The curious history of the codpiece

I generally steer away from racier topics, schizophrenic quasi-prude that I am.   On the one hand, the romantic (Or is it elitist snob?) in me can't get enough "Murder She Wrote", "Rumpole the Bailey", and "Brideshead Revisited", but I'm probably better known among friends for switching on David Chappelle or, history's funniest movie ever, "Booty Call" (to which I'm not going to provide a link, beta).  In fact, "Booty Call" was, … [Read more...]

Gay marriage, the “polygamy” of 20th century America

Speaking of polygamy (see my recent post), there was a very interesting article by Cathleen Kaveny in Commonweal  last year tracing the parallels between our controversies today over the place of gay marriage in society and the debate over polygamy in 19th century America (i.e., before the Mormon Church abandoned the practice). I note for the record that, contrary to possible appearances, polygamy is not a preoccupation of mine.  I found this article when I happened to investigate a … [Read more...]

Homosexuality in Afghanistan

There's a really engrossing article in the LA Times, "Kandahar's Lightly Veiled Homosexual Habits", from 2002 on the coexistence of widespread homosexual practices with Afghanistan's infamously rigid "traditional" values.[HT:] The most interesting thing is how they do not define it as homosexual, even though it sounds like some of these guys are very actively engaged in what in the US would be considered a gay lifestyle.  (Only the recipient, as it were, is … [Read more...]

Gay “special treatment” and Muslim “special treatment”

Came across an interesting statement in an excerpt of an interview from a Danish newspaper on the threat to all that is holy posed by Europe's increasing multiculturalism that should give homophobic Muslims pause.   [Reluctant HT:  Danske øjne på svenske forhold] The excerpt from the Danish newspaper Berlingske Tidende, inexplicably translated into Swedish, is garden-variety alarmism over immigration and true multiculturalism (as opposed to the fake multiculturalism held up as a m … [Read more...]

NYT on children, sex & the media

Speaking of the saturation of American pop culture with sex that I lamented in a recent post, Faisal  was nice enough to alert me to a particularly germane piece in the New York Times, "Children, Media and Sex: A Big Book of Blank Pages - New York Times".  ----------------------------------------- January 31, 2006 Personal Health Children, Media and Sex: A Big Book of Blank PagesBy JANE E. BRODYIn last summer's prize-winning R-rated film "Me and You and Everyone We … [Read more...]

America’s Most Endangered Species: the Virgin

In "single and chaste: the yearning", Shabana writes about the challenge of loneliness for singles and the need for them to approach marriage carefully and without unrealistic expectations of their spouse or themselves. In a similar vein, I suspect it's hard for those born in less sexually charged times or in more religiously conservative lands to understand the incredible pull of sex for people who've come of age recently in America.  Regardless of one's values, class, race, or … [Read more...]

Shabana on “Clothes, Class and Religion”

My better half just blogged insightfully about the intersection of money, class and gender among North American Muslims. Some excerpts:The most high-profile second-generation American Muslims of immigrant origin tend to be high-income, upwardly mobile, elitist. And very fashion-conscious.As a result, their notions of "modesty" are pricey ones. These notions are pretty specific. The clearance aisle at KMart does not cater to these notions of modesty. Heck, Marshall's doesn't. Sears … [Read more...]