2000 Years of Effeminacy

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2000 Years of Effeminacy

Postby Learning » Fri Apr 10, 2009 12:05 pm

Socrates' boyfriend Alcibiades is described by Plutarch's Lives as a graceful, charming beauty with a lisp.

During a wrestling match, Alcibiades bit his opponent who accused him of fighting like a woman. Alcibiades snapped back, "No, like a lion."

Apparently, Alcibiades was willing to play lute and harp, but not willing to play a flute because it might disfigure his face and not even friends would recognize him while playing.

This is from 2000 years ago in Ancient Greece. How can we explain that Alcibiades seems to act with an effeminate, stereotypical style?
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Re: 2000 Years of Effeminacy

Postby Ferocious » Sun Apr 22, 2012 4:54 pm

In my opinion (just an opinion) the answer is simple. Since as far back as I have read "men" (meaning heterosexual men who have sex with women) acted as they do now, and "women" (meaning heterosexual women who have sex with men) acted as they do now. And for as long as those antiquated gender roles have been in place, there have been people who do not conform to a binary system. Alcibiades wasn't the first man to behave in the role more commonly associated with women, and he won't be the last.

Seriously though, up until the few hundred years men wore stockings and high heeled shoes and makeup and wigs. Why? Because it was considered the social norm at the time. And in another couple hundred years people will look back on us and ask why we behaved as we do as well. Given the choice to go back to...lets just say the Renaissance, and live and dress as was the custom in those times most "men" would run screaming for the hills. The men wore wigs and makeup you say? Well that's just not "manly"! But in that day...it was. The gender roles were more closely meshed (to our society's eyes), whereas our gender roles now can be easily (albeit begrudgingly seen) in the Jersey Shore. Masculinity as we define it in its purest form, and femininity on parade. Save for the insane amount of physical altercations on that show, its a pretty good visual representation of what our society sees as "male" and "female". And yet...the vast majority of the population doesn't fit into either one of those categories. The "fems" of today are merely the Alcibiades of today. Nothing was wrong with him, nothing is wrong with me, and nothing is wrong with you.
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