Gay Men’s Sexism and Women’s Bodies

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About Yolo Akili

Yolo Akili is a Writer, Poet and Yoga Teacher. He can be reached via his website www.YoloAkili.com or on Twitter as @YoloAkili.

Comments

  1. Oh good Lord.

    The problem with this post is that it twists together two unrelated things – male objectification of women, and the sexual orientation of men. “Women look out – ALL men are out to get you, even the GAY ones!”.

    I absolutely deplore the hyper-generalization of all gay men as sexist. So as a gay man, I must be a part of the problem? Because of my gender and sexual orientation, I’m guilty of “everyday psychological warfare against women and children”? Really?

    I was taught along time ago that you don’t grab parts of a stranger’s body without permission unless its an emergency. The anecdotes about gay men grabbing a strange woman’s breasts just show that those particular men weren’t taught to keep their hands to themselves; it is NOT an indication that all gay men are sexist.

    • Like an early comment said, it’s not right to generalize, no matter who it is saying about another ethnic group. If you don’t want anyone jumping on you for generalizing, choose your words more carefully. We have a society that does tend to be a little sensitive ( my generalization), The best thing to say is, “In my experience…” and see who agrees with what you are saying. That would be far more acceptable. I live in West Palm Beach, FL. for the last 31 years. It wouldn’t be right for me to generalize women or men, (straight, lesbian or gay), with those in CA. Some locations might have more acceptable people than others. Some people would have different experiences with yourself, than we both can compare notes. But to generalize a whole group for some misfortunes of some people isn’t right. We condemn those against racism, sexism, and homosexuality and rightfully so. But don’t put yourself as one of these people, just because of one article, poll, social experiment, has it’s own opinion. You don’t know, who is who until you meet them. Don’t judge subject B, for what subject A is or does.

  2. The breast fetish is a social construction, as evidenced by the lack of it in tribal societies. Women seem to be able to learn the breast fetish, too, on some level. http://broadblogs.com/2010/11/29/women-learn-the-breast-fetish-too/

    Wondering if gay men can learn it in any way, or of women are more likely to because their sexuality is more flexible.

    Any comments from gay men would be appreciated.

  3. Truth be told, I have deeply pondered on the relationship gay men have with women’s fashion and women themselves. I’ll focus a bit on the drag queen. Do drag queens somehow damage the integrity of women? Do they emphasize stereotypes and gender roles by dressing with large knockers, load there face with makeup, and wear scandalous clothing? Or are they empowering by showing their appreciation of female beauty and displaying their feminine qualities. And I’ve come to the conclusion that some will see it one way or the other based on their own biases. I think the underlying issues is how it comes down to culture and art. The relationship between women, gay men, and fashion is an old one with much history. Many gay men aren’t generally coming from a place of malice when they say what they say or even do what they do. They feel it’s a good trait to be honest and outspoken, probably because they spent a large part of their youth doing the opposite. They feel they are doing you a favor by giving you “advice” because they see themselves as “one of the gals”.
    In any group of peoples there are going to be some that do strange things, and this may set a tone. Some people will pick up on this and henceforth only see that aspect of those people in a negative light. This is what I feel is going on here. Not all gay men act like that, and if they do they are probably still in the gayby stage (think of this like the caterpillar stage). Furthermore, not all women are innocent in this matter. If you knew how many times I’ve heard a lady say that they wanted a gay best friend to go shopping with. I’ve been asked tons of times by women for my opinion on aesthetic matters. Umm, stereotype much?
    As for the grabby gays, ladies when a gay does this the appropriate thing to do is grab his boobs back. This is a sign of friendship. Ok, maybe your not comfortable doing that so at the very least let them know you weren’t ok with being groped. Some may respond defensively, some may apologize. Walk away. The end. Realistically it’s not ok for anyone to grope another person. But, I’m going guess that if you’ve found yourself in a situation like that, there was probably a party atmosphere and alcohol involved. Under those conditions we make mistakes, we’re human.
    It’s not about sexism or male privilege or misogyny. Gay men do have a unique appreciation for women and they are celebrated in our community. Without some very special and strong women in my life, I would not have the strength to be who I am today, and I know countless gay men feel the exact same way.
    I see your point that there are issues, but to say that gay men perpetuate some kind of war against women just because it doesn’t fit your ideal definition of appreciation, doesn’t make it true. It just means there’s a right way to do something, and there’s a wrong way.

    • Mel:

      Your initial point about generalizations is correct. Many gay men aren’t coming from a place of malice. That’s true. But, although many aren’t, many ARE coming from a place that this article is addressing. And those that aren’t still have a responsibility to become informed and correct their indifference & behavior of which they’re supposedly oblivious to.

      Your comment aims to excuse the groping, assaulting, and the rude or derisive criticizing by placing all the burden on the women: ‘Women need to understand that these gay men are young “gaybies.” Women need to understand that they should do the “appropriate” thing and be as playful. Women need to understand that “boob grabbing is a sign of friendship.” Women need to understand that gay men love & celebrate women. Women need to understand that gay men are just exercising a “good trait” of being “honest & outspoken.” Women need to understand that gay men are trying to do them “a favor” “because they see themselves as one of the gals.” Women need to be more open-minded and stop seeing this behavior in a “negative light.” Due to women’s “biases”…. right?

      Umm, do you spin much, Mel?

      Then you blame women with what has to be the lamest argument. You chidingly begin with “not all women are innocent in this matter.” According to your thinking, women who seek a shopping companion or opinions on “aesthetic matters” from gay men are responsible for any abusive words or actions directed at them. Oh! You also think groping is an innocent result of the absolvable conditions of “party atmosphere and alcohol.” Wow, Mel. I’m afraid to ask you what implications this mindset of yours has on other serious matters.

      It’s nice of you to throw around some patronizing compliments about strong, special, beautiful women. But, if women are truly appreciated by gay men, then gay men like you shouldn’t be apologists for bad and abusive behavior. We should be honest and accountable for our actions and not cast blame and burden on others.

      Do you think we should be understanding when straight men say or do inappropriate or abusive things to us? So, thinly-veiled homophobic remarks or gestures aren’t probably coming from a place of malice, right? These straight boys in our workplace or elsewhere who also sing that refrain about how they “don’t have a problem with gays” are just unaware and therefore absolved, right?

      I’m one of countless gay men that are appreciative of the women in our lives. Countless of us do value women and want to defend equal status, respect, and rights for them. Many women have worked on turning around their boyfriends, brothers, fathers, and other straight males in regards to attitudes toward gays. We owe them the same vigilance, loyalty, and obligation. We need to protect that warm symbiotic relationship we have with women. Women are targeted with crass and craven treatment, just like we are. Gay men may be in a position to influence or help educate all men. We’re clearly obligated to at least educate ourselves & correct our own (perhaps unwittingly) bad words and actions.

      I know that it’s human nature to have an impulsive reaction of defensiveness. But we have to, instead, be honest, accountable, and courageous here.

      • DarkZephyr says:

        Or MAYBE by saying “not all women are innocent of this” that sometimes women put their hands on gay men? Could that possibly be it, Adam? I know that my former best friend, a woman, thought NOTHING of jamming her hands down my pants and groping my butt or my testicles, out of the blue with no permission. But I guess that’s just fine because I am a male and thus responsible for an attitude towards women that I personally had NOTHING TO DO with creating and DO NOT TAKE PART IN.

        As far as I am concerned, the above article is just an attempt to give certain people license to be homophobic and blame it on “reacting to male privilege”. Screw that. I don’t care what sex a homophobe is and what excuse they trot on out for it, they are a homophobe and I WILL not tolerate it. Nor will I tolerate the kind of misandry that the above article is laced with.

        • DarkZephyr:

          You’re misquoting Mel’s comment above. I’m sure you didn’t do that deliberately.

          He wrote, “Furthermore, not all women are innocent in this matter. If you knew how many times I’ve heard a lady say that they wanted a gay best friend to go shopping with. I’ve been asked tons of times by women for my opinion on aesthetic matters. Umm, stereotype much?”

          That’s all he wrote in regards to women’s guilt on the matter. So, you’re clearly conjecturing and distorting Mel’s words and meaning. With your help, he might want to revise his comment and incorporate your words. But as it stands now, he is just saying that women are guilty of wanting gay men around for shopping & fashion help. By the way, this is a common gripe by gay men about women on other comments on this thread. So, there seems to be an agreement among plenty of men who feel that before women start complaining about their breasts being groped, they should first correct that deplorable mindset that gay men make fabulous shopping companions.

          As for female gropers, if you feel strongly about this, you should write an essay and expose the problem.

          As for the article, you step up your conjecture about it being a “homophobic” and “misandrous” hit on gay men. It’s too bad that you don’t make a greater effort toward dialectical discussion. The gay author is making a courageous effort to lead a discussion on a difficult topic. Judging by the outrage and defensiveness in the response to his essay, it’s clear how deeply difficult this topic is for us.

  4. Wow. While I have seen touching that’s raised my eyebrow, it’s always been amongst good friends and never like this article states.
    I haven’t got a clue where this behavior developed to what sounds like an outright pandemic here but get it together and slap the shit out of anyone who touches you without permission.
    At least speak out and make sure your boundaries are there so that not only you but your friends can vack you up if some dumb shit is inappropriate.
    I couldn’t imagine thinking that I would ve welcome to grab or manhandle any woman just out of the blue.
    Where the gell is this happening to vegin with? Certainly hasn’t veen going on here like that.

  5. Because the real problem with sexism in this country are gay men touching womens’ boobs as opposed to, oh I don’t know, straight men. Gay men aren’t the ones raping women, passing laws to limit their reproductive choices, or keeping them from earning parity with men.

    • On rape:Gay men,lesbians,trannies and bisexuals all rape,statistically speaking at the same rate as straight men.Perhaps you should do some homework BEFORE you thrown a class of people under the speeding train.

      • Perhaps you should learn some reading comprehension. The issue is sexism against women. How many gay men rape women? Please provide a citation that proves that gay men, lesbians, transsexual (the fact that you used the word ‘trannies’ tells me all I really need to know about your animosity towards the LGBT community), and bisexuals rape at the same rate as straight men.

        • Whoa young fella,pump your brakes!?You maynot agree with me and that’s fine…I imagine that why folks debate issues in public forums.However,you take liberties and it is entirely uncalled for. You do not know what or who I like or dislike.Heck,for all you know, I might be a tranny myself.I made my comment in specific rebuttal to yours.You implied that the only rape that should be of concern is that commited by straight men upon straight women.The recent VAWA bill,for the first time,included the LGBT community.Mainstream feminists resisted this effort of inclusion by the LGBT community.NOT ME.The community demanded to be included because rape and dv are problems.One in three lesbians are victims of sexual assault by a woman.The question isn’t whether rape and dv happens in your community too.The question is why didn’t you know. The article,in my opinion, suffers due to its male apologist tone.Sexist behavior,obviously, is not limited to gender or sexual orientation. Nor,apparently, is ignorance.I will waste no more of time.Just google rape and dv in the LGBT and be enlightened.

          • DarkZephyr says:

            And how about you google how transgendered persons tend to feel about the word “Tranny” and be enlightened?

          • Nope, she/he implied that MOST rapes against women (any sexuality or color) is by straight males, and that is a fact. Of course, I believe some rare gay/bi men also rape women and all, but hey.
            All in all, I agree we should not only focus on straight males raping women. That is an universal problem.

        • @Darkzephr Well,some blacks prefer being called African American even though they used to prefer Negro.Some,God love ‘em,don’t mind being called my nigga.Some lesbians prefer to be called dyke,some bulldyke,some fem,and,for some woman is fine. I defy you to know exactly which one is appropriate to use and when.So many choices so littlr time.Considering all of this,how could you possibly know how every tranny,transvestite or transperson prefers to be addressed?Simply put, you don’t.That being said,this liberal, progressive,micromanaging of others doesn’t serve you well.It is Orwellian and grossly illogical.I will leave it up to the individual tranny to educate me to their preferences.

          • And if you don’t know how a transexual (or black “nigger”, gay “faggot”, woman “bitch”) person likes to be called, that is common sense that we will use the political term for them. really. Or do you get (if you are white) to a random black person on the street and say “hey nigga, what’s up?”? I doubt it. Just plain call women bitches even if you don’t know them? Nonsense.
            Stop trying to deny that was a silly mistake. That is okay, it happens. But having that big of an ego to admit it is just ridiculous.

    • Tim:
      That’s a false choice. We can address all sexism simultaneously. And don’t make the mistake of trivializing this problem. In the long run, abusive behavior such as breast groping and derisive or belittling remarks (despite your logically fallacious comparison to worse abuses) can have regrettable consequences for both women and gay men. The persistence of this problem can also damage their symbiotic relationship and the progress each is working for.

      What’s wrong with calling for an end to all misbehavior, seemingly moderate and severe?

      • Rather than accusing me of trivializing the problem, maybe you and the author shouldn’t maximize the problem? I mean, how often does this actually occur? How often does it occur relative to unwanted groping by straight men? The author relies on anecdotal evidence, whereas I pointed out real issues facing women that we all know are serious, that are related to sexism, and that are not in the least related to gay men. Reading this article reminded me of a stupid article I read in Details years ago titled “Get Your Gay Hands off my Wife’s Boobs”. It was a homophobic hit piece by a straight man trying to pathologize gay men with the old stereotype that we have no control over ourselves and our sexual behavior.

        • I bet I would have hated that article in Details. I hear your point about the incomparable abuse and crimes that straight men commit against women. There’s no disputing that. But I don’t believe you’re hearing the counter point to your call for a brushoff of this particular problem.

          You ask, “How often does it occur relative to unwanted groping by straight men?”

          That’s sort of a red herring. It doesn’t matter. Why? Because the issue is not who’s worse (if that were the issue, straight men would win that title, easily). The issue is simply “unwanted groping/ sexist or offensive criticism that happens among gay men and women.” For the author to address this specific issue he would have to address gay men. Therefore, his audience for this issue is gay men. If we were discussing the issue of unwanted groping and sexism in general, then the audience to address would be straight men almost exclusively. If we were only and always discussing the matter in general terms, then gay men would consequently assume there’s no problem concerning them.

          Therefore, sometimes we must address problems in isolation of a broader association to other problems.

          It’s silly how some are dousing the efforts to address this problem with arguments such as: “This is not a pandemic!” “But women offend us too when they buy that stereotype that we’re here to be their fashion concierge.”

          It may not be a pandemic, but there are complaints from many women. And it’s important to emphasize that many gay men are not gropers and sexists. And the ones that are being complained about tend to be young gay men.

          Are we not allowed to address the sexist misbehavior of young gay men because of some strange rationalization that only straight men’s misbehavior, by virtue of being much worse with far greater occurrence, must be exclusively addressed? Sounds like a copout.

          I get pretty angry when the straight community tells us to hush up about our issues of discrimination or hate crimes because “there are worse things happening.” “There are more pressing issues in the world.” I especially hate the way they callously trivialize incidents of discrimination and hate crimes.

          I’ll admit that if the author of this article were straight, I would have great apprehension and mistrust from the start. And although an insider is getting some considerable push back, an outsider would get nowhere. I’m reminded of the push back that Bill Cosby got when he tried to air out some of the black community’s dirty laundry. I welcome our own calling our attention to something that may be difficult to listen to. It takes courage to say it. And it also takes courage to listen.

          • DarkZephyr says:

            Oh Adam, its not just about fashion. If you ARE a gay man it particularly annoys me that you keep saying that. As I pointed out in a previous post, *I* have been personally groped without permission by heterosexual women. And while I agree with you that gay men who put their hands on women without permission should stop doing so, it really frustrates me that the comparison you keep using about what is done to gay men by straight women is the whole ‘fashion” thing. Good grief, its far more serious than that!

            • DarkZephyr:

              It’s gay men on this comments section who are complaining about women stereotyping gay men as fashion gurus. I’m just reading the several comments where gay men complain about this. Out of a defensive response to the scrutiny of inappropriate breast groping and sexist speech, they condemn this transgression by women. Maybe you should express your frustration in replies to their comments. It could help everyone be more honest and willing to face difficult topics.

              You say you’ve been groped by women. You seem to imply that you believe it’s a significantly reoccurring problem for gay men… as significant a problem as it is for women. Therefore, I implore you to be the voice of that movement. Be the first to write an essay that will educate us all and expose the predatory groping by these sexist women. Best wishes.

  6. I’m a gay man and I’ve never grabbed a stranger’s body, or offered any unsolicited advice about their body, or any of the socially unacceptable behaviors listed in this article. It saddens me that people behave this way, regardless of their sexual orientation. I’m also tired of people going in to nightclubs and being shocked by bad behavior there. A club is a place where the majority of the people there go to become intoxicated by drugs/alcohol and search for sex, so why go to a gay club and think that it’s an example of how gay people are. It’s not. If you go to a gay club, you’re going to find gay people who enjoy getting wasted and acting recklessly. Just like in a straight club. Stop tying club culture to gay people. The headline should be “Gay Men in the Club Culture’s Sexism and Women’s Bodies” not “Gay Men’s Sexism and Women’s Bodies”. I don’t go to clubs because they’re full of awful people. Please do not associate me with those people just because I am gay.

  7. i think a problem that exists but is even less frequently discussed is the way that gay men degrade and ridicule female genitalia in front of women, provoking them to agree that their own bodies are revolting. the whole “ew vaginas are disgusting” is personally incredibly offensive, but i have had more than one female friend reply to me with “well of course he thinks that, he’s gay,” which completely ignores the history of astonishing oppression of female body parts, and the ways in which women are currently taught to hate their own bodies. it is exactly the same as if i, as a straight woman, were to say to gay men “gay sex is totally gross,” and assume that they will agree with me.

    • That definitely falls within the category of sexist speech. The author writes about how gay men derisively criticize a woman’s body in terms of weight and dress. He left out specifically what you’re talking about. But I agree that I’ve heard those reprehensible “jokes.” I’m relieved to be certain that I never told a woman anything disparaging about her breasts or genitalia. But I have been trying to remember if I ever said anything too critical about my sisters’ dress or appearance. It’s been many years.

      Thanks for adding to the discussion. You make excellent points. We have to address these problems. Correcting this will benefit not only women but the gay community too.

  8. I find the defensiveness humorous. Yes, this is a problem all across the board but the author is gay and speaks about his experience and opinion on a particular subject matter. This does happen, and quite often. I modeled for a while and this would happen to me a lot. It was frustrating and I have spoken my mind about how wrong I thought it was and how it made me feel only to be looked at, in response, with the “how dare you say that I should grab your lady parts” tone. The women that I know don’t touch one another in the matter that many gay men believe is ok to do so with women. I am not sexually attracted to women but I would never grab a woman’s butt or breasts or any other part of her body. I prefer not to undress on front of anyone unless I have to…..like backstage at fashion shows or the locker room. Can we just take this article for what it is and stop being defensive? Whether you do it or not or knows someone who does it or not is not the subject matter of the article. The fact is that it happens and all women are not comfortable with it, end of story. Stop suggesting that other ills be included in this article/essay and write your own to bring to light some things that some of us are unaware of. Stop downplaying this issue with a comparison to a shopping buddy or fashion advice. If that type of thing bothers you, address it in your own essay instead of using it as a defense mechanism. The one person who added his experience with being groped by a woman, I say tell her butt off expressing your frustration with her behavior and that it is NOT ok. That is wrong and the behavior should not be tolerated on any level from anyone point blank. Now, can we stick to the article’s subject matter?

    • Vonda:

      Thanks for speaking up. This article and comments like yours are so crucial. Many gay men are unfortunately having a knee jerk defensive overreaction to this. Their copouts and silly excuses are humorous but also very disappointing. We need to be courageous and accountable for our actions. As a gay man I know my community is regularly under attack by the homophobes and bigots. So, I know we have an impulse to defend ourselves. But I implore my gay brothers to recognize that these are valid issues, and that we owe women a true friendship and loyalty in the name of the historically mutual help we have extended to each other’s struggles.

      To my fellow gay men I say, “Isn’t it doubly hurtful when members of other oppressed groups refuse to understand our struggles or oppression? I remember how hurt I felt when a big majority of African Americans in California voted for Prop 8. I was asking, “How could they, of all people, not recognize the civil rights issue involved?” Thankfully, the AA community has come around and is continuing to come around more. We, gay men, need to be just as honest, redemptive, and magnanimous. We cannot sweep this under the rug, even if it’s just some gay men doing this. It will hurt us if we don’t address it.

  9. I think that the word “gay” should be replaced with “young gays” throughout the entire article.

  10. James Barros says:

    What in the holy…

    Ok, I’ll cop to being a misogynist. I don’t have a lot of female friends, and many of the woman I know seem, as a rule, to have very different mannerisms and attitudes than men, and it’s not my thing.

    That being said.. grabbing a woman without consent? WTF? Where are you finding this behavior?

    I have never in all my days seen shit like what you’re describing nor would it fly around ANYONE I know, Gay, Straight, CIS, Trans, White black, or polkadot.

    I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, but it sure as HELL doesn’t happen around me, and if it did, while I’m sure it’s not the PC answer, a guy would find himself with a split lip if I saw that nonsense.

  11. um, i don’t know what kind of class you were in front of where every gay guy copped to this egregious behavior of unsolicited inappropriate touching and advice, but i never have, nor have i witnessed it by my friends or anyone else for that matter. not saying it doesn’t exist, i’m sure it does, but i severely doubt it’s the gay male epidemic you portray it to be.

    at the risk of getting the dander up of my more effeminate brothers, it sounds like the behavior of very catty, fashiony “queens”, a specific stripe and subset of gay men.

    further, there is privilege in different situations with both genders. it’s dishonest to lay every problem between the sexes at the feet of men, not to mention tiring to listen to.

    is there no discussion about the disrespectful privileges and objectifying some straight women take with gay men?

    the discussion of privilege, objectification and disrespect needs to be a two-way street.

    • Tiffany Cervaldez says:

      The thing is that this article is about women’s experiences with gay men and sexism. Something I see on the internet and discussion boards is once we talk about women’s experiences, a male will make sure he is still the prime subject and that he too experiences sexism when the sexism that men might experience is more like pain and anger, rather than taking anything away from the man. Men still have all of their rights, while if we say it’s a two way street, it’s keeping women down. Please do not make this about how men experience things too, when this is NOT about that. Let us have this discussion about women and assault without making it about men like everything else in the world.

  12. Paul Schmidt says:

    This is class and conjecture in IMHO. Had there been a proper survey done maybe with at least 100 plus gay men, then maybe I would by into this story, also location in the USA.

    I have yes occasionally done this to my close, lesbian girlfriends but only at their permission or out of jest if they have groped me. And as I can recall it has only been her.

  13. …come to think of it,I had a girlfriend who would spontaneously grab my crotch and say,”Mine!” After about the hundreth time she did this I realized what I had done and put a stop to it.Damn,it took months,she resented my establishing this boundary and on occasion withheld sex because of it.Man,I buried that shit and seldom,if ever, reflect upon it.I was not taught that I should have sexual boundaries,only that I should observe them. Momma never told me there would be days like that.

  14. I can’t relate to the experience you outline in your piece, which is so dripping which politically-correct platitudes it’s a satire of itself. I am a gay man of 43 years and I can never recall a gay man in whose company i have been touching a woman without consent in this way, much less a complete stranger. I think this says more about the people you associate with rather than any insight worth sharing on the lives and attitudes of gay men.

    • Hear, hear! It was like reading a second-year undergrad’s (majoring in Gender Studies) midterm essay. All this talk of “privilege” is so common amongst the p.c.,victim-baiting, pseudo-intellectual, self-righteous types. Since he chose to use some anecdotal evidence of male sexism and “privilege”, allow me to share the same.
      Was it “privilege” when a black female in her 20′s grabbed my crotch at a gay bar, and then told me I needed to “try p*ssy for a change”? Was it “privilege” when two lesbians were discussing right in front of me how “unattractive”, “icky” and “bothersome” having a penis would be? Was it “privilege” when a Latino transsexual called me a “typical white boy” (I was 40!) because I didn’t respond to her flirtatious behaviour? Also, whose “privilege” was it when “GLBT” was changed to “LGBT” in the last decade or so? Could it have been the “privilege” of a bunch of angry, bitter p.c. lesbian feminists who demanded this needed to be changed, thereby figuratively castrating us gay (white) men from our so-called “privilege”? Who actually decided that the L needed to come first in this never-ending alphabetical label? Interesting how rude, obnoxious, harassing, uncivilised, entitlement behaviour is defined as “exhibiting privilege” when it comes to white men (of all sexual orientations), but not when it comes to females or non-whites. I’m so sick of seeing this type of b.s. and propaganda spread throughout the GLBT community.
      The message in this article could’ve been summed up in one sentence: Don’t touch other people’s body parts – especially strangers – without their permission, whether they are women, men, gay, lesbian, black white, etc! Common sense, common courtesy and respect is what needs to be stressed to EVERYONE, not some finger-pointing, feminist b.s. about so-called “privilege”.

  15. dyksfunctional says:

    Annnnnd…. the comments @HP are riddled w/gay men stating how this doesn’t happen OR that they haven’t witnessed this behavior.

    It HAPPENS. It happens all the time.
    MALE PANIC… deal w/it doods and listen. If your not doing it… great!
    Here’s your **gold star**.

    But being defensive about it is not going to change the reality that it happens and you are either in denial or so privileged you don’t give a shit.

    How many butch women do I know that are told by gay men::
    “If you had a dick I’d fuck you.”

    Thank you **sarcasm**… you just reduced a woman AGAIN on how fuckable she is and they are suppose to be flattered because she doesn’t conform??

    Listen… it’s nice to get a compliment. No doubt. But there is a line that just doesn’t seem to exist w/the ***boom boom boom*** of club music and the fuel of alcohol.

    Just don’t treat women like this… not because we are “delicate”!!
    But because you don’t need to be an asshole.

    • Hear! Hear!

    • How many gay men do I know who would tell a butch woman “if you had a dick I’d fuck you”?
      None.

      How many times have I found gay men perceived only as BFFs for heterosexual women with little to no recognition given to their sexuality as an integral part of their overall personhood?
      Countless.

      There isn’t an epidemic here, and it isn’t worth lecturing folks over.

  16. Wow, long time ago that I read such a hate comment. The author really seems to like gay men treated like crap by others. Promoting gay bashing I’d say.
    And why should a gay guy care about a woman’s body? Here in Europe women don’t complain about being “harrassed and mistreated” by “violent and sexiest”gay guys. It’s just the other way round.
    But at leats your article promotes one thing: gay men should still be identified with something evil/negative to find a justification to smack and mistreat them.
    And why not doing it the author way round next time? Why do so many straight guys mistreat gay guys? Or is that just not important enough?

    • Tiffany Cervaldez says:

      You are the problem.

    • I think they are talking about some gay guys who do that, never gay bashing or generalizing.
      I’m sorry that in Europe you see women mistreating and harassing gay men, that should never happen as well – and if you want to talk about it, you should! No abuse should be tolerated.
      That is true, lots of straight guys mistreat gay guys, and that is an important point. This site has a lot of articles about this, if you want to check it out.

  17. WOW! Just wow!

    Me being gay, I have grab a girls butt/boobs before and told someone how they looked. But these are only certain friends I have this relationship with that we both know each other VERY well, and know how to be honest. This is NOT something I would do to a random person or don’t know very well.

    I have certain friends that when we meet we swear at each other, hug and kiss on the cheek, while other friends that would not be possible. And having certain friends that we are comfortable changing in front of each other, and both are comfortable slapping someones ass when they go to pick something up. Other friends and I do not have this closeness in able to cross certain lines.

    And when giving dress advice only the friends were we have built the trust in order to tell each other out of love that they could look better. But mostly we have the kind of relationship where we ask each other. We have built this over many years in the understanding that we are working towards a better self. Not only on the outside appearance with how we look and dress (we know we are not perfect) but also from the inside with our character and how we treat those around us. This honesty helps us maintain our close friendships we had.

    So in the end while I have done these, be sure to note they are with close friends that are open and honest with each other with what we are comfortable with and where our lines are with each other. And not all gay men walk up to random people and cross those lines by grabbing boobs or telling people they look like crap without knowing them well or taking in their feelings.

  18. John Watson says:

    As a gay male, I have never done this.. I didn’t realize it was so common either? Unless this is something that happens in ONE place on earth?

  19. Not surprised in the slightest by all the denialism in the comments. I’ve known several gay men to do this–grope me, be catty to me about my appearance (despite barely knowing me, plus the fact that I didn’t fucking ASK), and it’s always the same excuses. Which, amusingly enough, sound very similar to the excuses straight people make about how they’re not -really- homophobic.

    The whole “I’ve never heard of this/only a few people do this” bit is hilariously dumb. If your response to hearing about instances of sexism–or racism, or homophobia, or anything else oppressive–is not “man that sucks, I feel bad/angry on behalf of these people being treated so” but apologetics, denialism, victim-blaming and attempts to derail/silence those mistreated, then you? Are part of the problem.

    • Eergh thank you. Color me unsurprised that the comments are riddled with denial. Do you know why this article doesn’t cover all the bases? Because it is SPECIFICALLY ABOUT male on female sexism! If you want to make an article that addresses straight female on gay male assault, then DO IT.
      But stop insisting that it doesn’t happen at all.

  20. Alan Benard says:

    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/video/video-scarlett-johansson-golden-globes-71647

    Scarlett Johansson had a very awkward moment on the red carpet during the 2006 Golden Globes when designer Isaac Mizrahi — who was covering the red carpet for E! Entertainment Television — groped her on live TV. That year, Johansson was nominated for best supporting actress in a film for Match Point. After feeling her breast, he said he was just taking notes for the next time he makes a push-up dress.

    • Disappointed, Not Surprised says:

      This is the exact incident I thought of when reading the comments. How can so many men lie about how this doesn’t happen when we’ve all seen it happen on live TV? He not only groped her but he asked another women about how she groomed her genitalia.

  21. If a cis white male read an article about the way white men exercise their privilege, you would expect them to say, “I never do that! My friends would never act in such a way! Why does everything have to be about race?! What about the things I feel threatened about?!”
    They would probably react that way in response to feeling attacked. But here’s the thing: if this scenario doesn’t describe you, then good. Continue to respect other people’s boundaries and personal space. If you feel the need to question whether or not it happens at all and why we need to talk about it? I find that highly suspect.
    Furthermore, it does not matter how close you are to someone, if you’re touching them inappropriately without consent it is assault. Period.

    • Yes, that is funny: if this article were about straight guys groping women, a lot of (straight) men would be YELLING right now that they never did this and would never do this and never saw that happening and that their friends would never do this and that talking about men harassing women only is sexist and misandrist and that the article is plain hateful and suggests all men are criminals and rapists and, and, and…

  22. Daniel Williams says:

    Yes to everything! (well, a single college class is hardly representative, but whatever) Yes to everything in this article until I got to the straight woman in a gay bar story: social norms around touching are often different in queer space. Particularly in queer sexual space. Straight people who invade queer space need to stop expecting it to conform to straight standards. There are some gay bars where there is a 50/50 chance of getting groped regardless of gender. This is like the straight people who take their kids to the pride parade and then complain about the people in underwear. If you don’t like gay bars go to the straight ones.

  23. As it happens I’ve experienced uninvited touching from women all my adult life, women feel just as much of an entitlement and engage in just as much objectification of Gay men’s bodies. This business about assumptions about all gay men being into fashion is a harmful stereotype which is part of the system which oppresses gay men, it does not in fact privilege them. You are essentially calling gay men out for the symptoms of their oppression not the abuses of their privilege. Cis-gender heterosexual women enjoy much greater levels of privilege than queer men do, and this article is an angry, Ill-researched, attack on a vulnerable and much harmed group in society.

    • Disappointed, Not Surprised says:

      Experiencing homophobia doesn’t make it OK for you to be sexist.

      • I don’t think he was necessarily being sexist here…?
        In fact some women really feel like they can freely touch gay men. He was just talking about the other side.

  24. I’m really glad someone has had the guts to say this, and even better that he’s gay himself. I think a certain kind of gay man (by no means representative of most gay men) is profoundly misogynistic if not outright sociopathic, busying himself unnecessarily with the images of his female hosts (and I do mean host in the sense of parasites). It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that this sort of gay man has a significant hold in the fashion industry, and has been trying to turn women into boys, favoring models who are tall, with almost nonexistent breasts and hips, for several decades now. We can only speculate irresponsibly about the source of this behavior–is this type jealous of women for being able to express feminine personality traits with impunity, or even jealous of their bodies and thus forced to denigrate them, or is he identifying with an obscene, self-loathing mother who was profoundly critical of other women, and thus, through his abusive intimacy with his female “friends” attempting to commune with his mother by imitation? Who the hell knows, but the gay community, if such a thing really exists, ought to do some self-policing and tell these guys to calm the eff down. They are the source of the lion’s share of the most harmful stereotypes about gay men, despite their being a minority within a minority.

  25. Anonymous says:

    This is a really interesting perspective that I haven’t considered before, but it makes a lot of sense and I can relate to it now that I think about it. As a woman who has had many gay male friends in her life, I can say that by and large they have been respectful of me and my personal space. But one gay friend in college had an obsession with “motorboating” his female friends’ breasts (including my own) without permission: he was very short and would come up and rub his head on our chests out of the blue. At the time, it made me uncomfortable, but everyone always laughed it off and so I did too. I wonder how many other women felt uncomfortable like me, but didn’t say anything because, you know, it wasn’t sexual or anything…

  26. No group has a monopoly on sexism, stereotyping, assault or sociopathic behavior. Bad people show up in virtually every cohort. I think what the author illustrates rather well with this article is that sexism, misogyny, and domination, particularly in how we treat the female body should not be tolerated regardless of whether a person belongs to an oppressed minority. Nobody should be able to get away with that kind of behavior.. it just isn’t okay.

  27. I’m a gay, white man, and I have never touched a woman’s breasts without permission, nor do I offer unsolicited fashion advice. My mother raised me with manners. Nor do I think it anything but inappropriate and way out of bounds trashy and offensive when certain gay men behave that way. It absolutely is. Keep your hands to yourselves, people.
    However, it’s equally offensive being painted with the same, over-sweeping brush of generalization. The line, “How does your sexism and misogyny show up” has to be one of the most insultingly presumptuous questions I have ever heard. Here’s my answer: “Your question is clearly about you far more than it’s about me. I’m not a sexist misogynist, you *#@^.” Making statements about an entire class of people, whether it be race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, etc., is not only very problematic in its inevitable inaccuracy, but incredibly offensive as well. Gay men are no more a homogenous group than any other group of people. So keep your offensive generalizations and presumptions to yourself, too.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] And it’s not just modeling as I think we all know that does this. It is all the marketing towards women and men that is horrifying and needs to be broken. As Autumn Whitefield-Madrano points out in “Modeling as Modern Day Physiognomy”, there are codes and codifications engrained in our gaze onto other people. It can be a racist, homophobic, you-name-it gaze, that puts a face into a category and further more an aesthetic that model bookers, for example cannot define. I can define it for you: certain faces sell products whether it be luxury, commercial or a lifestyle. It is the preying upon how women and men are supposed to constantly present themselves according to a higher power that is the problem, whether it be a straight male gaze, a gay male gaze, a straight female gaze, a trans-gaze, whatever the gaze is, I think it should be destroyed. (One gaze that Mears brings up that needs to be discussed more is the power of the male gay gaze in fashion, I recommend this article for further reading: http://goodmenproject.com/ethics-values/gay-mens-sexism-and-womens-bodies/) [...]

  2. [...] To read: Gay Men’s Sexism and Women’s Bodies [...]

  3. [...] covered good ground on the physical aspect of sexism in the gay community. Peep his article ‘Gay Men’s Sexism and Women’s Bodies.’ Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like [...]

  4. [...] Gay Men’s Sexism and Women’s Bodies mbadebjqzu1rctihmo1_r1_500.jpg (220×750) [...]

  5. [...] Gay men’s sexism and women’s bodies [...]

  6. [...] Gay Men’s Sexism and Women’s Bodies New Therapy Treats Patients with Death Experience 50 Years of the Jetsons: Why The Show Still Matters Steampunk is now terrorism, according to the TSA Christo plans sculpture of oil drums to tower above sands of Abu Dhabi—petrophilic 90s hairstyle-meets-Ancient Egypt; also will be the world’s largest, most expensive sculpture This stag do is a REAL riot!—”For £79 participants can use batons, rush police and learn how to throw petrol bombs” [...]

  7. [...] Akili’s “Gay Men’s Sexism and Women’s Bodies” and riese’s “Why Do Gay Men Keep Touching My Boobs: The Autostraddle [...]

  8. [...] Gay Men’s Sexism and Women’s Bodies [...]

  9. [...] “Gay Men’s Sexism and Women’s Bodies” by Yolo Akili – posted last November on The Good Men Project.  I was so excited to find this.  He explains the problem well and I’m always relieved to find folks in privileged positions doing a good job educating our own.  Writing as a queer man of color, he also touches upon the added oppressive dynamic of white men feeling entitled in any way to the bodies of women of color. [...]

  10. [...] a related, and somewhat serious, note: Gay Men’s Sexism and Women’s Bodies, at the Good Men Project.  Over and out! Share this:EmailTwitterFacebookGoogle [...]

  11. [...] Gay Men’s Sexism and Women’s Bodies At a recent presentation, I asked all of the gay male students in the room to raise their hand if in the past week they touched a woman’s body without her consent. After a moment of hesitation, all of the hands of the gay men in the room went up. I then asked the same gay men to raise their hand if in the past week they offered a woman unsolicited advice about how to “improve” her body or her fashion. If your husband were gay, would you stick by his side? [...]

  12. [...] sexual violence is power, not sexual attraction.  I must point out here that too many of us have sexually harassed or assaulted women and naively excused the behavior as innocent because we are gay.  Sexual violence by any [...]

  13. [...] + Yolo Akili explores the sometimes-sexist relationship between gay men and women’s bodies. [...]

  14. [...] attracted to women, they are much less likely to be sexist or misogynistic.* Yolo Aliki’s article here at GMP shows that assumption is actually a misconception, and that gay men are fully capable [...]

  15. [...] Aliki’s article on The Good Men Project shows that assumption is actually a misconception, and that gay men are fully capable of [...]

  16. […] Gay Men’s Sexism and Women’s Bodies […]

  17. […] Pour lui, il s'agit d'une forme de perpétuation de la domination masculine sur les femmes, déniant à celles-ci le droit d'être maîtresses de leur propre corps. Parce qu'ils n'éprouvent pas de désir sensuel envers les femmes, certains gays s'arrogent le privilège de transformer celles-ci en objets. Avec parfois le consentement des femmes qui se laissent faire «de peur d'être perçues comme homophobes». Ce texte, qui date de novembre 2012 mais recommence à circuler sur les réseaux sociaux, est toujours d'actualité. À lire sur Good Men Project. […]

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