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The stream of eugenics known as phrenology was based on the belief that the size and shape of the skull indicates human mental facilities and moral character. There were those who asserted that a section of the Jewish skull and brain are “abnormally developed” indicating that Jews are highly concerned with money and financial matters.
Jews were viewed as murderers of Christian children and seducers of Christian women. In 1144 began the so-called “blood libel” in England when Christian leaders accused Jews of slaying William of Norwich, a Christian male child, to use his blood in the making of the sacred Jewish matzos.
Many Christians believed that Jews used the blood of Christian youth because it was virginal and innocent and, therefore, was the most potent medication to heal hemorrhoids, to relieve pain during circumcision, to increase fertility, and to cure the so-called “stink of the Jews.”
The charge of ritual murder continued into the 20th century. Christian clergy have also accused Jews of inflicting circumcision on Christian infants as a means of inflicting involuntary conversion to Judaism (“recruitment”).
Similarly, some members of the scientific community viewed people attracted to their own sex as constituting a distinct biological or racial type — those who could be distinguished from “normal” people through anatomical markers.
For example, Dr. G. Frank Lydston, urologist, surgeon, and professor from Chicago, delivered a lecture in 1889 in which he referred to homosexuals as “sexual perverts” who are “physically abnormal.”
The American medical doctor, Allan McLane Hamilton, wrote in 1896 that “The [female homosexual] is usually of a masculine type, or if she presented none of the ‘characteristics’ of the male, was a subject of pelvic disorder, with scanty menstruation, and was more or less hysterical and insane.”
Physician, Perry M. Lichtenstein, published in 1921 that: “A physical examination of [female homosexuals] will in practically every instance disclose an abnormally prominent clitoris.”
And in 1857 in France, Ambroise Tardieu wrote that: “This degeneracy is evidenced in men who engage in same-sex eroticism by their underdeveloped, tapered penis resembling that of a dog, and a naturally smooth anus lacking in radial folds.”
The Swiss physician, August Forel, wrote in 1905: “The [sexual] excesses of female inverts exceed those of the male,…and this is their one thought night and day, almost without interruption. [Male inverts] feel the need for passive submission…and occupy themselves with feminine pursuits. Nearly all [female and male] inverts are in a more or less marked degree psychopaths or neurotics.”
And Dr. Havelock Ellis (1859-1939) concluded that “Women’s colleges are the great breeding ground of lesbianism….They learn the pleasure of direct contact…and after this, the normal sex act fails to satisfy them.”
Although, in the overwhelming majority of cases, close family members, primarily men who identity as heterosexual, abuse and molest youth, the cultural perception persists that primarily gay and bisexual men are the perpetrators.
For example, Focus on the Family, a conservative Christian media ministry organization, asserted in published accounts that gay rights advocates are forcing their viewpoints (their so-called “gay agenda”) in schools in the guise of bullying prevention. Spokesperson, Candi Cushman, asserted that gay activists are the real schoolyard bullies while conservative Christians are the victims.
According to Cushman, “We feel more and more that activists are being deceptive in using anti-bullying rhetoric to introduce their viewpoints, while the viewpoint of Christian students and parents are increasingly belittled.”
Lou Sheldon of the Family Values Coalition sent a fundraising letter to potential donors stating: “Gays and lesbians live perverted, twisted lives that feed upon the unsuspecting and the innocent, like our children. They want your children.”
And former radio talk show host, Laura Schlessinger declared that: “A huge portion of the male homosexual populace is predatory on young boys.“
The extended injunction against allowing lesbian, gay, and bisexual service members into the ranks of the U.S. military was predicated on the notion that if admitted, they would sexually molest others in bunks and shower rooms.
Systems of Oppression
Trans people have opened the boxes for all of us to ultimately obliterate the gender status quo of binary oppositions by demonstrating the visible ways, the options upon an enormous gender continuum, one that does not depend upon a sex assigned to us, a sex that is imposed and forced upon us by others. The trans community has shown us the essential fluidity of gender.
In reality, women’s equality, homosexual and bisexual equality, trans equality, and equality of people of color all challenge the hierarchal structure entrenched within patriarchal and white supremacist systems of domination because when people fight for and achieve the right to control their bodies, this in turn better guarantees them the freedom to control their own minds.
So let the so-called “Grand Old Party” in North Carolina and throughout the country squawk, twist, turn, erupt, and meltdown all it wants, for this merely signifies a backlash to a movement and to a truth whose time has arrived.