Feminism and male homosexuality

Musing about feminism and men’s reactions, I asked my former neighbour and blogging friend of some years, Mr Merveilleux, for his views on homosexuality and feminism. From time to time, he posts on feminist issues, and, to me, it seems that male homosexuals and women both suffer under the patriarchal system because we don’t conform to gender stereotypes.

And, while he replied to me in a comment, I think it’s worth a post of its own, as it shows a similar ideology from a very different person.

Thanks to Mr M for permission to use this as a post.

………

My perspective on homosexuality and feminism? Not enough time for a decent post, but enough for a detailed comment.

Just two weeks ago a fifteen-year-old boy was thrown from a tall building to his death in Deir ez-Zor, one of Syria’s larger urban centres. His death sentence was dictated by an ISIS Sharia court. His crime? He was raped by senior commander, Abu Zaid al-Jazrawi. The latter’s punishment for being a rapist was to go on a mission to Iraq.

The explanation and justification for this monstrous injustice is Patriarchy, the traditional variety. It goes as far back as ancient Greece and Rome where a man who “allowed himself to be penetrated by another man” could lose his citizenship. Rape included.

So the young man in Syria was murdered because, in the patriarchal view, he allowed himself to be treated as a woman.

This odd interpretation of facts is unusually common all over the world, not just in ISIS-controlled regions of the middle east.

As a gay man I’ve lost count of the times heterosexuals have asked me: “In your relationship, who’s the boy and who’s the girl?” That question is used to ascribe value to the individual according to traditional gender roles. If one answers boy, that means one is the superior specimen: masculine, provider, virile, mows the lawn, fixes things around the house, drives. And that leaves the other gender role to the other guy who people assume cooks, cleans, irons, spends money, watches soap operas and depends on the superior being for his survival.

The ultimate fight for all minority groups should be and should have always been feminism. It’s the only struggle which genuinely subverts the patriarchal system. All others have had to, in one way or another, submit to the conformist, hierarchical standards of WMCD (white-male-christian-dominance).

In fact, gay rights have come contingent on the adoption of those values. In the past 20 years the great LGBT battles have been about being allowed to be in the military, bourgeois marriage and having one’s homosexuality ignored/overlooked rather than respected. That means we’re allowed to be gay, as long as we emulate the lives of middle-class conservative heterosexual couples—adopted babies and all.

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About roughseasinthemed

I write about my life as an English person living in Spain and Gibraltar, on Roughseas, subjects range from politics and current developments in Gib to book reviews, cooking and getting on with life. My views and thoughts on a variety of topics - depending on my mood of the day - can be found over on Clouds. A few pix are over on Everypic - although it is not a photoblog. And of course my dog had his own blog, but most of you knew that anyway. Pippadogblog etc
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27 Responses to Feminism and male homosexuality

  1. I’ve got some questions actually.

    You referred to Greece and Rome. In Suetonius, (12 Caesars) he refers to more than one emperor having sex with boys, catamites, men. Now admittedly nobody is going to prosecute Tiberius or Caligula for example, but my understanding during my degree was that male homosexuality was acceptable. Although, if the ‘subject’ was presumably not a citizen, ie not of age, then I guess that didn’t count. But I’d be interested in clarification there. One scene that stayed in my mind was boys swimming around like little fishes in a pool with whichever emperor it was.

    Were people really asking about conventional gender roles? Or was it an extremely nosy, unwarranted and invasive way of asking about your sex life as well? People do think very one-dimensionally at times.

    Love your gender role definitions there. That leaves me and him as a pair of bisexuals I suppose.

    I also like WMCD. Weapons of mass christian destruction is a neat one.

    And your last par says it all. Just conform.

    Like

  2. makagutu says:

    That’s a great post

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ruth says:

    It’s always good to get things from another perspective. I knew that gay men were affected by the Patriarchy for not living up to expected gender norms in terms of masculinity and sexuality. But I hadn’t realized that male rape victims were treated the same way as female rape victims. I’m in shock about the fifteen-year-old boy. Not only is he just a child, but he’s been violated once by his attacker and then again by the system. Was the boy raped as punishment for being gay? Why is his attacker not viewed as being gay? Because he was the penetrator? So if you stick your wick in some orifice your innocent. But if you’re the one who has been penetrated, you’re guilty? Smh….

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think those of us who lean towards feminism appreciate the abuse and discrimination that homosexuals (both male and female) suffer because they/we don’t fit the norm.

      When BrainInTheJar wrote, on the previous post, that men suffer under patriarchy too, I’m not sure he had this in mind. But to me, it is an excellent example. Men are derided, excluded, and killed, because they act like women in accepting sexual penetration. Therein, we have the double whammy. Denigrate women and homosexual men together for having sex. Ugh.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Ruth says:

        Isn’t it standard fare to ridicule a man who don’t conform to some specific gender norm(i.e. he might be a crier) using the slang term for female genitalia? Sigh…

        Like

    • …still happening now. I’ve known a number of men who say they’re *not gay* because they’re not sexually passive. Even though they’re attracted to men and go to bed with men. That’s how deep the patriarchal message goes.
      Challenging that message in whatever way by having/taking on/adopting any characteristic that was traditionally ascribed to females is an affront to the system.
      Just out of curiosity, ask your husband about when he was a boy- what sort of things were frowned on for boys to do?

      Like

      • Ruth says:

        I have known several men who were attracted to men who denied their sexuality but not because they were not sexually passive, but for self-preservation.

        I will, but I also have a younger brother and male cousins. In addition I have a nephew who is seven. His dad is the ultra man’s man. Don’t cry, toughen up, play with guns and trucks and boy stuff.

        In my former life, I had two step-granddaughters. I still have a Beauty and The Beast tea set where all the little dishes and the teapot are pink. I let nephew play with it. He knew exactly where to find it. He LOVED filling the teapot with water and pouring it in all the little teacups. He’d pass them around to us and we’d pretend to drink it(I’m not entirely sure where his water came from – somewhere he could reach). Anyway, my sisters and I didn’t think anything of it. Seemed perfectly natural and his attraction to it had absolutely nothing to do with the color. One day they all came to visit. My brother-in-law FREAKED OUT when nephew broke out the tea set. It was pink AND it was a girly toy. He made him put it away. WTF?!? So I bought him a little camping set with a pitcher and some cups. No problem at all with him sloshing water everywhere with that. So frikkin’ stupid! And I told him as much but I didn’t want him shaming nephew over it, either.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ruth says:

        Incidentally, my brother was raised by women(my mom, my older sister, and me) because my dad died when he was two. Nothing was off limits as far as toys. But I do know that other boys instilled in him things that guys aren’t supposed to do.

        Even when my dad was alive, though, I don’t remember anything being off limits for us or frowned upon by him. He really didn’t care if we were girly girls or interested in traditionally more masculine things. As a result my older sister and I are a pretty good balance, I think. We wear dresses and high heels(sometimes) because we like them. But he taught us how to change a tire on our car, we tinkered with small engines with him. I never thought of him as a feminist, but he absolutely did not want us to be helpless and dependent on a man for things.

        Like

        • My partner was largely raised by women, a succession of father, grandfather, stepgrandfather, stepfather, I lose the plot. But his mother was the constant, and because of her, he learned to cook, clean, iron, you name it. Weird. It’s just how fate plays it sometimes. His brother can cook too, but his partner doesn’t know that.
          My dad wasn’t a feminist either. When I got a car? First thing — change the tyre.

          Like

          • Ruth says:

            I think my dad’s thinking on our not being reliant on a man for anything was(unwittingly) patriarchal. While I was growing up I was taught that after a certain age boys/men only wanted one thing. They only did kind things for you for something in return. So if you know how to do things yourself you don’t have to put out to get help.

            First husband knew how to cook, clean, iron, etc. He did those things for himself when he was single. When he married me he didn’t do those things anymore. That wasn’t his job. Every now and again he’d get a wild hair and cook or fold laundry. When he did he’d expect to fawned over because, in his words, “no other husbands do that stuff.”

            I can say that I have a partner in my husband now. He knows how to cook, doesn’t like to. I like to. He doesn’t mind doing the laundry. All of it. He almost exclusively does it. We both do most of the other jobs around the house. Or neither of us do them. Whichever. 😀

            Liked by 2 people

        • Once upon a time I was summoned to my grandfather’s study and given some very clear instructions and a list which I later memorized word for word. I was around ten.
          I sat down in the burgundy chesterfield sofa thinking he’d join me but he didn’t get up from behind his mahogany desk. His first words were “Epicene is just not acceptable”. I didn’t want to let on I didn’t have a clue what epicene meant, so I remained silent and made a mental note to look it up later. I did, it means sexually ambiguous, and that didn’t help me much because I didn’t think I was sexually anything and I didn’t want to be a girl. He tore a page off of a yellow legal pad in front of him and began to read from it:

          1. The hair issue, a man’s hair is not to be played with or touched. It should be short enough so that it looks decent at all times and should require no adjustments throughout the day.

          2. Do not cross your legs, if necessary a foot can be placed on the other leg, but never crook of the knee over the other knee. Unlike women, men are not required to keep their legs closed, in fact I would suggest quite the opposite.

          3. Use less adjectives and hyperbolic descriptions, hold back on words like glamorous and fabulous. A man may, and indeed should, compliment a woman on her appearance, however he needn’t go into detail. A simple phrase such as “You look lovely” should suffice. I have noticed in the past that you often recognize certain brands of attire women wear, that is knowledge you best keep to yourself and should not be used in conversation.

          4. Topics such as interior design and jewelry should also be avoided.

          5. Keep your distance from effeminate boys. He who mixes himself with the draff shall be eaten by the swine.

          6. More interest in sports. I know you’re interested in tennis and show-jumping, however I would suggest that participating in group sports may be to your advantage. By observing other boys you can emulate their behaviour.

          Finally, he explained that customs varied widely from country to country, and that although in a country like England my behavior would be perceived as acceptable, that was not the case in North America or in Latin countries. My response was: Well, then why don’t you send me to school in England? They didn’t.

          Liked by 2 people

      • That was a classic question Pink.

        I asked A, and although I’d heard the story before it was about macho violence.

        Don’t come home crying or complaining about someone hitting you (Partner was small, he was well premature in 1950s) go and hit them back. So he did. With a sweeping brush.

        Two things there. Don’t wimp about being hit. Do something. Or … you aren’t a real man. Violence is such a macho concept.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Ruth says:

          It took a long time for me to realize that violence was a macho concept. My dad had a rule for us(which I got in trouble for on more than one occasion). His famous saying was, “I better not find out you started any fights, but if someone else starts it you better finish it.” Obviously meaning don’t take any crap. If somebody hits you, hit them back. I got in trouble one day, I actually got a spanking, because a boy bit me on the school bus. Instead of biting him back or beating him up I cried. My sister got involved and pummeled the kid(who was smaller than her). She told daddy when we got home plus, y’know, the bite mark kinda outed me. I got into loads of trouble.

          Like

          • Guess I mixed in different school circles. And, there was never any question of me fighting. Nice girls didn’t do that. To this day, I don’t think I’ve ever done physical violence. May have pissed a few people off verbally though …

            Like

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