Wenn man über das Thema Kolonialismus, Rassismus und Homophobie spricht, kommt man an einen Mann nicht vorbei: Richard F. Burton, britischer Afrikaforscher und einer der bekanntesten Orientalisten des 19. Jahrhunderts. Wie die meisten seiner Zeitgenossen war Burton ein unerträglicher Rassist, zumindest was seine Haltung gegenüber den Schwarzen betraf. Für sie war in der zivilisierten Welt kein Platz, ihre „Rasse“ zum Untergang verurteilt:
Die Erforschung des Negers ist die Erforschung primitivster menschlicher Denkvorgänge. Wenn ihm nicht jede Fähigkeit zur Fortentwicklung fehlen würde, könnte man den Neger eher für eine Degenerationsform des zivilisierten Menschen als einen wilden auf der ersten Entwicklungsstufe halten. Er ist nicht aus Edelstahl und hat auch keine Anlagen, die nach Erziehung verlangen. Er scheint zu jenen kindlichen Rassen zu gehören, die sich nie in den Rang des Menschentums erheben können. Sie fallen wie abgenutzte Glieder aus der großen Kette der lebendigen Natur.
Eine andere Haltung nahm Burton gegenüber den Muslimen ein, deren Schriftkultur ihm eine gewisse Achtung einflößte. So übersetzte er das Buch von tausendundeiner Nacht ungekürzt in zehn Bänden vom Arabischen ins Englische. Aufgrund der teils pikanten Inhalte war dieser Druck jedoch nur den Mitgliedern und Subskribenten des Burton Clubs zugänglich. Am Ende des zehnten Bandes stand ein Terminal Essay, der den Lesern eine theoretische Einordnung ermöglichen sollte. Allein 50 Seiten waren dem Thema gleichgeschlechtlicher Liebe gewidmet, oder genauer: Burtons klimato-
But I repeat (p. xiv.) there is another element in The Nights and that is one of absolute obscenity utterly repugnant to English readers, even the least prudish. It is chiefly connected with what our neighbours call le vice contre nature [das Laster wider die Natur]—as if anything can be contrary to nature which includes all things. Upon this subject I must offer details, as it does not enter into my plan to ignore any theme which is interesting to the Orientalist and the Anthropologist. And they, methinks, do abundant harm who, for shame or disgust, would suppress the very mention of such matters: in order to combat a great and growing evil deadly to the birth-rate—the mainstay of national prosperity—the first requisite is careful study. As Albert Bollstoedt, Bishop of Ratisbon, rightly says.—Quia malum non evitatum nisi cognitum, ideo necesse est cognoscere immundiciem coitus et multa alla quæ docentur in isto libro [Da das Schlechte nicht vermieden wird, außer es ist erkannt, ist es notwendig, die Unreinheit des Beischlafs und vieles andere, über das in diesem Buch gelehrt wird, zu erforschen]. […]
Subsequent enquiries in many and distant countries enabled me to arrive at the following conclusions:—
1. There exists what I shall call a “Sotadic Zone,” bounded westwards by the northern shores of the Mediterranean (N. Lat. 43 ) and by the southern (N. Lat. 30 ). Thus the depth would be 780 to 800 miles including meridional France, the Iberian Peninsula, Italy and Greece, with the coast-regions of Africa from Marocco to Egypt.
2. Running eastward the Sotadic Zone narrows, embracing Asia Minor, Mesopotamia and Chaldæa, Afghanistan, Sind, the Punjab and Kashmir.
3. In Indo–China the belt begins to broaden, enfolding China, Japan and Turkistan.
4. It then embraces the South Sea Islands and the New World where, at the time of its discovery, Sotadic love was, with some exceptions, an established racial institution.
5. Within the Sotadic Zone the Vice is popular and endemic, held at the worst to be a mere peccadillo, whilst the races to the North and South of the limits here defined practice it only sporadically amid the opprobrium [Schimpf, Abscheu] of their fellows who, as a rule, are physically incapable of performing the operation and look upon it with the liveliest disgust.
The only physical cause for the practice which suggests itself to me and that must be owned to be purely conjectural, is that within the Sotadic Zone there is a blending of the masculine and feminine temperaments, a crasis which elsewhere occurs only sporadically. Hence the male féminisme whereby the man becomes patiens as well as agens, and the woman a tribade, a votary of mascula Sappho, Queen of Frictrices or Rubbers. Prof. Mantegazza claims to have discovered the cause of this pathological love, this perversion of the erotic sense, one of the marvellous list of amorous vagaries which deserve, not prosecution but the pitiful care of the physician and the study of the psychologist. According to him the nerves of the rectum and the genitalia, in all cases closely connected, are abnormally so in the pathic, who obtains, by intromission, the venereal orgasm which is usually sought through the sexual organs. So amongst women there are tribads who can procure no pleasure except by foreign objects introduced a posteriori. Hence his threefold distribution of sodomy; (1) Peripheric or anatomical, caused by an unusual distribution of the nerves and their hyperæsthesia; (2) Luxurious, when love a tergo is preferred on account of the narrowness of the passage; and (3) the Psychical. But this is evidently superficial: the question is what causes this neuropathy, this abnormal distribution and condition of the nerves.
As Prince Bismarck finds a moral difference between the male and female races of history, so I suspect a mixed physical temperament effected by the manifold subtle influences massed together in the word climate. Something of the kind is necessary to explain the fact of this pathological love extending over the greater portion of the habitable world, without any apparent connection of race or media, from the polished Greek to the cannibal Tupi of the Brazil. Walt Whitman speaks of the ashen grey faces of onanists: the faded colours, the puffy features and the unwholesome complexion of the professed pederast with his peculiar cachetic expression, indescribable but once seen never forgotten, stamp the breed, and Dr. G. Adolph is justified in declaring “Alle Gewohnneits-paederasten erkennen sich einander schnell, oft met einen Blick.” This has nothing in common with the féminisme which betrays itself in the pathic by womanly gait, regard and gesture: it is a something sui generis; and the same may be said of the colour and look of the young priest who honestly refrains from women and their substitutes. Dr. Tardieu, in his well-known work, “Étude Medico-régale sur les Attentats aux Mœurs,” and Dr. Adolph note a peculiar infundibuliform disposition of the “After” and a smoothness and want of folds even before any abuse has taken place, together with special forms of the male organs in confirmed pederasts. But these observations have been rejected by Caspar, Hoffman, Brouardel and Dr. J. H. Henry Coutagne (Notes sur la Sodomie, Lyon, 1880), and it is a medical question whose discussion would here be out of place.
From Rome the practice extended far and wide to her colonies, especially the Provincia now called Provence. […] Roman civilisation carried pederasty also to Northern Africa, where it took firm root, while the negro and negroid races to the South ignore the erotic perversion, except where imported by foreigners into such kingdoms as Bornu and Haussa. In old Mauritania, now Marocco, the Moors proper are notable sodomites; Moslems, even of saintly houses, are permitted openly to keep catamites, nor do their disciples think worse of their sanctity for such licence: in one case the English wife failed to banish from the home “that horrid boy.”
Yet pederasty is forbidden by the Koran. In chapter iv. 20 we read: “And if two (men) among you commit the crime, then punish them both,” the penalty being some hurt or damage by public reproach, insult or scourging. There are four distinct references to Lot and the Sodomites in chapters vii. 78; xi. 77–84; xxvi. 160-174 and xxix. 28–35. In the first the prophet commissioned to the people says, “Proceed ye to a fulsome act wherein no creature hath foregone ye? Verily ye come to men in lieu of women lustfully.” We have then an account of the rain which made an end of the wicked and this judgment on the Cities of the Plain is repeated with more detail in the second reference. […] These circumstantial unfacts are repeated at full length in the other two chapters; but rather as an instance of Allah’s power than as a warning against pederasty, which Mohammed seems to have regarded with philosophic indifference. The general opinion of his followers is that it should be punished like fornication unless the offenders made a public act of penitence. But here, as in adultery, the law is somewhat too clement and will not convict unless four credible witnesses swear to have seen rem in re. I have noticed (vol. i. 211) the vicious opinion that the Ghilmán or Wuldán, the beautiful boys of Paradise, the counter parts of the Houris, will be lawful catamites to the True Believers in a future state of happiness: the idea is nowhere countenanced in Al–Islam; and, although I have often heard debauchées refer to it, the learned look upon the assertion as scandalous.
As in Marocco so the Vice prevails throughout the old regencies of Algiers, Tunis and Tripoli and all the cities of the South Mediterranean seaboard, whilst it is unknown to the Nubians, the Berbers and the wilder tribes dwelling inland. Proceeding Eastward we reach Egypt, that classical region of all abominations which, marvellous to relate, flourished in closest contact with men leading the purest of lives, models of moderation and morality, of religion and virtue. Amongst the ancient Copts Le Vice was part and portion of the Ritual and was represented by two male partridges alternately copulating (Interp. in Priapi Carm. xvii). […] Neither Christianity nor Al–Islam could effect a change for the better; and social morality seems to have been at its worst during the past century when Sonnini travelled (A.D. 1717). The French officer, who is thoroughly trustworthy, draws the darkest picture of the widely spread criminality, especially of the bestiality and the sodomy (chaps. xv.), which formed the “delight of the Egyptians.” During the Napoleonic conquest Jaubert in his letter to General Bruix (p. 19) says, “Les Arabes et les Mamelouks ont traité quelques-uns de nos prisonniers comme Socrate traitait, dit-on, Alcibiade. Il fallait périr ou y passer.” […] In the present age extensive intercourse with Europeans has produced not a reformation but a certain reticence amongst the upper classes: they are as vicious as ever, but they do not care for displaying their vices to the eyes of mocking strangers.
The Sotadic Zone covers the whole of Asia Minor and Mesopotamia now occupied by the “unspeakable Turk,” a race of born pederasts; and in the former region we first notice a peculiarity of the feminine figure, the mammæ inclinatæ, jacentes et pannosæ, which prevails over all this part of the belt. Whilst the women to the North and South have, with local exceptions, the mammæ stantes of the European virgin, those of Turkey, Persia, Afghanistan and Kashmir lose all the fine curves of the bosom, sometimes even before the first child; and after it the hemispheres take the form of bags. This cannot result from climate only; the women of Marathá-land, inhabiting a damper and hotter region than Kashmir, are noted for fine firm breasts even after parturition. Le Vice of course prevails more in the cities and towns of Asiatic Turkey than in the villages; yet even these are infected; while the nomad Turcomans contrast badly in this point with the Gypsies, those Badawin of India. The Kurd population is of Iranian origin, which means that the evil is deeply rooted: I have noted in The Nights that the great and glorious Saladin was a habitual pederast. The Armenians, as their national character is, will prostitute themselves for gain but prefer women to boys: Georgia supplied Turkey with catamites whilst Circassia sent concubines. […] Entering Persia we find the reverse of Armenia; and, despite Herodotus, I believe that Iran borrowed her pathologic love from the peoples of the Tigris–Euphrates Valley and not from the then insignificant Greeks. But whatever may be its origin, the corruption is now bred in the bone. It begins in boyhood and many Persians account for it by paternal severity. Youths arrived at puberty find none of the facilities with which Europe supplies fornication. Onanism is to a certain extent discouraged by circumcision, and meddling with the father’s slave-girls and concubines would be risking cruel punishment if not death. Hence they use each other by turns, a “puerile practice” known as Alish–Takish, the Lat. facere vicibus or mutuum facere. Temperament, media, and atavism recommend the custom to the general; and after marrying and begetting heirs, Paterfamilias returns to the Ganymede. Hence all the odes of Hafiz are addressed to youths, as proved by such Arabic exclamations as ‘Afáka ’llah = Allah assain thee (masculine): the object is often fanciful but it would be held coarse and immodest to address an imaginary girl. An illustration of the penchant is told at Shiraz concerning a certain Mujtahid, the head of the Shi’ah creed, corresponding with a prince-archbishop in Europe. A friend once said to him, “There is a question I would fain address to your Eminence but I lack the daring to do so.” “Ask and fear not,” replied the Divine. “It is this, O Mujtahid! Figure thee in a garden of roses and hyacinths with the evening breeze waving the cypress-heads, a fair youth of twenty sitting by thy side and the assurance of perfect privacy. What, prithee, would be the result?” The holy man bowed the chin of doubt upon the collar of meditation; and, too honest to lie, presently whispered, “Allah defend me from such temptation of Satan!” Yet even in Persia men have not been wanting who have done their utmost to uproot the Vice: in the same Shiraz they speak of a father who, finding his son in flagrant delict, put him to death like Brutus or Lynch of Galway. Such isolated cases, however, can effect nothing. Chardin tells us that houses of male prostitution were common in Persia whilst those of women were unknown: the same is the case in the present day and the boys are prepared with extreme care by diet, baths, depilation, unguents and a host of artists in cosmetics. Le Vice is looked upon at most as a peccadillo and its mention crops up in every jest-book. […] We can hardly wonder at the loose conduct of Persian women perpetually mortified by marital pederasty. During the unhappy campaign of 1856–57 in which, with the exception of a few brilliant skirmishes, we gained no glory, Sir James Outram and the Bombay army showing how badly they could work, there was a formal outburst of the Harems; and even women of princely birth could not be kept out of the officers’ quarters.
The cities of Afghanistan and Sind are thoroughly saturated with Persian vice, and the people sing
Kadr-i-kus Aughan danad, kadr-i-kunra Kabuli:
The worth of coynte the Afghan knows: Cabul prefers the other chose!
The Afghans are commercial travellers on a large scale and each caravan is accompanied by a number of boys and lads almost in woman’s attire with kohl‘d eyes and rouged cheeks, long tresses and henna‘d fingers and toes, riding luxuriously in Kajawas or camel-panniers: they are called Kuch-i safari, or travelling wives, and the husbands trudge patiently by their sides. In Afghanistan also a frantic debauchery broke out amongst the women when they found incubi who were not pederasts; and the scandal was not the most insignificant cause of the general rising at Cabul (Nov. 1841), and the slaughter of Macnaghten, Burnes and other British officers.
Resuming our way Eastward we find the Sikhs and the Moslems of the Panjab much addicted to Le Vice, although the Himalayan tribes to the north and those lying south, the Rajputs and Marathas, ignore it. The same may be said of the Kashmirians […]
M. Louis Daville describes the infamies of Lajore and Lakhanu where he found men dressed as women, with flowing locks under crowns of flowers, imitating the feminine walk and gestures, voice and fashion of speech, and ogling their admirers with all the coquetry of bayadères. Victor Jacquemont’s Journal de Voyage describes the pederasty of Ranjit Singh, the ‚Lion of the Panjab,‘ and his pathic Gulab Singh whom the English inflicted upon Cashmir as ruler by way of paying for his treason. Yet the Hindus, I repeat, hold pederasty in abhorrence and are as much scandalized by being called Gand-mara (anus-beater) or Gandu (anuser) as Englishmen would be. During the years 1843-4 my regiment, almost all Hindu Sepoys of the Bombay Presidency, was stationed at a purgatory called Bandar Gharra, a sandy flat with a scatter of verdigris-green milk-bush some forty miles north of Karachi the headquarters. The dirty heap of mud-and-mat hovels, which represented the adjacent native village, could not supply a single woman; yet only one case of pederasty came to light and that after a tragical fashion some years afterwards. A young Brahman had connection with a soldier comrade of low caste and this had continued till, in an unhappy hour, the Pariah patient ventured to become the agent. The latter, in Arab Al-Fa‘il = the ‚doer,‘ is not an object of contempt like Al-Maful = the ‚done‘; and the high-caste sepoy, stung by remorse and revenge, loaded his musket and deliberately shot his paramour. He was hanged by court martial at Hyderabad and, when his last wishes were asked he begged in vain to be suspended by the feet; the idea being that his soul, polluted by exiting ‚below the waist,‘ would be doomed to endless transmigrations through the lowest forms of life.
Beyond India, I have stated, the Sotadic Zone begins to broaden out, embracing all China, Turkistan and Japan. The Chinese, as far as we know them in the great cities, are omnivorous and omnifutuentes: they are the chosen people of debauchery, and their systematic bestiality with ducks, goats, and other animals is equalled only by their pederasty. Kæmpfer and Orlof Torée (Voyage en Chine) notice the public houses for boys and youths in China and Japan. Mirabeau (L’Anandryne) describes the tribadism of their women in hammocks. […] Of Turkistan we know little, but what we know confirms my statement. Mr. Schuyler in his Turkistan (i. 132) offers an illustration of a “Batchah” (Pers. bachcheh = catamite), “or singing-boy surrounded by his admirers.” Of the Tartars Master Purchas laconically says (v. 419), “They are addicted to Sodomie or Buggerie.” […] For the islands north of Japan, the “Sodomitical Sea,” and the “nayle of tynne” thrust through the prepuce to prevent sodomy, see Lib. ii. chap. 4 of Master Thomas Caudish’s Circumnavigation, and vol. vi. of Pinkerton’s Geography translated by Walckenaer.
Passing over to America we find that the Sotadic Zone contains the whole hemisphere from Behring’s Straits to Magellan’s. This prevalence of “mollities” astonishes the anthropologist, who is apt to consider pederasty the growth of luxury and the especial product of great and civilised cities, unnecessary and therefore unknown to simple savagery, where the births of both sexes are about equal and female infanticide is not practiced. In many parts of the New World this perversion was accompanied by another depravity of taste—confirmed cannibalism. […]
A glance at Mr. Bancroft proves the abnormal development of sodomy amongst the savages and barbarians of the New World. Even his half-frozen Hyperboreans “possess all the passions which are supposed to develop most freely under a milder temperature” (i. 58). “The voluptuousness and polygamy of the North American Indians, under a temperature of almost perpetual winter, is far greater than that of the most sensual tropical nations” (Martin’s Brit. Colonies iii. 524). I can quote only a few of the most remarkable instances. Of the Koniagas of Kadiak Island and the Thinkleets we read (i. 81–82), “The most repugnant of all their practices is that of male concubinage. A Kadiak mother will select her handsomest and most promising boy, and dress and rear him as a girl, teaching him only domestic duties, keeping him at women’s work, associating him with women and girls, in order to render his effeminacy complete. Arriving at the age of ten or fifteen years, he is married to some wealthy man who regards such a companion as a great acquisition. These male concubines are called Achnutschik or Schopans” (the authorities quoted being Holmberg, Langsdorff, Billing, Choris, Lisiansky and Marchand). The same is the case in Nutka Sound and the Aleutian Islands, where “male concubinage obtains throughout, but not to the same extent as amongst the Koniagas.” The objects of “unnatural” affection have their beards carefully plucked out as soon as the face-hair begins to grow, and their chins are tattooed like those of the women. In California the first missionaries found the same practice, the youths being called Joya (Bancroft, i. 415 and authorities Palon, Crespi, Boscana, Mofras, Torquemada, Duflot and Fages). The Comanches unite incest with sodomy (i. 515). “In New Mexico, according to Arlegui, Ribas, and other authors, male concubinage prevails to a great extent; these loathsome semblances of humanity, whom to call beastly were a slander upon beasts, dress themselves in the clothes and perform the functions of women, the use of weapons being denied them” (i. 585). Pederasty was systematically practiced by the peoples of Cueba, Careta, and other parts of Central America. The Caciques and some of the headmen kept harems of youths who, as soon as destined for the unclean office, were dressed as women. They went by the name of Camayoas, and were hated and detested by the good wives (i. 733–74). […] Among the Mayas of Yucatan Las Casas declares that the great prevalence of “unnatural” lust made parents anxious to see their progeny wedded as soon as possible (Kingsborough’s Mex. Ant. viii. 135). In Vera Paz a god, called by some Chin and by others Cavial and Maran, taught it by committing the act with another god. Some fathers gave their sons a boy to use as a woman, and if any other approached this pathic he was treated as an adulterer. In Yucatan images were found by Bernal Diaz proving the sodomitical propensities of the people (Bancroft v. 198). […] According to Gomara there were at Tamalpais houses of male prostitution; and from Diaz and others we gather that the pecado nefando was the rule. Both in Mexico and in Peru it might have caused, if it did not justify, the cruelties of the Conquistadores. Pederasty was also general throughout Nicaragua, and the early explorers found it amongst the indigenes of Panama.
During the times of the Conquistadores male concubinage had become the rule throughout Peru. At Cuzco, we are told by Nuno de Guzman in 1530 “The last which was taken, and which fought most couragiously, was a man in the habite of a woman, which confessed that from a childe he had gotten his liuing by that filthinesse, for which I caused him to be burned.” […]
I have remarked that the Tupi races of the Brazil were infamous for cannibalism and sodomy; […] Sr. Antonio Augusto da Costa Aguiar is outspoken upon this point. “A crime which in England leads to the gallows, and which is the very measure of abject depravity, passes with impunity amongst us by the participating in it of almost all or of many (de quasi todos, ou de muitos) Ah! if the wrath of Heaven were to fall by way of punishing such crimes (delictos), more than one city of this Empire, more than a dozen, would pass into the category of the Sodoms and Gomorrains” (p. 30). Till late years pederasty in the Brazil was looked upon as a peccadillo; the European immigrants following the practice of the wild men who were naked but not, as Columbus said, “clothed in innocence.” One of Her Majesty’s Consuls used to tell a tale of the hilarity provoked in a “fashionable” assembly by the open declaration of a young gentleman that his mulatto “patient” had suddenly turned upon him, insisting upon becoming agent. Now, however, under the influences of improved education and respect for the public opinion of Europe, pathologic love amongst the Luso–Brazilians has been reduced to the normal limits.