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View Diary: Urgent appeal - Gay men escaping Iraq (150 comments)

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  •  It's About Power (5+ / 0-)

    the idea of sex is entwined with power.

    In our culture, picking on the weak is considered "macho". Which is why it's not hard to find (small) guys backing out of challenges to fight with Braun Van Forearms.

    That is all. Individually, I wish you the best, but collectively, my dearest hope is to outlive you - groovetronica

    by Nulwee on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 10:58:20 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, read some Catullus or Aristophanes... (2+ / 0-)
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      kyril, teloPariah

      ...for very similar examples of the macho insult-threat to penetrate the effeminate man.  Our own coarse colloquial American language of insult shows the same tendency--"suck my dick, you miserable excuse for a boss," "Fuck Bush! Up the butt!" (to quote a memorable charming-but-deranged impromptu political orator on the Oakland BART I heard in 2000), etc.  Maybe our torturers are more likely to use foreign objects than get themselves erect to inflict the humiliation.  But, yes, as Nulwee says, the sex-power thing is powerful, weird, and sick (but distressingly normal in another sense), and the prospect of humiliating the vulnerable victim IS enough to get these bullies aroused.

      As an aside, in many cultures, the active role in penetration is NOT marked as unusual/effeminate sexual behavior; that may apply to some degree in parts of the Middle East & constitute a real cultural difference.

      I started with the ancient comparisons.  We often enjoy saying that homophobes are repressed, and, sure, they really are sometimes.  But the fact is that penetrative sexual humiliation (whether in bluster or in fact) by men who are NOT repressed or confused about their orientation is a real, ugly, phenomenon of human nature.  The psychology is the same as every other torture and humiliation of the defeated/other.

      Sorry if this is a distraction from the issue at hand.  But it's worth recognizing that this is a phenomenon of power and social disorder that cuts across all kinds of cultures.  Like most forms of violence against the innocent, the only thing that works against it is evolved social norms against this kind of beastly degeneration.  As ivorybill said above:

      If you get together a buch of humiliated, angry young men who have known nothing but violence for 30 years (Iraq was no paradise before the recent war, either) it is easy to manipulate them into conducting such acts of brutality.  The same could occur in the US should our civil society and internal security break down as completely as it has in Iraq.

    •  First ever comment here, here goes! (1+ / 0-)
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      I think of the way straight society encourages teh gay experience to be thought of as a punitive one is the focus of the "butch" gay war whore who will rape an effeminate man. If I "punish" you by raping you I get my rocks off, keep my job, remain seperate from teh gay, all in the guise of normalcy. When is the gay experience going to be recognized as a wholesome one?
      You know, it's just love after all. Think of all those prison movies where teh gayz are a huge threat to the hero, we still belive this narcissitic adolescent framing of normal human activity. This situation shows how much utility the average knuckle dragger gets from his "choices", American or Iraqi.

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