[Marxism] Q

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Nov 22 12:03:28 MST 2006

>Leslie Feinberg's earlier writings and the section on pre WWII Germany and 
>Russia, were entirely taken from two sources: The Homosexual Emancipation 
>Movement in Germany by James Steakley and issued by Arno Press (1975) and 
>The Early Homosexual Rights Movement (1864 - 1935) by John Lauritsen and 
>David Thorstad and issued by Times Change Press (1974) - that Feinberg 
>chooses not to recognize.
>There is no original research in Feinberg's writings, but pieces taken 
>from others' works, who did the actual research.
>John O'Brien
>Los Angele, CA

People should read Leslie's articles and make up their own mind. In any 
case, in an article on Czarist Russia, she cites Dan Healey heavily who 
John does not mention. The research might not be "original" but it is still 
extremely valuable. The Workers World website gets a lot more traffic than 
these specialist works can and I am glad that it does. Leslie makes 
excellent points as should be obvious below:

Roots of Russian 'homosexual subculture'
Lesbian, gay, bi and trans pride series, part 7

By Leslie Feinberg

Revolutions against feudalism and capitalism in Russia illuminated the 
nexus of the battles for the liberation of sexuality, particularly same-sex 
love, the abolition of sex and gender restrictions, and the emancipation of 

These seemingly divergent struggles were up against institutionalized 
common obstacles. The economic unit for both peasants and workers was the 
oppressive patriarchal family, whether feudal or capitalist. The 
super-structure of law, religion, politics and education functioned to 
justify the inequality of a class-divided economic base. And this economic 
and social injustice was enforced by the state machinery of repression.

Russian capitalism created an exploited economic class that was up against 
these common enemies at every turn and was forced to take on the Amazonian 
task of battling class rule, its ideology and its state.

Of course, women as a whole were easily visible in pre-revolutionary 
Russian society; they were not a "closeted" population. But it took the 
growth of capitalist industrialization to create a homosexual "subculture" 
in Russia.

As early as the 1870s, historian Dan Healey describes that "as Russian 
cities expanded and commerce and industry grew, a new, 'homosexual' 
identity appeared alongside more traditional relations." (Russian Queen)

Forensic doctors and others referred to these men as "tetki." The word 
literally means "auntie," Healey explains, but it can be translated as 
"queen." Tetka was a patronizing word used for any woman older than the 

"The 'little homosexual world' (gomoseksual'nyi mirok) became a feature of 
Russia's largest cities," Healey says. (Homosexual Desire)

full: http://www.workers.org/ww/2004/lgbtpart70715.php



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