Injustice Collector
June 20, 2010 10:26 AM   Subscribe

What is homosexuality? Is it curable? Some recent misleading propaganda alleges that homosexuality is an incurable, hereditary condition, and that the homosexual way of life is therefore "normal" for an unspecified proportion of the population. . . . The full-grown homosexual, as Bergler sees him, wallows in self-pity and continually provokes hostility to ensure himself more opportunities for self pity he "collects" injustices—sometimes real, often fancied; he is full of defensive malice and flippancy, covering his depression and guilt with extreme narcissism and superciliousness....
TIME Magazine asks, is homosexuality a "Curable Disease?"
posted by orthogonality (34 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: Not bothering to frame a fifty-year-old pullquote and article about a great big awful and still-really-troublesome civil rights issue as being a fifty-year-old article is pointlessly bucking for bad feelings. Please don't do this. -- cortex



 
I shall spend the rest of the day attempting to determine the purpose of this post.. I'm sure it will come to me eventually as I watch the discussion unfold.
posted by HuronBob at 10:29 AM on June 20, 2010


...in 1956. that might be worth mentioning.
posted by hollisimo at 10:29 AM on June 20, 2010 [8 favorites]


So who's putting odds on Bergler going on vacations with a travel assistant to hold his luggage?
posted by PenDevil at 10:29 AM on June 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


For once, the question "what the fuck, are you from the 50s?" turns out to have a satisfactory answer.
posted by Artw at 10:31 AM on June 20, 2010 [24 favorites]


Well, once you get used to being put down constantly, for being a "fag", the defensiveness seems rather, oh, I don't know, rational? Depression seems not too unreasonable, either. But guilt? Probably so, in 1956. That's the object of Gay Pride, to reject guilt. The rest sounds like tradtional stereotyping of a rather ugly sort, also typical of those old, pre-Stonewall days.
posted by Goofyy at 10:31 AM on June 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


OK, 1956, now that makes more sense...
posted by caddis at 10:32 AM on June 20, 2010


jesus shit, the stuff Time magazine used to publish is staggering. I mean, having a cover story on Ann Coulter becomes considerably less boggling when you recall that they made fucking HITLER Man of the Year once.
posted by shmegegge at 10:33 AM on June 20, 2010


Yeah some more context would be nice, I was a bit aghast at the language quoted above, did a web search on Bergler, and found he died in 62. So yeah, ideas on homosexuality have changed over time.
posted by zabuni at 10:33 AM on June 20, 2010


My injustices

Let me show you them
posted by Avenger at 10:36 AM on June 20, 2010


I suspect this thread will die a death soon, but I do applaud Time for having the courage to show all of their archives online. Something like this is embarrassing, to say the least.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:36 AM on June 20, 2010 [5 favorites]


"Man of the Year" is not a congratulatory title. I don't think you can deny that Hitler was the man on everybody's mind in 1938.
posted by mad bomber what bombs at midnight at 10:37 AM on June 20, 2010 [12 favorites]


I only read TIME for the pictures. I get all of my news and analysis from Playboy.
posted by quakerjono at 10:37 AM on June 20, 2010 [4 favorites]


It can effect cures in 90% of cases, he insists, provided that analyst and patient are willing to take the tremendous time and effort to get to the root of the difficulty.

Also, did no one really suspect that this 90% of "cured" homosexuals just took their sexuality on the d.l. as to avoid this fucking ruthless discrimination and contempt? I cannot for the life of me grasp this level of naivety.

Also, it is amazing that in 1956 Freud is cited as an authority without at least a good few sentences explaining that his theories need to be acknowledged as constructed through the experiences and mentality of a turn-of-the-20th-century, upper-class Viennese Jew (as well as every other social group he belonged to and observed for his studies.)
posted by griphus at 10:37 AM on June 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


Wikipedia reports:" Near the end of his life, Bergler became an embarrassment to many other analysts"

Looks like he's still doing it 48 years later.
posted by Obscure Reference at 10:38 AM on June 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


Also, also also -- also. ALSO!
posted by griphus at 10:38 AM on June 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is nothing, you should see the Time article (October 33, 483 BCE) by Xenophanes regarding spontaneous generation.
posted by vapidave at 10:39 AM on June 20, 2010 [16 favorites]


Common Sense asks "Why are you posting misleading flamebait without any context?"
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:40 AM on June 20, 2010 [5 favorites]


It amazes me that anyone really gives a shit about who's fucking whom -- back then, or now. I just don't get it in the least. As in: it makes zero sense to me, for real.
posted by heyho at 10:41 AM on June 20, 2010


they made fucking HITLER Man of the Year once.

With a macabre cover illustration showing him playing a "hymn of hate" on a pipe organ that had bodies hanging from nooses over it.

Who do you think was more important in 1938?
posted by Jaltcoh at 10:42 AM on June 20, 2010 [5 favorites]


Remember "magazines?"
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:42 AM on June 20, 2010


The context is a bit jarring, seeing the content dropped into Time's web layout with modern ads and stories surrounding it.
posted by gimonca at 10:43 AM on June 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


Well, okay, people believed lots of stupid shit in the not-too-distant-past. Lots of people still do. These sorts of views are still not that far outside the mainstream in U.S. politics. The day that this story is being ironically linked to in evangelical Christian and fundamentalist Muslim forums, I'll really be happy. I'm not sure that day will ever come, but, hey, any Time editor who printed this today would be canned, so that's progress.

having a cover story on Ann Coulter becomes considerably less boggling when you recall that they made fucking HITLER Man of the Year once.

And if they'd had any balls at all they would have made Osama bin Laden Person of the Year for 2001 - it's and award that is given to the person who, "for better or for worse...has done the most to influence the events of the year." Hitler certainly qualified.
posted by Dasein at 10:43 AM on June 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


Common Sense asks "Why are you posting misleading flamebait without any context?"

The only people I can see being flamed for this are all dead. I don't think anyone on this site is reading this and nodding along, and if they are I doubt they're going to say as much.
posted by griphus at 10:43 AM on June 20, 2010


Oh yeah I remember writing this article. 20 years from now I have a flameout on what is then called Metafilter.ATT (in about 15 years, during Jenna Bush's presidency she transfers domain naming from ICANN to telecoms citing it as a way to control child pornography and rampant piracy). Anyway I link to an article questioning the need for all male's to take CtCll (a pill developed to prevent cat calling) and wondering if we are paying a great price when we substitute our freedom of speech for a pill ... well I get called out in Metatalk.Metafilter.SPRINT (citing "high DNS costs" telecoms make everyone register subdomains separately).

Frusterated, I time travel to 1956 to make the perfect Time magazine article that questions whether homosexuality can be cured, suggests that fat people just need to eat less, and outlines the best ways to declaw your cat at home. This in turn gets me banned because in the future there are two things you can do on Metafilter that are considered bannable right off the bat: self links and manipulating the space-time continuum to make posts.

On the bright side, in about 12 years we get an edit window for our comments, so there's that to look forward to (though I warn you, a lot of long time members who have yet to sign up make a big show and leave because of it).
posted by geoff. at 10:44 AM on June 20, 2010 [6 favorites]


wait til the LOLXTIANS get their hands on thisohwait

that 1956 date stamp isn't big enough by 1,000th. retrievable archive stuff like this should have a big-ass red stamp over it that says "SUPERSEDED" I mean at the very least
posted by toodleydoodley at 10:44 AM on June 20, 2010


It amazes me that anyone really gives a shit about who's fucking whom -- back then, or now. I just don't get it in the least. As in: it makes zero sense to me, for real.

Leviticus 20:13.

Not condoning, just saying.
posted by nathancaswell at 10:45 AM on June 20, 2010


that 1956 date stamp isn't big enough by 1,000th. retrievable archive stuff like this should have a big-ass red stamp over it that says "SUPERSEDED" I mean at the very least

Yeah, if I were still teaching writing to college freshman I guarantee one of them would find something like this in a google search and use it as a source in a paper.
posted by not that girl at 10:47 AM on June 20, 2010 [4 favorites]


1956? Please. Flagged.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 10:47 AM on June 20, 2010


Leviticus 20:13.

I also don't get why anyone gives a shit about that.
posted by heyho at 10:47 AM on June 20, 2010 [10 favorites]


Who do you think was more important in 1938?

Stalin!

But seriously, though I'd heard that factoid many times I'd not seen the cover. Thanks for that.
posted by Artw at 10:47 AM on June 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Common Sense asks "Why are you posting misleading flamebait without any context?"

Because it has a different impact if the article is read, not as a historic curiosity (which we tend to dismiss with the thought, "people were so unenlightened back then"), but as the real conventional wisdom of its time (or TIME).

Too often, it's hard to understand what zeitgeist of even the recent past. TIME's practice of reprinting their old articles, in modern typeface and on the web, surrounded by current ads and links, makes history all too real.

I didn't want to provide context or mention that this article was from 1956, because if I had, the experience of reading it wouldn't have been the same. I think this gives a truer sense of what, only fifty-some years ago, US attitudes about homosexuality were.
posted by orthogonality at 10:48 AM on June 20, 2010 [10 favorites]


THIS is why it was so courageous for James Randi to come out. This is what he was raised with, had programmed into him from a young age. For him, much of the world is still exactly this way, and many of his peers still believe it.

The last line from the article:

There are, says Bergler, no "healthy homosexuals."

Well, of COURSE not, with all of society oriented toward telling you that your biological drives are evil, and that it's only your own weakness that makes you attracted to men.
posted by Malor at 10:49 AM on June 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


The rest sounds like tradtional stereotyping of a rather ugly sort, also typical of those old, pre-Stonewall days.

The new documentary 'Stonewall Uprising' opened in NYC on Wednesday and in several more markets including L.A., Boston, and Portland this weekend.

New York Times:
"... 'Stonewall Uprising' methodically ticks off the forms of oppression visited on gays and lesbians in the days before the gay rights movement.

'Before Stonewall there was no such thing as coming out or being out,' says Eric Marcus, the author of 'Making Gay History: The Half-Century Fight for Lesbian & Gay Equal Rights.' 'People talk about being in and out now; there was no out, there was just in.'

At the time of the riots, homosexuality was illegal in every state except Illinois. Before the laws were changed, one commentator observes, gay bars offered the same kind of social haven for an oppressed minority as black churches in the South before the civil rights movement.

The cultural demonizing of gay men in public service films depicted them as at best, psychologically damaged and at worst, ruthless sexual predators. Lesbians were nearly invisible.

... It is a sad indication of the marginalization of homosexuality in the late 1960s that media coverage of the Stonewall riots was mostly after the fact. And even then it was cursory and often condescending. Because so little photographic documentation exists of the unrest, the film relies mostly on eyewitnesses, including Seymour Pine, the now-retired police officer who led the initial raid of six officers and who describes it as 'a real war.'"
Here's the trailer.
posted by ericb at 10:52 AM on June 20, 2010 [6 favorites]


The statement is as rational as one declaring that a man can at the same time have cancer and perfect health.

This quote I think sums up the lazy sophomoric thinking that is in the portions of the article I read and I'm sure the book as well.
posted by Rubbstone at 10:54 AM on June 20, 2010


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