Friday, August 29, 2008

Gay men & sexism (by Suzie)

         Like a lot of feminists, I don’t think we’ll ever end discrimination against gay people until we end sexism. For that reason, I’d love to see every LGBT organization educate members about sexism. We need some good old consciousness-raising.
         A lot of gay men are squeamish about behavior marked “feminine.” When one refers to another as Mary or a diva or a girl, it’s usually a putdown, even if a very gentle or humorous one. This reinforces ideas about the proper behavior for men and women.
         Gay culture that elevates muscular, “masculine” men hurts men who are considered effeminate. But it also harms women by once again making the “masculine” superior.
          It’s not enough for gay men to tell me how much they like women since plenty of straight guys say the same thing. As a political ally with gay men, I want them to question their own sexism.