Interesting argument

The Mahdi again.

Essentially, anti-gay (and lesbian) prejudice in Africa is complicated. Whereas here it\’s just because some are homophobes.

What amuses me most about these sorts of arguments is that precisely those who argue that we are all much more similar than we are different, the internationalists, are those most willing to make complex arguments about those differences which do exist.

Why, for example, is the demasculinisation of the African male acceptable as an explanation of African homophobia (no, not an excuse for, not a justification for, but an explanation of) and the demasculinisation of the English working class not?

Chronic, endemic unemployment defines the majority of African men\’s lives – farming, on which 80% of the population depends, has always been a woman\’s job. A crisis of masculinity underlies much of the hysterical rhetoric around homosexuality.

7 comments on “Interesting argument

  1. Who was the Guardianista who explained Jamaican hostility to homosexuality by invoking slaves who had been raped by their white masters?

  2. Maybe you’re thinking of Decca Aitkenhead, who claimed the “precarious, overexaggerated masculinity” and murderous homophobia of some Jamaican reggae musicians are the results of slavery and the “sodomy of male slaves by their white owners.” Ms Aitkenhead also claimed that “the vilification of Jamaican homophobia implies… a failure to accept post-colonial politics.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/jan/05/gayrights.comment

    It’s clever in that it offers a double helping of pretentious guilt. Guardian readers can wring their hands not only for “vilifying” the homicidal sentiments of some Jamaican musicians, but also for the culpability of their own collective ancestors. Because, as Aitkenhead’s article tells us, “Their Homophobia Is Our Fault.”

    Incidentally, Ms Aitkenhead is the author of The Promised Land: Travels in Search of the Perfect E – a “travelogue about visiting poverty stricken locales and dropping ecstasy in search of the perfect clubbing experience.” A volume that can only confirm the author’s moral credentials.

  3. Oh didn’t you realise: it’s all the fault of AMERICANS. Evangelists are to blame, from AMERICA.

    It said so in the Times today.

  4. David, you really are the chronicler des nos jours of the spastic, corybantic gyrations which consume the Left when it gazes upon itself. I think you could usefully write a compendium book of Grauniad/Indy inanities to follow in the footsteps of Sokal/Bricmont and Gross/Levitt. I foresee an entire chapter devoted to our beloved ‘Bidisha’.

  5. Central to much of that was the emasculation of African men. Warriors were defeated, slaughtered in their thousands by superior technology; they were enslaved and shipped to America;

    Interesting order of events there.

    The slavery occurred before the colonisation and the “slaughter of thousands” (presumably the Mahdi means events like the Battle of Omdurman). Enslaved blacks were not enslaved by whites but by compatriots who remained in Africa.

    How does the slaver become emasculated?

    And also, if shipping slaves to America is emasculating for those doing the selling, what effect does transporting slaves to Timbuku or the Middle East have? Why aren’t they listed?

  6. Chronic, endemic unemployment defines the majority of African men’s lives – farming, on which 80% of the population depends, has always been a woman’s job. A crisis of masculinity underlies much of the hysterical rhetoric around homosexuality.

    Okay, so the Mad Mahdi is saying because they have no work or must do demeaning “women’s work” African men are anti-gay. Perhaps she should go and talk to the lads I commanded underground. At one point they wanted me to fire, or at least move from the gang, a particular driller (by definition big, muscular and decidedly macho) because he was an “mfasi”*.

    Unemployed and girlie certainly wouldn’t be terms I’d use to describe that particular bunch of homophobes.

    *Bumboy of the recieving persuasion.

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