Feedback for Willy

Hi Willy!

>It is my impression what Foucault means in saying "We other Victorians" is
>that the way in which we view human sexuality is rooted firmly in the
>Victorian era,

Do you believe that?

>and thus despite the distance we imagine exists between
>ourselves, today, with respect to how "human sexuality" is for us, and how it
>was for those others then, we are close enough to merely separated by the
>passing of time.

Good point. We may be closer to the Victorians than we imagine. And how
does Foucault depict them? Hypocritical prudes?

>That it was characteristic of this period that human sexuality was emerged as
>an object for study and control; abstracted into an object to be biologized,
>psychologized, socialized, politicized, etc - in ways, that is, in which "we
>other Victorians" are in tacit agreement, our "enlightened", "open-minded",
>"tolerant", views to the contrary notwithstanding.

Yes. And in the name of "enlightenment", we had people defining things like
"homosexuality", "sado-masochism", "female hysteria", etc., and thinking
they had answers for these deviant behaviors, or, if not... at times
branding people with a Pink Triangle and sending them to a gas chamber,
or... saying "this is just *a phase*" and maybe if you eat more Vitamin C
you'll "grow out of it".......

And that, during this age with disintegrating belief in God and increasing
belief in Science, Science took the role of helping guard social order,
etcetera. And of course, now that we have seen many of Freud's theories
de-bunked, and face new "cloning" and eugenic concerns (what if there *is*
a "gay" gene? Oh... well... we'll just... splice that OFF of the
Michelangelos of the future?)-- it is as highly dangerous, perhaps, as
previous belief in the Church.

Solutions such as lobotomizing "hysterical" women, done as late as the
1950s, or shock therapy done today-- or imagine E.M. Forster's _Maurice_
watching a hypnotist, thinking, "I just WISH... I WASN'T..." and having a
very hard time accepting himself *as he was*...........

Science. A moving target. And let me tell you a story. When I was growing
up in California in the 1960s/early 1970s, they did not allow "hippies"
into Disneyland (men with long hair: that was one criterion). And yet, now
that we're in the 1990s, the Disney Corporation is giving domestic
partnership rights to same-sex relationships, and I do not believe the ban
exists for... skinheads, or... hippies of today... anymore. But you DO need
to follow a few rules when you go to Disneyland, still: you need to queue
up for a ride; you need to not disrupt other people's fun, etc....

So the times, they are *changing***********

And what was believed to be scientifically "true" yesterday may be
de-bunked tomorrow... until someone NEW comes back with the same old belief
that X is "perverted" behavior...

And which leaves me with my last line for this post:

The price of both hard-fought-for and yet-to-come liberties
is to be forever vigilant.

---Randall Albright

Partial thread listing: