Getting a little tired of the homophobia....

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luc
Pezhetairos (foot soldier)
Posts: 34
Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2002 10:52 pm

Getting a little tired of the homophobia....

Post by luc »

With the two Alexander movies (though both have the prospect of failure) what annoys me the most is that for some reason both Leonardo and Colin are considered "brave" and "daring" because they are going to play a "gay" icon. Now, we all know that the word "gay" "homosexual" or whatever doesn't apply to someone who lived in a time when the word wasn't coined, and no such distinction existed other than maybe "hey, he took a guy to bed" or vice versa. So, number one it annoys me that people are still hanging on to that idea that he is "gay" and two, that two little men can't get it together to get over the fact that they are actors, and therefore meant to play whatever should come their way. Colin I take it said something to the effect that back then there was no straight out choice, they just went with whomever they liked, which was good...but apparently not convincing to people questioning his decision to play Alexander. Sorry, people needed to vent...this is getting more pathetic by the second. I'll say this...who ever plays Hephaestion better be kick ass!Oh and by the way..hello everyone!!! :0)
gahauser
Pezhetairos (foot soldier)
Posts: 71
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2003 2:13 am

Re: Getting a little tired of the homophobia....

Post by gahauser »

I couldn't agree more!! Get over it, people! It just shouldn't be an issue! But, how typical for that to be the #1 gossip of those pathetic movies.
Thalestris

Re: Getting a little tired of the homophobia....

Post by Thalestris »

Cheers, fellow companions! Cheers, cheers, cheers! It is ludicrous, and I can only hope the term homophobia, itself, dissipates into forgetfulness. Philanthropy is scarce, and a love resurrection is desperately needed globally.In Praise of Eros!Thalestris
Pam

Re: Getting a little tired of the homophobia....

Post by Pam »

Greetings All,A *little* tired? I applaud your sense of humor.Of course we can't *know* because we haven't seen them, but maybe this is a little *CYA* from the actors and their managers. I mean: if (when)it turns out to be the dud we all expect, he can say, *Well you know it's the whole gay thing...a straight actor just can't be perfect.* Or something to that effect. It's their safety net and I don't see either one of them letting go of the issue easily. No matter how sick we are of hearing it. Fifty years from now when they collect the century's worst films they'll still use it as an excuse. But I am being unfair, after all we haven't seen them yet ;-(
jan
Strategos (general)
Posts: 1709
Joined: Sat Feb 15, 2003 2:29 pm

Re: Getting a little tired of the homophobia....

Post by jan »

Publicists use whatever means they have to get attention to their films. As long as it creates controversy and draws interest, it will promote sales. Probably the best attempt to sell a movie since all the controversy around Jesus Christ Superstar.According to Plutarch, Alexander himself defended his own behaviour by rebuking a general when offered the services of a young boy. He is supposed to have said what is it that I have done to warrant that and so much as told him to go to Hades. There is no reason to believe that Alexander is a homosexual or a pedophile.
Me

Re: Getting a little tired of the homophobia....

Post by Me »

I am assuming you are not equating paedophilia with homosexuality, since that old myth went out- or should have gone out- with the first batch of police statistics.
That said, Alexander may not have been drawn to young boys, but he was certainly a product of his times and nature, and as such, was likely to have intimate relations with both sexes. Pedastery was frowned on in some circles, approved in others (for crying out loud, look at the party bowls and cups, he cried facetiously!); like today, the gamut of what is and is not acceptable was quite variable.
What draws people to this argument in the modern times is that the MODERN world is fraught with religion-based debate about the "right or wrong" of homosexuality to a ridiculous degree. To deny the fluidity of the sexual continuum is to deny human history, various cultural practices and the evidence before us in animal and "human" alike.
Same gender pairing was not an oddity in the ancient world, any more than it is now- but its cash cow potential did not exist, since most men were not as worried about homoerotic experiences as many seem to be now. While feminized men were seen as less than, that was related more to penetrator versus penetrated than anything else.. not unlike misogyny today in some cultures.. Some say there is nothing in the ancient sources to confirm OR deny who Alexander had sex with.
Linda
Hetairos (companion)
Posts: 434
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2003 2:57 pm

Re: Getting a little tired of the homophobia....

Post by Linda »

Depends how you define homosexual, Jan. There is fairly clear evidence that he slept with a eunuch. Whether he was a product of his time or a product of his nature has been debated here fairly frequently. You appear to think it is a slur to call him homosexual...well, we differ there.As for the incident involving the boys (I think there was more than one) offered to him, I always assumed that he objected to the thought that he was assumed debauched enough to want "sex slaves". The nobleman who made the suggestion had maybe heard that he was "mad for boys" - or maybe not. And "boys" doesn't necessarily mean "children" - can apply to unbearded youths - mid to late teens. Bagoas had belonged to Darius and was a dancer - a very good dancer, apparantly. His value to the king as a source of amusement wasn't just sexual.
jan
Strategos (general)
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Joined: Sat Feb 15, 2003 2:29 pm

Re: Getting a little tired of the homophobia....

Post by jan »

Well, this has been most interesting. As I am convinced that historians select and choose materials to support their own case or agenda, I try to keep an open mind. The problem on this thread is that of Hollywood's using sensationalism to gain an audience before checking the historical evidence.I am at the end of Persian Boy and honestly believe that more needs to be known about Bagoas before turning him to a major character. I picked up a book on Renault to read to learn why it is that she developed her character to gain the "gay" audience. Her notes state only that there is evidence of his character through two sources, and both are negligible. Only the famous kiss is mentioned in the histories according to her notes, so all else is conjecture. He could have stayed in Persia for all we know. The rest is pure fiction.The point I am making is that the Egyptian historian Weigall is trying to deal with Alexander's lack of interest in Persian women. Perhaps few realize that he may havethought himself assome kind of high priest as it is often mentioned that it is only through sexual intimacy that he feels his mortality. (Many consider the sexual experience a kind of petite death, you know.)I suspect that Alexander's ideal who is Achilles is too influential and that he and Hephaestion used one another to prevent entanglements. He seems to have been bent upon his mission or destiny more than in creating heirs to the throne. Eventually, he becomes "love smitten" with Roxanne, who is apparently his "infatuation". His marriage to the daughter of Darius is for genetic purposes and for joining two nations into one.I have no problems with pedophilia or homosexuality pertaining to actual real cases. But in a major historic figure whose life is so long ago and whose only interest to today's world is that of a role model for superstardom, I feel it unwise to attribute characteristics to him that cannot be fully substantiated. Pesonal life is personal life and history seldom takes much notice.The most interesting thing about Winston Churchill was his beatings and whippings as a child. They helped to form his character.
Linda
Hetairos (companion)
Posts: 434
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2003 2:57 pm

Re: Getting a little tired of the homophobia....

Post by Linda »

JanBagoas is mentioned in Curtius, one of the major sources, and is explicitly mentioned there as a sexual partner. I think you would have to be closing your eyes not to see that Alexander was interested in men as well as women (the exact balance is open to much debate). Renault is creating a story - not a history, as she herself says. She gives Bagoas great significance, perhaps to Hephaestion's disadvantage, but it is Bagoas's story. But that doesn't mean that it is not based on fact. Bagoas was undoubtedly with Alexander in Caria, so he must have travelled through Gedrosia with him. Bagaos's influence on Alexander was believed by Curtius to be of significance. He is mentioned in Arrian. Someone who knows about sources could say if Arrian and Curtius use the same source. But we don't know how long of deep the relationship was, but it *could* have beem like that.I think you are conjecturing too far to think that Alexander and Hephaestion were on some kind of celibate pact. There is no evidence for this. Alexander was obviously perceived as being modest in this side of his life, but "normal".However, our sources are restricted, and it was a long time ago. We can say what we like and the poor sods can't answer back. :)
John.

Re: Getting a little tired of the homophobia....

Post by John. »

Good points, Jan!The evidence that these heterophobes rely on to back up their idea that Alexander had sexual relations with men is truly pathetic. Curtius?! Curtius is the historian who has Alexander dragging the fat leader of Gaza naked and alive over the ground tied to the back of his chariot. And when I read what he said about Bagoas and Alexander, I felt like I had been hit with a ton of bricks, it was so out of character for Alexander. Bagoas ruling Alexander's political decisions with his sexual favors? Yeah, right.When will the heterophobia end?!John
jan
Strategos (general)
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Joined: Sat Feb 15, 2003 2:29 pm

Re: Getting a little tired of the homophobia....

Post by jan »

I just read that Bagoas had been an Egyptian eunuch who was the chief person in Perisa. And that Alexander gave his palace to Parmenion. That made me wonder but in this case Arthur Weigall did not give his source. It may have been Aethenaius, Curtius, or Plutarch as those are his chief sources that he cites in his book.Renault gives Bagoas the impression that he is mostly a nurse's aide, and makes him appear invisible so much that I find it unlikely that the former chief eunuch to King Darius III would be so self -effacing. But I guess that means he was really afraid of Alexander.It just doesn't jive to me. Patting him on the head like he does his dog made me laugh a bit also. Renault seems to really be insulting her reader at times if her reader is vicariously living within Bagoas. She portrays Alexander as very patronizing and condescending, and a proud eunuch of such a great King as King Darius III should not submit to that kind of treatment. But so it goes...
jan
Strategos (general)
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Joined: Sat Feb 15, 2003 2:29 pm

Re: Getting a little tired of the homophobia....

Post by jan »

Hi John, I really like that...heterophobia! LO YOu have the last word.
Linda
Hetairos (companion)
Posts: 434
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2003 2:57 pm

Re: Getting a little tired of the homophobia....

Post by Linda »

JanThat was a different Bagoas. He helped Darius to the throne and then was poisoned by him. JohnI don't think anyone has a political axe to grind, and what you want to believe and why is up to you. OK, Curtius is a bit of a sensationalist, but I believe there is a strong tradition in the sources of Alexander loving (for want of a better phrase) men. But no-one made a song and dance about it.And Curtius implies Bagoas's influence in this one instance, Arrian suggests another reason for the nobleman's execution. It ws obviously something that was much debated at the time, with Bagoas getting the blame in some sources, perhaps to exhonerate Alexander (although it appears to have had the opposite effect on you, John).btw - I don't like name-calling. If we can't debate points without that, then the forum is a worse place. My apologies, I was wrong about Arrian - Bagoas is not mentioned there. The point still remains :)Linda
John.

Re: Getting a little tired of the homophobia....

Post by John. »

Alexander seems to have tried to set an example against "homo" sex. It was all over Greek society just before his time; pick up a copy of Plato, and turn to any page - you want to put the book away into the pervert section, really. Or even Alexander's father Philip and his court were called by a contemporary of Alexander's, who witnessed them, "a bunch of man-whores."Alexander lived differently (although he didn't preach about it, choosing to lead by example.) But if you dare to mention this, you immediately get attacked as having homophobia (the name you [Linda herself] called me some months back), and are referred to some half-fiction writer named Curtius, or to a real fiction writer named Renault. And if one responds with, "You must have heterophobia," then suddenly that person is labeled as a name caller.But, like Thucydides said, "Fear drives out reason." The fear of Alexander's "hetero"ness must be strong indeed!John
S

Re: Getting a little tired of the homophobia....

Post by S »

Greetings John,
Fear is the best word used here yet, and it is the one to be examined. Natural (and indeed, hetero, homo and bi sexuality is amazingly natural and normal)sexual diversity within the frameof the sexual continuum is not perversion. HOW a person deals with sexuality is more important than WHO a person has sex with... incest and paedophilia is perverse, in that it harms and is based in power. Certain practices are perverse, whether homosexual or heterosexual- depends on the act and whther it causes harm or hurt to the participants, or is based on power and control.
That you, yourself, beleive homosexuality to be wrong can colour your ability to perceive another culture, people or time with an unprejudiced eye as much as anyone else. No one- no one- can say for certain what the truth is, but must allow for possibilities. Alexander was a product of his time and place, and in that time and place, the concepts of "right" or "wrong" regarding sexuality were far more fluid..
still are, in many places.
"Heterophobia"- NOT an original word (heard it on the radio and TV) and not accurate. Those who accept that Alexander may have had sexual relations with his peers- though his behaviours were not spoken of- are not inclined to see heterosexualtiy as the one right thing, so are open to possibilities.. Homophobia, on the other hand, does seem to be based in fear and in some cases, hate, which is also based in fear- of self or others. Neither term probably applies here, if we stick to the discussion of what is written and go from there. The facts so far: Macedon had a fluid sexual code. Philip had relations with both sexes. Alexander diapproved of his fathers CONDUCT regarding his sexual liasions.
Regards,
Sikander
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