Homophobia: A History. Byrne Fone, Byrne Fone

Homophobia: A History

Download Homophobia: A History

Homophobia: A History Byrne Fone, Byrne Fone ebook
Publisher: Picador
Page: 496
ISBN: 9780312420307

It is the last acceptable prejudice. In an age when racial and ethnic bigotry is viewed with distaste, and even physical slurs are frowned upon, hatred of homosexuals remains rife. Now, in a tour de force of historical and literary research, Byrne Fone, an acclaimed expert in gay and lesbian history, chronicles the evolution of homophobia through the centuries. Delving into literary sources as diverse as Greek philosophy, Elizabethan poetry, the Bible, and the Victorian novel, as well as historical texts and propaganda from the French Revolution to the Moral Majority, Fone finds that same-sex desire has always been the object of legal, social, and religious persecution. Fone shows how the biblical story of Sodom became the primary source for later prohibitions against homosexuality. He charts the subtle shifts in public attitudes and the law, from Anglo-Saxon edicts that condemned the "abomynable vice of buggery" and imposed death by burning upon "confess'd sodomytes," to Victorian decrees that punished sodomy with "forfeiture of all rights, including procreation" (i.e., castration). Sifting the evidence of our own age, including Reader's Digest articles and TV talk show transcripts, Fone demonstrates that the presence of homophobia in society remains one of the central tenets of law, science, faith, and literature, and defines the very essence of what it means to be male or female.

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