Were there heterosexuals in feudal Europe? (was Were there lesbians or gay men in feudal Europe?)

Xxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx xxxxxxxx at xxxxxxxxxxx.xxx
Mon Dec 4 17:51:06 MST 2000

Philip Ferguson wrote:

> >Or, to take another example, Carroll pointed out that the >teenager is a
> >creation of the 1950s.  The teenager didn't exist before >then.

Oh come on for my sake! there was a *substitute* name for *teeneger* before the
1950s, and it varied from society to society. In Turkey, for example, the
etymological origings of teeneger dates back to 1900s, when the first magazines
for children/youth were published. Teeneger was not necessarily defined as
someone in transition to *sexual maturity*. Nor  it was  defined as small
*teens* between the age of 13-19, as we guys call in the US!  It had a much more
explicit political meaning, stemming from the historical specificities of Turkish
society at the time. Indeed, you won't even find an exact translation of teenager
into Turkish. Instead, you will find *youth*.  As a political category, the
concept of youth served to the aspirations of nationalists in need of mobilizing
the Turkish youth for nationalist struggle. Youth was someone to be *invented*.
And hence was invented for nation state building purposes against the colonizing
*other*; the *invaders*; British, French etc..  I am talking about the period
prior to the development of nationalist capitalism in Turkey (1923).

Another reply to Lou:

>Gay oppression, and the categories of 'homo-, hetero- and >bi-sexual, simply
>have nothing to do with pre-capitalism, any more than >teenagers or juvenile

It is not a meaningful exercise to look at the absence of _homo-hetero and
bi-sexual_  categories in pre-capitalist societies. This is sheer empiricism
because it is so easy to refute; No capitalism, No homosexuality. The problem
with such an assumption  is that it so easily lends itself to bourgeois science
because you are implicitly making your judgment on the basis of
Euro-centered/modern assumptions about sexuality, and applying them ahistorically
to circumstances where the sexual organization of societies was different than
the one emerged in industrial Britain. The recent book review posted by Lou
suggests that western construct of _dualistic gender structures_ was not
necessarily held by Native American Culture. Many societies, prior to their
contact with European colonialism, had different sexual practices stemming from
the social realities/needs of their societies. As the review says, "Occasionally,
tribes had a designation restricted to women who undertook a male lifestyle, thus
the status of "fourth gender." These genders were predicated upon any number of
factors; dress, genitalia, religious or spiritual roles, work roles, governing
roles, sexual preference or choice, sexual practices, dream or vision
imperatives, parental decisions, and other aspects of individuals' lives".

blah, blah, blah..




Xxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx
PhD Student
Department of Political Science
SUNY at Albany
Nelson A. Rockefeller College
135 Western Ave.; Milne 102
Albany, NY 12222

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