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Tintin: his sexuality

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#41 · Posted: 21 Sep 2006 15:34
I think I prefer to believe there is more than friendship between them in that case.. I think it would be a nice, warm thing for Tintin to have someone. He deserves a bit of love! No-one likes to imagine them going at it like rabbits of course, but love doesn't have to mean sex. I think they are soul-mates.

#42 · Posted: 21 Sep 2006 16:01
Whatever. I prefer them to be straight.
Shaggy Milou
#43 · Posted: 10 Oct 2006 13:41
Sorry if this is a bit of an old topic, but I found the disscussion interesting...

From all available evidence, as it has been stated I think it's clear that Herge intended to leave Tintin's personal life out of the mostly extroverted stories. But I see it as no crime for a reader's imagination to "fill in the gaps", so to speak, to make the series feel more real and personalised. Yes, it WAS written with kids in mind, but I think the more mature themes (world poltics and substance abuse, anyone?) are undeniable as well. That's what makes Tintin a success- he works on so many levels.

Now, I don't impose the following on anything more than my own imagination, but I interpret Tintin as being a sexual creature, as I do all such iconic characters who I find myself relating to. He may be asexual to other fans, but that doesn't work for me personally. Even reading the books as a child I imagined him to have some sort of love life. To me, it's just more identifiable to be in posession of a libido, regardless of whether it's repressed or oversized.

And furthermore- shock horror- I do see an existance of Tintin and Haddock as a couple (that's right kids, the dreaded G word). I reiterate that this is an individual understanding and not some sort of assertion that EVERYONE must see the characters in this light. And I'm not out to "corrupt" all plationic male friendships by turning them into something "dirty" (There's plenty of similar situations in literature where I don't see homoerotic overtones). I could explain in detail why I've come to this conclusion, but in a nutshell, perhaps it's just because I'm a girly-girl who loves a good love story (and frankly, a tacked-on FEMALE love interest reeks of corny Hollywood dogma). I really don't see why such a thing must be construed as pornographic- rather, I think the concept of romance adds a new level of tenderness to Tintin and Haddock's relationship.

In any respect, platonic or not, there seems to be more than meets the eye to Tintin and Haddock's seemingly distant friendship. Their actions towards each other suggest a kind of intimacy and devotion that their words don't (is that just a guy thing, or what?). Whether it's lovemaking or simple fraternal bonding, I'm convinced there are aspects of their chemistry we never get to see. Why else would they be willing to sacrifice their lives for each other if there isn't a substantial love, of any sort, between them?

It was previously mentioned that the private life is all about what is NOT said and shown, and in an environment such as 20th century Europe, no-one with half a brain would be overt about any deviation from the sexual norms of the time. To dictate that Tintin must be seen by his fans as purely asexual is an uninspired (not to mention sanctimonious) conclusion, and it's not something that Herge tried to actively push in the stories anyway. He wanted us to think of Tintin in a way that was most comfortable for us, even if he ferociously guarded the books themselves.

(And seriously, homosexuality too dirty for kids? Tell that to all the children with two mummies and two daddies out there. Give kids more credit, variations on family structure and courtship models aren't going to traumatise them.)
#44 · Posted: 11 Oct 2006 02:41
Tintin's sexualtiy is irrelevant. Besides, he's not a real person; he's a character in our minds, an intangible idea, and a fond memory. anyone who tries to label Tintin as gay or Bisexual or anything like that is slandering the character we all know and love and disrespecting Herge's genius. He would roll over in his grave if he knew we were TALKING about this!

Give it up! Stop labeling Tintin!
Captain Chester
#45 · Posted: 11 Oct 2006 21:39 · Edited by: Captain Chester
Cheers for tintinisthegreatest!! In my humble opinion, Tintin's sexuality is absolutely irrelevant!
It is indeed slander to the memory of Herge to label his character.

#46 · Posted: 13 Oct 2006 17:39
No one can convince me that, in all the years Hergé spent producing Tintin, never once did he think about the character's sexuality. With so many people here insisting that Tintin be seen as "asexual", it's obvious that that this is what they prefer to believe. Indeed, they seem to have an urgent need to believe this! The possibility that this beloved character may have, at some point in his history, been homosexual in conception is too much for people to stomach, despite the absence of contrary evidence. How sad to see that homosexuality is still such a unpalatable topic. However, everyone has the right to express his or her own opinion. It really doesn't bother me if someone prefers to think of Tintin and his friends as asexual or even heterosexual. It doesn't even bother me why someone would prefer to think that way. However, I am very bothered by the comparisons of homosexuality to slander, to unclean body functions, to effeminacy, to pornography and kinkiness. I find this quite offensive as a Gay person, and I ask participants in this discussion to please think carefully before they write. How would you feel if such derogatory things were suggested about your own sexuality?
#47 · Posted: 18 Oct 2006 01:30
I am very bothered by the comparisons of homosexuality to slander, to unclean body functions, to effeminacy, to pornography and kinkiness.

Hang on, there, adonis1960. Let me explain:
I was not refering to homosexuality as slander in my post. I am neutral about sexuality issues but not when Tintin is the one being labeled. From what I know about Herge, I don't think he would have wanted Tintin to be gay or bi or something like that...besides, Herge was straight anyway. The point I was trying to make was that Tintin's sexuality is not important. Besides, if someone just claimed that Tintin was gay or something, where is your evidence? I have not found any evidence that Herge wanted to make Tintin gay or give him any sexuality for that matter. I don't mind speculation about Tintin, but what I don't like is people labeling Tintin without something to back them up. I'm sorry if I sounded homophobic in my post, but that's how I feel.
Shaggy Milou
#48 · 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.
#49 · Posted: 18 Oct 2006 14:47
Tintin's sexuality isn't important, as long as people can assume that he wasn't, in tintinisthegreatest's words, "Gay or bi, or something like that." The negative implication of a comment like that is awfully hard to miss.

Aren't we being a little bit dishonest here? It's clear from the posts I've read that the idea of a homosexual Tintin upsets some people. They're at a loss to explain away the fact that the character's intense friendships were always with males, and so they cling to the fact that the stories depict no explicit homoeroticism (although I think Capt. Haddock's hallucination of Tintin as a bottle of champagne in "The Crab With the Golden Claws" is certainly open to homoerotic interpretation).

Are we to believe, given negative attitudes toward homosexuality in most of the 20th century, that Hergé would dare to have made such explicit references in his work? Are we to believe that, just because Hergé was (apparently) heterosexual he couldn't have had enlightened attitudes about Gay people? Are we to believe that a writer who injected mature themes like alcoholism and drug abuse into Tintin stories would never have been open to the possibility of homosexual characters? Are we also to believe that Hergé himself never encountered speculation about his hero's sexual orientation? If we're prepared to believe such things, I think we're either very naïve or very biased.

Homosexuality is natural to a significant portion of humanity. Some of those human beings are good people, and some of them are bad. Some of them are villains, and some are heroes. This is a fact of life, and, to their credit, certain Europeans have been aware of it for quite some time. I am not trying to convince anyone that Tintin and Capt. Haddock were homosexual characters. It's very likely that Hergé didn't think of them in that way, and there's another explanation for their lack of involvement with the opposite sex. However, it's no more disrespectful to suggest that they may have been homosexual than to suggest they were left-handed. It's high time we got over these silly hang-ups.
#50 · Posted: 18 Oct 2006 18:44
Okay, okay, okay! Everyone just stop and listen to what I have to say. All I was trying to say was that it shouldn't matter what Tintin's sexuality is, just as long as people have evidence that what they say is true.

As I have said before, I take no side with sexuality issues but when people just claim that so-and-so is ANY sexuality, all I have to ask is WHERE IS YOUR PROOF? Besides, we can never know for sure what Tintin's sexuality is because the only person who would know is Herge.

I have said similar things about the specualtion (oh, no! i've said it again!) of Tintin dying in the last book. We can ask questions about this all we want, but it still does not provide a definite answer. In any case, as I have said in my post that started this whole thing, TINTIN'S SEXUALITY IS ABSOLUTELY IRRELEVANT! It wouldn't change the character in any way, shape or form: he would still be Tintin. Also, we are responding to this as if Tintin is a real person...

He's not. He is simply a cartoon character who has a lust for adventure, solving mysteries and is a devoted friend with a great heart. Some things about the character should just be left alone, and that includes his sexuality. We should just be happy with the way he is now. That's all I have to say.

Now I wish I hadn't posted anything at all.

Tintin Is The Greatest.

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