tv Lectures in History CSPAN August 30, 2016 2:06pm-3:15pm EDT
>> we'll review the expected congressional debate with susan ferrechio for the washington examiner. join us thursday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span for congress this fall. next, on lectures in history, santa clara university professor nancy unger and her class discuss societal attitudes toward gay men and lesbians in the early 20th century. professor unger says that prior to this time, homosexuality was rarely discussed or even acknowledged. however, interest in sigmund freud and the new field of psychology brought sexuality into popular discussion. also, the culture began to place more emphasis on masculinity, with figures such as president theodore roosevelt leading the charge. as a result, gay men and lesbians were considered deviants from the cultural ideal and became subject to prejudice and stereotyping. santa clara university is in california. this class is just over an hour.
>> good morning. today, after three weeks in this class of talking about how there are -- there had been from the colonial period through early american history same-sex acts that people seem to know about, but not homosexuals. there wasn't that identity. finally, after three weeks now we're going to talk about what happens when there starts to be a definition, an identity of being homosexual. what does that mean. so definitions and deviants. sexual transformation at the turn of the century. that's what we're going to be focusing on today. what happens when homosexuality is finally defined, diagnosed, labeled? and this, you can say, what difference does it make? so what. we want to, i think, address this issue, is sexuality
socially constructed? this is still -- we've been grappling with this question of definition since this class started. but it's going to really pick up in earnest now. so we'll talk about the medicalization of homosexuality. and as homosexuality gets defined as this negative thing, it's a criminal act and so forth, we'll see there's all kinds of repercussions. and one of them is this beware the lesbian campaign. we'll talk about that and what that results in. and then this question of, okay, we know there are homosexuals, particularly male homosexuals. we know they exist. but who is really the homosexual? what counts? and we'll see that it depends on the medical definition, the criminal definition. so we'll talk about that. and then we'll get into kind of -- you have to bear with me for this sort of long intro to the significance of progressive era politics on notions of masculinity and femininity. there's going to be a political component to this as well.
and we'll talk about that and its impact on homosexuals. and then if we get this far, which we may or may not, we'll talk about, now that there are lesbians. that's a term. homosexual. now this has been identified, what gay and lesbian subcultures take from it. so a lot to cram in, but we'll do our best here. all right. so in your reading of leila rupp, there's this point where she's talking about she's been asked to be part of this legal fight in colorado for civil rights protection based on sexual orientation. like page 73, 74. and so she's talking about, this is in 1993. and she's talking about that whole situation. and she says, when i met with the lawyers, heading up the case, i found that we spoke different languages. what they, especially an attorney from the american civil
liberties union wanted to hear, was that history shows that people are born gay. have been discriminated against in the same ways african-americans and other people of color have suffered and, thus, deserve the same kinds of legal protections. trying to explain my views of the history of same-sex sexuality made me sweat. when i mentioned that some scholars consider race as well as sexuality socially constructed, they seem to think i had taken leave of my senses. what does she mean by that? what does she -- not that she's taking leave of her senses. what does she mean that race as well as sexuality socially constructed. isn't race race? aren't you the race that you are? what does she mean? >> she means that sexuality was like socially constructed --
>> but she says even race is socially constructed. how can race be socially constructed. amanda? >> you can be black but it doesn't mean that black has stereotypes attached to it. >> or you can appear white but you are an octaroon back in the day where one drop of blood made you negro. even these ideas of race aren't as fixed. she says all the more so for sexuality. then she says, the last straw was the concept of political lesbians. what are political lesbians? do you remember this? [ inaudible ] >> right. right. so a woman says, particularly since this is kind of a more popular in the early feminist movement, there were women who said, look, i believe in this patriarchal society.
i identify as a lesbian. i don't want to have sex with women, but i am a lesbian, all right. does this -- we had this whole argument before. does this count? remember, kyle, what was your argument? >> there's certain benefits that come to mind taking on a kind of label. and it is spelled out here that they get the benefits of having a community behind them, but, i don't know, it's just -- it's tricky. >> yeah, it's tricky. that's what she's saying. it's tricky. she didn't want to just say we're born that way and that's all there is to it. there's all kinds of definitions going on here. when i told them the response of their question that an article that we had written together used the term political lesbians and described the fluid identity of such women, they immediately and i imagine with a sigh of relief, scratched us off the list.
this was not a concept they wanted introduced in court. how could the law protect a category with so little stability. she says it was a sobering experience for me. how could the scholarly explanations that many of us had driven to construct be so dangerous? like we've been talking about here for, you know, for three weeks. this notion of different identities, fluid identities. the harder we try to define, you know, same-sex sexuality and culture and so forth, the further -- the harder we grip it. it's like sand. it just keeps getting away from us. she said how could -- did we really have to violate our skrp, scholarship and argue that people simply are born gay and they always have been? because the meanings of same-sex sexuality have differed across time and place and among different groups of the population at the same time and place, should discrimination be
allowed just because it isn't absolutely always stable? and this is what i wanted to spend a couple minutes talking about before we get into the definitions at the turn of the last century. since this experience, she says, i have taken courage from lisa dugan's brilliant and creative argument that, we meaning homosexuals, should take as our model religious toleration rather than civil rights based on race and gender. that is, sexual desire, like religion, is not biological or fixed but neither is it trivial or glibly changed. sexual difference can be seen as a form of dissent. it's an intriguing approach that i think is a great deal to commend it. what do you think about this idea? what do you think? >> that it's interesting because, like she was saying, the definitions are constantly changing. so, i mean, the same thing with
like religions. people are born and they don't come out of the womb and their parents are like this person is like a catholic or methodist. the parents want to pick that for them. and so i think, i guess people get older, they sometimes change religions and so because of that, like the fluidity that is religion, like it has so many protections, and so i think she's trying to say like apply that to like the homosexual, lbgtq community because they are constantly -- not constantly but people are changing -- the definitions of that are changing. >> but still nobody says that's just not a category. it doesn't count. what do you think? >> i think it's also has to do with this idea of toleration versus like equality. so i think what she is saying is it's more like what duberman talked about, embracing your differences rather than trying to fit into a set label of, you know, society, of we all want to be equal and we want to have the exact same things.
rather than that, let's look to our differences and accept each other for them. which i think can be tricky because there are other issues with homosexuality as far as, you know, is it natural? because it's, you know, nonreproductive and sdhou that affect you know, there's religious moralities involved and all sorts of things. so it can be messy, but it's an interesting way to look at it. >> yeah, go ahead, nicole. >> i thought it was just an interesting distinction between religious toleration and civil rights. i don't know. the former almost sounds like settling because you are settling just to be tolerated not necessarily to have rights. and that didn't -- that sat funny with me and i didn't like that because i don't -- i think they are still people. they deserve more than to just be tolerated. they should have rights just like everyone else. >> the word tricky keeps coming up here. i think you are right. i mean, kyra, when you said, i'm not sure if i'm getting it
correctly, but this notion that you may disagree with someone on a religious basis but you still respect their right to hold that idea. >> it's really about respect. >> right. >> treat people fairly but not necessarily labeling them equally. >> do you see any danger with this approach? yeah. >> [ inaudible ]. people think it is a choice that they can be more judgmental because of it, but race is starting to become more tolerated and understood than it used to be. so i think it could be easier for sexuality to be like race and gender because it's like easier to -- you are like more forced to be tolerant of it rather than like religion, some people are so against certain religions.
>> intolerant, yeah. i think it's -- the first time i read this, i went crazy trying to figure out how i felt about this. and i also -- you know, i was struggling with this notion. okay. i agree that something doesn't have to be biological or fixed for it to need to be respected and so forth. but she said sexual desire not biological or fixed. when i first read this book and read that piece there had been a big news story about a mormon man who was deeply religious and also gay. and he found that it was just impossible for him to reconcile these two and he ultimately committed suicide in a very public way. so i thought, well, i guess nobody told him that he could
pick his religion. so even that notion that you pick your religion, i don't think is always completely compelling. anyway, this question of definition, it matters. it matters legally. it matters socially. it matters politically. and so these -- i think these are important questions to be asking in 2014. we're still struggle with this issue of definition and the best way to move forward and so forth. so with that as kind of the background, i really want to move us into this issues of these early definitions in the 1870s and the 1880s. i don't want to rush off from this. anybody have any last comments on this question? yes. >> i just thought it was weird how the other really separated like gender as not being a fluid thing.
like gender is more like race as opposed to sexuality. and to me, that's kind of a bit closed minded. like saying, gender, you are male or female when i think it's more complex like sexuality. >> we've talked about, you know, for a long time in this class as well. even that isn't as simple, as easy to define. those check boxes are getting -- there's going to be more of them now as time moves on. recognition of that. okay. so let's start with the early definitions in the 1870s and 1880s. we have this medicalization. this notion that homosexuality is a medical condition. and it started to come on the radar because, remember we left off last time like the last thing we read is this one doctor said in every community of a major size, urban community, there's a visible population of these men who are having sex with each other. so there's this recognition that
-- and it's not just that they are having fertive sex but they are having -- there is almost like a culture that is beginning to develop. so this is recognized. and primarily it's because -- they are talking about men, these doctors doing these. why are they talking primarily about men? we know there's lesbian activity going on, but why is the big focus for these doctors looking at these early urban centers. why are they focusing on men? >> go ahead. >> at this point, it's mostly the men who are out in public who are having this kind of culture. the women are still staying at home or going over to their friend's house or having long vacations together. it's not -- >> they aren't cruising each other in public parks. >> they aren't a visible population. they're just not really on the radar yet. that's exactly right. so the doctor's diagnosis is not -- they're not calling them homosexual early on. what was the term, do you remember? inverts.
sexual inversion. these are men who suffer from sexual inversion. what does that mean? what does it mean to be an invert. yeah, ashley? >> one that behaves like a woman. they had feminine characteristics in addition to maybe having sex with other men. >> essentially that's why they are having sex with other men. they're like women trapped in a man's body. okay. yeah. so that's exactly right. so they think, they act, they sort of have a total identity with the prescribed opposite -- to opposite sex. and then the term homosexual really comes into being in the early 1890s. invert kind of goes out and homosexuality comes in. it's not just about acts, all right? it's the general mental state is
of the opposite sex. so homosexual men were seen as men who sort of identified as women, acted as women, thought as women, wanted to be women, that kind of stuff. all right. so what causes this, according to these doctors? what causes -- what were the -- initially what was the -- why were some this way? >> one of them said that they were victims of -- and incidentally a mental defect. they are saying there's something mentally defective in them that's making them inverted or homosexual. >> the first part was really crucial. they had a physical defect as well. so the idea was, if you were a man with a really small penis or a woman with a particularly large clitoris, that would probably, there's some physical defect and that would lead to sort of this psychological defect that you have.
so unusual anatomy would be a big cause. no, no, no, that's not what it is says sigmund freud. what does freud say? what causes homosexuality? what causes everything? >> what? >> social. >> what's at the basis of everything, ashley? >> parents, your upbringing, your -- and everyone, everyone is sexual, all right. men are sexual. women are sexual. and this is a big change, remember, from all the victorian sexuality we've been talking about. freud says, no, no, no. everyone is sexual. children are sexual. babies are sexual. everything is based in sex and sexuality. so it's not biology, he says. homosexuality comes from improper, unnatural family dynamics. bad upbringing and so forth.
so let's talk about freud's attitudes about sex for a minute because not everybody immediately becomes a freudian. but his attitudes and his ideas about sexuality do change things pretty quickly, particularly for women's sexuality. so we're going to go pretty quickly from all women are asexual to, yes, women have sexual drives and so forth. so on the one hand, freud gives women a lot. he's kind of giving them back their sexuality. if you know much about freud he's also taking some things away because what's freud's big thing? what do all women suffer from? what do all women suffer from? >> is it envy of men? >> penis envy. not just of men of the male phallus. women are sexual but they are frustrated because they can't be men. there's sort of the return of
women's sexuality, but it's again, a little -- it's distorted. so here we have picasso's the dream. what is this woman dreaming of? yes, the penis. so there is a lot of interesting things going on around this time. all right. so same-sex desires have been identified. and yet we have people like walt whitman. now the poet walt whitman is very open about loving other men, loving other men sexually. he makes no bones about this. very open about it. it's poetry about it. he denies that he's an invert. why? since he's completely open about desiring sex with men, having sex with men. why would he deny being an invert? why do you think?
yeah. >> well, inverts kind of set this -- like set definition of what you are. like oh, you actually like are a woman in a man type of deal and i don't think he identified with that part of it. >> he's just not -- >> i'm a man. i don't want to be a woman. i'm not a woman trapped in a man's body. i'm a man. i'm a man who desires other men. so we say this definition, this one size fits all definition does not fit me. i'm not denying my same-sex desires but this is not who i am. and he doesn't feel that it's pathological that he's sick. that there is a defect in him. that there's a problem. so already this effort to make the definitions, starting to be problematic. but this talk of inversion and homosexuality and the whole widely accepted notion that
homosexuals are sick, they are deviants, there's something wrong with them is really going to change a lot of the things we're talking about in this class. what's going to happen to cross dressing? what's going to happen to occasions like this? when these kinds of things were happening before these definitions and so forth were occurring. how were they often presented? how were they perceived? is this a great sign of homosexual behavior? blah, blah, blah. what is it? nicole? >> it didn't really matter. was just an activity. no one took it that seriously. now that there are these definitions attached to it, nobody wants to be labeled a homosexual. they are afraid of the term and what it entails. >> are these homosexual? this is no longer a playful
activity. it's inoffensive and so forth. this could be the sign of deep, deep, dark -- deep dark trouble. what about -- what about those intimate friendships and the boston marriages? what about them now? yeah. what do you say. >> suddenly it's not like, you know, two women living together. it's like mothers are worried if -- that their daughters are having intimate relationships that's more than just deep friendships and people are starting to get worried that there's something wrong with that kind of relationship. >> yeah. yeah, exactly. that this is no longer just this harmless activity. page 87. by 1920, intimacy between two girls was watched with keen distrustful eyes. remember before we said they are sleeping in the same bed. they are stroking, writing these passionate letters. nobody is worried about it. now it's very worrisome.
among one's classmates, one look for the bisexual type, the masculine girl searching for a feminine counterpart and one ridiculed their devotions. before it was kind of sweet. the word was smash. so and so had a smash on somebody. one girl would have a smash on someone. what we call a crush today. and that was acceptable. talked about in very nonjudgmental terms. now it's worrisome. now it's suspicious. what had once seemed unnatural, if occasionally too obsessive, relationship within the ivy colored walls of the women's colleges now, took on the taint of deviance. there are homosexuals. they're dangerous. and you really need to be -- needed to be aware of them. what's the impact of this on women in the boston marriages?
the ones who are, you know, with this life-long partner of the same sex? what happens to them now? all these women that we talked about last time. it's on page 92. real interesting phenomenon, i think. jeannette marks. here she is with her life-long partner mary woolley. jeannette marks lived in an intimate relationship with the college president, mary woolley. they denounced unwise college friendships as abnormal. and insisted, contrary -- she insisted contrary to her own life experience that the only relationship that could fulfill itself and be complete is between that -- between a man and a woman. so what do you think about that? yeah, kyle.
>> a lot of people say that's, you know, typical of everyone. it is just one case because earlier it talks about, jane adams and mary smith. they'd make a point to, if they were going to a hotel or something to make a point to make sure they had a double bed. it's not something that, i guess, becomes, you know -- i don't think people start denying it, but it is something that becomes more political and you do see more of a dichotomy between the two extremes. >> it becomes more dangerous. before it's like, i want a double bed. that's fine. now it's like, what are they doing in that double bed? do you think this woman is a big hypocrite to say publicly that, even though she's in this fulfilling relationship with a woman that the only relationship that could fulfill itself and be complete is that between a man and a woman? >> this just made it more difficult for individuals in boston marriages to really, you know, continue that lifestyle and so i think that especially if you are someone like this, you know, you are in charge of big university where there are a
lot of women coming and parents might be worried or something that you really do have to put up that front, even if that's not what they are feeling. and it would be more difficult to be living in a boston marriage. >> i think that's exactly right. >> when she says -- and to be complete, between a man and woman. like i'm viewing that as the completion would be to have a child because technically like a man and woman, that's what the purpose is to reproduce. and so like same-sex relationships can't fully be completed because they can't take that final aspect and have a child together. but that doesn't mean that those relationships aren't like emotionally sexually fulfilling. they can still be fulfilled in love with this other person but they can't like complete it, like go the final leg because they can't have a child. i don't know if she's saying that it can't be completed because of that, but i don't know if she's denouncing her own lifestyle.
>> and i think this question of, you know why would she denounce her own lifestyle or minimize it. it's like, yeah, this is kind of scary now. you are being looked at with some suspicion. do you want to say, yes, our university is a -- yes, my partner and i are lesbians here. bring your daughters here. this is supposed to be a big dangerous thing. these are deviant women now. >> i don't know if you could actually call her a hypocrite. i think she's maybe attempting to protect herself from being labelled in a way that she doesn't identify with. and i think that's something we've really talked about a lot over the past three weeks that, are you actually a homosexual if you don't accept the term? and it's all about like, you know, is it actually being in a relationship that everybody else sees as homosexual or how she sees herself. she may not be being hypocritical. it's a new term. she may be uncomfortable with the medical term and think this is scientific jargon. >> like walt whitman said. this had nothing to do with me.
just to support that. in her auto biography, mary castle described her relationship with another woman as the highest type of love but insisted that our lives were on a much higher plain than those of the real inverts. all while we did indulge in our sexual intercourse, that was never the thought upper most in our minds. what are lesbians? what do sex-crazed women, these are just women who love each other and they have sex but they're not, you know, those lesbians. kyle, were you going to add something? >> yeah, it just -- part of it seems to me that up until this point since the focus had been on, you know, the same-sex male community, and that was starting to be criminalized or stigmatized these women didn't want to be associated with, you know, a deviant community. they just wanted to be accepted as living a normal life. >> right. because they didn't see themselves as deviants. yeah. so it's hard to know how much this is, no, that's not me and how much is, this politically
expedient that i really separate myself from that. let's see here. it was interesting to me how this kind of played out. there arose this sort of beware the lesbian campaign. you know, particularly for girls in all-girls schools and the colleges. the various, you know, seven sisters colleges and so forth. beware of the lesbian. the beware the lesbian campaign reminds me of the campaign when i was a kid. we had the beware of strangers campaign. trying to make sure kids didn't get molested and so forth. beware the stranger. did you have this when you were a kid? so what did the stranger look like in the posters and so forth? how could you -- who should you run away from? what did the stranger look like? >> a scary man wearing black and just looking very scary, for a male.
>> when i was a kid, the big scary man wore a trench coat and a fedora. if you saw a strange big scary man wearing a trench coat and fedora, run away. beware of strangers you. you and i know who is molesting children for the most part? is it the big scary stranger wearing a fedora? family members, mom's boyfriend, the funny uncle, you know, and so forth. so in a way, the beware of strangers campaign almost kind of protected some -- a lot of child molesters. they weren't the ones you were looking for. the family members and so forth. so the beware the lesbian campaign had the same -- beware the lesbian and you'll know the lesbian because how does she look? how do you imagine they are described? >> ultra masculine. >> very masculine. she wears low heeled shoes. she has short hair. there were just a number of --
you can spot her a mile away. how do lesbians feel about men? they are men haters. they are all these terrible things. so there's this beware the lesbian campaign. don't let your innocent, you know, daughter be sucked into these women's colleges. remind her to beware of all the dangers there and so forth. so this is going to backfire in a number of ways. remember, i think the first day of class, i read you that little excerpt from a letter to emma goldman that was very graphic. we said, yes, it is clear that these women, you know, were having sex. we didn't have to guess and think and put all kinds of asterisks and things. and emma goldman is for her day pretty open about the fact she's bisexual. she enjoys sex with men. she enjoys sex with women. she's for open marriage.
for all these different kinds of things. in the middle of saying all that, she writes this. quote, really, the lesbians are a crazy lot. their antagonism to the male is almost a disease with them. i simply cannot bear such narrowness. so is she a hypocrite? >> we're talking about the fact a lot of these educated women are very high class and, you know, they are in this upper, you know, kind of academia level. and that a lot of people in that social class, i guess, viewed the homosexuality as this working class kind of deviance or whatever. and that it was something that they're not really categorized as that. that there's something else kind of. >> they're not the -- wearing the trench coat and fedora. they aren't those horrible man-hating lesbians. is emma goldman a lesbian?
does she see herself as a homosexual. no, she's a woman who likes to have sex with another woman. lesbians are those man haters so, narrow. she's not that. so this sort of identification of homosexuals and beware the homosexual is going to have a lot of interesting sort of backfires there. on the other hand same sex behavior now has a name. now has a name and it is deviant. it has been determined by the medical profession to be deviant. and it is soon going to be criminal as well. it's going to be not just a sickness and a deviance but criminal behavior. before the 1860s, 1870s, there have been -- we followed a couple of the arrests in the colonial period, but there aren't going to be very many arrests. we don't really see those begin
to pick up until the 1880s. really, where homosexuality, particularly men seeking each other out, you know, in public parks and so forth, this is going to be a crime for which you can be arrested. so we've gone from same-sex acts to a physical disease or now a perversion and now crime. what's going to be the impact of this on people who enjoy sex with people of the same sex. what are they going to deal? how they're going to deal with these labels? we've seen some just reject it. they just say they're going to reject the whole thing. others begin to sort of -- oh, well, that's what it means. if that's what this is what my actions mean, then this is an identity then, all right?
so we see some men consciously becoming more effeminate. if that's what it means, then this definition in a way kind sufficient going to have a self-fulfilling prophecy. and yet, these definitions are really hard to follow. if two men are caught in a public park and they are having oral sex, what are they charged with when they are arrested? do you remember this? they are charged with vagrancy. they are charged with vagrancy because that is not -- that is not considered homosexualism. homosexualism is what? anal sex, right. anal sex. and even among the men themselves, both of whom are
agreeing to have this sexual act, who is determined, among the two men, to be the homosexual? [ inaudible ] >> right. right. so the idea is, you know, it's who takes on the receptive role. if you are receiving, all right, if someone else is having -- is penetrating you, then you are the homosexual. all right. the man who is doing the penetrating, he's the man. so even though two men are having consensual sex, who is going to be arrested and who is going to be identified within what we'd call today the gay community? has a lot to do with what acts one -- what role one plays in the act. are you all with me here? okay. so you can see it's getting confusing. i want to add one more
complicated point to this. and you -- it's kind of a long story. so stay with me here for this one. all right. and these are the political implications of what's happening at this time. and so as some of you know, my training is in the progressive era. so i'm going to give you my, you know, reader's digest version of the progressive era that just kills me to do this. to paint in such broad strokes but just to get us through this. you know we have the civil war. we have reconstruction. and then we have the period that historians have called the gilded age. so it's from the late 1800s. this starts. 1870s, 1880s and moves forward. they call it the gilded age as opposed to the golden age. so when something is gilded, what does that mean? >> something plain, could be a
rock, really, but covered in gold. so it's not pure gold. >> it's gold plated. exactly. >> it's gold plated but things that are gold plated from a distance look gold. they look pretty good. it's when you get up close and you scratch off that gold plating and then underneath is wood or pot metal or whatever it is. so the gilded age, this period is called the gilded age. what makes it look gold? that period from the 1880s, 1890s, 1900s, that decade. what's so great about that period that it would be termed gilded. what's the gold plating of that period. yeah. >> couldn't you say like the rise of industry, industrialization and also that like slaves are free now. >> yeah. we've got the end of slavery. urbanization. industrialization. the united states is going from this little sleepy nation to a major world player. immigrants are pouring in. they are providing cheap labor.
the united states is turning out all kinds of products. it's really just an amazing time of growth. we've got new technology, all kinds of great stuff is happening. it's fabulous. but it's not called the golden age. it's called the gilded age. so when you scrape off that gold plating, what's underneath? what are the problems underneath all this wonderfulness? sonia? >> discrimination, people aren't having the quality of life necessarily that comes along with the golden age. >> i'm sorry. start again. >> a lot of discrimination. we have the african-american community and also like people living in tenements and a lot of overcrowded and sanitary is going down. general public health is really, really low and just the quality of life is not very high. >> yeah. and these are people who should
be living the american dream. they are working hard. they are honest. and, you know, their life is really grim. we have the, you know, fires. we have unsafe working conditions. we have children working in factories and their parents say we have to have our children working in factories because we can't put food on the table without them. saying this is -- this is not such a golden age when you start really looking at these problems when you have urbanization, industrialization happening so fast. so the progressive period is kind of -- there are a number of people during the gilded age called progressives who say, look, look, look. it's true that there are all these problems. but we can solve them. and i -- we know that we can solve them because if we became an urban industrial giant practically overnight, certainly if we take the same expertise that created these wonderful factories that produce all this great stuff, and we have experts
focusing not just on how to make the most profit, but on what? we had a factory. wanted to be profitable. we also want it to be safe. humane. how many fire exits do we need to have? how much ventilation do we need to have? how many hours is it appropriate to ask people to work and how much is too much? there are going to be really looking to regulate all kinds of things and saying, no. you can't just run the business the way you want to. you can't just -- when somebody gets hurt you can't just throw them out on the street. we're going to have workers' compensation. we're going to have safety legislation. we're going to have all kinds of efforts. we're going to have pure food and drug acts. we're going to do all kinds of stuff to make this country not just a -- you know, profitable, but really humane and good. we can do both at the same time. so this is the big idea. now a lot of people are very, very opposed to this.
you are creating a navy state. interfering with businesses' right to buy and sell as it pleases. you are trying to, you know, you are telling people, you know, how to behave. trying to control their behavior. you are just going to take all the competition and drive out of this country. coddling people and making decisions for them. and this is a huge mistake. so there's going to be one president who i argue pretty aggressively is the only president i think who could really make this happen, all right? because he's so manly. he's so virile, so progressive. no one can say he's a wuss and is taking us down this path. who am i talking about? teddy roosevelt. theodore roosevelt. here look at this guy. he's a cowboy out in the dakotas. a colonel in the military. a great outdoorsman. a tremendous hunter.
nobody can say what a wuss, he's weakening america. no, he's the one with really this incredible masculinity seems to be able to get people to -- for example, unlike to -- for example, unlike woodrow wilson whose critics said he's a professor. he's an egghead. he's weak. theodore roosevelt, that's a man. he's very -- he's very manly. so listen to -- here's some of -- some quotes from roosevelt. i wish to preach not the doctrine of ignobled ease but the doctrine of the strenuous life. while president, i have been president emphatically. i took the canal zone in panama and let congress debate. while the debate goes on, the canal does also. when he ran for the presidency in 1912, rather than saying, i am announcing my candidacy, he said, my hat is in the ring.
the fight is on and i am stripped to the buff. here's what he said about war. no triumph of peace is quite so great as the supreme triumph of war. a just war in the long run is far better for a man's soul than the most prosperous peace. in strict confidence, i should welcome almost any war for i think this country needs one. war is good. it's masculine. we do not admire the man of timid peace. when great nations fear to expand, shrink from expansion, it's because their greatness is coming to an end. are we still in the prime of our lusty youth? still at the beginning of our glorious manhood? to sit down among the outworn people to take our place with the weak and craven, a thousand times no. so theodore roosevelt is just as manly and as aggressive as you
can get. for example in 1912, when he's running for the presidency, for the third time, he's giving -- about to give a speech in milwaukee. and he is shot by a would-be assassin and the bullet goes through the speech that he's got in his pocket, through the glasses case into his lung. so he starts bleeding. and roosevelt, of course, says, friends, i shall ask you to be as quiet as possible. i don't know whether you fully understand that i have been shot. but it takes more than that to kill a bull moose and he gives his speech of almost an hour bleeding, you know, and finally his aides say, okay, mr. president, time to go to the hospital now. and they finally get him off to the hospital giving rise to this poster, i don't always get shot during the middle of a speech, but when i do, i finish the damn speech. okay. so this is our manly, manly, manly president.
okay. so what does this have to do with us? so a lot of what i'm about to tell you, i got from this book. "political manhood: red bloods, manny coddles and the politics of progressive era reform." in a 1907 lecture to harvard undergraduates, theodore roosevelt warned against becoming too fastidious, too sensitive to take part in the rough hurly-burly of the actual work of the world. contending that one's physical, moral and mental strength indeed, the quality of one's manhood, depended on such participation. he asserted that colleges should never, quote, turn out mollycoddles instead of vigorous men. and cautioned that the weakling and the coward are out of place in a strong and free community.
roosevelt's speech fixed the figure of the mollycoddle in the american imagination as a paradigm of ineffectuality and weakness. the mollycoddle was all inner life where his opposite, the red blood was a man of action. popular ideals of american masculinity coalesced around these two distinct categories. because of its similarity to the emergent homosexual type, the mollycoddle was a powerful rhetorical figure. it was often used to marginalize and stigmatize certain people. so this is picked up by sarah watts in this book "rough rider in the white house." against men who were not men, roosevelt was a master of the political invective. he hurled the most humiliating criticisms at other leaders. criticisms that created images of the undesired body in
contrast to the ideal represented by him and other better men. mckinley, he said, had the backbone of a chocolate eclair. some men's shoulders slope like a champagne bottle. mugwumps were political hermaphrodite. henry george was an emasculine humanitarian. opponents of naval appropriation, a group which roosevelt reserved special ire consisted of a small bunch eunuchs, he said. and one was a circumcised skunk. anti-imperialists were beings whose cult is nonvirility. he thought that the lunatic reformer in eugene fitchware's poem retrospective was aptly
described as our short-haired female brother. our short-haired female brother. he -- and you have to remember that everything that theodore roosevelt said is recorded in the press and makes headline news. everyone is following his every utterance. he decried the utter physical worthlessness that rendered army warriors poor horseman and made them objects of ridicule. and in 1916, enraged over woodrow wilson's reluctance to declare war on germany, roosevelt called the president, quote, physically -- a physically cowardly demagogue and a white handy miss nancy. a white handy miss nancy. a term that often referred to womanish men that were prudish overly cultivated or cowardly. with such words, roosevelt helped create an entire category of men whose lack of virility arose from what he supposed were female qualities.
hermaphrodites, munichs, sissies, miss nancys and female brothers lacked proper or properly used male genitalia. a deficiency that left them little more than women and incapable of the masculine rationality and hardness required for politics. so we have roosevelt just, you know, wreaking testosterone, very, very masculine. anybody who is not masculine in his terms, they're not just weak and effeminate and sissies, what are they as far as the nation is concerned? not just useless, but what? these guys with the back bone of a chocolate eclair. >> drain on society. >> they're unpatriotic, un-american. you start to talk about this type of language just as the united states is really starting to talk about homosexuals as the deviant, as these inverts. and what do homosexuals become
now? they're not just criminals. they're not just medically and physically deviant. what are they? un-american. un-american, unpatriotic, dangerous. this takes on a whole new political identity at the -- at this time. you know, they -- he is talking about strenuous masculinity that is going to save this nation and allow us to have good progressive era reform and so forth. so we're a great and vigorous nation, he says. the only thing that can hurt us are these weak, sissy men. all right, now, what about lesbians? if the idea is that we need strong, aggressive people and the stereotype at this time is that lesbians are manly, where do they fit in? is roosevelt going to say hurray
for the lesbians? clearly not. but why not. if it is all about manliness and rigor, and so forth, what do you think? >> that's the role of men but that's not the role of women. >> what is the role of women? >> to be submissive and stay at home. >> stay at home and take care of the -- >> the children. >> the children. theodore roosevelt says there are those boston marriages, these women reformers and so forth. while reform is fine, these professional women who do not marry are traitors to their race and class. they are traitors to their race and class. and why are they traitors to their race? >> well, they're not like reproducing so they're not helping the cause of white people. >> right, they're not re producing and they're traitors
of their race and class, where does class fit in? >> if you have kids then you're high class and you'll keep that high class. >> he says you college women, you go out there and have careers and don't get married, you're the cream of american society. you're the white women and educated, you're not marrying. who is marrying and having children? what class of women? >> working class women. >> working class women, all of these immigrants. they're having all of these children, we're committing race suicide here. and you women, these boston marriages and so forth, you also are what? unpatriotic. unamerican. so you know, homosexuality now has lots of identities. it is a sickness, it is a crimer
are all coming into being. and they're working to undermine the greatness of this great nation. are y'all with me here on this material? okay, any questions about any of this? okay, well, we've seen what the medical community is saying, the police are saying, the politicians are saying and so forth. now we're going to talk a little bit about what is the impact of all of this on people who are now beginning to identify themselves as homosexual. and what do you think it is going to be? how are you going to feel when society says you are not just sick, and your behavior is not just criminal but it is also unamerican and unpatriotic, what do you think the response is among people who are now deemed homosexuals? what do you think? kyle?
>> there is an effort to prove they're not sick or not unamerican or, you know, that it is something normal and that, you know, they're just trying to live their life. >> i don't think even at this point there is a whole big effort to prove that so much as just -- i think that is going to come later. at this point, yeah, uh-huh. >> it is a lot more hidden and kind of -- i mean, in reading it, they're talking about you know, the parties, but they were all kind of in these boarding houses and kind of hidden behind closed doors. and people would come there dressed normally like any other person but then they would go to these homosexual parties. >> and we would see women in these boston marriages, they're working to distance themselves and so forth. some homosexuals say oh, my god, this is terrible. i have this terrible sickness, there is a great deal of shame.
i can never admit these desires to anyone. i don't want to be this sick horrible person, i don't want to be arrested for a crime. i see myself as a good citizen. there is deep, deep closeting that is going on. a lot of tremendous self-loathing. all of these are going to be experienced to varying degrees and we have all kinds of diaries and letters and stuff about that. on the other hand, there is something else going on at the same time that for generations we have had people who felt same-sex desires and thought they were the only ones. i think it's really hard in 2014 to imagine before there was sex ed, before there was all this -- people didn't talk about heterosexual sex, let alone homosexual sex.
now it is being defined, people say, oh, i identify with that. it is not just me. i'm not the only one. as kyle suggested i don't think that i'm you know a deviant, horrible person. and if i'm not the only one i want to start finding who the other ones are. so there is this awareness. for some homosexuals, this new identity is very damaging and very upsetting. for others it is really sort of inspiring. and so you know, there is a desire to me to meet others who feel the way that you do. all right. if you are a gay man or a lesbian today and you want to get together, you want to find other gay men or lesbians how do you do that? what do you do? >> go to the bar. >> go to the bar. what else do you do? >> there is an app. there's an app for everything.
what else? >> like sports leagues and things like that. >> you join a soft ball team, i mean, there's so many different -- you can go on the lesbian cruise line. there are just so many -- you join a reading group. you can go to the gay fathers group. there's a million different things. what do these people do? what do these people who are just at the turn of the century, just beginning to understand that they're not the only ones, if you live in a rural community, what do you do? >> there were very efemme nat men and yexueers and you really got this bridging of sexuality and gender so before it was you
had people that cross-dressed but weren't necessarily sexual with their same sex, and then you had people who didn't cross dress and had sex with people of the same sex and then you had a crossing of that in order to be able to recognize each other. >> yeah, yeah. and you want to be able to recognize each other. how does one do that is? there's a whole rise of kind of a culture. yeah, kyle? >> if they moved into a city, everybody knew where the gay district was even though it wasn't talked about. they would figure out where that was and there are some examples, walking with your hands on your hips or walking with a certain sway or how you talked or red them tie, silk shoes, anything. there were all sorts of different little clues that you would go to the city knowing what those clues are and go to the different districts.
>> right. so there's a notion of being gay, of walking gay, of looking gay. what i was fishing for earlier is that in rural areas there were some places you could go, these juke joints that were out in the middle of nowhere. this is where there was more opportunity. most rural areas were pretty difficult so as kyle says people were much more likely to move to the city. and so we've seen a gay new york, gender urban culture in the making of the gay male world. there's a whole gay male world for heaven's sake, of behavior, ideas, the way they're talking and all kinds of stuff. so we see things are really going to change. mabel hampton is going to appear in the documentary we're going to see before stonewall so you
get to hear this from her directly. how does she make this sound, this african-american woman living in harlem in the 1920s? she's a lesbian. does she feel that she's sick? >> she seemed to have a lot of fun with the environment and talked about all of her friends and just like them getting to know one another. >> yeah. she says this is just fabulous. she says -- for hampton she says i never went in with straight people. i do more bother with straight people now than i ever did in my life. she summed up her memories of the clubs and night life available to an open lesbian woman with a wisful, you had a beautiful time up there, oh, girl, you had some time up there. for her she's not internalizing this negative stuff. this is a great time, a great moment. she's really enjoying this. she talked about these private parties because they were
cheaper than going to bars and you didn't get hassled. lesbians, she said, lived together and worked together. when someone got sick, the lover would come help them, bring food, money, help them out. i never felt lonely. in a small town you wouldn't have a chance to get around and meet gay people. in new york you met them all over the place, from the theatre to the hospital to anywhere. yes, new york is a good place to be a lesbian. so there are a whole variety of experiences that are coming out of this new definition, this period of definition. what we're going to move into next time is what happens if you aren't mabel hampton? what happens if you're like most americans. you're not living in a major city. you're not able to take
advantage of these gay bars and so forth. now that there is this new definition, what is it like to be a small town man or woman who is now known to be at least in their own mind a homosexual, what does that mean. so that's where we're going to pick up next time. any questions about any of this stuff that we covered today? the real point here is that these notions of definition, they really matter. it's not just rhett torically we're talking about this, what the dictionary says. they had an impact on how people lived, how they thought about themselves, how they were perceived medically, psychologically, in the criminal system, and it has some horrible impact for many. it has some really liberating and sort of exciting impact for others. any questions about this? all right, the roll sheet went
around. i'll see you in our regular classroom on wednesday and thank you very much. >> american history tv airs every weekend, telling the american story through events, interviews and visits to historic locations. this month american history tv is in primetime to introduce you to programs you could see every weekend on c-span 3. our features include lectures in history, visits to college classrooms across the country, hear lectures by top history profession, american artifacts looks at the treasures. real america revealing the 20th century through ar chooifl news. the civil war where you hear about the civil war and reconstruction and the presidency folks on u.s. presidents and first ladies.
learn about their politics, policies and legacies. all this month in primetime on american history tv on c-span 3. all week american history tv is in primetime featuring programs from our lecture in history series where we take you into college classrooms across the country. each night leads off with a new debut. tonight it's a look at sexuality in america. we begin with the origins of the gay rights movement, followed by a discussion on sexual freedom in the 1950s, gays and lesbians in early 20th century america and race and sex education in the 20th century, tonight on american history tv here on c-span 3. with the house and senate returning from their summer break next week, on thursday at 8:00 p.m. eastern we'll preview
four key issues facing congress this fall. federal funding to combat the zika virus. >> women in america today want to make sure that they have the ability to not get pregnant. why? because mosquitos ravage pregnant women. >> but today they turned down the very money that they argued for last month, and they decided to gamble with the lives of children like this. >> the annual defense policy and programs bill. >> all of these votes are very vital to the future of this nation in a time of turmoil and a time of the greatest number of refugees since the end of world war ii. >> gun violence legislation and criminal justice reform. >> every member of this body, every republican and every democrat wants to see less gun violence. >> we must continue to work the work of nonviolence and demand an end to senseless killing
everywhere. >> and the resolution for congress to impeach irs commissioner john kos kin nen. >> impeaching john andrew kos kin nen, commissioner of the internal revenue service for high crimes and misdemeanors. >> we'll review the expected debate with the senior congressional correspondent for the washington examiner. join us thursday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span for congress this fall. next on lectures in history, georgetown university professor marcia chat lynn talks about the different types of sex education used across the country in the 1950s and why such courses have become politically divisive today. she compares sex ed programs in oregon, new jersey and california and explores how they were often used to instill gender norms and racial divide. her class is about an hour and ten minutes.