Sunday, October 10, 2010

Gender and Orientation vs Gender roles and Body Type In The Bullying Of Others

Could there be a reason that Bishop Eddie Long performed in front of his congregation in a muscle shirt last Tuesday?

I've been distracted with another writing project which has now finally taken off.  Since this project is a collaborative venture it's taken more time than I thought it would.  But now that it's off and running, I'll hopefully be able to devote more time to the blog.  I should probably warn readers that Enlightened Catholicism might get somewhat influenced by what's happening with the other venture.  In fact, I may test drive some of that writing on this blog.  In the meantime there is a very good conversation in progress on Open Tabernacle in response to this posting by Bill Lyndsey.  Rather than reprint the whole thing here, I encourage readers to take in that post and then comment on this blog.  In the meantime have a peaceful, holy, and joyful Sunday.


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  2. I read yesterday much of this discussion and think that both sides have some points. What follows is simply my impression of what is going on. It is not a treatises and should be treated as just a working model for discussion. As a Child analyst, I have learned that we all have a bisexual internal milieu from birth. We know that pre pubescent children identify strongly with the same sex. You often for instance see little boys of 10 walking on the school yards with their arms around each other. When does adult sexual identification really take place?

    We now that bullying behavior begins as early as 2 yrs. old and takes a particularly cruel turn at about 4 or 5 years old. This in fact is way before adult sexual identification and is in fact normal and part of growth and development. Kids are very cruel to each other at least through the first grade. Remember the "statement sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me!" Of course that was a lie, because at any age particularly that age words are well used to bully by both little girls and boys and is again very much part of normal development. As children are socialized by parents and teachers this type of behavior begins to decrease.

    Some children don't make this socialization jump very well and this faulty development is usually do to difficulties in parenting. It becomes a developmental disorder if not corrected in the child’s mind by other adults. I think it is true that before adult sexual orientation is secure, kids often call each other fags and queer. This is often apart of homophobia and may really be part of familial understanding of sexual identification. Finally many homophobic men do not make a secure sexual identification until well into adulthood. Many never make this identification at all. This is less true for women but also can occur.

    So are early teenagers just anti gay that bully? The answer to this question is a definite Yes and No. There are unconscious undercurrents of anti gay agenda's in so many adults that children have a lot of trouble identifying with gayness in a healthy way. Yes, it is definitely a (anti) gay issue. I think this issue will indeed get a little better as the current groups of young adults seem to be less anti gay and their children may be that way as well.

    How one person uses his body is an interesting phenomena. I recall as a young male being much more interested in seductive postures of young girls and women than young men and perhaps this was just my adult sexual orientation beginning to kick in. Those postures were certainly part of drawing attention to the opposite sex as a heterosexual interest in boys and men. I have never heard that they should be completely inhibited. I think the same thing happens particularly in youngsters with an adult homosexual orientation, but a homophobic society believes they are not proper and thus at times this encourages either extreme closeting behavior or in some extreme posturing in the opposite direction. Because society, by and large, has not accepted homosexual adult sexual orientation, homosexual male posturing is in fact a cause of bullying. There is. something to be said for both positions taken in this debate, but the idea that homosexual boys are just asking to be bullied because they exhibit flirtatious posturing I think is a big societal error, needing correction by education, that leads to difficult sexual identification and very often deep depression particularly in the child that is bullied. Thus we see increasing incidences of suicide in gay boys in our more sexually aware society that is first a parental and then an educator failure of socialization of us all.

  3. The Catholic church is spending millions of dollars to stop gays from having civil marriage. Am I right that the Catholic Church doesn't even RECOGNIZE civil marriage for a Catholic?

  4. Yes, coolmom, you are correct. Not only does the RCC not recognize civil marriage, they recognize no religious marriage either - not unless performed by a catholic priest. So the irony here is that any catholic can divorce without the church feeling they've done something wrong, so long as the "divorce" does not occur following a catholic ceremony!

    Here's the rule of thumb. Once a catholic, always a catholic. If a priest marries you only the church can "decide" that marriage was never valid. All other marriages are invalid to begin with! ;)

  5. Watch out! Holy Mother Church can be as slippery as an eel. Especially when $$$ is involved. Here's what Holy Mother did to me. I was refused a Catholic wedding when I married my ex in 1971. I had been baptized as a baby. My ex was not baptized but was willing to convert until Holy Mother started getting ugly. We told Holy Mother where to go and were legally married in a court house, with the understanding that we were legal in the eyes of the state but not the Church.
    We lasted 22 years and were divorced at the same court house. We thought that would be the end of it, but, oh, no! My ex fell in love with a conservative Catholic girl and insisted on a Church wedding. Holy Mother said: not so fast. Because Lynx was a baptized Catholic, your civil ceremony was legal at the time it took place. (My head spun! And I did not even need an exorcist.) Therefore ex could not wed his innamorata till he and I obtained an annulment. That'll be $50.00, please. Which he, being a fool in love, paid. I saw it clearly as a shakedown.
    The wedding was postponed. As it happened, the bride to be dropped dead on him, 2 months before going up the aisle. Ah, but that is another story.

  6. Lynx that's an incredible story. One could truthfully say this is an example of creeping sacramentality. I hate to use the word 'shakedown' even though that's what this is. I'm just too PC.

  7. Dennis there's a lot of food for thought in your comment. I agree that true bullying behavior later in childhood is a red flag about issues at home and may be a form of behavior modeling.

    What I wonder is how much of the bullying is really homophobia versus how much is a form of mysoginy.

    Anyway the good news is that with the injunction against the implementation of DADT we may get to see a more balanced idea about what constitutes male attributes of courage and valor in the military. Shock and awe orientation seems to have nothing to do with it.

  8. Colleen,

    “What I wonder is how much of the bullying is really homophobia versus how much is a form of misogyny. “

    This is a good point and I also think both homophobia and misogyny contribute to minds of bullies. I will ask a further question. Is it more common in an individual for it to be one or the other or is it more common to be both? I don't know the answer to that question and I don't even have much internal intuition about it either!

    It is further interesting to me that what you call behavior modeling, I think of as a non DNA family genetics.These two concepts although related are not the same.

  9. I don't either Dennis. I do know that some of the bullying can be very situational. Typical kid who acts like a jerk in a locker room can be entirely different in other situations. That's true for both boys and girls.

    Maybe it has as much to do with a need to rank order as it does anything else, and culture is pretty specific as to how things are ordered as far as gender goes.

    I remember when Billy Jean King upset Bobby Riggs, and Muhammad Ali took the heavy weight championship. From the reaction of white males you would have sworn the world came to an end. The divine order of things had been turned upside down and we were all doomed. It was hard to get through to some folks that their unexmined notion of 'we' did not include women and blacks as an equal part of 'their' order.

    Now that I think about it, the propensity for the western mind to rank order everything is a real stumbling block to spiritual progress where everything is connected and all play an important part in making the whole greater than the sum of the parts.