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Gays in the Military

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Postby Huang Guang Chen » 21 Jul 2008, 10:08

. . . and never, but never, turn to face someone if in conversation while midstream.

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Re: hmmmm

Postby Jack Burton » 21 Jul 2008, 10:31

Chris wrote:
Battery9 wrote:but then again..you guys pee next to each other. Off topic a bit..but how do you guys feel about that? I would have hated to be a guy and have to do that in front of strangers....


There's an unwritten code of etiquette to that. Look straight ahead, don't speak, don't occupy the urinal next to someone else unless there's absolutely no other choice, and never ever "sneak a peek"!


There was a cool flash game going around the internet that quizzed you on the knowledge of this code of etiquette when using public urinals (ie which urinal to use when there are 1 or more people using a fixed number of urinals given the location of the door, etc.)
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Re: hmmmm

Postby bismarck » 21 Jul 2008, 14:25

Chris wrote:
Battery9 wrote:but then again..you guys pee next to each other. Off topic a bit..but how do you guys feel about that? I would have hated to be a guy and have to do that in front of strangers....


There's an unwritten code of etiquette to that. Look straight ahead, don't speak, don't occupy the urinal next to someone else unless there's absolutely no other choice, and never ever "sneak a peek"!


Yet, in Taiwan, none of that applies. There'll be fifty urinals free and Jonny Taiwan will still come stand next to you, try to make conversation AND sneak a peek.
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Re: Gays in the Military

Postby Jack Burton » 04 Sep 2008, 17:58

here's another historical example that shows homosexual couples in military units may be a superior fighting force:

The Sacred Band of Thebes (ancient Greek: 'Ιερός Λόχος τῶν Θηβῶν Hierós Lókhos tón Thebón) was a troop of picked soldiers, numbering 150 age-structured pairs which formed the elite force of the Theban army in the 4th century BC.[1] It was organized by the Theban commander Gorgidas in 378 BC and it played a crucial role in the Battle of Leuctra, and was completely annihilated in the Battle of Chaeronea in 338 BC.

Plutarch reports that the Sacred Band consisted of homosexual couples and the reason was that lovers would fight more fiercely and more cohesively at each other's sides than would strangers with no ardent bonds. So according to Plutarch (in his Life of Pelopidas[2]), the inspiration for the Band's formation came from Plato’s Symposium, wherein the character Phaedrus remarks:

And if there were only some way of contriving that a state or an army should be made up of lovers and their loves, they would be the very best governors of their own city, abstaining from all dishonour, and emulating one another in honour; and when fighting at each other's side, although a mere handful, they would overcome the world. For what lover would not choose rather to be seen by all mankind than by his beloved, either when abandoning his post or throwing away his arms? He would be ready to die a thousand deaths rather than endure this. Or who would desert his beloved or fail him in the hour of danger?
—[3]

The Sacred Band originally was formed of picked men in couples, each lover and beloved, selected from the ranks of the existing Theban citizen-army. The pairs consisted of the older "heniochoi", or charioteers, and the younger "paraibatai", or companions. They were housed and trained at the city’s expense.[4] During their early engagements, in an attempt to bolster a general morale, they were dispersed by their commander Gorgidas throughout the front ranks of the Theban army.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacred_Band_of_Thebes
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Re: hmmmm

Postby Fortigurn » 05 Sep 2008, 14:27

bismarck wrote:Yet, in Taiwan, none of that applies. There'll be fifty urinals free and Jonny Taiwan will still come stand next to you, try to make conversation AND sneak a peek.


What's worse is the old cleaning ladies who feel the urge to mop suspiciously close to you while you're in action. Always freaks me out. :eek:

Jack Burton, it seems strange that a 1st century AD Roman historian would know something about a 4th century BC Greek military group which none of the contemporary Greek historians knew, nor even any of the later Greek historians. As Plutarch is the only source for this, and as there is no corroborating primary or secondary source, and as Plutarch's claim seems to be based on his desire to find a real life counterpart of an unrealized idea of Plato, it's difficult to credit this as a historical fact.

The whole issue of 'gays in the military' in ancient Greece is fraught with historical and literary difficulties, including lack of sources, misinterpretation of sources, and over reliance on very late sources which are uncorroborated. Not to mention the fact that the Greeks did not necessarily equate pederasty with homosexuality. There is evidence that an actual desire for the physical pleasures of the body of one's fellow soldier was considered obscene by the Spartans, and that the pederastic bond should be spiritual. A number of historical commentators differentiate between ancient Greek pederasty and modern day 'androphilia' (what we refer to as homosexuality).

There's also the fact that pederasty in Greece was not predicated on self-identification as a homosexual. It was lifestyle and behaviour choice, which sexual identity is not. It was a form of social conditioning.
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Re: hmmmm

Postby Jack Burton » 26 Nov 2008, 17:33

Fortigurn wrote:
bismarck wrote:Yet, in Taiwan, none of that applies. There'll be fifty urinals free and Jonny Taiwan will still come stand next to you, try to make conversation AND sneak a peek.


What's worse is the old cleaning ladies who feel the urge to mop suspiciously close to you while you're in action. Always freaks me out. :eek:

Jack Burton, it seems strange that a 1st century AD Roman historian would know something about a 4th century BC Greek military group which none of the contemporary Greek historians knew, nor even any of the later Greek historians. As Plutarch is the only source for this, and as there is no corroborating primary or secondary source, and as Plutarch's claim seems to be based on his desire to find a real life counterpart of an unrealized idea of Plato, it's difficult to credit this as a historical fact.

The whole issue of 'gays in the military' in ancient Greece is fraught with historical and literary difficulties, including lack of sources, misinterpretation of sources, and over reliance on very late sources which are uncorroborated. Not to mention the fact that the Greeks did not necessarily equate pederasty with homosexuality. There is evidence that an actual desire for the physical pleasures of the body of one's fellow soldier was considered obscene by the Spartans, and that the pederastic bond should be spiritual. A number of historical commentators differentiate between ancient Greek pederasty and modern day 'androphilia' (what we refer to as homosexuality).

There's also the fact that pederasty in Greece was not predicated on self-identification as a homosexual. It was lifestyle and behaviour choice, which sexual identity is not. It was a form of social conditioning.


Your points noted and well taken.

1. Plutarch: as with most writers of that period, there are a lot of primary sources that are no longer extant on which later writers would "borrow", quote from, or rely on as reliable data. But yes, Plutarch is not a primary source on the Theban Band, so his credibility can be called into question on that point.

2. I guess we will never know the true nature of the Greek man-youth bond that existed in many of the Doric societies, and we are left to speculation or reliance on the commentaries of contemporaries and later writers (with a grain of salt), and hope for the best.
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