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It's not okay when Republicans do it, it's not okay when you do it.
March 26, 2010 4:19 PM   Subscribe

Comparing homosexuality to beastiality in this thread. Could you cut it out, please?
posted by Afroblanco to Etiquette/Policy at 4:19 PM (159 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

This was being civilly discussed within the thread. Why is this MeTa thread needed?
posted by OmieWise at 4:23 PM on March 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


Uh oh...
posted by Houyhnhnm at 4:23 PM on March 26, 2010


Can you be more specific, or something? I'm not seeing any flagged comments equating homosexuality to bestiality in there at a glance and I don't really feel like taking a fine-toothed comb to a ~200 comment zoophilia thread.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:24 PM on March 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


A horse is a horse, of course, of course!
posted by fixedgear at 4:28 PM on March 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


fine-toothed comb

Maybe shears?
posted by drjimmy11 at 4:28 PM on March 26, 2010


I've never understood the Injunction Against Comparing. "If you compare FDR to Hitler, you find that FDR was much more liberal and less inclined to the gassing of Jews." OMG YOU JUST COMPARED FDR TO HITLER!!!!11
posted by DU at 4:29 PM on March 26, 2010 [32 favorites]


I don't really feel like taking a fine-toothed comb to a ~200 comment zoophilia thread.

It occurred to me, too late, that I had forgotten to make good on my promise to buy y'all a beer. I think possibly I should get up a collection to buy you guys a brewery, instead.
posted by restless_nomad at 4:30 PM on March 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


It's ALWAYS on friday night, isn;t it?
posted by The Whelk at 4:33 PM on March 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


I wish people would develop a richer understanding of relationships.

Let's say I make this statement: "we need to be careful about discriminating against zoopheliacs because we think they're gross. We did that to homosexuals and we now look back on our actions with shame."

If you think I am comparing zoopheliacs with homosexuals, you don't understand how sentence-logic works. I am comparing how we TREAT zoopheliacs with how we TREATED homosexuals. I am saying that it's never okay to discriminate against someone because we think they are gross.

And I NEED to be able to use that analogy, because we (some of us) DID discriminate against homosexuals because we thought they were gross. It's really hard to make the point without this comparison.

When people have a knee-jerk reaction, it's as if the see the sentence, and to them it's "blah blah blah zoopheliacs blah blah blah homosexuals."
posted by grumblebee at 4:34 PM on March 26, 2010 [49 favorites]


Okay, I get it. Society used to consider homosexuality a dirty disease, and now there are people saying zoophilia is dirty and evidence of an underlying mental disorder. It's discrimination. I get it. But surely there are other ways to explain why this judgment of zoophilia is unfair that do not involve dragging homosexuality into it. If your argument hinges on that analogy, then it is a weak argument. No one in the thread is claiming homosexuality is the same thing as zoophilia; nevertheless, there is a really offensive implication lingering just underneath the surface and I am not comfortable with it. Other people have also voiced their discomfort, so please meet us halfway and find a different analogy.
posted by Houyhnhnm at 4:40 PM on March 26, 2010 [6 favorites]


Can you be more specific, or something?

Sure. There are a lot of gay people who I care about, and it really bothers me to see their lifestyle compared to beastiality. I thought we were better than that.

I mean, when Republicans make that comparison, we find it laughable. How come it's kosher all of a sudden?

Maybe I'm alone on this. If so, feel free to close this up and go on with your day.
posted by Afroblanco at 4:41 PM on March 26, 2010 [4 favorites]


so please meet us halfway and find a different analogy

Would you care to suggest one? If people use interracial marriage, for example, then everyone in an interracial relationship is going to get all GRAR about it. Almost by definition, any example of "X used to be considered gross but now we're all cool with X" is going to piss off everyone currently engaged in X.
posted by 0xFCAF at 4:43 PM on March 26, 2010 [6 favorites]


Sure. There are a lot of gay people who I care about, and it really bothers me to see their lifestyle compared to beastiality. I thought we were better than that.

I meant specific about the content of the thread. I'm with you on the idea that homosexuality-bestiality comparisons are weird and fucked up. I just don't know where that's happening over on the blue, and it would help to address your concern here if you would point that stuff out for me so I don't have to spend the next hour of my Friday afternoon looking for it myself.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:44 PM on March 26, 2010


I mean, when Republicans make that comparison, we find it laughable. How come it's kosher all of a sudden?

I think because Republicans say "If homosexuality is ok, then bestiality will be too!!11!!," but most of the comments invoking homosexuality within the zoophilia thread are more like "if your only objection to zoophilia is that you personally think it's 'gross' but you can't coherently argue why, how is that more defensible than the people who condemn homosexuality because they personally think it's 'gross?'"

I understand why both are hurtful, but I don't think they're equivalent comparisons. The former conflates people with animals; the latter conflates people who make bad arguments about zoophilia with people who make bad arguments about homosexuality.
posted by sallybrown at 4:47 PM on March 26, 2010 [4 favorites]


it really bothers me to see their lifestyle compared to beastiality.

This is a grotesquely disingenuous of characterizing most of the (few) comments that involved homosexuality, and I bet you know it.
posted by Dumsnill at 4:48 PM on March 26, 2010 [4 favorites]


It's ALWAYS on friday night, isn;t it?

Full moon, too.

Well, fine. It's full enough.

Goddamn sheepfucker.

posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:49 PM on March 26, 2010


"I mean, when Republicans make that comparison, we find it laughable. How come it's kosher all of a sudden?"

If I'm reading correctly, it's exactly that Republicans make that comparison that's wrong. Their assertion "gays are unacceptable" equals the "zoophiles are unacceptable" argument is the same in form and in the assumption of moral authority in determining what 'acceptable' is.

Could always replace it with the masturbation intolerance the Victorians had. Same form of 'unacceptable' and 'beyond the pale' and 'hrumph!' argument. Regardless of the subject.
'Course I'm not optimistic in anyone picking up on that as an analogy either.
I think comparing FDR gassing the jews with Hitler gassing the jews is way out of line though.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:49 PM on March 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


"X used to be considered gross but now we're all cool with X" is going to piss off everyone currently engaged in X."
Not masturbaters.
Well, not quickly. I mean they only have the one hand...
posted by Smedleyman at 4:51 PM on March 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


No one in the thread is claiming homosexuality is the same thing as zoophilia; nevertheless, there is a really offensive implication lingering just underneath the surface and I am not comfortable with it. Other people have also voiced their discomfort, so please meet us halfway and find a different analogy.

I will definitely do this, out of politeness, but, in return, I would like you to recognize how deeply irritating it is to say "It's wrong to punch anything. Examples of things that it's wrong to punch are A and B" and then have someone say "HOW DARE YOU SUGGEST THAT A IS LIKE B!"

And that happens over and over and over.

It's often really difficult to talk about ethics in particular without bringing up extreme examples, like Nazis or the the KKK. But if you do so, people who don't understand logic, will THINK you're comparing them to Nazis or whatever. And if you quit out of politeness to them, you're effectively silenced, because you've lost your only powerful rhetorical tool.

Since you are offended by the metaphor, help me out? How would you illustrate the idea. Let's say you're trying to explain to someone that it's bad to tell discriminate against a sex act just because it grosses you out.

They don't get what you're saying, so you want to come up with a clear analogy. It has to be something else sexual that a lot of people discriminated against because they thought it was gross -- and that they now realize is acceptable.

And you don't want to go back to Victorian times and say something like "a woman showing her ankles," because that's too long ago to be relevant to many people.

What analogy will you use?
posted by grumblebee at 4:51 PM on March 26, 2010 [14 favorites]


0xFCAF: Would you care to suggest one?

No, I would not.
posted by Houyhnhnm at 4:52 PM on March 26, 2010


We've come a long way when using homosexuality as the go-to example of Something That Is Definitely Okay To Do gets you called out for being anti-homosexual.
posted by 0xFCAF at 4:53 PM on March 26, 2010 [17 favorites]


Maybe I'm alone on this. If so, feel free to close this up and go on with your day.

Oh, c'mon. Stop being such a passive aggressive brat. Point to where this horror is occurring, or admit that you kneejerk response was not warranted.
posted by OmieWise at 4:53 PM on March 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


My girlfriend read the entire thread and found nothing to ruffle her feathers*


*yes, she is a chicken. YOU DON'T KNOW ME!
posted by found missing at 4:56 PM on March 26, 2010 [29 favorites]


I think everyone needs to cool down, and watch this.
posted by geoff. at 4:58 PM on March 26, 2010


A logically valid argument is not necessarily a civil argument. Yes, your example is powerful. Yes, your example is logically valid.

But what have you gained if your use of it destroys the civility of the discussion?
posted by m@f at 5:06 PM on March 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


I will have gained the whole world!

and lost my soul, but I sold that on eBay years ago
posted by Dumsnill at 5:10 PM on March 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


Let's say I make this statement: "we need to be careful about discriminating against zoopheliacs because we think they're gross. We did that to homosexuals and we now look back on our actions with shame."

If you think I am comparing zoopheliacs with homosexuals, you don't understand how sentence-logic works. I am comparing how we TREAT zoopheliacs with how we TREATED homosexuals. I am saying that it's never okay to discriminate against someone because we think they are gross.


This is correct. I read the whole zoophilia thread and saw nothing to object to (at least regarding the comparisons to homosexuality), and for what's it worth I'm gay.
posted by andoatnp at 5:10 PM on March 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


grumblebee's spot on. Valid or not, the comparison is the central governing idea of the article and, absent hateful rhetoric, inherently the topic of the post. Either the whole post is out of order or its not and, if the post is out of order, then the mods are put in the delicate position of deciding what Scientific American articles are acceptable for the blue and which aren't.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 5:11 PM on March 26, 2010


OmieWise: " Point to where this horror is occurring, or admit that you kneejerk response was not warranted"

In fairness, you can accompany this challenge with an acknowledgment that some degreee of... let us say, touchiness is understandable in these circumstances.

In the aftermath of Daniel Choi chaining himself to the White House fence, we have been grudgingly given the following sop: The military will now require a higher burden of proof against those charged with the dishonorable conduct of being homosexual.

If I encountered these kinds of daily insults to my humanity, I would be a good deal worse than touchy about it.
posted by Joe Beese at 5:12 PM on March 26, 2010 [8 favorites]


My comment probably falls under this heading, and... well, grumblebee has made my points for me, really, and worded it better than I could. I'm not 'conflating' homosexuality and bestiality (I'm queer myself, for what it's worth). I'm pointing out that a particular principle (separating disgust from criminality) applies when considering sexual issues, including zoophilia - and the (still ongoing in some circles) 'argument from disgust' against homosexuality is a particularly clear, recent example of that principle. It doesn't follow from that that bestiality and homosexuality are equivalent and nor was I implying such.
posted by Drexen at 5:12 PM on March 26, 2010


GB: I wish people would develop a richer understanding of relationships.

Given the context of this thread, I was genuinely expecting the rest of that comment to go in a very, very different direction.
posted by Forktine at 5:13 PM on March 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


In fairness, you can accompany this challenge with an acknowledgment that some degreee of... let us say, touchiness is understandable in these circumstances.

Alright, fair enough, but I feel like the germane point is actually that we've been having a reasonably civil, intelligent, nuanced, and informed discussion of a touchy subject. This comment seems to be essentially threatening to derail that in the service of..what, exactly? The tone of aggrieved, "when did you stop beating your wife?" question begging contributes to my sense that this is a disingenuous callout. Nothing has been deleted in that thread, to my knowledge, so egregious examples should be easy to produce.
posted by OmieWise at 5:20 PM on March 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


No one compared homosexuality to bestiality, and the thread seemed to move away from the analogy when people began to voice their discomfort, so I don't understand the point of this call out either, I'm afraid.
posted by Houyhnhnm at 5:24 PM on March 26, 2010


I'm queer. I didn't read the whole thread, but a skim didn't reveal any comments that bothered me. (I'm much more bummed about the hand-wringing over the word "cis-gendered" in that other thread.) And I agree that historical attitudes towards homosexuality can be a valid analogy to contemporary attitudes towards bestiality, and I don't think using that analogy in this limited context reflects any homophobia.

I do honestly appreciate your interest in looking out for queers though afroblanco.
posted by serazin at 5:26 PM on March 26, 2010


I just don't know where that's happening over on the blue, and it would help to address your concern here if you would point that stuff out for me so I don't have to spend the next hour of my Friday afternoon looking for it myself.

No, I don't have any specific action items for you, cortex. It was more of a general plea to the community to Please Stop Doing This.

And so I reiterate, Please Stop Doing This.

It seemed like there were others in the thread who felt the same as me, and I thought this would be a good place to talk about it. Also, I have to admit that part of my motivation in posting this thread was to sort of take the temperature of the community; is this comparison the kind of commentary that we're okay with? I was actually surprised that it hadn't been MeTa'd sooner.

As for my personal opinion? I think that homosexuality and beastiality are about as different as two things can be. So I don't accept the logic that, "If you accept homosexuality, you should accept bestiality." In fact, I think that logic denigrates homosexuality. And I think that's kind of offensive.
posted by Afroblanco at 5:30 PM on March 26, 2010


You know, there's probably a sensitive, nuanced conversation to be had about misuse of comparisons/analogies for political purposes -- when a facile similarity is put in service of some intended echo on deeper levels.
This is not that conversation.

This is almost a failure to come to grip with simple terms.

A comparison: Homosexuality and zoophilia share no similarities.
Another comparison: Homosexuality and zoophilia are different in that homosexuality is normal and zoophilia is not (under debate).
A third: Homosexuality and zoophilia share the similarity that people, at one time or another, have reacted toward them with disgust.
One more: Homosexuality and zoophilia are alike in that they are both morally reprehensible.

One of these is (part of) a Republican talking point. The other three are not. We have enough problems with people not wanting to give what others are actually saying the benefit of the doubt when it comes to intent. Not going to far as to read what people are actually saying? There's really no excuse for that.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 5:32 PM on March 26, 2010 [6 favorites]


So I don't accept the logic that, "If you accept homosexuality, you should accept bestiality."

Has anyone said that?

I think the point is that judgment solely on the basis of a gut instinct, an emotional reaction toward what is in your time a lesser-known variant of human sexuality is potentially a bad thing.

That's not saying there might not be other excellent reasons to reject something. But "ew gross" is probably not the best reason to reject a human sexual practice. How do we know this? Well just look at how homosexuality was treated in the past.

Really, you could have this discussion about any taboo. Only emotional reasons against? Problematic. Emotional reaction plus pragmatic reasons? We generally say the emotions probably follow some kind of evolutionary logic. These are completely different observations.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 5:36 PM on March 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


"If you accept homosexuality, you should accept bestiality."

Are people saying that?
posted by Dumsnill at 5:36 PM on March 26, 2010


I'm one of the people who brought up homosexuality in the context of the zoophile thread.

Anyone who is thinking that I'm equating the two didn't actually read what I wrote.

What I did write was that sexual attraction is something which science is barely beginning to understand, and that it doesn't surprise me that there are early statements from science that zoophilia may be inborn, as homosexuality is.

I also wrote that the parallels between how people are reacting here in MeFi to the concept of zoophilia are equivalent to how people used to regard homosexuality.

Drawing parallels between the discoveries of science in these two cases, AND between societal reactions in these two cases... how is that in any way creating an equivalence in the behaviors? It's talking about science and about social structures.

I've been an out, politically active, rather defensive-postured queer for over 20 years now. I'm not saying this in any way to denigrate my queer siblings in the world. It's a discussion about what the scientists have said they have seem to have learned about zoophilia.

If you can't separate the two in your mind, then you have issues. I can, and I don't.
posted by hippybear at 5:36 PM on March 26, 2010 [16 favorites]


Most have been reacting to what they see as an "it's icky, so it must be wrong," kind of reaction, which surely has been a driving force behind homophobia.
posted by Dumsnill at 5:38 PM on March 26, 2010


> In fairness, you can accompany this challenge with an acknowledgment that some degreee of... let us say, touchiness is understandable in these circumstances.

Especially given the rampant, idiotic slippery slope arguments made against homosexuality in the realm of gay marriage, e.g. "What's next? I can marry my goat?"

This was the first thing that immediately jumped into my mind when I saw the FPP, and I more than half expected the thread to end up as an emotionally charged train wreck as a result. Instead, I think it has gone fairly civilly, and has afforded me the opportunity to expand my philosophical horizons when considering behavior that I would otherwise write off as unpleasant and wrong.

For the record, I don't think there's much to compare between homosexuality and zoophilia, beyond a much broader philosophical discussion about tolerance that isn't particularly about either. Sadly, the tendency toward the comparisons, well intended though they may be—along with the understandable complaints against them—points to the fact that these awful anti-gay talking points have successfully permeated the public consciousness. That's depressing to me.
posted by Brak at 5:42 PM on March 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


So I don't accept the logic that, "If you accept homosexuality, you should accept bestiality."

Can you explain what gave you the idea anyone was saying that? I'm honestly baffled.
posted by grumblebee at 5:59 PM on March 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


Oh come on, Brak. The subject is disgust at what is effectively a human sexual taboo. How many comparators are there? The comparison is not the result of a Republican talking point; the reaction certainly is.

To compare is not to equate.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 6:02 PM on March 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


As for my personal opinion? I think that homosexuality and beastiality are about as different as two things can be. So I don't accept the logic that, "If you accept homosexuality, you should accept bestiality." In fact, I think that logic denigrates homosexuality. And I think that's kind of offensive.

But it sounds like you're not really reading either the comments in that thread or this one. Part of the question that is implicit in the discussion is whether zoophilia is wrong. That's not the same thing as asking whether it is disgusting, which is a much more subjective question that probably isn't valid outside of the scope of the individual. I think your argument only holds water if you assume that zoophilia is wrong, and not everyone in the thread is prepared to assume that, which is part of why it's turning out to be an interesting discussion.

I'm with hippybear, basically. It seems as though the set of things to which a human being might be attracted is fairly large, and I don't see any reason to arbitrarily privilege a few items from that set over the others just because tradition dictates that we should. Our consideration of whether it is morally just to act out those attractions should be based on something more objective than whether we find it disgusting or not. That's basically the discussion that's occurring in that thread, and in discussing that topic it seems that the history of the social acceptability of homosexuality is a useful point of comparison when considering how we might deal with zoophilia as a society. Note that I said "the history of the social acceptability of homosexuality" and "how we might deal with zoophilia as a society," not "homosexuality" and "zoophilia." Those two things aren't being compared. Although such a comparison need not be offensive if one doesn't believe that zoophilia is morally acceptable,* it makes sense that that comparison would be an offensive one in our current cultural climate. It's not the comparison that's being made, though.

* Honestly, after reading the thread, it's something I feel like I need to think about more. I used to go with the "animals can't give consent" justification, but some posters in the thread pointed out some very valid complications concerning that argument.
posted by invitapriore at 6:04 PM on March 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Please Stop Doing This

Please stop doing what? Comparing homosexuality with bestiality (which I don't think anyone has actually done)? Is that something that comes up often on Metafilter and that you have strong reason to believe will happen again? You want us to not do this then next time someone makes a FPP about people who are attracted to animals? Okay.

Or are you asking us not to use the word "homosexuality" in the same sentence as something you don't like, even if we're not comparing homosexuality with that thing?

I guess that sounds snarky and sarcastic, but I really don't know what you're asking. The specific thing that's upset you has petered out in the thread, so what are you asking us to stop?
posted by grumblebee at 6:07 PM on March 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


lord (or whatever deity or non-deity) love you Afroblanco, but I honestly don't think people are equating the two, nor is there a consensus of any type that accepting one = accepting the other. If you are unable to point to specifics, I'm not sure how people can stop doing anything.

I respect a lot of what you say, but feel you may have grabbed the wrong end of the stick on this.

anyhow

-hug-
posted by edgeways at 6:09 PM on March 26, 2010


Those two things aren't being compared.

You can compare any two things. To say two things are different is to compare them to one another. There are other ways to avoid offensiveness than dumbing down the language.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 6:09 PM on March 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


these awful anti-gay talking points have successfully permeated the public consciousness. That's depressing to me.

That is depressing to me as well. But in the context of that thread, nobody is making those talking points, and this call-out is completely frivolous. (The fact that it's possible to quote-mine a discussion is not a good reason not to have that discussion.)
posted by Dumsnill at 6:09 PM on March 26, 2010


Also, I have to admit that part of my motivation in posting this thread was to sort of take the temperature of the community; is this comparison the kind of commentary that we're okay with?

I'm not okay with equating homosexuality to zoophilia when one is making a value judgement about "is this or is this not icky". I doubt the opinions of others would be anything different.

However, I don't believe anyone is making THAT specific comparison in THAT specific thread.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:15 PM on March 26, 2010


As for my personal opinion? I think that homosexuality and beastiality are about as different as two things can be.

Really? You can't think of two things that are more different than two kinds of sexual attraction? Frozen yogurt and quasars? Shaker furniture and tonsillitis?
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 6:16 PM on March 26, 2010 [24 favorites]


NO I CAN'T POINT OUT ANY EXAMPLES OF THIS BUT YOU HAVE TO STOP DOING IT FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.

???????
posted by kbanas at 6:17 PM on March 26, 2010 [5 favorites]


Alright, well, I'm sorry if I offended anybody by posting this. I guess it just really bothered me to hear people on the Blue saying things that sounded, to me, suspiciously like what the Republican opposition often says. I get that it wasn't the intent, and that wasn't what you meant, but that's what it sounded like to me at the time.

And yeah, that's pretty much all I have to say on the subject.

I'll be leaving the thread now because I actually have somebody coming over, but I'll probably check back again some time tomorrow.
posted by Afroblanco at 6:20 PM on March 26, 2010


And no, I'm not interested in picking fights with people individually over their specific comments, so if that's what you're hoping for, sorry to disappoint.

However, if you don't drown it in butter, popcorn can actually be a rather healthful snack. So you can still eat it, even after the movie's over.
posted by Afroblanco at 6:22 PM on March 26, 2010


I'm really offended you compared people to Republicans. Please Stop Doing This.
posted by 0xFCAF at 6:24 PM on March 26, 2010 [5 favorites]


Ok, look: animals can't consent, but humans can. So far so good?

But what if the animal gets me drunk first? Like, soooo drunk.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 6:26 PM on March 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


As someone who has actually deleted my account (for a week) because people weren't playing nice with the gays, I totally do not have a problem at all with that thread.

They are two things that demand a compare/contrast exercise. That thread is doing a fine job of it.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:26 PM on March 26, 2010


Interspecies dating is wrong, you guys. WRONG. Unless, of course, they are a sexy humanoid space alien species with extraneous probing appendages. Can we all agree on this, at least?
posted by elizardbits at 6:32 PM on March 26, 2010


Wasn't the alien in the Star Trek motion picture (the original) against "relations" with humans because it would be immoral to take advantage of "an immature race"?
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 6:35 PM on March 26, 2010


I guess it just really bothered me to hear people on the Blue saying things that sounded, to me, suspiciously like what the Republican opposition often says.

Bugged me too, until I realized that what the crowd on the Blue is saying is the inverse of what Republicans are saying: we should accept zoophilies (as people with a particular sexual preference) because not too long ago, other things were aberrant that we now collectively realize are really totally normal.

Which then boggles my mind because as liberal as I am, I'm having a really hard time being open minded about a man-on-horse relationship. And yet, I don't want to oppress anyone and hey, I wouldn't want someone harshing MY sexual mellow if no one was getting hurt... so, I guess, if no one's getting hurt... I'd really honestly be interested in hearing from actual zoophiles on how the issue of consent works in their relationships, but that's probably not going to happen in either of these threads.

Yeah, my mind is all scrambled. But in any case, I thought the comparison was weird until I realized that it was the total opposite of how that comparison is usually made and then my head exploded.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:35 PM on March 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Bugged me too, until I realized that what the crowd on the Blue is saying is the inverse of what Republicans are saying: we should accept zoophilies (as people with a particular sexual preference) because not too long ago, other things were aberrant that we now collectively realize are really totally normal.

I don't think they're saying that, either. Just pointing out that "ew, gross" is not a valid reason to reject something -- or, if we decide that we don't need any more reason than "ew gross" to reject something, do we distinguish levels? How? Do we have to accept or make everything we know isn't perhaps as bad as other things we do?

It's a pretty thought-provoking discussion and I'm glad for the frank comparisons to treatment of homosexuality, even if I can completely understand how people might see those as an equating of homosexuality and bestiality. It's a delicate thing but I think that thread has been handling it admirably.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 6:46 PM on March 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


*or make legal
posted by Solon and Thanks at 6:46 PM on March 26, 2010


I'd really honestly be interested in hearing from actual zoophiles on how the issue of consent works in their relationships...

...Seriously? I don't think I would. I would think it'd be kind of like listening to a pseudo-scientific explanation of...what are those people who are convinced they're really elves and dragons and such?

As for Republicans: From a tactical point of view, conspiracy theorists must to wonder if a guy like Rick Santorum wasn't a saboteur. The comparison that would have made sense for their argument was homosexuality to polyamorism (i.e., if the gender element of marriage is not fixed, then why should the number of people be?). But instead you had these comparisons to bestiality and pedophilia, completely tossing out the rather key notion of "consenting adults." Talk about derailing the train at the station.
posted by cribcage at 6:51 PM on March 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't think they're saying that, either. Just pointing out that "ew, gross" is not a valid reason to reject something

Yup.

1) Many people condemned homosexuals because "it's gross when a man kisses a another man."

2) Most of us think the condemners were wrong to do that -- that it's wrong to condemn someone just because you think what they do is gross.

3) Many people condemn zoophiles because they think zoophiles are gross.

4) Since we already decided that's wrong in #2, it's wrong in this case, too.

5) Therefor we shouldn't condemn zoophiles because we think what they do is gross.

If that's a complicated idea for you, you really really really need to take a basic logic course.

If you think that's equating homosexuality with zoophilia, I don't ever want to get into a conversation with you, because you're going to get offended by all sorts of stuff I say that's not offensive -- or shouldn't be to anyone who understand how comparisons work to most English speakers.

If you think the argument above is claiming that zoophilia should be condemned, you are also wrong. The argument says nothing about whether or not it should be condemned. It just says that IF you condemn it, the fact that it grosses you out is not a good reason for doing so.
posted by grumblebee at 6:55 PM on March 26, 2010 [9 favorites]


Come on aboard, I promise you you won't hurt the horse
We treat him well, we feed him well
There's lots of room for you on the bandwagon,
The road may be rough, the weather may forget us...
posted by fixedgear at 6:56 PM on March 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Afroblanco,

I'm honestly baffled as to what you hope to gain here. You keep casting this as your reasonable accepting self against the craziness of the MetaFilter meanies, but you haven't actually shown that there are any MetaFilter meanies around here. At least in this case. Capitalizing your plea for "sanity" does not make for a more persuasive argument, although it does make me think that your motivation is more suspect than a more rational response might be. I have no desire to see you pick fights with anyone, but I do wish you'd stop burning this straw man.
posted by OmieWise at 6:58 PM on March 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


RE homosexuality, everyone needs to chill out and watch this
posted by The Whelk at 7:18 PM on March 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


I want to do youuuuu
You ewe youuuu
I won't do you you no harm,
Out on the farmmm
and just in the barn.
Oh yeah.
I want to do you
you ewe you.

(feel free to yodel)
posted by pianomover at 7:21 PM on March 26, 2010


RE homosexuality, everyone needs to chill out and watch this
posted by The Whelk at 10:18 PM on March 26 [+] [!]


aww, man, the good ol' days!
posted by toodleydoodley at 7:51 PM on March 26, 2010


In the interests of full disclosure, I used to be into bestiality, necrophilia and sadism, but eventually realized I was just flogging a dead horse.
posted by "Elbows" O'Donoghue at 7:52 PM on March 26, 2010 [12 favorites]


So I don't accept the logic that, "If you accept homosexuality, you should accept bestiality." In fact, I think that logic denigrates homosexuality. And I think that's kind of offensive.

I think it was actually an extended and complex metaphor as people were mentioning above. I'm sorry it was distressing to you [I found the thread a sort of weird read for totally other reasons, so yeah, oy that thread] but I don't think people are really doing what you think they are, for the most part.

[and yeah it might be useful if people get both that the term cisgendered is a sort of inside baseball term that hasn't totally spread to mefi yet and AT THE SAME TIME grok that people will be using it and if you don't know what it means you can google it. less cisgendered lulz would be better, thx]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:53 PM on March 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


For future reference, I think if you are unable or unwilling to point to actually objectionable comments, coming to Metatalk to kvetch is just being a dram, uh, jerk.
posted by Justinian at 7:54 PM on March 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Here, watch what I'm going to do. This will be really neat.

People who are against gay marriage should take a good look at the civil rights movement of the 60s, as many of the same arguments used to fight against civil rights for African-Americans back then are being recycled for use in the fight against gay marriage now. Someone using these arguments in the present day should consider about how they feel about those arguments having being applied back then; do they feel the arguments hold up as valid, or come off as reactionary fear-mongering?

I now look forward to people that:

1. Accuse me of equating homosexuality with the civil rights movement of the 60s, either directly or by implication (which I did not do);

2. Accuse me of saying that people who are against gay marriage are also against civil rights for African-Americans (which I did not do.)

This is the nature of the beast; once a person gets their dander up, and the adrenaline starts flowing, it becomes difficult to listen (or read) without the interpretation getting cloudy. Unfortunately, this means reasonable discussion of difficult, hot-button topics is incredibly difficult to do well (especially in a large group.)

Some would say, well, don't use examples like that, but then you're taking away strong rhetorical tools for discussion. Some would say, well, don't be so sensitive, I didn't say that, but then we're getting nowhere, because the underlying physiological disconnect hasn't been addressed.

Really, we have to make a decision: have the conversation like adults and hope everyone remains calm enough to have a rational discussion, or not discuss anything important for fear of offending people. I know which one I choose.

So...how 'bout them Mets?
posted by davejay at 8:01 PM on March 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


Who let the dogs out?

I'm so sorry. Please don't hit me with that rolled up newspaper. Woof.
posted by loquacious at 8:49 PM on March 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


we need to be careful about discriminating against zoopheliacs because we think they're gross. We did that to homosexuals and we now look back on our actions with shame

How about this instead:

we need to be careful about discriminating against serial killers because we think they're gross. We did that to homosexuals and we now look back on our actions with shame

It doesn't make any sense, and using homosexuals and zoopheliacs in the same sentence doesn't make any sense either.

Zoophilia is a mental illness (or something), homosexuality is not.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:05 PM on March 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


I discriminate against serial killers because they objectively cause harm to other sentient beings, not because I find their actions gross.
posted by Dumsnill at 9:12 PM on March 26, 2010 [8 favorites]


cribcage: "what are those people who are convinced they're really elves and dragons and such?"

Otherkin is what you're looking for here.

There are also Otakukin, who think they are reincarnated video game characters, although I'm guessing their ranks are now full of Avatar people.
posted by Copronymus at 9:14 PM on March 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't know everyone's sexual orientation around here. I do think it would be useful to know if any queer people found this thread objectionable. Of course there is no one queer perspective, on the contrary, there are as many queer perspectives as their are queers. But in general, it seems wise to let queers take the lead on defining what we experience to be homophobic.
posted by serazin at 9:15 PM on March 26, 2010


Zoophilia is a mental illness (or something), homosexuality is not.

But isn't it that certain people who object to homosexuality are saying that if the "liberals" can say zoophilia or bestiality is gross then we can say homosexuality is gross. Why do the "liberals" support one type of grossness and not another? Or conversely, are they saying that if you accept this then logically (though of course not really if you have any sort of honesty and education) you'll come to accept that.

I really don't know. I saw some of the Tea Party stuff, some of the Beck stuff, and it's utterly baffling.

By the way. A homosexual sold me clothes today and the only time I've been called to jury duty was for a bestiality case. These are of course, entirely unrelated.
posted by juiceCake at 9:21 PM on March 26, 2010


So...how 'bout them Mets?

Well, they've won 12 games out of 22 so far this season, so it seems the team has chosen an AN ALL NEW STRATEGY for the season: they'll soften up their fans by pumping them full of hope, then crush their little naive wounded, vulnerable hearts by falling to last place a week before the postseason.

THANKS FOR BRINGING THAT UP. WHY DON'T YOU JUST GIVE ME A PAPER CUT AND POUR LEMON JUICE ON IT OR SOMETHING.
posted by zarq at 9:38 PM on March 26, 2010 [4 favorites]


Are you consenting to that?
posted by Dumsnill at 9:40 PM on March 26, 2010


I haven't read the whole Zoophilia thread, and o I don't know what Afroblanco is specifically referring to.

However, homosexual sex is (in the grand majority of times, and for our purposes) between consenting adults. It is also the crux in a nationwide argument about people just trying to live their own lives and love the people they love. They people oppressing them often speciously claim that if we, say, let a man marry another man, we'll have to let a man marry a turtle.

I'm not going to blame anyone for who or what they're sexually attracted to - it's completely outside of their control. But there's attraction and there's action. Yes, we can make the argument that an animal would rather be fucked than be food, but that doesn't change the fact that a GLBT adult can consentto sex, whereas a horse cannot, in any meaningful way.

Both carry an "ew" factor form some people. But the "ew" factor isn't necessarily comparable. And conflating the two in any way does damage to the still-fragile cause of those gays and lesbians on the verge of equal rights in the U.S., by throwing them in with the horsefuckers of their opponents' imaginations.

Even if you're totally in defense of horsefucking, you have to admit that the comparison hurts gays and lesbians looking for equal protection under the law.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:47 PM on March 26, 2010 [4 favorites]


Metafilter: Even if you're totally in defense of horsefucking, you have to admit that the comparison hurts
posted by fourcheesemac at 12:18 AM on March 27, 2010


I had an entire plate of beans upon reading the title of this thread, now they're gone. And there's nothing left to post is there.

Is there?
posted by sanka at 12:24 AM on March 27, 2010


Is this where the thread sort of trails off and we start playing word games, but since we're a little drunk and/or high at this point in the night, our lexical playfulness is bound to sound stupid when we read it again in the pale cold light of morning?
posted by killdevil at 1:17 AM on March 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yup
posted by JohnnyGunn at 1:32 AM on March 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


Zoophilia is a mental illness (or something), homosexuality is not.

That really just supports the use of the analogy. How long is it now since homosexuality was listed in the DSM as a psychiatric illness? Thirty years? Forty years? And treating it as a psychiatric illness was regarded as progressive, compared to the earlier idea that it was an abomination and a sin against God and man -- which appears to have dominated for most of the last two thousand years or so.

The point being made is that social and cultural mores aren't fixed. They change. Sex with animals is no more inherently wrong than eating them is and our disgust towards the act is no more a guide to legitimate or moral action than the disgust of earlier generations towards gay sex was.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:57 AM on March 27, 2010 [11 favorites]


Even if you're totally in defense of horsefucking, you have to admit that the comparison hurts gays and lesbians looking for equal protection under the law.

But if you happen to be a horsefucker, you get the benefit of people already having made and won those logical arguments on the issue of gay sex, so why wouldn't you deploy them on your behalf?

People wouldn't think it acceptable if black people went around saying 'We've struggled for years to get people to accept that we're entitled to the same rights as everyone else, and now those nasty ass faggots want to steal our thunder. This comparison hurts black people looking for equal protection under the law.'
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:05 AM on March 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


People wouldn't think it acceptable if black people went around saying 'We've struggled for years to get people to accept that we're entitled to the same rights as everyone else, and now those nasty ass faggots want to steal our thunder. This comparison hurts black people looking for equal protection under the law.'

But that's almost exactly what blacks who are against gay marriage do say. Because um, gay sex is icky-gross and God hates it, so that makes it totally different than interracial marriage, which white racists say is icky-gross and God hates it.
posted by orthogonality at 5:19 AM on March 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


I read this last night right before I went to bed and I just rolled my eyes and thought, "I am too tired for this shit." Thankfully grumblebee did the heavy lifting for me.

If we are taking a poll:
1) I am not a Republican
2) I do not find homosexuality gross or immoral
3) Bestiality is a gray area which does not gross me out, but I might consider legislating against.
4) Pedophilia is definitely gross but the age difference/limit is a gray area.
5) I have engaged in interracial relationships so obviously they don't gross me out.
6) Polygamy is another gray area which is open for abuse, but I find difficult to condemn out right.
7) Extraterrestrial sex is a bad idea until we have checked for cooties.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:18 AM on March 27, 2010


I would totally do an E.T. If you are one MeMail me.
posted by josher71 at 6:40 AM on March 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


And conflating the two in any way does damage to the still-fragile cause of those gays and lesbians on the verge of equal rights in the U.S.

You are preaching to the choir.

Do you think anyone here believes that it's right or helpful to say or imply that homosexuals are just like horse-fuckers? One of the people who supposedly did that is gay. Another is bi. I'm straight, but I lived with a gay man in what was basically a marriage for almost a decade. It was platonic, but most people didn't know that. And I was under threat from gay bashers. Purely out of self-interest, I have no desire to make life harder for gays.

Yet I'm one of the people -- along with a gay guy and a bi guy -- that afroblanco is chastising. Okay, sometimes people inside a group do things that undermine that group, so it's possible we're all gay-hating gays (or gay-hating people who have lots of gay friends and who are often mistaken for being gay). At least afroblanco read the thread before assuming that. You are assuming that without even having the respect to read what we wrote before lecturing us.

I didn't "conflate" gays with horse-fuckers. This is what conflate means: the identities of two or more individuals, concepts, or places, sharing some characteristics of one another, become confused until there seems to be only a single identity — the differences appear to become lost. [wikipedia]

Had I (or anyone else) said (or implied), "gay people are like zoophilies," I WOULD have been guilty of conflation. But I didn't say that. Nor did I imply it.

What I -- and what all the other "guilty parties" said -- was "It's wrong to discriminate against people because we think what they're doing is gross. We did that to homosexuals, and that was wrong, and we now know it was wrong. Now we're doing it to zoophiles." The point isn't that homosexuals are like zoophiles. The point isn't that we shouldn't discriminate against zoophiles. The point is that it's ALWAYS wrong to discriminate against ANYONE based on personal feelings of disgust, AS WE LEARNED FROM OUR MORALLY REPREHENSIBLE TREATMENT OF GAY PEOPLE.

(Person A: Someone came into my house and stole my complete works of Shakespeare and my copy of 'Mein Kampf.' What an asshole. Doesn't he know that stealing is wrong?

Person B: How dare you conflate Shakespeare and Hitler!)

I'm going to assume that your confusion comes from not having read the thread, because if I assume you're confused because you can't tell the difference between the above and conflating gay people with horse-fuckers, I'll be assuming you have the reasoning ability of a child. And I don't like to assume adults are like children.

Which is exactly what you have done. You have come into a room full of people who have personally felt the stings of homophobia and have had the audacity to lecture us about how we're hurting the gay cause. Lecturing about the obvious -- that it's wrong to hurt gay people -- is something you only get away with if you're a grownup talking to a bunch of immature children or childish adults. Is that how you see us?

I also suggest that next time you have the impulse to write, "I haven't read the thread, but I have an opinion about it that involves moralizing to grownups," you do a quick mental shuffle and change it to, "I haven't read the thread, so I won't comment on it."
posted by grumblebee at 6:44 AM on March 27, 2010 [7 favorites]


But that's almost exactly what blacks who are against gay marriage do say. Because um, gay sex is icky-gross and God hates it

Two things to avoid in a civil discussion of politics [as contrasted with a discussion of politics where the object is to "win"] are (1) characterizing your opponent's position, and (2) speculating as to his motives. I've heard a lot of people criticize the analogy of gay rights to Jim Crow, etc., and I've never heard one of them talk about whether any kind of sex is "gross" or whom God might hate. The typical criticism is not unlike Jews who bristle at Holocaust analogies: Whatever kind of oppression homosexuals might experience, they weren't enslaved.

Sex with animals is no more inherently wrong than eating them is

That's an interesting point. No more "wrong," perhaps, but certainly more unnatural.
posted by cribcage at 7:08 AM on March 27, 2010


That's an interesting point. No more "wrong," perhaps, but certainly more unnatural.

You know what I think is really wrong, gross, and an abomination unto God?

Appeals to Nature. :P
posted by Drexen at 8:47 AM on March 27, 2010 [12 favorites]


Welp, I was one of the ones who felt a little uncomfortable with all the comparisons of gay rights to dog-fucker's rights, but apparently most(?) of our homosexual community is down with that. I'm a little surprised, given how delicate the rights situation is down in the US, but who am I to say? I apologize for my misplaced alarm.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:17 AM on March 27, 2010


Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?

Way to objectify me, asshole.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 9:41 AM on March 27, 2010 [8 favorites]


Shall I compare thee to an asshole?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:15 AM on March 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


An asshole by any other name would still be bleached.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:28 AM on March 27, 2010


I was one of the ones who felt a little uncomfortable with all the comparisons of gay rights to dog-fucker's rights

Can you point to a comment that was doing that?
posted by grumblebee at 10:31 AM on March 27, 2010


The original thread concerned the question of whether zoophilia is a "legitimate" orientation. Such a discussion will almost by definition lead to a comparison with other sexual orientations that have previously (and currently) been considered illegitimate. Otherwise there wouldn't be much to talk about.
posted by bingo at 10:56 AM on March 27, 2010


Do you think anyone here believes that it's right or helpful to say or imply that homosexuals are just like horse-fuckers?

[NOT ZOOPHILIAPHOBE!]
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:22 AM on March 27, 2010


Isn't apologizing for being over-cautious enough for you grumblebee? What exactly are you after?
posted by five fresh fish at 11:47 AM on March 27, 2010


I came in here to say that at this point the discussion has jumped the shark, but suddenly that phrase has all sorts of disturbing implications that I'd rather not get into.
posted by koeselitz at 11:59 AM on March 27, 2010 [11 favorites]


Isn't apologizing for being over-cautious enough for you grumblebee? What exactly are you after?

Understanding. I like to understand things.

When you apologized, you said you were doing so because you didn't realize people wouldn't be offended by "comparisons of gay rights to dog-fucker's rights."

Well, I WOULD be offended by such comparisons, but I don't see any in that thread. I'm trying to understand in what comments you think people are making such comparisons.

I only see comparison between two ways persecutors are persecuting.
posted by grumblebee at 12:05 PM on March 27, 2010


Oh, don't have a cow.
posted by Dumsnill at 12:15 PM on March 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


> So...how 'bout them Mets?

At last, a sensible remark! This year they're going all the way, friend!
posted by languagehat at 12:17 PM on March 27, 2010


I think I'll have a delicious Sly Fox later.
posted by fixedgear at 12:20 PM on March 27, 2010


Let us assume, grumblebee, that you and I are operating under a different ideas of "comparison," then: "well people used to feel X about homos, and people feel Y about dogfuckers, and look how times have changed." Sounds like a comparison to me, and one that I hesitate to use because there are people who claim marriage equality will result in dog-marriages.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:34 PM on March 27, 2010


It IS a comparison, but not between "homos" and dogfuckers.

"People used to be afraid of the dark, because the didn't understand it. Now they are afraid of calories because they don't understand them."

Do you believe that those sentences are saying that calories are similar to darkness? That if you look at calories, you'll see something similar to what one sees when one looks into an unlit closet?

Or do you think those sentences are comparing people's RELATIONSHIPS with two things they were/are afraid of -- that people RELATE to calories the way that their ancestors related to the dark, whether or NOT calories and darkness have anything in common?

If you honestly feel like the former interpretation is a better description of the sentence logic, then I have to bow out. That would mean we use language and logic in such fundamentally different ways (mine not necessarily being better than yours or vice versa), that it's impossible for us to understand each other.

THIS is what I'm trying to understand. Is my logic flawed? Is your logic flawed? Or speaking different languages?
posted by grumblebee at 1:11 PM on March 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


or ARE WE speaking different languages?
posted by grumblebee at 1:11 PM on March 27, 2010


I blame Bambi. Infants heads on animal bodies. That's actually how the cartoon was designed. And it largely concerns the sexual awakening of the baby-critters. So weird.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:12 PM on March 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


grumblebee, I'd guess this is not something that's going to have an answer you'll find satisfying; it's not a matter of pure logic so much as one of people feeling understandably a little uncomfortable even in the best case when a discussion uses as semantic ammunition, even in a strictly-logically-speaking non-pejorative way, ideas or referents that have been used historically in much more pejorative or otherwise unkind ways.

So it's fine to say that, logically speaking, the distinction between comparison-for-contrast vs comparison-for-similarity, or the use of homosexuality and bestiality as semantic referents in a logical argument at some specific meta-conversational level is free of any direct harm or is not positing homosexuality in a bad light, etc. Which I think a lot of people here have been saying, and which I think is pretty much fair.

But there's still the potential emotional impact of starting from the point of having had bigots previously make arguments conflating homosexuality with bestiality, and then proceeding to have a discussion where homosexuality and bestiality get brought up side by side, and having that just send up some alarm bells. I'm guessing that's kind of what fff is talking about, and what Afroblanco was concerned about when he started this, and it's too an understandable if not logic-driven reaction to have.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:20 PM on March 27, 2010 [5 favorites]


and it's too an understandable if not logic-driven reaction to have.

It is, but it has caused several people here to wildly misrepresent other people's comments, and that should be made clear, which I think grumblebee has done a decent job of doing.
posted by Dumsnill at 1:34 PM on March 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Infants heads on animal bodies. That's actually how the cartoon was designed.

THANK YOU FOR PUTTING ANOTHER YEAR ON MY THERAPY.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:45 PM on March 27, 2010


cortex, what you said makes sense, but it's an assumption on your part. (You admit this in your last sentence.) I never once heard afroblanco, fff or any of the others who were offended say, "we get that it's not a direct comparison, but just by evoking those two ideas in the same sentence, you're risking people making an irrational connection between the two."

Had they said that, I WOULD have been satisfied. We then could discuss whether or not such risks are necessary in certain conversations. We could have talked about what sorts of things we think are okay to say in adult conversations, and whether, in such conversations, you need to be continually worried about what people will assume, even when you're dotting your logical i's and crossing your logical t's.

But the impression I get is that afroblanco and company really think I (and others) were saying we think homosexuals are like horsefuckers.

I guess I was waiting for SOMEONE who was offended to clarify by saying one of these things:

-- You're wrong. Person X DID in fact imply that homosexuals are like zoophiles and here's a link to the comment.

-- You're right in a literal sense, but I mistook your meaning at first, and if I mistook it, lots of people are going to mistake it, so in the interest of not hurting the cause, please stop saying it.

-- You're wrong. You don't understand how sentence-logic works. Saying what you said DOES imply that the gays and zoophiles are similar, and if you disagree then it's YOU who doesn't understand sentence logic.

-- You are right in a literal sense, but I don't believe you just meant what you said on the surface. I think what you said is a convenient way to say something homophobic without saying it: to make people link gays and dogfuckers in their minds without explicitly making that link yourself. Which gives you plausible deniability.

What upsets me is that I felt I was, in a vague way, being accused of being homophobic, which is ironic, because I've spent decades of my life being persecuted for being gay (even though I'm not), and now I'm being accused of hurting gay people.

But I don't begrudge people the right to call out persecution that they see or think they see. What bothers me is "I'm going to accuse you, but I'm not going to link to specifics. Nor am I going to give you the benefit of the doubt about your intentions. Nor am I going to even respond to what you -- and other people -- keep saying about sentence logic. I'm not going to agree or disagree with that. I am just going to make vague accusations and refuse to clarify them."
posted by grumblebee at 1:51 PM on March 27, 2010 [7 favorites]


(If anyone is worried that I'm going to blah-blah-blah here forever, rest assured that I'm basically done. I will respond to any questions or whatever, but I've said what I personally needed to say.)
posted by grumblebee at 1:53 PM on March 27, 2010


At last, a sensible remark! This year they're going all the way, friend!

All the way with animals, maybe. They've got to get further than first base with something.
posted by pracowity at 1:54 PM on March 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


I will respond to any questions or whatever

If you had to choose between chocolate or strawberry ice cream, which would it be and why?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:56 PM on March 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


cortex, what you said makes sense, but it's an assumption on your part. (You admit this in your last sentence.) I never once heard afroblanco, fff or any of the others who were offended say, "we get that it's not a direct comparison, but just by evoking those two ideas in the same sentence, you're risking people making an irrational connection between the two."

I know that, and I'll be clear again just for redundancy's sake that I may be misinterpreting part of how fff and Afroblanco are approaching the situation. I'm responding as much as anything to your own acknowledged tendency to kind of hyper-parse stuff at times: you may be asking for a more painstakingly plotted-out take on that feeling I'm describing than folks feel like they need to give, especially after they feel like they've already acknowledged that it's not necessarily a robust or logical reaction on their parts.

I'm not trying to get involved in the discussion, really, so much as trying to just nudge out what might be a useful and possibly aggravation-limiting short circuit to what might be an unsatisfying quest for explanation on your part. But I don't have a big investment in the argument either way and don't want to start trying to referee it, so I'll leave it at that and pop back out.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:57 PM on March 27, 2010


If you had to choose between chocolate or strawberry ice cream, which would it be and why?

Chocolate ice cream, because it really tastes chocolatey. To me, strawberry ice cream may be vaguely the same color as strawberries, but it doesn't taste like them. Maybe I should learn to get past the name and just appreciate it as a unique substance with its own special taste.
posted by grumblebee at 2:02 PM on March 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


especially after they feel like they've already acknowledged that it's not necessarily a robust or logical reaction on their parts.


If they acknowledged that, I totally missed it. And I apologize. I will go back and look for that.
posted by grumblebee at 2:08 PM on March 27, 2010


I never once heard afroblanco, fff or any of the others who were offended say, "we get that it's not a direct comparison, but just by evoking those two ideas in the same sentence, you're risking people making an irrational connection between the two." Had they said that, I WOULD have been satisfied.

But the impression I get is that afroblanco and company really think I (and others) were saying we think homosexuals are like horsefuckers.


I assure you, had I thought for a moment you were making a direct comparison, I'd have been up your ass in the blue, grey, flags, and email to the mods calling for your bannination. And I sure as hell hope that most users on MeFi would do the same, in their own words and ways.

I find your accusation regarding my polite concern really expletive offensive. It is not even a year since we had nutcases making claims that gay marriage would directly lead to people fucking their dogs, and when I say I'm uncomfortable with people using homosexuality as a reference point when discussing bestiality, you make the worst possible assumption. Asshole.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:13 PM on March 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Exactly what cortex said.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:15 PM on March 27, 2010


fff, I am sorry I offended you. You came late into the discussion, and I guess I lumped you into a category with afroblanco.

After making his charge, here's what he said:

As for my personal opinion? I think that homosexuality and beastiality are about as different as two things can be. So I don't accept the logic that, "If you accept homosexuality, you should accept bestiality." In fact, I think that logic denigrates homosexuality. And I think that's kind of offensive.

Isn't the implication here that, since HIS opinion is that homosexuality and bestiality are different, the people he's accusing (me, for one), think they are the same? He claims that denigrating homosexuality is offensive (which, of course, it is). Why claim than in the very same thread in which you're chastising people about prose involving homosexuals if you aren't accusing them of being homophobic?

Again, I apologize, but NO ONE -- unless I missed it -- tempered their accusations (accusations that I'm doing something HORRIBLE) by saying, "maybe you didn't mean it, but that's how it came across). In fact, when a few people apologized, they STILL suggested that we were comparing homosexuals with horsefuckers.
posted by grumblebee at 2:21 PM on March 27, 2010


Sorry, let me apologize to fff without diluting that apology with self-serving crap: fff, I really am sorry. I made assumptions about your point of view that I shouldn't have made. I hope you can forgive me.
posted by grumblebee at 2:28 PM on March 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


I blame Bambi.

?
posted by juv3nal at 2:31 PM on March 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


> Comparing homosexuality to beastiality in this thread. Could you cut it out, please?

I wonder if ab isn't likely to be rather thoroughly embarrassed by this post one day, and start edging uneasily out of the room when the young folks of that time start discussing those intolerant bestiality haytahs of the past and how they're all Republicans now.
posted by jfuller at 3:22 PM on March 27, 2010


And having gone back to my post in the blue, I can appreciate where you're coming from, and why your GWRAR quiotent is about equal to mine. Let's give ourselves all a hug and give each other a bit more credit for not being the types of troglodytic bastards that keep dragging our society down.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:37 PM on March 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


Thanks, fff. Glad you're not too offended.
posted by grumblebee at 4:05 PM on March 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


> All the way with animals, maybe. They've got to get further than first base with something.

Flagged as Yankee fan.
posted by languagehat at 4:59 PM on March 27, 2010


Yanked as fanny flag.
posted by SpiffyRob at 5:20 PM on March 27, 2010


/me humps grumblebee's leg
posted by flabdablet at 5:41 PM on March 27, 2010


Fannie Flagg
posted by fixedgear at 5:43 PM on March 27, 2010


What is it with Republicans and Sex with Animals? And that's why I'm uncomfortable with where the zoo thread went. There are too many people who want to equate them. Let it remain a completely lunatic idea.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:10 PM on March 27, 2010


The animal in you
posted by KokuRyu at 6:14 PM on March 27, 2010


Try homemade strawberry ice cream. My stepfather, while an objectionable person* in many ways, makes delicious ice cream out of sugar, cream, salt, and fruit, and it really does taste a lot like strawberries in cream but without the textural mismatch of that particular dish and just smoooooth all the way through.

(Let's just say that in this particular conversation, he would be honestly surprised that anyone didn't equate homosexuality directly with bestiality.)
posted by Scattercat at 6:57 PM on March 27, 2010


After reading KokuRyu's link, my first thought was Dude is dead, man; there's no need to inform his neighbour that she almost had a horse-fucker living next to her. She didn't want to know, sheesh.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:21 PM on March 27, 2010


Dude is dead, man; there's no need to inform his neighbour that she almost had a horse-fucker living next to her. She didn't want to know, sheesh.

I know, right? I mean, make what jokes you like about Equus, but at least it was a stable relationship.
posted by Sparx at 7:56 PM on March 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm bisexual and write gay fiction and I thoroughly agree with Grumblebee and everyone else who thinks it's ridiculous to be offended.

It's not unforgivable or uncommon to not be able to keep those things sorted in your mind, but the solution is you should work on following arguments better, not ask everyone else to stop making rational arguments because you can't keep them straight, or even more absurd, because you worry other people can't keep them straight and will be jerks about it. I think it's a terrible precedent to set that we shouldn't voice certain arguments if there are some people who misuse it. I think it's even shittier to twist it to such an unfathomable degree as to imply the arguer might hold the exact opposite disposition toward something -- here, homosexuality -- than he actually holds. The problem here is not on the end of the people making the comparison.

Anything that is logical can't be hidden or wished away. We shouldn't be chastized for making logical arguments because Republicans are assholes about it and we have some delusion that they'll magically forget their beastiality argument if everyone stays super quiet. Whether we talk about it or not, there is still the "this was/is considered gross" parallel out there in reality for anyone to seize on, for good or ill. Seems to make a hell of a lot more sense to me to discuss things in a reasonable manner than let the only talk about that parallel be completely batshit. If people are exposed to the idea that you need more arguments than "it's gross" to outlaw something, good. If you baby people and "protect" them from logical arguments for fear they can't handle it, they never learn to be logical. Big surprise.

This call-out really disappoints me. One of the reasons I like Metafilter so much is there's a higher degree of appreciation for and understanding of basic logic, and I'm honestly frustrated and baffled that anyone even had to defend themselves. I'd expect this sloppiness on the WoW forums or something, but not here.
posted by Nattie at 8:57 PM on March 27, 2010 [12 favorites]


I assure you, had I thought for a moment you were making a direct comparison, I'd have been up your ass in the blue, grey, flags, and email to the mods calling for your bannination.

Oh no, not a direct comparison!

I blame the educational system. Peace out.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 9:29 PM on March 27, 2010


I came in here to say that at this point the discussion has jumped the shark, but suddenly that phrase has all sorts of disturbing implications that I'd rather not get into.

So does sex kitten. Which is probably preferable to a cougar, all things considered.

Or minx, vixen and bears, for that matter.

But, by all means, don't have a cow, man.
posted by y2karl at 9:33 PM on March 27, 2010


MetaFilter has really gone to the dogs lately.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:42 PM on March 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


That's an interesting point. No more "wrong," perhaps, but certainly more unnatural.

Plus the Bible talks about Adam and Eve, not Adam and Rover.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:42 AM on March 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Plus the Bible talks about Adam and Eve, not Adam and Rover.

Well said. All this talk about all different kinds of folk and species cohabitatin' for debaucherous pleasures goes against what God laid out for us. I think his point was pretty clear with that one man/one lady/one snake thing. And if you don't like the straight truth looking you in the eye, I don't know what to tell you. But don't be fooled by all these specious species arguments - like I always say, you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig.

A beautiful, magnificent, sexy pig.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 6:49 AM on March 28, 2010


Fannie Flagg
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:56 AM on March 28, 2010


Thank you, Nattie. You spoke my thoughts with more eloquence than I could muster. To me, an analogy is this: there are some big battles amongst biologists. Some believe in Punctured Equilibrium, the idea that evolution doesn't always move forward at a steady rate. Others believe the opposite.

When in debate with Creationists, should biologists pretend that they're all on the same page? If they admit to the internal turmoil, that might give Creationists fodder. "See, even the Darwinists can't agree!"

I don't think there's a right answer to this question. It depends on your values. My values say that there's ultimately only one battle, one between truth and lies. So, to me, the correct answer is to admit to the controversy. (To me, if the Darwinists win without admitting the truth, they really haven't won.)

I would probably fail at doing so, because I'm too weak to follow my own ethics. Here, I have promised not to put zoophiles and homosexuals into a sentence together, even when, by the rules of standard logic, I am not comparing them. Promising that was (by my ethics) wrong of me to do, for reasons you outline.

But I will stick to it, because I hate offending people. I wish I was brave enough to act as you suggest, Nattie. In the big picture (of what I think we need most in this world), a stubborn refusal to budge from truth is more important than worrying about causing offense. But I know myself and I know I will cave under social pressure.
posted by grumblebee at 9:16 AM on March 28, 2010


I guess it's a form of progress, when straight people get called by gays for being over-sensitive.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:50 AM on March 28, 2010


Over-sensitive to language that compares homosexuality to zoophilia, that is. If I don't explain further, probably someone will get upset that I've implied that "over-sensitivity" is a uniquely gay attribute.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:53 AM on March 28, 2010


When I lived with a gay guy, most people assumed we were both gay (and lovers). One time, we stayed with some friends of his. They pushed two mattresses together for us to sleep on. Since neither of us wanted to sleep together, we moved the mattresses apart. The next day, our hosts got really pissed off at us. They were angry that we didn't trust their tolerance enough to "do what has natural to us" in their house. They had been SO looking forward to showing off how liberal they were, and we spoiled that for them.

But, for a while, there was a rumor going around that one just one of us was gay. (This was in the 80s, by the way, in case you're wondering why it was such a big deal.) Most people assumed it was me. My roommate was into sports and had a bunch of power tools, which he would lend to people. I barely knew which side of a hammer to hold. I hated sports. I was into musical theatre. And I was way more over-sensitive than he was.

I've always been gay -- except for that relatively unimportant part of being attracted to members of my own sex.
posted by grumblebee at 10:18 AM on March 28, 2010


That's funny, because I've always been zoophile... except the only animal I'm attracted to is humans.
posted by hippybear at 7:56 PM on March 28, 2010


That's funny, because I've always been zoophile... except the only animal I'm attracted to is humans.
posted by hippybear


There's an epyno-etc joke in there somewhere, I think.
posted by Forktine at 8:16 PM on March 28, 2010


Helen Reddy had an awesome voice, and I love to sing I Am Woman. s'truth.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:10 PM on March 28, 2010


The problem here is not on the end of the people making the comparison.


Well I believe it is, a little bit. I went to bat for the people making the "gross" argument in the thread so I might as well here:

It is one thing when someone dismisses an objection to something as gross when said objection is of a purely emotional nature that cannot be supported by logic, and another thing when someone dismisses an objection that can logically justified. It may be plain on a visceral level that a human having a sexual relationship with an animal is doing something objectionable, but it's not as though this is impossible to justify or intellectualize. The person committing bestiality is making a domesticated beast with no intellectual capacity whatsoever into a dumb receptacle for his lust, debasing his own sex drive while exploiting the lower life form's supressed sex drive and dependency in order to have an unresisting sex slave. Most people understandably find this very gross and not in such a way we can dismiss as sexual prudishness, but in a rather clear way that doesn't vanish even when all the various other abuses against animals are desperately dragged into the conversation.

I understand why Afroblanco was upset by people equating the "gross" objections to homosexuality with the "gross" objections to bestiality; I am too. One may not be equating homosexuality and bestiality, but neither are the "gross" objections against either the same. One application of "gross" is based on ignorance, fear and self-serving discrimination, the other is based on an indictment of demonstratively exploitative behavior. In short, one use is invalid, the other valid. I can totally understand how in the heat of debate this sort of thing can be overlooked, but I feel quite certain that the comparison is not as rational and logical as some people think it is.
posted by millions at 1:23 AM on March 29, 2010


That's an interesting point, millions, and I'm tempted to discuss your core idea (is one sort of being grossed out more valid than another), because it's fascinating.

However, since you are discussing this within the framework or rationality viz afroblanco & co, I will respond in kind by saying that your point, as interesting as it is in its own light, is not apropos in this case. People in this thread were VERY specific in stating that their objection was to comparing homosexuals with zoophiles and in charging me and others with doing that -- or with charging us with posting things that might lead readers to think we were doing that.

There was no suggestion, anywhere, of us comparing two kinds of being grossed out. I claimed that was the logic, and I still claim that, but afroblanco and company either refused to respond to that claim or said that such an interpretation might not occur to other readers, and so even if our logic was correct, we shouldn't use that logic, because illogical people might misunderstand. Their chief concern was very specifically that readers might think we were saying zoophiles and homosexuals are similar.

1. Comparing homosexuality to bestiality in this thread. Could you cut it out, please?

2. it really bothers me to see their lifestyle compared to beastiality.

3. As for my personal opinion? I think that homosexuality and beastiality are about as different as two things can be. So I don't accept the logic that, "If you accept homosexuality, you should accept bestiality."

Note that is a total inversion of what I and others were saying. We NEVER said or implied that if you accept homosexuality, you should accept bestiality. What we, in fact, said, was that if you REJECT bestiality ON SOME VERY SPECIFIC GROUNDS, you are wrong, because people have rejected homosexuality on those same grounds, and they were wrong.

You have brought up some interesting qualms about that that logic, but they are totally different qualms than the ones brought up earlier in this thread.

The one comment here that MAYBE supports your claim is this:

No one in the thread is claiming homosexuality is the same thing as zoophilia; nevertheless, there is a really offensive implication lingering just underneath the surface and I am not comfortable with it.

But the poster was vague about that sort of offensive implication he was talking about.
posted by grumblebee at 7:45 AM on March 29, 2010


You really have a big bug up your ass about this, don't you? I thought we'd come to understand that my (& co) mild protest about mixing it up with dog-fucking and homosexuality was intended to support the same agenda you support. Yet here you are again with another page-long rant.

What exactly do you want from us all?
posted by five fresh fish at 10:38 AM on March 29, 2010


I don't want anything from you, other than discussion and the freedom to discuss.

millions made a claim that I think is false. I explained why I think it's false.

Also, you do NOT speak for anyone except yourself. I appreciate that you and I have worked things out. Afroblanco has accused me of something VERY serious and horrible.

I have apologized for linking you with him. That was wrong of me. But since I no longer accept you as being linked with him, you can't expect me to think of you as speaking for him.

You are acting as if there's one potentially wronged party: homosexuals. As if either I'm speaking out against them, in which case I should be chastised, or I'm not, in which case we should drop the whole thing.

A: You are a horrible bank robber!
B: No, I'm not because [evidence].
A: Okay.

NO! Not okay! A accused B of something. That needs to be addressed. Or, at least, we can't blame B for caring about it.

There's another wronged party here: me. (And those in my shoes.) I have been accused of homophobia. That's a terrible, terrible accusation. If someone makes such a claim, he owes it to the person he makes it about to either defend it or apologize. You and I have worked things out. However, BECAUSE you don't speak for everyone else (e.g. afroblanco), I am left being accused of a really awful thing when I don't deserve such treatment.

Maybe afroblanco thinks I DO still deserve it. Maybe he doesn't. We don't know. And you don't speak for him.

I don't expect anything from afroblanco, but I also don't see why you expect me to take abuse.

And now someone else comes in and defends the afroblanco's point of view. that's fine. That's million's right. But you expect me to say nothing?

What if ten people accused you of robbing a bank, one the them later recanted, and then, while you still complained about the other nine, the one guy who recanted said, "I thought we worked this out. What do you want from us?"

Please expect that if someone else comes in here explaining how what I wrote was homophobic (or might reasonably be interpreted that way), I WILL speak up. But I am not speaking to you.
posted by grumblebee at 12:32 PM on March 29, 2010


Okey-dokey. Have fun with it. Try to not flame out.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:53 PM on March 29, 2010


Metafilter: Have fun with it. Try to not flame out.
posted by juv3nal at 3:03 PM on March 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


For what it's worth, Grumblebee, I sincerely appreciate your response to my comment in this thread and I think you are right in defending yourself and clarifying any distortions you believe are being made about your arguments. If your concern was that people were incorrectly perceiving you as homophobic or equating homosexuality with bestiality, I certainly think you have made it absolutely clear this is not the case.

One of the issues I had in the original discussion was that it seemed the objections to bestiality--and I may as well include myself in this criticism--were never really articulated as well as they could have been, I think because people aren't very used to having to analyze their moral judgments when conventionally they are allowed to take it for granted that they correct.

So to clarify my own contribution here, by the time I read the metatalk thread, it seemed to me that most of the misunderstandings had been resolved, but that an opportunity was present to clarify a position from the original thread that--judging by the comments here--remained unsatisfactorily expressed (the "gross" objection, if you will) in a way that might still benefit the discussion there and even shed some light on what happened here. I think it went well--your gracious acknowledgment that I have brought up an good point actually renews my faith in dialectic, which more often than not is only challenged on the internet. Thank you for that.
posted by millions at 3:57 PM on March 29, 2010


Thanks. And sorry if I sounded pissed off at you. I really DO think you brought up a good point. I have been discussing the zoophile thing with a bunch of people on other sites, and it's really interesting. I'm not discussing it on metafilter any more, because, as we've seen here, the way I talk about it seriously offends some people. I don't think it defends the majority, but I'd rather not offend anyone to the level that I did. If you ever want to take it to email or whatever, I'd be happy to do so.
posted by grumblebee at 7:54 PM on March 29, 2010


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