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Dan O'Day
05-11-2008, 05:28 PM
Yep. I don't know what the deal is...like some have said...fear, I guess.

Fear of what is new, what is different? Aren't all of these labels folks attach upon one another just learned stuff anyway?

In my training I'm constantly seeing that Aikido is not so much a way of learning something new. It's more a way of refamiliarizing myself with what I was born with; a natural knowledge of awareness, movement and logical thought.

Yep. It sure seems that much of my training has to do with "undoing" years of conditioned behavior. Most of it is physical stuff. You know, stiff shoulders, living from the torso up and being totally unaware of hips and thighs and legs and feet and any sense of grounding, etc.

So the question of sexual orientation is nothing, in my mind, but more of that societally conditioned stuff which I train to shed. To be free of the mental and physical chains which it is so easy to become shackled with as one enters this world as a child, innocent and malleable.

A child, so willing to believe anything a parent tells them....scary stuff. It's amazing we all have survived this long but the fact that we have speaks volumes for the vast multitude of parents who, even while possibly disseminating grossly erroneous information to their children, were guided by some possibly innate sense of morality which has thus far preserved the species.

I was raised in California near San Francisco by a single mother who worked in the city. Many of her friends were gay. This was in the early 1970's. I grew up with many surrogate father figures through my mom's friendships and most of them were gay.

Maybe that's why I have no issue with sexual orientation. I was never taught to. Of course I was taught other dumb things which is one of the reasons I train. Got to unlearn the dumb things and refamiliarize with the innate, the natural, the organic, the something, the anything that didn't come out of years of policy and code based on a concept as injurious to all as that of Manifest Destiny.

Whoa...I hope I didn't cross the line with that one. I don't mean to single out Manifest Destiny folks. Plenty of other societies have created equally crazy justifications for their actions.

Am I still on topic?

Gay. Lesbian. Straight. Black hair, blond hair, different skin colors... Myself...well, I'm kind of exclusive. I boast of direct ancestry with Mitochondria Eve and I just won't train with anyone else but those who are members of my family.

Mike Sigman
05-12-2008, 09:17 AM
Yep. I don't know what the deal is...like some have said...fear, I guess. Don't ya just hate it when people start labeling others and their motivations as a way to minimize them? ;)

MIke

Dan O'Day
05-12-2008, 01:12 PM
Howdy Mike, I try to steer clear of the "labeling" deal, of course not always successfully.

I much prefer attempts at "identifying" motivations through a study of the potential dynamics which they result from.

I know fear and I know how it has driven me to behave throughout my life. I think all folks are pretty much the same with regard to what drives us and it would be disingenous on my part to not acknowledge my own realizations of the dynamics of my behavior in an analysis of others'.

I could be going off on a tangent here. I'll stop because I'm not really sure what you are getting at. Could you be more specific please.

Thanks

Mike Sigman
05-12-2008, 03:19 PM
There are many reasons people like something, dislike something, have preferences and tolerances, etc. To suggest that people who don't agree with you (in the general use of the word) by suggesting that *they* have a problem due to "fear" or "phobia" or "racism" or "misogynism", etc., etc., is something of a slap at anyone who doesn't agree with you. That's what I meant. The humor is about the question of who indeed is taking the high moral ground. ;)

Mike

John Connolly
05-12-2008, 04:12 PM
Are you under the impression that being gay is a preference, rather than a reality for gay people?

Why would people prefer to get gay-bashed, ousted from their jobs, and condemned by the "moral majority"?

Are you stating, "I disagree with your (You gay folks') preference for homosexual identity/sex/politic." ???

What a strange and harsh "preference" to be ostracized by the vast majority of religiously inclined persons of most faiths, including their family members, schoolmates, and coworkers.

Don't go getting your feelings hurt for being labeled a homophobe now.

Mike Sigman
05-12-2008, 04:41 PM
Are you under the impression that being gay is a preference, rather than a reality for gay people? If you're talking to me, you misread my comment about "preferences" completely. The sort of "preference" you're talking about is more in line with some of the standard PC talk. I was saying that people can pick and choose what they like and don't like, on a variety of topics, without being branded with negative terms. So you missed the point of what I was saying and leapt to the attack for nought. Why would people prefer to get gay-bashed, ousted from their jobs, and condemned by the "moral majority"?

Are you stating, "I disagree with your (You gay folks') preference for homosexual identity/sex/politic." ???

What a strange and harsh "preference" to be ostracized by the vast majority of religiously inclined persons of most faiths, including their family members, schoolmates, and coworkers.

Don't go getting your feelings hurt for being labeled a homophobe now.That's a pretty vacuous argument/attack. Again, I make the observation that if you look at it from a "who's really the good guys and who's really the bad guys", based on all the attacking, there's a certain amount of humor here. ;)

Mike Sigman

John Connolly
05-12-2008, 05:57 PM
Well. Feel how you must about who is the good guys or bad. However, anti-gay bias is just that. From reading your previous posts before the thread split, not just the ones above, it's clear that you hold a strong anti-gay bias. You have a tough time dealing with the label "homophobe", as you insist you aren't afraid of gays, being gay, interacting with gay people, you just don't like that they are gay... right?

Perhaps you are espousing the most minor form of anti-gay bigotry, but it is what it is. And if you want to read that as an attack, so be it.

If you like you can call me a pro-freedom-of-sexual-identity bigot, if that makes you happy.

;) (obligate smiley face)

Mike Sigman
05-12-2008, 07:45 PM
Well. Feel how you must about who is the good guys or bad. However, anti-gay bias is just that. From reading your previous posts before the thread split, not just the ones above, it's clear that you hold a strong anti-gay bias. You have a tough time dealing with the label "homophobe", as you insist you aren't afraid of gays, being gay, interacting with gay people, you just don't like that they are gay... right?

Perhaps you are espousing the most minor form of anti-gay bigotry, but it is what it is. And if you want to read that as an attack, so be it.

If you like you can call me a pro-freedom-of-sexual-identity bigot, if that makes you happy.

;) (obligate smiley face)Well, go re-read my posts. I objected to *labelling* people who disagree with someone, no matter what the topic. If you look, I never gave one opinion about "gay" or "anti-gay".... I gave an opinion about labelling. But you have started calling me names and making assumptions as a result. You have a chip on your shoulder.

What it boils down to is that if people don't agree with yours (or others') labelling about, in the case "gay" topics, then you try to bully them with names and labelling. *That's* what I object to. And notice, I've maintained a thread of logic and debate while you moved immediately to name-calling. Again, I make my point... there is great humor in watching someone espousing their opinion of the "high moral ground", when often they do it by imtimidation, bullying, and outright lies. That's 3 times where you've missed the point. I can only assume it's because you're not able to grasp the point, at this stage.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Dan O'Day
05-12-2008, 07:52 PM
There are many reasons people like something, dislike something, have preferences and tolerances, etc. To suggest that people who don't agree with you (in the general use of the word) by suggesting that *they* have a problem due to "fear" or "phobia" or "racism" or "misogynism", etc., etc., is something of a slap at anyone who doesn't agree with you. That's what I meant. The humor is about the question of who indeed is taking the high moral ground. ;)

Mike

Ok. Thanks for the clarification.

I still stand by my initial assertion that all folks aren't that much different with regard to a basis for primary emotions.

Human beings are social animals. We want to belong, to be accepted within the herd, so to speak. If a prevailing thoughtline within a given societal structure, a "herd", differs from that of a given individual(s) then that person must make a difficult decision. To push forth with their thoughtline and risk ostracization or worse, or to disacknowledge their truth and just hold the party line.

I think this is universally accepted knowledge and I do not mean to imply an omnicient viewpoint. I just believe it's a simple fact that fear of one thing or another - usually an acceptance by ones fellows based position - is at the root of most behaviors/attitudes which exclude that of harmony.

Thank you for your response to my initial query. And I do appreciate humor. Even the fear based stuff.

Hey! That was funny!

Mike Sigman
05-12-2008, 08:30 PM
Ok. Thanks for the clarification. No problem. I thought I was being pretty clear about my "bias" against labelling and name-calling as a passive-aggressive technique. I still stand by my initial assertion that all folks aren't that much different with regard to a basis for primary emotions.

Human beings are social animals. We want to belong, to be accepted within the herd, so to speak. If a prevailing thoughtline within a given societal structure, a "herd", differs from that of a given individual(s) then that person must make a difficult decision. To push forth with their thoughtline and risk ostracization or worse, or to disacknowledge their truth and just hold the party line.

I think this is universally accepted knowledge and I do not mean to imply an omnicient viewpoint. I just believe it's a simple fact that fear of one thing or another - usually an acceptance by ones fellows based position - is at the root of most behaviors/attitudes which exclude that of harmony.Well, it's more complex than that, and that's why I tend to trash these "fear" and "..phobe" attacks.... they gloss over the complexity in order to make a (personally held) point of view by attacking others through name-calling.

For instance, I could admit to being a "dumbophobe". Which means technically that I fear dumb people, let's say. Most societal taboos have to do with protecting the species, so "dumbophobe" is actually a sort of true avoidance that is found in society. Who wants a family member who's viability as a provider and procreation of the line is hampered by not being very intelligent (and please note that I am *not* directly attacking John Connolly!)? It's a fairly obvious survival-trait choice about whether being dumb is a societal plus or minus. However, it's not a "fear"... it's a societal statement of desirability that relates to the best choices for the species.

But how about other choices? How about if someone is a liar? Sometimes the ability to lie well is a good survival choice and sometimes, in a societal sense, a liar is not desirable. In general there is a tendency to make "lying" a stigma, but often it's a toss-up about whether it is good or bad. Is not giving a plus-sign to liar a "fear" or "phobia"? No... it's a choice between desirable and undesirable in a social sense. Someone who calls "fear" or "phobia" or whatever name is obviously trying to make an attack and force others to decide in their favor. That in itself is a self-aggrandizing position is therefore suspect.

So my point is that while decrying others for assumed wrongdoing, the name-caller is often pointing out that they may not be societally desirable instead.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Dan O'Day
05-13-2008, 09:57 AM
Those are great points you make Mike. I have to say I quite appreciate an exchange of views that when put forth cause me to seriously consider a foundation of my position.

There's no doubt about it...humanity's survival instincts are the catalyst for much of our behavior. And it would be simple, simple, simple to study and classify our behaviors if it wasn't for that one darned thing. Sentience.

That just throws a big old wrench right into the works. Due to sentience we do all kinds of crazy things which often directly contradict our lizard brain edicts for species preservation. Hmmm...I could go way off the deep end here, so I'm going back over to the wading pool where my thoughts are more above water.

Ok. Fear. Yep. Your "dumbophobe" analogy causes me to reconsider. It's possible fear is not responsible for all that I believe it is.

Regarding the name calling stuff, that's a toughie too. One person's critique or analysis may be another's name calling. I definitely am willing to agree to disagree on which is which. Ultimately only an individual is capable of determining what the basis for their behavior is - though don't tell the pyschology industry I said that.

I can see it now...the black and silent helicopters in the dead of night landing on my lawn and unloading a team of ninja pyschotherapists which slip into my house and without making a sound whisk me away while even my incredibly antsy german shepards sleep soundly, entirely undisturbed, dreaming of hobbling three legged squirrels which they can catch with ease.

My wife will wake up in the morning, find me gone, and think I've merely gone off to train at the 7:00 a.m. class though the truth of the matter will be contained within this post but even then it may not be enough to ever win my retrieval from whatever secret govt. research lab I'm being held prisoner in.

And no, I'm not paranoid, I'm just an American. Hey! A couple labels! I made it out of the dreaded pool of many thoughts and back onto the dry and safe land of not so many thoughts.

I think I need to go to work now. Though I've been working at home the last couple weeks which gives me way too much time to interact on internet forums.

Though I must say as a ten year veteran of Internet forums this one has by far the most polite and respectful exchanges between folks.

Thanks again for your insights.

Mike Sigman
05-13-2008, 10:12 AM
There's no doubt about it...humanity's survival instincts are the catalyst for much of our behavior. And it would be simple, simple, simple to study and classify our behaviors if it wasn't for that one darned thing. Sentience.

That just throws a big old wrench right into the works. Due to sentience we do all kinds of crazy things which often directly contradict our lizard brain edicts for species preservation. Actually, we may kid ourselves about how our "big brain" and our "spirituality" separate us from "other animals". Maybe the whole "we're special" thing is just one more of many ape-like conceits?

I had a professor challenge us in class once to find a general human set of actions that couldn't be reduced to normal animal behavior and drives ... it's a good thought-problem. But the point is more along the lines that maybe it's conceit that makes humans think they are above the rest of the animals and therefore immune to normal animal drives? Watch the posting on even a website and see if you can't usually see some fairly elementary animal drives in play. ;)

FWIW

Mike

RonRagusa
05-13-2008, 12:05 PM
I had a professor challenge us in class once to find a general human set of actions that couldn't be reduced to normal animal behavior and drives ... [snip] ...maybe it's conceit...

Looks like you may have found the answer. :D

Best,

Ron

Mike Sigman
05-13-2008, 12:09 PM
Looks like you may have found the answer. :D
I found the answer back in '68 when I lived in Haight-Ashbury and played blues guitar in a bar. The "peace and love" crowd was almost completely about themselves and how special they were. Heck... look what they did to Aikido. ;)

Mike

dragonteeth
05-13-2008, 12:18 PM
Watch the posting on even a website and see if you can't usually see some fairly elementary animal drives in play. ;)


Hey no sniffin' body parts on the boards! :p

Sorry couldn't resist that.

To me this thread is very similar in thought process to the one running currently about having an all girls class. And just as I said there, I think a gay-only class would only be beneficial if the folks in question had reasons for feeling uncomfortable around heteros. I have had the privilege of training with folks from the GLBT community in a number of settings, including one who was positive several years ago, and never seen anyone have an issue with it. The martial artist who was HIV positive was more paranoid than anyone else about blood exposure, and made sure we had strict protocols and equipment for bloodborne pathogen exposures in place.

So go, train, have fun, and don't worry so much about it! :)

John Connolly
05-13-2008, 01:33 PM
Oh, I see. I missed the point. Your point then was to say that labeling is a PC thug tactic, socially undesirable. Mmm hmm.

When there are terrible labels being flung at gays and those that support them, used as markers to intimidate and belittle, and someone gets upset about the use of the term "homophobe", I DO have a chip on my shoulder. Your "devil's advocate" position of decrying the use of that title, puts you in alignment (in my mind, but maybe you're just really really really into linguistics) with those that would moralize and declare what types of freedoms people were allowed with their own bodies and identities.

(Dumbophobe, huh? Not a personal stab, riiight. And thanks for making sure to use my name directly in your denial.)

By the way:

Actually, we may kid ourselves about how our "big brain" and our "spirituality" separate us from "other animals". Maybe the whole "we're special" thing is just one more of many ape-like conceits?

I had a professor challenge us in class once to find a general human set of actions that couldn't be reduced to normal animal behavior and drives ... it's a good thought-problem. But the point is more along the lines that maybe it's conceit that makes humans think they are above the rest of the animals and therefore immune to normal animal drives? Watch the posting on even a website and see if you can't usually see some fairly elementary animal drives in play.

Studies have shown that many animals exhibit gay behavior, just one link of many: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15750604/

I guess folks are just folks and critters are just critters, not matter what their personal moral philosophy might be.

I will bow out now. Really, I just wanted to decry your manipulation of language to promote your agenda as the poor victimized hetero white guy at the cost of those who are actually the underdogs. I suppose we have to guard the top of the mountain though, or else others might try to take our seat. Retort and distort away...

Mike Sigman
05-13-2008, 02:03 PM
They'll learn quickly enough that you don't find them in the least bit attractive! :D Hmmmmm... there seem to be some oddly trendy comments being slipped into this thread, Ron. Gays aren't ever sexually attracted to straights? I never knew it. Learn something new every day. Problem is I have a fair number of gay friends, particularly women, and the casual conversations might be eye-openers for you. :D

Nothing is ever simple, Ron. Look for the complexity that's going to bite you in the butt.... that's my motto.

Best.

Mike "Scar-Butt" Sigman

Mike Sigman
05-13-2008, 02:36 PM
I will bow out now. Really, I just wanted to decry your manipulation of language to promote your agenda as the poor victimized hetero white guy. I never did it. You made up the "agenda" yourself and started the name-calling in the first post. I couldn't care less about you or your sexual focus or anything to do with your life. But I'll remember your uncalled-for rudeness and fabricated logic. Personally, I'm careful who I offend because I grew up knowing it could come back to haunt... not to mention it's bad manners.

Mike Sigman

John Connolly
05-13-2008, 02:42 PM
So be it. I am not a fan of the use of semantics to sneakily undermine others' rights. I called it what I saw it as. You can be as upset as you please.

And please feel free to call me "dummy" anytime.

dragonteeth
05-13-2008, 02:48 PM
Wow, now my joke about animal behaviors and sniffing butts doesn't make sense at all since the thread was split! LOL!

But in seriousness (as if there isn't too much seriousness going around), what about those who truly do fear other groups of people?

I used to be pyrophobic. I didn't choose to be that way, but I saw my mother get badly burned when I was a young child. Later in life I decided that I didn't want to be a pyrophobe, and started making myself handle fire. It started with lighting a match, and finally I worked up to using a blowtorch. Now it doesn't bother me at all.

The same can be said for some people (not all) who profess to fear dealing with other people. There are many religious and social groups who condition their children to a level of intolerance for certain types of individuals and/or behaviors that you might actually clinically call it a phobia. Just take a look at the kids who were taken from the FLDS church. Most of them have never been in the outside world, and were conditioned from the cradle to believe that being with outsiders would lead to their eternal damnation. They have never had the chance to experience anything that would teach them otherwise (and one has to wonder if being taken from one's home will help remove or reinforce that belief, but that's a different story).

Perhaps the real turning point is what a person does with the "phobia" once they are given the tools to remove it. For me, it was the maturity to realize that my fear was groundless, and the availability of the time and tools needed to "cure" myself. For someone who is afraid of a certain group of people, they need the maturity to realize that there is nothing to fear. They also need exposure to people within the feared demographic who are patient enough and understanding enough to help the individual along the path to enlightenment. Unfortunately some who fear find that their ability to reach that point is often hampered by membership in a particular religious or social organization. It is unfortunate too that many of the feared have become jaded in their attempts to bring the fearing to a point of normalcy, and behave in a cynical fashion towards anyone who might truly be seeking that normalcy.

But then I also find myself agreeing with Mike that the terms fear and phobia are often overused. It is like ADHD. There are kids who really have it, and there are a great many more who just can't sit still. The real trick is deciding if someone is truly fearful, or if they've decided they just don't like you.

Ron Tisdale
05-13-2008, 02:57 PM
:D It was a joke Mike!

Not to even mention bi-sexuals...

B,
R ;)

Mike Sigman
05-13-2008, 03:02 PM
I used to be pyrophobic. I didn't choose to be that way, but I saw my mother get badly burned when I was a young child. Later in life I decided that I didn't want to be a pyrophobe, and started making myself handle fire. It started with lighting a match, and finally I worked up to using a blowtorch. Now it doesn't bother me at all.

The same can be said for some people (not all) who profess to fear dealing with other people. I have an aversion to people who don't wash often enough and I don't care to be around a number of other people with habits, mannerisms, etc., that I don't like or which I consider unhealthy, and so on. It's called "discrimination" and we all discriminate to some extent. If we didn't discriminate based on perceived or actual probabilities, we'd be too dumb to avoid taking the path that leads past the Tiger's lair, right? Some discrimination is natural. The trick is to find that fair balance and convince the majority of people what's fair, what's not, and so on. Is discrimination a "fear" or "phobia"? Usually it's not. So people who use the terms are attempting to manipulate or intimidate. Which annoys the hell out of me. I tend to be open to ideas until someone starts trying to tell me what I should do... which usually means I need to conform to their perspective, or else... and the name-calling begins. It's an insult. But then I also find myself agreeing with Mike that the terms fear and phobia are often overused. It is like ADHD. There are kids who really have it, and there are a great many more who just can't sit still. The real trick is deciding if someone is truly fearful, or if they've decided they just don't like you. And often people simply don't care. How many people have heard a pitch for a donation to some erstwhile charity that carries within the pitch the idea of guilt, etc., if you don't care about the people affected by that charity? I'm willing to help when and where I can, but I don't want someone to think that their espoused cause is so important that they have the right to start calling me names if I don't agree with them. ;)

Mike

Mike Sigman
05-13-2008, 03:22 PM
:D It was a joke Mike!

Not to even mention bi-sexuals...
Oh god... don't start. The whole subject of sexual preferences and societal norms is such a can of worms that I don't go there anymore. :crazy:

A couple of weeks ago there was a report about an eight-year-old Yemeni girl who got divorced from the middle-aged man who "married" her under Islamic law. Now think about that one. If you disapprove of an eight-year-old being "married" to some older guy, are you a "phobe"? Wait, you say.... she was under the "Age of Reason". Really? Who are you to decide what and when and "age of reason" is? It's an arbitrary standard set by the society and culture .. it is NOT a natural law. How about the fact that her parents approved of the marriage and arranged it? Are you against arranged marriages? On what grounds? Are you phobic??? You don't like some other society's choice of standards and you want to impose your own standards on them? How arrogant and phobic! And so forth. There is no way to win, given the diverse viewpoints that abound. ;)

Mike

Ron Tisdale
05-13-2008, 03:28 PM
Man, tell me about it. ;) I spent some time in Africa, and moral relativism ruled the day for me then, believe me. I still have some of that in me...I dislike absolutes. But hey...somewhere, sometime, you have to draw a freakin line. I guess my sticking point is how to do it without being hatefull, overly judgemental, etc. Something more than I'm ok you're ok, but less than shoot 'em all and let GOD sort 'em out. If you get what I mean... ;)

I know you dislike personal comments, but one thing I've realised is that you are remarkably consistent in your approach. I think I could stand a bit more consistancy in my approach...

Best,
Ron (work in progress...)

Mike Sigman
05-13-2008, 03:43 PM
Man, tell me about it. ;) I spent some time in Africa, and moral relativism ruled the day for me then, believe me. I still have some of that in me...I dislike absolutes. But hey...somewhere, sometime, you have to draw a freakin line. I guess my sticking point is how to do it without being hatefull, overly judgemental, etc. Something more than I'm ok you're ok, but less than shoot 'em all and let GOD sort 'em out. If you get what I mean... ;) Exactly. Personally, I look at all these things (not just the sexual ones) as the necessary ongoing experiments of Mother Nature that keep the species flexible and *competitive*. And sure there's a right and wrong. As a general rule our instincts tend to lead back to the "right or wrong" that will best ensure the survival of the species. Incest, for instance, is "wrong" in the majority of cultures because it is harmful to the species to some degree. Many actions that conflict with the given "norms" are going to be suppressed to some extent because the health of the society is more important than the right of the individual... for survival reasons. And so on. Of course in fat, dumb, and happy societies that haven't faced any real hardships in generations, it's difficult to expect that there won't be experimentation with the bounds of normal behaviour. That's what keeps the pot boiling, though. It's not all bad. ;)

Best.

Mike

Lambdadragon
05-16-2008, 07:51 AM
Studies have shown that many animals exhibit gay behavior, just one link of many: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15750604/

Thanks for the link John. I can remember when I was a young man listening to a radio news broadcast first report that the Regan administration had cancelled the funding for two scientific field studies because they were deemed of no real value. The reporters were laughing as they reported the story. One study were scientists studying wolves and recorded homosexual activities, another separate study of birds found lesbian tendencies in some seagull populations. The very next report was of a congressman stating that homosexuality "was unnatural" and "could not be found in nature."

Wasn't too long ago that Matthew Shepherd was beaten, tied, set on fire and left for dead. Last week I read a report that another teenager was shot by bullies at school for being gay.

I'd search for and share the link to the two teenage boys that were recently hanged for homosexuality in that non-fat, dumb and happy country of Iran a couple years ago, but I have to get ready for work now.

As founder of Niji Aikido the Association of Gay and Lesbian Aikido, we have over 400 members world-wide. We must still protect the identities of many of our members (especially in some (but not all) Asian and Islamic countries) because of fear for their lives or being ostracized by their communities or even their families.

I'll also step-off the mat now on this topic and go back to just observing. I always find it interesting when heterosexuals believe they are experts on homosexuality.

Mike Sigman
05-16-2008, 08:42 AM
Thanks for the link John. I can remember when I was a young man listening to a radio news broadcast first report that the Regan administration had cancelled the funding for two scientific field studies because they were deemed of no real value. The reporters were laughing as they reported the story. One study were scientists studying wolves and recorded homosexual activities, another separate study of birds found lesbian tendencies in some seagull populations. The very next report was of a congressman stating that homosexuality "was unnatural" and "could not be found in nature." Well that congressman was just plain wrong, if that's what he said. You can find examples of just about anything in nature. Incest, rape, murder, thievery, physical abuse, bullying of parts of the population, and on and on. However, because something is found "in nature" probably doesn't tell us much in terms of whether we should welcome it or disparage it as a desirable societal trait. But let me be candid... I hate shallow arguments so much that I'll argue either side of them, picking them apart. Start a silly anti-gay one and you'll see. Wasn't too long ago that Matthew Shepherd was beaten, tied, set on fire and left for dead. Last week I read a report that another teenager was shot by bullies at school for being gay. How about Jesse Dirkhising? No mention of him? Well, of course there was no mention of him in the media at the time, so...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesse_Dirkhising

http://toysoldier.wordpress.com/2007/12/01/lesbian-couple-drug-torture-and-starve-seven-year-old-boy/

There are many similar stories out there. Depends on whose ox you want to gore. I'd search for and share the link to the two teenage boys that were recently hanged for homosexuality in that non-fat, dumb and happy country of Iran a couple years ago, but I have to get ready for work now. In fat, dumb and happy cultures they don't hang gays. Something to do with Judeo-Christian ethics, the basis of our laws (but which is separated from our laws; Islam is more than a "religion", it is also the basis of the civil laws.).
As founder of Niji Aikido the Association of Gay and Lesbian Aikido, we have over 400 members world-wide. We must still protect the identities of many of our members (especially in some (but not all) Asian and Islamic countries) because of fear for their lives or being ostracized by their communities or even their families.

I'll also step-off the mat now on this topic and go back to just observing. I always find it interesting when heterosexuals believe they are experts on homosexuality.I just looked through the posts. Can you point me to where someone claimed to be an expert and also claimed to be a heterosexual? BTW, can you tell a heterosexual by just looking at him? How? :rolleyes:

Mike

dragonteeth
05-16-2008, 12:14 PM
I must respectfully point out that not all Islamic countries have laws against homosexuality. Those that do not include Albania, Azerbaijan, Bosnia, Burkina Faso, Chad, Comoros, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Mali, Niger, Tajikistan, and Turkey. A number of others ban male homosexuality but not female. Seven countries do have the death penalty as either the only punishment, or as an optional punishment.

Oddly enough, the Ayatollah in Iran is enthusiastically supportive of gender reassignment surgery, and in some ways it is easier to have that procedure done there than it is here.

There are a number of liberal Islamic scholars who say that the verses in the Qu'ran condemning homosexuality are obsolete in modern society, much as their liberal Christian counterparts say the same about similar condemnations in the Bible. The Al-Fatiha Foundation is a LGBT Muslim group promoting these ideas within Islam. While the holy writings of Islam and Christianity share many of the same attitudes towards homosexuality, the difference that we see in practice is largely confined to Islamic theocracies which do not have a true Christian counterpart. If the Fred Phelps of the world were to unite and form their own country, I daresay we would also see similar laws enacted there to those seen in Saudi.

However, that being said, I'm not really sure how any of this relates to the original posted question of locating other homosexual aikido practitioners in the UK. Maybe it's time for a thread split?

dragonteeth
05-16-2008, 12:29 PM
Doh, didn't notice that it had been split until after I posted. My bad!

Mike Sigman
05-16-2008, 12:55 PM
Oddly enough, the Ayatollah in Iran is enthusiastically supportive of gender reassignment surgery, and in some ways it is easier to have that procedure done there than it is here.

There are a number of liberal Islamic scholars who say that the verses in the Qu'ran condemning homosexuality are obsolete in modern society, ....Hmmmm.... I'm not sure that you understand the full story. Under Islamic law it is not wrong to have sex with babies or with animals... so their views on sex are not quite in accord with popular liberal thought in the West. Of course, I don't want to state an opinion because our politically correct fumers might accuse me of being an "Islamophobe" or some other sort of name-calling that is designed to bring me in line with the trends.

Without spending a lot of time looking for a more scholarly website, I find this pretty quickly to give you an idea that you're talking about a culture very different from our own.

http://kenlydell.typepad.com/islamic_evil/muslim_sexual_perversion/index.html

FWIW

Mike Sigman

dragonteeth
05-18-2008, 05:52 PM
I think you are assuming a great many things, from my personal ignorance of Shari'a to the authority of a blogger. Islamic marriage law is a very complicated subject that deserves a much more detailed treatise than I care to provide within the scope of this forum. However, I think there are a few points worth making.

1. What is allowed and what is practiced are two entirely different things. Please take a look at http://www.brown.edu/Administration/News_Bureau/2000-01/00-067.html.

2. As discussed in the Clint George thread, the age of marriage differs widely among cultures, and even among states in the US. There are states where twelve and thirteen year old females may marry with their parents' and the court's consent.

3. Child marriages in Islam are not consummated until after the onset of puberty. At the onset of puberty, if a girl does not consent to the marriage, Shari'a law allows her to immediately obtain a divorce, something that has been consistantly upheld in Shari'a courts. In many cases, even though technically married, a young girl will still reside with her family until puberty and giving her consent to the arranged marriage.

4. In most muslim countries, it is generally understood that it is better for a couple to have completed their educations prior to forming an independent household. If not, the families run the risk of having to shoulder the financial burden of the young couple and whatever children they have produced. I'm certain there are a number of US families who are facing the same burden of supporting adult children that can sympathize.

I could go on and on, but I will not. No I will not deny that the laws concerning sexuality are very different under Shari'a and in the great variety of cultures in the Islamic world than in the west, nor will I deny that there are a great many things that could be done differently in those cultures to aid the cause of both women and homosexuals. However, I do not believe everything that the sensationalized western press spoonfeeds our population for the sake of ratings, nor do I stand in complete ignorance of the teachings of Islam and the regulations of Shari'a Law.;)

Mike Sigman
05-18-2008, 06:10 PM
I think you are assuming a great many things, from my personal ignorance of Shari'a to the authority of a blogger. Islamic marriage law is a very complicated subject that deserves a much more detailed treatise than I care to provide within the scope of this forum. However, I think there are a few points worth making.

1. What is allowed and what is practiced are two entirely different things. Please take a look at http://www.brown.edu/Administration/News_Bureau/2000-01/00-067.html. That tells us little or nothing really positive about the topic at hand, though.

2. As discussed in the Clint George thread, the age of marriage differs widely among cultures, and even among states in the US. There are states where twelve and thirteen year old females may marry with their parents' and the court's consent. In the United States, all but two states require a couple be age 18 in order to marry without parental consent. Nebraska sets the age at 19 and Mississippi at 21 at the time of this writing (May 2003). A few states will waive this requirement if there is a pregnancy involved, but the couple may still have to have court approval. 3. Child marriages in Islam are not consummated until after the onset of puberty. At the onset of puberty, if a girl does not consent to the marriage, Shari'a law allows her to immediately obtain a divorce, something that has been consistantly upheld in Shari'a courts. In many cases, even though technically married, a young girl will still reside with her family until puberty and giving her consent to the arranged marriage. You're trying to cast a light on a fairly sordid situation. In other words, you'd rather defend the Islamic practices that work heavily against women? Oh well, I guess it's far-away and theoretical, so it doesn't really count.

4. In most muslim countries, it is generally understood that it is better for a couple to have completed their educations prior to forming an independent household. If not, the families run the risk of having to shoulder the financial burden of the young couple and whatever children they have produced. I'm certain there are a number of US families who are facing the same burden of supporting adult children that can sympathize.

I could go on and on, but I will not. No I will not deny that the laws concerning sexuality are very different under Shari'a and in the great variety of cultures in the Islamic world than in the west, nor will I deny that there are a great many things that could be done differently in those cultures to aid the cause of both women and homosexuals. However, I do not believe everything that the sensationalized western press spoonfeeds our population for the sake of ratings, nor do I stand in complete ignorance of the teachings of Islam and the regulations of Shari'a Law.;) So what do you think about sex with animals? Do you think that's a good thing? How about marriage to first cousins (very common in Pakistan and some other Islamic countries). What about the removal of parts of the female genitalia, a practice common in Islamic countries. Would you say that someone who doesn't agree with those practices is some sort of "phobe"? Should we just shrug and tolerate those things, allowing them to commonly be done in the US by immigrants? Perhaps if I understand your perspective, I can learn to distinguish what a "....phobe" is.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

dragonteeth
05-18-2008, 09:17 PM
Of course I don't condone them, but I also don't care for the wholesale condemnation of a religion based on teachings that not every follower of that religion practices, or even the majority of them. You make it sound as if every male follower of Islam goes out back and does his goat, rips off his daughter's genitalia, marries her off to his 40 year old pedophile cousin, and then plots his son's suicide bombing of the US, all on a sunny summer afternoon.

Almost every religion has it's odd rules, and every religion has certain sects that follow those rules even though modern society says that those laws are nuts. The FLDS issue is a prime example of that. I for one am glad we don't follow all of those rules given in the Bible as I like wearing mixed fiber clothing, eating bacon, and not having to marry my late husband's brother.

The point I think you miss is that we are not the perfect culture in their eyes either. We as a society allow our pre-pubescent girls to dress in tube tops showing their midriffs, jeans that allow their underwear to show, and more make-up than I wear in a week all in the name of individual expression. We allow our kids to watch tv shows that never would have been allowed in the '50s because of their sexual content (and not just innuendo) and to play video games that glorify sex and violence like GTA. Why? Because individual expression and personal freedom are valued very highly in our society, so much so that we defend it at all costs. But what are the costs? A recent survey of a nearby middle school showed that 70% of the 7th graders had already had genital contact with another person. 7th graders...that's 12 year olds, you know, the ones you don't want to see marrying each other. Yeah, we're better than they are.

Have you tried looking at things from the other perspective? If you think your daughter's very soul depends on her chastity, would you let her run around with her belly and her underwear hanging out, or would you make her dress conservatively? Would you let her watch MTV and worship Britney Spears, or would you keep a tight reign on what she watches and listens to? Would you encourage her to find a suitable mate at a younger age, or sleep her way through high school and college, and pray she doesn't pick up something deadly?

You know, maybe if we as cultures and individuals started listening to each other rather than trying to villify anyone and everyone who doesn't agree with us on every single point, folks on both sides might end up with a better life, be those sides gay and straight, Republican and Democrat, or Christian and Muslim.

Mike Sigman
05-18-2008, 09:27 PM
Of course I don't condone them, but I also don't care for the wholesale condemnation of a religion based on teachings that not every follower of that religion practices, or even the majority of them. You make it sound as if every male follower of Islam goes out back and does his goat, rips off his daughter's genitalia, marries her off to his 40 year old pedophile cousin, and then plots his son's suicide bombing of the US, all on a sunny summer afternoon.

Almost every religion has it's odd rules, and every religion has certain sects that follow those rules even though modern society says that those laws are nuts. The FLDS issue is a prime example of that. I for one am glad we don't follow all of those rules given in the Bible as I like wearing mixed fiber clothing, eating bacon, and not having to marry my late husband's brother.

The point I think you miss is that we are not the perfect culture in their eyes either. We as a society allow our pre-pubescent girls to dress in tube tops showing their midriffs, jeans that allow their underwear to show, and more make-up than I wear in a week all in the name of individual expression. We allow our kids to watch tv shows that never would have been allowed in the '50s because of their sexual content (and not just innuendo) and to play video games that glorify sex and violence like GTA. Why? Because individual expression and personal freedom are valued very highly in our society, so much so that we defend it at all costs. But what are the costs? A recent survey of a nearby middle school showed that 70% of the 7th graders had already had genital contact with another person. 7th graders...that's 12 year olds, you know, the ones you don't want to see marrying each other. Yeah, we're better than they are.

Have you tried looking at things from the other perspective? If you think your daughter's very soul depends on her chastity, would you let her run around with her belly and her underwear hanging out, or would you make her dress conservatively? Would you let her watch MTV and worship Britney Spears, or would you keep a tight reign on what she watches and listens to? Would you encourage her to find a suitable mate at a younger age, or sleep her way through high school and college, and pray she doesn't pick up something deadly?

You know, maybe if we as cultures and individuals started listening to each other rather than trying to villify anyone and everyone who doesn't agree with us on every single point, folks on both sides might end up with a better life, be those sides gay and straight, Republican and Democrat, or Christian and Muslim.Actually, if all of us really started taking care of business, instead of believing in dreamworlds and dragons, our children would be just fine and there wouldn't be so many problems in this world. I think people need to quit believing in fairy-tales and start believing in "work hard and train your children well".... not to mention, "some people are so dumb that they can't sustain themselves in a competitive environment, so they should quite simply be removed from the genetic pool".

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
05-23-2008, 10:19 PM
Here's an interesting musing that reflects the difficulties of defining what is and what's not acceptable in society, sexually. But even defining what's "wrong" means making judgement calls that reflect ambiguous societal definitions. For instance, what is a "child" and who is to make that judgement? It's a good article, though:

http://althouse.blogspot.com/2008/05/can-polygamy-be-crime-in-united-states.html

Guilty Spark
05-25-2008, 01:50 PM
I think Mike S touched on a good point.

In Mikes example, he doesn't appreciate when someone is unclean, unsanitary and doesn't wash (I assume in class?)
Sure you can try and talk to them and tell them your concerns but what if they don't listen?
Does me not wanting to physically train with someone who is gross mean I'm discriminating against them? If so isn't that my choice?

Buck
05-25-2008, 09:06 PM
I think Mike S touched on a good point.

In Mikes example, he doesn't appreciate when someone is unclean, unsanitary and doesn't wash (I assume in class?)
Sure you can try and talk to them and tell them your concerns but what if they don't listen?
Does me not wanting to physically train with someone who is gross mean I'm discriminating against them? If so isn't that my choice?

Yes, it does mean discrimination. You have no choice you must train with them. Just as someone who will not wear a gi in the dojo.

Buck
05-25-2008, 11:00 PM
Funny that Aikido is discriminating isn't. We can all think of a million things in Aikido that is discriminating. People are discriminating no matter what you call yourself. If you say your not discriminating your fooling yourself, your not in touch with yourself.

Aikido and Aikido dojos I guess is its own society. Like all societies it makes its own rules and what is acceptable and not, what it will discriminate against and what it isn't going to discriminate against. Oddly, in Aikido and in each dojos there is not omi rules that all stick too. There is room, maybe freedom for each Aikido dojo to be different, to be individuals, to have their own societies that somewhat different from each other. But they all do discriminate. By discriminating that is what makes them different, and unique.

If you shout with angry objection to those who have no right to discriminate, forming your own select group, alienating others unlike yourself, or selecting those you are comfortable with, say in words or actions is hypocrisy knocking on your door. Hypocrisy is knocking on all our doors. Discrimination is something humans do, something we need to do.

People also pull the alarm of discrimination accusing other are doing so not purely for the right reasons, but for their own political values, agendas, etc. Then reacting intense out cries when challenged or confronted are making the effort to insure their rules for society. Underneath it all it really has little to do with fairness or equality. But rather just the opposite.

People also often mistake discrimination for acts of inhumanity. Discrimination can lead to acts of inhumanity but it isn't the same. To reject, to not allow in, to refrain, etc. is different then acts of cruelty, prejudice, injustice, oppression and violence. Not to train with someone because you dislike their attitude or a personality conflict, religious differences, or they are sexist (applies to both sexes) is acceptable. Yet, to not workout with them because they don't have the same sexual orientation is a crime? To me it is the same thing. Bite the bullet, your there to train, train. If you can't do that you find a place where you fit in. But, by no means do you harm that person physically, you don't use violence as a means because you don't agree with something about them.

The issue is about acts of inhumanity and not discrimination. Discrimination shouldn't be a serious foul as it is made up to be, because we all do it. We need to discriminate because we all don't look at things in the same way, that creates diversity. We discriminate to helps us find a place we can fit in. To find those we can get along with, that share our same values, ideas, etc.

We discriminate because it is a filter to protect ourselves and find thing we like or don't like generally, or will or will not work for us. But when discrimination is used as a way to physically hurt and abuse others,to victimize others, to oppress others, and other acts of inhumanity is then a serious problem. A true injustice.

Every society or group discriminates against others, not everybody likes or approves of each other. You can't and it is wrong to make everyone believe in one way, to accept what you want them to accept about you. Even in Aikido. Because believe it or not, even Aikido discriminates.

Aikido discriminates when you don't follow the dojo rules, when you come to class and don't want to wear a gi, or follow the structure. Even in Aikido the nail sticking up is hammered down. Because if it didn't there would be no cohesiveness, no identifiable structure, no unification, no harmony, no achieving of the goals of Aikido, no Aikido. It would be a mess.

I feel it is a person's right not to train with someone they feel the need to discriminate against. Not every one gets along or sees eye to eye. i.e. a homosexual who will not work out with someone they feel is a "homophobe" - a discriminator word- pulling the alarm of discrimination is wrong. If you can't bite the bullet and train then find a place where you are accepted. And not a strictly gay dojo. That type of exclusiveness is a hypocrisy, and an excuse for exclusiveness, a discrimination against others.

Guilty Spark
05-26-2008, 03:45 AM
Yes, it does mean discrimination. You have no choice you must train with them. Just as someone who will not wear a gi in the dojo.

Of course I have a choice. I can choose not to train with them.

Looks like this thread is going from (what I see as) discriminating against someone due to sexual preference int he dojo to is homosexuality right or wrong in soceity.

Some animals of the same gender have sex with other animals (of that gender). Is that REALLY something you want to waste your precious years on earth giving a shit about?

Me I'll happily mix it up with a homosexual on the matt.
I'll avoid girls whom I think bring drama to the dojo in the way that alpha females do and I'll discriminate against people who are unsanitary and girls (and guys) who wear make up to class. Won't train with them.

Guilty Spark
05-26-2008, 03:51 AM
3. Child marriages in Islam are not consummated until after the onset of puberty. At the onset of puberty, if a girl does not consent to the marriage, Shari'a law allows her to immediately obtain a divorce, something that has been consistantly upheld in Shari'a courts. In many cases, even though technically married, a young girl will still reside with her family until puberty and giving her consent to the arranged marriage.

LOL

uh huh. Somehow I doubt you're in a position to speak for Islamic marrages in general. You forgot to mention that sometimes those divorces are a 220 grain hollow point or a can of gas.

Buck
05-26-2008, 09:32 AM
Of course I have a choice. I can choose not to train with them.

Looks like this thread is going from (what I see as) discriminating against someone due to sexual preference int he dojo to is homosexuality right or wrong in soceity.



Well I am not saying homosexuality is right or wrong in society, I am saying it is no different then any other reason to discriminate against some when training. The dojo isn't place that has to observe the discrimination laws.

Everyone discriminates.Some people are less honest about it then others. I prefer people be honest and say to me that I am too fat, annoying, and they don't like people of my color, religion, politics or sexual preference and they won't train with me. I should not protest that they are wrong for discriminating against me. Where the problem is, is if they act hateful or violent toward me because of it. For instance, they train with me because it is an opportunity to physically injure me, because they don't like me.

A dojo is a society consisting of people, yes people, not saints. The dojo has to have harmony, to achieve harmony discrimination exists. In examples, a common discrimination of others is that everyone must wear a clean gi and have good personal hygiene. Students are not come in drunk or on drugs. Male students must not sexually harass females. Sensei's should not have sex or date their students. Students must have money to pay the fees. Students who are too rough or hurt others in practice. Etc. Some dojos are stricter than others, some are looser then others when it comes to discrimination. Discrimination is a huge part of any dojo society.

Some people only want to see one type of discrimination, theirs, the discrimination that only effects them.

Guilty Spark
05-26-2008, 12:22 PM
Very well said Philip.
Maybe it's a matter of the word discrimination and the lack of use (in this thread) of a more positive sounding word.
I'm glad my dojo does not accept students under 17 for example. I'm not sure if it's age discrimination or not but I'm glad it's there.

Buck
05-27-2008, 09:02 PM
I hope I don't sound rough and inflexible. Admittedly, I am not the best person who fully is able to understand Aikido's philosophy, and thus practice it. But, I think when people go to a dojo they have to expect there will discrimination of many. Dojo's are made of people, and all people discriminate. If homosexuals or women for example, are being discriminated against in one dojo then there are those who are uncomfortable with homosexuality or working with women being discriminated against too. Homosexuals and women also discriminate.

When I said "to bite the bullet and train," I meant that people have to remember that all kinds of people are attracted to Aikido. Some people make their lifestyles and personalities more known then others. Some people can't hide their sex, age, weight and can't hide it.

A dojo I believe is about Aikido, and not lifestyles. People have to work together on both sides to be able to get along to the point where they can train and not disrupt the dojo; harmony. If they can't do that then they should seek a dojo where they fit better, and not one that is exclusive as that is discrimination too.

I keep in mind that Aikido came from Japan, and is practiced with Japanese customs and philosophy, and that is what draws so many people to it. The Japanese are very discriminating. Something many people don't realize who believe that discrimination is wrong as they do Aikido. They internalize and interpret Aikido- the philosophy and its customs should be like them. This is what I meant by when I said, "Some people only want to see one type of discrimination, theirs, the discrimination that only effects them."

Good leadership in the dojo limits discrimination and makes discrimination uniform. That means the homosexual and homophobe- which is a mean word, it is right up there with all the other derogatory words- discrimination are equally recognized as disruptive discrimination. It is all about being fair.

Gee, I hope I am getting the right tone across.