Abe shared a bed. So what?

5fish

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You get the inciting thread length reward for 6-24. Popcorn kernels in the mail.
If you all chose to ignore the flags of truth about Lincoln. I think you all have implicit bias towards Lincoln's sexuality...

Defining Implicit Bias. Also known as implicit social cognition, implicit bias refers to the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner.
 

diane

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I don't see any flags of truth there, 5fish. If you were to take all that and a side of coleslaw to a jury you'd probably get a coupon for a burger to go with the coleslaw. But, let's say you're right. Lincoln was gay. What does it matter?
 

IcarusPhoenix

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So I've wanted to ask this question for years, but frequently was in situations for self-outing would have led to more dismissal of me than it would have any discussion of the topic, but hell, I'm a middle-aged man and over that BS:

In regards to what Lincoln's sexuality and whether it was one thing or another, do the people who have this inane argument just not know that bisexuality is a thing?!?

Asking for a friend...
 

diane

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The funny thing is, Icarus, then people didn't have 'interpretations' with holding hands or hugging each other and saying they loved each other, and whatever else that meant was their business! Gross Point Blank - "You don't know what sex your cat is?" "No. I respect its privacy."
 

5fish

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In regards to what Lincoln's sexuality and whether it was one thing or another, do the people who have this inane argument just not know that bisexuality is a thing?!?
Gay men got marry back in the 19th century because of society expectations...
 

diane

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Not necessarily! There were lots of bachelors, too, and most of them were straight. Some were asexual - didn't give it a thought either way.
 

IcarusPhoenix

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Gay men got marry back in the 19th century because of society expectations...
Um, yeah, that doesn't mean bisexual people, pansexual people, asexual people, etc. suddenly magically don't exist. Everything about Abraham Lincoln indicates a penchant for bisexuality, and all monosexual people can do is argue whether he was straight or gay.
 

jgoodguy

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Um, yeah, that doesn't mean bisexual people, pansexual people, asexual people, etc. suddenly magically don't exist. Everything about Abraham Lincoln indicates a penchant for bisexuality, and all monosexual people can do is argue whether he was straight or gay.
Spartans had lovers in the ranks. Made for better warriors.
 

diane

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The Mameluks and the Janissaries were also said to be like the Spartans, and they were tough! Slave soldiers would have to be anyway, but it created an unbreakable bond - these soldiers had each other and no one else. These elites were mainly from the Caucasus region or the area around Bulgaria.
Which is, incidentally, where they think Goliath came from. Seems there be giants up in them thar hills - he was part of a group of them that relocated to what is now Gaza to be mercenaries for the Philistines. Ever wonder why David picked up three small stones when he knew one would do it (and better - he'd not get another chance)? Goliath's big, very big, brothers. (But I don't think they were gay or shared a bed with Lincoln...)

Ack! Squirrel! (Sorry.)
 

5fish

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Did they or did they not... Here is an article defending men close relationships in the 19th century...

link: https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/09/but-were-they-gay-the-mystery-of-same-sex-love-in-the-19th-century/262117/

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Abraham Lincoln, Walt Whitman, and Sarah Orne Jewett all had passionate same-sex friendships. (Adapted from Wikimedia Commons images)

Snip Walt Whitman run for cover... Symonds write a gay manifesto later in life...

"In your conception of Comradeship," wrote British literary critic John Addington Symonds, "do you contemplate the possible intrusion of those semi-sexual emotions and actions which no doubt do occur between men?"

Norton points to Whitman's 1860 "Calamus" poems as a sort of coming-out letter, filled with lines like these:
The one I love most lay sleeping by me under the same cover in the cool night,
In the stillness, in the autumn moonbeams, his face was inclined toward me,
And his arm lay lightly around my breast -- And that night I was happy.
After reading such passages, Symonds (who later wrote about his own sexual experiences with men) must have been disappointed by Whitman's reply. "That the calamus part has even allow'd the possibility of such construction as mention'd is terrible," Whitman responded, insisting that Symonds was making "morbid inferences -- wh' are disavow'd by me & seem damnable."

Snip... The article goes into 19th friendship...

It's hard to imagine any modern poet writing about lying in another man's arms and then calling homosexuality "damnable." But the kind of same-sex intimacy Whitman described -- and enjoyed in real life -- was accepted at the time as a natural part of heterosexuality. When editors did censor Whitman's work, they left the "Calamus" poems intact and instead cut his descriptions of male-female passion. ("Love-flesh swelling and deliciously aching," Whitman wrote, describing a bride and groom on their wedding night. "Limitless limpid jets of love hot and enormous, quivering jelly of love, white-blow and delirious juice.")

Snip..

"Certainly, in his poetry, Whitman tries to be omnisexual," says David S. Reynolds, a CUNY graduate professor who specializes in 19th century American culture and has written several books on Whitman. "He even wants to exude a kind of sexuality toward the physical earth and the ocean." But it was more than that, as Reynolds explains. "Showing passion and affection was a more common part of the daily experience than it is today. America was a young nation, a new nation, and there was a sense of brotherhood."

Snip... brotherly love... hummm (not) ... note 1842 is Lincoln's big breakdown year... Speed leave him....

That brotherly love certainly existed between Abraham Lincoln and his friend Joshua Speed. The two men slept together in the same bed for four years, and Speed wrote to Lincoln in 1842, "You know my desire to befriend you is everlasting -- I will never cease, while I know how to do any thing."

Snip...

So what changed between the days of the Boston marriage and the era of Gertrude Stein? For one thing, there was Oscar Wilde's trial. In 1895, Wilde was convicted of sodomy and sentenced to two years in prison. Wilde did his best to defend same-sex love in the courtroom: "It is that deep spiritual affection that is as pure as it is perfect. It dictates and pervades great works of art, like those of Shakespeare and Michelangelo." But the newspapers focused instead on the salacious details, including Wilde's rumored visits to male prostitutes. After that, poetry about men sleeping together in the moonlight was never quite the same.

I want to point out science had not given a good word to use to describe same sex relationships until like 1880's....
 

5fish

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Here a side note John Addington Symonds, gay manifesto...

LINK: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/researchers-recover-early-copy-19th-century-gay-rights-essay-180973895/?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=socialmedia&fbclid=IwAR3Y2pDK6gmVeL2AmVV9V81-CpF9Vzwb37Kxerne3baFtSi5uumAYTLu7VE

Snip...

With a title like “A Problem in Greek Ethics,” a text might, at first pass, sound like a Socratic snoozefest. But John Addington Symonds’ 1873 essay, which extolled the ancient Greeks’ liberal views of sexuality, actually helped seed a revolution by paving a literary path for the modern gay rights movement.

S
nip...

“Symonds is unjustly neglected today,” Shane Butler, director of Johns Hopkins’ Classics Research Lab, tells Mary Carole McCauley of the Baltimore Sun. Symonds was once a household name on par with his contemporary and colleague Oscar Wilde.

Snip...

Symonds wrote boldly in his essay, addressing a societal “problem” associated not with the ancient Greeks, but to the Victorians who revered them. As he noted, the Greeks accepted and even celebrated relationships between men, offering a stark contrast with the values of 19th-century England, where homosexuality was illegal. His essay was the first major English language analysis of ancient Greek sexuality, writes Rachel Wallach for Johns Hopkins’ Hub.

Snip... all gay men got married

A gay man himself, Symonds led something of a double life. Despite marrying a woman and fathering four daughters, he carried on several same-sex relationships (later detailed in his memoirs) and penned works like “A Problem in Greek Ethics.” His writing, scholars have argued, even influenced Oscar Wilde, who, after exchanging letters with Symonds, went on to argue against the criminality of sodomy “because homosexuality has been a noble pursuit since antiquity,” as Ryan Warwick, a graduate student who worked on the exhibit, tells McCauley.

Snip...

As I mentioned to you that I had written an essay on paederastia among the Greeks, I am going so far upon the path of impudence as to send you a copy of it,” wrote Symonds in the August 1890 missive. “ … You will see that I have treated the subject from a literary & historical point of view, without attending to the psychology & physiology of the phenomenon.”
 

diane

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5fish, I'm still trying to figure out what all that has to do with Lincoln...but then you're probably trying to figure out what Janissaries and Spartans have to do with him as well...

As Icarus pointed out, there's different strokes for different folks. Views on these matters were interesting in those days - sort of an everybody does it but nobody talks about it thing. You can make a case for Patrick Cleburne being bisexual using just about the same evidence. He slept with his roommate for five years and then for another after the guy got married. No girlfriends or lady interests at all before he was best man for Hardee at his wedding and laid eyes on Sue Tarleton. He popped the question right as soon as Hardee gave his new wife a kiss! Subsequent letters to her removed any doubt about his sexuality.

Since we're on sex, the one thing that nobody talks about is how many of these men were virgins when they married - nobody before and nobody after!
 

Joshism

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The privacy we enjoy today just didn't exist then!
To my understanding, most log cabins didn't even have separate rooms, and when they did the first thing they separated was the kitchen. A shared family bedroom (shared bed or not) was probably very commonplace for centuries. And shared bedrooms (often with shared beds) with multiple siblings until family sizes started to decrease in the 1900s. Many families considered themselves lucky to have a parents room, boys room, and girls room.
 

Joshism

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If Abe wasn't hetero he probably wasn't the first. Franklin Pierce probably gets that honor if we feel compelled to analyze the sex lives of past presidents.
 

diane

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To my understanding, most log cabins didn't even have separate rooms, and when they did the first thing they separated was the kitchen. A shared family bedroom (shared bed or not) was probably very commonplace for centuries. And shared bedrooms (often with shared beds) with multiple siblings until family sizes started to decrease in the 1900s. Many families considered themselves lucky to have a parents room, boys room, and girls room.
That custom was very prevalent even to mid-20th century - pile all the kids into one bed! Always waking up with sister's big toe in your ear... And the bed was again a status symbol. The brag was, "My kids don't have to sleep together - they each have their own bed!"
 

diane

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If Abe wasn't hetero he probably wasn't the first. Franklin Pierce probably gets that honor if we feel compelled to analyze the sex lives of past presidents.
There's a prize for the First Ladies, too!

Myself, I'd be careful in analyzing the sexuality of people of that time because of the strong difference in culture. Straight men had no problem calling another beautiful, or holding hands and knees for pictures, or saying I love you. Today we might consider all those things to be an indicator of sexual preference. It was a little more complicated then than it is now.
 

O' Be Joyful

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Straight men had no problem calling another beautiful, or holding hands and knees for pictures, or saying I love you. Today we might consider all those things to be an indicator of sexual preference. It was a little more complicated then than it is now.

Oh my yes...and just think of all the athletes today hugging each other and slapping each other's butts. Go figger on what's gonin' on there? ;)
 

Jim Klag

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I'm completely lost. What possible historical difference would it make if Abe was a raving queen? He did what he did regardless of his bedroom predilections, don't you think? These kinds of thread are not just unproductive of anything of substance, they are downright stupid. I'm just sayin'.
 

diane

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I'm completely lost. What possible historical difference would it make if Abe was a raving queen? He did what he did regardless of his bedroom predilections, don't you think? These kinds of thread are not just unproductive of anything of substance, they are downright stupid. I'm just sayin'.
:D I always haul out the old cavaliers and musketeers of Europe - total dandys with their long curls, perfumed ruffles, lace, silk stockings, high heels with bows so wide they had to walk with their feet turned sideways... They'd mince down the sidewalk to their fancy carriage and kill 30 guys on the way! They did their job. I think that about Lincoln - it's only important if it affected what he did. An influential boy friend, say. Otherwise it's simply a side line for people who like biography and so on.
 

Jim Klag

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:D I always haul out the old cavaliers and musketeers of Europe - total dandys with their long curls, perfumed ruffles, lace, silk stockings, high heels with bows so wide they had to walk with their feet turned sideways... They'd mince down the sidewalk to their fancy carriage and kill 30 guys on the way! They did their job. I think that about Lincoln - it's only important if it affected what he did. An influential boy friend, say. Otherwise it's simply a side line for people who like biography and so on.
You may be right about some people having interest in it, @diane . I personally think it is horse poop and of less than zero historical interest. I don't like what-ifs either in this kind of forum. What-ifs only have value to the actors who actually took part in an event to help them see how they could have acted differently. They have no value when studying history.
 
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