3 January 2020

Dermot McCulloch ...

... in the pursuit of his campaign to claim S John Henry as a homosexual (why do so many advocates of the liceity of homosexual genital relationships have this passionate desire to claim everybody for their cause?) alluded once to what he called the 'homosocial' culture of Oxford in the days when the teaching community here was unmarried.

The idea that Oxford, before 1877, was largely homosexual (whether physically or emotionally) needs to be demonstrated rather than carelessly and casually asserted. In those days, College tutors were, indeed, generally young, and were, indeed, always men. But their youthfulness resulted precisely from the tendency of members of their community continually to leave to get married (to women). Colleges possessed 'College livings'; id est the charges of parishes to which colleges were entitled to 'present' a candidate, whom the bishop was legally bound to institute. (Christ Church, for example, had getting on for a hundred such 'livings'.) This system existed largely in order to provide comfortably for Fellows who, despite the ecstasies of 'homosociality', desired to get married (to women).

Dacre Baldon (himself not a married man), in his delightful 1957 book Oxford Life, wrote:
"When the 1877 Statutes allowed dons to marry, there was an end to those quaint missives which, in the interval between marriage service and wedding reception, were penned and dispatched by Fellows to the Head of their College: 'Dear Master, I write sadly to announce my death as a Fellow. Yet happily I am born to new life, being but now returned from the Church where I have plighted my troth to Miss Margaret Banfield.'"

A man's departure from Oxford might be delayed for a few years ... as a young cleric waited for a plum College 'living' to fall vacant; or for a wealthy patron to give him well-endowed preferment; or for the death of an aged relative in occupation of a very rich family 'living' (there was no 'retirement age' even for those advanced in senility).

But I think there is little evidence that young fellows hung around in Oxford because they found it so terribly hard to tear themselves away from homosexual (or 'homosocial') relationships.

This, after all, was that primitive age when homosexuality had not yet been invented.


T. Leo Rugiens said...

So Mr. McCulloch argument rests on two data points: 1. his ideological blinkers and 2. his lack of imagination. Have I got that right?

Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

Dear Father. Amen. Why men decided to adopt these odd new neologisms is prolly owing to scientism.

homosexual (adj.)

1892, in C.G. Chaddock's translation of Krafft-Ebing's "Psychopathia Sexualis," from German homosexual, homosexuale (by 1880, in Gustav J├Ąger), from Greek homos "same" (see homo-(1)) + Latin-based sexual.

'Homosexual' is a barbarously hybrid word, and I claim no responsibility for it. It is, however, convenient, and now widely used. 'Homogenic' has been suggested as a substitute. [H. Havelock Ellis, "Studies in Psychology," 1897]

Sexual inversion (1883, later simply inversion, by 1895) was an earlier clinical term for "homosexuality" in English, said by Ellis to have originated in Italian psychology writing. See also uranian. Unnatural love was used 18c.-19c. for homosexuality as well as pederasty and incest. Related: Homosexually.

heterosexual (adj.)
1892, in C.G. Craddock's translation of Krafft-Ebbing's "Psychopathia Sexualis," a hybrid; see hetero- "other, different" + sexual. The noun is recorded by 1914 but was not in common use until the 1960s. Colloquial shortening hetero is attested from 1933.

Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

Dear Father. Only men and women exist. Men and women have no ontological existence as a homosexual or a lesbian.

Those men and women are men and women who have failed in life and their failure is to have surrendered to the slavery of a lustful perversion but they are not that perversion.

Maybe some Prelate will teach this to Catholics.


Johnjohn said...

Happy New year Father. As an Irishman living in Lyon for the past 30 years, I love your articles, witty and to the point. Looking forward to reading you in 2020 Please God. May the good Lord protect you.