Sunday, December 14, 2008

In which the news reads like a dystopian fantasy story

Society's obsession with what people are doing in their bedrooms never fails to amaze me. We've had thousands of years to come to terms with the fact that people are turned on by different things, and that they will continue to do those things no matter how energetically society tries to police them. I do not understand why people give a damn, frankly. As long as someone's sexual acts are consensual and private, why should it matter to anyone else? Why must society force us all to fit into one heterosexual, chaste until marriage, monogomous version of the story? Have we not learned that repression of sexuality often leads to violence, depravity, and the sort of behavior that is generally more likely to ruin lives and break apart families?

Apparently not. This article in the Daily News Egypt is interesting because it starts out discussing couples that are suffering due to the fact that the husband is a homosexual who got married only to save face socially. And yet the bulk of the article is spent discussing homosexuality from exactly the same perspective which caused these couples so much grief in the first place: that homosexuality is a disease, and one that should be treated.

There is mention of erectile implants to assist men in being able to have sex with women, as well as this gem from a Dr. Abdulla "a gynecologist and the Ministry of Justice’s Medical Consultant for Sexual Disorders":

"While Abdulla underlines the futility of psychotherapy in the majority of such cases, he commends the results of behavioral therapy which consists of reversing the patients’ sexual obsessions through conditioning to trigger orgasm through pornography in the presence of a woman."

For the sake of caution, I do think it is possible that the writer was trying to be neutral and simply "report" the attitudes and practices surrounding the problem. However, I think it would have been responsible to find a quote from someone from a human rights group posing a different question: What if we stopped criminalizing homosexuality?

It would have added a bit of dynamism to the article. Instead we are left with the same old panicky "WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT THE GAYS?" answered horrifically with: "stick implants in their penises and force them to watch heterosexual porn". Yeah, that'll fix it.


Ahmad said...

Thanks so much for your post. It's really refreshing to find people (and it's very rare) standing up and sticking to objective stances especially about this thorny issue. Your post lifted my spirits in a way because it was frustrating to see how the journalist, the so-called medical professionals and the commentators thought and articulated themselves..

I like your blog more entry after entry. :)

Cairene said...