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Terez
08-27-2014, 05:58 AM
I have already posted about this on Facebook, but most of the comments have been from local people who had Mr. Pryor as a teacher. I have gotten PMs about my posts on Facebook, and I've sent emails, but I feel the need to unload about it, so I wanted to post here too, perhaps to the benefit of people who have no personal experience with this sort of thing. It feels like it should be on national news...that's the degree of impact that it has had on my community. (I actually saw it in the Washington Times (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/aug/21/ex-teacher-charged-with-sex-crimes/); does that count?)

The most detailed account available when I began writing this days ago, from my local paper:

http://www.sunherald.com/2014/08/21/5756196_st-patrick-teacher-charged-with.html

An update from his bond hearing yesterday (denied):

http://www.sunherald.com/2014/08/26/5764617_fbi-pryor-accused-of-molesting.html

And another story from WLOX, my local station:

http://www.wlox.com/story/26378102/fbi-more-victims-have-come-forward-with-molestation-claims

The headline of the first article says Mr. Pryor was a teacher at a Catholic school, but the eight boys he confessed to molesting were all students at Bayou View Junior High (a public 7-9 school, the one I attended), or Bayou View Middle School (6-8) as it became some time after I graduated high school in 1996. Pryor taught at Bayou View for over 30 years.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-1PM8H5e-tJo/U_1h84VDpoI/AAAAAAAAB0c/El8Gjk4NCrw/w247-h495-no/map.png

For the last year, I have been living with my grandmother in a house on Chamberlain and 47th. I also lived there when I was attending Bayou View, as did my mother and uncles. When we moved out of grandma's house when I was in 8th grade, we moved to Oak Ave. south of 41st St.

All of Pryor's victims were 12-14 years old. He said in his confession that they were all 13-14, but three victims he apparently did not mention have since come forward, all from the same time range, so now there are 11 known victims, assuming the media is not confused (and the 3 were among the other 6 Pryor confessed to).

As far as we know, the first victim was in 1973, right after he taught my mother and my uncles, when he was not long out of college. The last one was in 2005, apparently just after he retired from the Gulfport School District (2004) and started teaching at St. John, which became St. Patrick when it moved to a new location. That was around the time I joined Theoryland, just before Hurricane Katrina.

The news just broke last week, and there is no mention of any charges beyond those against Pryor, but it would appear that the Gulfport School District had some idea of what was going on and forced Mr. Pryor to retire. The superintendent, then and now, is Glen East, my fourth grade English teacher. His wife was my second grade teacher. The school district attorney was present at the arraignment, along with many of Pryor's present and former students, several of whom were reportedly in tears. There may be a cover-up involved, but it seems more likely that a grand jury started investigating it at the time Pryor retired from Gulfport, and didn't feel they had enough evidence until a second person came forward. I did read that the oldest known victim was the first to come forward. I just don't know when.

Pryor confirmed the accounts of the two victims who came forward, and also voluntarily confessed to six other victims over the course of about 30 years. (He taught for over 40 years; he claims to have quit the habit when he left Bayou View.) The detective said that he was so forthright about it that they believe he is telling the truth when he says that none of the victims were students at the Catholic schools. Apparently none of the new victims are from after 2005. So, his current and recent students and parents have been mollified to an extent. His past students and parents (some of whom were both), not so much.

Gulfport High School is fed by two junior high (now middle) schools: Bayou View and Central. Central is the downtown, black, poor side of town. Bayou View's range includes pockets of poverty and even some black poverty, but it is mostly white and affluent to middle class (which includes some black families, probably more today than when I was in school). The middle- or upper-class kids from the Central side of town typically went to St. John. The racial divide when I attended GHS was almost exactly 50-50. Since society is mostly segregated in Gulfport, almost everyone I grew up with and remained close to over the years had Mr. Pryor for Algebra or Geometry or both, and the same goes for my mother and my uncles, my stepsisters who are much younger than me, my cousins who went to Gulfport schools, and tons of other people I know. We were all middle-class people who did well in school and thus were bound to have him at some point.

Pryor was a brilliant mathematician, the kind to really make you wonder why he taught junior high, but he taught mostly taught the best of the best. He taught Algebra to 8th-graders who were a year ahead of their peers in math, and a few rare 7th graders; he taught Geometry to those same kids in 9th grade (or maybe 8th), and then he taught Algebra to some of the 9th graders who didn't have him in 8th.

I requested to be transferred to his class for 9th grade Algebra, a very unusual circumstance. In any other subject but math I would have been with the kids taking his class in 8th grade. Mr. Pryor was the first math teacher I ever had who made me believe I was good at it, and it was on his recommendation that I and a few others took Geometry in summer school to catch up with the other gifted kids in math before high school (starting in 10th), which was an so unusual that it wasn't until after we had done it that higher officials in the school system noticed what was going on decided it shouldn't be allowed. I almost wasn't allowed to graduate because I declined to take Calculus and thus didn't have enough math hours, because Geometry from summer school didn't count. If Mr. Pryor had taught Calculus, I would have certainly taken it, but I no longer believed I was good at math. (My high school math teacher was not great.) It wasn't that he was an easy teacher. His tests sometimes consisted of only 2-4 equations to solve, and it was easy and common to fail them, but some of us did so well that there was no curve.

From 1968-1970, Pryor was the national president of the old-Confederacy prep school fraternity Phi Kappa (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phi_Kappa_National_Fraternity), which was fairly defunct for a while at my school when I was there on account of the bad behavior of its members. The fraternity was a pretty big deal in MS among the academic elite; it was only meant to be for the best and brightest. My current US Representative (R-MS4), Steven Palazzo, was also national president from 1990-1992. He is from Gulfport, and though he went to St. John while Pryor was at Bayou View, it appears that there is only one chapter (Theta Gamma) for all of Gulfport. A guy from my graduating class was national president from 1998-2000. This is not mentioned in the news at all, but I seem to recall that Pryor was the sponsor of the fraternity for Gulfport High (even though he didn't teach there).

Pryor was also the Student Council advisor at Bayou View, and it was those kids to whom he gave the most attention. They had homeroom with him if I recall, and they went on Student Council ski trips with him and other chaperones. Those were co-ed trips, but Pryor made boys-only, invitation-only trips to various places in the summers. Mentioned in the affidavit (http://media.sunherald.com/smedia/2014/08/21/12/23/1cMvBI.So.77.pdf) as incident locations are California, Montana, Colorado, Oregon, Louisiana, Texas, and Georgia, hence the federal charges. When I was a student, he took my classmates to Vegas, if I recall correctly.

At first I was relatively sure that I did not know any of his victims. He was fuzzy on a few dates, and while the victims from "the 80s" and "the 90s" could have been people I know — was in 9th grade from '92-3, so my classmates had him starting in '91 or even '90, and I am close to some of my brother's friends who were 1-2 years older than me, one of whom was really brilliant and took Algebra in 7th grade ('88-9)—I had convinced myself that it was unlikely. Since three more have come forward, I am not so sure. It could be anybody, and that is a weird thing to realize. I still find myself thinking that none of my friends were victims—I wasn't exactly close to many people—but what if I am wrong? I'm trying to vent on these people.

~~~

Some of you probably remember me mentioning my once-friend Clayton who is now in jail for molesting his daughters when they were very prepubescent. My first reaction to that news (beyond shock, always the first) was doubt that he did it. After I saw documentation of the proof myself, my only possible reaction was accepting that Clayton was a terrible person.

With Mr. Pryor, I went through the same shock and denial stages, but it's different this time. And before I go on, I should make clear that I think Pryor did a terrible thing and that he should be brought to justice for it. I think there are very good reasons for our age-of-consent laws, and if there are gray areas of consent, in the present and even moreso when cultures past and present are studied more broadly, I think the ages of 12-14 are pretty dark gray, dark enough that most would call it black, though the age of consent was, for example, 14 in Canada as recently as 2008. That is aside from the abuse-of-power aspect of Pryor's situation, which is also very serious, and turns dark gray to unquestionable black.

My perspective comes from my own human experience. My dad was 22 when he got my 15-year-old mother pregnant. She had been in Mr. Pryor's class just the year before, and he is only a few years older than my dad. It's like this:

Bad:
my dad

Very bad:
Mr. Pryor (getting worse as he got older)

Worse even than oldest Pryor:
Jerry Sandusky (prepubescent children)

Worst:
Clayton (even more prepubescent, and his own daughters? wtf does not begin to cover it)

Is it wrong to think of it like that? Keep in mind I think Pryor should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, Very Bad being what it is.

It's difficult not to look for reasons to sympathize with Mr. Pryor because I looked up to him, and I find myself thinking of my own mindset when I was in his class. As I mentioned and SBC confirmed in a recent discussion with Seeker, girls' hormones start kicking at 11-12, maybe even sooner. Is it bad to admit that my 13-year-old self is kind of jealous of these boys? That is a weird thing to admit, and not AT ALL intended to diminish the victimhood of the 11+ men in question. It's just the truth. I distinctly recall that my attraction to him was intermittent, and that there were days when I found him repulsive (if he made me angry, I began to see him as being older than my dad), but I daydreamed about him. I remember trying to concoct chances to be alone with him in his classroom. I remember visiting him at least once when I was in high school. I also distinctly remember thinking he saw through me and that he was either amused or annoyed, depending on his mood.

Even knowing what he did, when I watched the video in the WLOX link above, all that attraction came back to me. He's 20 years older now, but so am I. Maybe it's because he knew he was being videotaped, but I see him teaching like he did on his best days, in a good mood and excited about whatever he was explaining, making difficult problems seem easy, making ancient solutions seem freshly clever.

Thanks to 20 years of further life experience, I can see that, had Pryor actually been interested in me, my life might have turned out very differently. When I got older I would have realized how much his position of power/trust had to do with his attractiveness to me. I'm not entirely sure I didn't see that back then; I think if he had ever indulged my little crush on him (an honor he shared with several others, mostly boys around my age) I would have probably freaked out at least a bit. I honestly don't know what I would have done, but I can literally imagine what it might have been like for the boys Pryor targeted. My mind can go there. He's not just another pervert in the news to me.

With Clayton...he's not just another pervert in the news to me, either, but my mind can't go there. I don't want to even think about what he has done to his daughters; it's too terrible x1000. I read a summary of the evidence against him, and it was way too much. It's black-hole black.

Does that make sense?

Another thing I can't help dwelling on is my own studies about past sexuality, especially homosexuality before the term was invented in the late 19th century. During the long dark reign of the Catholic Church, homosexuality was a sin but never recognized, for obvious reasons, as an identity. It was so unmentionable that most European languages continued to use some form of "pederasty" to refer to sexual relationships even between consenting adult men. That was the only form of homosexuality that was mentionable, and even that was avoided.

The change in perspective is really very recent. By the 19th century at the latest, it was not unheard-of for men to live together openly as if they were married. It was incredibly rare, and incredibly scandalous, but it happened. It was far more common, however, to see references to actual pederasty, whether or not those accusations were true. (I know that sleepinghour has seen evidence of this in the course of her helping me with German.) It was the lens through which the post-Renaissance, pre-modern European world saw male homosexuality. It made sense to them because it was gender-inspired and thus fit their rigid, binary view of gender roles.

Keeping in mind that I think modern age-of-consent laws are logical and morally correct (for the most part...my quibbles are in an age group above and thus unrelated to this subject), I have serious issues with pedophilia being equated with pederasty. They are two different things. Both are very bad. One is much worse, though.

One topic that comes up a lot in cases of child sex abuse is the practice called "grooming". Ancient Greek pederasty is fairly well-documented, and the courting of young boys was, in all its detail, almost substitutable for the modern descriptions of grooming. The difference was that in that society (an oversimplification, but sorry; this is already running long) the boy expected this sort of thing and was well-equipped to handle the situation. Some chose to indulge; some didn't. Rape was illegal and rare. A boy could choose his mentors and his lovers, and he knew how to say no.

Again, modern age-of-consent laws are a necessary buffer zone of protection in today's world. It's easier to make stupid decisions when you're young, and it's easier to be persuaded by adults, especially those in positions of power, when you're so impressionable.

That said, I think that "grooming" a prepubescent child and a teenager are two different things. Prepubescent children are too young to even really understand what's going on. Looking back on my 13-year-old self...I would have known exactly what was going on. I was not an adult yet, but at that age, I was no longer a child.

I am glad that age-of-consent laws and Mr. Pryor's lack of interest protected me from making that kind of mistake. I am honestly sorry that it wasn't enough in the cases of these boys. Putting aside the good reasons for the laws for a moment, it's very possible that those relationships had some measure of consent, at least some of the time. I find it hard to imagine that it could have gotten to the point of molestation without some clue of what was coming. That is not to say that the boys should have to take responsibility; they were too young to be expected to do that.

I believe that Mr. Pryor should be punished for abusing those boys' trust, whether or not he took advantage of their adolescent hormones too. But I think it very likely that he honestly believed he had consent and had convinced himself, based on a reverence of the ancients, that the modern laws were unjust. It's only in the last 1-200 years that the average age of consent in European cultures has risen above 12.

Perhaps I'm giving him too much credit here and his justifications to himself weren't that intricate. I doubt it, though. As for modern views on homosexuality, I think we can all agree that the last 10-20 years have brought us along at an incredibly rapid pace, all across the Western world. The Stonewall riots happened when Pryor was in college. For him, it was too little, too late. He had already formed an idea of how he should express his sexuality. He had already moved on to erastês.

It's said that many sexual abusers were victims of sexual abuse themselves. I find it highly likely that Pryor had at least one pederastic relationship when he was around the age of his victims. He might not have ever seen it as abuse. I have a friend (outside the US) who confided in me that he had one such relationship as a young adolescent, and he never saw it as molestation. Some of Pryor's victims might feel the same (which is not to say that the others should feel that way, by any means).

Pryor's favorite subject to teach was (Euclidian) Geometry, and some have argued that Euclid was a pederast because he was a professed Platonist (there are some translation details which I haven't bothered to research yet; that's as far as I've gotten on that), and also because he was a teacher. Pederastic relationships were almost always mentor-student relationships of some kind; that was supposed to be the point. It was a coming-of-age experience intended to educate the boy on how to be a man. The translation details don't really matter; it certainly wouldn't have been unusual if Euclid was a pederast, and in his role as a guru-type teacher, it might have been unusual if he wasn't.

I have very little doubt that this was how Pryor saw himself. If he didn't have a special love for Greek things, I wouldn't be so sure, but between his devotion to Phi Kappa and Geometry, and his obvious effort to play the role of a guru-type mentor to his students, I think we have a winner. I'm sure this is not always the case with men who molest adolescent boys, but I suspect that the pederasty delusion is more common than we might for men Pryor's age and about 10-20 years younger. I also suspect there are many like him who have never been caught. He is 68 years old. He made it almost to the average lifespan of a man in the US, probably a lot closer for men in MS.

It is still true that the equivocation of homosexuality and pederasty/pedophilia is a conflation. The vast majority of men who identify as gay have long since broken away from that model. It's the men who don't identify as gay—some of whom are just in the closet, but many of whom are truly bisexual to some degree—these are the men we need to be concerned with, not because homosexuality automatically leads to child molestation, but because they have been conditioned by society to think about homosexuality (and masculinity) in certain ways which are dangerously wrong.

You'll notice I don't mention lesbians. Women in general do not account for a very large percentage of sexual crimes against children, but cases do exist, and the main reason I won't talk about them here is not because they are not capable of it but because they have been socialized in different ways. Hardly anyone wrote about ancient Greek women. Sappho was a rare gem of her time, and her work does not lay out rules for sexual relationships between women. The rules of pederasty were, in some cases, actually encoded into law. Even in the late second millenium, after certain things were translated into vernacular languages and the classical Renaissance, and lesbian relationships were referred to via Sappho—either as Sapphism or the derivative of her place of birth, Lesbos—even then, lesbians weren't written about much. It wasn't that people weren't interested; they were just less interested in defining and regulating lesbianism than they were in defining and regulating male homosexuality. That in itself is very relevant to the conversation.

Women were second-class citizens. In ancient Athens, pederasty was a somewhat natural consequence of the social seclusion and underappreciation of women, but Greek pederasty is only one example. I have a book called The Construction of Homosexuality (David F. Greenberg, 1988) which catalogues basically every known reference to homosexuality in any culture known to man (excepting of course those cultures where there is too much to cite). There is a trend: in societies where women are held to be second to men, there are usually strict gender-inspired rules for male homosexuality. An interesting example of the absence of such was Celtic culture (most footnotes omitted, p. 111):

The aristocratic warrior societies do seem to have had extensive male homosexuality, which was completely accepted. Archaeological evidence shows that c. 500 B. C., when they were founding the La Tene culture in France and the northern part of Switzerland, large numbers of Celts were armed for military raids of looting. Their political organization took the form of decentralized chiefdoms, with patron-client relationships linking aristocrats and commoners. According to Aristotle, the Celts esteemed homosexuality. [Politics 2.9.7] Writing in the first century B. C., Diodorus Siculus found Celtic women charming, and every indicator of their social status suggests that it was quite high. Nevertheless, he added,
the men are much keener on their own sex; they lie around on animal skins and enjoy themselves, with a lover on each side. The extraordinary thing is that they haven't the smallest regard for their personal dignity or self-respect; they offer themselves to other men without the least compunction. Furthermore, this isn't looked down on, or regarded as in any way disgraceful: on the contrary, if one of them is rejected by another to whom he has offered himself, he takes offence.
As you can see, this passage reflects Greenberg's own views on the relationship between a society's view of women and a society's view of adult males engaging in consensual sexual relationshisp. The problem for Diodorus Siculus, and presumably any other Roman man, was that an adult male was willing to play the "female" role in sex.

Over 2000 years later, that notion is still a serious problem for many people, and it's probably one of the most influential factors in our modern struggle for gay rights. It is the basis for why many people believe that homosexuality is unnatural, along with the non-production of children of course, but everyone knows that lesbian porn was popular long before gay marriage became popular. Men in Western cultures and women who buy into the myth of masculinity have a much bigger problem with male homosexuality. Women are more likely to express bisexuality than men because the societal expectations are not the same.

Not all pederastic relationships involved sexual intercourse. Intercural intercourse and oral sex were also popular, and restraint was idealized, hence the term "platonic" (though Plato was not the only one to argue along those lines). Despite that, the gender roles were still observed. The adult male courted the young boy as a lover, no matter how far he intended to take the sexual activity. Thus, only an adolescent boy could play that part, because it would be shameful for an adult male to do so.

You can see how, in the specific case of Greek pederasty, the inferior view of women and, by extension, the inferior view of femininity led to an institution of what we today call child abuse. What might be shocking to modern men is the percentage of men who participated in pederastic culture when it was at its height. It would seem that "over half" would be a fairly safe estimate. Today, less than 10% of men and women identify as GLBT&c.

Gay men who have come out of the closet have for the most part come to terms with any perception of their femininity. Pederasty is not a great temptation for them. But what about those who haven't come out of the closet? Think about how many "straight" men there must be out there who have homosexual or bisexual inclinations but who can't come to terms with it. What is our society teaching them about how those inclinations can be safely channeled? How much is "masculinity" prioritized? As long as we hang on to outdated views of masculinity and femininity, there will always be more people like Mr. Pryor than we would expect in a world without gender-shaming (which is not to blame Pryor's delusions or crimes on anyone but himself).

I think we are moving along fairly well on gay rights but we might be doing so without the requisite understanding of what homosexuality actually is, and how our perceptions of it came to be. There is a lot of academic literature on this, but for the most part, no one is reading it except the academics in question.

I worry also that with the protective age-of-consent laws, too many parents have come to depend on those laws to protect the innocence of their children. It's not enough. Adolescent children need to have a mature understanding of themselves as sexual beings, because they are going to see themselves as sexual beings whether we like it or not. You can teach prepubescent children simple concepts like good touching and bad touching, but adolescent children need an understanding of their own sexual agency, and the reasons why sexual abstinence is a wise course, and the reasons why they would later regret a sexual relationship with an adult. Boys that age need to know what pederasty is, and why it's not a good idea. Boys in particular need to understand that it doesn't reflect on their masculinity when they report this kind of behavior. How many of them are ashamed to do so specifically because of what we have taught them about what it means to be a man?

In that sense, it's actually more risky for an adult to initiate a sexual relationship with a teenage girl, because the girl is considerably more likely to tell someone, whether because she was proud of the experience or because she was angry about it. She has much less reason to feel ashamed (which is not to say she feels she has none at all).

In the comments on the Sun Herald article, a woman who works with molestation survivors posted this:

This is such sad and disturbing news. How many innocent children's lives have been ruined by William Richard Pryor?
Hopefully this admitted serial child predator will be kept behind bars and far away from kids forever.
Something to keep in mind-
Child predators are very cunning and manipulative. They know every trick on how to groom, threaten, lie, and put the fear of god into their victims and sometimes even their family members. They also appear to do a lot of goods things, they can be very charismatic and you may think they would never harm a child. They have to be this way, in order to not get caught and to continue to abuse. They devote lots of time and energy building trust with their victims by giving them money and gifts. They tend to make the child feel that they are special and loved.

Sexual predators are often powerful and well-loved, we must overcome the dangerous myth that because someone is successful or warm or caring, he or she couldn't have done that! It would be comforting if those who preyed on the vulnerable were obvious social misfits whose appearance would somehow set off alarm bells and give us the willies or the creeps. They rarely do. Usually, predators are among the last people we would suspect of sexually violating others. At a party, the predator isn't some oddball sitting alone in a corner because others feel uncomfortable with him. Most often, the predator is the guy throwing the party.

And we must stop thinking that because a man is old, that somehow he's automatically safe. It's just irresponsible to endanger kids by assuming an adult is harmless simply because he or she may be losing hair, wearing glasses, using hearing aids or walking with a cane. These can be signs of advancing age, but they are not signs that an individual is safe around kids.

It takes a ton of courage to come forward and take action about being sexually abused. This is not an easy thing to do, but it is extremely rare that a child predator has only one victim. Some have many. Child predators need to be kept far away from kids forever, so let's hope that anyone who may have knowledge or may have been harmed by Richard Pryor, will find the courage to come forward and contact law enforcement.

Your silence only hurts, and by speaking up there is a chance for healing, exposing the truth, and therefore protecting others.
Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, USA, 636-433-2511, SNAPJudy@gmail.com
SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests , Despite the word "priest" in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, teachers, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers and increasingly, victims who were assaulted in a wide range of institutional settings like summer camps, athletic programs, Boy Scouts, etc
Maybe sexual predators are hard to spot because they actually are normal people. Maybe that's something everyone needs to learn. I have learned it now. Clayton was an aberration; he was incredibly strange and looked like a serial killer. He was charismatic but not actually respected by anyone.

There was standing room only in the courthouse today because it was packed with Pryor's students and friends. Students and past students are having real trouble coming to terms with it because he was so well loved. He was not universally loved, and my memories of him are good enough that I understand why. He was arrogant, and had a spiteful sense of humor a lot of the time, but he still managed to be inspiring to hundreds of kids over the course of the 45 years he taught in Gulfport.

Some people on social media have commented that he was also a misogynist. I don't remember it that way, but my memory honestly might be failing me. One woman (now a teacher for Gulfport schools) said that when she was in his class a few years before me, he made it clear that he didn't think girls were as smart as boys. I argued back that he had told my class that I was the smartest person in the class, and that I didn't remember any comments about me being unusual for a girl. But maybe I conveniently blocked out that part of it. I do remember him asking several boys in the class, one by one, if they thought they were smarter than me. I thought he was doing it to make me feel better about myself, but it's entirely possible he did it only to shame them. I was the only girl allowed to take Geometry in summer school to get ahead; I think there were 4 boys who were in that group with me.

I remember being in his class during the '92 election. We had debates in his class. I was for Bush, and two of my classmates (the smartest boys) argued for Perot and Clinton. I remember Pryor was the only teacher I had who was for Bush; that probably had a little bit to do with why he liked me, but I really did do well in his class, often solving problems on the whiteboard that no one else could. In other words, I don't like to remember him as a misogynist, but maybe he had a streak of it. He always appeared to me to be very fond of his sister, but I know almost nothing of their relationship. She was also a teacher at Bayou View, but I didn't have her.

I am still processing this, and I imagine I will be for a while. My reaction to the news has been incredibly self-centered, but it's very rare for anything to impact me emotionally like this.

I find myself wanting to write him letters, but what could I say? "Do you remember me? You might not remember me, but you have changed my life twice now..." It's all very dull. I could tell him about taking logic, how easy the proofs were and how much it reminded me of being in his class, when I was good at math. I could tell him how I got a C in College Algebra, how I wish I could have taken every math class I ever needed from him, even if it wasn't his specialty. He'd probably be bored to tears. I could write him some of the stuff in this post, but what would he think of that? What would he think of a person he might barely remember, judging him? Trying to understand him? Maybe he thinks he doesn't deserve it. Maybe that's true, but it's not about him. It's about me.

Mort
08-27-2014, 08:11 AM
The length of your novella speaks volumes you have been affected by this for sure. TLDR range, but I get it.

He's a creep and you should forget about him. You making contact with him makes me itch all over. DO NOT.

I guess you saw him as a role model when you grew up. Smart, knew a lot. Things I am sure you value greatly to this day.

He wasn't just a molester and all around disgusting guy. He was also a fuck up of a teacher. No decent teacher goes around and pushes some kids down while elevating others, especially by telling them one kid is smarter than the other. Even if it's technically true it is just wrong. I hope you weren't picked on because of that or suffered some other social effects.

Davian93
08-27-2014, 08:58 AM
Pryor was a brilliant mathematician, the kind to really make you wonder why he taught junior high

Easy access to victims.

What an utter POS.

Terez
08-27-2014, 09:06 AM
He's a creep and you should forget about him.
That's easier said than done, even to the point of seeing him as a creep, despite everything.

GonzoTheGreat
08-27-2014, 09:17 AM
That's easier said than done, even to the point of seeing him as a creep, despite everything.
Which is one reason why people like that can often continue so long: because humans have a tendency to go with first impressions and favor those over later information. That is often useful, of course, as it saves time, which is why this trait wasn't filtered out by evolution. But it does make it difficult to change your feelings, even when you know that makes sense.

Sometimes I think that feelings aren't entirely rational.

SauceyBlueConfetti
08-27-2014, 09:32 AM
I have been reading your stuff on FB and now here and the struggle you are having is TOTALLY understandable.

You have thoughts that are conflicting in so many ways emotionally and logically that I cannot begin to imagine how this is weighing on you.

I don't have much to offer, other than support. You are NOT a horrible person for these conflicts of thoughts...just so you know. So don't turn this inward and be harsh on yourself. I am thinking this will be a long, very long, healing process for you. The impact on you is direct, so don't let anyone diminish that either.

Terez
08-27-2014, 11:36 AM
I don't have much to offer, other than support. You are NOT a horrible person for these conflicts of thoughts...just so you know. So don't turn this inward and be harsh on yourself. I am thinking this will be a long, very long, healing process for you. The impact on you is direct, so don't let anyone diminish that either.
I emailed a classmate about this. I was never close to him—I just looked up to him—and I haven't talked to him in a year...and that was the first time I had talked to him since high school. The address he gave me was his work address. I sent him a long rambling email not dissimilar to what I wrote here, and I got an auto-response from someone named Kathleen because apparently he doesn't work there any more. I had to google him and find his new work address, and tell him that I had sent a terribly personal email to his old work address, and that I thought he should know, and did he have a personal email I could use? He wrote back and gave it to me, and I sent him the original email verbatim with profuse apologies. He hasn't responded. I'm really tearing myself up over that. I emailed him because he knew Pryor better than anyone in my class and did all the Pryor things, and said so in the email ("you were one of the few to know him from 7th grade...") and now what do these people at his old job think of him? I was confident when I emailed him that he probably wasn't a victim. He seemed to me to be too self-aware at that age. Now I am not so sure. He might have fit the profile of the type Pryor would go after better than anyone else in my class. I don't make any assumptions, but whether or not he was a victim, it's terrible that I sent that email to strangers who know him professionally, and not necessarily in a good way since he's no longer at that job.

I texted one of my uncles and asked him if he had a clue that this was going on, because Pryor's first victim would not have been much younger than him. He never wrote me back, very unusual.

I texted a friend, not in my class, someone I am actually close to, who did all the Pryor things even more than the aforementioned guy in my class. Asked him to call me if he would be willing to talk about Pryor. He never wrote me back or called me. That is unusual for him.

All three of them could have been victims, or none of them. I have no right to know, but not knowing is driving me crazy. And if I did know? I don't see how it could do anything but increase my respect for the victims. It bothers me that their shame was so strong that this could remain unknown for over 40 years.

SauceyBlueConfetti
08-27-2014, 11:54 AM
Not sure about others but auto rejects on emails for former employees are just that...auto rejects. They have my name (or the other appropriate department head) on the response, but I don't actually "see" the email. We just get a auto-email report at the end of the month.

Most professionals, if they even saw it, wouldn't discuss it with anyone. At least the dept. heads/HR folks that I know.

Don't beat yourself up about it.

Davian93
08-27-2014, 12:31 PM
Not sure about others but auto rejects on emails for former employees are just that...auto rejects. They have my name (or the other appropriate department head) on the response, but I don't actually "see" the email. We just get a auto-email report at the end of the month.

Most professionals, if they even saw it, wouldn't discuss it with anyone. At least the dept. heads/HR folks that I know.

Don't beat yourself up about it.

Our email servers would work the same way...nobody would ever see the actual email. So you're probably in the clear there.

Ishara
08-27-2014, 01:59 PM
Well reasoned, and long, but worth the read. Than kyou for posting, I think it was really good food for thought. It's absolutely traumatic to have to look back and reconsider all those experiences and memories with this new layer of context. I'm sorry that you're so close to all of this, I can't imagine.

For what it's worth though, it's not likely the email was read by the old workplace. Professionalism aside, email accounts are not maintained for people who no longer work there. I think you're safe on that front, although, I absolutely respect and understand your concerns.

Thinking of you. xo

Terez
08-28-2014, 03:39 AM
I'm glad that strangers probably didn't see the email, but regardless I worry about why he hasn't written me back, and whether I offended him, was insensitive, etc. I sometimes forget that you can't talk to upper-class church-going southerners about sex and expect to have a reasonable conversation, even with the most reasonable people you know. That aside from the worry that he might be a victim and that my words struck him as callous.

I goofed in my original post: Pryor was already teaching at Bayou View when the Stonewall riots happened. I wonder what he thought about it at the time. Something exciting, or something that reinforced the fear? Or something completely unrelated to his situation?

I should also amend that it's possible Pryor never actually had a pederastic relationship as an adolescent. Maybe he just daydreamed about it, like me, and sought to give all those boys something that he desperately wanted when he was their age. Like many pederasts, he always started small, and in the case of the first victims to come forward, he did not get very far. His actions were physically concentrated on their pleasure (nevermind the fap material he gained from it).

When I was almost finished writing the OP, I happened to read the following passage in The Witching Hour, and it made me even more depressed. The quoted character is being tormented by a demon who has the power to impersonate other people.

I saw Roemer again, my beloved Roemer, the first director of our order I knew and loved. And Roemer looked so young and fine to me, and I was so glad to see him that I wept, and did not want the image to disappear.

Let me play with this, I thought, for it comes from my mind, does it not? And the fiend does not know what he does. And so I spoke to Roemer. I said, "My dearest Roemer, you do not know how I have missed you, and where have you been, and what have you learned?"

And the stout handsome figure of Roemer comes towards me, and I know now that no one else sees it for they are glancing at me, the muttering madman, but I do not care. Again I say, "Sit down, Roemer, drink with me." And this, my beloved teacher, sits and leans against the table, and speaks the most foul obscenities to me, ah, you have never heard such language, as he tells me that he would strip off my clothes in this very tavern, and what pleasure he would give me, and how he had always wanted to do it when I was a boy, and even that he did do it, in the night, coming into my room, and laughing afterwards about it, and letting others watch.

Like a statue, I must have appeared, staring into the face of this monster, who with Roemer's smile whispered like an old bawd to me, such filth... [...]

Of course, my beloved Roemer never took such liberties with me! But I used to pray that he would! And the fiend drew that out of me, that as a boy I lay in my bed in the Motherhouse dreaming that Roemer would come and pull down the covers and lie with me. I dreamed those things!

Had you asked me last year, did I ever have such a dream, I would have said never, but I had it, and the fiend remembered me of it. Should I thank him?

The Unreasoner
08-28-2014, 05:04 AM
Without treading too far into the thread, it's possible these people were not victims (though the 'knowing him better than anyone' is alarming). Depending on what you said to them (and on whether or not they can read your facebook posts, and what was said there) they may be taking the time to reason out a reply. If they were (and-rightly-see it that way) victims, or if they are repulsed by the guy now, they may find your thoughts on pedophile history disturbing. It may come across as you making excuses for this predator. Or they may find the lukewarm jealousy hard to hear, especially if they were victims.

Terez
08-28-2014, 05:42 AM
Yeah, I have not communicated the jealousy thing to anyone outside this post. I would have been willing to do so if the conversation had gone in that direction, but none of the conversations went in any direction, so just here. I posted a link on social media, and some of my classmates might read it, but I'm not sure how likely that is. None of the ones I contacted are likely to read it.

yks 6nnetu hing
08-28-2014, 05:58 AM
I don't have enough insight to comment on your whole post T, though I did read all of it. Your thoughts on the matter, and the process of re-evaluating your own experiences in light of everything that's come up is impressive and I wish you strength as you continue with this.

a few points though: I agree with you and SBC in that the human sexual development kicks into a new gear at early teens - certainly, there are vague or not so vague fantasies being thought up. I mean, I remember playing "doctor" with my siblings and cousins when I was... maybe 4 or 5 or so? Most of the time it was playing that someone was at the doctor and the doctor would "listen to the lungs" and maybe "give a shot" or something, but one or two times there was - and obvs I didn't realize that at the time, it's only clear in hindsight - a definite sexual/gender curiosity to the play-acting. Later, I think I was 12 or 13 at the time, one of my uncles had neglected to put a porn magazine safely away. I read the whole thing. I was fascinated by it and thought about it a LOT.

But - and this is the important part - should any of those fantasies we read about or think up even hint at becoming reality, most people would freak out.


tangent:
A good grown-up example is the whole 50 shades of gray franchise. Sure, a woman can enjoy a bit of a fantasy about a dominant man, but in REAL LIFE - no. Just no: the controlling, manipulative, obsessive, possessive, distrusting behavior... Just... no. Actually, to take this analogy even more "mainstream" - any romance novel where the woman meets a rebel/rake/dangerous guy and "reforms" him. That's just not going to have a happily ever after ending in reality; which says something quite sad about 70% of the books written for women and often by women.
/tangent

back on topic, I know the kind of teacher you mean: enthousiastic about their field, good at explaining things, strict but somehow still managing to make the subject fun - there were a few like that in my school. But a teacher's personal life can sometimes be quite different from their teaching. There was a married couple, both teaching music and choir. She was ok, but he was really inspirational - our school choir won international medals and being in choir was actually cool... But he cheated on her with another teacher (and she got pregnant and had the kid) so... he was let go. Obviously, this is not on the same level of immoral behavior as Pryor, but it's similar in that being a (good) teacher is only one part of who a person is.

Terez
08-28-2014, 07:47 AM
More corrections: apparently Pryor didn't teach my mother, but she remembered him. I am pretty sure he taught her younger brothers; I remember talking to him about it when I asked him about being transferred to his class. He loved getting second-generation students. He probably got some 3rd-generation students before the end. Can you imagine, having a teacher who taught your grandparents?

Also, my mom told me Glen East was not the superintendent of Gulfport schools when Pryor retired, perhaps was forced to retire. That superintendent is dead.

Davian93
08-28-2014, 07:52 AM
I'm just shocked to hear these things about Richard Pryor. I also had no idea he was a teacher too with all the comic work he did.

Terez
08-28-2014, 08:04 AM
He always went by his middle name, even before the famous Pryor was famous. I have to google "Richard Pryor Gulfport" to get anything relevant. Googling his full name didn't help.

Davian93
08-28-2014, 08:19 AM
He always went by his middle name, even before the famous Pryor was famous. I have to google "Richard Pryor Gulfport" to get anything relevant. Googling his full name didn't help.

http://monsoonmartin.squarespace.com/storage/OfficeSpaceBolton.jpg?__SQUARESPACE_CACHEVERSION=1 365363886867

It was a perfectly good name...until that no-talent ass clown started selling records and winning Grammys.

Figbiscuit
08-28-2014, 09:06 AM
I also don't have anything sensible to add (altho not as insensible as Dav...), but I wanted to let you know that I'd read your post and I do not find anything unusual in your thought processes.

Yes possibly the people you have contacted to discuss this are victims, or maybe they know victims. As has been said, maybe they are taking the time for formulate a response to you, maybe they are re-evaluating their own experiences with Mr Pryor, maybe they don't want to be brought into any discussion relating to any part of it. I personally do not have any shame or issue with discussion of sex, but then I'm not southern American religious uptight.

I find your comments very interesting on the manifestation of homosexuality in men who are above the age where such things were still illegal, I'll be honest it's not something I've considered much although I am a fierce advocate of gay rights such as they need to be advocated in my little corner of the world (not much, thankfully most people I surround myself with are a tolerant bunch). Thank you for sharing your thoughts and knowledge.

Terez
08-28-2014, 11:30 AM
I have to admit I haven't read very deeply on the history of sexuality. I've read a lot, but only a fraction of what I need to know to write a book about Chopin. Uno and Kimon might be able to correct me on a few points I made. There's definitely a lot of nuance I left out.

Sodomy laws were only recently declared unconstitutional in the US, but enforcement has been very sporadic throughout Western history. Victorian England was probably the most brutal era of anti-sodomy law enforcement in recent Western history, but capital punishment for sodomy had already been done away with in several countries including France. (I'm thinking the laws came back in France some time post-Napoleon, but I don't remember for sure.) The bulk of what we know about homosexuality before the 20th century is institutional, and legal/enforcement records were the least likely to be purged of such embarrassments. The next best thing (arguably the best, depending on your quant/qual needs) is correspondence gossip, and then literature.

By the way, as I said before, one word that was used to describe homosexuality was pederasty, even if it wasn't, but sodomy was another one. To make a complicated argument short, most queer theorists argue that the concept of homosexuality itself did not exist before the word was invented (and that concept has grown a lot since then). In a way that's true; the most-quoted guy in the room is Michel Foucault, who wrote that the invention of the word more or less coincided with the invention of the homosexual identity. Sodomy was merely an act; theoretically, anyone was capable of it. That idea made sense in light of the classics and the institution of pederasty. It was a sin that anyone could commit, but the idea of preferring only the same sex all of the time was still relatively foreign in Western post-Enlightenment Europe, partly because most people who would have preferred their own sex all of the time were pretending otherwise, and overall doing a pretty good job of pretending.

It's interesting how sodomy came to refer to any number of sex acts, but the fact that it became attached most definitively to anal sex (almost always between men) is not an accident, and the fact that it was used to refer to male homosexuality in any form was also not an accident. It was the epitome of all gender-inspired objections to male homosexuality, and lest anyone argue that it's all about the aesthetic nature of the act, there are plenty of heterosexual men who found and continue to find it to be an enjoyable thing to do with women.

Uno
08-28-2014, 01:34 PM
Sodomy was merely an act; theoretically, anyone was capable of it. That idea made sense in light of the classics and the institution of pederasty. It was a sin that anyone could commit, but the idea of preferring only the same sex all of the time was still relatively foreign in Western post-Enlightenment Europe, partly because most people who would have preferred their own sex all of the time were pretending otherwise, and overall doing a pretty good job of pretending.

It's my understanding that this is the basic scenario, but Richard Godbeer (Sexual Revolution in Early America) discusses evidence that suggests that the popular understanding of "sodomy" might differ somewhat from the official view. In a case from Connecticut in 1677, a man named Nicholas Sension was prosecuted for several instances of sodomy and attempted sodomy--basically sexual assault on servants and other young men--and while the magistrates tended to describe these actions merely as series of sinful acts (expressions of general human depravity), his neighbours (and, in fact, Sension himself) used language that suggests that they recognized that Sension had a specific sexual attraction to males, not just a general weakness that made him especially prone to sin. Interestingly, there was a 30-year gap between the first accusations of attempted sodomy and the official complaint to the courts, meaning that Puritan New Englanders were willing to put up with his behaviour for several decades, and apart from his sexual behaviour, Sension was considered a respectable member of the community.

Terez
08-28-2014, 02:34 PM
Indeed, the details of individual cases (including many I have studied) often raise questions about the theory, and I might be wrong but I believe you have brought up that exact example before. It's sort of a doctrine among queer theorists, however, and when any of them make arguments that seem to go against the doctrine, they tend to couch them in disclaimers. I often see arguments to the contrary from historians and musicologists and literary scholars, and the disclaimers are less emphatic there (though still often present because they are familiar with the theory). I have several volumes whose entire prefaces are dedicated to reconciling the work with queer theory, and many of them adamantly disagree with the theory.

For example, Susan E. Gustafson, Men Desiring Men: The Poetry of Same-Sex Identity and Desire in German Classicism (2002). The first chapter is entitled "Searching for Signs of Same-Sex Identity and Desire in Eighteenth- and Early Nineteenth-Century Europe", which in itself makes the anti-theoretical approach clear, if the title of the book wasn't enough. The language of the chapter is very contrarian and even defensive. A queer theorist could make many of the same arguments without actually countering the basic doctrine, no matter how much they might have to bend over backwards with the disclaimers.

I tend to believe that what Gustafson calls "the prevailing discourses on sodomy" had been largely internalized by average folk. The exceptions are when you get someone like Sension who takes little care to hide what he was doing, or another example I have studied, the Marquis de Custine, who is one of those I mentioned earlier who lived openly with his life-partner as if they were married. Custine was forced out of the closet after the death of his wife, and never showed any real interest in female companionship after his wife and child were dead, but he still wrote things like this to Chopin (undated, late 1836 or early 1837, translation by me and Dom):

Cher Chopin.

J'ai fait une horreur, j'ai mal compris la lettre de Mme de Castellane; sa fille est allée chez vouz sans elle, et elle a trouvé relâche, sans comparaison, comme hier à Don Juan. Ce désappointement ne la décourage pas, elle vous demande instamment de ne pas l'abandonner à son vague instinct musical; d'autant, et c'est moi qui ajoute ceci, qu'elle a déjà un joli talent: vous serez content d'une telle écolière; quant à moi, je me trouverais bien heureux d'avoir quelque chose à lui enseigner. L'heureux homme que vous êtes!...

Merci de votre bonne et aimable et rare visite d'hier; j'ai besoin que mes amis pensent à moi, car en voici un bien ancien à l'agonie.

A. de Custine.

Liszt veut donner des leçons à Mme de Contades, et elle en prendre de vous; ceci ressemble tout à fait aux amours croisés du Pasteur Fido.

***

Dear Chopin,

I did something horrible: I misunderstood the letter of Mme de Castellane; her daughter has gone to your house without her, and she has found—as with Don Juan yesterday, meaning no comparison—that it was an off-day. This disappointment did not deter her; she urges you not to abandon her to her vague musical instincts; all the more since—and it is I who says this—she is already a lovely talent: you will be pleased to have her as your student; as for me, I would find myself very fortunate to have something to teach her. The lucky man you are!…

Thank you for your kind and rare visit yesterday; I have a need for my friends to think of me, because this ancient one is in agony.

A. de Custine.

Liszt wants to give lessons to Mme de Contades, and she wants to take from you; this quite resembles the love triangles of Pastor Fido.
There wasn't any confusion publicly about Custine's inclinations, and I suspect there was none privately about Chopin's. And yet...!

I suspect people who were familiar with rare figures like Custine were wiser than those who weren't. Sometimes it depended on whether you were in on the secret. There are figures like Byron all over the place, though...people who were publicly attracted to both sexes, hence the phenomenon of "libertinage".

Uno
08-28-2014, 02:52 PM
I doubt that Sension's neighbours would have spent a lot of time pondering the theoretical implications of his behaviour, but it would be hard for them not to notice that Sension only targeted young males, since he stuck to that pattern over three decades. From what I gather, they based their conclusions on direct observation, whereas the magistracy stuck to the official academic and theological doctrine. In the end, he was sentenced to whipping, because only one witness would testify that he had successfully committed sodomy, and at least two witnesses were needed to convict someone of a capital crime.

Terez
08-28-2014, 03:06 PM
Custine's crimes against nature were not technically illegal, so he was instead treated to vigilante justice at the hands of the comrades of the soldier he had propositioned. They left him for dead. Custine probably could have kept the scandal under the rug if he hadn't pressed charges, but press charges he did, and thus he became one of the most important personages in 19th century Europe to emerge entirely from the closet.

I should add that sophisticated knowledge about homosexuality seems to have been more common in artist circles because artists are by nature expressive people and more likely to be obvious about their sexual preferences. There are a great number of little clues in the correspondence gossip indicating that Chopin's closest friends were aware of his preferences, but even in correspondence between intimates, people were incredibly circumspect, and every little clue is debatable. In a lot of cases that's what makes it difficult to counter the theory; hardly anyone would talk about it in a way that is not debatable. People were less circumspect in reference to Custine than they were in reference to people who were still in the closet. George Sand's probable lover Marie Dorval marveled that her male lover was jealous of Custine, a man in petticoats. It's very, very rare for me to come across similar comments about anyone else.

PS: "Musical" was actually a euphemism for homosexuality in some European languages.

Terez
08-29-2014, 03:10 AM
I am actually starting to wonder if perhaps queer theorists aren't so attached to their doctrine because they have their own reverence of pederasty and what it represents. Queer theory originated in the post-Stonewall academic consciousness, particularly among queer academics. They were, in a very real sense, self-evaluating. Pederasty itself was less scandalous to many of them than it is to us, despite only a few decades having passed, but the main point is that they revered it not for its limitations or its aspect of child abuse, but for what it says about the nature of homosexuality itself. I think queer queer-theorists probably dream of a world where bisexuality is so common as it was in classical antiquity, and why shouldn't they? The institution of pederasty is the proof that it is entirely possible.

The book I mentioned in my OP has the doctrine in its title: The Construction of Homosexuality, but the author demonstrates that the child abuse, in cultures where it existed, was a result not of homosexuality itself but of prescribed gender imbalances. It's not a perfect theory, though; there are many exceptions to the rule. Sometimes gender roles are defined in detail but not incredibly unbalanced; tribal coming-of-age male homosexuality traditions are not unheard of in such situations.

I have also been wondering if the relatively straightforward nature of the British (passed on in some ways to the US) was the reason why homosexuality was particularly feared there—because it was particularly known. It was censured everywhere in Europe to one degree or another, but the French preferred the salon-culture, Daes Dae'mar approach to life, and the French rubbed off on everyone. Cleverness and scandal were the bread and butter of French correspondence.

I also left love letters out of the list of helpful things next to legal records and correspondence gossip and literature (including drama). Love letters are incredibly rare but Chopin wrote them, to a guy named Tytus Woyciechowski (in Polish). They are circumspect, Chopin being an extremely cautious person, but still clearly (and expressively) love letters. The Chopin biographers have been dancing around that fact for over a century. The wisest of all of them was Chopin's first "serious" biographer, a German living in Britain, who published his biography first in English in 1888, and later in German:

What reveals perhaps more distinctly than anything else Chopin's idiosyncrasy is his friendship for Titus Woyciechowski. At any rate, it is no exaggeration to say that a knowledge of the nature of Chopin's two passions, his love and his friendship—for this, too, was a passion with him—gives into our hands a key that unlocks all the secrets of his character, of his life, and of their outcome—his artistic work. Nay more, with a full comprehension of, and insight into, these passions we can foresee the sufferings and disappointments which he is fated to endure. Chopin's friendship was not a common one; it was truly and in the highest degree romantic.
That passage is much more straightforward than the contemporary clues I have to work with, but it's still deliciously circumspect. No biographer since has managed to grasp it, and explore what Niecks was not at liberty to explore outright.

yks 6nnetu hing
08-29-2014, 04:03 AM
I should add that sophisticated knowledge about homosexuality seems to have been more common in artist circles because artists are by nature expressive people and more likely to be obvious about their sexual preferences. There are a great number of little clues in the correspondence gossip indicating that Chopin's closest friends were aware of his preferences, but even in correspondence between intimates, people were incredibly circumspect, and every little clue is debatable. In a lot of cases that's what makes it difficult to counter the theory; hardly anyone would talk about it in a way that is not debatable. People were less circumspect in reference to Custine than they were in reference to people who were still in the closet. George Sand's probable lover Marie Dorval marveled that her male lover was jealous of Custine, a man in petticoats. It's very, very rare for me to come across similar comments about anyone else.

PS: "Musical" was actually a euphemism for homosexuality in some European languages.

according to modern researchers, Tchaikovsky was very likely homosexual. Though to say so out loud in contemporary Russia is just inviting a beating.

Also, Isaac Newton is speculated to have been either asexual or homosexual.

G.B. Shaw's "Pygmalion" (which is the play that's the basis for My Fair Lady) depicts the relationship between Pickering and Higgins nominally as a friendship but... really, they're an old married couple in the play.

Somewhat related, as late as the mid-90's I've heard the term "confirmed bachelor" as euphemism for homosexual.

Terez
08-29-2014, 05:39 AM
according to modern researchers, Tchaikovsky was very likely homosexual. Though to say so out loud in contemporary Russia is just inviting a beating.
It's accepted as simple truth in musicology; the evidence in his correspondence is too straightforward for modern denial. Tchaikovsky lived at the beginning of the revolution, so to speak; his works were popular after the word "homosexual" was invented. It's the composers who lived before Tchaikovsky who are controversial, though something like consensus is emerging for Schubert and Handel. The Germans are somewhat less reluctant to concede these things than the Slavs, though as I said, it's just impossible to deny with Tchaikovsky. The Chopin scholars are really, really beating around the bush.

Terez
08-30-2014, 01:29 AM
Sorry for all the double-posting, but this is like therapy for me and probably more helpful than trying to work it out with a stranger who looks at me like a bug (sorry Ivhon).

Also, Isaac Newton is speculated to have been either asexual or homosexual.

G.B. Shaw's "Pygmalion" (which is the play that's the basis for My Fair Lady) depicts the relationship between Pickering and Higgins nominally as a friendship but... really, they're an old married couple in the play.
Frederick the Great (1712–1786), born in Newton's lifetime (1643–1727), was notorious for his love of men (and classical antiquity), and the evidence in favor was published during his lifetime, perhaps anonymously by his on-again off-again friend Voltaire. Some say the evidence was entirely fabricated and that it was allowed to pass for various far-fetched reasons. It's a great comedy which often results in the "perhaps celibate" hypothesis, which is also quite used for Handel (1685–1759).

As for Pickering and Higgins, the same is said of Dupin and the unnamed narrator of Poe's "Murders in the Rue Morgue". Poe (1809–1849) was almost an exact contemporary of Chopin (1810–1849). One of Chopin's closest and oldest friends, his long-time secretary Julian Fontana, met Poe when he moved to the US, where he still was when Chopin and Poe died within 10 days of each other. G. B. Shaw was born less than 7 years later, in 1856, and lived until 1950.

The guy who invented the word "homosexual", Karl-Maria Kertbeny, met George Sand in Paris while she and Chopin were still officially together (though starting to drift apart). We know very little beyond that Sand and Kertbeny definitely met, so it's possible Kertbeny met Chopin too. The shift from sex act to identity is said to have begun around 1870. (Short history. (http://lgbthistoryproject.blogspot.com/2012/05/how-male-same-sex-desire-got-its-name.html)) It's said that the medical pathology of homosexuality is largely responsible for the construction of homosexuality, and that it is a reflection of the human desire to create new rules for sexuality, just as arbitrary as the old rules.

I read an article entitled "'Was George Frideric Handel Gay?': On Closet Questions and Cultural Politics" in Queering the Pitch (1994), one of the first and most important collections of musicological essays on homosexuality. Nearly every article cites the doctrine of queer theory. This one makes the barest disclaimers, but I emailed the writer recently and I think he has since become more indoctrinated. His way of expressing it was that the search for "gay" people in the past is perhaps too binary and limiting. I told him I thought the binary perspective worked better for Chopin's mysteries than it did for George Sand, for example. He was very nice and helpful in his responses.

He outlined four strategies for how historians and biographers have addressed homosexuality. One of them:

A third strategy, the Sexless and Celibate Syndrome is another concept adduced, strangely enough to establish Handel's normalcy. As Lang notes, it is much favored by the 'pure' Handelians: 'Flower called Handel 'sexless and safe' while others attributed his bachelorhood to a 'moral revulsion to carnal passion'. And R. A. Streatfeild wrote:
[Handel was] a man of singular personal purity. In his time obscenity of language and unchastity of life were regarded as the most venial of sins, but from the typical faults of the age Handel was entirely free, and the disgust with which he regarded the sensuality that he saw rampant around him is, I think, to be read in Samson by those that have eyes to see.
This line of thought may be traced back to Coxe, with its attendant conflation of bachelorhood with chastity, or perhaps to the now famous statement of Charles Burney—itself rife with suggestions of sexual sublimation—namely that
Handel, with many virtues, was addicted to no vice that was injurious to society. Nature, indeed, required a great supply of sustenance to support so huge a mass, and he was rather epicurean in the choice of it; but this seems to have been the only appetite he allowed himself to gratify.
Whatever the case, the "sexless" theory is not without its problems. Lang rejects the idea outright, as being disconcertingly abnormal in itself; with English Handelians such as Streatfeild and Flower clearly in mind, he bristles: "Many of the writers seem to regard celibacy as a higher and more spiritual state than marriage, which is a rather curious attitude coming from English Protestants." The reference to English Protestants might well suggest that celibacy was connected in his mind—as well as in the minds of many stolid eighteenth-century Englishmen—with the Roman Catholic priesthood (i.e., not a good thing), and Handel had spent quite enough time in their company. In any event, it should be noted that the word "celibate," like "papist" and even "priest," had since the late sixteenth century functioned in the language as a pejorative synonym for sodomite. Whether this was in the minds of Flower or Streatfeild is unknown, but the attempt to preserve Handel in a state of safe (disembodied) sexlessness raises as many questions as it obviates. Handel was clearly unmarried, but was he (therefore) nonsexual?

yks 6nnetu hing
08-30-2014, 02:33 AM
In mediaeval literature and culture, formally expressing love was only possible between men. There's a whole chapter about this in the biography of Le Marechal by Duby - Guillaume le Marechal was by all accounts a heterosexual man, and had a happy marriage, but when it comes to actually saying so... He can't, the word doesn't exist, he would have to use the same words of loyalty and devotion he uses towards his liege lord.

troubadour poetry has the same theme going on. Even though women, particularly the wives of influential men are idolized and put on a pedestal and admired... All real relationships are always and only between men. Guinevere is nothing but a plot twist in the story that is Lancelot's betrayal of Arthur.

Terez
08-30-2014, 03:08 AM
That is why the tradition of male physical affection was very much still alive when Chopin was growing up in Poland. Men kissed each other on the lips, much as they did in Russia until the mid-20th century. It provided a good cover for actual gay men, but at the same time it provided a believable cover for their later biographers because every affectionate expression toward men could be explained away by cultural norms. It doesn't stand up to detailed scrutiny but it has sufficed for a long time. You hear a lot about "Romantic friendships" in the biographies of such men from Chopin's era.

Daekyras
08-30-2014, 04:48 AM
I read every post in this thread....

....and became angrier as I read.

Maybe I am looking at this in black and white terms. Maybe I have a simple outlook on life. Maybe I'm too dumb to catch the nuances of the story...

...or maybe some people are full of shit.
Pryor, I refuse to give him Mr. as an honourific, raped little boys.

I will say that again. HE RAPED LITTLE BOYS.

I don't care how fucking inspirational he was. I don't care how good his understanding of the human psyche was or how T, as a pubescent girl had a crush on him.

This man molested children. Any sort of search through the annals of history to find similar cases do not change this fact.

And I have seen some stupid things written on the internet but T, and you know I think you're brilliant, you wrote something that made me actually pause, get up and walk around counting to ten.

"my 13 year old self feels jealous of them"

Who is your 13 year old self? She no longer exists.

You are a fully grown woman now. If you feel jealous that you weren't molested by your teacher at that age than you have become a south park character.

There is no defense for an act like this. None.

Edit- The final few posts in this thread are borderline offensive. it is something that has been happening in Ireland for a long time. Conversations begin about the molestation of children. Usually concerning Priests or swimming coaches. Then, due to bullshit that pervades our culture it gets turned into a discussion on homosexuality and their need to hide. "Why are so many priests Gay?" was an actual headline in our national newspaper in 2001.

Please dont allow this thread, which was on child molestation get derailed into "Was chopin gay?" If he was, fair play. I hope he found love and happiness. But his sexuality has nothing to do with a predatory cunt like Pryor. Thank you George Carlin.

Terez
08-30-2014, 05:14 AM
1) He didn't rape anyone. No evidence of anything beyond touching has been put forward. That is molestation, not rape.

2) Adolescent boys are not little boys. Those are prepubescent boys.

3) I never once said anywhere in the thread that he shouldn't be held accountable for his crimes.

4) The point of the academic discussion is to explore the fact that sexual predators are not always the people you expect them to be, and some possible reasons why that might be the case.

5) There are a great number of pederasts who are uncontroversially inspiring. They lived before modern age of consent laws, but they still had sexual relationships with adolescent boys, and we revere them.

6) I made it clear several times that there is a difference between being gay and being a pederast. The point is that this hasn't always been the case, and pederasty remained the only respectable model for men with homosexual tastes until fairly recently.

7) Even Chopin appears to use the language of pederasty and its rules from time to time. I might post more on that later; it has to do with a translation discovery I made recently with my Polish friend.

8) Again, this thread isn't about him so much as about me, and me wrapping my head around what he did, reconciling it with how I have always seen him as a person.

9) Just a few short years ago, what Pryor did would have been illegal only for the aspect of homosexuality, because everyone he targeted would have been over the age of consent.

Daekyras
08-30-2014, 05:46 AM
1) He didn't rape anyone. No evidence of anything beyond touching has been put forward. That is molestation, not rape.

2) Adolescent boys are not little boys. Those are prepubescent boys.

3) I never once said anywhere in the thread that he shouldn't be held accountable for his crimes.

4) The point of the academic discussion is to explore the fact that sexual predators are not always the people you expect them to be, and some possible reasons why that might be the case.

5) There are a great number of pederasts who are uncontroversially inspiring. They lived before modern age of consent laws, but they still had sexual relationships with adolescent boys, and we revere them.

6) I made it clear several times that there is a difference between being gay and being a pederast. The point is that this hasn't always been the case, and pederasty remained the only respectable model for men with homosexual tastes until fairly recently.

7) Even Chopin appears to use the language of pederasty and its rules from time to time. I might post more on that later; it has to do with a translation discovery I made recently with my Polish friend.

8) Again, this thread isn't about him so much as about me, and me wrapping my head around what he did, reconciling it with how I have always seen him as a person.

9) Just a few short years ago, what Pryor did would have been illegal only for the aspect of homosexuality, because everyone he targeted would have been over the age of consent.

1. Where does rape begin T? Forced hand job? forced oral? Forced anal?

2. When do they stop being little boys? 12 is pretty damn little.

3. I didnt say you had.

4. Sexual Predators are never the people you "expect them to be". that is why they are successful

5. We revere them for the other things they have done. Not for their pederasty. Im sure some famous, revered people had slaves. Do we revere them for the slavery(Texas aside :rolleyes:)?

6. I am referring to the final few posts of the thread. Irrelevant to the discourse. Who cares if chopin was gay or a pederast in relation to pryor? And by bringing this issue up you muddy the waters of a straightforward debate.

7. So? How does making a link between pederasty and chopin bear any relevance to Pryor? (Well done in your translation work though)

8. And from reading your posts I take from them that you are defending Pryor. You can interpret his actions as you wish. you can draw silly links to famous composers and writers as much as you like. Pryor preyed on young boys. No connection whatsoever to what chopin did.

9. And you claim you are not an apologist for him? How can you not see that what you have written there is very much defending him.

For many years it was impossible for a husband to rape his wife. They had the right to have sex with her whether she wanted to or not. This was both in religious doctrine and in actual laws and constitutions.

If I knew someone who raped his wife and I said " ah, but a few years ago he could have done that as his right" I would be apologizing for him and defending him.

We exist in a time were laws have been created so that women and children are better protected than ever before. We should rejoice in this and not hark bad to times when they weren't.

Uno
08-30-2014, 06:03 AM
Daekyras: Terez is trying to process what's obviously an upsetting situation to her by sharing her thoughts and feelings on these issues. I don't see why you have a problem with that.

Daekyras
08-30-2014, 06:14 AM
Daekyras: Terez is trying to process what's obviously an upsetting situation to her by sharing her thoughts and feelings on these issues. I don't see why you have a problem with that.

I Don't have a problem with that. I am actively encouraging it.

Or do you think she came on this board, started this topic and wanted everyone to agree with her?

I believe she wants a debate. I am providing her with that. I happen to believe in everything I am posting.

Terez
08-30-2014, 06:31 AM
1. Where does rape begin T? Forced hand job? forced oral? Forced anal?

2. When do they stop being little boys? 12 is pretty damn little.
Rape generally refers to forced penetration, which extends to digital penetration. 12 is about when they stop being little boys; that is why pederasty traditionally began around that age, or a little older.

The point is that you took what he did and sensationalized it as much as possible as if in order to suggest that because what he did was so blindingly horrible, the normal rules for how we have conversation at Theoryland must be suspended. I have already written in detail about how I feel about the shades of gray in the age of consent, and it is frustrating to have to repeat myself because you didn't directly address the points I already made.

3. I didnt say you had.
You implied it by reminding me of the obvious as if I was unaware of it.

4. Sexual Predators are never the people you "expect them to be". that is why they are successful
They are quite often the people you suspect them to be; these people get caught a lot sooner than Pryor. Even Jerry Sandusky appears to be a nutcase in comparison to Mr. Pryor. (And he did in fact rape little boys.)

5. We revere them for the other things they have done. Not for their pederasty. Im sure some famous, revered people had slaves. Do we revere them for the slavery(Texas aside :rolleyes:)?
How is that different from my feelings about Mr. Pryor? A better rebuttal to that point: the age of consent is what it is today and what they did was not technically illegal. Social norms have changed. But as I alluded to in point #9, it's very arguable that these laws unfolded with skewed priorities, and that those skewed priorities continue to affect our various cultures in ways we don't understand.

6. I am referring to the final few posts of the thread. Irrelevant to the discourse. Who cares if chopin was gay or a pederast in relation to pryor? And by bringing this issue up you muddy the waters of a straightforward debate.
How is the debate muddied in any important way? Everyone here is in agreement with the law; justice will undoubtedly be served because he has already confessed.

7. So? How does making a link between pederasty and chopin bear any relevance to Pryor? (Well done in your translation work though)
See above responses, and thanks. A couple of bits in that letter still annoy me, but Dom has been away and I have other things to work on.

8. And from reading your posts I take from them that you are defending Pryor. You can interpret his actions as you wish. you can draw silly links to famous composers and writers as much as you like. Pryor preyed on young boys. No connection whatsoever to what chopin did.
I am not so sure. There is no hard evidence that Chopin had pederastic relationships as an adult; he had infatuations for two older boys as an adolescent, the more mature infatuation being for Tytus who was only a year older. The previous one was for a much-older boy who died when he was 22-23 and Chopin had just turned 18, but he had been away at sickhouses so long that Chopin seems to have already moved his focus to Tytus in his absence.

That said there is some circumstantial evidence that suggests Chopin had an infatuation for one of his students who was 14 when he began studying with Chopin. Chopin was in love with Tytus until the day he died, but Gutmann resembled Tytus, who was very far away back in Poland, and according to Chopin's other students, Gutmann was a horror at the piano, and no one could understand why Chopin favored him so much. One of Chopin's students pressed him on the point and eventually got Chopin to say "He makes good chocolate." Gutmann took care of the ailing Chopin quite often, was a favorite of George Sand when she and Chopin were together, and he was at Chopin's deathbed. And somehow Gutmann was the only person who ever pointed out that Chopin was so flexible he could put his legs behind his head like a clown.

The few instances of pederastic language become quite significant at that point. Chopin's aforementioned student Julian Fontana, the one who met Poe, seemed to be in love with Chopin, either in a sexual way or a Romantic friendship kind of way, but his feelings for Chopin were very strong in any case. Chopin did not quite feel the same way about Fontana, though he more or less liked him and very much appreciated everything Fontana did for him. Chopin once addressed Julian using grammatically female forms, and there are several cryptic references to age in his letters. Fontana was younger than Chopin, but definitely the more masculine of the two, and one gets the impression that they had had this conversation about the rules of pederasty! It's driving me crazy trying to think of some other mundane explanation for it; it just strikes me as obvious that Chopin—called petit and garçon by George Sand—was making excuses for why he and Fontana could not be together.

9. And you claim you are not an apologist for him? How can you not see that what you have written there is very much defending him.
Because the most important thing is what everyone agrees on: that he has no legal defense.

For many years it was impossible for a husband to rape his wife. They had the right to have sex with her whether she wanted to or not. This was both in religious doctrine and in actual laws and constitutions.

If I knew someone who raped his wife and I said " ah, but a few years ago he could have done that as his right" I would be apologizing for him and defending him.
No, you would be halfway to understanding why marital rape is still so common.

Daekyras
08-30-2014, 06:56 AM
The point is that you took what he did and sensationalized it as much as possible as if in order to suggest that because what he did was so blindingly horrible, the normal rules for how we have conversation at Theoryland must be suspended. I have already written in detail about how I feel about the shades of gray in the age of consent, and it is frustrating to have to repeat myself because you didn't directly address the points I already made.




I did do that. Sorry.

As for not addressing the "shades of Grey" as you describe them perhaps you are correct.

So I will do this now. There are, IMHO, no shades of grey.

If the age of consent is 16, then 15 and 364 days is below the age of consent and having sex with, or "touching" that person is illegal and you should be prosecuted.

My point is that while you say he should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, and you have said it several times, every post you follow with that contains information about historical pederasty and grey areas in terms of the legal age throughout history weaken your claim that you think he should be prosecuted.

And I know you are making it clear that they are your feelings and as such are hard to quantify but when you say that a little bit of you is jealous that it wasn't you whom he touched can you see how that might seem like you could be trivializing what the victims went through? (I am not saying that was your intention)

When you compare him to other child molestors, sandusky and your former friend(Clayton?), and decribe them on different levels of "Bad" that you are in fact muddying the waters and almost detracting from what he did?

"Ah, sure he only touched them. Sandusky actually raped them, now he was a bad man."

That is a terrible paraphrase of what you said but I hope I am being clear. I am not arguing with you for the sake of arguing. As I read your posts I genuinely feel you are making excuses for this man. I know he was an important man in your life and an inspiration to you but...he is a criminal. He took advantage of young children in his care.

By opening up a debate on other, far reaching and historical issues you are trying to make his crimes more palatable. No, not more palatable, less heinous.

I sensationalize, you trivialize. Both of us are at fault.

Terez
08-30-2014, 07:03 AM
This is not a debate I am going to have. I have made myself clear, and have no wish to repeat myself.

Daekyras
08-30-2014, 07:25 AM
This is not a debate I am going to have. I have made myself clear, and have no wish to repeat myself.

You win the internet.

Nazbaque
08-30-2014, 11:06 AM
You win the internet.

Daekyras, that was both childish and rude. Terez has been completely civil to you. She is obviously going through huge emotional conflict as what I'd imagine as some of her happiest childhood(ish) memories have been tainted by these revelations.

Is Pryor a horrible person for traumatising these people no matter how far he went in sexual terms? Yes, yes he is. He was also a good teacher if he managed to inspire his students in ways Terez discribed. Was he a good teacher in general or just to Terez and a few others? Perhaps, perhaps not. But Terez obviously experienced a side of him that I'd be glad to see in other people.

We start with the rigid black and white belief that good people do good things and bad people do bad things. As we mature we get more and more examples of how good people are capable of doing some downright horrible things. This is about the much harder to accept reality, that bad people are capable of doing good things on a daily basis. Things that should be applauded and emulated. They do not excuse the crimes and offences. They do not make them good people. This is a tough subject in philosophical terms.

As a side note I am glad to see that you could stay civil inspite of the provocation, Terez. I would not have blamed you for lashing out considering the situation. I hope it is a sign of improvement in your life outside the boards and I'm happy for you if it is so.

Terez
08-30-2014, 11:22 AM
Daekyras: Terez is trying to process what's obviously an upsetting situation to her by sharing her thoughts and feelings on these issues. I don't see why you have a problem with that.
Thank you. For the record, Daekyras is probably right that I am looking for debate or at least an in-depth discussion on the nature of sexuality, deviancy, and sexual abuse. I don't mind my thoughts being challenged or contextualized but there is a way of going about it that is more constructive. When I am depressed about something, I don't need to be coddled; I just need to be engaged on a level somewhere above kneejerk.

Terez
08-30-2014, 11:30 AM
As a side note I am glad to see that you could stay civil inspite of the provocation, Terez. I would not have blamed you for lashing out considering the situation. I hope it is a sign of improvement in your life outside the boards and I'm happy for you if it is so.
Now that is just condescending. The change in my life is that I no longer get trolled on a regular basis. It just happens every now and then these days. It's easy enough to keep one's temper under control in those circumstances. I have been known all my life for being slow to anger. Theoryland is not the only environment to have been an exception as time went on, but it is still the exception rather than the rule.

PS: It also helped that it was Daekyras, who has in my recollection never been anything but nice to me before.

PPS: I suspect that his comment "you win the internet" refers to me not allowing myself to be trolled. I believe him when he says he was speaking from the heart, but he was nevertheless consciously trolling me. I'm not sure why he thought that was a great idea.

Nazbaque
08-30-2014, 11:59 AM
PS: It also helped that it was Daekyras, who has in my recollection never been anything but nice to me before.
Whereas I aam such an enigma no one knows how to take anything I say. Condescending or not I can be happy when someone's life improves.

Terez
08-30-2014, 12:37 PM
Whereas I aam such an enigma no one knows how to take anything I say. Condescending or not I can be happy when someone's life improves.
Sure, but don't think for a minute that my emotional issues at Theoryland originated anywhere other than Theoryland itself.

Daekyras
08-30-2014, 03:01 PM
PS: It also helped that it was Daekyras, who has in my recollection never been anything but nice to me before.

PPS: I suspect that his comment "you win the internet" refers to me not allowing myself to be trolled. I believe him when he says he was speaking from the heart, but he was nevertheless consciously trolling me. I'm not sure why he thought that was a great idea.

You totally get me, and in sorry i was very unsubtle about it. :)

Anyway, my first post was out of order and was very much kneejerk. But cone on, throw me a bone, my other posts were a little above that!

Ps. I genuinely wasn't trying to troll you T. It is an abhorrent pastime and a waste of everyone's time. And, for the record, you are still my favourite poster on this site and the only one for whom i actively search for.

The Unreasoner
08-30-2014, 03:04 PM
Out of my respect for Terez's emotional involvement in this issue, and recognizing our rocky history and Terez's heightened sensitivity, I will again avoid treading too far into this thread. But I'd like to post alink to a rather long New Yorker article on the issue:

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2013/04/01/the-master-2

I'd like to point out the many similarities between Berman and Pryor. And the age of the victims, by which I mean they are older than Pryor's.

Nazbaque
08-30-2014, 03:04 PM
Sure, but don't think for a minute that my emotional issues at Theoryland originated anywhere other than Theoryland itself.

Of course they didn't. I didn't mean to imply that they had, but where ever our issues originate they affect our emotional states and thus our behaviour in all aspects of our lives.

Uno
08-30-2014, 04:06 PM
I Don't have a problem with that. I am actively encouraging it.

Or do you think she came on this board, started this topic and wanted everyone to agree with her?

I believe she wants a debate. I am providing her with that. I happen to believe in everything I am posting.

Maybe that was your intention, but angrily declaring that the only proper way to respond to the situation is to trumpet one's moral condemnation hardly seems like an invitation to debate. Indeed, it seems like an effort to close down discussion.

Ivhon
08-30-2014, 10:29 PM
I had a beloved teacher - an institution at a 300+ year old institutioin - that just copped guilty for a series of molestations including people I knew.

Really messes with your head when that happens.

Terez
08-31-2014, 06:38 AM
Anyway, my first post was out of order and was very much kneejerk. But cone on, throw me a bone, my other posts were a little above that!
Eh, a little, but you still passed over a few points I made, addressing the original issue I had already addressed rather than my points. That drives me nuts.

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2013/04/01/the-master-2

I'd like to point out the many similarities between Berman and Pryor. And the age of the victims, by which I mean they are older than Pryor's.
Thanks, it's a good article. There are some similarities, and some differences, though it's hard to really compare when the article is written from the perspective of someone who never loved the guy and tends to paint him in his worst light. It's difficult to see why students cared about him, and really, the fact that so many students dropped his classes says a lot about his personality. Pryor was certainly capable of meanness and spitefulness, but it's hard to imagine him doing anything like Berman's first day of class. Berman wasn't the only pederast at that school; he was just the easiest to hate. It's really amazing to see the culture of pederasty at boys' schools come to light in that fashion; I can't imagine it was uncommon at other boys' schools, though this school does seem to have set the perfect conditions for the institution of pederasty to flourish.

Berman's literary interests would have been red flags to me even if I hadn't known the evidence against him. But how many people know the gay icons of literature and art?

Sure, but don't think for a minute that my emotional issues at Theoryland originated anywhere other than Theoryland itself.
Of course they didn't. I didn't mean to imply that they had...
I hope it is a sign of improvement in your life outside the boards and I'm happy for you if it is so.




I had a beloved teacher - an institution at a 300+ year old institutioin - that just copped guilty for a series of molestations including people I knew.

Really messes with your head when that happens.
Did you have even the slightest clue it was going on at the time?

Tomp
08-31-2014, 08:45 AM
Whereas I aam such an enigma no one knows how to take anything I say. Condescending or not I can be happy when someone's life improves.

That's because you're Finnish and from another dimension a.k.a. Finland.

Terez
08-31-2014, 10:26 AM
If anyone is interested, here is another article detailing abuse at the same school where Berman taught. Berman is not mentioned; apparently stories about him didn't reach the media until the next year:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/10/magazine/the-horace-mann-schools-secret-history-of-sexual-abuse.html

I'm still reading the comments.

Nazbaque
08-31-2014, 03:41 PM
Oh for the love of... Fine Terez, fine. It's obviously better that I never talk to you at all. You are the only person in the universe. You can never be wrong about anything. Nothing can ever be a simple misunderstanding. There is never anything deeper than you can spot at the surface. No one can understand your emotions and no one else has any emotions what so ever. The rest of us are just screen names nothing more.

I am just so fucking tired of even trying with other people.

Daekyras
08-31-2014, 05:37 PM
Oh for the love of... Fine Terez, fine. It's obviously better that I never talk to you at all. You are the only person in the universe. You can never be wrong about anything. Nothing can ever be a simple misunderstanding. There is never anything deeper than you can spot at the surface. No one can understand your emotions and no one else has any emotions what so ever. The rest of us are just screen names nothing more.

I am just so fucking tired of even trying with other people.

I refer you to post #40 of this thread. ;-)

Also, everything ok??

Terez
08-31-2014, 06:04 PM
Oh for the love of... Fine Terez, fine. It's obviously better that I never talk to you at all.
Now now, don't overreact; all I did was demonstrate what you actually said after you denied having said it. Is there something going on in your life outside the boards? :D Such hyperbole!

Davian93
08-31-2014, 06:57 PM
I sure hope everything is okay with Naz outside the boards...it feels like there might be something else going on there.

Terez
08-31-2014, 07:09 PM
Any emotional outbursts must surely originate elsewhere as there are no real people here, only user names, and how dare they project their unhappy yet emotionless lives onto the peaceful utopia of this message board.

PS to Naz: I was very appreciative of your humanity but the condescension at the end really killed it. That you laid it on unawares only made it worse. We can move on if you like.

Nazbaque
08-31-2014, 08:37 PM
PS to Naz: I was very appreciative of your humanity but the condescension at the end really killed it. That you laid it on unawares only made it worse. We can move on if you like.

No I don't think we should. How is an unintended slight made in ignorance worse than a knowing and deliberate one? I know what it sounded like now and when I said that I didn't mean it like that you try to disprove my own emotion by quoting my words. I did not mean to imply Terez refers to the emotion behind the words. I tried to be kind and you spat at my face. And now you have mocked me twice on this thread. I thought you had either grown out of your old bad habbits or perhaps they were partly fueled by some outside events in the first place, but now I see that you are still on that same level when you called me a misogynist over my dislike of Egwene.

Your teacher turned out to be an oh so bad child molester. Not very nice to your friends who may yet turn out to be his victims and not nice to your memories, but I shared school life with 50+ assholes who would have deserved to be sodomised on a monthly basis and a headmaster of an idiot who wouldn't even try to deal with it. Do you know how hard it is to trust anyone after you have been betrayed by those whose duty it was help you? Thanks for making it that much harder. I've made headway with my own problems, but every fucking day I see people on that same level of school bullies and on lookers. Is it surprising that I have to take some damn expensive medicines in order to not be suicidal? I keep trying and all I get is more evidence on people not deserving my efforts. I am just so fucking tired.

Zombie Sammael
08-31-2014, 11:56 PM
No I don't think we should. How is an unintended slight made in ignorance worse than a knowing and deliberate one? I know what it sounded like now and when I said that I didn't mean it like that you try to disprove my own emotion by quoting my words. I did not mean to imply Terez refers to the emotion behind the words. I tried to be kind and you spat at my face. And now you have mocked me twice on this thread. I thought you had either grown out of your old bad habbits or perhaps they were partly fueled by some outside events in the first place, but now I see that you are still on that same level when you called me a misogynist over my dislike of Egwene.

Your teacher turned out to be an oh so bad child molester. Not very nice to your friends who may yet turn out to be his victims and not nice to your memories, but I shared school life with 50+ assholes who would have deserved to be sodomised on a monthly basis and a headmaster of an idiot who wouldn't even try to deal with it. Do you know how hard it is to trust anyone after you have been betrayed by those whose duty it was help you? Thanks for making it that much harder. I've made headway with my own problems, but every fucking day I see people on that same level of school bullies and on lookers. Is it surprising that I have to take some damn expensive medicines in order to not be suicidal? I keep trying and all I get is more evidence on people not deserving my efforts. I am just so fucking tired.

Naz, I am sorry to hear that you have been going through a hard time, but the fact of the matter is this thread is explicitly and expressly not about you. Technically speaking, it's not even about Terez, it's about her teacher, but she started it for the sake of being able to discuss an issue that was affecting her. It was going quite well and was quite an interesting discussion (which I personally felt no need to get off the ESC to participate in) until Daekyras interjected with a somewhat inflammatory response that derailed the thread. Then you come in with well-meaning intentions talking about things about which you presumably no no more than anyone else on Theoryland or Facebook and make some assumptions. I don't need to speak for Terez, she's a big girl and can stand up for herself, but can you not see how that's really fucking frustrating? You're having a good discussion and working through an issue, then someone jumps in and starts a row, then someone else comes and - from one point of view - patronises you and makes comments about your personal life. That's really annoying!

Terez has a long history of being trolled on these and other message boards. No-one denies she gives as good as she gets. But while the WOT community is a much more intelligent and tolerant place than the video game community apparently is, you have to compare that to other prominent online female commentators who always seem to attract the worst of the trolls just for being outspoken women. That leads to being defensive and incendiary when you can't just talk about something that's important to you without someone jumping down your throat. It leads to it being easier to accuse people of sexism when they say they don't like the prominent female lead of the series than to discuss their points, because half the time their points are sexist anyway.

Anyway, it's not my intention to speak for the parties involved here, but before the personal stuff and inflammatory arguing derailed the interesting discussion, I at least was quite enjoying the thread, so I guess I get to have my two cents about how it's been derailed. Now, back to my newly comfortable seat on the ESC for me. I hope you two can patch things up and I do hope things get better for you Naz.

GonzoTheGreat
09-01-2014, 03:21 AM
I am just so fucking tired of even trying with other people.Become a solipsist; then everyone else is just a figment of your imagination and your problem is solved.

How is an unintended slight made in ignorance worse than a knowing and deliberate one?
I'm not sure it is. More relevantly, perhaps, neither was Elayne:
"Birgitte and Aviendha don’t need minders," he said absently. "I suppose this Bowl of the Winds is more important than Carridin, but... It doesn’t seem right, letting Darkfriends walk loose."

Slowly Nynaeve’s face turned purple. Elayne checked her own in the stand-mirror, relieved to see she was maintaining her composure. On the outside, anyway. The man was reprehensible! Minders? She was not sure which would be worse: that he had flung that offhand insult on purpose, or that he had done so without realizing. She eyed herself in the mirror again and lowered her chin a trifle. Minders! She was poise itself.

Terez
09-01-2014, 04:42 AM
No I don't think we should. How is an unintended slight made in ignorance worse than a knowing and deliberate one?
Not worse morally or ethically. Just worse for me. Intended slights are a dime a dozen; you were trying to defend me and yet you managed to trivialize years of emotional turmoil by blaming it on a personal problem, or a bad habit!

Unlike Zombie, I'm not so sure it has anything to do with me being a woman. Before me, it was Callandor. In the years since he left, I've not seen one sign to indicate that he is a person who has a problem controlling his temper. He was trivialized, too, as the loser kid in his mom's basement, but now he's interviewing for grad school at CalTech and Stanford, and he has a girlfriend who appears to be perfect for him in every way, and he forgot almost everything he ever knew about WoT years ago.

Your teacher turned out to be an oh so bad child molester. Not very nice to your friends who may yet turn out to be his victims and not nice to your memories, but I shared school life with 50+ assholes who would have deserved to be sodomised on a monthly basis and a headmaster of an idiot who wouldn't even try to deal with it. Do you know how hard it is to trust anyone after you have been betrayed by those whose duty it was help you?
Yes, and no. I imagine my school experience was very different from yours, but bullying was commonplace.

Thanks for making it that much harder.
For that, you have my sincere apologies, though I don't regret pointing out how you trivialized my emotions, any more than I resent you pointing out how I trivialized yours.

I've made headway with my own problems, but every fucking day I see people on that same level of school bullies and on lookers. Is it surprising that I have to take some damn expensive medicines in order to not be suicidal? I keep trying and all I get is more evidence on people not deserving my efforts. I am just so fucking tired.
You are not the only one, I promise. Though I find it much cheaper and more effective to self-medicate, not to mention safer.

Daekyras
09-01-2014, 05:48 AM
Daekyras interjected with a somewhat inflammatory response that derailed the thread..

Sorry, I was trying to help :(

Davian93
09-01-2014, 10:25 AM
Before me, it was Callandor. In the years since he left, I've not seen one sign to indicate that he is a person who has a problem controlling his temper. He was trivialized, too, as the loser kid in his mom's basement

That's crap...for the most part, Callandor was a well respected member of this community whose input, particularly on WoT theorizing was considered valuable and informative.

Sure, some people didnt like him but that's the same for everyone...even people as awesome and non-offensive as me. :D

but bullying was commonplace

Bullying is commonplace in every school...its part of life. Letting it continue to haunt you does no one any good. People that obsess over the bullying that endured during their schooling need to figure out something to get over it or it will really mess them up for life (my own brother is a great example of someone who didnt get over it and even now that he's pushing 40, he's still got serious emotional issues as a result. Its sad to see and you simply can't even tease him in a harmless fashion without him going off the deep end about it).

Terez
09-01-2014, 10:46 AM
That's why Callandor left Theoryland, eh? Couldn't handle all that respect. The point was that he was notorious at TL for having a short temper, and most seemed to think it was a personal failing rather than a product of his environment.

Davian93
09-01-2014, 10:50 AM
That's why Callandor left Theoryland, eh? Couldn't handle all that respect. The point was that he was notorious at TL for having a short temper, and most seemed to think it was a personal failing rather than a product of his environment.

Um, I was kinda here too, T. Unless most of the so-called "bullying" was behind closed doors via PMs, it didn't really go down that way.

He did have a fairly short temper...most people of his intelligence level and age do to a certain extent. He was rough with people that didn't see things as clearly as he did and he had no issues putting them in their place when they stated something that was royally wrong.

I have no idea why he left...I figured he just got sick of it here as he was here 24/7 for years. Maybe he realized that the real world had more to offer. From what you've said (and other hints you among others have thrown out there over the years), that guess sounds accurate and he's likely happy with his life.

Terez
09-01-2014, 01:53 PM
Um, I was kinda here too, T. Unless most of the so-called "bullying" was behind closed doors via PMs, it didn't really go down that way.
Oh, but it did. And your obliviousness to the way he got trolled is not surprising. It had nothing to do with his age or problems outside the boards. And sure, real life always has something to offer, but it does for most people here. He was rough with people because this place kept him on a short fuse. He left for his own mental health.

Uno
09-01-2014, 05:25 PM
My sense is--and it's just a general impression, not based on real research of any kind--that a few decades back, "handsy" teachers were tacitly accepted as one of the things pupils had to navigate in a certain kind of institutions, particularly boys' boarding schools. It was probably quite traumatic for the victims, but they were kind of expected to shrug if off.

The Unreasoner
09-01-2014, 06:53 PM
Oh, but it did. And your obliviousness to the way he got trolled is not surprising. It had nothing to do with his age or problems outside the boards. And sure, real life always has something to offer, but it does for most people here. He was rough with people because this place kept him on a short fuse. He left for his own mental health.

Great men hold no grudges. Theoryland exists with or without Callandor, or me, or even you. Everyone gets provoked. Everyone gives provocation. Him having a thin skin and being driven out (whatever the cause, though I remember him being a prick concerning one of the dullest theories I've ever heard) could be blamed on either him for being easily provoked or by those who provoked him anyway. It really is a matter of who is writing it down.

Concerning the topic at hand, I'm not sure pederasts were ever not predators. As the Berman article shows, they have a way of grooming their victims, who often see the abuse as a consensual relationship. Same with the Rotherham cases. While age of consent laws are mostly arbitrary, they are trying to address a real issue of power imbalance.

Davian93
09-01-2014, 06:54 PM
Oh, but it did. And your obliviousness to the way he got trolled is not surprising. It had nothing to do with his age or problems outside the boards. And sure, real life always has something to offer, but it does for most people here. He was rough with people because this place kept him on a short fuse. He left for his own mental health.

I honestly don't even know what you mean by that. Why would I be oblivious? Why would that not be surprising?

For the most part, when people get too wound up from a message board it is because they are taking it too personally and too seriously instead of realizing that its all just a place to discuss a fictional story by a fantasy author. I personally always appreciated Callandor and I know I wasn't alone. I was sad when he decided to hang it up but that's just me.

Hell, I even liked JSUCamel and he absolutely despised me for some reason or another. He's another guy who I hope is doing well after leaving here.

Terez
09-01-2014, 07:06 PM
My sense is--and it's just a general impression, not based on real research of any kind--that a few decades back, "handsy" teachers were tacitly accepted as one of the things pupils had to navigate in a certain kind of institutions, particularly boys' boarding schools. It was probably quite traumatic for the victims, but they were kind of expected to shrug if off.
There was actually a period for a while where the "boy love" movement expected to profit by the "free love" movement, but it quickly became clear that sentiment on the age of consent was actually moving in a more conservative direction even as other sexual attitudes grew more liberal. Liberals prioritized the rights of children over the rights of pederasts and especially pedophiles. That said the "free love" debates were politically and academically lofty, so many people were probably blissfully unaware that pederasty was still a celebrated tradition among many of those who revered the Greeks and later literature, the German classics and the Romantics and the American transcendentalists who wrote about homosexuality. Shakespeare and Milton, Goethe, Balzac, Whitman, etc.

I suspect that the situation a few decades back was a continuation of what had been the norm for centuries before. There is some hint of that in Bach's biography, more so than in the records of Chopin's schooling.

Davian93
09-01-2014, 07:18 PM
Even going beyond pederasty, a 25 year old male marrying a 16 year old female wouldn't have been that uncommon in frontier America even into the 1890s. The whole "age of consent" thing has always been quite fuzzy.

The bigger concern to me would be whether or not the younger partner could mentally make a legitimate decision for such a relationship and there was no real coercion from the elder person or society as a whole. At what age can a person legitimately make that decision? I'd say it varies by the person and that all Age of Consent laws are a bit fuzzy to begin with.

Uno
09-01-2014, 07:30 PM
There was actually a period for a while where the "boy love" movement expected to profit by the "free love" movement, but it quickly became clear that sentiment on the age of consent was actually moving in a more conservative direction even as other sexual attitudes grew more liberal.

That's true. I remember reading an article from the early 70s--and it was in a mainstream publication--that portrayed opposition to relations between grown men and teenage boys as a relic of the form of prudishness the sexual liberation movement was rapidly doing away with. Very few people would publish that kind of thing now.

Terez
09-01-2014, 07:33 PM
Even going beyond pederasty, a 25 year old male marrying a 16 year old female wouldn't have been that uncommon in frontier America even into the 1890s.
At which time the age of consent was generally 12. Norms were a different story, but marriages that young were not unheard-of.

Terez
09-02-2014, 12:25 AM
That's true. I remember reading an article from the early 70s--and it was in a mainstream publication--that portrayed opposition to relations between grown men and teenage boys as a relic of the form of prudishness the sexual liberation movement was rapidly doing away with. Very few people would publish that kind of thing now.
Obviously I have been focusing on the 19th century but I have come across this sort of thing many times in early queer theory, usually in muted form, and the doctrine itself seemed to grow out of that academic fascination with pederasty and what it said about the prevalence of biological bisexuality. That was enough to fascinate even the lesbians, who tended to prefer grown women (not having any strict models as an example, or any compelling gender-inspired reason to make rules).

It's very hard for me to imagine what sort of mindframe Pryor would have had in his formative years because Stonewall seems like ancient history to me. My dad was in college. He's 64 now. As I corrected myself earlier, Pryor was already teaching at Bayou View in '69. Stonewall happened the summer after his first year on the job. He probably had high hopes for free love.

I suppose it's very likely that pederasty never really went away, that it just went under the radar for Christianity, and sometimes the disguise was thin.

On the subject of adult homosexuality, it has been documented in cultures where it was shamed, including in Ancient Greece, where pederastic relationships sometimes continued in the boy's adulthood. This appears to have been fairly common and not particularly shameful.

Even pederasty could happen in shameful ways. Required reading for this subject:

http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/pwh/aeschines.asp

I can't really vouch for that translation. I read about it in a very useful book by Kirk Ormand called Controlling Desires: Sexuality in Ancient Greece and Rome; Ormand does his own translations, and his summary of the political motivation behind the trial is very different than what is on that page. But the lay of the land is there, in the text of the speech itself.

Basically, some guy named Aeschines undertook a character assassination of another guy named Timarchos or Timarchus in 346 BC because Timarchos was planning on accusing Aeschines of public corruption and Aeschines wanted to strike preemptively, which was ultimately successful.

Timarchos was accused of prostitution, which would disqualify him from proposing legislation, being an ambassador, or bringing charges against another citizen. The case is lengthy but here is a quote from my book (pp. 84-5, references to AT page numbers omitted):

And here, as I have heard, he intends to make a certain attack against me, asking if I am not ashamed—I who have been a nuisance in the gymnasia, and who have been the lover [erastes] of many—to bring this practice into reproach and danger. And finally, as some people have warned me, in order to make some of you laugh and engage in gossip, he will exhibit all the love poems I have ever written to anyone. Moreover, he will provide witnesses to all the quarrels and brawls I have been involved in as a result of this practice.
As a legal point, Aeschines is quite correct here. He has done nothing illegal, and this strategy of Timarchos (if indeed it is his strategy) is one of blurring distinctions. Engaging in pederasty is not the same thing as being a prostitute.

Nonetheless, the fact is that Aeschines must argue against this line of attack at great length. He goes on from this point to quote Homer, Euripides, and a number of other poets who wrote about noble loves between two men (including, e.g., Achilles and Patroklos); he cites the example of Harmodios and Aristogeiton, two lovers who were credited with overthrowing the tyranny of Hipparchos in 514; he even goes so far as to name living Athenian citizen youths who "because of their good looks have had many lovers" but who, because they behaved appropriately, have not fallen prey to the bad repute that has dogged Timarchos. He then lists several young men who, he says, have ruined their own reputations by their bad behavior.

All of this goes, as Aeschines says, to prove that there is a difference between those boys who have sex with men in the right way and those, like Timarchos, who are prostitutes. The fact that he must make this argument at such length, however, is a strong indication that knowing which class a particular boy might belong to at any particular time is not necessarily easily determined. Indeed, the fact that Aeschines has written potentially embarrassing love letters and been involved in "disputes and brawls" over his love affairs with boys demonstrates how pervasive the practice was. What distinguishes this practice from that of Timarchos, moreover, is not any clear legal distinction, but a matter of the intention and the ethical behavior with which the love affair was carried out.

Daekyras
09-02-2014, 07:30 AM
Even going beyond pederasty, a 25 year old male marrying a 16 year old female wouldn't have been that uncommon in frontier America even into the 1890s. The whole "age of consent" thing has always been quite fuzzy.

The bigger concern to me would be whether or not the younger partner could mentally make a legitimate decision for such a relationship and there was no real coercion from the elder person or society as a whole. At what age can a person legitimately make that decision? I'd say it varies by the person and that all Age of Consent laws are a bit fuzzy to begin with.

That is the concern I would have and I think most people should have.

Age limits are there to protect the vulnerable. The easily coerced.

Of course, not everyone who is above the age limit is mentally capable of making this decision either and some people below are capable. The limit is placed there to protect the average person. And should be obeyed by everyone.

It is akin to smoking- in ireland it is illegal yo sell cigarettes to children under 18. Some kids choose to smoke. they feel it is their right to but anyone caught selling them tobacco is prosecuted and it can result in hefty fines and sentences.

I read the link Terez posted and it was very interesting(and long!).

Terez
09-03-2014, 01:28 AM
On the subject of whether or not there is any evidence of pederasty in Chopin's life...it would seem from the surface examination that Chopin was simply a modern-like gay guy in the closet, and in a sense, of course, he was. He was in love with a guy who was a year older than him. A year older, but much bigger in size, much more stereotypically manly. Again, nothing particularly odd about that.

The student, Gutmann, who resembled Tytus...that is a hint of pederasty, but how far did it go? There is much evidence that Chopin sought to control his desires and considered abstinence to be his sad fate, so who is to say that anything inappropriate actually happened? Perhaps Chopin merely liked looking at him.

It is true that there is no evidence that Chopin had any pederastic relationships as a teenager, though he certainly had a crush on a much-older boy. The letters written to that boy are fairly innocent, so I tend to doubt the older boy did anything inappropriate.

However, I bought a book a couple of years ago which is one of those terribly impractical plus-sized coffee-table books; it won't fit on any shelf. It's an academic document and portrait collection, full of very dowdy images of mostly unattractive people, but then I came across this guy:

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-jLq1DKBt3DA/VAaoyfdIn3I/AAAAAAAAB1s/W04pbd44acg/w392-h523-no/Maciejowski.JPG

As you might be able to see from the caption, he was the classics master at the Warsaw Lyceum. This is the guy who taught Chopin Greek (http://pl.chopin.nifc.pl/chopin/life/calendar/year/1823), and Tytus too, beginning when they were about 13 years old. We know almost nothing of Chopin's thoughts about school or what he did there, because all his buddies were in town and he didn't write to them, but just look at that dude. I should probably make a better scan; Maciejowski lived thirty years past Chopin despite being 18 years older, but that portrait was drawn just a few years before he was Chopin's teacher. All of the portraits on the internet are from when he was much older.

Daekyras
09-03-2014, 04:45 AM
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-jLq1DKBt3DA/VAaoyfdIn3I/AAAAAAAAB1s/W04pbd44acg/w392-h523-no/Maciejowski.JPG

As you might be able to see from the caption, he was the classics master at the Warsaw Lyceum. This is the guy who taught Chopin Greek (http://pl.chopin.nifc.pl/chopin/life/calendar/year/1823), and Tytus too, beginning when they were about 13 years old. We know almost nothing of Chopin's thoughts about school or what he did there, because all his buddies were in town and he didn't write to them, but just look at that dude. I should probably make a better scan; Maciejowski lived thirty years past Chopin despite being 18 years older, but that portrait was drawn just a few years before he was Chopin's teacher. All of the portraits on the internet are from when he was much older.

It appears Wolverine is older than even the comics suggest....

Terez
09-04-2014, 04:07 PM
So as to not divert the Roll Call thread further than the three posts beginning here (http://www.theoryland.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=223665), someone mentioned there that Spartan women were more highly esteemed than Athenian women, and I pointed out that it was not clear whether pederastic relationships in Sparta were sexual at all, though there is some evidence of adult homosexuality in the military tradition (this is common in many cultures, and was perhaps especially revered in Ancient Greece).

Anyway, I pulled that from Wikipedia out of laziness because I've not studied Sparta much, and the book I quoted earlier (Orman, Controlling Desires) didn't have Sparta in the index. That is the book I have read the most thoroughly. I am guessing (assuming the index isn't missing anything) that he left Sparta out because the facts aren't clear.

As Wikipedia says, Xenophon claims pederasty wasn't sexual in Athens, and Plutarch says it was, but Plutarch wrote centuries after the fact and Xenophon's knowledge was more intimate. Sparta is still credited with having invented the institution of pederasty, though Athens has the strongest overall association with pederasty and the legal records to demonstrate it.

I looked in another book called Bisexuality in the Ancient World by Eva Cantarella—translated from the Italian [Secondo natura (1988)] by Cormac Ó Cuilleanáin (1992)—which I have not read all the way through. Cantarella seems to take Plutarch for granted, but in my browsing of the index references to Sparta, I came across this passage which is germane to the original topic, specifically the age of consent (pp. 39-40, notes omitted):

As a rule, the age for being loved was very short. Seventeen, as we saw, was the furthest limit. The perfect age was sixteen, the year 'of the gods', as Strato called it; for Scythinus, 'that fatal age', which makes him fall head over heels with Elissus 'full of the years ripe for love'; perhaps the age to which Plato alludes when he says that the love inspired by the Heavenly Aphrodite is directed towards boys who are 'near' growing a beard.

But the most delicate problem regarding the age of love objects was not so much the upper limit as the lower one: 'That an immature boy should do despite to his insensible age carries more disgrace to the friend who tempts him.' Here again the writer is Strato, who obviously did not give in to the charms of the very young (or at least that is what he would have us believe):
My neighbour's quite tender young boy provokes me not a little, and laughs in no novice manner to show me that he is willing. But he is not more than twelve years old. Now the unripe grapes are unguarded.
Obviously, loving too young a lad was considered much more disreputable than loving one who was too old. Going beyond the upper limits of age, in short, was more a question of personal taste than anything else. To ignore the lower limits, on the other hand, was reprehensible. And the minimum age, Strato confirms in this epigram, was twelve: those twelve years at which, as we have seen, he felt it was justified to start 'enjoying the flower'.

Over time nothing had changed, and in the different areas of Greece the rule was evidently the same: in Sparta, as we know, boys were entrusted to their lovers at precisely twelve years of age—which, for the Greeks, was much less childish than in our society today. For proof of this, one merely has to think of the age at which girls were given in marriage. Although the philosophers indicate a slightly older age as the ideal, in practice Greek girls got married at twelve or thirteen, which means as soon as they had reached puberty. The tone in which philosophers speak of the question is quite significant. By saying, as Plato does, that girls should not be married off before the age of sixteen, or, as Aristotle says, before eighteen, the philosophers were standing out against a different practice, which imposed the role of motherhood on girls who were too young to sustain it. On this account alone, twelve was too young for a girl. But given that the problem of maternity obviously did not arise in the case of boys, why should twelve be considered too young?
It goes on about how supposedly a boy became erastes when he was too old for paides, but only until he was old enough to marry at which time his sexual activities were to be exclusively heterosexual; in practice it did not always work out that way, and Sophocles is offered as an example among others.

Terez
09-04-2014, 10:45 PM
Apologies again for continuing to use this thread as a shrink's couch, but tonight one of my earliest memories of Mr. Pryor resurfaced. I'm surprised I had forgotten it even for a short while (I know I have remembered it at times since it happened, if not very recently).

I was reading on Facebook from my local paper about a historic hotel and then office building on the beach in downtown Gulfport. It was gutted by Hurricane Katrina, and the people who bought the property with the intention to restore it have come into conflict with new zoning and building permit laws. They are expected to tear it down and build something new.

I believe my senior prom was on the top floor of the Markham building. I was thinking about that when I remembered the only other formal dance I ever went to, in 7th grade. It might have been held in the BVJH gym, but I don't think so, because the sharpest memory I have of that dance is talking to Mr. Pryor, and I distinctly remember a foyer-type place outside the dance hall, with a couch.

I was 12 years old, and physically grown. Since then I have only grown fatter and older and hopefully smarter; I was about as tall as I would ever be, with my D-cup bra. I went to a costume shop in downtown Biloxi to rent my dress, a shiny red wide-skirt job (petticoats!) with a V-neck that would not have been out of place on a 12-year-old Berelain.

The dress was controversial, within my family for sure, but I seem to remember getting some remarks from other people about it, maybe classmates or the like. I was a contrast to my "date" Ashley, my best friend at the time. (Our parents smoked weed together before we were born, though I didn't learn that until years later.) She wore a pretty white pantsuit, and her bright orange hair totally clashed with my red dress, but I didn't care and we took pictures together. I have a photocopy of one of those pictures lying around somewhere; I'll post it if I find it.

I believe my conversation with Mr. Pryor was not long after I arrived at the dance. I wish I could remember the exact details, but a few things are clear. He told me I looked ravishing, in a totally non-creepy way. I mentioned something about negative opinions on my dress, and he attributed that to jealousy, and we had what seemed to me a very adult conversation, nothing inappropriate, about the nature of adolescence and how funny it was that I couldn't pass for 12 years old if I tried.

I didn't have Pryor as a teacher until 9th grade, but I already knew who he was in the 7th. That was perhaps the second time he'd ever said anything to me. I wouldn't be surprised if that is where my little crush on him began; I knew it was before I was in his class (hence me wanting to be in his class) but I didn't remember how far back it went until I remembered that dance. It might have gone back further, but again, I'm very surprised I didn't remember that conversation before tonight. It was probably one of the brightest moments of my school days.

Terez
09-05-2014, 03:48 PM
Today Pryor's attorney filed a motion to appeal his denial of bond.

http://www.sunherald.com/2014/09/05/5782466/public-defender-8-reasons-accused.html?sp=/99/184/201/823/

I suspect he wants to kill himself. He has made comments about this whole ordeal not being "fair to the boys". Whatever you might think about the irony in that, I am pretty sure that this is how he actually thinks, that he should do whatever he can to spare "the boys" having to testify against him.

Davian93
09-05-2014, 04:51 PM
Today Pryor's attorney filed a motion to appeal his denial of bond.

http://www.sunherald.com/2014/09/05/5782466/public-defender-8-reasons-accused.html?sp=/99/184/201/823/

I suspect he wants to kill himself. He has made comments about this whole ordeal not being "fair to the boys". Whatever you might think about the irony in that, I am pretty sure that this is how he actually thinks, that he should do whatever he can to spare "the boys" having to testify against him.

Um...plead guilty perhaps? That'd be the easiest path along those lines.

Terez
09-05-2014, 04:53 PM
He already confessed, but a grand jury is still investigating. I'm not sure what is going on there.

Davian93
09-05-2014, 05:02 PM
He already confessed, but a grand jury is still investigating. I'm not sure what is going on there.

Then why would they even bother asking them to testify? So silly.

Terez
09-05-2014, 05:56 PM
Then why would they even bother asking them to testify? So silly.
At this point, presumably to increase the number of charges? Because apparently 3 people have come forward that he did not mention in his confession. He has apparently confessed to those too now. The original confession was sketchy on some details; I imagine at this point that the ones he confessed to voluntarily were the 6 he thought most likely to have been traumatized by the experience, plus the two who had already come forward. (A total of 11 so far.) As you can see from the stories about Horace Mann linked earlier, some of the victims continued to love their abuser well into adulthood and to death and to the present day. Pryor probably thought he shouldn't name those who might not want to be named, but he apparently has no problem confessing once they come forward.

GonzoTheGreat
09-06-2014, 03:48 AM
There is such a thing as a false confession. I have no idea how likely that is in this case, but in general, I would not approve of any conviction which depended only on the words of the suspect.

There may be plenty of other testimony, in which case having the victims testify doesn't seem useful (and hence should be entirely at their discretion). Or maybe there isn't all that much aside from the words of the alleged perp, in which case it would be important to figure out how much was real and how much the product of his imagination.

So overall, having them testify may or may not be important for the soundnes of the case.

Daekyras
09-06-2014, 09:49 AM
The original confession was sketchy on some details; I imagine at this point that the ones he confessed to voluntarily were the 6 he thought most likely to have been traumatized by the experience, plus the two who had already come forward. (A total of 11 so far.)

Do you really think that terez?

That he didn't confess to the others because

1) he wanted to protect their identity

Or

2) he didn't think they had been as traumatized by what he did?

Terez
09-06-2014, 09:53 AM
Do you really think that terez?

That he didn't confess to the others because

1) he wanted to protect their identity

Or

2) he didn't think they had been as traumatized by what he did?
I believe that's probably how he thinks, yes. Why is that so unbelievable to you?

Daekyras
09-06-2014, 10:34 AM
I believe that's probably how he thinks, yes. Why is that so unbelievable to you?

Its not unbelievable because you have already stated your feelings for this man.

It is hard to empathise with your position though.

Terez
09-06-2014, 10:52 AM
Its not unbelievable because you have already stated your feelings for this man.

It is hard to empathise with your position though.
I'm not sure how that makes sense. It has less to do with my feelings for him which are, by the way, rather complicated, and more to do with knowing him and how he probably rationalizes things to himself.

Daekyras
09-06-2014, 11:18 AM
I'm not sure how that makes sense. It has less to do with my feelings for him which are, by the way, rather complicated, and more to do with knowing him and how he probably rationalizes things to himself.

Sorry, i didn't mean to lessen the relationship with and knowledge you have of this man.

From a purely outsiders view:

Police- Mr pryor, some men have come forward and accused you of molesting them as boys.

Pryor- that is true.

Police- well, ok then. Did you interfere with any more young boys?

Pryor- yes, actually, the following 6 names.

Police- thank u.

Some time passes. More boys come forward.

Police- more men have come forward as victims. Did you?

Pryor- yes i did.

It is very hard to think, as an outsider and never having met him, that he is motivated with the boys/mens best interests at heart.

You know him. You had a relationship with him T, does no part of you think that he is simply an evil child molester who knows he has no defence and is trying in some way to get of lightly by confessing?

I really want to iterate that i am not trolling here. I just find it really hard to see it from your point of view. I have a friend since childhood. He teaches secondary school science. I love him like one of my brothers. If he was in the position of pryor i don't think i could take your stance on it. And this man has been my best friend since we were three.

The Unreasoner
09-06-2014, 11:18 AM
It's just hard for us to share your position when you seem determined to put the best possible interpretation to every one of this predator's actions. He isn't misguided or confused or upholding some supposed noble tradition of pederasty. He's a child molestor.

Terez
09-06-2014, 11:29 AM
It is very hard to think, as an outsider and never having met him, that he is motivated with the boys/mens best interests at heart.
You're confusing objectively pure motives with subjectively pure ones.

You know him. You had a relationship with him T, does no part of you think that he is simply an evil child molester who knows he has no defence and is trying in some way to get of lightly by confessing?
I find it highly unlikely. I think he knows that he has done wrong, but I imagine that in his eyes, the line he crossed was much further out than we would place it.

It's just hard for us to share your position when you seem determined to put the best possible interpretation to every one of this predator's actions. He isn't misguided or confused or upholding some supposed noble tradition of pederasty. He's a child molestor.
Since when are the two mutually exclusive? I find that perspective confounding and I think I would even if I didn't know the person under discussion. Everyone rationalizes moral wrongs to themselves. It would be incredibly strange if Pryor did not.

The Unreasoner
09-06-2014, 01:18 PM
I think he knows that he has done wrong, but I imagine that in his eyes, the line he crossed was much further out than we would place it.
What about where the line is?
We shouldn't care where Some Randomman puts the line. We especially shouldn't care where Pryor put the line. There is a real line, and he crossed it. And he can't even claim ignorance of the damage his actions might cause, we are long past the ignorance of the ancient greeks.

Daekyras
09-06-2014, 02:09 PM
You're confusing objectively pure motives with subjectively pure ones..

You have a future in politics T!

For the record, i am not confusing the objective with the subjective. I am continuing in the frame of reference you started with.

You imagined that he is acting in some way to protect his victims. I find it hard to imagine the same thing.

Where are we on different levels of purity? (that's a genuine question, as i don't see us to be and if we are, would be willing to learn how)

Terez
09-06-2014, 03:01 PM
What about where the line is
The line is where we put it, legally. Law is the closest thing we have to objective morality, and the law with its consequences has not been questioned by anyone here, but laws change every day, suggesting there often is no is. Law exists because a majority of society can come to certain moral agreements, and as I have made clear several times in this thread, I am in agreement with the law. But it would be naive to think that everyone is in agreement with this law, that everyone believes sex with adolescents is inherently morally wrong, just because it's so clear to you. Consider Southpaw, if you will. ;) I am not comparing him to a child molester, only using him as an example of assumptions about belief and objective morality.

Terez
09-06-2014, 03:12 PM
You imagined that he is acting in some way to protect his victims. I find it hard to imagine the same thing.
That is because you don't know him. In your mind, child molesters of any stripe can only be sociopaths. I used to have a similar impression because it is difficult to see it any other way when you don't know anything about the people involved.

I have to repeat, I don't seek to understand his mind frame in order to try to justify what he did, but rather to reconcile the person I know with the crimes he committed. Why is that so offensive to you? What harm does it do to anyone?

Daekyras
09-06-2014, 03:21 PM
That is because you don't know him. In your mind, child molesters of any stripe can only be sociopaths. I used to have a similar impression because it is difficult to see it any other way when you don't know anything about the people involved.

I have to repeat, I don't seek to understand his mind frame in order to try to justify what he did, but rather to reconcile the person I know with the crimes he committed. Why is that so offensive to you? What harm does it do to anyone?

I haven't taken offense from anything you have posted. Nor do i strive to cause you any.

If my questioning your belief and faith in the purity of this man and his motives is causing you hurt, i humbly and respectfully withdraw from the discussion.

Terez
09-06-2014, 04:55 PM
I haven't taken offense from anything you have posted. Nor do i strive to cause you any.

If my questioning your belief and faith in the purity of this man...
See, that is where you frustrate me, because you're misreading everything I write. I never once even implied that I had faith in his purity.

Southpaw2012
09-06-2014, 06:18 PM
The line is where we put it, legally. Law is the closest thing we have to objective morality, and the law with its consequences has not been questioned by anyone here, but laws change every day, suggesting there often is no is. Law exists because a majority of society can come to certain moral agreements, and as I have made clear several times in this thread, I am in agreement with the law. But it would be naive to think that everyone is in agreement with this law, that everyone believes sex with adolescents is inherently morally wrong, just because it's so clear to you. Consider Southpaw, if you will. ;) I am not comparing him to a child molester, only using him as an example of assumptions about belief and objective morality.


Wait, what? It wouldn't just be me, but anyone and everyone. Everyone has their own beliefs on what is right and wrong. However, clear violations such as child molestation are different than whether or not someone is a good president.

Terez
09-06-2014, 08:24 PM
Sure they are different, but they are still subjective to the point that a criminal can justify his own actions to himself, which is the point under contention. As we were discussing several posts back, as recently as the 70s, people were willing to publish that particular opinion. Public opinion shifted quickly on that point. It may seem like what Pryor did is unquestionably wrong, and has been for a long time, but not so long ago, his only crime would have been homosexuality.

Uno
09-06-2014, 08:33 PM
See, that is where you frustrate me, because you're misreading everything I write. I never once even implied that I had faith in his purity.

I think I have an inkling of what you're getting at, and you may well be right. Few people think of themselves as rotten individuals, so if they keep up a particular type of behavior over a long time, they're likely to rationalize it some way or another. It would even make sense for a predator to romanticize his relationships with his victims.

Daekyras
09-06-2014, 10:12 PM
See, that is where you frustrate me, because you're misreading everything I write. I never once even implied that I had faith in his puritySee, that is where you frustrate me, because you're misreading everything I write. I never once even implied that I had faith in his purity

confusing objectively pure motives with subjectively pure ones

I have to repeat, I don't seek to understand his mind frame in order to try to justify what he did, but rather to reconcile the person I know with the crimes he committed

You introduced the idea of purity of motive. I questioned you on that notion. I question you on it and you respond with the third quote.


I think I have an inkling of what you're getting at, and you may well be right. Few people think of themselves as rotten individuals, so if they keep up a particular type of behavior over a long time, they're likely to rationalize it some way or another. It would even make sense for a predator to romanticize his relationships with his victims.

That is exactly what i thought T was saying. However, above she said she is not trying to understand his mindset in order to justify what he did.
It is intuitively obvious to even the most casual observer(sorry!!!) that child molestors don't think what they are doing is wrong. As you said, they dont see themselves as evil.

When we talk about their motives as being pure, even from their own perspective we are very much justifying their actions within those parameters.
When we say "a few years ago, his only crime would have been homosexuality" we may be factually correct if not for the immutable fact that we don't live back then. We live in the now. T says she understands that he did wrong but all of her posts on the history of pederasty and the possibility of the free love movement being hijacked and even on the nature of law itself weaken her assertion in this.

She may be trying to reconcile her memories but she very much is trying to justify this mans actions from his point of view. But then claims she is not.

Its late here and using silly touchscreen so hope that's not too garbled.

Uno
09-06-2014, 10:26 PM
She may be trying to reconcile her memories but she very much is trying to justify this mans actions from his point of view. But then claims she is not.

Well, Terez can answer for herself, and I may have missed something, but the way I understood her line of reasoning, she was discussing how Pryor might justify his actions to himself. That's not the same as her justifying them. To say that lawbreakers often (though not necessarily) think that breaking the law is justified (at least in their individual cases) is hardly that controversial.

Terez
09-06-2014, 10:27 PM
You introduced the idea of purity of motive. I questioned you on that notion.
No, I introduced the idea of self-justification, something you now say is intuitively obvious, and yet you interpreted that discussion to mean that I personally believed Pryor had his victims' best interests at heart. You're not questioning me on my actual words; you're questioning me based on your assumptions about what I'm saying. Like you say:

She may be trying to reconcile her memories but she very much is trying to justify this mans actions from his point of view. But then claims she is not.
Because I am not. So long as I am clear that I agree with the law and think he should be punished, I am not. I believe the law and justice are one and the same in this instance, but you're trying to separate them in an illogical way. Which is, coincidentally, exactly what I think Pryor did.

Daekyras
09-06-2014, 11:03 PM
No, I introduced the idea of self-justification, something you now say is intuitively obvious, and yet you interpreted that discussion to mean that I personally believed Pryor had his victims' best interests at heart. You're not questioning me on my actual words; you're questioning me based on your assumptions about what I'm saying. Like you say:


Because I am not. So long as I am clear that I agree with the law and think he should be punished, I am not. I believe the law and justice are one and the same in this instance, but you're trying to separate them in an illogical way. Which is, coincidentally, exactly what I think Pryor did.
You introduced "subjectively pure motive"

This is what i think you are saying, and if i am wrong, i apologise as this is really how i read your point of view:

You believe that he believes he has his victims best interests at heart.

I am not separating law and justice at all. I believe you have misinterpreted me here.

I am not suggesting you are justifying Pryor to me, or yourself. That would be suggesting you condone it and you have clearly said you do not.

I am saying you are trying to rationalize his thought process within his own mind.

That's what i meant by "justify from his point of view".

And, for the record, i think your last sentence is uncalled for. :)

Uno
09-06-2014, 11:22 PM
That's what i meant by "justify from his point of view".

How does the notion of "justifying something from his point of view" differ from simply examining his thought processes? That is, explaining (or rather, suggesting) how he may have justified it to himself? The distinction is not clear to me.

Daekyras
09-07-2014, 02:57 AM
How does the notion of "justifying something from his point of view" differ from simply examining his thought processes? That is, explaining (or rather, suggesting) how he may have justified it to himself? The distinction is not clear to me.

Really? Good, i agree there is no difference as i see it. You however had a very different response to the phrase earlier when you felt the need to correct me on it:

Well, Terez can answer for herself, and I may have missed something, but the way I understood her line of reasoning, she was discussing how Pryor might justify his actions to himself. That's not the same as her justifying them.

Clearly here you took my use of "justify from his point of view" to mean something else....

I am not arguing here uno. Not with you or T.

GonzoTheGreat
09-07-2014, 03:55 AM
However, clear violations such as child molestation are different than whether or not someone is a good president.
I am not so sure that it is always as clear as that, which of course rather wrecks your argument, unless you can manage to provide the missing clarity.

Consider the under age girl (I think she was 15) who sent risky pictures of herself to her 16 year old boyfriend, and was prosecuted for child molestation (child pornography, specifically). I don't think it is obvious at all that she should have been prosecuted, I think it is obvious that this was a case of a bunch of adult do-gooders stupidly applying zero tolerance. Yet I have to admit that they did follow the letter of the law.

Uno
09-07-2014, 01:15 PM
Really? Good, i agree there is no difference as i see it. You Clearly here you took my use of "justify from his point of view" to mean something else.....

That's such as an awkward phrase that I wasn't sure what you meant, but since you seemed to view it so negatively, I initially assumed that you meant something else than merely trying to understand the man's way of thinking.

Davian93
09-07-2014, 07:11 PM
FWIW, I took Terez's comments in exactly the same way that Uno interpreted them. I also agree 100% with Uno's assertion that most people do not honestly think they are bad people.

Bad people tend to think what they are doing is right or they can at least justify it to themselves as "necessary". I would even include people like Hitler in this group.

Yes, I just Godwinned the thread.

To be clear, I am not justifying their actions, merely pointing out that most people tend to think they are right...regardless of how messed up their actions seem on the surface and to society as a whole.

Terez
09-08-2014, 12:17 AM
Hitler loved Chopin, by the way, at least partly because some anti-Semitic comments could be found in Chopin's letters (many of which were published in German before they were published in Polish). Considering Chopin was Polish, they were only mildly anti-Semitic comments. Of course, Hitler's favorite was Wagner.

The Unreasoner
09-08-2014, 10:26 PM
I just read an article today saying Penn State is Bowl eligible this year. And I got to thinking about Pryor and Sandusky and Paterno. IIRC, Pennsylvanians were up in arms following the firing of Paterno (who, for our foreign readers, was aware of systematic child abuse and did nothing). While Pennsylvanians are little better than Floridians (who are little better than capybaras), I still found this odd. Is it just people turning a blind eye? Some bizzarre acceptance of child abuse? Or was Paterno just that well loved? I realize Sandusky was the predator in this case, so maybe people just wanted (badly) to believe it didn't extend to Paterno. But what sort of reception is Pryor getting on the ground in Mississippi? (It is Mississippi, right?) The court is standing room only, you say. Are they there to see him punished? Are they hoping to see him vindicated? Is Pryor really all that different from Sandusky? The mentor relationship is a bit different, but in essence at least comparable.

Suppose there was a man, let's call him Southpaw (just pulling a name out of a hat). Suppose he was a pillar of his community, he inspired countless children, and was in many respects a net positive for his community. But one day, a former student of Southpaw's says he was raped as a child by Southpaw. And of course the accuser has some credibility problems. How could he not? Vulnerable children and lame animals are often targeted by predators, be they wolf or pedophile. If Southpaw is imprisoned, would you protest in the streets? If he is left alone, will you shun the accuser? Will you adopt an attitude of innocent until proven guilty, however impossible that may be to do?

And what of Southpaw? Suppose he is guilty. But was it one regretted, aberrant act? Was it something he could rationalize away? Did he see it as his duty, or due? Or was he just a sociopath, never seeing his students as thinking and feeling beings, but only tools to get what he wanted? Could his whole persona be an `act'? Were all of the students who were inspired but not raped just 'collateral damage'?

GonzoTheGreat
09-09-2014, 03:05 AM
While Pennsylvanians are little better than Floridians (who are little better than capybaras), I still found this odd.
Capybaras are cute.

Davian93
09-09-2014, 06:26 AM
Or was Paterno just that well loved?

Yes, yes he was...and still is to a very large extent of the population.


Also...

http://a-z-animals.com/media/animals/images/original/capybara5.jpg

What did this poor thing ever do to you???

Terez
09-09-2014, 04:31 PM
I think Sandusky really is that much worse. Again, it's important to remember that I think Pryor has committed a serious crime. But Sandusky targeted prepubescent children who were that much more vulnerable, not only because of their age, but because he recruited them from a charity that functioned as a sort of halfway house for troubled children. Pryor's victims were still vulnerable! because of their age and their position as his students, and I have no doubt he sought out other vulnerabilities, but the students invited on his trips were by definition the most intelligent and usually affluent. Just because Pryor's crime is something we can all agree is wrong does not mean that we can't consider that Sandusky's crime was much worse.

I do think it makes a difference to Paterno's fans that he didn't actually commit the crime. There are probably a whole ton of adults in Pryor's case who knew something was up. I had no clue. Other students say he was obviously a creep. Some of them have probably heard their friends' stories. They all share in the culpability to an extent, depending on how much they knew, because Pryor was still teaching.

The reaction to Pryor's arrest has been mixed. It is only natural, I think. Some never loved him and feel free to pile on in the usual way. Others are like me. Some people have even said things like "innocent until proven guilty" even knowing he confessed, bless their little hearts.

Davian93
09-09-2014, 06:52 PM
I do think it makes a difference to Paterno's fans that he didn't actually commit the crime.

To be fair, he likely would have been indicted had he not been dying of cancer...per the PA AG after the fact at least. He came awfully close to Obstruction at a minimum as well as a couple of other statutes...

Terez
09-09-2014, 07:51 PM
You know what I meant.

Davian93
09-09-2014, 08:40 PM
You know what I meant.

LOL...yes, I do.

I'm also very intimately familiar with the JoePa thing and how his fans view him...being a former Pennsylvanian who knows a TON of PSU alums.

The Unreasoner
09-10-2014, 12:12 AM
being a former Pennsylvanian

*clears throat*

Now that I think about it, many capybaras are fine people, Phillies fans notwithstanding.

Terez
09-14-2014, 09:17 AM
I have never read Dante's Divine Comedy, but I was reading about it earlier, and saw that Dante placed his legal guardian and teacher Brunetto Latini in the seventh circle of the Inferno with the sodomites and others. Apparently there has been a great deal of debate about what exactly this means, but most seem to think he was accusing Latini of being a sodomite. From the way the passage is written, it would seem that Dante still viewed Latini very reverently and affectionately, and wanted to stay with him for a while, but didn't because it would have increased Latini's punishment. A quote from Wikipedia:

Dante places Latini within the third ring of the Seventh Circle with the Sodomites, and writes of the "clerks and great and famous scholars, defiled in the world by one and the same sin".

Dante's treatment of Latini, however, is commendatory beyond almost any other figure in the 'Inferno'. He calls the poet a radiance among men and speaks with gratitude of that sweet image, gentle and paternal, / you were to me in the world when hour by hour / you taught me how man makes himself eternal. Dante addresses Latini with the respectful pronoun voi; Latini uses the informal tu, as perhaps was their custom when they spoke together in Florence. The portrait is drawn with love, pathos and a dignity that is more compelling given the squalor of the punishment.
So perhaps Dante joins Plato and Xenophon in the group of conflicted survivors of pederasty, though Dante comes well over 1000 years later and well after the establishment of Christianity, obviously. It just struck me as an interesting comparison. Notice the quote in the first paragraph alluding to the widespread nature of this sin among clerks (usually monks at this time, if I am not mistaken) and scholars (teachers).

The Unreasoner
09-14-2014, 12:12 PM
I have never read Dante's Divine Comedy, but I was reading about it earlier, and saw that Dante placed his legal guardian and teacher Brunetto Latini in the seventh circle of the Inferno with the sodomites and others. Apparently there has been a great deal of debate about what exactly this means, but most seem to think he was accusing Latini of being a sodomite. From the way the passage is written, it would seem that Dante still viewed Latini very reverently and affectionately, and wanted to stay with him for a while, but didn't because it would have increased Latini's punishment. A quote from Wikipedia:


So perhaps Dante joins Plato and Xenophon in the group of conflicted survivors of pederasty, though Dante comes well over 1000 years later and well after the establishment of Christianity, obviously. It just struck me as an interesting comparison. Notice the quote in the first paragraph alluding to the widespread nature of this sin among clerks (usually monks at this time, if I am not mistaken) and scholars (teachers).
He may have just been gay. Not every gay person is a pedophile. Certainly many monks were gay, and the tension between religious doctrine and personal desires tends to exercise the mind, makinv nascent scholars.

Davian93
09-14-2014, 06:12 PM
He may have just been gay. Not every gay person is a pedophile. Certainly many monks were gay, and the tension between religious doctrine and personal desires tends to exercise the mind, makinv nascent scholars.

No gay people are pedophiles...that's just something idiots say to smear gay people and justify their hatred of them.

Not implying that you are one of those...to be clear, I am not implying or saying that you are a bigot like that at all.

Terez
09-14-2014, 07:50 PM
He may have just been gay.
I know. But no other source mentions Latini being a sodomite; it appears to have been intimate knowledge. That doesn't necessarily mean he took advantage of Dante; that is why I said "perhaps", but the contrast between the reverential way he writes about his teacher, and the placement of him in the seventh circle of hell, is suggestive to me.

PS: As to not every gay person being a pedophile, I've written about that earlier in the thread, but it seems to be a whole hell of a lot more common before the modern era of tolerance because it was the only "respectable" model of male homosexuality, and a model that most people seemed to internalize. It was repugnant to them that an adult man would "submit" to another adult man. That doesn't mean it didn't happen; we have evidence that it did happen. But it does mean that men were socially conditioned to interpret their homosexuality through that lens.

The Unreasoner
09-14-2014, 07:57 PM
No gay people are pedophiles...that's just something idiots say to smear gay people and justify their hatred of them.

Right. I know this. The part you bolded was supposed to come off rather dry. My point was that it seems a bit weird to jump straight to Dante was sexually abused from this evidence, it doesn't seem indicated unless you believe that propaganda. Not that I'm accusing Terez of such.

I hope I can take the latter half of your post at face value. I certainly don't believe that there is a correlation between pedophilia and sexual orientation.

The Unreasoner
09-14-2014, 08:16 PM
Dante may have intended to use that scene to subtly argue for gay rights. As in, why does this great guy have to go to hell? He doesn't deserve this!

Terez
09-14-2014, 08:28 PM
Right. I know this. The part you bolded was supposed to come off rather dry. My point was that it seems a bit weird to jump straight to Dante was sexually abused from this evidence, it doesn't seem indicated unless you believe that propaganda. Not that I'm accusing Terez of such.
I have read so much on this that I no longer think of the modern era and the preceding centuries as even being on the same plane. The reason why people equate pedophilia and homosexuality is not so much propaganda but a holdover from ancient beliefs about male homosexuality. That is not to say that these ancient beliefs are not appropriated by those who would use it as propaganda in their agenda against all forms of homosexuality.

As I said earlier in the thread, modern men who have come out of the closet have already come to terms with any perception of their femininity, which was the impetus behind the ancient beliefs about male homosexuality in the first place. So modern men who identify as "gay" are unlikely to be interested in adolescent boys because they have no social impetus in that direction. For them, the social compulsion to respect the rights of children is much stronger than the social compulsion to avoid being labeled as feminine, and without that latter compulsion, most have no interest in immature teenagers.

Many scholars argue that homosexuality as we know it did not exist before about 1870, and that to refer to anyone living before then as "gay" is extremely anachronistic. The argument goes that people did not have a concept of homosexual identity. It's a strong argument in some respects, and a weak one in others, but it remains true that people in general saw homosexuality quite differently in Western societies before the late 19th Century, and that there is still quite a bit of overlap between those worldviews.

I don't believe that no pederasts are actually gay, though many of those who abuse boys are married and publicly identify as heterosexual. I don't believe that attraction to adolescent boys is a sexual preference separate from homosexuality. I believe it is a holdover of the ancient shaming of femininity that led men to express homosexuality through pederasty.

Pedophilia is quite different because prepubescent children are so starkly different than adults, in their minds and bodies. The lines are more blurred in adolescence.

Kimon
09-14-2014, 09:51 PM
Dante may have intended to use that scene to subtly argue for gay rights. As in, why does this great guy have to go to hell? He doesn't deserve this!

If so he'd hardly be an anomaly.

These were in the First Circe - their only crime being that they weren't Christian:

- Vergil, Homer, Horace, Cicero, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Caesar, Hector, Orpheus, et alii.

The real sinners start in Circle 2, but even from here on there are some odd inclusions.

Circle 2 (lust):

- Dido (a blameless victim of Venus and Aeneas), Helen (another victim of Venus), Achilles (why the hell is he here - maybe a comment about Patroklus)

Circle 8 (Fraud):

- Tiresias (how the heck is he a false prophet?), Odysseus and Diomedes (maybe this is due to Vergil/Aeneid's influence - still bs - as is the fact that they are in Bolgia 8 while Sinon is in Bolgia 10, yet Paris is somehow only in Circle 2 even though he caused the war)

And then there's Brutus. Sure Cassius may deserve to be eaten for eternity, but not Brutus.

yks 6nnetu hing
09-15-2014, 02:32 AM
PS: As to not every gay person being a pedophile, I've written about that earlier in the thread, but it seems to be a whole hell of a lot more common before the modern era of tolerance because it was the only "respectable" model of male homosexuality, and a model that most people seemed to internalize. It was repugnant to them that an adult man would "submit" to another adult man. That doesn't mean it didn't happen; we have evidence that it did happen. But it does mean that men were socially conditioned to interpret their homosexuality through that lens.

I recently saw a study (http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/.Uwyq3HewIcl#.VBaVuel01aQ) on this: apparently one of the easiest ways to undermine an "alpha" male is when another man holds the door open for them.

Terez
09-15-2014, 04:30 AM
Indeed, the enshrinement of perceived masculinity continues. Also, thanks to Kimon I have had Dido's Lament stuck in my head all night.

Davian93
09-15-2014, 08:34 AM
Right. I know this. The part you bolded was supposed to come off rather dry. My point was that it seems a bit weird to jump straight to Dante was sexually abused from this evidence, it doesn't seem indicated unless you believe that propaganda. Not that I'm accusing Terez of such.

I hope I can take the latter half of your post at face value. I certainly don't believe that there is a correlation between pedophilia and sexual orientation.

You definitely can. I really wasn't trying to accuse you of anything there.

Terez
09-15-2014, 12:57 PM
The grand jury finally got around to indicting him. Plea: not guilty (http://www.wlox.com/story/26535620/grand-jury-indicts-former-teacher-on-molestation-charges). I wonder what the defense will be, in light of the confession.

Terez
10-15-2014, 04:04 AM
Update: there was an article a few weeks ago suggesting that Pryor was thinking about making a plea deal after all (even though it would still almost certainly be life in prison for him at his age). He appealed his bond denial, and was denied again.

The real reason I resurrected this thread is because I'm watching this crazy Polish movie called Akademia Pana Kleksa (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=or5WgzuSRvs). It's a really ridiculous children's movie from the 80s, based on some books written in the 40s and 60s. Pan Kleks (Mr Inkblot, or as a friend of mine likes to call him, Professor Inkstain) is way too pedo for comfort; this movie would never have been made in quite the same way today. Wilder as Wonka is not anywhere near this creepy.

But that's not why I thought to mention it here. There's a little story about a prince who was turned into a bird, narrated by the bird. The little prince was so special that every time he smiled, a clerk noted the event in a ledger. They show the clerk, a man with a foppy smile whose little finger is extended on the non-writing hand in a very lady-like way, and the camera focuses and lingers on that detail rather conspicuously. And I'm thinking, really? It's that much of a stereotype? This is 80s Poland, when no one acknowledged that homosexuality existed, not out loud, or this movie would never have been made, and I sometimes forget that even in a culture of silence, stereotypes like this can still come through. Just another reminder that it was never real innocence or ignorance; it was always a pretense, a farce. On the screen, the fop is shamed, and the creepy pedovibe professor carries on quite unhindered.

Southpaw2012
10-15-2014, 10:40 AM
No gay people are pedophiles...that's just something idiots say to smear gay people and justify their hatred of them.

Not implying that you are one of those...to be clear, I am not implying or saying that you are a bigot like that at all.


That's a stupid statement. Yeah, some people use that to smear gays, but that doesn't mean there can't be gay pedophiles. It's like when I complained to my ex that a fellow employee (who was gay) sexually harassed me as well as other. She tried arguing to me that gay guys would never hit on straight guys... That's just pure stupidity. If people want to argue that gays should be the same as everyone else (which to me they are), then accept the idea that they could commit atrocities that straight folk could.

Nazbaque
10-15-2014, 11:05 AM
That's a stupid statement. Yeah, some people use that to smear gays, but that doesn't mean there can't be gay pedophiles. It's like when I complained to my ex that a fellow employee (who was gay) sexually harassed me as well as other. She tried arguing to me that gay guys would never hit on straight guys... That's just pure stupidity. If people want to argue that gays should be the same as everyone else (which to me they are), then accept the idea that they could commit atrocities that straight folk could.

While I basically agree with the core of your statement, I'd say that it doesn't prove that he was sexually harassing you or anyone else and if you weren't willing to concede this it might very well be indicative of the reasons why said person is an ex.

However I invite you to think of it in this fashion: Pedophilia concentrates on age rather than sex. Of course a pedophile may also have preferences to their victims being male or female, but if they don't feel any sexual interest in adults of either sex, are they then gay or straight at all? You may have snappy answers for this, but I still maintain that you should consider the subject more thoroughly in order to understand why other people see things differently instead of labling it as stupid.

Terez
10-15-2014, 01:56 PM
The documentation behind the statement is that men who are caught molesting boys almost never identify as gay. They're quite often married to women, especially the ones who molest prepubescent boys, discounting those who take vows of celibacy.

Daekyras
10-17-2014, 09:39 AM
While I basically agree with the core of your statement, I'd say that it doesn't prove that he was sexually harassing you or anyone else and if you weren't willing to concede this it might very well be indicative of the reasons why said person is an ex.


I think we should take Southpaws statement as truth. He was the one experiencing the harassment, he in no way tried to prove he was. His ex said that "gay guys would not hit on straight guys". That is in fact a silly thing to say.

Davian93
10-17-2014, 12:48 PM
That's a stupid statement. Yeah, some people use that to smear gays, but that doesn't mean there can't be gay pedophiles. It's like when I complained to my ex that a fellow employee (who was gay) sexually harassed me as well as other. She tried arguing to me that gay guys would never hit on straight guys... That's just pure stupidity. If people want to argue that gays should be the same as everyone else (which to me they are), then accept the idea that they could commit atrocities that straight folk could.

Okay dumbass...I will try to put it as simply as possible: Being a pedophile means you are neither gay nor straight...thus, to smear gays by implying they are all pedophiles is stupid and disgusting.


On another note, As a straight guy, I take getting hit on by a gay guy as a compliment...I take it as a compliment when a woman hits on me too.

I would be disturbed if a pedophile hit on me though.

Nazbaque
10-17-2014, 01:39 PM
Okay dumbass...I will try to put it as simply as possible: Being a pedophile means you are neither gay nor straight...thus, to smear gays by implying they are all pedophiles is stupid and disgusting.


On another note, As a straight guy, I take getting hit on by a gay guy as a compliment...I take it as a compliment when a woman hits on me too.

I would be disturbed if a pedophile hit on me though.

This is not quite true Dav. There is such a thing as bisexuality. Or being attracted both sexes. Being a pedophile means you are attracted to children (and act on it), but it does not exclude attraction to adults. A pedophile who is not attracted to adults is not gay or straight, but those who are also attracted to adults would be so in addition to being pedophiles.

Terez
11-11-2014, 02:05 PM
Plea changed to guilty:

http://www.wlox.com/story/27355079/court-documents-teacher-to-plead-guilty-this-week

I have to wonder why he ever entered a not-guilty plea in the first place. He had already confessed. I suspect it had something to do with his lawyer. Anyway, at least a trial has been avoided.

On Facebook they called him a "veteran teacher" so all the comments are people complaining about how they called him a "veteran teacher" on Veterans' Day. :rolleyes:

Davian93
11-11-2014, 02:12 PM
Plea changed to guilty:

http://www.wlox.com/story/27355079/court-documents-teacher-to-plead-guilty-this-week

I have to wonder why he ever entered a not-guilty plea in the first place. He had already confessed. I suspect it had something to do with his lawyer. Anyway, at least a trial has been avoided.

On Facebook they called him a "veteran teacher" so all the comments are people complaining about how they called him a "veteran teacher" on Veterans' Day. :rolleyes:

Ric Romero says, "Words can have multiple uses, More at 11!"

Uno
11-11-2014, 02:22 PM
Ric Romero says, "Words can have multiple uses, More at 11!"

"Me fail English? That's unpossible."

Terez
03-02-2015, 03:52 PM
The rather surprising conclusion: Pryor only got 10 years. (Two concurrent 10-year sentences.)

http://www.wlox.com/story/28241149/former-teacher-to-spend-10-years-in-prison-for-molestation

Davian93
03-02-2015, 04:20 PM
The rather surprising conclusion: Pryor only got 10 years. (Two concurrent 10-year sentences.)

http://www.wlox.com/story/28241149/former-teacher-to-spend-10-years-in-prison-for-molestation

Sad that that's all he got. Of course, at his age, that might very well be a life sentence. He's 68 per the Googles...probably 69 now given that that article was from Aug 2014.


Does anyone else find it ironic that in our world/Age, you "earn" a 3rd name by doing something notoriously awful like this or a serial killer or an assassination but in the Age of Legends you earn it by being amazing/great?

IE, all the articles call him William RICHARD Pryor...along the lines of how we always here John WAYNE Gacy or John WILKES Booth or Lee HARVEY Oswald, etc etc.

Of course, we all see this for Presidents for some strange reason.

Sorry, just an odd tangent.

Terez
03-02-2015, 04:48 PM
For the record, he has always gone by Richard; William is his "third" name.

Apparently he argued in his bond hearings that he was in ill health and probably wouldn't live that long anyway. (He was still denied bond.)

The way this case was tried, on federal charges, had something to do with the statute of limitations, from what I gather.

Kimon
03-02-2015, 05:21 PM
Does anyone else find it ironic that in our world/Age, you "earn" a 3rd name by doing something notoriously awful like this or a serial killer or an assassination but in the Age of Legends you earn it by being amazing/great?

IE, all the articles call him William RICHARD Pryor...along the lines of how we always here John WAYNE Gacy or John WILKES Booth or Lee HARVEY Oswald, etc etc.

Of course, we all see this for Presidents for some strange reason.

Sorry, just an odd tangent.

Weren't the third names more epithet though than pre-existing third names - things more akin to Marcus Tullius CICERO and Publius Cornelius Scipio AFRICANUS. Like the original purpose behind the cognomina before they became cemented as branch indicators within particular gentes - like the Caesar branch of the Julian gens for instance.

It is however somewhat weird that we oft feel it necessary to know the middle names of the infamous.

SauceyBlueConfetti
03-02-2015, 05:58 PM
I always thought the full name in the media was more to be Crystal clear that someone known for heinous crimes was not accidentally confused with an innocent party with a similar name

Terez
03-02-2015, 07:01 PM
It's done for anyone with a common enough name that it might be confused with anyone else. In this case, to distinguish from the famous Richard Pryor.

Davian93
03-03-2015, 08:38 AM
I always thought the full name in the media was more to be Crystal clear that someone known for heinous crimes was not accidentally confused with an innocent party with a similar name

That is basically why it is done...I just find the parallel fascinating with what RJ did with "third names" in WoT. Sure, it wasn't really the same as the 3rd name in WoT was something that was earned and not a name you were born with but its still a bit funny to me.

GonzoTheGreat
03-03-2015, 09:05 AM
The Vikings and other Germanic people did the same. So there were Alfred the Great, William the Bastard and Ethelred the Unready, just to name a few. Actually, their system was versatile enough to denote both positive and negative assessments, which makes it superior to either of the other systems under discussion here.

Daekyras
03-03-2015, 09:33 AM
In the case of pryor, if you have enogh knowledge to know who the famous Richar Pryor is it is very unlilely that you will mistake them for each other.

I mean is there really one person who if theu heaed that on radio or saw it on TV would think "Richard Pryor molested kids? Wow. And I thought he was black. And dead."

Unlikely. It is a media method of making criminals more sinister. Not that a child rapist needs help with that.

Davian93
03-03-2015, 11:41 AM
In the case of pryor, if you have enogh knowledge to know who the famous Richar Pryor is it is very unlilely that you will mistake them for each other.

I mean is there really one person who if theu heaed that on radio or saw it on TV would think "Richard Pryor molested kids? Wow. And I thought he was black. And dead."

Unlikely. It is a media method of making criminals more sinister. Not that a child rapist needs help with that.

Well, I was greatly surprised last year when Steve McQueen won an Oscar despite being dead for 34 years.

Nazbaque
03-03-2015, 12:09 PM
In the case of pryor, if you have enogh knowledge to know who the famous Richar Pryor is it is very unlilely that you will mistake them for each other.

I mean is there really one person who if theu heaed that on radio or saw it on TV would think "Richard Pryor molested kids? Wow. And I thought he was black. And dead."

Unlikely. It is a media method of making criminals more sinister. Not that a child rapist needs help with that.

Now you are looking at it from the wrong angle. It's not something the media chooses to do, they have to do it. Unless they are very specific there is a chance of being sued for slander.

Daekyras
03-03-2015, 01:58 PM
Now you are looking at it from the wrong angle. It's not something the media chooses to do, they have to do it. Unless they are very specific there is a chance of being sued for slander.

I am not au fait with the legal system in the states or in Finland but is that true?

Lets just take a random celebrity name- Tom Cruise. And say that another guy with the same name murdered two people im a small town in ohio.

It cannot, in any way, be slander for them to report it as "Tom Cruise accused of double homicide". It is accurate.

I'm not being confrontational here, I'm genuinely interested. I have always assumed it was a media invention to "sexify" the news....

Nazbaque
03-03-2015, 02:15 PM
I am not au fait with the legal system in the states or in Finland but is that true?

Lets just take a random celebrity name- Tom Cruise. And say that another guy with the same name murdered two people im a small town in ohio.

It cannot, in any way, be slander for them to report it as "Tom Cruise accused of double homicide". It is accurate.

I'm not being confrontational here, I'm genuinely interested. I have always assumed it was a media invention to "sexify" the news....

Oh it's not about if they are going to win or not; being sued is bad in itself.

Davian93
03-03-2015, 06:18 PM
I am not au fait with the legal system in the states or in Finland but is that true?

Lets just take a random celebrity name- Tom Cruise. And say that another guy with the same name murdered two people im a small town in ohio.

It cannot, in any way, be slander for them to report it as "Tom Cruise accused of double homicide". It is accurate.

I'm not being confrontational here, I'm genuinely interested. I have always assumed it was a media invention to "sexify" the news....

I would just assume they were talking about this guy...

http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mez6d7giUV1qiplke.jpg

Morelikeunwisewoman
03-04-2015, 04:26 AM
I just dipped into this topic as it was active and am on break. I think I'll stop after the first page. Really heavy stuff.

And some people are not nice to Terez.

Davian93
03-04-2015, 06:49 AM
I just dipped into this topic as it was active and am on break. I think I'll stop after the first page. Really heavy stuff.

And some people are not nice to Terez.

LOL...that could sometimes be the motto of Theoryland I think.

I would say that this is a topic that tends to lead to very passionate debate due to the inflammatory nature of the subject matter and that Terez was and is posting about it because it very intimately affected her on a personal level. Sometimes, due to the issues communicating such complex thoughts and emotions via text on an internet site, she got somewhat misinterpreted in her feelings by certain posters and it snowballed from there.

GonzoTheGreat
03-04-2015, 06:57 AM
...she got somewhat misinterpreted in her feelings by certain posters and it snowballed from there.
What else can you expect when you get lots of snowflakes to offer their comments?

Daekyras
03-04-2015, 07:23 AM
What else can you expect when you get lots of snowflakes to offer their comments?

That's a little much Gonzo.

GonzoTheGreat
03-04-2015, 08:05 AM
Hey, based on basic physiology, I think I can safely say: if the shoe fits, then you're probably not a snowflake.

Daekyras
03-04-2015, 08:11 AM
Hey, based on basic physiology, I think I can safely say: if the shoe fits, then you're probably not a snowflake.

But but but....these shoes look really good. I know they're a little tight but....ok, you win...

Tomp
03-05-2015, 09:41 AM
In the case of pryor, if you have enogh knowledge to know who the famous Richar Pryor is it is very unlilely that you will mistake them for each other.

I mean is there really one person who if theu heaed that on radio or saw it on TV would think "Richard Pryor molested kids? Wow. And I thought he was black. And dead."

Unlikely. It is a media method of making criminals more sinister. Not that a child rapist needs help with that.

There are always people who will think that it's the famous person if they don't clearly distinguish the accused person from the famous one.
It's enough if 1% of the people reading/hearing about it gets it wrong.
Maybe they thought that it was an accusation made today that was for something in the past.
They will then spread the (false) news that it was the famous Richard Pryor who did it and that (more interesting) version will spread in the world.
That famous person (or their relatives/associates) will then have a hard time cleaning their name, since many will have heard the false news and thinks that it may have been something to those accusations after all.