Sunday, January 07, 2007

Another Liberal Myth Bites The Dust

I'd never heard of this, but apparently :

Some native American anthropologists claim that primitive Navajos used to honour men known as the "nadleeh" – said to have "two spirits", one masculine, one feminine – who were allowed to dress like women, and to perform their duties.

In traditional pointy-head style, this meant that the Navajo were cool dudes, who "recognised sexual diversity in their community". How unlike our own straight, repressed Christian forebears ! Don't bogart that peyote, Don Juan !

That slightly scary feminist student who would witter on about Native American spirituality is now Diversity Co-Ordinator with a budget. There seems to be a cluster of them in the North West.

"The Navajo Lesbian and Gay Health Strategy for Preston, Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre currently has 50 local organisations signed up to its lesbian and gay friendly assurance charter mark scheme. This includes NHS health care services including Accident and Emergency, GUM Clinics, GPs, young people’s sexual health services as well as other statutory and voluntary services. The charter mark ensures equity of access to services and equality of employment and includes access to training, resources, support, funding and policy making for all organisations involved."

It was Navajo Chartermark literature which led to the Wyre Borough Thought Police incident.

Strangely, the real Navajo nation don't seem too chuffed.

The native Americans, however, are furious. Their attorney-general has written a letter, passed to The Sunday Telegraph, expressing "great concern".

The 300,000 Navajo live on a huge reservation in north-eastern Arizona, Utah and New Mexico, and enjoy considerable independence from Washington. They make many of their own laws, including one passed overwhelmingly in 2005, banning homosexual marriages.

Louis Denetsosie, the Navajo attorney-general, says in a letter to the Roberts: "The Navajo nation is greatly concerned regarding the use of the word Navajo in any context, but even more so when it is used to express a view or policy that is contrary to Navajo law."

Last night, one of the lawyers who acted for the Roberts, Tom Ellis, of the Manchester firm Aughton Ainsworth, said: "At a time when gay activists are pressing for laws that will give them a right not to be offended, it appears that some groups, including many funded by the taxpayer, are prepared to offend a whole nation."


Anonymous said...

To begin with, the stories of tribes out there somewhere who have never heard of violence turn out to be urban legends. Margaret Meade's descriptions of peace-loving New Guineans and sexually nonchalant Samoans were based on perfunctory research and turned out to be almost perversely wrong. As the anthropologist Derek Freeman later documented, Samoans may beat or kill their daughters if they are not virgins on their wedding night, a young man who cannot woo a virgin may rape one to extort her into eloping, and the family of of cuckolded husband may attack and kill the adulterer. The !Kung San of the Kalahari Desert had been described by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas as "the harmless people" in a book with that title. But as soon as anthropologists camped out long enough to accumulate data, they discovered that the !Kung San have a murder rate higher than that of American inner cities. They learned as well that a group of the San had recently avenged a murder by sneaking into the killer's group and executing every man, woman, and child as they slept. But at least the !Kung San exist. In the early 1970s the New York Times Magazine
reported the discovery of the "gentle Tasaday" of the Philippine rainforest, a people with no words for conflict, violence, or weapons. The Tasaday turned out to be local farmers dressed in leaves for a photo opportunity so that cronies of Ferdinand Marcos could set aside their "homeland" as a preserve and enjoy exclusive mineral and logging rights.

Steven Pinker, The Blank Slate

alex zeka said...

I for one wouldn't find it at all surprising to discover that Mesoamericans indulged in all manners of bizarre and dysgenic practices, including homosexual unions, human sacrifice, male child-nurturing, etc. After all, there must have been some reason why they remained subsistence savages, while we Euros unleashed the agricultural, and then industrial, revolutions.

As far as I'm concerned, the best answer to such assertions is a simple: and look where it's got 'em.

Omri said...

Another Indian tribe expresses distaste at being used as a rhetorical device? I'm shocked. Shocked!

Laban said...

Now be fair, Alex. If the Roman oppressors are to be believed, my Celtic forebears weren't averse to a bit of human sacrifice.

Didn't do them much good when the legions arrived, either.

I'm leery of drawing too sweeping conclusions from such facts. After all, homosexuality was practised by high-ranking Greek and Roman soldiers - much to the disgust, say, of the Germanic tribes. Yet the Romans stuffed the Germanic tribes on most occasions they met, with the notable exception of Varus and his lost Eagles.

Anonymous said...

But in the end LT the Germanic tribes overcame and Rome withered away.


Dave said...

Considering most of the documentation comes from the Romans its not supprising they won most of the time...

Rome fell in the same way Britain will fall, too many non-Romans in Rome, and a drop in the Roman birth-rates (due to them making their water pipes out of lead, which damages fertility, apparently)

Laban said...

"in the end LT the Germanic tribes overcame and Rome withered away"

yes, but after Rome had dominated the western world and mid-East for what - 500 years ? Compared against any empires since then that's not bad.