The recent news that Finland has issued a set of stamps featuring the work of homo-erotic artist Tom of Finland has been greeted by progressive media as yet another milestone on the road to “full equality.” The fact that Tom of Finland’s work was inspired to by a fetishistic interest in soldiers dressed in Nazi uniforms, whom the young Tom encountered in Finland during WWII, has been less remarked upon.
One of the images used shows a muscular uniformed man sitting with his legs draped over the shoulders of a naked man, who seems to be his prisoner, while another stamp image shows a man’s naked rear with another man’s head looking through his legs.
What makes this seem so shocking is the outdated notion that stamps are still an important way in which a nation projects its identity. It is true that in the past stamps were often used as a way of expressing a country’s identity and a means of carrying its symbols – rather like its flag or money. Are we therefore to conclude that Finland is a nation of gay BDSM practitioners, wearing gimp masks in their daily life, and leading each other around on dog leads? Also is this the kind of image of homosexuals that progressives would actually want to project?
Interestingly, Finland is the only Scandinavian country that does not allow full homosexual marriage, although civil partnerships between homosexuals are allowed. Also interesting is the fact that Finland is in the middle of a push for homosexual marriage.
Like elsewhere in the West, a constant barrage of propaganda in favour of “homosexual marriage” and a live-and-let-live attitude towards the individual’s private sex life have gradually softened the public’s natural antipathy to something that most of them once abhorred.
Advocates of same-sex marriage in Finland have drawn attention to opinion polls to back up their view that an increasing number of people favour same-sex marriage. A poll in March this year showed 65% support with 27% against, and 8% undecided. For purposes of comparison, in 2006 the level of support was only at 45%.
There have been several attempts to change Finnish law to legalize same-sex marriage, the last serious one being a bill that was voted down in a parliamentary committee in February 2013. But, as usual with progressives who wish to overthrow the fundamental norms on which society is based, democracy is only something that is resorted to until the desired outcome is achieved. As soon as the previous campaign was defeated, a new campaign was immediately launched.
Due to a 2012 amendment to the constitution, citizens can petition parliament to consider changes in the law if they get over 50,000 signatories. Accordingly the new civil campaign, called Tahdon2013 (“I do 2013″), managed to find enough people who felt strongly enough to gather sufficient signatures online to make parliament consider the matter again.
The publication of a set of stamps featuring the gay iconography of Tom of Finland must be seen in this context. But it is also important to have a sense of proportion about the issue. In our age of electronic communication stamps have become a lot less important for everyone except philatelists.
Typical Finnish stamps tend to show snowy scenes and wildlife from the Northern forests land. It could be contended that such generally acceptable imagery is a little dull, and is unlikely to stimulate the enthusiasm of collectors, whereas the Tom of Finland stamps have a narrow but deeper appeal for gays and collectors interested, as art collectors typically are, by something edgier and unusual.
The fact remains that these stamps are more likely to be filed away in a stamp album than actually licked on their rears and stuck on letters by normal members of the public. Stamps today are increasingly irrelevant, so what appears on them is largely an irrelevance too. Furthermore, if any of these stamps are ever affixed to a letter mailed to the approximately one-third of the world where homosexuality is still banned, there is a good chance that it won’t reach its intended destination.
The irrelevance of stamps in the age of electronic communication is also a good analogy for gay issues. Just as stamps used to be a vital part of everyday life, so homosexual issues once had the power to shock and engage the passions of the majority. But those days are long gone. From homosexuality being something that most people had passionate views on, it has instead become something that people effectively treat ironically or simply screen out of their lives with platitudes and disinterest. The amount of passion elicited from the public both for and against gay homosexual issues has clearly plummeted. In this sense, it could be said that homosexuality has receded to its ghettos.
Although same-sex marriage may seem to be the burning cause of the day in a few internet-fueled corners of the world, the general public is a lot more apathetic. But if this is the case, why do opinion polls in Finland and the West appear to show growing support for homosexual marriage?
The answer to this is that what they are really showing is merely increasing indifference to the supposed controversy.
To “support” something means to get passionate about it, to desire it, and to even take to the streets to demand it. It is therefore an absurdity to say that 65% of the population of Finland “supports gay marriage.” The vast majority of these so-called supporters would hardly lift a finger in its cause.
It would also be no exaggeration to say that behind this growing indifference there is also an element of repugnance and a strong desire to push the whole set of ideas associated with homosexuality out of mind.
Nothing is more guaranteed to confront non-homosexuals with the repellent aspects of homosexuality and the homosexual lifestyle than taking a passionate stance against it. So, ironically the best way to be against homosexuality is to be “for” it in a bland, non-committal way.
Sticking your neck out on gay-rights issues in public or on social media means that you will be exposed to all sorts of unpleasantness, including the process of having to actually think and argue about gays, the sexual habits that define them, including male-to-male sodomy, and the medical problems that a gay lifestyle involve, such as the AIDS virus. Rather than face this – and be thought of as a mean-spirited, self-righteous prude into the bargain – most people prefer instead to shrug the whole thing off by accepting the rubric of live-and-let-live.
Opinion polls that claim to show growing support for same-sex marriage are therefore deceptive. The real strength of support has to be gauged by other means. For example, by how many non-gays march in street protests on behalf of gay issues, or how the parties that favour gay marriage are doing.
Among the eight parties in the Finnish Parliament, four have a manifesto commitment to same-sex marriage, namely the Social Democrats, the Greens, the Left Alliance, and the Swedish People’s Party. Interestingly, during the period when polls seem to show growing support for same-sex marriage, all of these parties have been losing support.
Measuring between the 2003 and 2011 parliamentary elections, the Social Democrats dropped from 53 MPs and 24.47% of the vote to 42 MPs and 19.16%. Similar patterns can be seen with the Greens (14 MPs/ 8.01% > 10MPs/ 7.25%); Left Alliance (19 MPs/ 9.93% > 14 MPs/ 8.15%); and even the ethnically-based Swedish People’s Party (8 MPs/ 4.6% > 9 MPs/ 4.3%).
This seems to suggest that rather than actively supporting gay marriage, an increasing number of people see it as a non-issue which has no effect on their vote. They simply wish for it to go away, and they find that the best way to achieve this, at least in their own lives, is to avoid making it a subject of heated contention. For an increasing number of people in the West this is their way of “stamping out” homosexuality.
from Finland’s Gay Stamps Send a Misleading Message