Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Spring Round-Up

Friends, following are links to a number of insightful articles and commentaries that perhaps, as regular visitors to The Wild Reed, you may appreciate and enjoy reading.

First, at the always informative Straight, Not Narrow, there’s an interesting commentary on a recent Canadian Justice Department study that found that parenting by same-sex families is just as good – if not slightly advantageous – for children when compared to heterosexual families.

Then there are two reviews of Pope Benedict XVI’s recently released book, Jesus of Nazareth – the first is by Jeff over at Aún Estamos Vivos , while the second is by Joseph O’Leary at Spirit Of Vatican II.

Mystical Seeker shares a great (and humorous) perspective on “The New and Improved Limbo”, as well as some insightful thoughts on “Europe and the Failure of Orthodox Christianity.”

Elsewhere, Peter Schwarz examines “Sarkozy’s Electoral Victory and the Bankruptcy of the French ‘Left’”, while Jerry Maneker looks at “The Pathology of the Gay Conservative.”

And finally, I’ve been meaning to share this insightful and, to be honest, somewhat humorous commentary by Christopher over at Bending the Rule for ages. It focuses on a number of popular phrases that gay men often find, er, “uncomfortable” – such as, “bend over, and take it.”

Here’s a brief excerpt:

Underlying [such a phrase] seems to be some assumption that all men are heterosexual, and so male-male sex must always be borne of domination and violence. I find myself even more surprised when these words roll of the lips of straight guy friends, knowing that I in fact am bound up in that description in some sense.

For one, being penetrated in and of itself doesn’t for me imply being feminized or unmasculine, dominated or inferior. In the course of intimacy, broadly speaking (not simply sex), giving and receiving, being responsive and receptive, are par for the course.

That we continue to associate active with penetrating and passive with being penetrated and homologizing this with male/female, strong/weak, superior/inferior, good/evil suggests a great deal about how we categorize sex (and often our sexual ethics) in terms of domination and submission. After all, this is the categories the Romans worked with (regardless of whether the penetrated person was male or female), and these categories are only modified by Old Testament writings in such a way that no man was to be dominated by another man sexually. Women seem to have been fair game. All of this is to say, that I think those of us who look to responding to Christ as our first locus might consider how this approach to sex and sexual ethics is deeply flawed.

Image 1: John Ireland and Montgomery Clift in Red River (1948). (For more information, and a chuckle, visit A History of Gay Cowboys).
Image 2: Montgomery Clift on the set of The Misfits (1961). (For yet another interesting read, visit
Hollywood Homosexuals).

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