Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Homophobia

This is a good post on attitudes toward gays.  The relevant quote:

There is one thing that I'd like to address, though. When I've seen people ... advocating for a return flat-out to a total ban on gay soldiers- they are almost always men, and they very frequently cite some variant on a common theme. Apparently, it would be just horrible if they had to think about other men being attracted to them, and worry about being ogled, and maybe even worry about being raped, because there's always the one creepy guy that's willing to cross that line, and we just can't do that to our soldiers. ...

To these men, I have the following reply: welcome to what every single human female on the ****ing planet deals with from puberty onward. You don't like the idea that some man you're not attracted to might be fantasizing about having sex with you, might be eyeing your fun bits, that there's even a remote but existing chance he might rape you? Harden. The ****. Up. Fifty percent of the population has to cope with this every day as a fact of life, and we're called paranoid deranged feminazi man-haters if we even bring it up outside a feminist consciousness-raising session. ...

Be glad you only have to cope with 5% of the male population instead of 95%, that you're much more likely to be able to fend off a real assault with your bare hands than we are, and STOP WHINING about the bad nasty men that might want sex with people that might not be interested. When "cry like a little girl" becomes an inappropriate expression because the little girls are handling it better than you are, you know you really do need to put on your big-boy britches.


By coincidence, this blog post deals with something that happened to me today.  I had a conversation with a classmate who thought that a gay guy was flirting with him.  He was freaking out over this and making a huge deal about it.  He actually said 'I am never going to go out to a bar again.' 

I then said something like 'What's the big deal?  Women deal with unwanted attention all the time.' 

Then he said, repeatedly 'But I am not like that.  I am not attracted to men.'

This was telling.  I suspect that a big reason for homophobia is some subconscious voice saying "If he is attracted to you, that means he thinks you are gay.  And if he thinks you are gay, then maybe other people also think you are gay.  Hey, maybe you are gay." 

And he couldn't deal with that.  For some reason, a lot of guys are really afraid that people might think that they are gay.  They just do not want to think about the issue at all.

I have actually been propositioned by gay men.  It did not bother me or offend me or make me doubt anything about myself.  I just said 'No, I am straight' and went on with my life.

2 comments:

NotanEster said...

I was on the exact wavelength as LabRat as I read that opening paragraph, so I just knew what was coming in the next part. 'HELLO. Welcome to the life of the other half.' It was pretty great, so thanks for directing attention to it.

However, I didn't have a good immediate explanation for why there is such fear of being seen as 'gay' offhand other than perhaps 'being seen as gay = reduced ability to attract women.' Didn't really fit though.

After some thought, I think it's not just a fear of being hit on by a person with a penis. It's fear of the feminine, of being seen as female, even if it manifests as fear of teh Gays. So, let's take the guy's inner voice and take it further into the guy's (un)conscious...

"If he is attracted to you, that means he thinks you are gay. And if he thinks you are gay, then maybe other people also think you are gay. Are you gay? If people think you are gay, you must be giving off a girly vibe. Hey, maybe you do act like a woman."

Male homosexuality in this society is almost always correlated with feminine attributes. After all... when else do you see males recoil with similar intensity, than when confronted with the thought that some action or idea (of theirs or others) is 'girly'?

Alleged Wisdom said...

That makes sense. Some guys are definitely afraid of being perceived as 'girly'. This extends so far that they refuse to learn basic life skills like cooking and sewing.

I'll direct you to another good LabRat post on this topic:

http://www.atomicnerds.com/?p=3000