In Defence Of…QRG

Posted: September 23, 2011 in Blogging, Feminism, Freedom of Speech, Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

I have been involved in some altercations online recently, due to my use of the phrase ‘Anti Gay’ to describe my opposition to the elitist, conservative club that is ‘Gay’. In doing so I have referred to the book of that title edited  by Mark Simpson. Anti Gay was published in 1996, and was one of a few books around that time that presented a challenge to the increasingly homogenous and commercial (and white middle class male)  ‘gay culture’ that was emerging in our cities and our media in particular. Canal Street, Queer as Folk, Queer Eye for The Straight Guy, Dan Savage, Pink News, Attitude, Gay Times: they have all contributed to a now dominant version of non-heterosexual life that is bland, boring and often bigoted.

One reason my use of the term ‘anti-gay’ has riled people so much, is, of course that genuinely homophobic and often right wing people also describe themselves as anti gay.  Simpson was aware of this fact when he used the controversial title for his book. But also I think he was incredibly astute as in that title he anticipated the polarisation that has since developed between ‘gay rights’ campaigners, including and supported by ‘liberals’ on one side, and ‘anti gay’ campaigners, including and supported by Christian ‘right’ wingers on the other. You have to pick a side. As a gay man, and quite a radical one at that, Simpson used the term ‘anti gay’ as a refusal to pick a side. It is a rejection of the ‘gay’ identity and the ridiculous us and them politics it leads to. An us and them politics that has now got out of hand.  It is the ‘you’re either with us or you’re against us’ of George Bush. It’s the way both sides resort to calling each other sick. One of the ironies being, of course, that the liberal left who advocate tolerance of gay people, are being spectacularly intolerant of those who disagree with them.

Anti Gay made Mark Simpson incredibly unpopular within the ‘gay community’ and the liberal media in the UK in 1996.  15 years later, my promotion of its ideas (which may be re-released unto the world in an ebook soon) renders me equally, if not even more unpopular. And this is where my defence of me comes in.

My enthusiasm for Simpson’s work, mainly his theories of metrosexuality, but also his work on sexual identities, sex and gender ‘science’ and internet pornography and hook up sites, has led me to be called his Disciple, an Ardent Simpsonista and many more unpleasant monikers. Underlying most of these names, and some other lengthier ‘taunts’,  has been a suggestion that I can’t think for myself. That I am merely a puppet or a parrot of ‘MetroDaddy’, spouting his ideas as if they were my own. That I am a fraud.

These accusations obviously have no merit. If I wanted to pass off Simpson’s ideas as my own, I would not refer to his work and credit him so diligently. And if I were just a ‘parrot’ I wouldn’t have critiqued some of Simpson’s approaches and theories so carefully.  How could I if I didn’t have a mind of my own? But even ideas with no merit (especially them?) have a habit of gaining ground and so this is my rebuttal to the false statements made about me.

One of the things gay rights campaigners, feminists and their allies claim to hate the most is bullying. But when it comes to people they don’t like or don’t agree with, they seem to change their tune. Bullying of someone like me, a known ‘anti-feminist’ and ‘anti-gay’ activist is justified.  When I had my twitter handle, @quietriot_girl stolen for example, the person who took it said it was because of my ‘transphobia’. Oh, well that’s ok then. And when I speak out about the misandry that riddles our culture, I am just laughed at and/or called a  troll.

If none of that shuts me up, the tolerant, liberal, inclusive feminists and gays shut down discussions (especially if I seem to be winning the argument), block me and ban me from their online spaces.

But I am still here. I am still anti-feminist, I am still ‘Anti-Gay’, and I am still a passionate supporter, promoter and critic of the work of Mark Anti-Gay Simpson. Because where I come from, independent, thoughtful and insightful criticism is the biggest compliment you can give a theorist or writer.

The haters are going to have to try a bit harder if they want to stop me. I’m Quiet Riot Girl. I am unstoppable.

Comments
  1. Matthew says:

    As I awake this morning, preparing to speak about my experiences of being bullied in the gay world and straight world I am comforted that someone just calls bullying out for what is.

    Although difficult to be a queer maverick, it has provided me insight via exclusion from two worlds. Thank you for the warning of not becoming overly identified with my own sexuality, less it becomes a new platform for fascism. But that’s a long way away, really. As I read gay-centric ways of erasing the lives of bisexual people, there is some necessity in a politics, but what politics?

    It is actually odd in both undergrad and grad school my sexual life was always a controversy by the very people who were teaching and disciples of deconstructionism. While my heavily rumoured sexual life (much of it accurate but with bizaare twists of logic) seemingly deconstructed their own lives and identity. But I never did this acutely aware of it, just freely pursuing pleasure and companionship.

    Thanks for helping me go through this process via comments, in the end it really is just about alllowing myself the liberty again to love as I will even when it gets complicated. But I think something much greater is coming from this process which goes far beyond sex or love, it is about seeing life for what is – beyond description – and choosing to embrace the chaos as I live within the margins.

  2. I always think about your experience when I think about how inflammatory people are on the internet and how few people enjoy having their ideas challenged or critiqued in any way, shape or form. I think for a lot of spaces, there’s a strong sense of victim mentality and while I agree that oppressed groups should have a platform to speak – no one’s ideas are above critique.

    Like I was spewing all over Twitter this morning – human evolution is S-L-O-W. People think that having certain ideas makes us evolved – and to a point, it does – but people forget the other component to being human: feelings. If your first response to someone who disagrees with you is to lash out – then you’ve got problems.

    Anyway I’m happy I found your blog! Certain topics are over my head – which is part of the reason why I don’t spend much time on Mark Simpson’s blog. I have a hard time understanding his ideas. since they’re things I never gave much thought to so I have no frame of reference for what he’s talking about.

    • Hi thanks for commenting and for bothering to read some of the other accounts of people’s ‘inflammatory’ reactions to me online. You’re right it is an indication of a wider situation about how people are.

      well if you read my blog you won’t be able to avoid Mark Simpson’s work. But the main thing he writes about that many people don’t seem to have spent much time thinking about is…men.

  3. AOBAG says:

    Well, there’s that old adage… even if I do not respect what you are saying, I will respect your right to say it. But I find myself agreeing with most of the things on here. At least you are honest with what you write, and encourage and take part in discussion, which is all too rare in this world of knee-jerk reactions. Which seems to be the norm elsewhere when discussing many of the same points.

  4. paul says:

    Matthew, I applaud you for “embracing the chaos” and staying open. Never the easy path but surely the richer one.

    QRG, I sympathize. One of the reasons I’ve yet to start up a blog is the knowledge of how much meanness and closed-mindedness is out there in the big e-world. How much courage it takes to write publicly about difficult subjects. May we all remain unstoppable!

  5. Thanks everyone! Onwards and sideways. One of my favourite films:

  6. emily says:

    Well if you don’t agree with what everyone is saying you MUST be a “troll”… ;)
    I’m so glad you do what you do, even if I dont agree with everything you write you always do everything so rigorously and tenaciously and you’re one of the few bloggers I’ve ever come across who will actually take and digest criticism without having some kind of tantrum. X

  7. Gs says:

    Here’s a signature I use on a forum I participate in. Hope it helps!

    To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing. – Elbert Hubbard

  8. Is there a concise summary of Simpson’s Anti-Gay anywhere? How would you sum it up?

    I have to say I don’t really know what to make of Simpson. I find him extremely bright, readable and interesting but I don’t see much that distinguishes him from a lot of people who consider themselves ‘gay’ and ‘pro-gay’.

    Your tweets on the topic are kind of hard to sink my teeth into. I don’t know exactly who your beef is with. Who is ‘gay’ and who isn’t? You keep hinting at some kind of ‘peas in a pod’ scenario between gays and the people that hate them, but you haven’t really fleshed that out. Without evidence, I think most people would find the comparison fairly ridiculous. Here in the States you’d have to look long and hard for a fundamentalist beaten to death by queers. The other way around? Not so much. I think this kind of trivializing is what might be getting under so many people’s noses, although I don’t know where all these detractors are.

    Generally speaking, I don’t think generalizations about extremely broad categories of people like ‘gay’ are particularly logical or engaging. I think the concept of ‘gay’ is harder to attack than, say, feminism, simply because it doesn’t come completely kitted out with a widely articulated set of assumptions on which there is wide consensus and it is far from getting the same purchase in modern life.

    • Anti Gay should be released as a free or very cheap e-book soon so you can read the whole thing then!

      If you want to know more about my detractors you can click on the links in my post. Their detraction is well documented.

      I am not trivialising anything. You are kind of assuming agreement with imaginary people who you don’t know why they disagree with me.

      My issue with reports of bullying, homophobia and violence is that the ‘gay rights’ lobby has appopriated all of it as ‘anti-gay’ violence/hatred. When that is insulting in itself as many people who are victimised are not ‘gay’ at all, just different (maybe bi, maybe trans, maybe cross-dressers, maybe ‘effeminate’). The gay lobby takes all forms of difference and claims it as its own. I find that insulting.

  9. It’s interesting how, say allot of Feminists will claim to be oppressed but never acknowledge their privileges…. ie being white and wealthy. And I’m supposed to listen to them whine and tell me I have no problems and face no discrimination because of that invisible thing called patriarchy that is just like the matrix but I am too brainwashed/dumb to see.

    On the other side, I’ll go over to the manosphere, places like Inmalafide and while I sometimes agree with allot of the points they bring up, I’m so glad I’ll never meet them in real life. There are some awful people there-white power types, a guy named Advocatus Diaboli who might actually fit the real definition of misogyny–not the Feminist one of accepting everything they say as unquestioned truth and to question anything is to be a misogynist. (Run On sentence for sure, but hopefully you get the idea.) That’s why I can’t become an MRA-allot of them are bigoted jerks…. (Hope I didn’t give the Feminazi’s a Cookie there.)

    And the gays. Oh, to even say anything bad about them–I must be a hateful homophobe with secret butt sex desires that throw me into tirades of hate because I must hate myself. Alright, they go around and expect I’m supposed to accept everything they do in the bedroom. Sorry, it’s just gross. I find the idea of butt sex gross, between a man and a woman or a man and a man. And prison sex-that’s why I never got into a life of crime. There-I said it. Call me a prude or a loser. If your gonna do that stuff, fine but don’t Tell me about it. And you guys seem to have two default modes–either lispy and effeminant or ultra macho butthead. (The gays I’ve met who don’t fall into those categories have been the rare few cool gays.) Sorry you or Feminism has not done me any favors in giving me a more malleable masculinity. It’s still earn lotsa money and get drunk at bars because you are a het cis male so you must fit a narrow box. No, I’m not gonna sign your marriage petition and stop looking at my butt–it’s not my fault I haven’t let myself go totally unlike most the other straight guys in my neck of the woods.

    END OF RANT…..

    So if you define yourself by what you are not is that nihilism? Is it time to dust of those Nietzsche books?

  10. “I am not trivialising anything. You are kind of assuming agreement with imaginary people who you don’t know why they disagree with me.”

    You are talking about two different things. Just for the record, that you have detractors doesn’t interest me in the least except inasmuch as talking about them helps me understand what you’re getting at when you describe yourself as anti-gay. That’s not happening here.

    My ‘trivializing’ comment was about your tweets. Some of them have looked to me like “Gay Intolerance” = “Conservative Intolerance” It is this assertion that I find trivializing, in the same way that Whitey = Nigger deliberately misses a point and trivializes racism.

    “My issue with reports of bullying, homophobia and violence is that the ‘gay rights’ lobby has appopriated all of it as ‘anti-gay’ violence/hatred. ”

    Can you cite a source on this? Here in the States, the organizations that have tasked themselves with this stuff have made a point of distinguishing these different forms of abuse and taking account of all of it. See New York Anti-Violence Project and National Gay and Lesbian Task Force for instance. Legislative campaigns aimed at enhanced penalties invariably include the categories you name.

  11. “Anti Gay should be released as a free or very cheap e-book soon so you can read the whole thing then!”

    To be honest, I have a rather long reading list and that’s not on it. If you are going to continue to cite it as an influence, why not quote it from time to time?

    Let’s start with who you mean by ‘gay’ when you say ‘Anti-gay.’

    • I can quote or not as much as I like! and you can read or not read what you like.

      Gay – people who identify as gay. Gay and Lesbian columns in newspapers. Dan Gay Savage. Gay Pride. Stonewall. Gay Times. Attitude. ‘National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce’ Gay and Lesbian sections in bookshops…

  12. I will get some references at some point.

    BUt this post was written after biting my tongue for ages. I haven;t listed all the people and their comments about me as I didn’t want to make it personal. But I don’t feel I need to justify myself too hard just now. The reason I get shit from people is nothing to do with my lack of explanation or evidence.

  13. With razor-sharp adherents like stonerwithaboner, why on earth does QRG need detractors?

    Oops, am I being too gay to say he is one seriously clueless human being?

  14. “I can quote or not as much as I like! and you can read or not read what you like.”

    Of course. I was simply making a recommendation if your intent is to be understood and perhaps even persuade. By all means do what you like.

    So far I know that people fight with you a lot and that you are a big admirer of Mark Simpson, whose book I probably won’t read.

    You referred me to your blog because I couldn’t figure out what your beef is. I’m here and I still can’t.

    • Sorry for wasting your time. If you have the inclination there is plenty to read that I have linked to that explains everything more clearly. But I am sure you have more interesting things to read.

  15. I amend my comment.

    His post was clueless. Like I said, I don’t find generalizations logical or interesting, particularly when they are made in the course of ranting.

    But I’d really rather this conflict not be the issue.

  16. Whatever QRG.

    I actually like you. I think your comments on one thread at Simpson’s place are absolutely brilliant. You seem bent on making enemies, seemingly because you think they are some kind of proof you inhabit some intellectual vanguard, when really, in my case, it’s because you don’t back your shit up with anything. You just rant and then choose up sides with some other person who rants.

    I am disappointed.

    I have misgivings about gay culture that i can’t always articulate. But people like you stonerboner and you just put me on the defensive. Force to choose a side, it’s not gonna be yours, at least not based on anything here.

    • Nobody is forcing you to take a ‘side’. I wrote a piece defending my position. You are not impressed. I am fine with that. But I am glad you think I am capable of writing/saying something ‘absolutely brilliant’. Especially if it was at Mark Simpson’s blog, where the level of debate and discussion is incredibly high.

  17. “Nobody is forcing you to take a ‘side’. ”

    I disagree. To me, making gross, hostile generalizations about queer people, the way stonerboner was making them – that is, from a self-assigned position of superiority – forces me onto a side. I don’t want to be here, but it’s where I just got shoved.

    This is my problem with a lot of critiques of identity politics. I dislike identity politics myself. But, y’know, they didn’t just emerge out of thin air.

  18. FF says:

    My issue with reports of bullying, homophobia and violence is that the ‘gay rights’ lobby has appopriated all of it as ‘anti-gay’ violence/hatred. When that is insulting in itself as many people who are victimised are not ‘gay’ at all, just different (maybe bi, maybe trans, maybe cross-dressers, maybe ‘effeminate’). The gay lobby takes all forms of difference and claims it as its own

    But where do you think that bullying/violence stems from? It generally stems from a homophobia that makes no distinction between gay, bi, trans etc etc, just sees all of its victims as just filthy queers who deserve a kicking. And your “disagreement” with stoner being solely about anal sex is just so PRECIOUS when he’s just spewed out a whole gut-full of the most bigoted rubbish imaginable.

    You’re just ever so faintly ridiculous.

    • thanks Flaming Fairy!

      To say stoner has ‘spewed out a whole gut full of the most bigoted rubbish imaginable’ is going a bit far though. Try reading Dan Savage he spews bigotry every day.

  19. Hi QRG – have you seen this?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuw8bg24r50

    Think it might interest you

    A
    x

  20. ha! I used to DJ there occasionally. It'[s run by friends of mine.

    Happy (and dirty) days.

  21. “To say stoner has ‘spewed out a whole gut full of the most bigoted rubbish imaginable’ is going a bit far though. Try reading Dan Savage he spews bigotry every day.”

    Here’s a thought: They’re both assholes.

    • if you keep calling longstanding intelligent commenters ‘assholes’ Tarzie I won’t allow you to comment here anymore. It’s just rude and I have a lot of respect for the people who bother to discuss and share links and ideas here at QRG. Thanks.

  22. FF says:

    To say stoner has ‘spewed out a whole gut full of the most bigoted rubbish imaginable’ is going a bit far though. Try reading Dan Savage he spews bigotry every day.

    At least with bigots, I know where I stand. With dishonest idiots like you, I’m always left guessing. I think I’d rather be called a filthy poof by a bigot than it be insinuated I am the same by someone who’s articulate yet stupid and imagines they are on the side of right.

  23. i like the video linked by Ally Fogg. I would not say that there is anything there one could call anti-gay. It’s a protest against the homogenization and commodification of gay culture. This particular tension has been in gay life for years, not least because in capitalist society marginal communities have to pay to play. The poet is no less gay than Dan Savage. He just represents a different part of the spectrum.

    Essentially you’re dealing in a tautology: I don’t like misogynist, bourgeois, conformist homos because their misogynist, bourgeois and conformist. No argument there. Water is wet, too. Imagine.

    • That poet is much less gay than Dan Savage in his politics. Dan Savage would never support the range of people mentioned in that video.

      No I am not. I am talking about how the term ‘gay’ is used to cover the whole spectrum of non-heterosexual identities which excludes a lot of people and actually justifies bigotry against those people. It’s not just the likes of Dan Savage as Mark Simpson’s book that you can’t be bothered to read, points out.

  24. “if you keep calling longstanding intelligent commenters ‘assholes’ Tarzie I won’t allow you to comment here ”

    It’s your place, your rules, though the emphasis on profanity versus simple bigotry strikes me as arbitrary in bourgie sort of way.

  25. FF says:

    Yuck, your ugly friends

    Out of here. I can feel my brain being sapped by the nexus of idiocy.

  26. QRG, really looking forward to the moment you quit running interference for long-standing, intelligent commenter stonerboner, and actually contend with the topics at hand.

    My point was simply that pointing out that Dan Savage is a bigot also doesn’t make stonerboner less of one. it only demonstrates that you prefer straight bigots to gay ones.

  27. Ok. I have waited around for while to see if this blog could possibly become less of a circle. Clearly not. You’re more fun on Simpson, I guess because the much smarter people over there raise your game.

  28. Meant to say circle jerk.

    Parting comment: vaginas are disgusting.

  29. Matthew says:

    Stonerboner – I don’t like butt sex either but tried it anyway with a man and a woman.

    “Sorry you or Feminism has not done me any favors in giving me a more malleable masculinity”

    This really is the crux of the whole thing isn’t it. After I gave a short presentations at a bisexual event a long time bi female activist gave a good history lesson on “gay liberation.” I need to do more research and contact her but she said the early movement was about “liberating the gay in everyone.” Including “straight” men and women. The movement included a lot of bisexual people but by the time of the early 1970’s bisexuals were first told to shut up and then told to get out and then told they don’t exist.

    So I can certainly go the rest of my life without homo sex and just do hetero sex and happy and content. But what I could never do is live a lie and live repressed. And opening myself up to homosex has opened me up to loving people and having a more malleable masculinity.

    However the response by numerous people in the gay community has been biggotry in the extreme. And this biggotry had become perfectly socially acceptable.

    Both “gay” and “feminism” although I may share certain goals like same sex marriage or women’s rights and equal pay – the essentialist point of view is rather destructive and dividing. And does very little for “hetero” men in fact it casts them as villan.

    So let’s look at the dividing nature of “gay”. By gay men insisting more and more that “bisexuality in men don’t exist” it creates an atmosphere where hetero men never actually come to terms with their homophobia because any move they make will be considered “gay” and anything inbetween is considered “gay” including the guy who just wants to hug his good friend good bye – because if he does he is “gay”. Of course these pressures already existed on the “straight” side but now the “gay” side too polices sexuality, love, affection just to make sure that “gay” remains purely gay.

    I have known so many straight men in such grief because they could not open up to their “gayness” that is sharing affection with each other, sharing grief, supporting one another through the struggles of life – because it just might be “gay” to do so.

    So In my opinion Gayists and Feminists need to end their dialectical essentialist and dividing world view and see oppression with a much wider view point and to understand that “straight” men suffer a hell of a lot from gender codes and yet it is interesting that many hetero men want to abandon those codes and feminists want often to preserve them and gayists want to preserve purity of “Gay”. Why because power is gained by preserving the divide – is this a politics of change and liberation?

  30. Matthew says:

    And just so ALL know it has been far easier dealing with mild homophobia from “straight” men than being told “I don’t exist” by gay men.

    If you think about the social implications are pretty huge. Yes I received violence from some straight people which was not great. But even those few events was better than being wiped out of existence in the Land of Gay.

    In the end I just chose my friends (gay, straight and everyone inbetween) my girlfriends, and boyfriends Very carefully.

  31. Matthew says:

    Here in the states the first gay bar I ever walked into was run by white men in An all nearly 100% black area with NO black men in the bar at all, with racism and mysogyny, spoken out loud and never questioned. No one is immune to biggotry but it totally grossed me out to see it in this context.

    As far as Lamia’s comments He believes you are in an Ivory tower of academia. I may be academically educated but am still “the working poor” and I have noticed the maintainers of “GAY” and “feminist” academia are usually very classist, rich, upper class, white, and competely divorced from the struggles of the working class (gay or straight). And usually totally ignorant of ethnic minorities, including black homosexual men and women and their reality.

    I agree that homophobia is something to be challenged, but as mentioned above the real way to challenge homophobia, in my opinion is to end GAY separtism. GAY as an institution is often oppressive because those who dictate what GAY should be are coming from a priveledged background. The Biphobia which has really been largely maintained by GAY by treating bisexuals as “closet GAY” really reveals the political underbelly of GAY as a constructed reality, that marginalizes and oppresses including vaste numbers in the GAY community.

    Obviously people will misunderstand what you say because people identification with the gay label has given them some agency and power to fight discrimination.

    However as mentioned above if you really want to end homophobia perhaps GAYists need to create space to allow bisexual people to exist without slander, ridicule, or being dismissed. At the event I spoke at I talked to a woman who is married, never had homosex, just feels this way, but feels like she does not belong because to become a belonging member she feels a demand to have sex to be legitimate.

    I would love it if ALL the “straight” men who came out to me, most never had sex with men, but want their homosexuality to be affirmed anyway felt comfortable to come to these events without being accused of being “a coward and a liar” like I have had to endure for twenty years for being honest and open about myself. Wow wouldn’t that be a change if heterosexual men could actually come out of the closet without labeling themselves – and just say I feel this way and it is apart of me.

    But what GAY has done is not only denied that bisexuals exist, GAYists actually believe that heterosexuals exist which I am not so sure they do – at least in my experience. And if Heteros no longer exist will GAY no longer exist? How can you fight homophobia when you deny the very origins of homophobia?

    The arguement above is completely dismissed by GAYists because “GAY incorporated” needs to maintain existence – when indeed it is built upon a fragile house of cards.

  32. Matthew says:

    I THINK I should lead a NEW addition to gay pride events. Get “straight” men to participate by holding banners that say:

    “We Day dream about homosexual sex.”

  33. paul says:

    Matthew, yay. I can’t tell you how much I agree and also how similar my experience has been. “How can you fight homophobia when you deny the very origins of homophobia?” Yes, absolutely. The current usage of this word is quite confused and not very helpful–note how even right-wing Christianists in the States will deny being “homophobic”. Homophobia is, very obviously, an internal condition–fear of same-sex intimacy. And is directly linked to the fear of weakening the gender binary.

    Also, to whoever was criticizing stoner: I read his post carefully and didn’t find anything hateful in it. He directed his feelings towards a particular act, and made a point of saying it didn’t matter what the sexes of those participating in it were. And then he simply pointed out how gay male culture has produced a limited range of styles, which he (and I too) find tedious. I think the whole thing is partly understandable as a form of protectivenes and desire for a visible tribe etc. But at the same time we really need to move beyond all of this now; the limitations have become really damaging liabilities.

    And Matthew: I too have come across those early “gay liberation” writings–somewhere or other I found a manifesto of that time reprinted–and indeed they are pre-Identity, all about the liberation of gender, fundamentally. With a particular focus on the limitations of male conditioning.

    The thing is, everytime the gay leadership talks about progress they’re only talking about the roughly 2% of the population that is gay-identified (1.7% I think now in England–it went down since the last survey). They don’t stop to consider the other 98% of men and whether or not our current discourse is helping *them*–or in fact the opposite…

  34. This will be tough to explain….

    I am of course interested in gender and masculinity, two things Feminism and I guess Queer Theory talk about…..

    I have met a great deal of criticism when I participate in discussions….

    I get boxed into the whole Het Cis Male thing and things I say get dismissed as “mansplainin'” by people from “marginalized TM” groups. It is as if I am not allowed to have a story or a masculinity outside of narrow confines. I am finally starting to develop a language for it. Not so much that I didn’t have the words in my vocabulary, moreso that I didn’t have ways of forming the ideas into words….

    I’ve finally been able to write a post which will be a HUGE tangent from the rest of this discussion….

    http://stonerwithaboner.wordpress.com/2011/09/26/high-school-sucked-ass/

    So what is my stake in all of this, simply a heterosexual male who had been bullied (I am realizing American culture is toxic) growing up and I am saying that I should define my masculinity–not someone like Amanda Marcotte or Clarisse Thorn. As far as the bullying, yes there were fights and still I am starting to realize the impact this has had on my world view.

    So where does a heterosexual male who was in fights ’cause he didn’t like sports, was called a sissy and a faggot since being 4 years old fit into this…..

    And yes, I still assert my right to see a certain act as disgusting.

    No, I don’t want any pity

    I can issue some transparency, at least to Quiet Riot Girl why these discussions are so interesting for me is that I’ve been trying to figure out my masculinity that culture at large doesn’t give me….

    • Matthew says:

      As I mentioned on Marks blog when my feminine gay friend from highschool came out he got even more harassment, when I did at the same time not so much and it challenged the sexuality of many, because I was a football captain, very big and people were scared of me. There is really more feme-phobia and sissy-phobia than homophobia. And one of the reasons men fear the feminine is men are frightened of their own vulnerabilities, their emotions, their weaknesses, their gentleness etc. But I have found many gay men have all of these fears.

      As far as “masculinity” for me “masculinity” is about having the courage to face what I fear. I have feared homo in myself, I have feared women, my feelings. I have feared many things. Most of contemporary masculinity is built on cowardice.

  35. stoner said: ‘I am saying that I should define my masculinity–not someone like Amanda Marcotte or Clarisse Thorn. ‘

    Exactly. What a pair of prissy school ma’ams *they* are!

  36. Re: Gay Liberation- Foucault used that term too in the 70s. I believe he had the best intentions but as *the* leading expert and a word I dont use often genius in language and discourse and power, he was a bit naiive if he did not think the word ‘Gay’ would take on oppressive meanings.

    my imaginary conversation between Foucau;t and Mark Simpson covers this issue:
    http://deathatthemall.wordpress.com/2011/08/20/foucaultdead-mark-simpson-interviews-foucaulti/

    • Matthew says:

      I think Foucault knew, he thoroughly objected to being called “a founding father of post-structuralism”. He knew as he was creating his own theory and critiques that he too would have to be destroyed.

      • I am not sure he did know that ‘gay’ would become oppressive! He really thought it was radical.

        • Matthew says:

          If you have a reference please post it or create another blog. It would be worth reading. For me Foucault was one of the few people who understood Nietzche which can be summed up in his 3 transformations of the spirit and “slaying the dragon” of “thou shalt not”. There is radicalism in transgressing boundaries it is just that the boundaries have changed and changed quickly. Especially when there have been so many mainstream assimilationist gay movements. Harry Hay although a gay essentialist was thoroughly against assimilationism of “gay” into mainstream society. Right now as far as sex taboo poly people and bi poly is so off the radar of mainstream culture that it has some sense of the old gay. It threatens institutions of monogomy while the new gay wants respectable marriages etc.

  37. paul says:

    Matthew: “And one of the reasons men fear the feminine is men are frightened of their own vulnerabilities, their emotions, their weaknesses, their gentleness etc. But I have found many gay men have all of these fears.” Me too, and big time. In fact these days I would say more often than not, in the people I’m coming across anyway.

    • Matthew says:

      It has been actually rare for me to find men who were open emotional and capable of intimacy. I have found more women who were, however the cultural expectations as to what a man is to fullfill for women (for example financially) or simply the psychological need to be rescued is persistant, it has often been rare to find truly independent women (shows how far feminism has gotten us).

  38. Matthew says:

    QRG the problem of course is on the Internet most people resort to polemics even more so than in any other discourse. And most of the polemical arguements have no personal thought just a repitition of what is already said. Breaking through polemics is a subversive task. Calling something Anti-Gay is of course sure to start controversy. What would drive the point home is illuminating the gay victims of GAY culture, to question if it even serves “gay” individuals”. Obviously as a bisexual person I am often seen as straight and gay. But my gayness has often comes with more penalty without gay benefits. Dialectics is different from a polemic rhetoric. Bloggers use logos(truth) and pretend to know the truth in a demanding way, pathos (emotion) to retain victim status when truth itself is illogical, and when all else fails ethos (do what you are suppose to do) to persuade readers to take their side of the argument.

    Perhaps there is no arguement, only dialogue, but a good dialogue is hard to find. I myself have used yours and Mark Simpson’s blogs less for dialogue and more for catharsis. A place to bring personal suffering and frustration. I am pleased when I can let go a bit and allow to become dialogue.

    There is a deeper truth on the subjects you are speaking about which indeed require being anti-GAY, anti-Feminist, because such position immediately establish a polemic. And the direct victims of the polemics is “straight” males. However I wonder if a more persuasive position would be to show how gay men and women are not served by this polemical postion. This I believe to be true – but have not analysed enough to bring more thoughts to it.

    But one thought that has come to mind when speaking with my last boyfriend was the tendency in gay culture to demand men to live out stereotypical lives. He, a very gay man, was saddened by the realities of gay coded behaviors which seem to cage in his own individuality. But many gay men live sad inauthentic lives trying to be gay enough. This is just one example, I am sure there are many more.

    • I don’t really understand Matthew? Are you saying Mark and I don’t do dialogue?

      I have actually found my ‘dialogue’ with Mark Simpson and his writing to be among the most fulfilling I have ever had. But I may have just missed your point! :D

      • Matthew says:

        On the contrary both you and Mark do dialogue, but when you say Anti-gay or anti-feminist many people assume it is a polemical position and then dismiss what you are saying because they are caught up in their own rhetoric. Many can not bridge the gap and respond only negatively from their own polemics. Believing anti-Gay is against “gays” for example this seems evident by the way people reacted to this post. Which pretty much affirms how deeply entrenched people are in their binary thinking.

  39. I had to look up polemic….

    From the great wiki…

    “A polemic is a form of dispute, wherein the main efforts of the disputing parties are aimed at establishing the superiority of their own points of view regarding an issue. Along with debate, polemic is one of the more common forms of dispute. Similar to debate, it is constrained by a definite thesis which serves as the subject of controversy. However, unlike debate, which may seek common ground between two parties, a polemic is intended to establish the supremacy of a single point of view by refuting an opposing point of view.[3]

    Polemic usually addresses serious matters of religious, philosophical, political, or scientific importance, and is often written to dispute or refute a widely accepted position.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polemic

    I learn new things everyday ;)

  40. oh, and that is probably why I can’t become an MRA-their postions are just the reverse of Feminism…

    Almost a different side of the same coin kind of thing, like a Christian versus a Satanist….

    An Agnostic who doesn’t accept either framework is the true heretic, the true skeptic and possibly the true seeker of truth….

    (Have I gone into total cornball territory yet?)

    And should the Christian try to take the moral high ground, just remember their movement has blood on it’s hands and much to answer for–Crusades, priests grabbing little boys and then cover-ups by those in authority.

    Seems to me Orthodoxy and any system that putts itself beyond critique is the problem…..

  41. Matthew says:

    Stonerwithaboner Orthodoxy in any form is what needs to questioned. Many people live their lives as Mavericks for one reason or another. But I have come to understand that the gift of doing so is you may be able to open other people up in THEIR own way, not mine or yours. The issue with feminism or “GAY” is that in the pursuit of mainstreaming power the authentic individual suffers in pursuit of ones own authority and authenticity. But in the end “what does it matter who is speaking?” Here on a blog we become ultimately a speaker without a body. But for the speakers who do not immediately conform to some orthodoxy we can in the very least offer a glimpse of another life outside of the mainstream. Including the suffering from chosing that life. Suffering of this kind should in the end be celebrated because it comes with an individual liberty which is largely ignored by everyone else. I rejoice in my unique liberty even though it has been very lonely at times, and I have taken comfort in hearing the disembodied voices of those who chose to allow themselves similar liberties whatever they may be.

  42. Matthew and Quiet Riot Girl,

    Yes it is Orthodoxy that must be questioned.

    I don’t want to make this “about me” but by posting this comment I am doing just that. I have been called a fag and a sissy since being 4 years old. High School was awful. In my family, most the bullying came from my cousin who is now in the military–and there is plenty of men having sex with men in the army. Years later when I would meet more openly gay people I was shocked and surprised to find how “macho” many of them were. I still don’t know if this is an act for many of them or if this is how they truly are. I’ve meet people from Europe and I think the culture is better-ie less macho and women are less puritanical. So I am saying that, as a heterosexual male I dislike my culture and I can’t be who I really am with being seen as a weird, ecclectic guy. It is hard to describe my situation, just as I have stated above Feminism doesn’t acknowledge the brutality many American men go through.

    So I am leaving a link to the Korn song Faget-Jonathan Davis must’ve surely faced similar to what I did to write it. Some would see the song as homophobic but I see it as the “caste system” placed upon young American men and boys. Again, when someone like Hugo Skeezer talks about the straightjacket of masculinity, he does nothing to describe my situation…. Yup, there is anger and bitterness in my words here….

    (Hopefully the link works for you QRG, I know there are sometimes copyright issues with things overseas….)

  43. Matthew says:

    I watched via YOUTUBE. It like many videos on Youtube have a bunch of homophobic comments on it. I really pass as straight and big so over the years have heard the worst homophobia ever and was not so eager to reveal my identity and life in those situations.

    I hate American culture in this regard as well. Very little progress has been made to help men, hetero men especially, be more balanced in their personalities. I think the dualism of gay / straight has made it worse because it really does misses the point entirely. I don’t even think “homosexuality” has ever been the main issue as I wrote. Also Gay/Straight has segregated men. The most effeminate gay men have a great deal to teach hetero men – but this exchange is not happening because both gay and straights have demanded segregation.

    The main issue has been something like Dominant men/submissive men or Insensitive macho men/ Sensitive men – something to this regard. Or really the cultural demand that men shall not expose their vulnerabilities even to each other which creates a sort of hetero Guy isolation. (no man is an island).

    I am thinking suddenly of the straight guys I hung out with a few years ago who were macho NASCAR types but also more sensitive one on one. They didn’t much care that I was a homo-bisexual (most of my encounters were homo at the time too). I was one of the few people they could go to for more sensitive issues. Two of them treated their sensitivity by drinking too often and too much. One of the guys I counseled was being railroaded by the women in his life, in my opinion because he was addicted to these women emotionally with very little male support. So where the hell do these guys turn to?

    Men’s groups have attempted to address these issues but have not done well in my opinion, because they simultaneously attempted to preserve “Masculinity”. I think a certain type of “masculinity” is necessary in hetero relationships to hold their own center in relationship to women. But this problem occurs in hetero men largely because they don’t know how to be their own woman – so they become hopelessly addicted to women.

    I really wish a bigger conversation can be had in this regard but we are not even scratching the surface really – and feminisim has absolutely no clue as to the pain of hetero men’s lives – they have only added to the pain.

  44. Matthew says:

    Obviously this hetero/homo segregation has been felt sharply in my life. But equally there has been a masculine/feminine male segregation but not as obvious, because the homo/hetero segregation has been so politicized that it really enters into the tragic ridiculous. The denial of bisexuality has been about preserving segregation for the sake of concrete and clear identities more so than anything logical or real.

  45. [...] Once I read that standfirst I didn’t really feel like going any further. The ‘gay is good’ and ‘good is gay’ message has been rammed down our throats for decades now, and Mark Simpson and colleagues carefully pulled it apart 15 years ago, in Simpson’s edited 1996 collection Anti Gay. [...]

  46. [...] Once I read that standfirst I didn’t really feel like going any further. The ‘gay is good’ and ‘good is gay’ message has been rammed down our throats for decades now, and Mark Simpson and colleagues carefully pulled it apart 15 years ago, in Simpson’s edited 1996 collection Anti Gay. [...]

  47. [...] Male Impersonators,  Metrosexy and Anti Gay. [...]

  48. [...] example against the principles and practicalities of gay marriage. Stonewall’s conformist gay politics mean that to challenge the sanctity of gay marriage is to be homophobic, even if, as Milos is, you [...]

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