Labels

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[00:00:00] This program is brought to you by pride in z.com. And funded through a generous grant from the guideline Wellington trust with the support of the rule foundation. [00:00:10] Hi, I'm Dr. Allison Lori, I was the gendered Women's Studies Program Director at Victoria University of Wellington here in New Zealand. For many years, I'm a writer, or historian and lesbian and gay activist. Today, I'm going to be looking at labels and how people who have same sex relations have referred to themselves. Language is very important because until language exists, people can't name themselves will talk about their sexuality. [00:00:41] But then on the other hand, that doesn't mean that they aren't going to join it. But it's a question of at which stage does this become verbalized? If we go back towards the written records, we find that every society has had some kind of way of talking about same sexuality. Among the Greeks there are there are two rooms. But more generally, it was thought that certainly among men, this was something that everybody would be doing an older man with a younger man, way of learning, love between men, very important, and on the battlefield, those kinds of things, weeks writing a lot about this model. And we know that from the Greeks through the art of lease boss, where the poet Sappho loved that, she wrote many of her poems, true women, that she had up a University School for women, and that clearly, the problems express love between women. Interestingly, one of the legends about SFO is that she eventually lips to hoodies, for love of a man. So once again, these kinds of ideas from the Greeks don't talk about exclusive same sex relationships, and clearly the Greek men were all expected to marry. But the is some view that their love for their wives, it's not as profound as the love for that converts. So that's a model coming to us from them, with some terminology, this certainly views about same sex love, from Egypt, with Pharaoh's. And also from Rome, we are kings did into into what appear to be some sort of same sex union, perhaps marriage. So wherever we turn, we can see that they have been inserted the same sexual love and relationships, and that they have probably been some sorts of terminology to refer to this. But it's difficult to make an argument that we're finding terminology which suggests unique spiritual people are doing it, even though we do find terms like lesbian existing, going back many, many centuries isn't being understood. There isn't necessarily an idea that this was an exclusive sexual orientation, as we understand based on a modern term, and sort of my it doesn't necessarily carry that softer that view either. Any more than you might say that different someone has a burglar [00:03:18] or stamp collector is everything about the identity or would severe, something that wouldn't change. So it's important perhaps, to think about that [00:03:29] sort of thing. [00:03:31] As we move into the 19th century, we see the medicalization of the human body, the rise of the medical profession, they began to train, they began to take over defining many things about the human state, plotted in [00:03:48] the understanding of human sexuality had been the province of the church, the church, Sydney, until the end of the Catholic period took the view that everybody would be tempted to do any of these sexual sins, any sun, everybody would be tempted to masturbate, everybody would be tempted to do six with their own six or six out of wedlock with the other six, and that people shouldn't do it, you would need to confess it and promise not to do it again. And even as we move into the Protestant period, we don't get much difference in terms of that it's all thought to be some, and people shouldn't be doing it. Now. Once we pass through the Enlightenment, the church loses its position to make pronouncements about the human condition. The rise of science is a very important here because science is that only science can understand nature, we will, we will, it's good enough God is part of it, then it's God's intention that we should investigate these things and find out about them our souls. So the Enlightenment is very important. And it is that period from the late 18th century that gives rise the into doctors and scientists in the 19th century printouts of on the human body. The first thing they doctors do was they they medicalized many aspects for example, childbirth becomes up in the midwives won't be doing any more doctors will be doing it sings like men applause and administration become diseases. They're very concerned about the fact they see that have infect the whole female body as a likely site of many diseases, because it's so weird to have a uterus. So they begin to start talking about things like exterior again. [00:05:31] And they become very interested in sexuality, and they always take a gap weeks is in many ways they take the views of the church, but they medicalized them. So they say, we've got this normal sexuality, and then we've got this abnormal sexuality. The first use of the term homosexual happens in 1869. When Ben Kurt who adopted be encouraged, who was neither adopter, nor was that his real name, he refers to homosexual, he makes the term up and he refers to this in a pamphlet, where he's arguing for change in the law and pressure against beggary and acts between men. [00:06:18] This train has been taken up and used by a number of people subsequently, there have been some earlier terms in years, but this is the one that becomes popular. And the first use of this term in English is in 1892. The first use of heterosexual is not to quite a bit later, and in fact bisexual is true is used for quite a while, as meaning and attraction to the other seeds, by meaning true success. So, the original usage of all these terms is not quite as weak, as we may have learnt them later in the 20th century, and so on. [00:06:55] Please be in stays in common path, always being understood. And that's interesting that's been used in pornography. And it continues on as a term which, which is the oldest term for six between women. [00:07:11] Now, the term homosexual and the idea of a unique sexual identity for code. Michelle Foucault writing about this in the history of six at tends to be quite strict about this and say that it really needs us from the later part of the 19th century. We might trace it earlier. And we can't completely rule out that some people didn't think of themselves as having a fixed sexual attraction in earlier times. We simply don't know enough about that. But certainly by the time we get to Magnus Hirschfeld in Berlin, he sets up the Institute of sexual science, and he very much sits up [00:07:53] the idea of homosexuality inversion as a permanent, biologically determined right now he's a medical doctor. He's part of that group of doctors, including people like lon brucellosis. Ilan broza who was very interested in inborn criminality, which could be physically demonstrated by characteristics of the head, all of these kinds of ideas about the human body that became popular with the Nazis 40 years later, that actually you had biological characteristics which were unchangeable. So we have to see who's felt, although he has an erotic figure and very important and the terms of in terms of the history of homosexual politics, but we do have to see his ideas about fixed biological identity as part of something which is broader than there. Now there were other people at that time, who absolutely did not agree with him at all plant who started the iguana, the community of the spiritual was a he and people who belong to that organization, and Germany and elsewhere, but they were members of their organization and receiving their magazine in many different countries. Their view was that these We are the special we are spiritually [00:09:11] good, masculine men. And we're just like the Greeks we love masculinity. And in fact, really masculine men can actually only love other men because women are so inferior who would love them? It's very sexist, but it is a it is an interesting a different kind of viewpoint. And it's mirrored in some respects in the early women's movement in Germany, which shows some tendencies and summer speaks towards lesbian feminism. Lillian Phaedra, man, cites a woman who stood up at a conference in about 1905, and said that inverted women had done a great deal for the women's movement and what thanks that they had. So clearly, these views being shared by women, and they were women who were certainly part of our fish felts movement as well. So we see it, we see a whole body of different ideas conflicting, in terms of the British ideas. It would carpenter, who is a socialist vegetarian, and spokesperson for what he called the intermediate seeks had number of women who [00:10:21] were followers of hers. And again, we get an idea that there are special people, but this rather fluid, because cabin tours of the idea that the intermediate seeks, which is in fairly large category, kid and trip, but extremely masculine men, and extremely feminine women to one another. So in a way, he's talking about a continuum, these ideas of a continuum of floating around at this time, and of course, they reemerge with Kinsey. And then in the late 1940s, when he actually looks at the practices of same sexual behavior among men and women in the United States, and finds that this doesn't work cannot continue, and that the majority people are somewhere in the middle, and not at extremes. And so that is another kind of interpretation. So in many respects, we've seen a balance between ideas about innate, inborn sexuality, which was highly fixed and in one direction, with some people being bisexual. And that's been fixed in two directions, and so forth. And that that sort of view and another view, which is that of social construction, which is environment, which says that, you know, you might develop your sexuality in terms of things that happen in your in your environment, and that it might also be able to be changed. [00:11:45] The notion of effect, central idea today is important when we talk about the law, who shot was annoyed with others that time at the beginning of the century, because he thought that talking about the fact that everybody might be able to do it, all men might be going to be able to do it would would certainly influence the authorities in terms of changing the law. And certainly that was a view that we took here to during homosexual law reform that actually talked about the fact that [00:12:12] yes, everybody might like to do this would be playing into the hands of the fundamentalists to said, Well, if you change the law, it means that you know, these awful men are going to go out and seduce a whole lot of other men and seduce boys. And that sort of thing. Clearly, you've got a bit of legal argument, if you'd say, well, only a small number of people, just a fixed minority want to do that. So there's no need to have a law against that. But that may not really be the way that things are because we may have a more universal view really of, of human sexuality, gay liberation, coming along the late 1960s and trigger 1970s and lesbian feminism very emphatically said, that calibration said we want to bring out the lesbian and gay men and everybody said, this is something that everybody should be doing. And lesbian few feminism said, Every woman can be a lesbian. And in fact, in a society where men oppress women to be lesbian as a sign of mental health, and so lesbian feminism is saying leave these oppressive marriages come out, you'll be much happier if you find a woman partner, and a lot of celebration as felt that men stuck in the rigid heterosexual roles were denying themselves an exploration of their sexuality and their emotional beings. So those ideas were very definitely the from the 1970s and 80s. And as we move into Now, the second decade of 21st century we see a greater universalised In principle, many young people are not that interested in a lot in in calling themselves gay or lesbian. They'd like to call themselves an identified many people don't even necessarily want to call themselves bisexual. [00:13:55] We've seen the rise of the term Tiger top we here in our theater on you Zeeland. This trim, resurrected from the story about him on Titanic, I, by the scholars know how to tell a quarter coup and Lee Smith and pointedly fighting this trip, which originally has the meaning of intimate friend of the same six, but which is now being much more widely used to refer to people who are part of these alternative communities rather as our original term camp, which was the term we used here before we got the American terms gay and lesbian in the 1970s and began to use those fairly exclusively. [00:14:39] So we see a movement really toward either not people not labeling themselves or labeling themselves in a more inclusive kind of way. And we're finding now as we're talking about the various communities that we want to use constructions like LG bt bt, q RA, which way we might be saying, well, the communities which are leads being gay, bisexual, transgender, Taka, top wait fat of a fiend, a queer, questioning and intersex that we see a much broader church, when we're talking about who our communities are. So all we can really say about language and about ideas about same sexuality is that they change according to the circumstances of the time, and can't exist apart from the societies in which we find ourselves so that as we look forward into the future, we can all we can say is that it will certainly change and ideas about same sexuality will change. But it does appear that in this country, we're moving forward into an area where more people are questioning more people are prepared to consider the fact that they might be attracted to someone of these of the same sex and that the sexuality isn't fixed and could change. [00:16:04] This program was funded through a generous grant from the Galen Willington trust with the support of the rule foundation and brought to you by pride in zero.com.

This page features computer generated text of the source audio - it is not a transcript. The Artificial Intelligence Text is provided to help users when searching for keywords or phrases. The text has not been manually checked for accuracy against the original audio and will contain many errors.