone will realise you’re making a particular theoretical point, not talking about actual desires. If you say there are no ‘homosexuals’, it all too easily implies that there were no gays (in Boswell’s sense).

It’s why I’ve taken to framing the issue of same-sex attraction in the middle ages in exactly that way — that the concept of heterosexuality as a category of sexual identity didn’t really exist back then, and that it was considered the invisible default and a type of desire and preference everyone naturally had. While the fact that some people preferred their own sex was certainly recognized — there’s a reference to it in e.g. Marie de France’s Lanval, probably written c. 1170 — it’s probably safest to say that the medieval understanding of sexuality held that same-sex attraction wasn’t something that only happened to those people, that it was theoretically a temptation for anyone (this is for instance the general attitude of Alain of Lille’s Pleint de Nature, a really weird homophobic screed in which a personified Nature complains that Teh Gays are ruining everything, and phrases it in terms of grammar. Rebuttals to this text had a lot of fun with the grammatical aspect of things, since Latin grammar is in fact founded on same-gender attraction). Obviously there are still people who think this way today, but I think it’s getting to be less and less the default, and in general I think people recognize the “if it were legal/accepted, everyone would do it and THEN WHERE WOULD WE BE” type of argument as pretty fringey.

For the most part I think the argument Jaeger makes as cited in the post — that behaviors that look homoerotic to the modern eye might not have had the same connotations in the middle ages — is probably best to keep in mind when we’re talking about individuals. It’s always very difficult to determine conclusively whether someone hundreds of years ago was gay or bisexual, on the grounds that there was a wider range of emotional expressions available between same-sex friends and that explicit references to people having same-sex relationships are invariably meant to be disparaging. But on the other hand one also doesn’t want to give the impression that there weren’t any queer people back then, because of course there were.

Reblogging both for historical homosexuality and for the discussion about the necessity of using modern concepts/categories when dealing with history.

image

Allow me to introduce a concept: ‘flintstonization.’

Great name, I know. Cathilda Jetha and Christopher Ryan used it in Sex at Dawn (which, if you’re at all interested in the history of sexuality, is a fantastic read) to refer to the the way that many historians, and others, tend to believe that all people in all times and all places are essentially the same, and have developed ideas and culture that are basically similar. This means that dramatic differences between groups of people across time and geography can be erased.

One of the ways that this is done is through the application of modern, Western language and terminology to these other groups of people.

(In very simple terms: context is really important.)

So, as you may be able to tell by now, I’m writing because the last comment is really bugging me. Now. I’m a historian, focusing on the long eighteenth century (the Baroque and Enlightenment periods specifically), so I’m no medievalist. I can’t speak to anything about that period of history, or to anything that John Boswell or Stephen Jaeger have written. And I agree that the way we talk about male-male or female-female relationships and feelings is incredibly important, and how we use language to discuss those things can either illuminate or erase those relationships, feelings, ideas, concepts, structures, etc. And indeed, the way many historians have written has erased male-male and female-female feelings, relationships, and constructs that supported them.

But the answer is not to use modern terminology.

The answer is not to erase other ways of constructing gender and sexuality simply to make it simpler to understand to our modern minds. 

Now, to take the term ‘homosexual’ or ‘homosexuality’… obviously, same-sex attraction has existed in certainly every culture I’ve ever studied. But I don’t like using the term ‘homosexuality’ to talk about same-sex attraction before the Enlightenment.

Why?

Because to do so is to impose your own culture on another. To do so is to erase the way these people saw themselves, the way those people understood themselves, the way they understood gender or sexuality, and themselves within those ideas. To do so is to oversimplify in the same of making it easier for you to understand.

Now, I’m not interested in writing purposefully inaccurate history, or in eliminating and erasing all structures of gender and sexuality besides my own. So I’m having a really hard time with the idea of ‘the necessity of using modern concepts/categories when dealing with history.’

Please forgive me if I’m reacting rather emotionally, or defensively, or not really understanding what is being said. 

(Source: unspeakablevice, via cryptoscience)

Filed under history patiently waiting for the hatemail to start coming but really i'm confused if we're worried about erasure the LAST thing we should be doing is applying modern constructs to cultures that had completely different ones but maybe that's not what the above person is suggesting? i don't know i'm just kind of bewildered

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But none of this shows up in Goucher’s statistics. Statistically it is a perfectly safe, small, liberal arts school, with a lovely secluded campus, and a large female student population. And again, none of its 70% female student population has any need to fear sexual assault, harassment, abuse, or stalking. The statistics show that never happens at Goucher. Except for how multiple members of the lacrosse team burst in on one of their team mates having sex and so intimidated the girl that she jumped out the first floor window in nothing but a sheet. Or how later that year members of the same team harassed and threatened a girl to withdraw her rape allegation against another player. Or how if you’re raped at a party you might be shamed by other students because "we all know him, he’s never done anything like this before, what did you do?" Or how your boyfriend can break into your room, push you around, trap you so you can’t escape, shouting at you while you scream for help, and security (which is great at finding a "party" of 8 people drinking peacefully) never shows up, even then the RA lives down the hall. Or how women don’t feel confident approaching the school about their rapes and so someone like Max Tempkin makes it onto the "Justice" Board. Or how your stalker ex will continue to be employed at the school you just graduated from while you work to get a restraining order on him for threatening to kill you. Goucher isn’t one of the 55 colleges named as Title IX offenders because they do not properly handle allegations of sexual assault. Their "sexual misconduct" policy is not too difficult to find on line. They do a "training" at the beginning of freshmen year to cover sexual assault information. They have free services for victims. Statistically they’re safe and would handle any issues of sexual violence appropriately.
Feminist Armchair Regime: Statistics vs Lived Experiences for Women at College (via letsnotapologizeforrapists)

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Filed under sj goucher goucher college