Homosexuality,Gender activism,and the rest

This post has been prompted by the recent viral spate of news on gender ideological activism,which,I will distinguish from homosexual men(since I can speak about them only,being a homosexual man myself).

https://www.opindia.com/2020/07/gender-identity-politics-harish-iyer-non-conforming-binary-lgbt-community/

https://www.opindia.com/2020/07/tagore-international-school-nazariya-gender-identity-politics-brainwashing-children/

https://www.opindia.com/2020/07/nazariya-qfrg-tagore-international-school-gender-identity-politics-queer/


The final trigger for this was this tweet

https://twitter.com/zeneraalstuff/status/1285417685090631683

>Define what is the objectionable positions in LGBTQI ideology. Blog post or tweet series, please.


My remark on this is that the very premise of queer activism and the question of LGBT liberation in India has completely imported and copied the trends of the Western world:Some of them are (I am summarizing them under the label of queer and gender ideology activism,as opposed to people who only believe homosexuality should be decriminalized):

1. A trend towards rebellion against the mainstream of society rather than wishing for any acceptance(this is signalled by political valences that tend to be anti-national). This tendency is glorified in Anglo academia by the American theorist Jasbir Puar(one of the fountainheads of such theories),who made her career lambasting gay men who remain satisified with the rest of the society after marriage or partnership rights have been granted to them. According to them: >Queer is … whatever is at odds with the normal, the legitimate, the dominant. In the view of this type influenced by this fount:It is not enough to have a particular sexuality to be in the movement and want to live a sane life with a loyal,single faithful man,but one must ever militate against the normative religion and traditions of the society to have cred in the ‘movement’. This example can be found in this article which takes a sympathetic view to having sex in public in parades,demanding that maximum freakishness and ‘nanga naach’ type of displays are good by the very virtue of them being an oppressed class and dragging in the topic of socio-economic backgrounds to get a figleaf of legitimacy for their theorizing. It is this view of celebrating all that should is intended to hurt and shock and rub in the faces of mainstream Hindu society that that group could include the case of Hadiya under the Queer ideology.


2. A trend of activism that has arisen in trans circles(related to the above),who have gained power in the Western LGBT movements and pushes out anyone else who speak against them as a transphobe,and as pathologizing transgenderism or related identities. While the various identities that don’t fit into male/female identity would be fitting into the broad ‘third gender’ category in traditional Indian views with their own communities,this particular strain of activism that has taken over insists that anyone can be anything they insist to be if they feel like it,violating all the conventions of it just out of pure narcissism. They take over the cases of effeminate boys,etc who do face genuine problems and bullying at school and use that to give a solution that is worse than the problem(this ideology). In the Western idiom,the only logically consistent position that does not do harm to trans people is one that is called transmedicalism,which notes that people who do not have dysphoria do not deserve to be called trans(which is dismissed by current crop of trans activists that say that dysphoria. They also have taken to unnecessary advocacy towards children,who are better served by supportive therapy which would include a wait and watch approach towards their condition(and these trend of activists have made even the topic of eventual desistance of initially dysphoric children taboo) and have slandered every other person who has been contrary to them as being transphobes. This transgenderism is a cult that listens to no reason and simply looks like it wants to recruit as many people into it,and they proceed to get super offended when people are not into them,to even academically complaining that normal people do not like them. Their cultic influence has gone to the extent of transwashing LGBT activism in the US.

Most ordinary gay men do not know about the above sort of views of the activists and in my experience,it takes quite a bit to wrap their head around the sort of views these people hold:They may or may not attend pride because for them it is a venue to meet other gay people and hang out. Unfortunately what happens as a consequence is brainwashing in the above set of ideologues because they for the first time find a set of people who are more accepting of their proclivities towards sex and relationships than the normal mainstream society and they get stuck there in those circles.


As to the views of this author on the views on the activisms and theories:

1. These Queer ideology theories are thinly veiled homophobia and slave morality at its core:These people are essentially slandering ordinary gay men and women and people who are effeminate etc that the more freakish and perverse one becomes,the better it is. (My quote on Queer Theory from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy by their own theorists sums it up perfectly well).
2. People who are effeminate,etc in school should be taught to stand up to those who bully them and should be supported by parents and should go through a ‘wait and watch’ approach,rather than be transed by ideologues who seem to want only a cult of them(by puberty blockers,etc). Traditional gendernoncofirming communities like kinnars,hijdas,etc should be protected as well. This post was not meant to attack them. As for the various ones in trans ideologies in the West,the unfashionable ‘transmedicalism’ or ‘trutrans’ is the only logically consistent and correct one.
3. Children should not be sexualized.
4. Consent alone should not be the sole morality of sex. It is necessary but not a sufficient condition of sex between two people. As this section from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy notes,going from an article by Seriol Morgan Dark Desires,some sexual acts which would fall under the purview of consent would be still immoral.

So cases like Armin Meiwes would not pass muster merely because his victim contested.

4. Gay people,Lesbian,genuinely trans people,hijras,etc should be left alone with each other and not harassed merely due to their sexuality or whom they interact with as romantic partners/sexual partners/companions. At the current stage,I do not have further views as such.

Book Review:Fighting Proud:The Untold Story of the Gay Men Who Served in Two World Wars

Okay,this is going to be less a review and more of an outpouring of my personal feelings on my reading that book.

This book by Stephen Bourne is a book that deals with a sample of the materials available;gay men who served in the World Wars despite the difficulties faced by them due to a society prejudiced against them. I found the values of bravery,sacrifice,heroism and over all that,despite official bigotry from time to time;even the most outrageously camp/effeminate types were accomodated in roles as entertainers even if not directly in fighting. And the ones who were in the frontlines;their values of sacrifice,and the permanent relationships they could form(this was relatively successful over time,surprisingly) despite how formally society looked down upon them but unofficially tolerated them-because they were men of virtue beyond just liking men-IMO are ideals to look upto even after all these days and emaluate.

Sauvage

On seeing that French movie,as a young closeted Indian gay man,I felt very much in his skin. His attempts for finding love from every john he finds are eerily reminiscient of my attempts to desparately search for someone permanent in the dating apps that are ever open. At this point,as someone who is not attractive,to be repeatedly objectified and treated like a sex toy to be used for other men’s pleasure while I desperately search for someone to settle and be permanently with:That pretty much mirrors the experience of the protagonist who grows ever haggard till his final experience with the pianist,and who then finally finds a stable man…I hope I can be like that some day at least. And sleep peacefully in someone’s arms. I’m just sick of people sloganeering about love on one hand and on the other hand treating my ilk as bodies to be used for one night and then dumped for the next fad of…whatever. No,no matter how much desi people meme about Grindr on Instagram,hoeing around is simply not conducive to ideal flourishing of me as a gay man,and the apps wear me out. I go here and do all this because I am desperate for someone and lonely for a stable companion. I don’t know,all that I can do is accept what that supreme dice player mahAkAla gives as my lot.

On seeing queer examples where they do not exist:Mīnākṣī in Madurai

Before I begin,may my speech be blessed by Dakṣīṇāmūrti,that noble fount of wisdom,who wears ornaments of both the sexes in His ears,signifying His eternal union with Śaktī.

Screenshot at 2020-02-14 01-06-38

http://srishtimadurai.blogspot.com/2013/06/secrets-of-meenakshi-temple-madurai.html?m=1

While  the author of this article appreciates the good work done by Srishti in Madurai and Gopi Shankar Madurai,there are a number of points in their(or their organization’s article) which he feels is not accurate,and which he feels the need to set right.

  • The author shall refrain from commenting about some of the sculptural evidence that the blog author there has noted,due to his not having seen them/not having examined them by an expert in iconography,notably
    • Neutrois theme in Kala Samhara deity. The deity, typically with a male like body, and represented with lack of any sexual organ typically represents a MTN (Male to Neutrois) person.
    • The Sanishwara deity which is the well known Transgendered deity can be seen in the temple
  • The author does not discount the possibility of erotic carvings in temples which depict homosexual acts.
  • Mīnākṣī being three breasted is not a sign of gender variance. It is one of those sort of tales in which a being loses his/her unique features when they meet a special person(example is Shishupala who was born with three eyes and four arms). Similarly She lost Her third breast when She met Śiva(whom She would marry).
  • Also Ardhanārīśvara is not really a gynandromorph condition….it is more of an ‘consciousness as impartial observer'(Puruṣa)-‘everything as the power inherent in that consciousness'(Prakṛti) represented in one mūrti. Gynandromorphs don’t exist in humans.
  • Harihara as a deity does not fit in the Procrustean bed of gender ideology in any way. The deity merely represents the concept that ‘śivāya viṣṇurupāya śivarūpāya viṣṇave'(Śiva is a form of Viṣṇu and Viṣṇu is a form of Śiva) along with injunctions that they must never be thought of in any manner except as equal and always both very respectful of each other.
  • Sri Pitchandavar=A Tamil name of Bhīkṣaṭana Rudra. As far as I know,there is nothing in His iconography that indicates any third gendered status. The main feature of His form is supreme attractiveness,and which is used in certain tantric rites of vaśikaraṇa(causing attraction of a girl to a boy or vice versa).
  • Bhagavān Vīrabhadra=The author would be very interested in knowing about any upāsana krama of this deity that involves being third gendered,and until one can provide that reliably,one fails to note what is third-gender about Vīrabhadra. He is a guru figure(cited from the Raurava Āgama) and greater than a hundred rudras(Mṛgendra Āgama).  He is the personified wrath of Rudra,who taught the Gods through his violent actions through the greatness and centrality and glory of Rudra. In this author’s limited experience He was worshipped by mostly wandering Jangama ascetics and Lingadhari brahmins in Andhra. All that is required to approach Him is initiation in His mantras,which,to the best knowledge of the author do not have any bearing on the sex of the person who is being initiated.
  • Also,Arjuna ended up in that condition of Brihannala due to a curse by the apsara Uruvashi(which was reduced by Indra to just the duration of one year),which implied that that condition in the times that story was told would be less than a normative/ideal/good one.
  • People who weren’t straight or non-trans,etc were generally kept at a distance in society,though not explicitly harmed:The author is right in this one aspect,definitely.

People who are Gender and Sexual Minorities should make their case using well supported evidence,not evidence that is flimsy(at best) on closer examination to earn the good will of Hindus who know and internalize the understanding of śāstra,and can hope for the best for their dignity in the larger society.

On ideal paths taken by androphilic men in dhArmika folds

(Warning:May by misogynist by a lot of standards)

Disclaimer:If a gay man can be a brahmacArin,all fine and good. More power to him.I’m just noting difficulties which may be purely mine. The ideal recipient of this would be a gay man who is interested in being dhArmika as far as possible.

brahmacharya is the avoidance of maithuna in the eight aspects as noted by a traditional verse:

smaraNaM kIrtanaM keliH prekSaNaM guhyabhASaNam|
saGkalpo’dhyavasAyazca kriyAnivRttireva ca||
etanmaithunamaSTAGgaM pravadanti manISiNaH|
viparItaM brahmacaryamevASTalakSaNam||

(recollection of women/sex,talking about it,dallying with the opposite sex,looking at the opposite sex lustfully,talking privately with the opposite sex,intention to have sex with someone,making a firm resolve to actually do it,and actually having sex are the eight phases/forms of sexual intercourse.The negation of these is eightfold brahmacharya).

The problem for men who are homosexual is that in normal life ‘prekSaNaM’ with men is inevitably going to happen.(even in a traditional society,forget modern sexualized ones). And keeping them with women is not going to be a solution for reasons obvious to any man. (Amongst other things,modern gay culture,a huge part of it which is drag is about obviously exaggerated femininity,and more femininity is not what gay men need). And even in forbidding ‘kIrtanaM’…well. It’s all fine and dandy for ordinary well meaning people to say it. They basically have to isolate themselves and stay mostly alone if their ‘brahmacharya’ is going to be of any success. One is One may quote the maithunAM puMsi verse of bhagavAn manu,but other smRtis(nArada,etc) and medical literature of that mileu does note that their puMsatvam is defective,and hence one can wonder….

Of course brahmacharyam(and dedicating oneself to Hari or Hara in this way) is ideal,but in case one cannot adhere to that ideal

A possible solution-an impiety minimizing solution-(even if they are not brahmacArins or perfect brahmachArins) could be appropriated from a description of how the best courteseans spend their gains. Such men could spend their gains(which they are more likely to have because they do not support a family) on themselves rather than on hedonistic consumerism/drag sort of stuff that seems to be popular these days. They are described in the kAma sutra(in the 5th chapter of its sixth part) as “Building temples, tanks, and gardens; giving a thousand cows to different Brahmans; carrying on the worship of the Gods, and celebrating festivals in their honour; and lastly, performing such vows as may be within their means.”(Burton translation). Things like this(done yathAshakti),observing vratas like ekAdashi and pradosha,and dedicating oneself as much as possible to nArAyaNa or rudra:That is one way with which one could be better than usual. And also striving to be with one single person(if you really feel the need for companionship) as much as possible as one’s partner/friend.

And of course,the end of these dAnas,vratas,personal devotions and sAdhanAs(if one is carrying them out) are not mere avoidance of puNya and pApa,it is to attain that state beyond that(and also accompanying things like refining the buddhi towards withdrawing ones senses from their objects)

Well,maybe I was too hamhanded,I don’t know what else could be a solution.

Related:Bharat Gupt on homoeroticism.

Also: Satyanarayana Dasa Babaji on homoeroticism

We can further investigate śāstra to understand the purpose of male and female union. According to dharma-śāstra, the primary purpose is for procreation and not sexual enjoyment. That of course is the ideal and certainly not the observed reality. Dharma-śāstra set the standard knowing well that people in general are not at this prescribed level. Indeed, if they were, there would be no need to set the standard. In the varṇāśrama system, a brahmacāri, vānaprastha and sannyāsī were forbidden to have any sexual relationship. Sexual relation was only allowed in the gṛhastha āśrama, and the purpose of marriage, as clearly stated, was to produce a child. For this reason, in the smṛtis it is said that when the wife has taken bath after her menstrual period and approaches the husband for union, the husband should not refuse her. Otherwise he incurs sin. There are stories in the Purāṇās about a man uniting with a woman even outside of marriage only for procreation, for example Parāśara and Satyavatī, Vyāsa and Ambikā and Ambālikā.

To me it appears that the disapproval of kāma without dharma in the śāstra is about heterosexuals and not about non-heterosexuals. Why do I think so? Because the kind of sex that is abnormal for heterosexuals is normal for non-heterosexuals and if they are forbidden to engage in sex that is normal to them, then they have to repress it. However, śāstra is not in favor of repression, as Kṛṣṇa says, “All living beings follow their acquired nature. What can repression accomplish?” (Gītā 3.33) He also calls a person hypocrite who controls the senses externally but dwells on sense pleasure within the mind (3.6). Those who are born with a non-heterosexual disposition cannot overcome it by repression. Just as heterosexuals are allowed to marry and engage in sex as per śāstra, there should be a provision for the third group, tṛtīya prakṛti.

Since the past cannot be recreated,I am merely describing an ideal that is possible to follow in our current times.

Sridevi and other stuff need not be pushed as normative queer icons

Trigger warning:Religion. You can frankly speaking,sod off if you are anti-religious and moan about whatever -ist or patriarch or whatever I am in your cubbyholes.

(It’s primarily a reaction to this glorified blog that is a newspaper column: https://www.hindustantimes.com/bollywood/thank-you-sridevi-our-queer-icon/story-Oy6SST3RhHpSfrWSh9MZZM.html)

we saw the promise of a future where we wouldn’t lie about who we were and what we liked

All of that passes away. Though I wish I had someone in my arms,and someone who I could talk with/at-on the same level.

My queer icons are more off the beat than what activists would put forward. My icons would be the poet Raskhan,and the author Mishima. Only one muddled by activist babblings can not appreciate Mishima’s vīryam(a pale reflection of Samkarṣaṇa’s bala*),or the devotion that Raskhan put to Mādhava,which makes even every single shackle insignificant before long. It is that devotion which grants the freedom from every single shackle as easily as one breaks a rotting thread. And it’s this devotion which is in the very form of jñāna which is very rare to obtain. The yati who carries Lakṣmī’s husband in him has more freedom than any of us will ever have! (Need not even be a yati strictly speaking,Aghoremani Devi is a living testimony to that).

I do recognize that this path(and my inclinations) are not for everyone,though.Few would care,anyway. Maybe I am crazy.

*A reference to Saṃkarṣaṇa’s two predominating qualities amongst the vyūhas.

On reading gay stuff into mileus where such concepts did not exist

https://crevicesinmysoul.wordpress.com/2018/02/11/the-gay-angle-in-padmaavat/

 

This is not to say men who were attracted to men did not exist. They have existed since at least the dawn of agriculture in humankind. The definition of gay=attracted to men(and a community that defined itself like that) arose in only the 1920s-1930s Anglo-European world. Before that,there were people attracted to men in the US who would fuck straight men(or as the slang went, ‘trade’). Then people who had feminine mannerisms,and dressed such. Men who fucked other men. None of them came under that modern ‘gay’ label(as defining oneself/having an identity based on the sex one is attracted to). I am basing this on my reading of Foucault and George Chancey’s Gay New York:Gender,Urban Culture and the making of the Gay male world 1890-1940.

Secondly,I would find it grossly wrong to elevate a engendered in a situation like that-Would you endorse buying someone as your property,cutting off his balls and using him as your toy for sexual satisfaction?That’s essentially how the relationship began. There are better gay icons/icons with ambiguous sexuality in the past to look forward to,like Walt Whitman,etc.