Homosexuality among the Samurai

Discussion in 'Japanese Culture and History' started by Samurai-do, Mar 3, 2016.

  1. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    Mixed-gender teams come up short in Marines' infantry experiment


    Marines Commandant Argues Against Women in All Combat Jobs

    For what it may be worth, the SecNav has ordered the Marine Corps to fully integrate all combat arms for women effective immediately. He as also ordered that Marine boot camp be integrated as well.

    In my opinion, this is a PC disaster.

    Now, you can believe or not believe that women are not, in general, as strong as men, but it's a fact. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.

    Marine standards were not artificially pumped up to prevent women from passing; this is the standard that has always existed. Women can't pass. So. The choice is to lower the standard or not allow those who can't pass it in. Lives are at stake. I don't want Marines dying so that we can be more PC.
     
  2. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    Yes, emphatically. Women have already engaged in combat, even though they are not in combat arms roles. It happens. However if they can't pass the infantry school, then they should not be in the infantry.
     
  3. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Leaving off the rest of the conversation, something I wanted to clarify here is that we're not actually talking about sexual orientation… that's a separate issue and concept. As mentioned, there wasn't really any such thing as distinctions between "sexual orientations" in old Japan… homosexuality (as understood in our more "modern" Western society) didn't really exist… nor, for that matter, did heterosexuality… or anything else. Each and every person would simply engage in a number of differing relationships, of various forms, with a number of people of each and either gender at various stages in their lives, for different reasons, and in different circumstances. If that relationship was between a boy and a girl, a man and a woman, an older man and younger woman, an older woman and younger man, two boys, two girls, two men, two women, an older man and younger man, an older woman and younger woman, or any other configuration you can think of, it really wasn't a "thing" that needed to be defined as anything beyond a "relationship"… whether it was sexual or not.

    What is actually being spoken about is the idea of a sexual bonding between samurai (and other cultures, such as the Greeks, including the Spartans). This is linked to interpersonal connections… and is always simply about one person and another. Probably the closest representation in modern popular culture is either Brokeback Mountain or The Crying Game… both films where characters who would have identified themselves as "straight" (or "heterosexual") find themselves in situations where they are emotionally driven towards someone of the same gender… the primary difference being that they have to overcome the internal and external societal pressures and personal self-identification of the characters themselves, rather than to simply be in a position where they could accept the way their attraction was taking them.

    It's not even about "homosexual" acts… that's a part of it, sure, but it's really the most superficial aspect of the whole concept. It's really about individual's bonding… being as close as they could be. It's the same in many high-stress intensive environments or situations… to look again at a modern popular culture example, look to MASH… Hawkeye and BJ were incredibly close… bonded as tightly as possible… and professed love for each other (and other characters) many times… sexualised love is simply one expression, Hawkeye and BJ didn't take that route, but there were likely a range of societal and circumstantial reasonings for that… not least of which was the presence of the nurses!
     
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  4. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

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    If memory serves, I was taught in Anthropology class that, every culture has Berdosh, which is a man that identifies as a woman, with varying levels of acceptance.
     
  5. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Hmm… not sure I'd agree with that… for one thing, the term is "berdache", and it's particular to some North American Native peoples, referring to a variant of what we would refer to today as "transgender identification". For another, nothing in what I wrote had anything at all to do with one gender identifying as another… that's a completely different (and largely unrelated) concept within the spectrum of sexual identity… so it's really besides the point. Finally, when it comes to older Japanese culture, it wasn't a matter of such things being accepted or not… it wasn't seen as "different", therefore not requiring acceptance in the first place, unless the nature of the affair itself was a poor reflection on the people (such as a clandestine affair, adultery, or so on).
     
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  6. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    [QUOTE="Bill Mattocks, post: 1750245, member: 19169"]I'm saying recent extensive and unbiased testing by the Marine Corps resulted in no female graduates, yes.[/QUOTE]




    Actually, I'm not talking about your services because I know little about them. I'm talking about ours and our Royal Marine Commandos are Special Forces and as I said SF don't have women in them. Only a few men pass the standards as it is.

    In our Forces women combat medical technicians went out on patrol with the RM, the RAF Regt. and the infantry on patrol in Afghanistan, they carried a weapon as well as their medical kit in addition to the kit normally worn. They have recognised for their outstanding bravery in saving lives sadly one, a girl I knew as she was stationed here was killed.
    Pictured: Woman medic shot dead in Afghanistan firefight

    More happily another medic lass I know Army medic Kylie Watson awarded Military Cross - BBC News

    a female medic on patrol with the infantry. ( pic from MoD UK)

    upload_2016-3-6_14-14-1.png
     
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  7. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    Very interesting, but one correction. Unless you're over 55, MASH is not modern, popular culture. :)
     
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  8. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    However, the argument whether women are strong enough or not is oversharowing my point which is however strong they are, however well they do the argument is that you cannot have men and women serving togerher because they form emotional and/or sexual bonds. This argument of course doen't apply when men who fight together form emotional and/or sexual bonds, in this case it's seen as a good thing. I've heard so many times 'if a female soldier is hurt the men will leave their posts to help her' well, no that's not been proved to happen because the troops are professional and stick to what they were trained. It doesn't happen either with gay soldiers.

    The Samurai it seems, as the Spartans did, encouraged male bonding,sexual relationships even as being the ideal for soldiers fighting together. It obviously wasn't seen as detrimental to have soldiers fighting alongside lovers, it seemingly being deemed an ideal. I can't see how having women ( all arguments about strength etc aside) fighting alongside men is any different. The argument about women meeting standards etc has nothing to do with my point.
     
  9. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    I did not mean to detract from your point. I addressed it merely to clean up the common misconception that if a person is against men and women together in combat, it must be for the reasons listed above. I am indeed against it, but not for those reasons. My reasons are what I said before, and they're pretty much unimpeachable. Facts are facts. Either the standards must the lowered to allow women into combat arms, or they have to pass the current standards, which so far, they cannot.

    It would be more correct for me to say I am against lowering of combat effectiveness by lowering physical requirements; whether it is a man or a woman is irrelevant; if they cannot pass the tests and training, they should not be permitted to be part of that group. However, this position frequently gets denounced as 'sexist', which it is not.

    I agree with all you have said regarding men and women together on the battlefield. And I also agree that women who have found the need to pick up a weapon and fight have acquitted themselves admirably. In the US Marines, a Marine is a Marine, there are no 'lesser' grade Marines. Men and women train separately and have separate physical standards because the Marine Corps recognizes that biological genders have (on average) different physical capabilities. Forcing those differences to be ignored for the sake of political correctness is, in my opinion, a supremely bad idea, but has nothing to do with the supposed inferiority of women. I support equal rights for women. I also support our troops having every possible advantage in combat, including training that is rigorous and thorough and can't be opted out of on the basis of being fashionable.
     
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  10. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    Folks,
    The discussion of the fitness of women for combat is interesting, and you all have done a good job keeping it polite and respectful. But it's also off topic. Kindly please stay on topic...
     
  11. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    I agree because my point wasn't the 'fitness of women for combat' at all and my point is still lost. :( My point was to do with the relationships societies deem necessary as well as those unwanted for those who fight together. The fitness of combatants had nothing to do with it at all.
     
  12. Tgace

    Tgace Grandmaster

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    Well...the type of combat was drastically different "back then".

    One of the goals of Greek phalanx warfare was to keep your shield in place to protect the man to your left, to not break and run, and to avoid drifting to the right which is natural when you try to hide behind a left hand carried shield.

    Drifting right opened gaps in the line allowing penetration and collapse or a flanking of the entire formation.

    The best troops were always placed to the right of the line because they were more likely to stand fast...interestingly enough most of our modern military formations place leaders in the rightmost file...

    The Sacred Band of Thebes was believed to be composed of paired lovers and was placed to the far right because the tendency to stand fast with ones lover (plus a dose of warrior ethos) fit that style of warfare. I'm unconvinced that modern tactics, weapons and sensibilities makes the same argument for combat efficiency.

    I'm not studied on this aspect of Samurai history, but I don't believe this was as much a battlefield practice as it was with the Greeks.

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    Last edited: Mar 7, 2016
  13. Tgace

    Tgace Grandmaster

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    Interestingly enough, the Romans, who fought with shield formations as well, had vastly different rules. Homosexual relationships with slaves or non military males was no big deal, but was punishable by death if discovered between soldiers.

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  14. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Things haven't changed nearly as much as people think, in Northern Ireland for example 'shields' were used a lot to defend against attackers ( actually it still is every July during 'marching' season). In Afghanistan small patrols went out constantly of soldiers who need to be able to rely on every member of the platoon when they came under fire. Northern Ireland patrolling was the same, patrols coming under fire had to rely on each other. They still do as well as we have troops still out there. The patrols go out on foot and while they can , hopefully, call in air support their warfare isn't so different. When we say 'modern warfare' and then look at it closer we find that not so much has changed as we'd think. Hand to hand fighting still happened, trench warfare hasn't disappeared totally. In some places armies lining up facing each other up and charging still happens, rarely but it's still known to happen.
     
  15. Tgace

    Tgace Grandmaster

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    All of that is entirely beside my point.

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  16. Kurai

    Kurai Green Belt

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    I'm in my mid 40's and clearly remember MASH.
     
  17. ShawnP

    ShawnP Blue Belt

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    LOL as do i , my mom was a M. A. S. H. junky!
     
  18. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    I Think you may have left your sense of humor back in the 80's with Alan Alda. :)
     
  19. Kurai

    Kurai Green Belt

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    Went out the door with Col. Potter. ;)
     
  20. Ironbear24

    Ironbear24 Senior Master

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    Oh My.
     

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