Posted: 18 Oct 2006 09:19
I don't mind speculation about Tintin, but what I don't like is people labeling Tintin without something to back them up.
May I ask what you mean by labelling? In the context of this discussion, I'm guessing you mean pigeonholing, stereotyping, declaring a certain quality about Tintin and insisting its universiality. Please correct me if I misinterpreted you.
But given that, I've re-read this thread, and the closest thing to "labelling" I can see is a constant repetition of the phrase "Tintin is asexual." Most of the comments suggesting otherwise, including mine, I see as falling right into the other word you used- "speculation".
I'll restate another thing that's been reaffirmed by a lot of posters: Herge never, I repeat, NEVER, said anything about Tintin's sexuality. Note that this is markedly different from (excuse the pun) coming out and explicitly announcing that the (usual) absence of sexuality from the abums was to imply that its characters were meant to be READ as sexless. I repeat, Herge never did this. Silence on a topic and annoucning that topic as irrelevant, epsecially in an arts discourse, are TWO DIFFERENT THINGS. He intentionally left the realm of Tintin's personal life, family history, etc OPEN to his audience and their imagination.
Sexuality may be unimportant to some fans in their personal reading of the work, which is fine, but what annoys me is when these fans impose THEIR opinion on others. I've NEVER come across anyone, or any text, which has stated that everybody HAS to see Tintin as gay, straight, bi, or as any other sexual identity. There has been speculation, yes (there's that word again!), but nothing I've seen has tried to dictate the way people think.
To me, personally, it's irrelevant to assume that someone like Spongebob is gay because, well, he's a cartoon sponge. That being said, if someone wants to speculate about homoerotic themes in Spongebob's TV show for creative purposes (like, say, a student of queer theory), then all the more power to them. I may not agree, but I respect their right to... wait for it... speculate.
As for Tintin, a boisterous young adult at the age of a male's sexual peak (high adolescence/young adulthood), with such an aggressively extroverted attitude and many intensely intimate male friendships, can't you aquiesce that perhaps there may just be a tiny little window for discussing a homoerotic undercurrent within the series? You can disagree with something and TOLERATE it at the same time. I don't know if anybody has tried to actively force you to see Tintin as some kind of limp-wristed, flaming stereotype, but rest assured that most people are not that holier-than-thou. And personally, I'll respect your right to think whatever you want about Tintin (and all other art) as long as you respect mine.