Archive for the ‘homosexuality’ Category
Tags: Football, gay, homophobia, metrosexual, Robbie Rogers, sporno
Hello Campers! I’m continuing to develop my thoughts on that thorny topic of sporno, anti-homophobia and metrosexual-machismo. While I do so I thought I’d show you an apt illustration of the theme.
Last week a professional footballer came out as gay! Oh. Em. Gee. But before anyone could get the babycham out it was also revealed that he was giving up professional football. According to the Graun,
So, although on twitter Robbie said he was touched by how supportive everyone was to this ‘news’, and ‘gay academic’ Mark McCormack fitted this event into his thesis about ‘declining homophobia’ especially in sport, I was not so jubilant. It seems a shame to me that a young man coming out does so just as he is leaving the career for which he is well known. He’s not exactly becoming an ‘ambassador’ for gay and bisexual players by putting his boots on the shelf. I’m not blaming him. I believe that football, by its very sweaty, physical, passionate, sexy nature is already ‘well gay’. And until the ‘beautiful game’ ‘fesses up to that fact, out gay or bi players will be few and far between. But before I get down and dirty and grapple with this complex subject, I want to point out something else about Rogers’ announcement that I think is worth a mention.
Apparently, ‘Rogers is starting a new position with Men’s Health Magazine in the UK and he is also part of the ownership group for the clothing company Halsey.’ So the side of himself that he is finally openly celebrating is not necessarily his gayness, but rather his metrosexuality! From what I can see, football is as conflicted about this contemporary tarty display that its stars like to indulge in as it is about sex itself. Taking your kit off with your mates and posing for Gay Times is all very well, but if you are actually… you know….gay or bi, it makes the whole exercise a little bit more threatening and destabilises the ‘macho’, ‘heterosexual’, camaraderie of most sports teams.
I am glad Rogers is now free to be himself. But that self, and the culture he inhabits, is a little bit more nuanced than most people will have us believe.
My view: Ben Cohen et al strip off for anti-homophobia charities as a nod that what they do is ‘well gay’, but they’re #NOHomo just ‘allies’
Metrosexual Machismo is alive and well, and disavowing the HOMOsexuality of metrosexual men’s narcissism #metrosexual
In the old days rugger buggers and rowing clubs could get naked together noone would bat an eye. Now gay is visible they need a ‘line’ on it
But how this actually helps actual gay and bi sportsmen be out and comfortable I do not know! They will hide even more! #metrosexual
My ex went to Warwick university. He wasn’t in the rowing club: he would have mucked things up, since he was an actual sodomite.
- more on this soon I was tweeting some notes. Keeping them here for the record!
h/t paul for the metrosexy rowing vid!
Tags: creep, feminism, misandry, misogyny, radiohead
‘I’m a creep, I’m a weirdo, what the hell am I doing here? I don’t belong here.’
What is the worst thing you can call a man? According to feminism, it seems the worst thing you can call a man is a ‘woman’ or a ‘girl’.
Most feminist writing on masculinity focuses on ‘misogyny’. If men are shown to also suffer belittlement and stereotypes, as well as women, feminists always seem to bring the conversation back round to women. They are self-absorbed like that!
So it wasn’t surprising to me when two feminist articles, one by Laurie Penny, the other by Hugo Schwyzer, focused on insults to men being ‘misogynist’.
According to Penny, who has suddenly transformed into an expert on masculinity:
‘The first thing little boys learn at school is that there’s nothing in the world worse than being “like a girl”, with the possible exception of being “gay”. ‘
And Hugo Schwyzer, resident feMANist at Jezebel wrote:
‘A man who gets penetrated behaves like a woman and is labeled as feminine — a fate that we raise small American boys to fear more than almost anything else. (This is why, of course, words like “bitch” or “pussy” when used by one man to another, are so much more likelier to lead to blows than “dick” or “prick.” Men are unlikely to be enraged by references to their own anatomy, only to a woman’s.)’
I often find that this ‘misogyny’ analysis of men and masculinity (including homophobia) is very selective of the kinds of insults it chooses to focus on.
Some other insults that refer to men and masculinity that DON’T draw on ‘misogyny’ that I can think of are:
Troll – often presented as a ‘loser’ man alone in his room with no social skills, addicted to computer games and internet forums
Rapist/Rapey – You don’t have to actually rape someone to get these monikers, and as I have written the ‘rapist’ is constructed as male in our culture
Wanker - again, wanker is a masculinised term, and again suggests loneliness and lack of social skills
Hoodie – this is a gendered (and often ethnically loaded depending on the context) term, that conjurs up a young man in a tracksuit, up to no good.
Man – I have been called a ‘man’ as an insult by feminists a number of times! The very idea of masculinity is considered low and wrong, sometimes.
Mansplainin’ – If men dare to engage in debates with feminist women they often get accused of ‘mansplainin’ ‘, which suggests they are looking down on the woman they are debating with and assuming superiority due to being a man.
Whatabouttehmenz ? As Mark Simpson and I have both observed, this ‘whatabouttehmenz’ insult is used to silence men (and non-feminists in general) when they bring up any disadvantages men face compared to women.
And, again, as Simpson has pointed out, homophobia is not JUST based on misogyny. In the comments on his blog he recently remarked:
‘Homophobia is often disguised misogyny. But what makes male homosexuality so much fun for all the family, culturally speaking, is that disgust for it can also be disguised misandry — disdained for being too male, and beastly. And sometimes it can be just be disdained for reasons that have nothing to do with either. Such as tight t-shirts.’
So I reject Penny and Schwyzer’s assertion that men insult each other mainly using misogyny. This means my understanding of the term ‘creep’ is different from Schwyzer’s analysis. He says:
‘ if fear of the feminine is what gives male insults their power, why then is “creep” worse than “pussy?” The answer is that creep is the only insult that instantly centers women’s perceptions. To call a man a “pussy” is to make a comment about how his behavior appears; to call him “creepy” is to name how he makes women feel. If a man wants to disprove that he’s a “pussy,” all he has to do is act with sufficient macho swagger or courage to make the insult obviously inappropriate. But trying to disprove “creepy” involves trying to talk a woman out of an instinctual response to a potential threat, a much more difficult thing to do. Most men recognize (or eventually learn) that the harder they try to deny their creepiness, the creepier they appear.’
Apart from the fact that Schwyzer is contradicting his own belief that the worst thing you can call a man is a ‘girl’, he is also ignoring some important aspects of the use of the term ‘creep’ by women.
I think ‘creep’ functions in a similar way to words like ‘troll’ and ‘rapist’ or ‘rapey’. Yes, it is accusing a man of making a (often) woman feel bad. But the power of this accusation lies partly in the power of feminism in our culture. Schwyzer is dismissive of MRAs, but MRA websites are FULL of men who feel hard done by, due to women’s ability to assert a moral superiority over men.
This power dynamic has real implications, e.g. in the law. It is predominantly men who are accused of rape, because in the UK, the law says a penis is required to commit that specific crime. And women in divorce/custody cases are far more likely to gain custody of children. Why? Because women are naturally good? and naturally maternal? Because men are often just losers and creeps?
And can women not be creeps too? I myself have been accused of misogyny, of being aggressive and ‘menacing’ online. But this has always come in conjunction with a questioning of my status as a woman.
Maybe, as Radiohead have done, it is time to reclaim the word ‘creep’!
Tags: active duty, gay for pay, identity, MMA, porn, The Ultimate Fighter
Back in 2008 Mark Simpson asked a simple question: how gay is MMA? And the simple answer was: VERY! His steamy description of a live fight he attended sounded (deliberately of course) like a review of the latest homo porno:
‘Mac Danzig is still on his back; his sweaty, pumped, almost translucently white torso is flushed with the auburn heat that auburn skin produces when it is aroused. His panting, fetching head has been pushed up against the cage by redhead Marc Bocek’s energetic pounding, as if the cage were in fact a headboard. Bocek isn’t making love, however, or at least not the vanilla kind. He’s hammering the living daylights out of Danzig, stoking the crowd into ever-higher waves of frenzy. Although the Octagon is right in front of me, I’m watching all of this on one of the giant screens overhead: MMA is mostly a horizontal sport — one that requires multiple zoom lenses and a big TV to enjoy properly.’
But it is in 2012 that the ‘gayness’ of MMA has really come home to roost. One of the finalists in the competition to become a contestant in The Ultimate Fighter, a reality TV show featuring MMA fighters, has admitted to once starring in gay porn.
Whilst this information could affect his chances of getting on the show, the general reaction is not as shocked or disapproving as you might expect. In fact he seems to be winning over hearts and minds with his ‘honest’ confessional of his ‘sleazy’ past. The fact he has two kids and is about to marry his long-term girlfriend (who encouraged him to ditch the porn career) probably helps keep his reputation as a good old american boy almost intact.
This is a very different story from one Mark Simpson told us in 2006. He conducted an exclusive ‘investigation’ into a US army scandal involving young soldiers being disciplined for appearing in gay porn movies. Simpson presented them as sexual outlaws, but commented that their activities were not uncommon, either amongst army personnel or amongst ‘straight’ men in general.
Fast-forward to 2012, when the Metrosexy youtube era is in full flow. And we watch our favourite, heterosexual, ‘masculine’ heroes such as David Beckham in hardcore sporno all the time without batting an eye. This latest porn revelation, rather than seeming like a terrible blow for red-blooded, uber-’straight’ MMA, actually just goes some way towards ‘outing’ it as what it is: gay for pay sporno. And that seems normal.
I think gay blogs such as Queerty who have reported this story in their usual giggling OOh Matron tone, are behind the Metrosexy times. Everyone knows that fit young men love nothing more than to display their bodies on film. And the line between porn, sport and personal showing off has been well and truly blurred. Not to mention the line between ‘gay’ and ‘straight’.
Tags: army, bisexuality, gay, gay for pay, Homosexuality, identity, Letters From An Alien, masculinities, soldiers
This photo has gone viral recently. It was first posted on a ‘Gay Marines’ FB page and has since been sent round the internet, with the tagline ‘Gay Marine Comes Home’.
You know me. I am an out and proud ‘homophile’. I am bordering on being a homo myself. My blog archives are full of pictures of men in clinches, from the sacred to the profane. But when I saw this image I was caught short. I will admit it to you, Roland. I felt a bit queasy. And I think you will understand why.
The photograph is a graphic illustration of the end of DADT, the edict that kept gay, lesbian AND BISEXUAL army personnel from being open about their sexuality. In some ways, the military was, until very recently, the last bastion of ‘pre-gay’ times. ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ has been the unspoken motto of men who have sex with men for eons. And now it is over.
But it is not just the repression of homosexuality that is over here. I fear some other things may be on their way out too. What about all those soldiers ’acting gay’ on video? Will they be doing that so much, when their gay colleagues are on site? Or, a story you know intimately, those plucky GIS who went gay for pay a few years back. Would that happen when being gay in the army is normalised?
I know that you and your ‘accomplice’ in homo-anthropology Steven Zeeland, have had a range of feelings about the ‘coming home’ of gayness in the military. In Male Impersonators and Barrack Buddies, you both seemed to be opposed to DADT, even though you were nostalgic for a time when homosexuality was even more hidden than it was in the army in the 1990s. You of all people are aware of the complexities and contradictions here. And you, of all people, would be unlikely to begrudge a passionate embrace between a marine and his lover, especially if it is caught on camera.
But something is well and truly lost isn’t it?
Perhaps our only consolation is that in coming home, the gay identity is also quickening its own demise. You have predicted we are nearing the end of gay. Judging by the defensive reactions mainly gay men give to me when I even dare to critique their precious identity position, I am inclined to think you are right.
A Gay Marine Comes Home. We know it’s over, Roland.
P.s. I am going to be honest with you, one of the things that made me feel a bit ‘queasy’ was the gender dynamics of the photo. The marine, supposedly one of those macho masculine types, has a garland round his neck and is being lifted off the floor by his big strong civilian boyfriend (who he termes ‘the giant’ on his facebook page). But I am an old-fashioned girl.
Tags: bisexuality, internet, Lesbians, Sexuality, The Slope Show, video
The Marvellous Slope Show is back! Season Two of the story of superficial, homophobic lesbians Desiree and Ingrid kicks off with a poignant (but hilarious) episode called ‘Taking Space’
This reminds me of the song: Space, by Pulp. The lyrics of the album version begin:
You said you wanted some space …
Well is this enough for you? …
This is what you’ve waited for …
No dust collecting in the corners …
No cups of tea that got cold before you drank them …
Tonight … travelling at the speed of thought …
We’re going to escape into the stars …
I am also reminded of Mr. Simpson, who likes his personal space so much sometimes he ends up creating an isolation so perfect that no other human can get anywhere near him or his brilliant ideas.