Gay Male Misogyny: “It’s OK babe, I’m gay” is a standard response. It’s an apparent valid excuse when a woman responds negatively to being physically groped by a gay man. The misogyny of heterosexual men is commonly talked about and heavily explored. There is a great deal of misogyny perpetrated by straight men. However, gay male misogyny is alive and well. It’s a different brand of misogyny, but its just as potent.
Famous women like Rose McGowen and Azealia Banks have made statements against the gay male community for their misogyny. There are women who don’t mind being groped by a gay man. There are plenty who do. When they object they are often brushed off with entitlement or anger, or both.
It should go without saying, but it’s worth repeating once so that we are all on the same page. NOT ALL GAY MEN wield high degree misogyny just like NOT ALL STRAIGHT MEN wield it. Whilst the existence of straight male misogyny is rarely doubted, the existence of gay male misogyny is a divisive topic.
Does gay male misogyny exist? If so is it minor or major?
Do gay men get a free pass on certain things because of their sexuality?
GAY MALE MISOGYNY IS MAJOR BECAUSE:
- A significant proportion of gay men need to learn that their sexuality does not give them free license. Nor entitlement to physically grope women and get away with no backlash. It is a form of assault and misogyny. It’s not funny or cute. Gay men need to stop assuming that there is some automatic unspoken high level intimacy with women. For example, Isaac Mizrahi (fashion designer and Project Runway judge) grabbed Scarlet Johansson’s breasts at the Golden Globes in 2010. She was not amused. He gave her the standard line “I’m gay, so it’s ok”
Mizhari goes for a Johansson grope at the Golden Globes
- There is a silent denial amongst the gay community in regards to the misogyny that is practised. The community is still so consumed with its victim vibe that it cannot fathom the idea that they can be perpetrators. When it is brought up as a concern its often either dismissed or met with hostile anger.
- Gay male entitlement over women includes criticism and derision over sexist criteria such as their appearance and weight. Gay men are not sexually attracted to women. However, there is still an expectation for women to look glamorous and beautiful at all times. This is an unrealistic and idealised demand of how women ought to be.
- It’s often said that straight men view women primarily as servants to their needs. What about gay men? They operate on a very similar expectation. Women are essentially unwelcome unless they are a pop diva, an over the top gaudy Real Housewife type, or an agreeable awkward fag hag. They become objects who cater to their narcissistic needs and as props to boost their egos. It could be an extreme way for gay men to assert perceived advantages of traditional manhood.
- Perhaps gay male misogyny is so significant because they know that they can get away with it. It’s too often viewed as “just the way gay men are”. The bitchy and nasty streaks are just part of the package.
- Mainstream pop culture has become far more accepting of gay men with shows such as Will and Grace, Queer as Folk, and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. It is pop culture which is largely responsible for carving out a gay male identity. It’s pushed onto gay men as an identity to adapt to. The identity includes upscale tastes, keen eye for fashion and style, catty humour, a taste for all things pop and a bitchy streak. It also comes with such unsavoury sexist ideology: Repulsion in regards to women’s genitalia and referring to women’s vaginas as “tuna” and “fish” ,”eww” at the mention of menstruation, a contempt for lesbians, objectification of female aesthetics, and physical groping of women. It’s accepted as part of the identity.
- The gay dude/fag hag friendship is quite often regressive and benefits neither individual. Women end up selecting gay men as friends due to tired stereotypical criteria because it amuses them to have a fabulous camp gay male as a side kick and as a novelty, “every woman needs a gay” philosophy. The men end up using the women as targets for bitch practise as well as support systems that feed their narcissism and maniacal egos. Ultimately women, yet again, are in servitude to men and propping them up.
- Diva worship is massive in gay culture, as it’s another way in which women are objectified and dehumanised. Diva worship encourages the perception of women as abstract objects. Womanhood is reduced to fluffy entertainment (grand fashion, over the top make up, and over the top mannerisms) Gay icons are packaged and sold to gay men as larger than life goddesses, rather than human beings. Hence, the worship largely revolves around the fabulosity factor, glamour, aesthetics, the public antics and the celebrity/fame status. It strips away at the humanity and provides a gay fan with a commodity Barbie doll.
Modern day gay icon Britney Spears
- “No femmes”, “Masc for masc only”, “Straight acting men only”: These are common declarations of gay male preferences when it comes to seeking sex and relationships online and otherwise. The reason why they find femininity unappealing in gay men is because they find femininity abhorrent. It’s virtually stating their subconscious contempt for the female gender.
- Despite a degree of female presence in gay clubs and bars, they become wall flowers and almost nonexistent to the majority male population. In many cases gay venues are men only which leads to less socialisation with women. It causes a regression in their social skills with the opposite sex. In either scenario, women are in the minority or not present at all except in the abstract. They are the pop icons that you hear on the dance floor or the fabulous divas that you see in the music videos on the big TV screen. Therefore, in these contexts women are not multi dimensional humans. They are either insignificant patrons or abstract, larger than life celebrity symbols.
- Rapper Azealia Banks came under fire from the gay community for calling blogger Perez Hilton a faggot in retaliation to his notorious history of writing “bitch”, “slut”, and “hoe” over the photos of female celebrities. She explained that her definition of the word “faggot” is a deconstruction which has nothing to do with a guy being gay but as a man who hates women. Banks made a great point when she stated “If you call me a bitch, I’ll call you a faggot-what’s the difference?” Regardless of her definition of ‘faggot’, she makes complete sense. Why is it ok for gay men to make derogatory comments about women on a daily basis, yet it’s not acceptable when a woman fires back at them with an equivalent insult?
The handiwork of Perez Hilton
Gay male misogyny is a major force in our society. It’s a fascinating topic, and it has always interested me because gay men seem to be able to get away with so much more than straight men do. I don’t deny that heterosexual men, as a collective, have a lot to answer for when it comes to disdain and mistreatment of women, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t address or explore the ways in which gay men perpetrate the same ideology. In many cases the contempt of women is sub conscious, but especially so when it comes to gay men.
There’s a degree of hatred of women in both male categories. The way its expressed is what makes it so different. We are presented with two different brands that are packaged differently but are basically projecting the same message. I think that gay men get away with their brand of misogyny because it is accepted as part of their identity package. It’s not viewed as misogyny due to that factor. I don’t believe that possessing a gay sexuality gives one free license to grope females or make bitchy objectifying comments and get away with it. The fact that there is no sexual interest is irrelevant; it is still an example of men asserting dominance over woman.
There are many great and healthy gay male/female friendships, but once again we need to examine the full spectrum. They also come in dysfunctional form: the men treat the women as caterers to their over weened egos and narcissistic vanity. Women are also guilty of pigeon holing gay men as stereotypes and turning them into s amusements and an accessories, no different from a hand bag or pair of ear rings. So it does indeed work both ways.
The root of the denial of gay male misogyny and entitlement over women comes from their history of being abused and persecuted. There is this common belief that victims can never be perpetrators of abuse and persecution, which is absolutely false.
Minority groups are capable of inflicting their own type of discrimination. Minority groups don’t get a free pass just because they are minority groups. They should be challenged in the same way that any other group is challenged.
The diva worship is an interesting one, because it does indeed create false expectations of what women ought to be rather than what they truly are. The definition of a gay icon has certainly changed in modern times. This is not to say that talent doesn’t come into the picture, but there is a large emphasis on mere celebrity, fame, outlandish camp behaviour, excessive public antics, and hyper glam aesthetics. The market has worked out that gay men often value these traits, so they have capitalized on it and sold them packages of women heightening those qualities. Female entertainers themselves often deliberately play up on these elements in an attempt to pander to the gay community. It’s a good money making scheme, but it’s ultimately shallow and it aids in the process of dehumanising women.
Azaelia Banks made a great point in regards to pointing out the hypocrisy of gay men like Perez Hilton. Gay men can call women “bitch”, “slut”, and “hoe” on an almost daily basis and that is pretty much acceptable. Why do they mount a sense of outrage when a woman retaliates with the word “faggot”. It’s the same thing. The outrage is not at all justified and proves that gay male entitlement over women is very much alive.