An article about a Jezebel article appeared on Bad Catholic a few days ago, both deserving of serious contemplation. The initial article, by a homosexual gentleman fed up with what has become the prototypical gay persona, gives a telling analysis of masculinity/femininity, power relationships, “gay privilege,” and a few other topics of note from an insider’s perspective. Start there.
The second article expands on a topic mentioned in the first: gay culture fosters its own misogyny that is as dangerous as, if not worse than, the heterosexual objectification of women. I have found very few articles I agreed with so thoroughly as this one. You can find it here.
One point that has not been stressed here enough, though, is the objectification of gay men. Everyone wants to be the subject of another’s affection or respect. Objectification is a very difficult trap to avoid when people encounter those they do not know well, and the better we get to know our friends, the more subjective our undertanding of them becomes. There are circumstances, though, in which people are objectified even within friend-relationships. There is a tendency toward “token” friendship, by which someone we are friends with becomes a status symbol or sign of “coolness.” Generally, this is seen in those who call attention to the fact that they are friends with a person of some minority goup or other. Comedy shows joke often about “token” blacks, asians, gays, et cetera. “Token”-ing is commonplace in a culture where acceptance and tolerance of difference are crammed into a mold we disguise as virtue.
I have a couple of buddies and relatives who are gay, but none of my best friends have yet come out as gay. I have lots of friends and relatives who are best friends with gay guys, though, and often it makes me uncomfortable. Not because of anything I believe about what it is to be gay – it isn’t my job or ability to judge men’s hearts, and most of the gay guys I know are of superior virtue in sexual discretion than heterosexual dudes. (The latter of these, that insecure wish toward masculinity by connecting with other men through sexual exploits about women is another story in itself worthy of deconstruction and absolute visceral rejection, but I will save it for another day when I have the time. Even so, it is a huge pet peeve of mine – because I see it in several friends I am close with who are unable to hold a conversation without talking about women if they are willing sex dolls, worthy of no attention except in a sexual arena.)
What makes me uncomfortable about my friends having close gay friends is that being friends with a gay guy has become “cool,” and my friends often seem to be unable to see past the objectification of their best-gay-friend as primarily gay and defined by that sexuality and cultural paradigm, rather than someone who should be loved and befriended for their inherent traits and worth. When we choose friends, our last concern, that below all others, should be how it looks to an outsider. You need not be a Christian to buy that, but if you are one, you must. The apparent interactions, though, between these besties, is very apparently similar to those described in the Bad Catholic column above. So it is a two way street here. Gay men may objectify each other and their token “fag hag” (as the first artivle put it), but they are objectified in turn by their friends. The objectification of a best friend because of how it looks is actually quite sad, and I think it happens more than we would like to admit.
The problem is partially cultural, based in that idea that tolerance is a hip quality to have, but perhaps it in part stems from the inability of many gay men to transcend stereotypes about what being homosexual means. Again, another topic to be discussed, but worth the head-nod, at least, for now.
Only one post today. There is only so much controversy worth wading into in one sitting…
Tied into this, which point you may be making but I am missing due to a host of maladies I am currently wrestling with, is the issue of one’s ID being tied to their sexuality. E.G., “I am gay, all else revolves around that.”
Well, I’m straight and only a portion of my life revolves around that. Being identified as “gay” or “straight” is just another label that makes easy the road to objectification. Case in point: Michael Sam. The guy gets blitzed at the NFL combine with questions about his orientation and his “trailblazing.” I thought the combine was about showcasing one’s athletic abilities. (Yes, the Combine is an objectifiying meat market as well. . .but in another way). Whether he meant to or not, he’s being objectified as “gay”.
Like you say, a friend is a friend first. Orientation ranks down the list of important concerns. I tend to shun gay friends in the same way I shun straight friends when one of two things happens: 1)Their orientation becomes THE sun around which all topics revolve (this tends to happen more often with my gay acquaintances, but is by no means universal, and I have more than a few gay friends for whom this is not an issue), or 2) I start hearing about sexual exploits. This malady is common in both orientations.
Well said. The gay “accent” and flamboyant personality is demeaning, to say the least…
this will help you out with the thoughts and questions you have in your post. i will be courteous and give you the Truthy Truth Warning ahead of time. it’s definitely some Truthy Truth. while the above information is only going to address the biological reasons for the behavior and motivations of heterosexual men and women, you can probably figure out how it relates to homosexuals as well. in fact, there is probably red-pill analysis for male and female homosexuals out there somewhere, you would just have to go find it if you’re interested. i’m actually pretty sure that your 2nd link addresses exactly that, but it won’t open for me for some reason, so i can’t confirm it.
and as far as “token friendships” go – why would there be anything wrong with this….? i have a group of friends that i talk philosophy and economics with, i have a group of friends that i play video games with, i have a group of friends that i play sports with, i have my ex-military group of friends, etc etc. we enjoy each other’s company because of our shared interests. sometimes we do other stuff together too, because we like each other, and that’s what people who enjoy each other’s company do. why would this be a bad thing? i in no way think less of or treat people as less just because we mainly share a strong bond in one particular area. different people are different and that is just reality.
if you want to understand human behavior (do you *really*? once you eat the Forbidden Fruit, there’s no turning back), you should study our biology and our biological motivations so you know why we act the way we do, instead of relying on the completely unsubstantiated opinions of wannabe-sociologists on the internet. don’t take my word for it either – research it yourself! all the self-righteousness in the world is not going to change the way people’s brains work. if you wanna judge people on whatever criteria you want, that’s your own prerogative (i do it all the time!), but i’ve learned that it’s pretty silly to hold Being A Human Being against human beings.
Thanks Paul. I will give this a look today after workkkkkkkkkkkk…