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Postby deldaisy » Sun Jan 09, 2011 11:25 am

Girls I think you read too much into it. I respect your relationship but girls can be best buds without ever having one single sexual thought towards the other. I have relationships like that with MEN! Been on holiday with them, shared a bed cause it was cheaper.

I have female friends who have seen what I had for breakfast too (childbirth is like that). I have had girlfriends who have taken me to the loo or been naked in a shower with me because I was too weak or ill to stand... had a guy friend who did that once or twice now that I think about it.

There are a plethora of situations in life where you have a friend, best buddy male or female who will do what has to be done at the time without sex being even remotely a consideration. Its what they do for you because they know you would do exactly the same thing for them.
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Postby Dotsie » Sun Jan 09, 2011 11:44 am

BaldFriede wrote:
Dotsie wrote:I'm confused - are you disappointed that they are in a lesbian relationship but it's only "at best hinted at", or that they aren't because you aren't convinced by it?

Jean and were disappointed because it was in our opinion anything but clear that they were in a lesbian relationship. We would not have needed the details; we can provide them ourselves, and believe you me, that is much better than reading about it!


I thought it was made very clear that they were in love. Lots of things get hinted at in Terry's works, do they all disappoint you?
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Postby BaldFriede » Sun Jan 09, 2011 11:49 am

Dotsie wrote:
BaldFriede wrote:
Dotsie wrote:I'm confused - are you disappointed that they are in a lesbian relationship but it's only "at best hinted at", or that they aren't because you aren't convinced by it?

Jean and were disappointed because it was in our opinion anything but clear that they were in a lesbian relationship. We would not have needed the details; we can provide them ourselves, and believe you me, that is much better than reading about it!


I thought it was made very clear that they were in love. Lots of things get hinted at in Terry's works, do they all disappoint you?

A kind of love. But does that love extend to sexuality? Did you read what Jean said about "Thelma and Louise"? They were a non-sexual couple too.
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Sun Jan 09, 2011 1:40 pm

BaldFriede wrote:A kind of love. But does that love extend to sexuality? Did you read what Jean said about "Thelma and Louise"? They were a non-sexual couple too.

There's always a non-sexual element with any kind of love - the physical aspect of it is peripheral to every kind of love regardless of sexuality - that's just the icing on the cake - or the salt in the coffee very often.

Also - I know it's Tonkers it's just the lamentable English habit of verbal contractions. :lol: I think one of the unit did call her Tonks at one point (anything to lessen the keystrokes even by just 2 - we're that lazy!). :wink:

Also whilst we're at it and on about euphemisms in another thread - a Tonker means penis and is a fave of Terry's - he uses it a couple of times in relation to the Elf King in Lord and Ladies :lol:
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Postby raisindot » Sun Jan 09, 2011 5:38 pm

Dotsie wrote:I thought it was made very clear that they were in love. Lots of things get hinted at in Terry's works, do they all disappoint you?


Agreed. It never occurred to me that that Tonkers and Lofty might NOT be lesbians, or at least in a loving, monagomous relationship that went far beyond 'friendship.'

I always thought that Pterry meant from their relationship be represent something 'real' and positive (i.e., real love between two people) that somehow managed to exist in a country where actual love had been mostly squeezed out of by war, poverty, cruelty, and religious oppression. One of the themes of Monstrous Regiment was about the different kinds of love that can emerge within a group. At the start, everyone is supposed to have an undying, religious love for the nation as represented by the Baronness.

But as the novel progresses, different kinds of love emerge. There's the typical 'squad love,' where members develop emotional attachments to each other typical of soldiers in battle situations. Then, as they all discover their true gender, they develop a 'sisterhood' kind of love built on their mutual support of their oppressed gender. Jackrom's love toward his troops is that of a mother trying to protect and nuture her children. Polly's love for the brother she's trying to rescue is mercenary in some ways, since her movitation is also personal--without him, she'll never be able to manage the tavern.

And then in the midst of all of this you get the relationship between Tonker and Lofty, which seems to be the personal, emotionally supportive, monogamous love of two people toward each other, whether it's physically sexual or not. It never even occurred to me that their relationship was anything but that of two lovers.


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Postby BaldFriede » Thu Jan 13, 2011 5:37 am

I think the point about Tonkers and Lofty is that they are lovers but they are not really lesbians. They are not interested in the same sex per se, they are interested in each other and just happen to be of the same sex. So they are technically lesbians but not really.
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Postby Temple_maiden » Thu Jan 13, 2011 8:29 am

Well, I was left in no doubt that Tonkers and Lofty were definitely together, with whatever that implies.

Whereas when I watched Thelma and Louise I didn't get any sexual relationship between them at all. They were best friends, nothing more.

I have a best friend - but I don't fancy her, and the relationship between us is very different from the relationship between me and my dh. She's more like a sister.
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Postby BaldFriede » Thu Jan 13, 2011 8:46 am

I had no doubt about their togetherness either. But that does only technically make them lesbians, in contrast to me. I feel generally attracted by women and not by men. So I am definitely a lesbian. But I don't get that feeling about Lofty and Tonker; their lesbianism is arbitrary. And that was what disappointed me a bit. We still haven'rt seen any real homosexual person, which be definition is generally attracted by people of the same sex, in one of Pratchett's books. Lofty and Tonker are not a couple becausde they are both on the lookout for women and met each other; they are a couple because they wsere together under extreme circumstances and found solace in each other. That they were of the same sex is abitrary.
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Postby pip » Thu Jan 13, 2011 9:02 am

Bengo Macarona is most definitely a Male character who is attracted to other male characters. The hint in Unseen Academicals is about as subtle as a brick.
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Postby BaldFriede » Thu Jan 13, 2011 9:21 am

pip wrote:Bengo Macarona is most definitely a Male character who is attracted to other male characters. The hint in Unseen Academicals is about as subtle as a brick.

Yes, but nothing is made from that. The problems that come with it (and trust me, there are a lot) don't play any role for the novel; he is just a minor character who happens to be gay. That's not really dealing with homosexuality in my book.
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Postby pip » Thu Jan 13, 2011 9:25 am

BaldFriede wrote:
pip wrote:Bengo Macarona is most definitely a Male character who is attracted to other male characters. The hint in Unseen Academicals is about as subtle as a brick.

Yes, but nothing is made from that. The problems that come with it (and trust me, there are a lot) don't play any role for the novel; he is just a minor character who happens to be gay. That's not really dealing with homosexuality in my book.


dealing with a subject doesn't have to be a head on assault.
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Thu Jan 13, 2011 10:25 am

Exactly Pip - the Tonkers/Lofty dynamic is the most complex one within the squad that's all.

If there's one common theme for MR it is about love in adversity, specifically in terms of war and in Borogravia everyone is fighting on all fronts in essence and whether or not they're in the Army or have been or will be.

The only other issue is care in the Jackrum sense for her recruits and then for the fledgling squad, but all the girls care and love for each other in common and have more intense loving/caring relationships from the very superficial - Maladicta for her coffee; to the very profound/insane - Maladicta and her coffee... :lol:

With the squad aside from Jackrum you have that quintessential war theme of 'put 'em through hell and they'll turn out soldiers' but more importantly friends ,who work together and support each other. This is the real core of Lofty and Tonkers bonding - they have already gone through hell, as has the other workhouse girl whose name has completely deserted me, but you know I mean... :roll: They have been virtually destroyed by all kinds of abuse and so Tonkers and Lofty are more than lovers effectively - they are co-dependent to a very high degree where gender doesn't matter and it wouldn't surprise me if they weren't physical lovers at all. Very often sexual abuse means a total withdrawal of an individual personality to the point that any physical interaction with anyTHING is utterly meaningless - not even abhorrent.

For the other poor little girl, she has retreated into madness and hallucination with the Duchess as a vaguely sympathetic but just as dysfunctional and needy alternative 'reality' into which she's retreated so she has some frail, but essentially sustainable cocoon to preserve what sanity and vitality she has left to her. Similarly, when we first see Tonkers and Lofty they are death-seeking essentially, truly disturbed and bonded to each other so tightly that they're sharing a personality and nourishing each other literally to survive, knowing there's nowhere else they can go.

I've never liked MR and I never will, because of this deconstruction of a nations total disintegration in almost every respect. It's a truly great and insightful book and mercifully indistinct in places. Through work I've seen demolished people like those 3 girls and so it's totally possible. Tonkers loves Lofty and Lofty loves Tonkers any way they're capable of, in essence because they're all they have.
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Postby Tonyblack » Thu Jan 13, 2011 11:55 am

Just a small point - it's 'Tonker' not "Tonkers". :P

I see the relationship between the girls as something like that between Idgie and Ruth in Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe. It's implied that they are lovers as well as friends, but it's not explicit.

Whether they are lesbians or close friends who a close and loving relationship isn't clear.
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Thu Jan 13, 2011 1:11 pm

Tonks Tonker Tonkers - bleh! :lol: The one who's better at being a bloke! :twisted:
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Postby raisindot » Thu Jan 13, 2011 2:15 pm

BaldFriede wrote:I think the point about Tonkers and Lofty is that they are lovers but they are not really lesbians. They are not interested in the same sex per se, they are interested in each other and just happen to be of the same sex. So they are technically lesbians but not really.


Gotta ask: Isn't "lesbian" or "homosexual" just a label that straight people applied to those who weren't heterosexual and that, thought most of modern history, has been pejorative until these labels were turned into labels of pride in the last 30 years of so?

I say that because in ancient times there were plenty of Greeks and Romans who had same-sex relationships and no one thought anything of it. They didn't use labels because a person's sexual practices didn't matter--it was considered to be completely 'normal.' It was only until the Judeo-Christian tradition came in an demonized these practices that these terms were invented to identify those are practitioners of acts that were considered "sinful.'

On the DW, presumably such distinctions have never been established either.
Tonker and Lofty don't classify themselves as "lesbians," because they're not even aware that what they're doing could possibly be considered sinful. In their country, two women having a sexual or loving relationship isn't necessarily sinful (we really don't know). It's far more of a sin for a woman to be a soldier.

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