Edward Carpenter.

The intermediate sex; a study of some transitional types of men and women online

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banned, frantically persecuted, publicly branded, and threatened with the
severest legal penalties? Any one would hardly believe what gross cases
of justiciary murder, morally speaking, still take place in this matter
even at the end of the nineteenth century. To the pitiful ignorance of
the judges, to the thousand inherited prejudices of public opinion, as
well as to the mental slavery of legislative bodies, must it be ascribed
that the penal code of most civilised states is still in great measure
formulated in the gloomy spirit of the Middle Ages.” - O. de JOUX, “Die
Enterbten des Liebesglückes,” p. 16.

“Up till now homosexual humanity has found itself in a peculiar
position. Its mouth was closed, it could not speak. It was bound hand
and foot and could not move. But now there has come an important change.
Science has taken the part of these folk and defended their honour …
I protest therefore earnestly that these men, whether by means of the
Law or any other means, should no longer be branded in the name of
Christianity.” - From a letter written by a Catholic priest in reply to a
circular sent by the Humane-Science Committee of Berlin. (See “Jahrbuch
der Sexuellen Zwischenstufen,” vol. ii., p. 177.)

“Thus the very basest of all trades, that of _chantage_ [blackmailing]
is encouraged by the law.… The miserable persecuted wretch, placed
between the alternative of paying money down or of becoming socially
impossible, losing a valued position, and seeing dishonour burst upon
himself and family, pays; and still the more he pays the greedier becomes
the vampire who sucks his life-blood, until at last there lies nothing
else before him except total financial ruin or disgrace. Who will be
astonished if the nerves of an individual in this position are not equal
to the horrid strain? In some cases the nerves give way altogether.…
Alter the law and instead of increasing vice you will diminish it. The
temptation to ply a disgraceful profession with the object of extorting
money would be removed.” - “A Problem in Modern Ethics,” pp. 56 and 86.

“You will rightly infer that it is difficult for me to say exactly how
I regard (morally) the homosexual tendency. Of this much, however,
I am certain that even if it were possible I would not exchange my
inverted nature for a normal one. I suspect that the sexual emotions
and even inverted ones have a more subtle significance than is
generally attributed to them; but modern moralists either fight shy of
transcendental interpretations or see none, and I am ignorant and unable
to solve the mystery these feelings seem to imply.” - HAVELOCK ELLIS, _op.
cit._, p. 65, “case” ix.

“I cannot regard my sexual feelings as unnatural or abnormal, since
they have disclosed themselves so perfectly naturally and spontaneously
within me. All that I have read in books or heard spoken about the
ordinary sexual love, its intensity and passion, life-long devotion,
love at first sight, etc., seems to me to be easily matched by my own
experiences in homosexual form; and with regard to the morality of this
complex subject, my feeling is that it is the same as should prevail in
love between man and woman, namely: that no bodily satisfaction should
be sought at the cost of another person’s distress or degradation. I am
sure that this kind of love is, notwithstanding the physical difficulties
that attend it, as deeply stirring and ennobling as the other kind, if
not more so; and I think that for a perfect relationship the actual
sex-gratifications (whatever they may be) probably hold a less important
place in this love than in the other.” - _Ibid_, “case” vii., p. 58.

“I grew older, I entered my professional studies, and I was very diligent
with them. I lived in a great capital, I moved much in general society.
I had a large and lively group of friends. But always, over and over,
I realised that, in the kernel, at the very root and fibre of myself,
there was the throb and glow, the ebb and the surge, the seeking as in
a vain dream to realise again that passion of friendship which could so
far transcend the cold modern idea of the tie; the Over-Friendship, the
Love-Friendship of Hellas, which meant that between man and man could
exist - the sexual-psychic love. That was still possible! I knew that
now. I had read it in the verses or the prose of the Greek or Latin
or Oriental authors who have written out every shade of its beauty or
unloveliness, its worth or debasement - from Theokritos to Martial, or
Abu-Nuwas, to Platen, Michel-Angelo, Shakespeare. I had learned it from
the statues of sculptors - in those lines so often vivid with a merely
physical male beauty - works which beget, which sprang from, the sense
of it in a race. I had half-divined it in the music of a Beethoven and
a Tschaikowsky before knowing facts in the life-stories of either of
them - or of an hundred other tone-autobiographists. And I had recognised
what it all meant to most people to-day - from the disgust, scorn, and
laughter of my fellow-men when such an emotion was hinted at.” - _Imre: a
memorandum_, by XAVIER MAYNE, p. 110. Naples, R. Rispoli, 1906.

“Presently, during that same winter, accident opened my eyes wider to
myself. Since then, I have needed no further knowledge from the Tree of
my Good and Evil. I met with a mass of serious studies, German, Italian,
French, English, from the chief European specialists and theorists on the
similisexual topic; many of them with quite other views than those of my
well-meaning but far too conclusive Yankee doctor (who had recommended
marriage as a cure). I learned of the much-discussed theories of
‘secondary sexes’ and ‘intersexes.’ I learned of the theories and facts
of homosexualism, of the Uranian Love, of the Uranian race, of the ‘Sex
within a Sex.’ … I came to know their enormous distribution all over the
world to-day; and of the grave attention that European scientists and
jurists have been devoting to problems concerned with homosexualism. I
could pursue intelligently the growing efforts to set right the public
mind as to so ineradicable and misunderstood a phase of humanity. I
realised that I had always been a member of that hidden brotherhood
and Sub-Sex, or Super-Sex. In wonder too I informed myself of its deep
instinctive freemasonries - even to organised ones - in every social class,
every land, and every civilisation.” - _Ibid_, pp. 134, 135.

“Thus in sexual inversion we have what may be fairly called a ‘sport’
or variation, one of those organic aberrations which we see throughout
living nature, in plants and in animals.”… “All these organic variations
which I have here mentioned to illustrate sexual inversion, are
abnormalities. It is important that we should have a clear idea as
to what abnormality is. Many people imagine that what is abnormal is
necessarily diseased. That is not the case, unless we give the word
disease an inconveniently and illegitimately wide extension. It is both
inconvenient and inexact to speak of colour-blindness, criminality and
genius as diseases in the same sense as we speak of scarlet fever,
tuberculosis, or general paralysis as diseases.” - HAVELOCK ELLIS, _op.
cit._, p. 186.

“I have had for some time past a theory about this ‘Homogenic’
business - I do not suppose it is new - but it is that when man reaches a
certain stage of development and approaches the totality of Human Nature,
there gets to exist in him, though subordinately at first, a female
element as well as a male. That is to say that as he passes the various
barriers, he passes the barrier of sex too, on his way to become the
complete Human - the Universal.” - _From a private letter._

“Great geniuses, men like Goethe, Shakespeare, Shelley, Byron, Darwin,
all had the feminine soul very strongly developed in them.… As we are
continually meeting in cities women who are one-quarter, or one-eighth,
or so on, _male_ … so there are in the Inner Self similar half-breeds,
all adapting themselves to circumstances with perfect ease. The Greeks
recognised that such a being could exist even in harmony with Nature,
and so beautified and idealised it as Sappho.” - CHARLES G. LELAND, “The
Alternate Sex,” pp. 41, and 57. London, 1904.

“I have considered and inquired into this question for many years; and
it has long been my settled conviction that no breach of morality is
involved in homosexual love; that, like every other passion, it tends,
when duly understood and controlled by spiritual feeling, to the physical
and moral health of the individual and the race, and that it is only its
brutal perversions which are immoral. I have known many persons more or
less the subjects of this passion, and I have found them a particularly
high-minded, upright, refined, and (I must add) pure-minded class of
men.” - _Communicated by Professor - - in Appendix to_ HAVELOCK ELLIS’S
“Sexual Inversion,” p. 240.

“What from the beginning struck me most, but now appears perfectly
clear and indeed necessary is that among the homosexuals there is
found the _most_ remarkable class of men, namely, those whom I call
_supervirile_. These men stand by virtue of the special variation of
their soul-material, just as much above Man, as the normal sex man does
above Woman. Such an individual is able to bewitch men by his soul-aroma,
as they - though passively - bewitch him. But as he always lives in men’s
society, and men, so to speak, sit at his feet, it comes about that such
a supervirile often climbs the very highest steps of spiritual evolution,
of social position, and of manly capacity. Hence it arises that the
most famous names of the world and the history of culture stand rightly
or wrongly on the list of homosexuals. Names like Alexander the Great,
Socrates, Plato, Julius Cæsar, Michel Angelo, Charles XII. of Sweden,
William of Orange, and so forth. Not only is this so, but it must be so.
As certainly as a woman’s hero remains a spiritually inferior man, must a
man’s hero - well _be_ a man’s hero, if in any way he has the stuff for it.

“Consequently the German penal code, in stamping homosexuality as
a crime, puts the highest blossoms of humanity on the proscription
list.” - Professor Dr. JAEGER, “Die Entdeckung der Seele,” pp. 268, 269.

“The licentious or garrulous or morbid types of inverts have been so
honoured with publicity that the other types are even yet little known.
The latter, in the maturity of their intellectual and moral nature,
cease to look upon sex as the pivot of the universe. They cease to repine
about their lot. They have their mission to fulfil here below, and they
try to fulfil it as best they can. In the same way we find there are
heterosexual (or normal) folk who at a certain stage of their growth
free themselves from the sexual life. - M. A. RAFFALOVICH, “Uranisme et
Unisexualité,” p. 74.

“The well-bred, highly-cultured Urning is a complete Idealist;
matter is for him only a symbol of thought, and the actual only the
living expression of the Invisible.” - DE JOUX, “Die Enterbten des
Liebesglückes,” p. 46.

“As nature and social law are so cruel as to impose a severe celibacy on
him his whole being is consequently of astonishing freshness and superb
purity, and his manners of life modest as those of a saint - a thing
which, in the case of a man in blooming health and moving about in the
world, is certainly very unusual.” - _Ibid_, p. 41.

“If the soul of woman in its usual form represents a secret closed with
seven seals, it is - when prisoned in the sturdy body of a man and fused
with some of the motives of manhood, a far more enigmatic scripture of
whose sibylline meaning one can never be really sure. Only the Urning can
understand the Urning.” - _Ibid_, p. 63.

“Because they (Urnings) themselves are of a very complex nature and put
together of opposing elements, they seek out and love the simple, plain,
and straightforward natures. Because they continually suffer from the
rebellion of their desires against good taste and morals, they often long
for a barbaric freedom. And because their every emotion is cut short,
distracted, and worn out by the thousand doubts and suspicions of their
Urning-minds, they gather to themselves men who are wont to live straight
from feeling to action, and who work from untamed masterly instincts, as
sure as the animals.” - _Ibid_, p. 97.

“It is true that we are often inferior to normal men in force of will,
worldly wisdom, and sense of duty; but on the other hand, in depth and
delicacy of feeling and every virtue of the heart, we are far superior.
We cannot _love_ women, but we lament with them, and help them on the
hearth and by the cradle, in need and loneliness, as their most unselfish
friends.… We do not despise women because they are weak, for we are
much clearer-sighted, much less prejudiced than the so-called lords
of creation, much nobler, more helpful, and just-minded than they.…
Anyhow, if either of the sexes has cause to withhold its respect in
any degree from the other - which has the most cause? Say what you will
of them, the second and third sexes - women and Urnings - are ever so
much better than the brutal egotistical Men, who to-day are plunged in
grossest materialism; for, with whatever corruption, both the former
are still of purer heart, easier kindled towards whatever is good, and
more capable of genuine enthusiasm and love of their fellows, than the
latter.” - _Ibid_, p. 204.

“Embodying as he does Love, Patience, Renunciation, Humility and
Mildness, the Urning should seek to soothe with his gentle hand all
hurts, and to heal all wounds, which are the results of weak Man’s
original sinfulness. The tender emotions in his breast, his all too soft
and easily troubled heart, his delicate sensitiveness and receptiveness
of all that is lofty and pure, his mildness, goodness and inexhaustible
patience - all these divine gifts of his soul point clearly to the
conclusion that the great framer of the world meant to create in Urnings
a noble priesthood, a race of Samaritans, a severely pure order of men,
in order to offer a strong counterpoise to the immoral tendencies of the
human race, which increase with its increasing culture.” - _Ibid_, p. 253.

“When I review the cases I have brought forward and the mental history
of the inverted I have known, I am inclined to say that if we can enable
an invert to be healthy, self-restrained and self-respecting, we have
often done better than to convert him to the mere feeble simulacrum of
a normal man. An appeal to the _paiderastia_ of the best Greek days,
and the dignity, temperance, even chastity, which it involved, will
sometimes find a ready response in the emotional enthusiastic nature
of the congenital invert. The ‘manly’ love celebrated by Walt Whitman
in ‘Leaves of Grass,’ although it may be of more doubtful value for
general use, furnishes a wholesome and robust ideal to the invert who is
insensitive to normal ideals. It is by some such method of self-treatment
as this that most of the more highly intelligent men and women whose
histories I have already briefly recorded have at last slowly and
instinctively reached a condition of relative health and peace, physical
and moral.” - HAVELOCK ELLIS, “Sexual Inversion,” p. 202.

“From America a lady writes: - ‘Inverts should have the courage and
independence to be themselves, and to demand an investigation. If one
strives to live honourably, and considers the greatest good to the
greatest number, it is not a crime nor a disgrace to be an invert.
I do not need the law to defend me, neither do I desire to have any
concessions made for me, nor do I ask my friends to sacrifice their
ideals for me. I too have ideals which I shall always hold. All that
I desire - and I claim it as my right - is the freedom to exercise this
divine gift of loving, which is not a menace to society nor a disgrace
to me. Let it once be understood that the average invert is not a moral
degenerate nor a mental degenerate, but simply a man or a woman who is
less highly specialised, less completely differentiated, than other men
and women, and I believe the prejudice against them will disappear, and
if they live uprightly they will surely win the esteem and consideration
of all thoughtful people. I know what it is to be an invert - who feels
himself set apart from the rest of mankind - to find one human heart who
trusts him and understands him, and I know how almost impossible this is,
and will be, until the world is made aware of these facts.” - _Ibid_, p.


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Online LibraryEdward CarpenterThe intermediate sex; a study of some transitional types of men and women → online text (page 9 of 9)