Heterosexuality = Sexism

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Heterosexuality = Sexism

Postby anfurny » Tue Jul 10, 2007 4:12 am UTC

Your disclaimer is not necessary or appreciated. This is a community of intelligent and rational people. We are certainly able to decide what is acceptable for debate in this forum. Believe it or not, we even did this before you got here.

-----

What could I be thinking? Is something inherently "wrong" because it treats the sexes differently? Technically, isn't an OBGYN sexist? What's he saying?

Yes, the way I phrased the title isn't my argument, just something to catch the eye. Consider this though: How can one justify limiting one's romantic attractions to those who have different number of penises than you (Or the same number, if you are sexist by being homosexual)? This is, of course, a question we all should ask ourselves.

To be sure, there are many characteristics that correspond to the sexes other than sexual organs; height, appearence, the way you think, voice, etc. Yet these are simple correlations, many more men would date a masculine female before a feminine male. To say, "I'm attracted to feminine attributes [or the attributes our society currently/used to define(s) as feminine] such as concern for appearence, gentleness, empathy, and submissiveness," would logically imply that you are also attracted to males with those characteristics, and there are many.

The one solid response is to say, "I just cannot be attracted to a member of the same sex, but I admit it's a limitation and if there was some quick fix by medicine with no risk, I'd take it." Is there a "fix" to this limitation, and if so, how quick? Homosexuality wasn't so uncommon in other cultures, do men just find men "icky" because they are told to? This would explain why so many men have no problem seeing eachother naked in a shared shower; the norms permit it.

And another complexity is added by the arbitrarity of the very idea "sex," (if you recall I insist all ideas are arbitrary). Take for example, an individual whose body you are completely familiar with and whose mind you are completely familiar with. Does it make sense to say, "Whether or not I am attracted to this person depends on whether or not this body USED TO have/not-have a penis on it," when clearly it makes no difference on what you have now? You can imagine hypotheticals both of an individual changing to and from your "preferred sex."

I'm curious how/if anybody here justifies it, from some philosophical explanation to a simple admission "I'd feel too insecure if I violated that norm."

edit: spacing
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Postby Owijad » Tue Jul 10, 2007 4:31 am UTC

So you're saying I should take drugs to make your logic seem as meaningful as any other logic? I mean, people who can form valid points are unfairly advantaged over you.
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Postby frezik » Tue Jul 10, 2007 4:50 am UTC

Consider this though: How can one justify limiting one's romantic attractions to those who have different number of penises than you (Or the same number, if you are sexist by being homosexual)? This is, of course, a question we all should ask ourselves.


You're throwing around loaded terms.

The term "sexist" generally means you hold one of the two sexes either higher or lower because of differences that aren't there. But there are differences between the sexes both physically and psychologically (though some say the psychological differences are only due to social factors). These differences can make you feel attracted to one sex or the other. It's not sexism because those differences actually exist.

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Postby Princess Marzipan » Tue Jul 10, 2007 5:19 am UTC

I do not want to have sex with any of my male friends. I do not think any less of them because of it.

I would love to have sex with many of my female friends. I do not think any less of them because of it.
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Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Tue Jul 10, 2007 5:26 am UTC

Oh, MAN, I love this new guy. He's better than Ann Coulter.

CreemyNougat wrote:I do not want to have sex with any of my male friends. I do not think any less of them because of it.

I would love to have sex with many of my female friends. I do not think any less of them because of it.

Quoted for 1/0 Win.

...

But, a question directed at the poster.... you desire to have sex with your father? Because, you know, you can't discriminate against him simply because his DNA is too similar to yours... that would be sexist.
Last edited by Mighty Jalapeno on Tue Jul 10, 2007 5:44 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby GhostWolfe » Tue Jul 10, 2007 5:41 am UTC

If I'm understanding your question correctly, then I can only assume that you have no concept of legitimate discrimination.

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If that makes me sexist, I don't care because discrimination is not necessarily wrong.

anfurny wrote:I admit it's a limitation and if there was some quick fix by medicine with no risk, I'd take it.

If it ain't broke? I'm not certain why having a gender preference in a sexual partner is a bad/inappropriate thing.
Last edited by GhostWolfe on Tue Jul 10, 2007 6:10 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby une see » Tue Jul 10, 2007 6:01 am UTC

I get what you're saying, I suppose, but it's not really a choice. Either you're attracted to the same sex, or you're attracted to the opposite sex, or you're attracted to both. There are varying levels of homosexuality and heterosexuality in between, of course (check out the Kinsey scale), but the point is that you don't decide whether or not you're homosexual, or heterosexual, or bisexual, etc.

And the way you speak of it, you seem to think that heterosexuality, or homosexuality, is a disease of some sort, when it is quite obviously not. It's merely another facet of your personality that decides what gender you happen to be attracted to, and to what extent you are attracted to the other gender that is not your "preferred sex." Are you arguing that everyone should be bisexual, or be more open to both genders? That's all very well and good, but it's incredibly unrealistic, since many people are just completely heterosexual, or completely homosexual. I, myself, am mostly heterosexual, but I do, on rare occasions, find myself attracted to other women. However, I don't know if I would ever enter into a relationship with another woman, since I'm really not bisexual, and it would be cheapening the meaning of bisexuality by saying that I am.

I also notice that you have a distinct bias against heterosexuality in your post, although you do mention that homosexuality is a limitation as well. You seem to be arguing for homosexuality at points, when if by your logic, homosexuality is the exact same thing as heterosexuality, except phrased in different terms. So even though your stance is that people should not be attracted to only one sex because it limits their options, you seem to be pretty pro-homosexual, and very anti-heterosexual, which doesn't make too much sense.

Correct me if I'm wrong about all this, which I very well might be. But I really think there are quite a few holes in your argument.

Edit: If you read anfurny's post, he states that the title of this thread does not convey what his argument is really about. So to all those who seem to be interpreting his argument as heterosexuality=sexism, that's really not what he's saying at all. (Although I'm quite skeptical about the validity of his actual argument.) Anyway, read his post again, or if you didn't read his post at all, I suggest you do so.
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Postby Gelsamel » Tue Jul 10, 2007 6:15 am UTC

Edit: This Idea is arbitrary.
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Postby Phenriz » Tue Jul 10, 2007 6:29 am UTC

Anfurny, i'm glad i didn't disregard this post. I like the progression i've seen (fora social-wise) you come to from your previous posts.

A vagina isn't the only prerequisite for me anyway, it's being born with XX chromosomes, then a vagina. Nothing about men is attractive to me, in the slightest, i hold my own body to the same criticism.

As far as i'm concerned my romantic feelings aren't subject to the judgement of "discrimination" that normal day-to-day interactions can incur.


But as a counter I'd like to pose this, when does preference become discrimination, or are the two inseparable?
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Postby Owijad » Tue Jul 10, 2007 6:32 am UTC

une see wrote: Anyway, read his post again, or if you didn't read his post at all, I suggest you do so.


Don't bother guys. I promise you that it's not worth your time.
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Postby GhostWolfe » Tue Jul 10, 2007 6:43 am UTC

Owijad wrote:
une see wrote: Anyway, read his post again, or if you didn't read his post at all, I suggest you do so.

Don't bother guys. I promise you that it's not worth your time.

Oh snap :shock:
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Postby Pathway » Tue Jul 10, 2007 6:52 am UTC

So what exactly is meant by "men" and "women"?

Is it their genitals? There are exceptions to that--even without surgery.

Is it their chromosomal makeup? Ditto. It's not all cut-and-dried.

Is it their general appearance? That can be a dicey proposition as well.

I hope for your sake it isn't personality, because let me tell you--if that's how you decide who to go for, you will get burned.

So what is it?
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Postby une see » Tue Jul 10, 2007 7:00 am UTC

Owijad wrote:
une see wrote: Anyway, read his post again, or if you didn't read his post at all, I suggest you do so.


Don't bother guys. I promise you that it's not worth your time.


Congratulations! You're a witty person.

Maybe anfurny doesn't have such a great argument, but this post is a marked improvement from his earlier ones, and perhaps, instead of completely disregarding everything he is saying, you should take the time to consider his point of view, strange though it may be to you.
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Postby Mathmagic » Tue Jul 10, 2007 7:06 am UTC

Pathway wrote:So what exactly is meant by "men" and "women"?

As per Wikipedia:

The female sex is defined as the one which produces the larger gamete and which typically bears the offspring. In contrast, the male sex has a smaller gamete and rarely bears offspring.


It's purely defined by roles in reproduction.

As far as me "knowing" what is female and male based on observable characteristices? It would probably be a combination of appearance, vocals, and demeanour/personality, in that order.

Another interesting question is if you ran into one of those people featured on the "Male or Female?" games (where you have to decide if the surgically/hormonally altered people are "naturally" female or male), and you were attracted to them, would you suddenly become repulsed by them knowing that they *used* to be male/actually is male? Even if they had the genital reversal surgery?

To be honest, I probably wouldn't be "repulsed" by them...but I would have to say I wouldn't feel compelled to get into a relationship with them, due to the fact I wouldn't even be able to start a family with them. Sure, adoption is always an option, but I feel that the sole purpose of a relationship is to live together and love eachother while having the OPPORTUNITY to raise a child of your own (unless, of course, one or both partners are infertile or whatever).
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Postby liza » Tue Jul 10, 2007 8:51 am UTC

une see wrote:Maybe anfurny doesn't have such a great argument, but this post is a marked improvement from his earlier ones, and perhaps, instead of completely disregarding everything he is saying, you should take the time to consider his point of view, strange though it may be to you.


I don't have anything to contribute to this thread (sorry), but I though une see deserved kudos. I agree with her completely; consider anfurny's point of view and post back instead of immediately insulting him. If his posts are in fact tl;dr or they simply don't interest you, then perhaps you should go to different thread. Okay? :D
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Postby Flying Betty » Tue Jul 10, 2007 9:55 am UTC

I think that the people you're attracted to and the people that you choose to show affection are two different groups and need to be treated as such. Most people tend to argue that they can't choose the people they're attracted to. I am in no means trying to argue anything against homosexuality, but I would tend to think that since sex has evolved as our way of baby making, most people being most attracted to the opposite sex is innate in them and therefore not socially biased.

However, we've gone from sex as procreation as sex as recreation so for recreational purposes it doesn't really matter which gender you pick. Again, most people don't have that much control over what type of person (sex, gender, body shape, hair color etc) they're attracted to. What does have the bias is what person you choose to do things with.

The example that I want to point out is how girl/girl and guy/guy is treated differently among the straight people in current, Americanized society. I think that's where the discrimination lies. (I don't want to get into homosexuality here- there's plenty of other places where it's been discussed) How is it that girls can kiss each other at parties and it's hot but guys rarely touch each other? I as a straight female can choose to kiss a guy I don't feel anything for. I can also choose to kiss a girl I don't feel anything for. These both pander to straight men- the first is for the guy I kissed, the second is for the guys watching me kiss a girl. There is much less publicity about guy on guy action being desirable, and it doesn't happen nearly as much.

I'm not completely clear what you're trying to get at, but I think that yes, men are told to find each other "icky". Refer to the scene in the second American Pie movie where the two girls goad the guys into making out with each other because the guys want to see some action. Totally showing society's different views toward men and women being friendly with their own genders.

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Re: Heterosexuality = Sexism

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Jul 10, 2007 11:38 am UTC

anfurny wrote:Yes, the way I phrased the title isn't my argument, just something to catch the eye. Consider this though: How can one justify limiting one's romantic attractions to those who have different number of penises than you (Or the same number, if you are sexist by being homosexual)? This is, of course, a question we all should ask ourselves.

...

And another complexity is added by the arbitrarity of the very idea "sex," (if you recall I insist all ideas are arbitrary). Take for example, an individual whose body you are completely familiar with and whose mind you are completely familiar with. Does it make sense to say, "Whether or not I am attracted to this person depends on whether or not this body USED TO have/not-have a penis on it," when clearly it makes no difference on what you have now? You can imagine hypotheticals both of an individual changing to and from your "preferred sex."


Just quoted out the bits I wanted to directly respond to.

I can justify my romantic attractions by way of .. personal preference. I like women. A lot. At night, when I'm alone... I really like them. I do not have these same feelings for men. Oh, sure, there's a couple of guys I'd totally make out with. And I'd regret nothing. But.. I really have no desire to go any farther than that; and since I consider a good sex life to be a part of a healthy romantic relationship, engaging in a relationship where, at best, there's tongue on tongue action would be a severe disservice to the other guy.

I have zero desire to manipulate another man's genitalia. It's just not there. It's a personal preference, like all sexuality. Some people like oral, some like anal, some like the same sex, some like retrocopulation, and so on. It's really no different from a like or dislike of mushrooms. I personally don't care for them. Doesn't mean I'm broken, just means I don't like mushrooms. I'm perfectly fine with other people eating mushrooms.


Now, I'm going to go ahead and make a situation out of the second statement. Guy I know who's personality meshes well with mine, good friend, etc... goes and gets a sex change, so now he's as physically close to female as modern plastic surgery can get him.

... yeah, I'd do him. Sure, it'd take a bit for me to get completely comfortable with the idea, but sex change is also a long process, so I'd have plenty of time. At least, assuming I found his new form pleasing, as while I do love women, I also freely admit that I don't necessarily want to have sex with all of them. Well, okay, so there's just a few that I'd do without getting to know first.. for the most part, I also need at least a partial non-physical (Mental? Personality? Whatever you want to call it.. something that has us meshing well, regardless of our biological parts) connection before I commence the physical connections, but generally speaking, it's the female form that I'm sexually attracted to, not the personality. The personality and such adds in the other kinds of attraction that allow me to commence recreational activites.

And I guess that's the thing. For a happy romantic relationship, there needs to be more than a sexual attraction, but a sexual attraction has to be present. Without it, I'm not completely sure it can even be defined as a romantic relationship. Since I have no sexual attraction for the male form, I cannot successfully engage in a romantic relationship with another male.
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Re: Heterosexuality = Sexism

Postby Brian » Tue Jul 10, 2007 4:09 pm UTC

anfurny wrote:Yes, the way I phrased the title isn't my argument, just something to catch the eye. Consider this though: How can one justify limiting one's romantic attractions to those who have different number of penises than you (Or the same number, if you are sexist by being homosexual)? This is, of course, a question we all should ask ourselves.


Wait, what? I can see
This is, perhaps, a question we all should ask ourselves.

but "of course"?

The system is obviously not broken, so let's not get existential about it. Your question (the second sentence) implies that all discrimination is unjustified, or at least questionable. This is not the case.

For example: If a dog bites me, I'm going to kick it in the face. If a dog doesn't bite me, I'll probably scratch behind its ears and rub its belly. Discrimination? Yes. I'm going to be nicer to dogs who have a tendancy not to bite me. Wrong? No.

As far as sexuality, CreamyNougat brought it home nicely.

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Re: Heterosexuality = Sexism

Postby space_raptor » Tue Jul 10, 2007 4:31 pm UTC

anfurny wrote:Disclaimer: I recognize the likelihood that, despite being a fairly intellectual community, some homophobic individuals on this forum may spout the usual round of offensive slurs. Let's not dignify that with a response; to do so would imply a response is even necessary.

I don't think there's any homophobic individuals on this forum. Some people might use the term "gay" as a pejorative (guilty of it myself). But that is an unfortunate reflection of it's use in our society, and less a reflection of any actual homophobia among the fora users.

On the topic at hand, well, I like girls. Women. I have no problem admitting that I limit my romantic and sexual relationships to women. It seems to me that it's a subjective choice. To each their own.

The differences between men and women are more than just the exterior appearance and sexual organs. Perhaps there are some exceptions to this rule. I submit that those exceptions are so rare that they are irrelevant to the average person's daily life. My preference for women over men is based on more than just "personality correlations". Women are inherently different from men in many ways, just not all to the same degree, or in every respect. Still, the differences cannot be ignored.

A woman can have many masculine qualities, but that doesn't change her overall identity as a woman by any means.
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Postby Gilvado » Tue Jul 10, 2007 4:49 pm UTC

Hey, first post (other than introducing myself), just figured I ought to start posting somewheres.
I'd like to preface this by saying that I'm a big proponent of evolutionary psychology, and that when I make an argument, I tend to go over each of the points that I can see, and it can get a bit rambly. Sorry for that...
I think that the argument that you can only judge people based on their personality, as opposed to their physical body is pretty fundamentally flawed. Our attraction to people is based on an assessment of many of their characteristics. Some, like whether a person takes care of their body, give us a shortcut to a guess on many of the person's characteristics. Some, like a penis, tell us that it's not possible under normal biological circumstances to have children that contain both people's genetic code (assuming you're a male). If technology can provide a solution, we, as animals that evolved in tribes, don't know that instinctually. I think this is a significant point that should be remembered -- not as an argument for why homosexuality would be wrong, (because if two gay people are fine with that, then they're fine with that... and who cares?) But as a legitimate explanation for the obvious fact that there are more straight people than gay. Even if the reasons *behind* the instinct aren't legitimate, the actual instinct itself still exists. Those emotions are valid on their own terms. Saying, "Because you instinctually know you can't have babies with that dude, you shouldn't be with him", is definitely wrong, but saying, "Because I know I can't have babies with that dude, I don't want to be with him" is completely legit.

Regardless of that, we as a people (and many other species) have developed homosexuality in some percentage of our population. (As a sidenote, I *do* believe that everyone falls on some scale between hetero and homo, and that it isn't just clear cut.) The argument that it 'isn't natural' doesn't hold any water -- online dating, coca cola, the intertubes and text messages aren't natural either, but they don't seem to be causing the downfall of civilization. Arguments that it's against religion doesn't hold any water -- some religions *are* fine with it, and if you're a member of one of those religions, then someone would be discriminating against your religion by being against it. Arguments that it would cause the downfall of the family unit don't hold any water -- there already *are* many happy families with two parents of the same sex. The simple fact is that it's the two people's quality as human beings that determines the strength of the family and their abilities as parents, not whether or not one of them has a penis or vagina. In fact, to be totally honest, I have never in the entirety of my life ever heard a good argument against homosexuality. The ones that almost made it into that category were blatant social engineering, which I find a ridiculous reason to infringe on someone's rights as human beings (yes, loving (or boning) who you want is a right.)

All of this, however, must ultimately be placed in the context of human beings. I'm sure that many people that believe they are purely homosexual could actually have deep, significant, and fulfilling relationships with the opposite sex. I'm sure the same is true of many heterosexuals. I'm sure, also, that there are many heterosexuals that could *never* be happy with a relationship with the same sex. How else would you justify the homosexuals that were married for 10 years, with a stellar man/woman, and eventually realize that they were making the wrong decision? All the environmental factors were in their favor -- they had a good partner, they were with the sex that is generally favored by our society, they had children (which *generally* motivate people to stay in marriages), and yet they were still unhappy. Obviously the same would happen with some people in same-sex marriages, if that was the societal norm. Finally, regardless of whether it would be possible to put most people (other than the ones I was just talking about) in some kind of counselling or therapy and make a person that believes they are heterosexual realize that they're bisexual, and that their blocks to being attracted to the same sex are in their heads, that doesn't mean that those blocks aren't there *right now*. I'm sure that with some kind of crazy counselling you could convince all kinds of people all kinds of things -- it doesn't mean you should do it. I don't believe that there's anything wrong with homosexuality at all, and for those people who are unhappy or unfulfilled with heterosexuality, going out, getting therapy, and being able to be free from their own messed up societal programming would probably be very very beneficial -- but we all still live in this society. Our decisions *do* have an impact on the way people view us, and the way people view us *does* have an impact on the way they treat us. You can be a little bit selfish and decide that even though you *could* have relationships with men, you don't want to deal with the stigma of being gay. If you're perfectly happy only being with women, it isn't discrimination -- it's self preservation. Really what I'm saying is this -- the people that can only be hetero or homosexual, go nuts, and do that. The people that can be either and want to embrace it -- that's cool too. The people that could be either but aren't willing to deal with our society -- you know what? I'm ok with that. It's no big deal.
And that last choice is one that people should be free to make, just like they should be free to choose to be gay in the first place.

Edit: Cole's Notes: For some people, it's societal programming -- doesn't mean it isn't legitimate, for some people, it isn't, still legitimate. Also, evolutionary psychology is awesome.
Edit again: Stupid grammatical errors...
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Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Tue Jul 10, 2007 5:02 pm UTC

Hmm.... I'm feeling attracted to you now.

.....

And now to make a serious post, this being Serious Business and all that. I just don't think that 'sexism' or 'discrimation' is the correct word for this. I hate malt vinegar... am I discriminating against ascetic acid? Am I discriminating against the cultures that created malt vinegar? Am I discriminating against the grapes that went bad to make it?

No, I don't like malt vinegar, and nothing you can do is going to make me smother my food with it.

Now, I don't 'hate' men, but I have absolutely no desire or compunction to feel the warm, tender loving embrace of someone with a Y-chromosome. I feel no physical attraction, emotional attraction, and with very few exceptions, no spiritual attraction. They're just people. However, I to enjoy the warm, tender embrace of a double-X chromo cutie, and this in no way discriminates against the Y-chromos, in the same manner that liking white vinegar but not malt vinegar does NOT discriminate against malt vinegar. It is simply a preference that I have no control over. I can't make myself like malt vinegar, and I can't make myself like guys.

Also, I apologize for snarking on anfury in this thread. Although I don't think he quite grasps the social niceties of posting on a forum, he isn't being outright hostile or anything, so I had no basis other than percieved annoyance to get mad at him.

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Postby mister k » Tue Jul 10, 2007 5:46 pm UTC

In fact our discrimination runs far deeper than we thought. After all, we are only attracted to SOME members of each sex, when the differences aere merely in personality and appearance. Indeed, some of us don't eat certain foods merely because they DISLIKE THE TASTE

I know everyone else has said it, but seriously, I don't think you have a genuine point anfurny. It's one of those ideas that everyone can tell has something wrong with it without thinking too hard, although it might seem sound at very first glance.

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Postby ehiunno » Tue Jul 10, 2007 7:32 pm UTC

The second you said "a person with a different number of penises than your own," I immediately thought of men where number of penises > 1, then I giggled at the mental image of a hydra...

anyways, to make this post serious. no.

As many people have pointed out, there is nothing sexist about personal preference, and lets face it discrimination is a necessary part of our existence. Without it, we would lack the ability to make healthy choices about out lives. Some of these forms come naturally or through the way we are raised (nature vs. nurture in the sexuality debate is heated, and I wont discuss it here) but those are still valid discriminations we have to make to live a civilized society.

Now, when we are considering what, or why, we make these choices that we make, especially on the topic that is being discussed, a number of good reasons have been brought up. To the OP, I think i am starting to understand the way you are trying to view the world. it seems you have taken everything that you know and attempted to reason through them. Your taking everything that is deeply ingrained and questioning it, how it developed, and where it came from. Its a great idea and not for the faint of heart, so I commend you. I will say this, sometime in the course of this analysis, you are going to get 1/0. Why? Because your attempting to reason through things that can be very irrational at times. I dont think you have encountered this here, it just takes some working through.

This explanation is convoluted by modern innovations in sex change surgery among other things. To me, that is the most god awfully unnatural thing you could do, and the argument of what if a male that I would date if he were a female became a female is a question that stems from that.

The inherent natural desire to produce offspring is something that I can't believe hasn't come up yet (and if it has, my b). It is impossible for a homosexual couple to produce offspring on their own merit. That is, without the help of artificial insemination, or adoption, and as far as I know, someone with a sex change cannot have a child (I may be wrong). Thus homosexuality violates this natural urge (grant it, that is only one part of the multifaceted sex drive that thrives within us).

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Postby Owijad » Tue Jul 10, 2007 7:43 pm UTC

une see wrote:Congratulations! You're a witty person.

Maybe anfurny doesn't have such a great argument, but this post is a marked improvement from his earlier ones, and perhaps, instead of completely disregarding everything he is saying, you should take the time to consider his point of view, strange though it may be to you.


Okay, okay. Sorry guys...

Anfurny, I consider your logic to be meandering and your point to be either half-thought out or borderline insane.

The sexism you describe is a case where someone has a preference, (who they like to have sex with) and act upon it (by having sex exclusively with them). This is present in all human behavior. From what kind of books we read, to to what kind of food we like, to what color walls we have. You imply that this is somehow bad, in the case of sexual preference. Why is it not bad in the case of books, food and walls?

You go on to suggest that a rational person might choose to chemically remove this preference, leaving them equally happy having sex with any person. Is there any reason this logic does not extend to books, food, and wall color? To taking drugs so I'm just as happy sitting in a 4x8 concrete cell as I am a luxurious mansion, taking drugs so I'm just as happy reading Magic Treehouse, or, indeed, staring at the concrete wall of my cell, as I am Cryptonomicon, and taking drugs so I'm just as happy eating a tasteless protein mush as I am a fine sirloin steak? If you extend your logic far enough, you suggest that a rational person should choose to work 16 hours a day a menial job, living in horrible conditions, as long as they're given drugs to keep them happy. This doesn't seem like a dangerous mentality to you?


The reason I originally chose to make fun of you rather than responding like this is that your post conveys a unbelievably massive sense of self importance, causing me to like you very, very little. If you can't see where I'm getting that, Brian already pointed out one instance of it. As a general rule, don't use many "big" words where a few little ones will do, use fewer rhetorical questions, and don't make blanket assumptions about your audience (which I guess a mod already mentioned).

Or,
YES: As a general rule, don't use many "big" words where a few little ones will do, use fewer rhetorical questions, and don't make blanket assumptions about your audience (which I guess a mod already mentioned).
NO:As a general rule, one should avoid the use of multiple lengthy or obscure words where a relatively smaller number of more commonplace words may suffice. Additionally, attempt to utilize fewer rhetorical questions, and don't apply blanket assumptions to your audience (which, apparently, a moderator has already brought to you attention).


Une See: This was the first post of Anfurny's I read, so I didn't take into consideration any improvement over previous posts. Also, I had fully considered his point of few, strange though it was, before deciding that I didn't think it was very important.
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Postby anfurny » Wed Jul 11, 2007 4:57 am UTC

Hmm, I see a number of responses, most of which seem to indicate that you hadn't given it previous thought. And I only recall seeing one person who bit the challenge on the drug issue.

Might Jalapeno wrote:But, a question directed at the poster.... you desire to have sex with your father? Because, you know, you can't discriminate against him simply because his DNA is too similar to yours... that would be sexist.


This is an interesting question. I'd call it "Reducto ad something-so-disgusting-that-nobody-would-admit-it." I think it's interesting because it's effective but isn't actually valid. It just "raises the stakes."

What I would do is irrelevant though. Even if I would fail to stand by this theory it wouldn't make it any less true (just as standing by it makes it no more true).

------------------------

une see wrote:but the point is that you don't decide whether or not you're homosexual, or heterosexual, or bisexual, etc.


It's very possible to refuse to admit you do like something and to refuse to admit you could like something, especially if you feel it's considered unacceptable (by yourself, your parents, your society).

Also, thank you for reitering my point for other readers that the unfairness discrimination is not the actual point of my argument, though apparently even twice isn't enough.... (So I'm making it three)

------------------------

One thing I notice is that everybody has interpreted the issue strictly sexually. I myself do not believe sexual tastes are very flexible (considering how fetishes fall into such discrete categories often, it suggests evolutionary to me) but I do believe all other forms of attraction are.

None of the common expressions of love, for example, are gender specific. "You complete me," "I want to spend the rest of my life with you," "you make me [/want to be] a better person," "you understand me better than anybody else," etc. Why then, do we only get attracted to such a personality, such a mind, if it inhabits a body with a different number of penises?

I suspect the most common response again will be "I have no choice." If this is what you believe, answer the hypothetical of whether or not you would expand your range of taste if you could (i.e. if you found a way to enjoy men, either by drug or mere thought).

Perhaps to help your imagination, picture a member of your unpreferred sex who has all the traits you admire, who you've known for a long time, who trusts you and whom you trust, with whom you have no secrets, who expresses an emotional need for you. Could you then possibly have an attracted or loving feeling, and possibly even express it physically?

Even to say "no" now, though, wouldn't exclude the possibility that there is some "ick" factor at play. As I mentioned in an earlier post in a world where it's often considered icky for boys even to share a can of soda the "ick" factor is/could-be a huge component. To help isolate, let's add this hypothetical: If you said you just don't enjoy men, then would you orally stimulate another man to climax for $500? (provided no risk of disease and that nobody else would know)

For those who honestly say "Yes, I'd do that," I believe they do not have a large "ick factor."

For those who say "No, I wouldn't," I believe there is an "ick factor." The reaction I would expect to this is, "But many straight WOMEN wouldn't orally stimulate a man to orgasm for $500!" That too is because of a societal norm or ick factor, that would make her feel slutty/undesirable if she accepted.

I haven't touched on whether or not there is a solution to an "ick" factor. I could elaborate more, but my goal here is more to get a strong, valid, and respectful discussion going than to pursuade a random group of people to be bisexual (though it WOULD be a great conversation starter if I did).

--------------

Might Jalapeno wrote:Now, I don't 'hate' men, but I have absolutely no desire or compunction to feel the warm, tender loving embrace of someone with a Y-chromosome.


Ah but this isn't true. You could very well run into a woman who was born with a chromosomal abnormality, or a sex-changed ex-man, and be attracted, fall in love, and get married and learn only many years later that the chromosomes were not what you expected. You feel attraction before you notice what somebody's chromosomes are. What you have shown is that you would be upset at yourself for feeling attraction to a certain chromosomal combination and would reject your feelings retroactively.

Owijad wrote:Okay, okay. Sorry guys...

Anfurny, I consider your logic to be meandering and your point to be either half-thought out or borderline insane.


You're clearly not that sorry. Calling something I say borderline insane is just a way of indirectly insulting me. For practicality sake, all you would need to say is you believe my argument is false, how false doesn't matter.

If anybody is curious to see how I would refute Owijad's points to further the discussion, simply say.

Edit: Typographical errors.
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Postby GhostWolfe » Wed Jul 11, 2007 5:24 am UTC

anfurny wrote:None of the common expressions of love, for example, are gender specific. "You complete me," "I want to spend the rest of my life with you," "you make me [/want to be] a better person," "you understand me better than anybody else," etc. Why then, do we only get attracted to such a personality, such a mind, if it inhabits a body with a different number of penises?

I don't think that's true at all, but I do think that lust has a very strong pull, and faced between choosing someone with those qualities, and someone with those qualities + lust, lust is going to win out; it just so happens that on a biological level, we are more inclined to pick a member of the opposite gender to our own as candidates for lust.

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Postby H.E.L.e.N. » Wed Jul 11, 2007 5:29 am UTC

Quote:
anfurny wrote:None of the common expressions of love, for example, are gender specific. "You complete me," "I want to spend the rest of my life with you," "you make me [/want to be] a better person," "you understand me better than anybody else," etc. Why then, do we only get attracted to such a personality, such a mind, if it inhabits a body with a different number of penises?


Your use of "we" assumes a lack of bisexual-identifying individuals on this forum. :P Or anywhere, if I read that right. I don't believe that to be the case. :P

(I don't have time to respond fully. Just thank you for starting this thread off with 'I'm curious about your responses' rather than a demand for logic. Also this reminds me a bit of the discussion in a very deconstructionist-minded class I once took; are you an English major?)

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Postby Peshmerga » Wed Jul 11, 2007 5:41 am UTC

Given the situation that my love is in fact a man, I would most definitely feel betrayed and radically change my position with them. This is surely caused by some means of cultural and societal pressures, but also think of the personal lie that your other has seen fit to live by. Not only can you never trust that person again (by no stretch of the word) but you would feel deeply betrayed, almost fooled, into thinking something was true by the person you held most dear.

It's not like people who fall in love are always in love. It springs, fades, renews, and shatters like all connections.

I wouldn't fall in romantic love with a man in the first place due to instinct and genetics, and I wouldn't remain in love with a man if I was fooled into it because of trust. Oh hell, that's not true, it would definitely be icky and I'd run away as soon as possible.

I am a sexist bastard.
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Postby Owijad » Wed Jul 11, 2007 5:56 am UTC

anfurny wrote:If anybody is curious to see how I would refute Owijad's points to further the discussion, simply say.


Yes, furthering the discussion would be lovely.



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Postby arbivark » Wed Jul 11, 2007 6:50 am UTC

what do we mean by sexist?

i suspect that most of our current culture's monosexuality is learned, and could be unlearned. this isn't a claim that it should be or must be unlearned - i'll be agnostic on that point for now.
when the incentives are there, guys can learn to turn to guys for sex or romance (or math and sarcasm.) prison, hellenic greece, those headhunting tribes where boys have sex with men as part of learning the cultural traditions. similar with women. people are like ducks - very malleable, imprinting on those who raise us (konrad lorenz.)
Right now, we don't have good data on how much of monosexuality is biological and unmalleable. Because there are such strong taboos about being or acting 'gay' or 'queer'. The taboos are there on the other side as well; biphobia is alive and well in the gay and lesbian communities.

Me personally, I'm a low-status male. Once I realized that women aren't very interested in me, it made sense to look for sex and companionship in the gay world. As I get older and fatter without getting rich or famous, I'm now low status in the gay community as well; maybe it would make sense to switch back to focusing on looking for women. But for me bisexuality is always where i've been coming from. I don't know if other people are more hardwired as to such things. I'm a solipcist; I'm not sure you guys exist, much less knowing how set in stone your sexual/romantic options are.

I've also dated people of my race and people of other races. It seems just odd and silly that some people might limit themselves to only dating within their race or only dating outside their race*, and there's something similar about how this plays out with race and gender and racism and sexism.
* but see the evolutionary psychologists and anthropologists take on this, and how it functions in e.g. jewish culture.

I don't know what anfurny's agenda in this discussion is. When the mods and forum regulars jump all over him, it tells me something about this forum. When a few people stick up for him and suggest he be treated with a bit of dignity and respect, that tells me something too.
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Postby solarchem » Wed Jul 11, 2007 11:23 am UTC

anfurny wrote:None of the common expressions of love, for example, are gender specific. "You complete me," "I want to spend the rest of my life with you," "you make me [/want to be] a better person," "you understand me better than anybody else," etc. Why then, do we only get attracted to such a personality, such a mind, if it inhabits a body with a different number of penises?


Well, define 'attraction'. I do get attracted in a way to people who fit all those phrases you laid out. I call them 'friends' and some are male, some are female.
I don't have any desire to have sex with the males though. That form of 'attraction' is a biological drive. Could I choose to overwrite that drive by force of mind and fuck them in the ass? Sure. I just don't have any real desire to do so. The flip side is I do have a desire to have sex with some female friends. In these cases my brain does step in and remind my dick that it is currently married.
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Postby mister k » Wed Jul 11, 2007 12:00 pm UTC

The problem here anfury is you are claiming there is something wrong with preferences- prefering the opposite gender to your own. Simply put, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. If I want to have sex with just one person in the entire world, and will accept no-one else, there is absolutely nothing intrinsically wrong. Of course theres no such thing as absolute morality, but I can't think of any standard moral system where this is wrong. I might be missing your argument here, but can you explain to us what exactly is wrong about a preference, whether it lacks logic or not?

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Re: Heterosexuality = Sexism

Postby Azrael » Wed Jul 11, 2007 1:58 pm UTC

anfurny wrote:Is something inherently "wrong" because it treats the sexes differently? Technically, isn't an OBGYN sexist?


No. Something is inherently wrong when an unfair treatment is 'justified' because of gender. An OBGYN is not a sexist profession, because only treating people who were born with wombs for medical issues relating to their wombs is not an unfair treatment.

(Yes, 'born' and 'wombs' are terribly simplified. Sorry to any OBGYNs listening)

How can one justify limiting one's romantic attractions to those who have different number of penises than you?


Now, I can fully support a thought exercise about me being sexist because I am treating (in my case) men unfairly by not considering them as romantic partners. But I am far too practical of a person for any thought exercise involving sexuality that does not account for reality -- i.e. non-conceptuals.

Let's start with biological imperatives: I firmly believe that people are hardwired for procreation based on the biological imperative to perpetuate the species. However, I'm also completely at ease with the fact that not everyone is ... oh god, this sounds so horribly awful ... wired in the 'usual' fashion. So people, in my opinion, are perfectly justified in whatever sexual preference they hold merely by stating "that's the way I am".

It's how I justify my thinning hair or merely average height. Biology made me that way. Not surprisingly, there *are* concoctions that could 'fix' both of these things. But I do not feel I need to justify not changing my biological reality. Nor would I feel like I had to justify the presence of any other genetic traits that I posses that are possessed by the minority of the general population.

---

The problem with the 'personal preference' argument justifying behaviors that might be "-ist" is that I could conversely say that I am allowed to personally prefer women, then I am justified in personally preferring white people over any other ethnicity -- in fact, I could say "I will not date black people." -- and I'd bet more than a few accusations of being racist would be tossed about.

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Re: Heterosexuality = Sexism

Postby Pixel » Wed Jul 11, 2007 2:32 pm UTC

Azrael wrote:The problem with the 'personal preference' argument justifying behaviors that might be "-ist" is that I could conversely say that I am allowed to personally prefer women, then I am justified in personally preferring white people over any other ethnicity -- in fact, I could say "I will not date black people." -- and I'd bet more than a few accusations of being racist would be tossed about.


*shrug* My only reservation here would be your reasons why.

If your reason is something to the effect of "Because black people are inferior" or "Because black people are ugly". Then yes, I would have serious issue with it and probably bring up racism.

If you reason was "I don't find them physically attractive" or "I don't feel like i have enough in common to develop a relationship"[1]. Then I wouldn't have much of an issue with it. These reasons do not assume anything wrong with said group of people, just a lack of interest on your part. I wouldn't consider it fundamentally different from saying you wouldn't date people with facial piercings, or people taller than you, or any of the billions of quirks of taste people have in partners.

It is the difference between personal attraction/taste (which i have no issue with), and stereotyping/"-ism" (which I DO have issue with).

[1]imperfect reason, I am aware. It was the best I could come up with off the top of my head.
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Postby space_raptor » Wed Jul 11, 2007 3:21 pm UTC

anfurny wrote:Hmm, I see a number of responses, most of which seem to indicate that you hadn't given it previous thought. And I only recall seeing one person who bit the challenge on the drug issue.
I think it's interesting because it's effective but isn't actually valid. It just "raises the stakes."

What I would do is irrelevant though. Even if I would fail to stand by this theory it wouldn't make it any less true (just as standing by it makes it no more true).

Also, thank you for reitering my point for other readers that the unfairness discrimination is not the actual point of my argument, though apparently even twice isn't enough.... (So I'm making it three)

One thing I notice is that everybody has interpreted the issue strictly sexually. I myself do not believe sexual tastes are very flexible (considering how fetishes fall into such discrete categories often, it suggests evolutionary to me) but I do believe all other forms of attraction are.

Are you doing a sociology research project or something? What's the matter with you? You seem more interested in analyzing the responses than in actually discussing the topic.

None of the common expressions of love, for example, are gender specific. "You complete me," "I want to spend the rest of my life with you," "you make me [/want to be] a better person," "you understand me better than anybody else," etc. Why then, do we only get attracted to such a personality, such a mind, if it inhabits a body with a different number of penises?

This is a point of language. English has no gender specific pronouns for speaking to a second person. In the third person, this works fine. :? Here's some gender specific examples: "She completes me," "I want to spend the rest of my life with her," "she makes me want to be a better person", "she understands me better than anybody else", etc.

anfurny wrote:I suspect the most common response again will be "I have no choice." If this is what you believe, answer the hypothetical of whether or not you would expand your range of taste if you could (i.e. if you found a way to enjoy men, either by drug or mere thought).

Perhaps to help your imagination, picture a member of your unpreferred sex who has all the traits you admire, who you've known for a long time, who trusts you and whom you trust, with whom you have no secrets, who expresses an emotional need for you. Could you then possibly have an attracted or loving feeling, and possibly even express it physically?

No. I like girls. Huge fan. They're 50% of the population, I don't feel a need to expand my playing field.

For those who honestly say "Yes, I'd do that," I believe they do not have a large "ick factor."

For those who say "No, I wouldn't," I believe there is an "ick factor." The reaction I would expect to this is, "But many straight WOMEN wouldn't orally stimulate a man to orgasm for $500!" That too is because of a societal norm or ick factor, that would make her feel slutty/undesirable if she accepted.

I haven't touched on whether or not there is a solution to an "ick" factor. I could elaborate more, but my goal here is more to get a strong, valid, and respectful discussion going than to persuade a random group of people to be bisexual (though it WOULD be a great conversation starter if I did).

I am at a loss for words here. Yes, the ick factor exists. Obviously. If you're not going to make any kind of point, why bring it up? If your goal is to get a strong discussion going, perhaps you could contribute in a meaningful way. I don't appreciate you trying to guide the discussion, all the while criticizing responses, like some kind of internet professor.

Ah but this isn't true. You could very well run into a woman who was born with a chromosomal abnormality, or a sex-changed ex-man, and be attracted, fall in love, and get married and learn only many years later that the chromosomes were not what you expected. You feel attraction before you notice what somebody's chromosomes are. What you have shown is that you would be upset at yourself for feeling attraction to a certain chromosomal combination and would reject your feelings retroactively.

I could also run into a shape-shifting space alien, and have the same thing happen. I'm not going to waste time worrying about it. Frankly, it's irrelevant anyways. If I met someone who was in every way a female, and who I loved, it wouldn't matter if they had a chromosomal abnormality or whatever. There would be no relevant difference between them and a normal woman. This point does not extend to desiring a relationship with a person who actually is a man. They would be different in many ways. Those differences are not trivial.

If anybody is curious to see how I would refute Owijad's points to further the discussion, simply say.

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Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Wed Jul 11, 2007 3:54 pm UTC

anfurny wrote:One thing I notice is that everybody has interpreted the issue strictly sexually. I myself do not believe sexual tastes are very flexible (considering how fetishes fall into such discrete categories often, it suggests evolutionary to me) but I do believe all other forms of attraction are.
.

Your very thread title starts with the word "Heterosexuality". How can you talk about heterosexuality without taking into account... sexuality? If you are talking about friendship or love, then, yes, liking only one particular sex is discriminatory and sexist. However, you didn't ask that. You asked about sexual preference. Please get your topics straight.

Additionally, ignoring my comment is not debate.
anfurny wrote:Ah but this isn't true. You could very well run into a woman who was born with a chromosomal abnormality, or a sex-changed ex-man, and be attracted, fall in love, and get married and learn only many years later that the chromosomes were not what you expected. You feel attraction before you notice what somebody's chromosomes are. What you have shown is that you would be upset at yourself for feeling attraction to a certain chromosomal combination and would reject your feelings retroactively.

You cannot engage in a debate about something so broad as human sexual preference, and then pull out million-to-one instances to indicate why I am wrong and you are right, especially when you are simply pouncing on something said prosaically for the purposes of rhetoric and to avoid repetition. By "Y-chromosome", I clearly meant men, and your nitpicking in order to 'win' the argument is extremely tiresome. I regret apologizing earlier. But, just to lower myself... I would not be 'upset' at myself, and nowhere have I said anything to that regard. I would not reject my feelings, because I would not have had any. Please stop inventing arguments I haven't made.[/quote]

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Postby anfurny » Thu Jul 12, 2007 5:25 am UTC

Hmm, it appears things are getting tangled, but I figure this is a necessity with so many synchronous points being made from different angles.

Nope, this is no official experiment. But the way people and groups react to such topics is one of the things I find worthy of noting.

----

Re Helen: Nope, psych major, but I do enjoy english classes (along with math, statistics, economics, psych, philosophy, sociology,...).

----

Re Owijad:

Paragraph 1: The sexism point has been addressed in my very initial point.

Paragraph 2: You use a slippery-slope argument that doesn't firmly establish that the end hypothetical is necessarily bad. But assuming, for the sake of argument, that at least some people dislike the drugs-as-primary-pleasure outcome you propose I'll respond another way. Firstly, I don't find the argument strong as the same slippery slope argument could be used for ANY drug (your anesthetics are simply making you content with having your teeth pulled, what if we take it a step further and anasthetize for all pain...). Even so, the fact that it's a drug isn't so important, and considering it's a hypothetical, I can make the exact same point with "So then, do those individuals who say they do not enjoy it admit it is a limitation that they would change through mere thinking if they could?" (Expanding the range of things we enjoy experiencing is even done in such cases as mundane as salting meat to make it pleasant on the tongue).

---

General objection (addressed to me): If you're not making the case that this is "unfair" to one sex, then why shouldn't we prefer only one sex?

I'm not going to try to argue that it's in your interest to be open to both sexes, it may be, depending, but that's not really a goal of mine here. I'm investigating the issue of whether there is any logical reason why it's consistently against your interests (not whether the good outweighs the bad, but if there is any strong bad at all).

---

space raptor wrote:This is a point of language. English has no gender specific pronouns for speaking to a second person. In the third person, this works fine. Here's some gender specific examples: "She completes me,"


I don't mean it's not gender-specific because I omitted pronouns, I'm saying those things aren't gender specific because there's no reason somebody of the same sex can't make you a better person, understand you better than anybody else, or complement your personality.


space_raptor wrote:Yes, the ick factor exists. Obviously. If you're not going to make any kind of point, why bring it up? If your goal is to get a strong discussion going, perhaps you could contribute in a meaningful way. I don't appreciate you trying to guide the discussion, all the while criticizing responses, like some kind of internet professor.


I'm not stifling anybody from discussing the feasibilty of removing the "ick" factor, I'm just not forcing anybody to either.

---

My point on chromosomes was this: To contend you can only be attracted to one sex, you must have a definition of sex by which you judge. The possibility of sex change operations rule out looks and body (unless you are attracted to transexuals). It cannot be chromosomes for the reasons I provided. So, if it's not either of these, what is it?

---


Mighty Jalapeno wrote:Your very thread title starts with the word "Heterosexuality". How can you talk about heterosexuality without taking into account... sexuality?...


The act of having sex is one way to express certain ranges feelings. My point with emphasizing love rather than sexual desires is that A) I find it more interesting and B) The two are very related (specifically the former is one source of the latter).

By "Y-chromosome", I clearly meant men,

One of my points, which I touched on above, is "What does men mean?"

You specifically seemed to be getting rude, annoyed, or impatient, maybe you just were in a bad mood. Regardless, keep it in check (for posts that are addressed to me).
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GhostWolfe
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Postby GhostWolfe » Thu Jul 12, 2007 5:35 am UTC

anfurny wrote:I'm investigating the issue of whether there is any logical reason why it's consistently against your interests (not whether the good outweighs the bad, but if there is any strong bad at all).

I don't think anyone here believes that it is "against [our] interests" to be attracted (sexually or otherwise) to both genders instead of having a preference; and to my mind that makes your point somewhat moot, and thus, you're not getting the answers you're seeking.
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Re: Heterosexuality = Sexism

Postby Owijad » Thu Jul 12, 2007 6:01 am UTC

You say so much, but the closest I can find to substance is:

anfurny wrote:Consider this though: How can one justify limiting one's romantic attractions to those who have different number of penises than you?
or
anfurny wrote:I'm investigating the issue of whether there is any logical reason why it's consistently against your interests [to be open to both sexes].


The answer to which is nice and simple (and totally obvious to everyone here but you): It is the natural state, and there is no problem with it.

Just like it's not consistently against my interests to enjoy Magic Treehouse, or tasteless protein mush. I just don't, and there's no reason why I should go out of my way to like them better.
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Postby e946 » Thu Jul 12, 2007 6:59 am UTC

I simply don't find the idea appealing. Does anybody really need to justify it beyond that?


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