Gay Men’s Sexism and Women’s Bodies


Yolo Akili explores how gay men’s sexism and male privilege shows up in relationship to women.

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. Once again, after a moment of hesitation, all of the hands in the room went up.

These questions came after a brief exploration of gay men’s relationship to American fashion and women’s bodies. That dialogue included recognizing that gay men in the United States are often hailed as the experts of women’s fashion and by proxy women’s bodies. In addition to this there is a dominant logic that suggests that because gay men have no conscious desire to be sexually intimate with women, our uninvited touching and groping (physical assault) is benign.

These attitudes have led many gay men to feel curiously comfortable critiquing and touching women’s bodies at whim.  What’s unique about this is not the male sense of ownership to women’s bodies—that is somewhat common.  What’s curious is the minimization of these acts by gay men and many women because the male perpetuating the act is or is perceived to be gay.

An example: I was at a gay club in Atlanta with a good friend of mine who is a heterosexual black woman. While dancing in the club, a white gay male reached out and grabbed both her breasts aggressively. Shocked, she pushed him away immediately. When we both confronted him he told us:  “It’s no big deal, I’m gay, I don’t want her– I was just having fun.” We expressed our frustrations to him and demanded he apologize, but he simply refused. He clearly felt entitled to touch her body and could not even acknowledge the fact that he had assaulted her.

I have experienced this attitude as being very common amongst gay men. It should also be noted that in this case, she was a black woman and he a white gay male, which makes this an eyebrow-raising dynamic as it invokes the psychological history of white men’s entitlement to black women’s bodies. However it has been my experience that this dynamic of assault with gay men and women also persists within racial groups.

At another presentation, I told this same story to the audience. Almost instantly, several young women raised up their hands to be called upon. Each of them recounted a different story with a similar theme. One young woman told a story that stuck with me:

“I was feeling really cute in this outfit I put together. Then I see this gay guy I knew from class, but not very well. I had barely said hi before he began telling me what was wrong with how I looked, how I needed to lose weight, and how if I wanted to get a man I needed to do certain things… In the midst of this, he grabbed my breasts and pushed them together, to tell me how my breasts should look as opposed to how they did.  It really brought me down. I didn’t know how to respond… I was so shocked.”

Her story invoked rage amongst many other women in the audience, and an obvious silence amongst the gay men present. Their silence spoke volumes.  What also seemed to speak volumes, though not ever articulated verbally, was the sense that many of the heterosexual women had not responded (aggressively or otherwise) out of fear of being perceived as homophobic. (Or that their own homophobia, in an aggressive response, would reveal itself.) This, curiously to me, did not seem to be a concern for the lesbian and queer-identified women in the room at all.

Acts like these are apart of the everyday psychological warfare against women and girls that pits them against unrealistic beauty standards and ideals. It is also a part of the culture’s constant message to women that their bodies are not their own.

It’s very disturbing, but in a culture that doesn’t  see gay men who are perceived as “queer” as “men” or as having male privilege, our misogyny and sexist acts are instead read as “diva worship” or “celebrating women”, even when in reality they are objectification, assault and dehumanization.

The unique way our entitlement to women’s physical bodies plays itself out is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to gay cisgender men’s sexism and privilege. This privilege does not make one a bad person any more than straight privilege makes heterosexuals bad people. It does mean that gay men can sometimes be just as unthinkingly hurtful, and unthinkingly a part of a system that participates in the oppression of others, an experience most of us can relate to. Exploration of these dynamics can lead us to query institutional systems and policies that reflect this privilege, nuanced as it is by other identities and social locations.

At the end of my last workshop on gay men’s sexism, I extended a number of questions to the gay men in the audience. I think it’s relevant to extend these same questions now:

How is your sexism and misogyny showing up in your own life, and in your relationships with your female friends, trans, lesbian, queer or heterosexual? How is it showing up in your relationship to your mothers, aunts and sisters?  Is it showing up in your expectations of how they should treat you? How you talk to them? What steps can you take to address the inequitable representation of gay cisgender men in your community as leaders? How do you see that privilege showing up in your organizations and policy, and what can you do to circumvent it? How will you talk to other gay men in your community about their choices and interactions with women, and how will you work to hold them and yourself accountable?

These are just some of the questions we need to be asking ourselves so that we can help create communities where sexual or physical assault, no matter who is doing it, is deemed unacceptable. These are the kinds of questions we as gay men need to be asking ourselves so that we can continue (or for some begin) the work of addressing gender/sex inequity in our own communities, as well as in our own hearts and minds. This is a part of our healing work. This is a part of our transformation. This is a part of our accountability.

 

Read more from the Gay & Bisexual Men section

Photo—Bringo/Flickr

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. Yolo – you have a one sided view. You also need to get out more, because you seem to always only meet the worst of stereotypical people – and even the worst of the worst!

    You wrote “How is your sexism and misogyny showing up in your own life, and in your relationships with your female friends, trans, lesbian, queer or heterosexual?”

    I wonder – did you ask the people you were talking to the same question, and make sure the same question was heard by everyone irrespective of sex, sexuality, gender or any other diving line?

    Well as an Old and even Senior Out Loud Pouf, with more experience in statistics and verifying social reality than I care to consider – I just ran down the road to my local gay bar – did a totally unscientific test and head count and found that Sooooooo many Gay Men are fed up with Straight Women groping GAY Men – giving unsolicited relationship advice to men about men ….. and above all, they are fed up with being called “Sister” and feminised by Hetty Women!

    It’s so hard to get Hetty Women to stop throwing themselves around your body too – they love to grab your junk and then scream “But I’m Straight So it Don’t matter – I don’t want to F### You!”. Well it’s odd, cos if you go and grab their Snatch they scream blue murder and demand a police presence! Such an odd double standard!

    The repeated offers of Blow Jobs in public are also highly unwelcome – and again If a Gay man was to suddenly announce that all the woman needed was Cunnilingus and he was going to go down on her there and then …. well I can see time in cells and expensive attorneys bills looming – even sex offenders registers!

    Then you have that whole issue of Queer Only Space and all these Hetty women turning up, claiming they can’t go to straight venues because of safety concerns ….. and then after they have drunk themselves blind they are the ones being bounced out the door by security because they have sexually assaulted a male client of the venue, telling him that they love him – he will be better if he goes to bed with her and she guarantees she can make his straight and she has a higher success rate than Conversion Therapy and no religion required ….. just her apparently miraculous minge and an alcohol blood count that would fell a Bull Elephant!

    Some people just really need slapping! That and banning form places where civilised people congregate to socialise!

    I have pointed out to these women (I would say ladies but that raises semantic issues) that their conduct and attitudes are sexists, abusive and even illegal, but they just keep on excusing it, claiming that they can’t be seen as wrong because they are Straight Women they can’t be seen as sexist – committing sexual abuse – objectifying men – Disrespecting men! No That Can’t be happening because the Girls all Scream “We’re Just Having Fun! There Is No Harm In It!” Talk about Victim Blaming and shifting the focus of attention back onto the perp from the victim ….. it’s pure Psychopath!

    Don’t you just hate them sexual assault loving hetro bitches!

    And they always deny their own criminal activity – psychopaths. All of them! …. and boy don’t they bitch when they get banned and are not allowed to enter male only space so god fearing queer men are able to have a drink in safety and without fear of being groped – told they do want to have sex with someone who just won’t take no for and answer – told that they will be tied to a bed and made to have sex for their own good!

    Them Cis female, heterosexual Queer gropers are getting away with far too much and they is getting way too much Privilege – especially the white ones! .. and the middle aged ones …. Don’t get me started on what It’s like being a gay man Stalked By Cougar!

    Next time you really do need to be more balanced and measured in the questions you ask ….. and of who! There are more stereotypes than you have miscispresented!

    • John Anderson says:

      It’s not just gay men”s bodies CIS women feel entitled to. I’ve heard the excuses before. It’s not like she’s going to rape you or it’s OK if a woman does it or women aren’t interested in that (sexually). Why can’t women (and men) just keep their hands to themselves unless someone wants to be touched? I do agree that at least if a man touches a woman against her will, he’s got a decent chance of going to jail and that’s probably the biggest reason women do it because they can get away with it.

  2. I see women’s entitlement towards men’s and other women’s bodies, to initiate hugs, various touching and the likes, without ever asking first, amongst acquaintances, friends, family who may not be welcoming it, but feel no recourse to say no.

    Men who do this towards teen girls are suspected of pedophilia. If the boy is pre-pubertal, the same is suspected of the man too. All the man’s actions, however benign, are seen as sexual, and violent.

    That’s male privilege alright.

    • Yeah, where have we gone that we think something as POTENTIALLY, mildly uncomfortable to a woman is more important than GLBT rights, by saying gays are privileged.

      Last I checked, gays have far fewer rights than women.
      Last I checked, people LIKE being touched.
      Last I checked, almost any social creature becomes violent when physical touch is neglected.

      But now we have one more mark on our list of things men can be demonized for.

      • Some people like being touched. And some people don’t. And some people like being touched only when they give permission, and don’t like being touched when they don’t give permission. The main issue here isn’t the touching itself, but the touching that is occurring without permission. Why should anyone touch someone they don’t know without asking? The encounters described in this article occurred in public places. How can you presume to know that these women didn’t have physical interactions with others in private?

        No one is arguing that women’s rights are more important than gay rights. No one is questioning gay rights here. The problem is that these gay men seem to think they have the right to touch women’s bodies or critique women’s bodies without asking. No one has that right.

      • Elle Jaye Slutzky says:

        Men, gay or otherwise, still get paid way more than a woman, gay or otherwise, for the same job. No one expects you to get married, have babies and cook dinner for your man. Sexism, and male privilege must be eliminated, and equality for all to replace it.

        • Wage gap, meet reality.

          Because the only thing that really changes wages on a systemic level, is stopping to work for a few years (or at all) to take care of a baby.

          I’m largely in favor of men having this option too, by the way. Having longer paternity leave. And a societal attitude that stops saying men are the second parent, the ‘babysitter’ parent, are incompetent at cooking, and have obvious sexual motivations to be involved with any child, including their very own.

          But wages in the same company with the same experience and all accounted for? Not convinced this -7~+5% gap is really systematic and sexism.

        • Random_Stranger says:

          “Sexism, and male privilege must be eliminated, and equality for all to replace it”

          ..and leave female privilege and male subjugation unaddressed? This not equality, that’s continuation of the gender construct for some, and liberation for half.

          The idea that sexism and racism are fundamentally the same is unbelievable flawed. Somewhere in the middle of the civil rights movement, 2nd wave feminism co-opted the language and framework of the black struggle against white oppression, as though the two are in any way comparable. We’ve been digging out of that hole ever since.

          The reality is sexism, or the gender binary, is a means of controlling individuality MUTUALLY upheld and enforced by men AND women who comprise the community for which the gender binary serves. The fact is, we are all held to certain normative gender roles. Whether that role engenders privilege or oppression is highly dependent on the context in which the individual finds himself or herself. Sure, its good to be a man when the ship needs a captain, just not so much when its sinking.

          That our author would choose to neglect that women too, hold these body standards over other women, while denying the broader struggles and relative disadvantages of a group of people, be them of race or sexual orientation, because their apparent masculinity grants them universal privilege is a perfect exemplar of everything that is wrong with feminism, and why it destined to collapse under its own self-serving inconsistency.

          • RevSpinnaker says:

            Good point about equating sexism with racism. The excellent film “The Help” shows why many black women don’t relate to that particular feminist ideology.

            • The Questioner says:

              Uh—plenty of Black women are feminists, thank you very much. And how does the not-all-that-excellent movie “The Help” tell us anything about who Black women are?

            • Uh—Rev didn’t say that black women feminists don’t exist, only that a lot of black women don’t identify with it. And for good reason I’d say.

            • RevSpinnaker says:

              Well it was from a NY Times #1 best seller, was nominated for 4 Academy Awards and Octavia Spencer won Best Actress in a Supporting Role. I’d say that’s pretty good. I agree there is no comparison between the plight of privileged white women and slavery.

      • I don’t really like the social expectation, common among women and some men, that I hug and kiss everyone. I love my friends but I don’t like being touched by them most of the time. I loathe the European cheek kissing custom and hate how it is becoming common among certain people in the US. I don’t like it when men expect me to hug them – I always wonder if they are doing it to feel my breasts. Basically, I ‘m just not a kissy huggy person. I endure all this for the sake of good social relationships.

        • “I don’t like it when men expect me to hug them – I always wonder if they are doing it to feel my breasts.”

          The only real takeaway here is that you are ridiculously paranoid and consider a good number of men to be likely predators.

          Get over yourself—it’s not too late to grow up.

          • just saying, not everyone likes or needs to be hugged constantly. And if a guy (not a boyfriend or family member) wants to give me a big chest pressing hug, I do wonder why. Maybe it’s because I just don’t like hugs.

    • John Anderson says:

      @ Schala

      “I see women’s entitlement towards men’s and other women’s bodies, to initiate hugs, various touching and the likes, without ever asking first, amongst acquaintances, friends, family who may not be welcoming it, but feel no recourse to say no.

      Men who do this towards teen girls are suspected of pedophilia. If the boy is pre-pubertal, the same is suspected of the man too. All the man’s actions, however benign, are seen as sexual, and violent.

      That’s male privilege alright.”

      +1

  3. I also wonder about women’s own advising other women about fashion.

    I’ve had so much unsollicited fashion advice as a trans woman, coming 95% from women.

    I don’t think it’s sexism to advise women who care about fashion…about fashion, when most men don’t care in the same way about fashion (ie if you try to advise them they won’t care, most likely). It’s speaking to the most likely person to want that advice at all.

  4. To add to the men’s fashion deal.

    Besides suits and shirts, and pants who for 99% of the time have the exact same cut…men’s fashion is boring, uniform, bland, boring.

    Why would you want to advise a man about fashion when he likely has only 2-3 choices? Business with shirt+tie, formal with suit, and casual t-shirt and jeans.

    Try to vary too much from that without being a natural clown (Jim Carey), and your social rep is gone, forever. You could always hang out with people who don’t care about that, but not everyone likes making a point about being rejected by most (I do, personally… but given how everyone emphasizes “wanting to be normal” and “fitting in at all costs”, my guess is most men wouldn’t vary their wardrobe too much – social sanction is very strong).

  5. I appreciate this article very much. Finally someone voices this issue.

  6. The pleas being copped in the first few comments would be hilarious if they weren’t so narcissistic and (deliberately?) obtuse. But as they say, a hit dog will holler.

    • Way to participate in the discussion ther Dani! Because there’s nothing quite like trying to shut someone down through name calling and then analogizing them to an animal. It sure beats a reasoned response, anyway.

    • I’m a woman who wouldn’t dream of having physical contact without explicit consent first, including with my own family.

      And I’m unlikely to advise my own mother (only other female family member) about fashion. Except to not follow it because its bullshit.

      So I’m generalizing, yet it doesn’t include everyone. Fun yes?

  7. At the presentation, they should have asked these questions, too:

    -Girls, raise your hand if you’ve touched another girl’s body without her permission.

    -Girls, raise your hand if you’ve touched a guy’s body without his permission.

    Now, let’s see how many people actually care about those. They don’t. They care specifically about what men do to women, and in this case, they’re taking something most women don’t have a problem with and telling them to be offended by it.

    Where have we gone that we’re calling gays a privileged class? Are we completely blinded by one-sided thinking that says men are only oppressors and women are victims to any behavior a man directs her way? Worst of all, we have to ASK for permission before physically touching someone?

    I used to be that way with girls, and they were put off by it. Annoyed because they thought I found them disgusting because I wasn’t making physical contact. hang out with girls a bit. They touch each other all the time. If we start saying it’s unacceptable for a MAN to touch a girl, we’re just stripping away more from men. Now, we can’t be emotional, we can’t get sympathy from others, and now we can’t even touch each other?

    Makes me wonder which group is really thinking like a sexist.

    • Are you serious? No one’s saying a man can’t touch a woman. They’re saying he can’t touch her without her permission. If he is touching her without her permission, it is unacceptable. If you don’t know a girl, don’t honk her boobs.

      • As a gay man I have to say – if you is a supposed lady, you should not be;

        1) grabbing gay men’s genitals
        2) Telling gay men they can be made straight by being made to have sex with you
        3) offered blow jobs on the spot to prove point 2 above
        4) believing that because you are female you are exempt form established social rules
        5) seen as funny to state that you would rape a gay man because you believe he is physically attractive – publicly stating and intent to rape is a felony on many places – in fact stating it in private is the same.

        It is odd how there is still such a polarity of what men apparently do to women – and of course gender is not an issue in assault – or sexual assault. The assault is the issue.

        I also do have to apologise as a gay man for not Grabbing Boobies indiscriminately – failing to proffer advice on Sartorial issues and failing to be a gross stereotype for the convenience of others!

      • Ah, I suppose we run on different terminology, then, because I agree with what you said.

        When I hear “touching” I think of a hug, pat on the back, touch on the arm. This kind of stuff is standard practice for bedside manner in nursing. Imagine how weird of a world this would be if people had to ask to hug you or pat you on the back.

        “Hey good job man! Okay, I want to ask you a question, because I respect your values. Is it okay if my hand makes physical contact with your back in celebration?”

        Now I mean, if someone DIDN’T give me permission, then sure I wouldn’t touch them. It’s just common sense, and it avoids drama. But if you have a problem with simple, communicative touching, you inform them of lack of consent. Someone offers to shake your hand: “I don’t do that”. And that’s fine.

        When I talk about honking boobs, I think of groping, not touching. So the fault is mine, as I didn’t read the whole article. But as far as that goes, girls do much more touching in general, anyway. The difference is that one gender is taught to be quite offended by it, and the other is taught to brush it off. I suppose it would be interesting to talk about where both genders should stand, and go from there.

        But I still stand by what I said as far as men-women, women-women, women-men, and men-men goes. generally, my standard towards something being an issue of sexism vs a social issue vs a non-issue has a lot to do with how we view all four of those relationships.

      • John Anderson says:

        @ Katelyn

        “If you don’t know a girl, don’t honk her boobs.”

        Even if you know her that could be dangerous. :) More than half of the unwanted touching I’ve received from women is from women I know.

  8. in response to ‘ Worst of all, we have to ASK for permission before physically touching someone?” my response is YES. I am a woman, and i dont care if youre male,female,gay,straight,old,young, human, animal, blue or purple, nobody but nobody touches me unless I am ok with it.

  9. That dialogue included recognizing that gay men in the United States are often hailed as the experts of women’s fashion and by proxy women’s bodies.
    And much of that hailing is done by….women themselves.

    Overall I find that this is pretty good mirror image of how there are types touching that women can do to men and all is good but if a man did to a woman he would get funny looks and possibly accused of something. But I bet money that trying to call them misandry, female privilege, sexism or any of the other words that comparable to the ones that get freely tossed around when talking about the things that men do to women would get funny looks and accusations themselves.

    On one hand I say it’s good to get all these on the table. No one should be left feeling like they don’t have control over their bodies namely in the form of who gets in encroach on their personal space.

  10. Jean Brandt says:

    I am a touchy-feely guy, but I would never touch someone in a sexual way uninvited. With the people I know, who know me, there is plenty of touch, with males and females, but sometimes I know I don’t want to be touched and I respect those who might feel the same way. Unfortunately I also get objectified (by gay men and women), who seem to only see the surface. I actually hate being handsome. It wouldn’t be a problem, if we lived in a culture where people automatically cared about seeing a whole person, not just the physical.

  11. Are we reading the same article? Talking about the sexism of misogyny among gay men does not mean that straight women don’t do heterosexist and privileged things to gay men. I think we can agree that people should not touch each other without consent. The fact that straight women do it too doesn’t negate a single point in the article. How are you missing the voices of the actual women who spoke up and said they didn’t like that attention? And I really can’t tell if the first comment is sarcasm or not but y’all seriously?! Marginalized groups can do oppressive things along their other axises of privilege.

    Thank you Yolo for your words.

    • Agreed, lots of derailing going on in the comments here.

    • “Marginalized groups can do oppressive things along their other axises of privilege.”

      Except being male isn’t unidirectionally privileged over being female, in a way that being straight, or cis, is unidirectionally privileged over being gay, or trans.

      Being male or female both have their advantages, not exactly in the same areas. The difference residing often about agency.

      Being presumed to have no agency means you can do no bad. You can’t be evil, you can’t destroy things because you hate them, you can’t murder in cold blood, you can’t rape. Someone made you do it. It can’t be you.

      But it also means you can do no good. Stuff you do can’t really be credited to you. You can’t be a good leader, because you have no power that comes from ‘you’. Stuff “happens” to you, leaders have to do stuff and not just react.

      So agency has built a wall where men can’t be recognized as victims because of their maleness, ever. While women can’t achieve as much, because they’re not seen as full agents of their own happiness, or unhappiness. It means men can try for leadership positions more easily, but will also be more suspect of all crimes, punished more heavily for the same offenses, and apparently, seen as bad parents because parenting has been misattributed to an innate quality that comes from possessing vaginas, instead of actually good sense, planning, discipline and patience.

      • I agree. The first thing we need to do before we start debating gender issues is actually go through, identify them, acknowledge them, understand how they interconnect, and then finally take action to reduce them.

        When it comes to sexism, I look at each issue from 4 perspectives:
        -Man -> Woman
        -Man -> Man
        -Woman -> Woman
        -Woman -> Man

        After analyzing these perspectives, I take my stance.

        For instance, in the case of the SkepChick elevator incident, I thought about how we would respond to each situation:

        -Man -> Woman: Patriarchal Misogyny
        -Man -> Man: “Sorry, I don’t swing that way.” Probably a source of comedy.
        -Woman -> Woman: Probably not even discussed.
        -Woman -> Man: Lucky guy. If he was offended by this even slightly, people would say he’s a psychotic whiner.

        And thus I took my stance: To say that the first case is sexist is to disregard all other cases entirely. Maybe we should be offended in all other cases? Maybe that one case wasn’t actually offensive? Either way, something in society makes us only look at the first case, and that’s the problem I have with the whole incident.

        • Hank Vandenburgh says:

          This country! Two of the words I’d ban right now if I could would be “misogny” (this means woman hating – too strong for most irritating individuals) and “offended” (oh, shut up – you’re such a delicate flower – most people never say anything – they just stuff it, and then report how offended they were.) Be a humanist. Get a life.

        • The thing in the first case that makes society consider it more problematic is the increased likelihood of sexual violence, the increased physical threat in the scenario. It is not just a matter of offensiveness. Hitting on someone in an enclosed space is threatening, especially if you intentionally waited until you were in that enclosed place, especially if you are larger than them, especially if it is the middle of the night, especially if the gender dynamic between you reflects the most common form that sexual assault takes.

          It was offensive that people downplayed the horribleness of the event, but if you think the event itself was simply “offensive” then you clearly have not thought enough about the implications.

    • And I really can’t tell if the first comment is sarcasm or not but y’all seriously?!
      media is a regular commenter here. he was being very serious

      • Jameseq – I was being more than Serious – I was being serious with Satire, based upon direct observation of public behaviour and group think! But then again – as an Old War Horse Pouf and Human Rights Ass Kicker I have seen so much that needs to be subjected to Satire!

        I am still wondering why the Author, Yolo Akili, found it appropriate to take his personal minimal experience and turn it into a badly written, stereotypical, self promoting hagiography?

        I also noted that someone has a book coming – so it’s clear that Publicity is more relevant than content!

  12. Thank you for writing this. I am a woman (queer). I never thought much about the kind of criticism I’ve received from gay male friends about my body or clothing–honestly, I do think it was always well meant (or at least not badly meant in any way), but it certainly didn’t make me feel good about myself. I was shocked to read about the breast-grabbing. I’ve only ever told a couple of people about this because the experience was really confusing, but the only time I’ve been blatantly sexually assaulted (it was in public at a gay pride festival of all places) was when a gay man grabbed and squeezed. I pushed him away after a second or two of being frozen in shock. I don’t think it was traumatizing or anything, but it does give me a lot of relief to read this article and know I am not the only person who’s experienced this. I still find it bewildering though as I did that day–why would a gay man even do this (he was a bit drunk, but that doesn’t really answer the question…or does it)?

  13. NoncompetitiveVictim says:

    So many of these comments are outraged that the author would bring up discrimination by gay men when discrimination toward gay men exists. Why does the existence of one victim illegitimate another? Women certainly perpetuate sexist anti-woman behavior and the LGBT community is still struggling with ingrained prejudice.
    But if we were having a conversation about snow falling on a person would you be outraged if we didn’t include stories about people falling on snow? They both happen but they are totally unrelated scenarios.

    I really appreciated the author’s piece on the fraction of female objectification perpetuated by gay men and I don’t think that it hurts anyone to identify all of the problems in our society instead of just the loudest ones.

    • Random_Stranger says:

      Why? Because its simply not interesting to discuss yet another example of male privilege on the GMP. Yes, masculinity provides privilege under certain circumstances. Finding it under every rock and tree is just not saying anything new. And for the author to take a group of people, generally understood to be anything but ascendant in society, and say “hey look, I found some male privilege here”. So what? The central struggle of sexual orientation is neither advanced nor alleviated by this anecdote.

  14. In the case of unsolicited advice/criticism about appearance, perhaps gay men feel in competition with women for male attention?

  15. Until we are ready to seriously address female privilege, I am uninterested in further discussing male privilege.

    If the common stance on female privilege is that it doesn’t exist, then that is my stance on male privilege.

    • You don’t even need to go as far as Privilege – if female misbehaviour is not acknowledged to exist then why should anyone else’s behaviour be questioned and subject to such opprobrium.

      So many folks talk about equality in a way that makes it clear they have no interest in equality – only in a different status quo where they get the status and it’s quo to everyone else.

      I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the more you see the supposed balanced and rational dialogue about men – and the massive US centric focus that exists here ….. well, it is just makes the USA appear to be the most unappetising place to visit. It’s kind of like using Desperate Housewives as a Tourist Guide and wondering where all the baked goods are and just how many swimming pools have bodies under them. I just hate it when sites degenerate into stops on the third tier circuit for publicity and notoriety book tours.

    • I assure you that every single female “privilege” you can think of is a side-effect of sexist attitudes towards women and their role in society. ALL of them.

      • “I assure you that every single female “privilege” you can think of is a side-effect of sexist attitudes towards women and their role in society. ALL of them.”

        If this is true, then the exact same can be said of every single male “privilege”.

        • Exactly. The matriarchy hurts women, too, I should say.

          Give my regards to Magus, too, if you would.

          • ‘Cause it totally makes sense to describe a society that has been overwhelmingly run by men as a matriarchy, right? The only “privilege” people here have described women as having is the “privilege” of being treated like incompetent children that need taking care of rather than fully functional adults, as if that is anything someone would aspire to. Well, maybe you would. Should we start now?

            • Random_Stranger says:

              Well, certainly no more flawed that calling the system “patriarchy”. Yep, historically men have been the actors in society, both running and labouring for the institutions that separated and raised the status and well-being of humanity, but a case could be made that the actions of such men happened at the direction and approval of a matriarchy. The Romans certainly thought so, their cultural legacy is rife with reference to the power and influence of the ‘mater familias’ in Roman society.

              There was a world that required the life sacrifice of someone for the culture to thrive, the matriarchy/patriarchy select men for those life sacrifices, and the sexual selection of the matriarchy had power of judgement over the worth of a man’s actions. If you think the historical place of women was considered lower status, re-read history.

  16. Hank Vandeburgh says:

    The fact that we’re not touchers or huggers is a symptom of late capitalist OCD. I don’t think it has a gender, in particular.

  17. Thank you :)

  18. Robert Vankirk says:

    I find it surprising that no one has brought up how homophobic this article is in its uniform presentation of gay men.
    “These questions came after a brief exploration of gay men’s relationship to American fashion and women’s bodies. That dialogue included recognizing that gay men in the United States are often hailed as the experts of women’s fashion and by proxy women’s bodies.”
    All throughout the article, the author assumes that all gay men are experts at fashion (or perceive themselves to be). I most certainly am not. None of my closest friends are. There are many gay men who are ignorant of fashion and have no interest in critiquing a woman’s appearance. I think its awfully arrogant to assume I actually care about you and your body. As if every man, gay or straight, MUST care about the way you look and dress. Shocking news honey, I could care less.
    In fact, I don’t care at all about your vagina, what penetrates it, or what comes out of it. It’s simply not a concern of mine. I’ll vote for your reproductive rights and equal pay and all that jazz, but I could seriously care less about your snatch. Grow up and get over yourself, I’ve got better things to do than be accused of being a sexist pig.

  19. Quadruple A says:

    “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.”

    I’m going to play devils advocate here because sometimes “politically correct” types can be a little bit weaselly. If he asked them if he had ever touched a woman without explicitly asking her that is not the same thing as touching a woman without her consent because sometime consent is not gauged through explicitly asking somebody something.

    • the thing that stuck out to me also. how did yolo actually word the question, if he asked ‘ to raise their hand if in the past week they touched a woman’s body without her consent.’
      then of course every student hand of either sex would go up. ‘touch’ could mean anything eg one could touch friends to get their attention etc

      • Yes – I did note the lack of clarity and literary honesty around what the actual question was – the make up of the audience and even the numbers present – but then again exactly what would be the Audience make up at a lecture titled “Diva Workship(sic) & Barbie Doll Desires” – and exactly who is the Diva and who is grabbing those oh so stereotypical Barbie Boobs?

        The Disingenuous manner in which this whole matter is presented is the same as asking an audience if anyone has made a spelling mistake – then extrapolating that to claim that a set of hands raised in response to partisan question to a skewed audience is proof that GAY men are subjected to Systemic Educational Oppression on a universal level.

        The same lack of Honesty and lack of accuracy can be seen in the use of the attributive adjective possessive case pronoun “Our” which is being abused to tell all male readers that they are in a group that Yolo Akili self identifies as being a member of! Well That is OUR minus one cos this Pouf aint in any way connected to Yolo Akili’s personal issues and the group of boob gropers he is self identifying with.

        If I was aware of some Epidemic of Barbie Boob Grabbing by Fabulous Divas of the rainbow ilk, I would not just be bloggiing about it, or providing poor quality lectures. But then again, not everyone can be bothered to take on venue owners and demand codes of conduct for all users – train security personnel and Police in the issues and require equality – and then even means having to Bitch Slap a few judges so they get with the program. But then again Systemic change is not for the feint hearted and fly by night!

        If He (Singular), Yolo Akili, has an issue with grabbing random women by the boobs HE should seek support for HIS issues and HIS Behaviour. HE should not attribute to a whole group of people issues which HE has!

        The use of OUR to make it inclusive of all men, with the author included – and in particular all gay men – is deluded and abusive! It’s about the author having a personal agenda and expressing it as Universal at expense of others and attempting to reduce them to his level.

        He can play Diva with Barbie. Others deal with grown up issues and in grown up ways that are inclusive and not about hiving off support for Diva ways!

  20. Kyle Hake says:

    This article just irritated the hell out of me, because of how many conclusions the author jumps to about gay men and the apparent superficial, physically oriented world in which we live. I feel that you are pulling examples out of context, which in the long run, cannot extrapolate to the general population. It just makes you look ignorant and homophobic. I can’t think of a time in my life that my friends or I have ever touched a girl in such a manner, whether she was a close friend or a stranger. So your friend met a creep, and that creep happened to be gay, it doesn’t mean that they rest of the homosexual population was to grope girls and judge them on their clothing. Get your facts straight and stop being such an asshole. Trust me, if I really wanted to touch a woman’s breast, I would be heterosexual.

    • The Questioner says:

      First off, the author himself is a gay man. Secondly, he has been doing anti-violence work among both gay and heterosexual men for nearly ten years. If you’d like learn more about Yolo Akii’s work instead of insulting him with ad hominem attacks, Google is your friend.

      • Hmmm – so the author is GAY? Never! That just means he is a bad writer rather than being biggoted – stereotypical and who even gets the race card out when unnecessary?

        “It should also be noted that in this case, she was a black woman and he a white gay male, which makes this an eyebrow-raising dynamic as it invokes the psychological history of white men’s entitlement to black women’s bodies.

        Well – where I come from that looks like someone with Shoulder Pads (or rather very big chips on both shoulders) throwing out some warning shots and telling folks to back off! I’m glad to see that a number of Poufs have waded in on the Homophobia present in spite of the Fence with the big sign saying “I’s No Biggot cos I’s Oppressed – and I’s Queer too.”.

        That goes into the realms of Black Men can’t be racists! …. and as a Racially Diverse Pouf I can tell you that being from a minority or oppressed group is no Inoculation against being a biggot unto thy self! In fact the likelihood of being self oppressive is higher!

        Google can be ever so friendly – but then again it’s only an impression and even facts are not represented due to the very nature of the net. You do get to see some glimpses though – like the New Book Project and the Inevitable/Interminable Book Tour!

        Reminds me of Hanna Rossen – take a snap shot, claim it is universal reality and then get so much free air time to explain away the misrepresentation – misconception – misanthropy . So Barnum and Bailey and one of the oldest tricks in the book.

  21. I’d love to know what circles you operate in because, as a gay man, if you’d have asked those questions among my circle of gay friends, not a single hand would have gone up and not for lack of honesty. Your article only creates a stereotype of gay man that may not exist in the minds of many and that does not exist among all gay men. I have never disrespected men or women by placing my hands on anyone’s body against their wishes and out of a context that would permit me to do so.

    • It’s really great that you, personally, and your friends as far as you know don’t do this. That doesn’t mean that it’s not actually a problem–one of the things that used to ENRAGE me at queer nights was the inevitability of getting groped by random drunk gay guys. Who also inevitably would respond with escalating hostility when I told them to keep their hands to themselves. One grabbed my CROTCH and then told me to fuck off and relax, it didn’t mean anything. Hello mansplanation.

      (EDIT: Your frustrations aside there is no need to call anyone a dick. – GMP Moderator)

    • Are you serious? Obviously, the author of this post has experienced and witnessed the things they have written about. You don’t get to claim that just because you’ve never witnessed it, it hasn’t happened. You also don’t get to claim that writing about a negative aspect of a community “creates a stereotype”.

      • it’s not “creating a stereotype” to “recognize” that gay men are “often hailed as the experts of women’s fashion,” and extrapolate from there that there’s some sexist sense of ownership, but the fashionable-gay-man thing *is* definitely a stereotype. as with so many stereotypes, there are going to be some communities where the stereotypes resonate with people, and some where they… don’t. it sounds like in Farid’s community, they don’t.

        that got jumbly. in short, i read this article and said “seriously? that many people?” because i have definitely experienced the “ooh shiny, boobs” thing being directed at me, but wouldn’t expect it from any of my current queer community.

      • By attributing the actions of a VERY FEW scene queens, who were probably selected on purpose to be in that room for greater dramatic effect in this person’s presentation, and then attributing the qualities of these gay men to ALL gay men, is it indeed creating a false stereotype.

        These same people that would have been (purposefully) assembled in the room of this presenter are just as much despised by most gay men by being the scene queens that they are (only the loud and obnoxious ones think they have the right to touch anyone’s body at all whenever they want to) and partying all the time, leaving with a different guy every night and with an endless supply of ecstasy pills. We can’t stand them either: everyone always think that they are the norm, whereas they really are the exception. Most gay guys just want to find a guy and live a quite life in the suburbs, just like you. I think maybe you should find some better gay friends, if all the ones you know are obnoxious boob-squishers.

    • I am exactly on the same page as Farid. You know how straight men are usually friends mostly with straight men? Straight women with straight women? Well I’m a gay guy who gets on best with, and hence am friends with almost exclusively other gay guys. I also am friends with a few lesbians, a few straight men and a few straight women, but both myself and almost ALL OF MY GAY FRIENDS (does a Facebook check – over 250 of them would not do this at all. Maybe less than a handful of the gay guys I know would do this, I count 4, and one bi guy. We had just as much desire to put our hands there as women would.

      A few of my friends are interested in men’s fashion, and none at all in women’s fashion. All in all, I find this stereotype that this article portrays to be almost completely false and ridiculous. A very small minority of gay men might be like this.

      I love how, whenever gay men or straight men try to produce surveys like this, they only ever seem to round up those who actually fit their horrible misrepresentations.

      The most that I would ever say to a women is, “God, do you think you can push those things up any higher?” to those women whose aim *IS* clearly to push them up and close together enough to make them spill out of their tops. I feel like saying this though, and in actuality I’ve only ever said it once. She just laughed, and told me to not talk about things that I don’t understand.

      This article is so inaccurate in infuriates me. MOST gay me are NOT like this.

      • Most straight men aren’t horrible sexist stereotypes either, but we still need to talk about it. Two of my gay friends from college (and I’ll admit right now, that’s not most of them–I was the president of our LGBT club at school and so I knew a *lot* of LGBT people) used to do this. One even got drunk, came to a dance I was working at, sat in my lap, grabbed my breasts and kissed me full on the mouth. I wasn’t comfortable with this, nor should I have been. It was uninvited attention that would have been uninvited whether he was straight or not. When I told him what he did (he didn’t remember), he just laughed it off. He got mad when I told him that it scared me. I am a rape survivor and uninvited physical contact, especially uninvited *sexual* physical contact is something that can trigger all of the issues I have as a result of my rape. He didn’t know about my rape, but there’s no reason to ever do that to anyone, whether or not you wanted to have sex with them.
        So, I guess what I’m saying is that, just because gay men who do this are in the minority doesn’t mean that we can just ignore it. I say that about straight men, too. And women who feel the need to touch men and other women without their permission. It’s just not cool.

  22. to explain: I no longer go to queer dance parties in part because this was so frustrating. I have heard from female friends that it still happens.

  23. Thank you for this wonderful piece. It made me stop and think about the many times when I have been in situations like the ones you describe. I have a gay male friend who used to walk up to me daily and criticize what I was wearing. I love my friendships with queer men, and I certainly value what they think of me very much. I don’t think I’ve ever actually admitted this before, but I often think I want their approval in a similar way that I subconsciously hope for male approval in general. This is why queer male criticism or misogyny can be particularly hurtful: for many of us, queer men are the people in our lives that give us male friendship, support, and respect that we might not get from straight men. This puts gay men in a particular position of power that they might not recognize that they have.

  24. John Anderson says:

    “Their silence spoke volumes. What also seemed to speak volumes, though not ever articulated verbally, was the sense that many of the heterosexual women had not responded (aggressively”

    I think it has more to do with the reason women feel entitled to touch male bodies because they don’t perceive it as sexual or a threat. When I was younger, I had women feel entitled to fondle my biceps. I’ve had women adjust my clothing. Go into my pocket for a piece of gum. I’ve had women pat me on or rub my shoulders or run her hands down my chest or back. I’ve had women uninvited sit on my lap. Even now that I’m older I’ve had women pat my stomach or rest their hand on my thigh. I’ve seen it happen to friends of mine too. Women would sometimes rub my friend’s bald head.

    When you bring it up to women that you know, they always seem to think it’s no big deal. It’s not like she was going to rape you or if a woman does it, it’s OK. Women don’t care about those things anyway. I think if you examine the reasons women feel entitled to touch male bodies and violate men’s privacy, it’ll probably match the reasons they don’t react aggressively when touched by a gay man.

  25. GMP Moderator says:

    Okay folks. A lot of fair and decent points are being made here a lot of those points are drifting off topic. There are plenty of Open Threads to take those things to.

    • Maybe you should have considered that before publishing this homophobic crap.

      • Gwallan, this isn’t homophobic if it’s pointing out something that actually happens on the regular. This isn’t stereotyping. This is pointing out misogyny. Acknowledging misogyny is not homophobic, even if the perpetrators are gay; it is however, essentialist to try and make claims that just because humans happen to be homosexual that they can do no wrong.
        Also, calling out the mod who is trying to keep the discussion on track for being homophobic is kind of inappropriate. Feel me?
        Sincerely,
        Andrew, a pansexual trans* guy.

        • It is homophobic when we point out that this is typecasting the entire gay male population by the actions of a few. I think you forget what phobias and _isms are: typecasting based on a few. I think that the author of this piece probably got gay guys who purposely fit their definition of what they were looking for, if *ALL* the gay men in the room put their hands up and said that they did this.

          I know over 200 gay guys, because I as a gay guy feel most comfortable around other gay guys and hence get on with them better than other people. Plus – I’ve got better things to do than hang around groups of straight women all my life like these guys in this poll clearly do. I have no desire to EVER be the token gay amongst a bunch of straight twats. I could fathom a guess that less than five (CERTAINLY NO MORE) of my friends would want to touch women’s breasts AT ALL.

          So when someone writes an article that inaccurately depicts gay guys on a much greater, global scale, it IS homophobic. There are gay men still stoned to death, or locked up for life for doing things with another man in some countries. All of these men would laugh in your face if you acted like they had any desire at all to touch women’s breasts. Who they really want to touch gets them arrested: this article is a slap in their face, as it would be with most gay men around the world.

          • I disagree. Yes, there are still gay guys getting stoned to death, but that’s not relevant to the fact that misogyny is rampant within the gay male community, which I can speak to as a human who is a part of it. This is not a scenario true of your group of friends – that’s great. You have friends who are not assholes. But, the fact is that assholes /do/ exist, and there is misogyny in every walk of life, in every community. The author’s points are all valid and not homophobic.

          • “I have no desire to EVER be the token gay amongst a bunch of straight twats.”

            Yeah. I think this statement is a problem. You could have just said, “Straight women.”

            Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth (or hand typing on the keyboard) speaks.

            • No, I mean straight people in general. I have better things to do than put myself in the position that I am the only one (or maybe there will be one other) in the room that is gay. I kinda fit in with the straight men, but I kinda don’t. Same goes for the women. I don’t want to be in that situation, and you’ll find that the boob-squishers are the ones who spend lots of times in scenarios like that. You expect them to be gay, because there is really nothing else they can be, and that’s what they do. Squishing boobs is NOT ON, but how many women would hate these gay men more if all of a sudden they just toned it down and stopped being so outrageously gay, and acted like “just one of guys instead?”

              In short though, to clarify, I used the word twats to refer to people, and not women. I would have just said women, if I meant women alone. Why do you assume that that word replaces the word women is a great question that you might like to ask yourself.

            • It is a misogynist slur. It is insulting people by referring to them as vulvae. It is, if nothing else, proof that you are no judge of whether your friends are misogynist.

      • I am going to have to agree with Andrew here. I think it’s disgusting to retort to “homophobia” the second *some* gay men are specifically called out for their sexist behavior. Sexism happens. Gay men participate in this too and all this article does is point out a specific issue within a specific group of people. This author never claimed that all or most gay men conduct in this kind of behavior.

        The closest thing to a generalization here is when the author writes, “I have experienced this attitude as being very common amongst gay men,”–and even then this is merely one person’s anecdote.

        As gay men we are constantly mistreated and are victim of tragic homophobic events. However, as *men* we must constantly check our attitudes and behaviors to ensure that we are not conducting in ways that perpetuate misogyny and sexism towards women that–shocker–actually trinkles back down to us in form of homophobia and the disdain of the feminine man.

  26. Very interesting to read and I have noticed some of this behaviour before. However, where I live I have heard far many more stories of the opposite thing happening. Straight women will come into tone of the local gay clubs and be overly friendly with the queer men there. These men are often groped by women, even in the crotch and they feel really uncomfortable about it.

  27. This piece is probably the best example of why “historical oppression” is such a useless tool for analysis.

    It’s basically all in this part here:
    “What also seemed to speak volumes, though not ever articulated verbally, was the sense that many of the heterosexual women had not responded (aggressively or otherwise) out of fear of being perceived as homophobic.”

    There is no way you can accept that sentence and not simultaneously recognize that the landscape of so-called “privilege” has changed substantially and significantly in the past several decades. The idea that the threat of being labeled “homophobic” essentially causes a group of heterosexual individuals to put up with literal assault demonstrates a kind of privilege that simply did not exist in the 1950s.

    Yet the author can see this and STILL make pretend that “entitlement to women’s physical bodies” is something that (1) still exists, and (2) is unidirectional.

    I’ve commented on other pieces before about how we live in a society where women often feel entitled to have access to the bodies of men. This can be something as blatant as believing that a physical slap to the face is a reasonable response to an unwanted word, or it can be something as “benign” as asking the only man you know to help you with physical labor because that’s “what men are for.”

    I’ve shared this before, but I distinctly remember being in Ikea one day and having a girl come up to me and ask me to get a box for her. I explained that I didn’t work there and her response was something along the lines of “Yeah, but you’re the only guy around…” If that isn’t entitlement to my body, I don’t know why is. I still cannot decide if the fact that this took place within 5 paces of my girlfriend makes it better or worse.

    This hasn’t been the 1950s for 3 generations. We live in a very different word than we did then. As someone in his 20s, I have never lived in a world where I felt an “entitlement to women’s bodies” yet I have often experienced women who felt entitled to mine. The historical analysis of the past is no longer relevant. It is time to move on.

    • Mike, when the lady comes up to you in Ikea and TELLS you, with full social authority, to get the box for her and then insults you when you refuse, you can probably make some kind of argument about being unfairly discriminated again. Until then, you’re exercising your privelege. No, that doesn’t mean that your feelings are irrelevant or meaningless – but you may wish to examine where those feelings come from, and why.

      A man amongst a group of strange women may fear ridicule or feel insecure. A woman among a group of strange men is often frightened and holds fears for her physical safety and sexual integrity. If you unzip your fly and urinate outdoors at a crowded rock concert, you generally don’t have to worry about someone trying to stick their hand up your butt. A woman would have to be aware of this possibility, because it happens a lot. If a woman were to come up to you with a drink at a bar, you’d probably be flattered; a woman always has to bear in mind that a strange man offering her a drink at a bar may have spiked it. There literally is no comparison that most men can make.

      Having walked both sides of the gender fence as a trans man, I can assure you that the anxiety of men is in no way comparable to what women face on a day to day basis. After I transitioned, I stopped being wolf-whistled and harassed; the same kind of men who used to yell ‘show me your tits!’ out their car windows do the guy-acknowledgement-nod thing and don’t even consider saying those things to me now. Because I take testosterone and grow stubble, I now automatically get paid more than most of my female co-workers. I didn’t used to. Gender privilege is very, very real, and it is heavily skewed in favour of men.

      This article is very pertinent and accurate. Interestingly enough, so is the remark that straight women often grab/grope gay men in clubs without consent – I’ve seen that happen (and had that happen) at a number of places. I’m too tired at the moment to really explore the complexities of that, but there’s definitely mutual self-entitlement that goes on between the two parties.

      • James,

        Respectfully, your arguments are simply wrong.

        First, you literally created a straw man of my position, totally ignoring the ability of women to strike men in public without sanction.

        Second, you claim that “as a trans man” you have “walked both sides.” But I would argue that it actually means you have no idea what the cisgendered experience is like, and therefore lack the ability to speak with authority.

        Third, you ignore the reality of being a man in the all-too-common way that those who have lost objectivity tend to. You ignore common realities of male existence, such as being the potential victim of a violent assault (who makes up the majority of murder victims? Men.) or dealing with societally sanctioned duplicity on the part of women.

        What is this duplicity? I don’t remember clearly the first time that I realized a girl was flirting with me in order to exact a favor, but I know that it has happened many times in my life. We live in a society that tells women it’s okay to use their sexuality to trick men into proving them with things, an that men must simply tolerate these casual plays on their emotions.

        But all of this is going to be ignored, from the painfully obvious (again: murder victims) to the far more subtle by someone who has lost their ability to be objective.

      • Egalitarian says:

        No. If a woman I didn’t know brought me a drink, I absolutely would worry that she spiked it.

    • THAT WAS BEAUTIFUL!

      Also, straight women love to direct their hen’s nights towards gay clubs, because there, they can grope all the topless men they want without getting any unwanted attention back. We have turned into their free, cop-a-feel, hen’s nights. This is why gay clubs are now getting equal opportunity exemptions to kick such women out so that gay men can dance with gay men, and not get smothered by mid-forties women who like to sexualise us just because we know how to use an ab machine, unlike their husbands.

  28. Mike L, I think the difference between the entitlement the author is describing, and the “entitlement” you are describing, is that your permission is being asked. Someone is asking you for something they cannot physically do for themselves, and assumes that you, as a male, might be able to help. That’s not entitlement, it’s presumption. They are not grabbing you and forcing you to grab box for them. They are not kidnapping men and holding them at gunpoint to make them move their furniture on moving day. By contrast, a gay man walking up and putting his hands on my boobs is not done with permission, and is almost always done without warning. There is simply no comparison.

    It’s not uncommon for a privileged group to yell “but we’re oppressed, too!” when confronted with their own privilege. This is a fine example.

    • Tye,

      It’s not uncommon for privileged groups to be blind to their own privilege, and I suspect your comment is a prime example.

      You reached immediately for the Ikea example (which is quite literally entitlement, but I’ll get to that in a moment) and skipped over the more obvious example of slapping.

      Go to any bar or club on any Friday or Saturday night and wait long enough and you will see a woman strike a man across the face with impunity. I cannot remember precisely the first time it happened to me, but I can recall being particularly upset around 7th grade when some of the girls were taller and stronger than I was, and yet still felt that it was perfectly cool to hit a guy and knew that the school administration would do nothing about it. Indeed, they would do nothing in part because I would be socially sanctioned just for complaining (“Can you believe what a wuss Mike is? He complained about being hit by a girl!”).

      This happens regularly, and in public. If a man strikes a woman at a bar, he is usually himself hit, certainly he is ejected, and often the police are called. Yet I have seen a woman strike a man and the man was then the one ejected on the assumption that it was somehow his fault for being assaulted.

      You are ignoring this reality, and your privilege is showing.

      As for the Ikea example, this is quite literally entitlement by a common feminist definition. On this site, as well as others, women will often complain about men “hitting on them” in public, arguing that just because someone is a woman that does not mean that men are entitled to engage them in conversation. This is a common argument, and the word “entitlement” is bandied about very often on the theory that merely ASKING someone to engage in a flirtatious conversation with you is a type of entitlement. Thus, a woman asking me, a man, to help her move objects because I am the only man around is no different. The asking for my consent is no different than a man who asks a woman in public to consent to conversation with him.

      Now, maybe the shoe doesn’t feel so good on the other foot, but I don’t really care. I didn’t make the rules, I’m just applying them.

      • GlendaSings says:

        Mike, I don’t see your IKEA incident as a sexual one. I see it as a human helping a human. I’m short (5’3) and on more than one occasion I’ve asked taller people in the grocery store to assist me in reaching an item on the top shelf. I’ve asked both men and women to do this…whoever who is nearest who is tall enough. This doesn’t mean that I feel ownership of their bodies, or that I feel entitled to assistance by tall people because I’m short. If I needed something heavier lifted down, I probably would look around for the best person to assist. It’s more likely to be a taller, younger man. That’s not because of sexual reasons…it’s because a taller younger man would be more likely to have the physical strength to help. That’s not sexualisation, it’s simply a fact that on average, men are taller and stronger that women.

        Having your girlfriend with you is irrelevant. I’m not asking you for a sexual act, I’m asking you to get a can of peas off a shelf.

        Assisting others is part of being in society. I would hold a door open for a man OR woman of any age who was holding something and having trouble opening it themselves. I recently attended an event where an elderly woman was struggling on stairs and I offered her my arm for stability, but I didn’t do this because I’m a lesbian. I did it because I’m a person and so was she, and she needed help.

        I think that you raise some good points about inequity in terms of assault, but politely asking someone nearby for minor assistance is not a sexual act or entitlement, it’s just part of coexisting cooperatively in society.

        • GlendaSings,

          I wish I could agree with you, I really do. Yet, as I mentioned above, I have repeatedly seen it claimed that a man who merely seeks to strike up a conversation with a woman is somehow acting out entitlement. From my standpoint, conversations are also an inherent part of coexisting in society, and yet I have been repeatedly told (on this site) this is not acceptable. As a result, I’m forced to apply the same standard here.

          • I feel much more comfortable with someone asking me for assistance than trying to strike up a conversation. I guess it’s a different kind of boundary and level of engagement. Being asked to help someone get something off a shelf feels different than being asked to engage in conversation and reveal information about myself in that way. That said, I think, no know, there are many people (including women) who might be more interested in being involved in a conversation (I’m shy and don’t like small talk in general).

            • I suspect that you are also missing the larger picture here:

              Woman asks me to move something.

              I tell her “I don’t work here.”

              Woman ignores obvious signal that maybe I don’t want to do this (Unless “I don’t work here” has a somehow different meaning?).

              Woman then asks again, explaining that I’m being asked because I am a man.

              If ALL of this had not happened, I wouldn’t even bring this up. But it did all happen. There were women nearby, she didn’t ask them, and she could have. She explained this behavior by pointing out that I’m a man. This was a store, there are employees. I explained that I was not one of those employees. This was immaterial to her.

              The entire exchange is not just “I’m asking for assistance,” it’s actually much more than that.

              If she had stopped after I said “I don’t work here,” then I wouldn’t bring it up. If she had explained “I’m too short to reach that,” then I also wouldn’t bring this up. Instead the woman involved seemed happy to leap past at least one soft boundary I had set up (I’m not an employee) and explain her actions through sexism (I’m asking because you are a man).

              Framing the exchange simply as “Someone once asked Mike for help,” leaves out important details and distorts the reality of the exchange.

    • I think Mike has a point, but it does feel misdirected in this particular conversation.

  29. Im sorry but whoever the author of this article hangs around definitely doesn’t speak for the majority of gay people. Many gay men share relationships with their close female friends where it may be acceptable to say “that looks good on you” or “that is too large/small” or may even fix her bra or something but out of all of the gay men i know, none would ever walk up to a random woman and tell her what she needs to do to get a man, that she needs to lose or gain weight, or just start fondling her breasts out of the blue. I have seen situations in gay clubs and parties where gay men will dance sexually with women but the culture of most gay clubs are very different than in straight clubs… it’s very sexual atmosphere towards everyone and from everyone, not exclusively gay men towards women….Certain individuals may be innapropriate and should be reprimanded, but to make it seem like “the gay community” has an issue with sexism is farfetched IMO.

  30. What a great article. I have witnessed open physicality between gay men and women (I assumed they were friends), but always took these acts toward women as allowable within the parameters of a more liberated view of sexual culture. And, I often saw these women returning the physicality as good as they got. Of course some women are put off by being grabbed around their privates and most definitely by strangers. (Yikes!) I just wasn’t turning my attention toward the likelihood that more invasive kind of physicality was also happening, as I somehow viewed gay men as being on par with women in terms of awareness of sexual abuse issues.

  31. Sounds like you’re talking about a bunch of weird jerks… that’s the problem, not all the explanations offered.

  32. While this type of behavior is absent from the queer men in my social circles, I will not deny its existence.

    I think the problem here is rooted in a vicious cycle of self fulfilling stereotypes. When young gay men first come out of the closet, their only queer male role models are often the ones they see on television and film. Media representation of the queer community has come a long way in recent years, but you still see five Jack McFarlands for every Max Blum. Gay men are expected to be magical fairies. They sashay into a room, tell a girl “Those shoes do NOT match that top, girlfriend,” honk her breasts like a bike horn, and flutter off to a Cher convention. And women are taught that the only accessory that is always fashionable is the Sassy Gay Friend.

    When I first came out of the closet in high school, girls I had never met were constantly saying “I love how gay you are,” “I always wanted a gay best friend!” or “Let’s go shopping together sometime!” Never mind that these comments were completely counterintuitive to the alternative, non-conformist image I had projected for years. Emulating their media representation, gay men turn to camp. And when they turn to camp, they receive positive reinforcement, which subsequently encourages them to turn the camp up to 11.

    It seems to me that this is the root of the problem. After years of receiving positive reinforcement for acting over-the top, and for overstepping boundaries, it’s easy to see how gay men don’t realize when they’ve gone too far. This in no way excuses their behavior, but it’s a good place to start when it comes to changing it. So maybe in addition to asking the gay men these questions, you should have also asked the women these: “Have you ever told a man that you ‘loved how gay he was’ or ‘loved that he’s gay?'” and “Have you ever called anyone your ‘gay best friend?'” Because I’m sure most of the women would’ve raised their hands too.

    • This is a great comment. I agree completely!

    • I have to say that I have heard of this Max Blum Character, but not seen him in action – so up pops google and it’s a revelation.

      I was wondering where the Boob Grabber meme has come from, and I have wondered about Will And Grace – and in fact you can see it all here, but oddly It’s a Woman (Karen) Grabbing Graces boobies and not asking permission! It makes me wonder if the Boob Grabber meme is actually caused by Women and presenting women as permitted Boob Grabbers?

      I stumbled around the world of camp and media stereotypes, from the Golden Girls (Did Sophia get Boob Grabbed) to Queer As Folk (So many Gay Guys there would just have to be a Boob grab somewhere), and just aint able to find the foundation of this Boob Grabber meme – but then again, I do have better things to do in life than channel graze for stereotypes.

      The Biggest Revelation is of course Max Blum and Happy Endings Season 1 Episode 2 where touching issues are featured heavily and with some satire from the first second – and the Gay Man Boob Grab issue is raised and critiqued.

      Quote: – It’s 6.00 minutes in =

      Penny Hartz: “You know what you should get is a real Gay Guy.”
      Max Blum: “Woah.
      Penny Hartz: “Come on. You’re a straight dude who likes dudes. I want a gay who will watch house flipping shows with men and grab my boobs in a platonic way.”
      Max Blum: “So you want a stereotypically, flamboyant, cartoonish, Sex In the City gay. It’s Offensive.”

      From this I can draw two conclusions:

      1) stereotypically, flamboyant, cartoonish, Sex In the City gays grab boobs in a supposedly platonic way that some women invite and even welcome.
      2) Seeing all gay men that way is offensive! The gay guy says so!

      There is also the considered and ironic point that people who base their persona on media character stereotypes – or their views of the world and reality on such characters – are trapped in a personal comedy of errors.

      It seems as if American TV is improving where the token gay character is concerned, But I do wonder which episode of “Sex In the City” is the one with the Originating Boob Grab – did Stanford Blatch grab Carrie’s boobs and start a craze? It would seem so out of character for Stanford as he is a totally different stereotype – the pathetic gay who is always about to take you to parties and be your walker. Them guys never get the fun, and they are crap at fashion advice too.

      I’d love to find the source of the originating Boob Grab issue to see if it is being represented authentically – or if it has not lead to a storm in a tea cup and media hype by those who have reality issues.

  33. “which makes this an eyebrow-raising dynamic as it invokes the psychological history of white men’s entitlement to black women’s bodies” lol… really? Way to write this article in its extreme.

    • GlendaSings says:

      The point about white men and black women is irrelevant and actually a little alarming. This behaviour of gay men groping women happens in Australia too, and we have no history of slavery, although we did have convicts…who were for the most part white men and women in the service of white men and women. You can’t make everything about race, and every time you make a point about the impact of slavery in modern society, you need to look to countries who never had slavery to see if what you’re discussing also occurs in those societies to provide perspective.

      • That’s great if it’s irrelevant in Australia, but I don’t think it’s irrelevant in the U.S., where we do have a history of slavery and racism. Since the author was speaking about his and his friend’s experience and reaction (and “psychological history”), I don’t think a global perspective is necessarily part of that narrative.

        • I am going to have to back Maya up here on this one. While the slavery point is not the issue of this article, the white-man-black-woman relationship is one that has historically represented a terrible time in our country’s history which still lingers today.

          Including the intersectionality of race and sexism is a point that definitely should not be overlooked.

      • @ GlendaSings: “This behaviour of gay men groping women happens in Australia too, ….”

        I find this very interesting as I have been putting my global feelers out and yours is the first reference that has come up as being outside of mainland USA. Are you reporting what you have heard of, or are you reporting first hand observation and or experience?

        It is proving so very hard to locate people who have actually witnessed or experienced what is being reported, with any incidence rate that agrees with the Implication that applies to “all” or “Many” gay men.

        I have been pointing many people across the globe to this piece, and the response so far has been most interesting. None English language groups are reporting zero incidence ( that is men and women of all sexualities ), but they have heard of it and heard it spoken about. They simply don’t recognise the characterisation being presented.

        In the English language group it seems that all witnessed incidents have been in the USA – or reported from the USA – and then from within very close and defined boundaries and specific subsets of gay culture. There is a clear lack of a generic pattern of conduct and attitude that can be used to support the premise being propagated by the author.

        This was picked up by one person as alarming “These attitudes have led ##many## gay men to feel ##curiously comfortable## critiquing and touching women’s bodies at whim.”

        Many has no place as its use is completely unqualified and the “curiously comfortable” is equally unqualified and used to imply a general trait that simply does not exist. It’s fiction. Change” many” to “Some” or A few” and you have a valid and potentiality real observation – but that use of Many is pure fiction and invention. Where reality is embellished in that way it is not a singular issue, but a generalised pattern.

  34. I agree with the last comment “mikey”. I have never told anyone in my life that they “looked fat”, “I could change their body”, gave unsolicited fashion tips or anything like that. The most I ever would have done was say “wow, that looks good on you” OR (if they asked) helped with clothing shopping. I have done this for both men and women. I’ve gone to the gym with both men and women (straight and non-straight). I also think your whole article ignores the fact that it may be a case of an evolving sense of propriety in society. Perhaps gay men are on the edge of that (as we sit on the fringe of what is acceptable in society at times), but I do think you are unfairly suggesting that “gay men” are sexist. It’s akin to saying “Christians” are homophobic. It’s the exact same problem gay people face every day, and perpetuating that is just plain unhelpful (to be polite).

    As to the physical side of things – I think you ignore club culture. It’s perfectly appropriate for someone to rub up against you in a club. If you don’t like it, you move away. I’ve had my ass grabbed by men and women alike. It is all about judging the comfort level of friends and strangers. Some of my female friends love dancing very close to me, others are less comfortable. Some (shock horror) feel more comfortable at different times and at different levels of intoxication.

    Your blanket application of a “shocking situation” does not assist in your analysis of how gay men interact with straight women. Perhaps there is some co-dependent or otherwise inappropriate relationship that exists between the two groups but it certainly goes both ways. I also find the suggestion that some how the white gay man was asserting his dominance over the black straight woman as absurd to say the least (he was just, clearly, a jerk – whether he was straight or gay, black or white, it is entirely inappropriate to walk up to a woman and grab their breasts). However, I have had straight women friends grab my hands and put them on their breasts – it felt a bit odd, and I’ve never encouraged it, but I think comfort levels are very personal and it’s quite possible that I could (or my friend could) enjoy such interaction.

  35. It’s difficult, as a woman, to openly disagree here. However I feel that I have sound reasoning for doing so. Namely for the fact that, as the comments below exemplify, the overall article is too narrow for such a large subject.

    The fact of the matter is that this is not just a “gay men” issue. Everyone’s experience is liable to be different in radical extremes; certain women may be comfortable touching men as cravenly as they so desire, and the opposite is equally true.

    It’s unfair to entitle this as a significant problem to gay men when this is just a problem for people in general. So whilst it does seem insightful, if not a tad embellished, I can’t really say that I gained anything from this article as a whole.

  36. I have two points to add, one of which has already been extensively addressed: not all gay men are like this, and indeed most aren’t. That says, it doesn’t excuse those who are like that. But hey, maybe the percentage of these people are less outside of America.

    The second point is this: it’s not actually sexist. Sexism is discriminating against someone based on gender. That’s not happening here. Because often these same gay men do it to other men as well. If they treat women the same way they treat men, that’s not sexist. The behaviour, actively grabbing someone against their will, is still unacceptable, but it isn’t sexist.

    As for commenting on someone’s appearance, yes, it may be hurtful, but again, not sexist. It is indicative of a different problem. Gay men do it to all people, not just women, women do it to other women as well, and men. Straight men tend not to do it for fear of being seen as gay, and to their credit, I don’t know whether gay women do it. It’s about a culture obsessed with beauty, not gay men thinking they own women’s bodies.

  37. Stephanie says:

    I have experienced this myself. It was a work colleague that I hardly knew. He would always comment on my breasts and how small they were. Once in front of a group of people he grabbed my nipples really hard (the pain was excruciating) and told me I should get implants to make them bigger. I was so incredibly embarrassed and humiliated. I was in my early twenties and didn’t have the balls to do anything but make a pretty nasty remark back to him. If something like that happened to me now there is no doubt that I would report him at work and press charges.

  38. Is this article supposed to be a joke? I mean, it must be, right? You don’t have to get past the opening paragraph before encountering fundamental flaws in the material being presented. How is the author aware of every gay male in the room? In what context was this presentation given? To what kind of audience? Did the author bother to try and clarify the type of contact? Not all touch is explicit or sexual in any way. Was the fashion advice unsolicited and unwanted.

    I also have a VERY hard time believing that EVERY hand went up, as I would not have been able to honestly answer yes to any of those questions. Nor would most of the gay men that I know. As such, I very much call into question the validity of any of the claims made in this piece.

  39. The majority of my friends are cisgendered gay men. As a straight cis female, I’ve encountered unwelcome grabbing very rarely in gay bars, and its not even in the same ballpark as straight venues. The last time I went to a straight bar, I had my rear, breasts and crotch grabbed within 20 minutes. Why? Because most straight women think this kind of attention is acceptable, and many seek it out. I’ve also experienced this behavior at lesbian venues, albeit very rarely.

    Are some gay men sexist and/or misogynists, certainly. So are some women. Keeping your hands to yourself is a human problem. What concerns me more about this article, is that so many of these women are silent about inappropriate behavior. It’s 2012, feminism is dead, and women are too insecure to stand up for their own bodies out of fear of name-calling, accusations of bigotry, etc. That’s a larger problem, because if this behavior isn’t addressed, when it happens, there’s no cause-effect relationship and the assumption is that it’s “OK.”

    • Laura – you actually say it best. It’s a human problem…. everyone feels the right to, sexualise, or just randomly grab people of some other kind at some point in their lives. ALL PEOPLE need to learn to keep their hands to themselves.

      And I’ve never thought of women as misogynists before, so now you’ve also given me plenty to think about. It’s a more worldly issue than just “gay men vs. straight women” and needs to be addressed on a much more community-side scale.

  40. TheGreatSpaces says:

    So in terms of the article, this is definitely a phenomenon that exists, for sure. But I would say that it’s a small proportion of gay men. Most gay men live in the suburbs and don’t go to gay bars. At least half of the gay guys who do go to gay bars are gruff or a bit more chilled older guys. So it’s like, a half of a sixth of gay dudes who are like this. And that represents less than half a percent of men at the most. So at the risk of being accused of mansplaining or derailing, I will go out on a limb and say that there are greater threats to the sovereignty of women’s bodies than excitable gay dudes in THEIR OWN clubs. Also I’ve had straight women and lesbian women feel me up in a very degrading way so, you know, I’ll wait politely over here until a feminist professor of any gender completes a study of that phenomenon, seeing as how gay men are outnumbered by straight women 20:1. I know lesbians were included in that article but shit… the kinda gayboys perpetrating this shit are really not the kind that hang out with lesbians. Let’s get a little bit real here – if a woman wants to avoid a gay man it’s very easy for her; the other way round is not. Also there is a dark undercurrent in this article of gay men being responsible for the negative stereotyping – nuh uh. Don’t go there *sassy head pan*

  41. The scary thing about many of these comments (by men) is that they say exactly the same things that men in my country say when we’re trying to discuss how women are regularly (one every 2 or 3 days on average) murdered by a husband, or boyfriend, or ex.
    But I don’t do this and my friends neither!
    But not all men do this!
    It’s not true violence against women and mysoginy don’t exist anymore!
    But women get free drinks at bars, what about THEIR privilege, eh?

    … just goes to show that, regardless of orientation, male privilege is still very well engrained. How about instead of focusing on YOU and only YOU because WHAT ABOUT ME you focused instead on the women who are reporting such incidents, treating them as the victims they are?

    So you don’t grab women’s breasts, great: but your comments still speak volumes in mysoginy, copying exactly the comments of aggressive, entitled straight men. Feel free to call me a liar, since obviously women’s opinion doesn’t matter when we’re talking about women’s rights.

    But then remember this attitude of yours when a straight dude starts explaining you how homophobia actually doesn’t exist, and he’s not like that, and making it all about him.

    • Thank you for this, Dana. Many men don’t recognize the privilege we command.

    • Female privilege isn’t tied to free drinks in bars mostly.

      It’s tied to a culture favoring, aiding and abetting the lack of accountability for female wrongdoing. Slaps on the wrist punishments for crimes men do jail time for. “Because someone made her do it”, an explanation we never even entertain for male criminals, even minors.

      As long as women are considered to be incapable of evil, they will be considered incapable of good.

      Because with great power comes great responsibility…and with no power comes no credit. You’re not doing anything, because you can’t possibly do it. If you could do good stuff, you could also be evil, and be punished for it.

    • Bunkenstein says:

      People’s issue the article is that it presumes to diagnose this as a particular problem, that it’s worthy of addressing gay men specifically about, which is myopic. The reality is the (dubious) propensity of gay men to touch women without consent has approximately bugger all to do with male privilege, and rather a lot to the stereotype and social norms of gay man-straight woman friendships and socialization. That is, it’s seen that gay men should desire ‘being one the girls’, and everything that entails, which includes touching women without their explicit consent. That isn’t to say that it isn’t worthy of rebuke when a gay man does something like the breast-groping example in the article, but merely that there isn’t a particular issue with gay men acting in this way to a greater extent than other straight women do. It’s a targeted response against a specific group that isn’t warranted.

      • @Bunkenstein I am going to have to respectfully disagree with you here. You claim that addressing gay men who conduct in these behaviors, specifically, is myopic and a response such as this article isn’t warranted–but it is.

        While this kind of behavior is nowhere near exclusive to gay men–which this article never claims–there is a way gay men specifically experience this type of behavior. And it is very different from the way straight men conduct in this behavior. Both are misogynistic and terrible, both need to be examined and discontinued, but both stem from different places.

        This article does a terrific job of addressing some presumed–which hints at male entitlement–get out of jail free card for gay men when they conduct in sexist behavior. This needs to be dismantled.

      • That is, it’s seen that gay men should desire ‘being one the girls’, and everything that entails, which includes touching women without their explicit consent.

        Being “one of the girls” does not “entail” groping other women without consent.

      • “It’s seen that gay men should desire ‘being one the girls’, and everything that entails, which includes touching women without their explicit consent.”

        I am sorry, but straight women do not go around grabbing each others breasts. Being “one of the girls” in no way gives anyone any right to touch anyone without consent, and the idea that it might just doesn’t even make sense!

        • @Lori,

          Just to piggyback off of your comment–from one gay male perspective–male gayness does not portend a desire to “being one of the girls” nor do all gay men, or straight women for that matter, consider this behavoir as lady like or acceptable.

        • @ Lori – LOL, I too have to wonder when it apparently became normalised social behaviour for women (irrespective of sexuality) to assault each other through unannounced breast grabbing.

          I’m finding it so hard to find any real world examples of this claimed behaviour which can be verified. I have had one person pointing to Porn as an idea – which leaves me in a double bind. I don’t do hetty porn, so I do have to wonder if this whole Boob Grabbing meme is not some odd transference from the fantasy world of porn into the mainstream?

          The whole thing pongs of a media trope – I just can’t find where the originating source is! Urban legends born of excessive media consumption are one of the most pernicious beasties known to mankind.

  42. For everyone saying this is homophobic and terrible:
    oh no, won’t someone think of the feelings of the cis gay men.

    • Jon in Canada says:

      I agreed with your sentiment; but, the cheap ‘cis gay men’ dig reeks of trans bitterness.

      • It might help for you to dissect the reasons for said bitterness and work against ending those than to invalidate someone’s comment on account of a marginalized group’s righteous anger.

        • Thanks, Ito.
          I just think it’s silly that a lot of gay men genuinely don’t understand how much privilege they command.

          • And mockingly trying to rub it in their faces is constructive right?

            • Mockingly? How is it that someone can’t call for gay men to understand their male privilege without such backfire?

            • Yes mockingly.

              Unless that “oh no, won’t someone think of the feelings of the cis gay men.” was a serious and civil attempt at calling on gay men to understand their male privilege?

              Actually Kaleb you’ve called for that understanding several times in this post alone and have done so without doing it in such a backhanded manner. In fact Jon in Canada even said that despite the dig he agree with the sentiment.

              The fact that there is some understanding to be done doesn’t mean that people get a blank check on how they talk to those that need the understanding or how they call for that understanding.

            • See: tone policing

            • Danny,

              You know, now that you’ve clerified your point I actually agree with you. I think the “cis gay men” dig was distasteful, polarizing, and personally bitter. I 100% agree with your blank check analogy also.

              Had I known you were actually replying to the cis gay men comment and not the one you actually replied to I would have definitely backed you.

            • I dig. I replied where I did because it seemed that Andrew had no problem replying in a mocking tone but when Jon in Canada said something about it (while at the same time agreeing with the general sentiment) suddely something was wrong.

              When applied to this thread it looked like Andrew could stand to practice what Ito was preaching. And it looks like Rachael could stand to hear some of the sermon as well…

        • Bunkenstein says:

          Bigotry isn’t righteous anger just because it’s coming from someone in a victim group.

      • no jokes ever
        never jokes
        why jokes

  43. As a queer woman I found myself nodding vigorously while reading this post. I live in the local urban “gayborhood” because it is important to me to live in a diverse neighborhood where I feel safe to be “out” with my partner. That said, I absolutely avoid the bars or restaurants that cater towards gay men, because walking into those places requires the thickest skin to put up with the mysoginistric crap that is accepted as normal behavior. I’ve been grabbed, poked, proded, and given unsolicited weightloss advice. All by well-intentioned, over-enthusiastic men. Even when not dircted at me, I frequently feel uncomfortable by conversations around me about womens bodies, like “oh that waitress is a cow.” When I clearly can see shes a healthy, average weight. I deal enough with body image & bodily autonomy messages hurled at me im other parts of my life or from the media, but I am still saddened by how much of it comes from my fellow GBQ men :(

  44. As a gay man, this article is offensive to me on so many levels! NOT ALL GAY MEN BEHAVE LIKE THIS! Your little unscientific poll of a few guys in your class proves nothing. I don’t grab women, and I certainly don’t meddle in their personal lives either! Shame on you for making us all look like Neanderthals! This article is a gross exaggeration!

    I feel sorry for the women who fell victim to this kind of behavior as I truly believe it is wrong, but come on, this is not the behavior of the majority. How about adding some references to your vile words instead of just making sweeping generalizations. You should know better.

    • Yeah, you don’t act like this, but that doesn’t mean the behaviours don’t exist, bro.

    • Adam McPhee says:

      This is the knee-jerk reaction I often have to many articles that fail to use non-sweeping/generalizing statements. However, often I check myself to see if it is just my anti-oppressive social-work education that has me focusing on language. Oftentimes, it is.

      Rather than try to turn around the victimization in this article around to focus on the gay-men who do not do this, and make that your primary concern, you should make that a minor issue with the authour. The fact that you say, “NOT ALL GAY MEN BEHAVE LIKE THIS” tells me that you do agree that some, maybe many, do. As that is what the authour is writing about, what are your thoughts on those who do.

      • @ Adam – well that “anti-oppressive social-work education” is yours and related to your knee jerks, but not everyone has had or is affected by such eduction or the language policing it engenders.

        It’s fascinating to look at the language used by the Author – in particular the use of the work “Our” – and in using that he automatically creates a group including other gay man without consent. membership of the group makes them automatically misogynistic, sexist, boob grabbing stereotypes. I am not part of and will not be part of the “Our” created by the author.

        I’m not saying that there are not gay men who are misogynistic, sexist boob grabbing idiots – but the author really should know the difference in the operation of mass nouns, pronouns and articles if he is going to lecture the planet on his chosen subject.

        Now do please consider just how offensive it is for another person to claim you are what you are not – and no social work experience required. The author is either a shoddy writer who does not understand the function of words, else they are expressing control issues in a most subversive and abusive manner.

        The way it has been written also means that anyone who disagrees with the author is held within that group created by “Our” – and that gets into very serious control issues and even abuse! That means people have to either agree and abuse themselves as gay men – or disagree and be abused for being gay men who object to the abusive stereotype! It’s called a rigged game for a reason.

        The bolstering of the rigged game with racial references just makes it all far worse – and offensive.

        • Couldn’t have said it better myself! Classic cherrypicking and over simplification.

          • Are we reading the same article here? Maybe we’re interpretting this differently, but the author is clearly talking about a specific set of behaviors amongst *some* gay men, and how it is our–yes OUR (___ men)–to constantly check our behaviors. I think people are taking the validity away from this article by claiming that it’s an overgeneralization. This is simply not true.

            With a sentence like “I have experienced this attitude as being very common amongst gay men,” I can see how some readers interpret this as an overgeneralization, but this is simply a personal anecdote. I, and presumably other commenters, have experience the opposite. We argue that this is not generally the case. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t give attention to the issues he is pointing out because he is absolutely correct–men, even gay men, must constanty check how our behaviors and attitudes perpetuate sexism and misogyny.

            This article did an excellent job bringing light to this issue.

            • Agreed. This is how I read the article as well. The reaction at the workshop is one of several anecdotes that he’s using to show that this is a problem in some areas. I can see why some people are reading that as “all gay men everywhere raised their hands,” but that’s not what he’s saying.

      • As a straight white male, who doesn’t feel so inclined to perpetuate these behaviors but happens to be reminded of examples of those who would everyday, I find that his article does address the issue of certain expectations.

        On one hand, I know a fair amount of women who could care less if their gay male friends bump and grind at the club, helps them drive off the less desirables. On the other, I know a few that are very particular about whom they allow, but these people also tend to avoid clubs/bars that are geared towards the party crowd.

        Is it sad that they feel that they aren’t able to go to these places? Yes it is. But it’s also frustrating that the “Privileged Straight White Male” is grouped together like we all subscribe to the same magazine or something. We are individuals, not some rapist hivemind, like the high-school feminists had me believing.

        At the point when our opinions and feelings aren’t painted over with sweeping generalizations (and that isn’t just the anti-oppressive social-work education speaking), perhaps a greater number of these “Privileged Straight White Males” will feel that they can be more open in their concerns with other men.

        Because that’s where it starts.

    • Gabriel, nowhere in this article does the author claim that the majority of gay men conduct themselves in this behavior. I have enough personal experience to claim that this is clearly not the case the majority of time. However, misogyny and sexism does dwell in many gay men. This is what this article is about. Gay men who conduct themselves in this behavior need to understand that their homosexuality does not mean that their sexism evaporates.

      All men–whichever sexualities–must constantly examine the ways in which we perpetuate attitudes and behaviors that are harmful to women and there is nothing wrong and bringing light to this.

    • Kristopher Kole says:

      No one said that every gay man participates in this behavior. No one said it was you personally committing these crimes. Just like it is actually a relatively small percentage (7-15%) of straight men who are committing assault and perpetuating these behaviors. The majority of these crimes; however, are in fact committed by men. That is a problem. A huge problem. The problem is also that it’s these small percentages that give the rest of us a bad rap. The solution is not to get mad about someone stating the problem but to challenge those who are committing these behaviors. I don’t think that it is an exaggeration and I would encourage anyone reading these articles to try to look past their own self and into the larger picture.
      I have a deep fondness for gay men. I think some gay men are totally awesome and a beautiful expression of a counter story to sexuality and femininity. A story that challenges the dominant narrative in our society and culture that demands a certain type of sexuality and masculinity from men and boys. That said, I’ve often thought about this issue in particular with gay men. The idea that male privilege somehow disappears because a man is (or is perceived) gay. I’ve thought about it mostly in reference to callous comments about fashion and how women’s bodies should look or be presented. Which is bad enough. This stereotype is also perpetuated in the media pervasively. This article gives a much clearer picture of actual physical assaults that are happening and how they are perpetuated. Then the assault is consequently written off as acceptable, not-so-bad, or even encouraged. The victim is labeled a shrew that can’t take a joke or is too uptight. Sound familiar? The interesting part as how “unsurprising” it was for me when I read that the assaulter was so completely unwilling to apologize for something that was so clearly a violation. Accountability? There are many things to think about with this article. I feel that it is even more evidence that real work needs to be done with young men and boys. These types of assaults very rarely have to do with sexual attraction or arousal. They have more to do with power/control/domination and ownership. We have all grown up in the same misogynistic culture no matter what our sexuality is……….and it is bullshit……..

  45. THANK YOU for this article. Thank you.

  46. I’ve spoken to a gay male friend who does not engage in this behavior … and he reported to me that he’s experienced the exact inverse. As in, straight women pressuring him to be “one of the girls,” forcing him to touch them inappropriately, and so forth. This issue is more complicated than this article makes it out to be.

    • Alright, then why don’t you do some research and write an article about that issue? Both of these are problems but just because one happens doesn’t mean the other shouldn’t be talked about or given its own space to be discussed. I solemnly pledge that should you write an article/post about heterosexual women throwing their straight privilege at gay men I will treat it with respect and discuss only that issue in the comments. So is it so hard to ask that THIS issue (that I have honestly read fewer posts about and the issue of gay men being treated as “one of the girls” doesn’t get a lot of press so that should tell you something) gets ITS own space to be discussed? Where it’s not derailed with a bunch of different issues no one is saying AREN’T problems, they just aren’t talking about RIGHT HERE.

      • “I solemnly pledge….

        Can’t see how that adds to the subject in any way! It smacks of disingenuous self aggrandising words.

        Perhaps you will explain the use of the word “Our” by the author?

        Who is in the group created by that word and the context that author constructs around it?

        Are you part of that created group or are you other?

      • @Spitfire,

        I completely agree with you in the sense that THIS is a real issue that deserves to be specifically discussed. However, the point I think Carey is trying to make is that there is often times a commodification of gay men by straight women which promote the behavior of gay men specifically addressed in this article. Yes, these are both REAL and simultaneous issues. Both deserve their own space, as well as an integrated one. But these two issues–the misogyny of gay men and the commodification of gay men by women–are two sides of the same coin.

        Women and gay men cannot afford to lose alliance over situations such as these and everything this article addressed should be taken into consideration when we examine our own behaviors.

  47. As a lesbian woman, living in quebec city (canada), this article talks about situations that happen here too! Thank you!

  48. I have a lot of make friends who identify somewhere in the LGBT spectrum. Not all of them act like this, most of them recognize that being gay does not mean free parking on my boobs. Now that being said, I have had boundary issues with some of my friends before. I actually intend to how this article to one of my younger friends, as I think it explains very clearly why I don’t like being groped- I respect this friends sexuality- not treating my butt like a stress ball is a great way for him to respect mine.

  49. Believe it or not, there are millions of gay men my age and older who haven’t been to a dance club for decades. No one I know has ever sexually assaulted a woman (and I have known thousands of gay men during my 52 years). The person who wrote this article needs to broaden his experiences outside of nightclubs and meet some gay men who are raising sons and daughers, going to work every day, and contributing to their communities.

    Judging all gay men by the actions of a few drunk post-adolescents is simply bigotry.

    • Fritz, Yolo is not judging all gay men. He is calling out a pattern he has seen within the gay male community given his experiences and focusing on ways in which the *SOME* gay men who conduct in this behavior need to reflect and change.

      Of course not all gay men are like this. Of course his experiences are not representative of all gay men’s. He’s not saying that.

      • @Kaleb – you keep stating that the author is addressing his views about a minority and you even capitalise *SOME* to make your position clear and attempt to assert it more.

        The problem is that the author does not use “some” – he uses words such as “many” which implies a group larger than half, and he even goes so far as to use the pronoun “Our” to create a mass group of all gay men which he associates with the behaviour he is articulating!

        He also pulls an age old rhetorical trick which is to assert an idea – make it about a group – assert that the group is universal and includes the author – then jump out of the trap and claim a higher understanding and imply repentance for past transgressions whilst within that group. He implies that he knows all about the Boob Groping – implies that all gay men are party to it – he is a gay man which means he has been party to it and so apparently knows all about the subject …. and yet never says I am talking about me and my own conduct.

        Interesting way to make friends and influence people ….. and all of it based upon an unreality and stigmatisation of a mass group through some well known rhetorical tricks.

        Either there is an issue her with stereotypes and over reaching from minimal personal experience, else we have a far simpler issue of a bad writer who does not understand how to use words to communicate clearly!

        *SOME* may wish to see it one way, but the words do speak for themselves.

        • I understand where you’re coming from, but the author is clearly talking about his own personal experiences and a pattern he’s noticed surrounding that. It is perfectly acceptable to reach out to the braoder group and say “hey, many/some of us (yes, US–gay men) are treating women with sexist behavior. It’s not cool and we should watch out for that.”

          It’s not the author’s fault that some people don’t understand that this is a generalization. This is a topic. One that occurs within a group of people (specifically gay men who conduct in this type of behavior).

          Instead of people sitting pointing fingers at the author for calling out very real issues that do take place in the gay male community, why don’t more people actually listen to what he’s saying to. I am a gay man who does not act like this and I have never read in this article that all gay men act like this. I’ll take it for what it is: some gay men behave this way and we should all pay attention to it.

          What’s the problem?

          • I understand where you’re coming from, but the author is clearly talking about his own personal experiences ….

            I’m sorry but we will evidently have to disagree about the use of the term “Clearly”. I see a great lack of clarity and muddiness.

            I find the pseudo clarity presented by the author most odd – such as “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.”

            He asked all the Gay Male Students in the room? That raises so many questions as to clarity. One is how did the author know the sexuality of every male present? Did they all have some form of badge such as a Pink Triangle so they could be effectively and accurately head counted? Does it imply that there were in fact a small number, potentially very small number of males present which just all happened to be personally known to the author allowing him to know that all of them just happened to be gay? Could it be that in fact the only males present happened to be known associates of the author?

            You see – the claims are very odd and lead to some very odd conclusions as to the number of gay men in the sample the author uses to extrapolate a view which he then applies to many! Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics. It has ever been thus, and so many of us have decades of experience in dealing with such misinterpretation – in fact we were doing it before Yolo was a twinkle in his mommy’s or daddy’s eye.

            You also have to consider if there may be any other factors at play – such as venue – event and language around the event – such as it being called “Diva Worship & Barbie Doll Desires”. NO chance of audience bias on that one! P^/

            Clarity can be both subjective and objective. I do prefer the latter as it most often leads to a rational outcome and comprehension.

            • If I asked that all the “gay men in my class who have done ____ in the last week,” and I saw a response of lifted hands–I would safely assume that those men who lifted their hands are indeed gay men. This can easily be done without a pink triangle indicator.

              Your further questions are why it’s so great to have the freedom to question statistics and sampling. Even with Yolo’s example, I know that this is a VERY limited sample of gay men which I believe does not represent all gay men. That doesn’t make this issue this article brings light too any less credible. The fact of the matter is there are gay men who partake in sexist behavior. Take it as you will–each of us has our own relationship to this fact.

              As for what you’re telling me to take into consideration–e.g. venue–of course this is taken into consideration. This is one man’s account on one issue specific to a very limited group of people. He’s raising awereness to “our” community. The point of this article is to say “Gay men behave in sexist ways, let’s look within ourselves and in our community to ensure that we are not perpetuating sexism. Gay men are not exempt from misogyny.”

              I’m not sure I understand what all of the commotion is about. It’s pretty simple.

            • @ Kaleb – I do find it fascinating how you keep shifting the Linguistic Goal Posts.

              When people make general comments you demand specifics – when specifics are raised you respond with generalities. Are you running for office, given that you have such a Political way with words? P^)

              It is interesting how you side step the obvious issue. The Author claims that only Gay and ALL Gay men put their hands up! It’s some basic logic and boolean algebra.

              Reminds me of an inquiry into the conduct of a charity. I recall the chairman of the charity board making the claim that at a particular meeting everyone present had agreed with him – and so he had embarked on a particular course of action. He called me “Damned Impertinent” when I pointed out that those present represented a biased group known to the chair – it has already been established that others have deliberately not been made aware of the meeting so that descent could be raised – and worst of all the charities articles defined a Quorum which had not been present. He told me I was “Damned Impertinent” when I pointed out that it was bed enough he had exceeded all authority but he evidently lacked the capacity to hold the position of chair when he was so bad at covering up his Gerrymandering that he couldn’t even get the basics right! It was amazing how much his lack of self interest cost him.

              So – how did the Author know that any and all other men present who did not raise their hands were not gay? That requires an undisclosed level of knowledge.

              From where I’m sitting and having read about the event itself, I do have to wonder are the veracity of the claims made by the author and how he presents an unrepresentative straw pole as a reality affecting millions. Many? Our?

              But it is quite simple – how did the author know that all of the men who put their hands up were gay – and only gay men put their hands up? So many skirt over words and fail to grasp meaning. They just construct a vision of events and fail to look at the details they miss.

              Once we are able to get accurate answers on that one ( being the first line and seminal claim upon which so much else is constructed) it may just be possible to place the rest of the claims built upon it in context and asses veracity!

            • Sure.

  50. This has little to do with orientation and far more to do with gay culture and the stereotypes associated with gay men who live in it.

  51. Daniel English says:

    Well I can honestly say I’ve never done any of the things listed in this article. I know it goes on with many gay men. I keep my hands to myself and don’t go around critiquing women on their fashion. I personally don’t like people invading my space so I would never do it to someone else. Also I would never claim some sort of fashion sense enough to criticize a woman. Personally I find it offensive that because I am a gay male people assume I must know about fashion.

  52. As a gay man, I’ve also experienced a lot of these tendencies from other gay men, but directed towards me. Inappropriate touching, comments, and unsolicited conversation that would otherwise not be okay in adult society seem to be deemed okay within certain mainstream gay cultures (I say mainstream, only in that I have not experienced the blatant everyone-touches-and-makes-comments culture in Queer arenas, but I am not saying it is not necessarily true there either). It has often made me self-conscious and feel worthless as well.

    Although this is definitely different than the inherent sexism that the article speaks of, it also seems that there is a notion that this behavior is often rubber-stamped by cultural forces – often allowing gay men to play into historical stereotypes that deem their behavior okay rather than off limits. I want to stress that I do not see this as part of the behavior of a gay man per se, but as part of stereotypical tendencies within culture that some (definitely not all) gay men associate with.

    I am not trying to draw a parallel – I’ve seen the inherent sexism often found in these situations. I am merely wondering why this type of behavior seems to be so prevalent. Why do certain environments feed these behaviors?

  53. I have a lot of respect for Yolo Akili because of this article. I think many of us “cis gay men” (especially those of us who “pass”) spend a lot of time dissecting hegemonic masculinities and the source of homophobia in other men, that we forget to look at the misogyny that we often perpetuate.

    Without taking the validity of anything being said in this article–which I 100% agreed with–I also think it’s worth examining the commodification of gay men by straight women. Two sides of the same coin. Speaking from personal experience (and I make clear that this is not a refute of any of the claims made in this article) ever since coming out, I am constantly confronted by women my age who assume I want to go shopping with them, who make crude jokes to me assuming some kind of promiscuity within me, and who call me their “new GBF” upon the first night of meeting me.

    I think gay men and straight women have a lot of communication to do to ensure we are consentual in our interactions. We have far too much to lose in a fight against sexism and misogyny if we are divided.

    • Skull Bearer says:

      *applause*

    • Thanks for your (in my opinion) take on this article. Sometimes staying on the point is the best way to take an issue seriously, and despite a lot of interesting ideas being raised, t’s hard for me to read some of the reactions in many of (not all) the comments here as anything other than defensiveness or derailing (not always an intentional thing, but with an unfortunate result regardless) from the point of the article.

      Actually, that goes for the second part of your comment as well, I think, despite your disclaimer. At least, I’m not sure I understand these issues to be two sides of the same coin, though I don’t have much personal experience with the latter. I’m a lesbian and have experienced groping (only once or twice, among many gay men I’ve known) and haven’t returned that favor, so to speak. I see the connection you’re trying to make, but as a lesbian, I think there’s something different about the two issues, so I do see this as a derail, though it would make a good other blog post, and is actually something I’d like to understand better.

  54. Both of these are problems but just because one happens doesn’t mean the other shouldn’t be talked about or given its own space to be discussed.

    The reason why it is worth noting here is because women touching gay men with the men’s consent may be related to why gay men touch women without women’s consent. If both groups perceive this behavior as acceptable because gay men are not sexually interested in women, then talking about the one without mentioning the other ignores the broader issue.

  55. I often find the way my GM friends talk about women’s sexual parts as revolting really degrading – they’ve been told off by me before – my body is not “disgusting”.

    • Some men are sexism. Some sexist men are gay. Sexism is vile. Your body is not disgusting.

      Seems like you need new gay male friends because I assure you there are plenty of us who do not hold those attitudes.

    • Yes! This same thing has bothered me for a while. When it comes to female body parts, I know that if women criticize them, at least they have them too. If straight men criticize them, at least they sometimes find them attractive. Some of my gay friends though find it funny to joke around about how gross they find breasts and vaginas, and this kind of makes me feel disgusting for having female body parts :(

  56. i understand that women’s treatment of gay men is a huge issue – but like many people said, it is two sides of the same coin. this article is talking about one side, and although the other must be addressed, we cannot derail the discussion of this article by constantly referencing the mistreatment of GM. straight women face their own issues when interacting with the gay community and gay men, and that’s the point of this discussion. maybe yolo will write an article about the flip side at another time.

    • I 100% agree with you Kate. And you know, maybe someone else will write it. But right now there is one issue in focus and we should not derail or avoid accountability.

    • also, a lot of the derailing and defensiveness is similar to when minorities discuss racism or women discuss sexism with straight men..

      – not everyone does this (we know that! :)
      – but *i* don’t do this! so i don’t have to answer to it! (good for you – maybe you can be our ally and talk to your friends who DO do this. but you still must accept that it does happen sometimes by some people.)
      – but i’m mistreated too! (we know that too! that’s why gay men and women have traditionally been such great allies – we both miss out on a lot of privileges straight males get. however, GM are still men, and must acknowledge those privileges.)

      no one is mad at you. i have plenty, plenty of gay friends who would never call me a bitch or tell me to pluck my eyebrows or anything like that. all gay men are not the enemy! sexism is.

      • “– we both miss out on a lot of privileges straight males get”

        Like people cheering your bully while you get beaten up, even though you didn’t merit a punch (or many) in the face for existing.

        A boy lifting the hand on a girl would have a dozen boys jumping on him with chivalrous protective glee, while they beat him up. They would very rarely protect a boy in the same way. Possibly is it’s their family (older brother protecting a younger one).

        That’s just one privilege neither straight nor gay men have that women have.

  57. As a gay man, I have NO desire to touch a woman’s body. Not even playfully. I love how the author of this blog paints a nice blanket picture that all gay men are sexist and engage in sexual harassment.

    • Jayson, I’m not understanding your point here. You do not represent all gay men. Nor does the author of this article. Nor does the sample in focus here.

      The author is simply calling attention to a sample within a population that does conduct in sexism behavior and is suggesting that, for those people, reflection on sexism within gay men be done.

  58. I wonder if some of the aggrevation and frustration being expressed by gay guys over this has to do with how when its something bad that gay men do they are count as men and the usual language (misogyny, sexism, etc…) comes out but when its something bad that happens to gay men they are no longer men and it becomes all about their sexual orientation. (And I wonder this because in most of the material I’ve seen about calling out women that treat gay men like fashion accesories you’ll be hard pressed to see misadry, sexism, etc… but homophbia and its derivatives will be all over the place.)

    • Gay men can conduct in sexist behavior against women. Gay men are also men, which on a more general level can also conduct in sexist behavior.

      You said, “but when its something bad that happens to gay men they are no longer men and it becomes all about their sexual orientation.”

      I find this language INCREDIBLY offensive. First, you say “when its something bad”–what are you talking about? When a gay man’s dog dies? When he slips and falls? When he’s a victim of a homophobic hate crime? You’re not being specific. If this “something bad” is a direct response to a man’s homosexuality–what’s the problem with calling attention to this man’s sexual orientation? What are you talking about “they are no longer men”–says you?

      • First, you say “when its something bad”–what are you talking about?
        As in something bad happens to him because of his being gay. Such as being assaulted simply for being gay.

        If this “something bad” is a direct response to a man’s homosexuality–what’s the problem with calling attention to this man’s sexual orientation? What are you talking about “they are no longer men”–says you?
        As there seems to be a deliberate separation between a gay guy’s gender and sexual orientation when it comes to something happening to him. A separation that is not there when it comes to the things that he does.

        And bear in mind this is what I see from people talking about gay men and what they do and what happens to them.

        There seems to be an expectation that when talking gay men being attacked for being gay the focus is on his sexual orientation and his gender is left out of it yet when talking about gay men that take inappropriate liberties with women his gender is pulled up front and center.

        Gay men can conduct in sexist behavior against women. Gay men are also men, which on a more general level can also conduct in sexist behavior.
        Indeed. What I’m saying is that it seems that the “gay men are also men” part doesn’t seem to carry over when it’s something being done against gay men but is ever present when it’s something by gay men.

        • If you are suggesting that, for example, in a sitatuation where a gay man is attacked for being gay, we take more into account how their gender is also tied into this I can bite. But that’s a stretch (for me personally) because sexual orientation is tied to gender. And if the focus is on sexual orientation in an instance like this, so what? The instance is absolutely due to sexual orientation–why wouldn’t that be a focal point? But I will admit that gender and maleness should be more vocal in this discourse.

          You: “What I’m saying is that it seems that the “gay men are also men” part doesn’t seem to carry over when it’s something being done against gay men…”

          I don’t see any truth to this whatsoever. Given the dialogue I have with either colleagues or friends, masculinity is ALWAYS taken into account when it comes to homophobie. There is a lot of use of the words “seem” in your critique, a closer look would perhaps bring a more definite analysis.


          • I don’t see any truth to this whatsoever. Given the dialogue I have with either colleagues or friends, masculinity is ALWAYS taken into account when it comes to homophobie. There is a lot of use of the words “seem” in your critique, a closer look would perhaps bring a more definite analysis.

            The use of seem is a way of not trying to accuse anyone that’s done this separation of intentionally trying to cast it that way and to account for the possibility that in come cases I could be wrong.

            In your conversations do you and the folks you talk to actually point blankly comment that said homophobic event happened to him because he is a man or that his being a man directly contributed to him being targetted by said behavior, in accordance to orientation being tied to gender (even if not in that exactly literal words)?

            I say this because despite you not seeing any truth to it, I have actually seen how discussion of homophobia against gay women will entwine misogyny and homophobia as one but homophobia against gay men is deliberatly separated so that there is much mention of homophobia but misandry is off limits.

            But its not like this happens all the time mind you. But I’ve seen it enough that it’s become a pet peeve. (In fact the larger pet peeve in general is that when it comes to intersectionality between different categorizations being male is either not counted or its pushed to the side in a way that being female would not be.)

            • “In your conversations do you and the folks you talk to actually point blankly comment that said homophobic event happened to him because he is a man”–yes, because he is a GAY man…which is still a man.

              You’re bringing misandry into the picture, which is defined as hatred of men by women. How often is it that we witness or hear of gay men being attacked by a pack of misandric women? Misandry is not necessarily off limits, but how realistic is it that in an effort to satisfy a woman’s hatred of men, she commits homophobic acts towards gay men?

              Homophobia, to me, stems from misogyny. The hatred of woman and feminine. You can hardly separate the two. However, a good discussion on homophobia and misandry would most likely be in the event a lesbian is the victim of a homophobic hate crime commited by misandric women–in this case no one is being attacked simply for being a man.

            • “You’re bringing misandry into the picture, which is defined as hatred of men by women”

              Misandry is hatred of men.

              The one doing the hating can be a man, a woman, a gender queer person, or a clown from outer space. I don’t care. It’s still hatred due to being male.

            • “Homophobia, to me, stems from misogyny. The hatred of woman and feminine.”

              No, because feminity in women is appreciated.

              The hatred is of men who don’t perform as demanded of them. Who actually want the privilege of being treated passively and afforded value for existing.

              The hatred of trans women is the peak of this type of hatred. They are seen as usurpers of a position they can never possess due to not having essentialist feminine characteristics wrongly-misattributed to being born with a vagina. A position that afford protection and inherent value to women. A position they want no men ever to have. Men prove themselves, they can’t have inherent value.

            • You’re bringing misandry into the picture, which is defined as hatred of men by women.
              No it’s not. Misandry is the hatred of men. No more no less. The source of the hatred is not a part of the definition. It can come from men, women, or whoever. Just like misogyny.

              Homophobia, to me, stems from misogyny. The hatred of woman and feminine. You can hardly separate the two. However, a good discussion on homophobia and misandry would most likely be in the event a lesbian is the victim of a homophobic hate crime commited by misandric women–in this case no one is being attacked simply for being a man.
              I say it comes from misandry. A hatred of men engaging in behaviors (namely being romantically/sexually/relationship oriented towards men) that are supposedly off limits to men. Likewise I’d say homophobia against lesbians comes from misogyny (women engaging in behaviors that are supposedly off limits to women, namely being romantically/sexually/relationship oriented towards women).

              But we seem to agree that it’s bad so I’ll take that.

  59. As a straight male I found this article eye-opening. Our culture at large is still dealing with these issues in even what we would consider our most open and accepting communities. It is unfortunate that some of the comments here are still on the same angle, accusatory and defensive. We have to all look in the mirror and accept our own oversights and faults, as well as forgive others so that we can all grow from it.

  60. I appreciate this article, but I don’t feel it gives a full picture of the situation at hand. The gay man who runs up to a woman he barely knows, gives fashion advice and touches her breasts — is a douchebag in general. I didn’t read anything in this article about the objectification many women put upon gay men. I myself have been fondled by women I barely know because they knew I was gay and felt ‘safe’ about it. I’m not saying that the article written here is without merit – I’m just saying it’s a little skewed. Gay men are minorities too and yes, we have male privilege, but many of us are objectified on a daily basis and that should also be noted.

    • I’ve said this a couple times before, the commodification of gay men by women and the sexism of women by gay men are two sides of the same coin. I agree, the gay man (as well as the straight man) who partake in these behaviors are first and foremost douchebags.

  61. Booster Blake says:

    Wow. Clearly this has touched a nerve for many.

    I can see how some would think that he is characterizing all gay men by the choice of wording “all of the hands of the gay men in the room went up”. His intent seems to be to highlight the fact that this behaviour is endemic. But the fact is that, this was his actual experience. So taken in that light, what does it mean to you?
    I don’t understand the vitriol toward the author here. I don’t think that the entire population of gay men is going to be mis-characterized by this article. So instead of getting all worked up over that fear, take a deep breath, honor the fact that an opportunity for reflection is being presented, and instead of bashing the article for nits on right vs. wrong, let’s accept the possibility that the behaviour likely exists and move on to discussing how each of us personally relates to it in our lives.
    If you don’t witness this kind of behavious, it’s good to say so and help level set the overall perception and add your voice to the mix. But leave it there. There’s no need to invalidate the author’s experience or those of other commentors that have seen this bad behaviour happen.
    The author is merely relating what happened in the presentation. The response he recieved was what it was “all of the hands of the gay men in the room went up”. Either you believe this actually happened or you don’t. If you don’t, there’s no point in dicussing it because there’s nothing to discuss. For you, it’s a lie. Own it.
    But if you believe this did happen, then discuss your feelings (read: FEELINGS) on the matter.

    • I cannot emphasize how much I agree with your words here:

      “So instead of getting all worked up over that fear, take a deep breath, honor the fact that an opportunity for reflection is being presented, and instead of bashing the article for nits on right vs. wrong, let’s accept the possibility that the behaviour likely exists and move on to discussing how each of us personally relates to it in our lives.”

  62. I think this may be endemic to young/club culture but I don’t know that it goes beyond that. There seems to be in some circles a need to be the center of attention, and resorting to being outrageous or catty is a permissible way to get there. I’ve observed it in both gay male and straight female circles, and those are circles I move away from. It is not that different from the straight male need to be the center of attention by talking smack, acting tough, and showing off.

    I am gay, and male, but I would never take the liberty to manhandle another human being, and anybody who knows me would laugh at the idea of me giving fashion advice.

  63. Hmm, as a gay man my experiences have been the complete opposite. It’s always straight women grabbing us. Go to a male gay bar and see who’s doing the groping, it ain’t us! It’s the straight “wooo-girls!” who barge in and think they own the place and everyone in it.

    • Interesting article and not without valid points, but I also agree with Mitch. I have seen lots of straight women in gay clubs/bars who act as if they can do anything they want.

      i’m a gay guy and i would never touch anyone’s private bits without consent. but not everyone (including straight/gays men/women) has my common sense or respect for others.

      in the end, i don’t see the point of pointing gays out esp when it’s not something we all do.

      • I’m going to add to this string here, as a gay man–just because I think our observations are very telling.

        I have literally had women at gay clubs put their hands down my shirts and pants and try to kiss me on the lips just because they think it’s ok. To them, a gay man who they find attractive is a play thing; a ken doll. That is not ok and this discourse deserves its own space–just not here.

        However, just because the kind of behavior explained in this article is reflective of all gay men it still happens and justly deserves its space for discourse.

        Some gay men sometimes behave in sexist ways. This is a fact. Take it or leave it, this is what this article is pointing out.

        • Kaleb,

          Thank you! I think a lot of the thread here gets into an oppression olympics when women and gay men could be supporting respect for each other and for both communities. I totally agree that gay men are often objectified by straight women, which is wrong and dehumanizing. I also think anyone raised male in this society has been raised to think of women also as not fully equal. My hope is that through conversations like this we all learn to recognize our privilege and the ways in which our actions are either supporting oppression or joint liberation.

          • Exactly. And this is the kind of discussion which holds true to the mission of GMP. The oppression olympics can get so tiring. Like my favorite quote from the 70s goes:

            “Whether you’re a brother or whether you’re a mother we’re stayin alive, stayin alive.”

          • “I also think anyone raised male in this society has been raised to think of women also as not fully equal.”

            Yes, they’ve been raised to see women as superior, more valuable, worthy of protecting, impressing, working for and towards, etc. Even if they’re not straight.

        • “To them, a gay man who they find attractive is a play thing; a ken doll. That is not ok and this discourse deserves its own space–just not here.”
          Isn’t that clearly female privilege? I’ve never heard of straight men going to lesbian clubs n groping the hell out of them, yet heard oodles of straight women groping gay AND straight men.

          • Isn’t that clearly female privilege? I’ve never heard of straight men going to lesbian clubs n groping the hell out of them, yet heard oodles of straight women groping gay AND straight men.

            It could be an interesting experiment to asses and even catch this Privilege Particle which is harder to map and define than the Higgs Boson.

            Image the Privilege Collider – one high speed lesbian going in one direction and one high speed male going in the other. It’s not clear if the Male would have a hetero or anti-hetero spin. P^) … but is the Lesbian Cis Or Trans … and does Bi Curiosity cause interference with the detection instruments and over all reaction to the hypothetical boob moment?

            All the particles and defining bits – the heteros – homos – cisses – trans – and that’s before you even could chromosomes and gonads.

  64. Booster Blake says:

    I’d love to hear from some gay men that DO feel entitlted to the behaviour described since, clearly it happens SOMETIMES.

    Yes, we can label it as “misogyny” but that’s just a word that we use to conveniently shame a specific behaviour. If we assume that the men doing this are not monsters but actually well-meaning guys, what is actually occurring for them that has them choose to do this? That’s what I’m interested in discussing.

    The criticism, mocking, belittling attacks are commonplace among all sexual dispositions. Nothing really interesting to me on that behaviour. Chalk that up to common insecurity, fear-based soical status tactics (e.g. “I put you down b/c that’s just the way life works sweethart! It’s fucking cruel so get used to it!”).

    The hands on the body thing is unique tho. That one is more interesting. When I try to imagine why someone would behave this way, it feels really free to be able to put my hands wherever I want to on a woman’s body without asking! Kinda priveledged in fact. I get why that would be attractive.

    And I can imagine instances where some women might even enjoy its novelty, at least to a point (and certainly not all women). In cases where it’s not welcome, I imagine that if women expressed their displeasure, it would probably stop. I’m not sure I buy the author’s assumption that women are gagged by a fear of anti-gay reprisal. Regardless of gender, a person telling any other person, “hands off my privates” is not an unreasonable request by any stretch of normal.

    So how’s about it fellas? I want to hear from the gropers. What’s it do for you?

    • I am a straight female with gay and lesbian friends that I go dancing with. Many times I have gone to clubs with them, and (NOTE: THIS IS MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE!) I have been kissed, groped, touched and cornered by (assumed) gay men (all without my consent). It happens every time I go out. Given, I’ve also been kissed and groped by lesbian women too.

      My take on this- some people do not understand others personal boundaries. If you are having a great time dancing with someone and you think you want to feel their breast, sexuality notwithstanding, thats fine- but be sure your partner is comfortable with it as well. And STOP if they say no.

      Many of my gay friends have tried to tell me that my clothes don’t match, or my hair looks greasy, or I should change my diet- every time I respond with some sort of reply akin to “Thanks for the advice, but I didn’t ask for it and I’m happy with my [insert thing to change here].” I have yet to lose any friends over the matter, and I think that, like with any sort of relationship- If a friend has offended you, they probably don’t realize it. Communication is key. If you are hurt, tell them. If they don’t stop, remove yourself from such a negative environment.

      Your body is noone’s but your own. Own it and be proud of whoever you are!

    • MediaHound says:

      I’d love to hear from some gay men that DO feel entitlted to the behaviour described since, clearly it happens SOMETIMES.

      I too would Love to hear from such gay men. It would be most enlightening to ask them and find out why they would believe sexual assault is normal and socially acceptable behaviour – and why they believe as gay men they have the right and obligation to pass comment about women’s bodies.

      I would also like to ask if their behaviour which is sexual assault is only perpetrated upon women, or do they act in a similar way to all people irrespective of gender – sex – sexuality. In fact it would be my first question.

      I would also ask if their passing of comment about other people’s clothing and physical nature is exclusive to women or if it to is unlimited by gender – sex – sexuality. That would be my second question.

      I wonder if Yolo will pass on the invite to the folks who raised their hands on Saturday so that the curiosity of so many can be assuaged? I’d love to check both their motivations for boob grabbing, knowledge of sartorial issues as well as social etiquette.

      • I missed your questions. No, definitely would not have groped any male of any sexual orientation without consent. Why? Too timid back then.

        Can’t answer your question about berating a person for their dress since I haven’t ever concerned myself with things like that for anyone of any gender. I bike everywhere, so I always have helmet hair. I shave sometimes though, which I guess is a little vain. =)

    • Well I’m a 30 year old gay man who definitely behaved the way described in the article, to some extent, until perhaps age 20. If someone ever took offense and said something, I’d have felt awful and have apologized from now until forever instead of trying to justify it, but there are two ways in which I think I probably was a lot like the folks with the more problematic behavior of feeling entitled to a behavior that assaulted the body of another person: 1) I did not acknowledge the privileges I had and I assumed the very real, profoundly damaging outcomes of my having come out in rural Iowa gave me some special dispensation or claim to… something; 2) I couldn’t slow down long enough to listen well (a problem many teenagers have and too many adults never really learned to do, but think they did).

      The reason I would do things like that: to be as transgressive as I could be. It was boundary testing. Generally not testing the boundaries of the girl I was dancing with or in public with, but the boundaries of others around us and I found it fun. Now, sometimes, the girl was all for it and played right back into it and if anyone ever spoke up about disliking it, I don’t recall ever having tried to frame a defense, though I was a defensive little prick, so it wouldn’t be entirely surprising.

      So there you have it. A gay man that’s acted that way, though I can’t give you a current perspective, since I now consider myself a feminist who isn’t happy with his younger self.

  65. The author is merely relating what happened in the presentation. The response he recieved was what it was “all of the hands of the gay men in the room went up”. Either you believe this actually happened or you don’t. If you don’t, there’s no point in dicussing it because there’s nothing to discuss. For you, it’s a lie. Own it.

    Interesting – so there is a Binary Option Only – It’s True Or False? I believe that you are making a false assumption and assertion – becasue for anyone to reach either conclusion some issues that have been skirted over by the author need to be explicitly clarified. The Skirting around and glossing over starts at line one.

    It’s a numbers game! How many men were in the room? How many were gay? How did the author know the sexuality of every men in the room? Either there is a undisclosed element which required all men in the room to be identified by sexuality before the question was raised – else – the number present was so small that that they were all known to the Author and so bias gets very large.

    Of course, there is yet another option which is outside of the numbers game – and that is the author just made gross assumptions about the sexualities of all present, in which case it gets even easier to be critical of manifest bigotry and it brings the most dubious claims and assertions made into an even more stark level of contrast!

    Once there is some clarity it may be possible to express feelings about the actual reality, rather than the poorly painted impressionist reality that the author has presented.

    • Ok. It’s obvious that there is a high level of subjectivity here, this is one man’s account on one issue. It IS in fact a numbers game–hence the mention of statistics and sampling.

      Here are facts:
      -This author is not saying all gay men act like this, just some. Therefore it is not a generalization
      -The issue that the author is bringing light to is a fact: some gay men sometimes act like this.
      -The moral of the story: “Gay men, let’s realize that we can act in misogynistic and sexist ways–we’re not exempt. Let’s do some reflecting to make sure we’re not causing harm to women.”

      What is the problem here?

      • @ kaleb – again you have a most interesting way of defining language! P^0

        Here are facts:
        -This author is not saying all gay men act like this, just some. Therefore it is not a generalization

        Sorry but that is your construct of what has been said – and that does not make it fact, only your opinion!

        Your getting to be as bad as the Author in taking minimal information – constructing with it and presenting it and expecting people to swallow it hook line and stinker!

        • Mr Supertypo says:

          interesting…

        • Ok, MediaHound. The author is in fact saying that some gay men act like this. I don’t see where I’m misstepping here and you’re constant exclamation points aren’t going to get me there.

          I honestly don’t see any point in us continuing conversation. Clearly you and I have different takes on the article and you’re not providing me with any productive wealth of knowledge on the subject at hand.

          • @ Kaleb – ah well – if you are not up to speed on Semiotics and Logic you may find it hard to understand how writers can say one thing and reveal quite another.

            I am happy to make it clear that there is an absence of evidence and information and from that great doubts grow. You ignore such matters and insist upon a reality that covers over the questions. Evidently we do have very different and divergent views about academic rigour.

            … and I still have to wonder how he knew the sexuality of every man in the room. Maybe I’m using my own experience of such events in an unreasonable manner – but then again I have been public speaking for over 30 years. It does strike me as so odd that “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.”

            How on earth is it possible to know the sexuality of every person in a room and be able to know that “Every” gay man responded positively to the premise posited to them?

            I do find the absolutist language being used troubling too – all. Mind you it would seem it’s possible to posit that the aberrant conduct identified is limited to students, and as we all know they do tend to mature once they have gotten past being educated and start to deal with reality.

            • My thing is this: what does anything you’re talking about have to do with the issue at hand here? Either way you cute it the author is right on his main point: gay men behave in ways that are sexist and it is something that the author called to be addressed.

              I find it a better use of my own time to discuss the above issue at hand than the flaws in his class survey anecdote. If you’d like to discuss that–great, that’s productive. If not, then you should discuss this with someone else.

            • “Touching” without consent means what. Touching someone’s arm, back, shoulder? Friendly normal, everyday gesture. How about a hug someone didn’t get asked for?

              Touching includes a plethora of non-groping touching.

              If I had friends, I’d likely have “touched them”, possibly without their consent, in recent time. And I’m not touchy feely. I also don’t grope.

  66. This article is an absolute beat up. Not only is it a massive generalisation but its also just not really true of most gay men including myself. As Mitch above says gay men get groped by straight women more than visa versa.

  67. These comments are really disappointing. The article points out very common, very normalized systematic sexism among gay men. Is that really so hard to admit?

    • Thank you! It’s FACT that some gay men sometimes act in sexist ways, such as the ones the author brings attention to. I want to reiterate the sense of disappointment here to see how so many people are willing to go through such great lengths to reduce the credibility of this author when the issue he’s bringing light to is actually TRUE.

      • @ Kaleb – I do find it odd that you keep presenting a binary given your academic background in gender studies.

        It’s True of False – Fact or Not Fact. For someone who has had to deal academiclay with the graying nuanaces of contrasting opinions and realities – well I would have expected you to grasp that it’s possible to tell a truth and then place a false construct on top of it! False reality constructed upon a truth reamains false.

        It does happen so often!

        I am also surprised at your reapated claims concerning “commodification” and your views as to flip sides of coins. If sexism male to fermale is one side of the coin ( Obverse ) the other side ( Reverse ) is sexism female to male. “commodification” does not come into teh analaogy – unless you are mixing up your analaogies and getting Syllogistic and at risk of triping over your own fallacy. P^)

        Often when it comes to using coins to analogise gender and sexuality it’e worth remebering that when you toss a coin it is most likely to land on it’s Obverse Or Reverse face with very nearly a 50/50 probability. However – it can also land on it’s edge. I always look at the edges as they are the most misunderstood and disreguarded places.

        When someoen states that there are only two possible outcomes I do wonder how well they understand the coinage they refere to and place such great value in!

    • As a white woman, I’m not surprised to see the vehement denials here that sexism exists. I have often seen these same types of arguments (it’s not all of us, it’s not intentional, my other black friend likes this behavior) when a woman of color names racism at a feminist event. All this type of denial gets us is further divided more fragmented movements.

      I really appreciate the author raising the question. I have been in rooms with gay men who were very aware of their male privilege and me of my straight privilege and we rocked victories for justice that day. I’ve also fallen down as a straight ally and made an ass of myself. And I’ve also been in rooms with men who are gay that I know well who are using their male privilege to the max.

      My hope is through honest conversation we become equal participants in our joint liberation!

    • TheBadMan says:

      brooke says:
      “The article points out very common, very normalized systematic sexism among gay men”

      It is not yet determined that this is “very” or “common” or “normalized” or even “sexism”

      So far, it is observed anecdotes of public touching turned into a stereotype of assumed sexism.

  68. @ Kaleb: Just a another example of how f88cked up straight women can be and how equally screwed up the relationship between straight men and women is.. I can only imagine that many of these straight women would never behave that way with a straight guy they found attractive, much less even ask a straight man out. Sounds breathtakingly pathetic to me.

    I would also suggest that these two issues; the sexism of gay men and the sexism of straight women should be discussed together because they exists in relationship to each other and the world around them. One of the problems feminism has made is compartmentalizing gender problems as if they exist separate worlds.

    • @ogwriter

      The commodification of gay men by straight women and the sexism of straight women by gay men are indeed two sides of the same coin–they rely on objectification and have a codependant relationship to each other. I have to completely disagree with you one point. I don’t know what kind of feminist theory you’ve read, but in all of the literature, theory, and research I’ve encountered while gaining my women’s studies degree I have never come across a feminist theorist who proports that gender problems exist in separate worlds. Most feminism (I say most because there is a large sect of radical feminism in which I completely disassociate myself with) uses intersectionality as a foundation to show how gender problems are actually quite entertwined.

      • Random_Stranger says:

        no separate worlds? Its infused in the very language of the discipline, FEMINism vs PATRIarchy. I’d argue that if your studies focused on intersectionality, than it wasn’t really feminism.

  69. As a queer woman I can assure you that this stuff does bother me. Although as a butch looking woman I’m not generally the personal recipient of ‘friendly advice’ or unwanted groping it really upsets me when I see it happening to my straight female or queer femme friends. Every day in my office I hear a particular gay guy talking about what a fashion crime our (female) prime minister is and how bad her body looks in whatever she decided to put on today, as though its not a sexist tirade just because he’s gay. Thanks for raising this issue, it is greatly appreciated.

  70. As a cisgender gay man, this whole article strikes me as right on the money. Thank you.

  71. I have the dubious honor of not just being a woman, but a rather small woman. Being short often makes people associate me with dolls or children, things that they can do with as they will. With straight men, I have spent a lot of my time getting picked up or cuddled or used as an armrest just because I’m so “little and adorable” like that’s acceptable behavior.

    With gay men, they add to that by often grabbing my boobs or fussing with my hair/clothes/thighs/belly. A particularly memorable offense was when I had a gay male acquaintance respond to a sarcastic comment by biting me on the nipple in the middle of a restaurant. And without fail, when I’ve expressed shock or dismay over being manhandled without my permission, sometimes feeling publicly embarrassed or humiliated, the gay men will say that it didn’t count because they weren’t attracted to me and won’t be able to understand why I’m upset.

    So thanks for this article. Just wanted to chime in after seeing so many comments that boiled down to “this is ridiculous, this never happens!” It may not be every guy, but yes, it sure does happen.

  72. I’m curious as to how the author knew that every gay male raised their hand. Some magic way of telling who is gay or not?

    • Well Jack – it is a bit of an issue there from line one!

      I’m wondering about a sweep stakes on the issue.

      1) All present were covered in magic fairy dust.
      2) All present were subjected to segregation upon entering the venue.
      3) All present were wearing matching Cher outfits – and when they heard raise you hand they just got them in the air to show off their latest nail extensions and paste jewels.
      4) All present were paid to raise their hands and they didn’t care what for.
      5) All present were associates of the author – known to him – they did it to show solidarity what ever.
      6) The Author can’t possibly validate the claim.

      Once we get that answered we can go for a sweepstake on the next bit where all the hands went up but it’s not clear if they were gay hands or not! It’s implied they were all gay, and it even says “all of the hands in the room went up” – in which case there are only gay men in the room – and then I have to wonder if there are only gay men in the room why is it so exclusive – and why a lecture entitled “”Diva Worship & Barbie Doll Desires” would attract an excursively male audient? Perhaps they were all Cher clones and thought it was about make up tips?

      If there are only gay men in the room – how many – and just how is it possible for the Author to know that all the people in the room are gay men – and gay male students as well.

      I’m at the point of taking it as evens that “All present were covered in magic fairy dust.” is the only reasonable explanation of all the factors. … worse still, Maddona is still on tour, and she will grab anything she can lay her hands on to gain centre stage! The sooner she gets a pension the better.

  73. deborah frye says:

    Thanks for writing this and for acknowledging that male privilege and mysogyny are not related to sexual preference.

    • Deborah, “preference” isn’t the preferred nomenclature and generally suggests that the speaker is homophobic. Perhaps you meant sexual orientation.

    • TheBadMan says:

      Is it misandry and privilege when a woman rubs her hands on my hulking chest in a bar?

  74. I will speak honestly: I have never seen a gay man grab another woman’s body in an assaulting way without consent before. I have, however, seen and experienced myself women grabbing myself and other gay men’s butts, crotches and nipples without so much as a hello beforehand…

    I do believe that this male privilege thing happens. Just as I believe a “we’re women, so it’s not actually bad if we do so because we’re oppressed” mindset is at hand.

    I feel that both issues need to be addressed as one, for a general human respect topic. But I won’t simply accept this ‘society as a misogynistic entity’ without adding that there’s more to this story. Good article, but the way to better the world is to work towards all sides being elevated at once, as tough as it is. The white male privilege is simply another blame system that people are falling into the trap of. Wake up people. This is a human problem, not a categorical sex and race one.

  75. wellokaythen says:

    All the touching and groping and commentary suggests to me that pretending to be (strictly) gay may be a great disguise for some men who are interested in getting away with such things. Is this how it works, you grope a woman’s breasts and then tell her it doesn’t matter because you’re gay? How does that actually work? Sounds like a great way for straight and bisexual men to publicly identify as gay….

  76. I don’t quite understand why this is a gay or straight men vs. straight women issue. I–a straight man–have been groped by women on multiple occasions. I have also had people–men and women–criticize the way I am dressed while touching me in places that I don’t want to be touched. Here’s what I did: the women who groped me, I shut them out of my life. They weren’t friends anyways. For the people who would criticize the way I dress, I told them that their input was not asked for and not appreciated, and I told them that touching me like that was not allowed. When they defend themselves and tell me I am overreacting, I say, “No, you will not criticize me in that way, and you will not touch me in those places. It is not a request–it is a demand. Do you understand?”

    All you have to do is be assertive and demand your expectations for your own personal integrity. This isn’t a gender issue–it’s a social issue. The difference is that men are taught that they are supposed to enjoy it.

    • I think it ought not to be a gender issue and ought to be the same issue across our society, but I think it probably isn’t. With any issue like this there’s the actor and the reason why they’re doing something and then there’s the person being acted upon and their reaction (internal and external) and I think that including gender and sexual orientation in that analysis is probably particularly useful in this context. For instance, no straight man would try to say “Oh, don’t worry, I’m straight, so it’s okay that I groped you.” to a woman and expect to make the situation okay. In that case declared sexual orientation is playing a part in the question.

  77. Good questions are being brought up however I will ask; why are “straight” girls going to “gay” bars? Gay bars are by tradition a safe space for gay men and that space is sexualized. This is the space where we find sex, fun and some freedom. When women come into a gay bar they are experiencing an outsider culture, we have our values and beliefs, they are not always heteronormative or feminist. What exactly were you looking for by going to a gay bar?

    • Random_Stranger says:

      If i had to guess…some straight women go to gay bars for the same reason some straight men go to strip clubs. Its a space to ogle and sexually objectify the opposite gender while being free of any emotional investment or fear of reciprocal judgement.

  78. @Kaleb: The intersectionality theory is new to post modern feminism and is known in academic circles almost exclusively.Feminims great leap forward isn’t always felt down here on the ground.Additionally too many feminists act as if the invention of the intersectional feminists has erased the damage;racism,sexism misandry set in motion by my mothers feminism. Intersectionality is nothing new and only states the obvious.Only a fool could ever believe that life experiences in a complex society don’t influence and counterinfluence one another.The truth is sexism,racism,rape,DV,homophobia, etc, are all behaviors that women,some of them feminists and gay,also participate;not just men,not just straightmen. Hell,if feminisim had lived up to its own lofty standards intersectionality would not have been neccssary.

  79. I somehow doubt that every single gay man has touched a women and offered unsolicited advice. However, I think what’s problematic about those things is that that is what gays have been reduced to. That they’ve began to emulate how they’ve been portrayed to be. Straight women see gay men in film and on tv and expect them to be sassy and have these beauty tips. I’m not saying this makes the behavior fine, but I’m saying that this article is half-baked and tries to make a black and white portrayal out of a complicated situation.

  80. Tamara Motola says:

    I don’t see why you said “cisgender gay men”… Trans men can be just as misogynist as cis men, regardless of orientation, and they get a pass for it due to being “FAAB”, further encouraging those behaviors, in the same way it’s assumed gay means not misogynist…

  81. While I agree that there is an issue with some gay men being misogynistic, I find this article troublesome for a couple of reasons; first is the author’s assertion that the question was asked to a group of gay men, and that all had touched a woman’s body without consent within the past 7 days (?!) and had offered unsolicited advice. I find it hard to believe simply from a sampling perspective that the author would get a 100% result on both questions, but the author also doesn’t give the sample size so the data is questionable to say the most, this has been argued to death in the comments, but is
    I also find the assertion that many or most gay men feel comfortable touching women’s bodies at a whim counter intuitive from my own perspective. Not because of a lack of awareness of it, I’ve heard this line taken before in my own university days but because in my experience the ‘Boobie gays’ (my word to describe gay men I meet with a strange fascination with touching women’s bodies and breasts) are not a common subset. I have known maybe 3 or 4 in my entire 30+ years. The gay men I know wouldn’t even think about touching a strange woman’s body without permission. The statement and assertion that many gay men feel comfortable touching women’s bodies at a whim is also counter intuitive to same accusation of misogyny that would result in most of these misogynist gays having zero inclination to touch a woman’s who body that they would see as undesirable or in extreme cases gross.
    Do I find it surprising that the gay men in the lectures he was giving didn’t feel comfortable saying anything? ‘Their silence spoke volumes’ – I would ask about the kind of environment that that class was? I do not assert that the author created a negative environment for the gay men in the room, but when you are a gay man attending a lecture about how gay men are misogynistic and you are asked to somehow respond to a story about some jerk that you’ve been lumped into a group with on the basis of your sexuality is it any surprise that no one said anything?

    • I agree with Dan entirely. Although I acknowledge that this can be a problem for some men, I think it’s weird that the first paragraph suggests that many or all gay men act this way. I NEVER assault women or criticize their appearances.

      • I’m guessing that you know the group that this article’s talking about just as well as I do. There are gay men that will happily grab women’s bodies without hesitation but they’re a very small minority of gay men. The same small minority that the entire outward stereotype we’ve had to endure for so long is based upon. I call absolute BS on this one! Neither I or any of the gay men I keep company with would ever grab any part of anyone without consent. I’m not saying there aren’t some who do but to claim it’s most of us is disgustingly ironic given the tone of the article.

    • This article is so obviously fiction. Gender or sexual orientation has nothing to do with moronic cluelessness regarding social norms. Basically, in order for this to be true, one would have to believe that gay men are somehow intelectually deficient compared to other non-gay people, and cannot grasp basic concepts like manners. It’s also beyond belief that a woman would allow anyone (again, of any gender or sexual orientation) to touch her in an intimate way without recoiling, just standing there in shock. I would naturally not allow a stranger to approach me to criticize my fashion sense and would punch him in the face if he dared to touch me in any way without my consent, just like with any other man or woman. Women aren’t helpless little victims!

      I’ve never seen this in real life. The author is just fabricating a new negative cliché to attach to the gay community for the sake of controversy.

      • First of all, good on you for being able to stand up for yourself in a situation where a stranger is putting his hands on you or critisizing you. I’d just like to point out that it is actually very hard for some people (not just women). What you’re saying here is getting dangerously close to victim blaming and it’s not ok. It is not the woman’s fault if she freezes up in shock when a man uninvitedly touches her body.

        From my own experience, a gay man grabbed my boobs at a new years party once and I didn’t speak up because he was my best friend’s new boyfriend, this was the first time I was meeting him and I didn’t want to upset my friend. If this happened to me again, I still don’t know if I would be able to say anything to him at the time because I was so shocked and I felt completely violated. I managed to talk to my friend afterwards and he had a chat with his boyfriend, who brushed it off and did not stop the inappropriate touching.

        I understand that this guy is part of a minority of gay men who do this (given that it hasn’t happened with any other gay man that I’ve met) but it definitely does happen. I’m glad that there are so many gay men on here who wouldn’t do this and don’t know anyone who would but please don’t discount the small number who do because it feels really violating to be on the other end.

    • I know many gay me, including myself that would NEVER do that unless it was a girl we were really close to and that we knew before hand was okay with this. Even then it would be a case that 75% of the time we would only respond or touch when asked or told. Personally as a gay man, I don’t have any interest in touching boobs unless I HAVE to for some reason. Some cases I have had a woman tell me to touch her and that it was okay cause I was gay, but I refused. Just like any other experiment, if you don’t have all the facts then if can be biased or manipulated.

  82. “An example: I was at a gay club in Atlanta with a good friend of mine who is a heterosexual black woman. While dancing in the club, a white gay male reached out and grabbed both her breasts aggressively. Shocked, she pushed him away immediately. When we both confronted him he told us: “It’s no big deal, I’m gay, I don’t want her– I was just having fun.” We expressed our frustrations to him and demanded he apologize, but he simply refused. He clearly felt entitled to touch her body and could not even acknowledge the fact that he had assaulted her.”
    WTF seriously. who the fuck are you hanging out with?!

    • wellokaythen says:

      In this case, don’t assume he’s gay just because he says he is! (Sounds like a lame cover for what could actually be a hetero sexual assault.) It shouldn’t make any difference whether he is or not, of course.

    • wellokaythen says:

      Someone has to do something to stop things like this. It’s assault. Otherwise, the message is that there’s this club in Atlanta where you can grope a random woman’s breasts, and when she gets mad you just say you’re gay and you can just walk away and do it to someone else. What kind of society are we living in?

  83. i’m just curious as to why the writer or his friend didn’t stomp the dude out on the dance floor?

  84. Here’s a new poll to try: how many of those women had been to a gay club and pressed their bodies against gay men they don’t know on the dance floor? The problem is that gay men have some sort of ownership over women’s bodies; the problem is that there’s a public perception that women and gay men can be physically intimate with each other and it doesn’t mean anything. I’m gay, and I don’t want women dancing with me at a gay club or grabbing my junk. But go to any gay club and that’s what you find. My sexuality shouldn’t be used by a woman for her own comfort anymore than gay men should be grabbing women’s breasts or asking me for fashion advice.

    • John Anderson says:

      If a woman’s straight, how do you know that she isn’t grabbing your junk because she finds it sexually stimulating? Maybe she’s violating you, but thinks you won’t realize it because it doesn’t do anything for you.

    • I have some of the same concerns that are cropping up in the article as well as in the comments– I do know guys who are like that (particularly at the bar) and I find their behaviour off-putting, but I’m a bit incredulous that in a classroom, “all” the gay men present would be guilty of it. If I’d been there you could be damned sure there’d have been at least one hand not raised; I don’t ‘get’ being a gay man and grabbing women’s bodies at all, and don’t care in the least for telling them how to dress or compose themselves.

      But conversely, I have also seen far too many instances of women at the bar imposing themselves on (gay) men, whether by grabbing/fondling or frottage or even certain possessive language, too, and no one ever seems to call them on it, either. If some woman in the bar thinks that I want her rubbing up against me, or to be called pet names, or whatever, then she needs to give her head a shake.

  85. Obviously this is an issue worth discussing if there are women who feel they have been victims of gay male misogyny. With that being said, however, I don’t know a single gay man, that I am aquatinted with at least, including myself who would ever do anything mentioned above. It’s also worth saying that I have found myself in the position where I was touched by a straight woman without my consent on multiple occasions. Not that I’m saying I’ve ever felt victimized, just food for thought…

  86. As a lesbian, I have always wondered why people find it acceptable that some gay men grope straight women. It would never, ever occur to me to grope a straight man like that. That’s not because I’m a better person, but because of gender dynamics and different stereotypes for men and women, gays and lesbians. If I groped a man, people would take it as evidence that I secretly crave men. When gay men grope women it’s seen as an affirmation of their gayness. I also never quite understood why so many gay men are happy playing the “gay best friend” role, which usually ends up being bitchy and gossipy, and being treated a bit like a toy poodle. Why do so many gay men accept it?

    • I also never quite understood why so many gay men are happy playing the “gay best friend” role, which usually ends up being bitchy and gossipy, and being treated a bit like a toy poodle. Why do so many gay men accept it?

      That “So Many” is an issue! It predicates an idea that you can identify gayness and sexuality by appearance and behaviour. No Stereotype there then! P^)

  87. Interesting. Similarly, assaults from same sex (women) are also considered ‘kosher’. I have often encountered bewilderment if I have objected to unsolicited advice on appearance or my love life, or to being touched by other women. I am a heterosexual sexual woman and there are only certain people who have that privilege / place in my life – not just any heterosexual female acquaintance.

  88. I love articles like this that are completely one sided. Do I enjoy women using my sexuality as a justification to grab my ass? asking me for fashion advice? hell even getting naked in front of me because “oh you dont care you’re gay” well apparently it doesnt matter to the writer of this article. I love all my girls but lets look at both sides alright?

  89. “There’s no one way to be gay.”
    “Well he’s managed to pick the most dull, joyless version i’ve ever seen.”

    Apart from giving people unsolicited and negative advice (more tactless from the sound of it), I’ve never understood the prudish types. I don’t care about people touching me (though I admittedly rarely feel the need to touch other people) regardless of gender/orientation. If you don’t like it, say so. Let’s all get over the hang-ups that needlessly waste mental energy, and focus on something important like world peace, or stopping crappy novels a la Twilight/Fifty Shades of Grey.

    • something important like world peace, or stopping crappy novels a la Twilight/Fifty Shades of Grey.

      World Peace or getting rid of “Fifty Shades Of Grey”?

      That’s a hard one, but I think the Pulp Fiction has to go! At least the paper versions can be recycled, and if all the kindle versions went It would allow a Nuclear Power station to be turned off. I also believe in taking the harder road less travelled, so getting people to see Fifty Shades of Grey as the fiction it is …. well it makes world peace look like child’s play. P^)

    • Wow, just wow so I’m a PRUDE for not wanting strangers to touch me? That’s 100% unnecessary, as a straight woman who routinely gets harassed by straight men who rub on me without my permission and try to force themselves on me this DOES NOT make me a prude. I have every right to choose who gets to touch my body and who doesn’t. The only person I want touching my tits are me and my bf. Otherwise get the fuck off.

    • And this speaks volumes about your male privilege. Having personal boundaries is NOT prudish, and who are you to be a judge of another person’s boundaries? Given the statistics of women who have experienced sexual assault and rape, you don’t know what a woman standing in front of you has been through, and whether being nonconsensually groped will trigger tremendous PTSD.

      ALSO, as a man, you do not experience having your body be considered public property. Take for example the comparison of birth control and ED meds – nobody questions whether a man can get ED meds, or have it covered by insurance, but a good portion of the population feels it is their right to control whether a woman can get birth control, and to determine that if she wants it, she must be a slut – public policing of a woman’s body and sexual agency. I would hope gay men would understand this, as they go through different but similar public policing of their sexuality.

      Please use your privilege wisely.

      • Using birth control to prove male privilege is a very very bad tactic. It’s clearly a female privilege, males do not have access to financial abortion, only one gender can opt out of parenthood. I suggest a different route to try prove male privilege.

        • nichole says:

          men opt out of parenthood all the time; they leave, they sign away their rights, they stop paying child support, etc. in fact, this is a systemic problem. women bear the ENTIRE physical burden of pregnancy & child birth; if they don’t want to become pregnant, statistically, women bear almost the entire burden for birth control or abortions. maybe men should bear the equal weight of financial burden if they want a say in the matter. or, ya know, get male birth control. how about that? it does actually exist.

  90. Bobba Fett says:

    As a straight man who has gay friends who have straight women friends I’ve seen it work both ways. Both the girls and guys take advantage of the fact it is “no big deal”. However most of my friends don’t do this or don’t do it in a crass way.

    The common denominator is that the women and men who are quality people do not engage in this behaviour, or atleast not without “consent” and would never insult their friend or grope them/assault them.

    Sidenote: I remember one of my gay friends complain to me:
    “She wanted to hang out, so we went shopping for shoes for 4 hours. I don’t even like shopping!”
    An aside but I really find that some straight women treat their gay “friends” as something less than human, almost like an accessory- but thats just me ranting.

    • Women drag their female friends shopping for hours and hours, too! Ugh. Try being a bridesmaid and having to help the bride shop for her dress and shoes! I am just grateful all my friends are married now.

      • @Sarah, Are we shopping for tools ? 😀 Shopping for clothes for more than an hour gets boring, but I can spend a few hours looking through Bunnings here if I am after new tools and researching products.

    • wellokaythen says:

      “The common denominator is that the women and men who are quality people do not engage in this behaviour, or atleast not without “consent” and would never insult their friend or grope them/assault them.”

      I agree. It’s not that gay men are inappropriate. It’s that there are a lot of inappropriate people out there, and some of them happen to be gay men.

      I’m also guessing that age, intelligence, and sobriety are really big factors in whether someone would behave like this or not. I’m guessing the men and women who do this tend to be very young, immature, and not the sharpest tools in the shed.

  91. Most gay men do not touch women inappropriately. WTF talk about perpetuating stereotypes. You should be ashamed

    • I’ve found gay guys’ girl-gbrabbing is something that USUALLY dies off after 2nd year in undergrad– however, susceptibility to alcohol on the part of the grabber is usually a component, and I have had my butt stroked a couple of times by 30-someodd year old men while we were out on a boozy night. That said, while I have been tipsy, I have grabbed, stroked and smooched men & women, straight & gay, have gotten into trouble for it and now practice alcohol moderation much more aggressively.

  92. No offense intended but what a ridiculous argment. If being able to touch women and comment about their fashion is something you tie to homosexuals, how is it “male privilege?”

    Not only does male privilege not exist, but this would be “homosexual privilege”, not male privilege, because you have to be either a woman or homosexual male to be able to engage in this behavior, and not get charged with sexual harassment or assault.

    • “Not only does male privilege not exist…” What world do you live in where male privilege not exist? Even in this context, grabbing or touching women without solicitation or permission exists in spades. How many men out there still feel it’s okay to slap a waitress on the butt, or rub up on a woman in a crowded place. If you think this form of male privilege and female objectification doesn’t exist from hetero men, you don’t listen to what your female friends have to say. Ask them how many of them have been touched, groped, fondled, or inappropriately propositioned and enjoy the shock of your answer. There’s a reason as many as 1 in 3 women will be victims of sexual assault by the time they reach 30, because men objectify them, and claim ownership of them in their minds. It’s the fault of the gender binary, men are strong and decisive, so the stereotypes go, so, therefore, women must be weak and unassertive. Not only do men grow up believing this, but, sadly, so do many women.

      • wellokaythen says:

        Shoot.I was right there with you, saying “right on” over and over, until this part of the paragraph:

        “There’s a reason as many as 1 in 3 women will be victims of sexual assault by the time they reach 30, because men objectify them, and claim ownership of them in their minds.”

        Of course thoughts have a way of translating into action, but this suggests that assault and mental objectification are all one thing. I’d argue there is a real difference between what a man thinks and what he does. There’s a real distinction between what a man imagines and what he does. If the culprit is inappropriate thoughts, than I shudder to think what the solution is, because it has to be something totalitarian in practice. If the only solution is to reprogram men’s thoughts, then you’ve lost me.

      • Is it female privilege to molest gay men in a gay bar?
        I think you’d be surprised how many straight men have been groped by women, I myself have been multiple times by female friends who if they were male would have copped a punch in the face, so I guess there’s another female privilege as many men will not hit women.

  93. This article presents a more problematic stereotypical behavior than the one it speaks out against. The article claims that because a man has same sex attraction he is prone to no more about fashion and about dressing provocatively, things which have no logic or natural basis. This stereo type is a difficult one to break, and one that many gay men struggle against when they want to be taken seriously, and respected as strong, able, working average men. While I agree that of these stereotypical gay men, the assault is a problem, but along with this problem, the issue of the way gay men are viewed in the public and the media is even more so. The writer speaks about a effect of this bigotry and stereotype, the problem in fact is the cause, uprooting the issue from the source would be a much more efficient use of our time, in my opinion

  94. Wow, I am gay and didn’t realize this was such a prevalent issue. However, I have seen these interactions before….I don’t know though, I have experienced and have seen heterosexual women touching gay men in a similar manner. I honestly think these interactions are not always but sometimes quite mutual and believe both sides grow out ‘it’s not big deal, let’s touch one another’ with age. I hardly ever see men in their late twenties, early thirties getting involved within these interactions (however, I may not get out enough). I think there is some truth to Bell Hook’s quote: “Most gay men are as sexist in their thinking as are heterosexuals. Their patriarchal thinking leads them to construct paradigms of desirable sexual behaviour that is similar to that of patriarchal straight men.” I think body fascism and racism within the gay community is a huge issue and many men DO NOT grow out this these ideologies.

    • I think the problem would be that woman A touchs gaymale a, gay male b touchs woman b. Gaymale a and woman b DON’T want to be touched, whilst gaymale b and woman a are ok with it.

  95. This article is really great in showing how the politics of hierarchies of oppression fail us. Who has more privilege? Lets rank bodies and organize them based on it and start pointing fingers. It bogs down our social movements, creates divisions, puts people on the defensive and ultimately isolates people who should be working together. It plays into identity politics dividing us in to the small visual markers of difference while ignoring the mega one: CLASS. The fact remains that if Beyonce announced she was a lesbian tomorrow she would still have far more privilege than a working poor white male fan. What would have been great was to read an article about how capitalistic structures move gay men into these roles of “fashion gate keepers” its way more complex than gay men have lots of privilege and touch women because they feel they have ownership over them. That sort of argument ignores that many of the men described are feeling large amounts of social pressure to fit into a certain stereotyped subset as that has been assigned as a way to deal with feminine gay men. You see both gay men and heterosexual women pushing people into that subset, because the categorization makes them feel more comfortable. Something bigger is going on, and identity politics isn’t helping to solve the issue. I always become angered when reading statements like this ” It should also be noted that in this case, she was a black woman and he a white gay male, which makes this an eyebrow-raising dynamic as it invokes the psychological history of white men’s entitlement to black women’s bodies.” The thing that raises my eyebrow is the hierarchy of oppression at work lumping people’s bodies into these categories that will forever and a day be tied to historical events that one can never break free from. For a moment switch black woman and white gay man around, then start arranging different identities: black male & white gay male, white male & black gay male, keep doing this and think of all the violations and insults. It soon becomes overwhelming. Now think of the connections, the historical moments of working together and connection, they are harder to think of… this is the cost of the privilege game, it erases histories of cooperation. It also forces to qualify my voice with identity markers: black, gay , male, disabled, so that my voice can shame others about their perceived privileges. It is so exhausting, I wouldn’t stand for an article talking about how black men are more prone to assault white gay men or how black religious women are more homophobic than other women, those types of articles are all over the academic world of sociology and completes with statistics and samples. They should be questioned because of their identity politics and they way they ignore complex histories and interactions. This article should also be criticized for its own glaring deficits and use of identity politics,

    • wellokaythen says:

      “Now think of the connections, the historical moments of working together and connection, they are harder to think of… this is the cost of the privilege game, it erases histories of cooperation.”

      Amen. Identity politics can actually become quite regressive in their effects. Sometimes “progressive” ideology is not so progressive after all, especially if the thought process is not much more sophisticated than a family feud. Over the long term, dividing people into smaller and smaller distinct groups might have the overall effect of “divide and conquer.” The privilege fight also wears people out. They get “reform fatigue,” and start to think, why do we need a revolution? Haven’t we already had enough revolution? What, ANOTHER parade?

      • wellokaythen says:

        The Oppression Olympics are just like the regular Olympics. Most of the competitors walk away with nothing, the corporate sponsors walk away with the profits, the mainstream political leaders grab all the credit, and the host is left with the bill.

  96. wellokaythen says:

    I’m left wondering how much these boundary violations are especially bad in the case of gay men and straight women, and how much this happens all over the place. I’m also thinking that, although alcohol is no excuse for anything, drunken people in a club tend to have lower social inhibitions anyway. I wouldn’t be surprised if some (some!) gay men in a particular establishment felt some hostility towards straight women “invading” their place. Again, no excuse of course.

    Perhaps these body invasions are a product of our neuroses about sex being dirty. It’s sort of the flip side of it – take away the possibility of sex and anything goes, right? If it’s not about sex then it’s not bad, so it must be good, right? Or, if someone isn’t going to have sex with me, then that person doesn’t really count and I can do whatever I want.

    Pure speculation on my part.

  97. Rape culture is the fact that y’all are more interested in calling the article fiction than recognizing that their are women that feel violated at the hands of gay men. Does it mean ALL gay men do it? No. But this has happened to me SO MANY TIMES. Maybe it’s because I’m younger and most of the people I interact with are in their 20’s, but I would say at least half of the gay men I know treat me this way.

    So instead of just being a typical privileged male and denying that this problem exists, why don’t you continue to work towards fixing it and spread the news to the gay men you know who DO act this way?

    • Rape culture is the fact that y’all are more interested in calling the article fiction than recognizing that their are women that feel violated at the hands of gay men.

      Yup – that can be seen as a clear manifestation of Rape Culture. That is very clear. The false representation of Rape and Sexual Assault is a factor of Rape Culture – the mythology – the excusing.

      What is so odd is how the Author implies that people need to be careful about the language they use – and yet he is so poor at following his own advice.

      It’s Rape Culture when the violation of GAY men and Women by Heterosexual Women and Men is dismissed – ignored – not addressed. Sexuality is irrelevant in Rape Culture as is sex and gender – the dynamic of abuser and victim is all that counts and all victims are equal – there are no distinctions because such distinctions are part of victim Blaming and Victim Shaming.

      Rape Culture is about Rape and it’s Cultural manifestations – it is genderless and not a sexist issue! Some people really need to do their homework – like the author. But then again the author does not mention rape – but he does use language which promotes a view that All Gay Men sexually assault all Women. Rape Myths are pernicious and a factor of Rape Culture. You can not just bandy Rape Culture about without addressing all of it’s factors and manifestations.

      It’s like the silliness that came up last year – “Only Men can Stop Rape” being promoted as a banner by a number of feminists. Odd how it makes all reap victims subjected to ONLY men! Odd how it implies that anyone being raped lacks any all agency unless they are male! So it makes all women hapless victims – and even blames male rape survivors for being raped and not stopping it! It is fascinating how some get so closed minded and blinkered and end up abusing so many. It’s what happens when supposed expert communicators get lazy with words.

      I aint seen anyone calling the article fiction – but I have seen a great many being critical of the false representation of a large group of people by the abuse of Stereotype and misused language A defining factor of a stereotype is the grammer used – they are presented in “The Simple Present Tense”.

      The Authors choices in language – The Title “Gay Men’s Sexism and Women’s Bodies” presented in the “Simple Present Tense” making it universal and about all gay men and how all gay men treat all women. There is no some – no subset – It’s all gay men and all women. It’s a pretty incredible claim to bandy about.

      “Gay Men’s Sexism and Women’s Bodies” – All Gay Men All Women’s Bodies – It makes all gay men sexist!

      “Gay Men’s Sexism and Women’s Bodies” – All Gay Men All Women’s Bodies – It actually makes all women victims of gay men and the sexism that all gay men are presented to supposedly have.

      Lets look at some parallel uses of the present tenses and some group representation:

      1) Alabaman’s Racism and Black Bodies.
      2) Moslem Terrorism and American’s Bodies.
      3) Black Drug Culture and White Neighbourhoods.
      4) Schizophrenics and Employee Safety.
      5) Lesbian Bricklayers and Male Unemployment.
      6) Straight Women’s Sexism and Magic Mike Moments with dollar bills.

      Any chance that any of those may be perceived as Stereotypical or linked to Stereotypes?

      Any chance that any of those may be abused as Stereotypes?

      Now that is an interesting double edged sword they have chosen to play with – two stereotypes wrapped up in one phrase. If you say it’s false you get pushed into the rape denier hole – and out comes Rape Culture. If you say it’s true to get pushed into the Stereotypical/Bigot hole.

      It’s Rape Culture when you propagate false and misleading attitudes about Rape in all it’s forms and definitions – and sexual assault does get counted as rape in looking at Epidemiology. The Title of this piece is a manifestation of Rape Culture – It also goes way over the line in Indicating that All Gay men assault All women – and that all women are victims of gay men!

      It promotes a false reality around sexual assault by the use of stereotypes.

      If it read “Gay Men’s Sexuality and Child Bodies” it would not have gotten past editorial (Well It should not get past Editorial) and there would have been outcry and uproar with Screams of Lynching Stereotypes – unless of course the first lines queried the very validity of such a banner headline. A headline implying that gay men sexually abuse children – and that it’s UNIVERSAL – it would not be allowed – tolerated…..

      It’s interesting how it’s OK to throw stereotypes around about men – but it’s the stereotype that is used to prop up the negative make stereotype that is to be used to judge accuracy.

      Which creates the stronger reaction “Racist Man” or Racist Woman”. It’s odd but the racism is the issue and not the sex of of the racists – and yet gender is used as the Fulcrum to judge.

      Here the author has no reflection of the validity of the idea that All Gay Men are sexist to all Women – except of course he is personally exempted.

      It’s also interesting how the Author does use words. They present a false premise that All Gay Men are sexist and it afflicts all Women’s bodies – hell he even miraculously has all gay men in a room saying they are Sexist and Towards women … he keeps implying this mass group….. and the whole scenario creates a unique Subset – and in that subset is a single person – the Author.

      The Aurthor has apparently never been sexists EVER – never have negative attitudes towards women and women’s bodies in any way at any time. … and yet his language says ALL Gay men are sexists. It does create a bit of a conflicted position.

      Well – the author does prize themselves as a Professional Communicator, so I am obliged to believe that it has been the intent of the the Author to misuse tenses – communicate incorrect ideas – stereotype All Gay Men as Boob Grabbers and Insensitive oafs and All Heterosexual women as fodder to this epidemic of assault and bad fashion advice.

      Bull Crap to the authors amusing false premises and misleading tenses . As they say – you can fool all of the people all of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.

      That is why I say to the Author “That’s gay men minus 1 – count me out”. He may wish to count himself out, but he should do it honestly and not by slight of word and over-heavy use of the Stereo Tropes which create only notoriety and not value!

      Can gay men be sexist towards women? – Of Course they can – just as Hetty Women can be sexist to gay men, grab their junk and not see it as sexual assault.

      Writers can also be bigots – self oppressive and prone to Stereotypical Misrepresentation which raises hackles and gets called out! But calling out bad writing and abusive communication does not create Rape Culture – though It may promote better writing, less mindlessness and even less calls of “Brava Diva” and Barbie Doll attitudes all round (Oh don’t you just hate the opera crap and false ego boosting Brava – Brava – Bravi).

    • wellokaythen says:

      “So instead of just being a typical privileged male and denying that this problem exists, why don’t you continue to work towards fixing it and spread the news to the gay men you know who DO act this way?”

      I’ll field this question. I’m not afraid.

      Referring to a position as a “denial” assumes that the other person is wrong. It grants no possibility that the other person could in fact be correct in this particular interpretation. It sets up a situation where there is really no legitimate space to disagree. If that’s the intent, so be it, but make it overtly clear – “if you disagree you are wrong, and I don’t take your message seriously.”

      It would be no different from asking the author, “why are you denying the fact that women exaggerate?” That would be a really obvious rhetorical ploy.

      Saying that something “does not seem to be a common problem in my experience” is not saying that it is no problem for anyone anywhere. It’s a reasonable question (in my opinion) to ask how typical or how serious a particular problem is. I would not deny anyone’s testimony that it happened to her, so I would expect no one to deny my testimony that I’ve never seen it happen.

      I’ll get right on that, telling the gay men I know, none of whom act this way, to stop acting this way. The good news is that should work really well — it ought to be very easy for them to stop doing things that they’ve never done.

  98. wellokaythen says:

    I was sitting next to a friend of a friend in a restaurant. There were about a dozen of us there in a group having drinks, probably half of whom were gay men. There was a lively conversation going on about dating and body hair and “bears.” At one point the guy next to me reached over and touched the chest hair poking out of the top of my T-shirt and made a comment about my being only moderately hairy, more of an “otter” than a “bear.” We had not even exchanged any words besides a simple greeting. I wasn’t even looking in his direction. He seemed to think nothing of it, but the other gay men there were completely mortified at his behavior. They were shocked that he would do such a thing to someone he just met, and someone he could see was probably an uptight straight guy. (Guilty as charged.)

    There is just as much diversity of social skills within the gay male population as any other population. It’s actually a reassuring suggestion of equality, when a group of people can be just as thoughtful or just as inconsiderate as any other group….

  99. I call BS on this one. I have never had the need to grope a woman (besides my aunts/mother when I need a hug- not the same) and I never give advice on fashion…

  100. monologue says:

    I hadn’t really thought about the groping thing before. I’m a queer woman, and usually when this has happened to me it’s been gay friends who have either asked for permission or are really good friends that kind of have permission to touch me anyway. In the club, I’ve more had trouble with straight guys thinking they can touch me as much as they want, which sounds like happens to gay guys with straight women a lot too.
    I have had experiences of what I think is sexism from gay men in another form though. I’ve often had experiences where I’ve failed to receive equal attention from a gay man if I’m in a conversation with a gay man and another man, gay or straight. I’m gendered fairly androgynously, so I don’t have the cute femme attention card, or the hot guy card, and I’ve often felt dismissed in conversations and have even been actively and repeatedly cut off by a gay man so that he could ask the opinion of a guy he though was hot instead. Of course not all gay men do this, but when it does happen, it’s extremely frustrating. I wonder if this has been discussed much anywhere…

    • I’d say if you’re offended by a person cutting you off to ask the opinion of a hot person, you’re going to have a bad time.

    • Freddy Lee says:

      This is a great point monologue. I don’t think it’s discuss at length or at least it’s not documented. There is a huge privilege for gay men that look a certain way and allow certain types of attention on their bodies. I think it depends on the people you’re around but I can definitely see the difference. I find myself wanting to talk to people I find attractive (which I tihnk is normal), but then I remember that attractivness is also having a good conversation. It seems like gay men in particular (probably a certain type and/or age group) don’t care much more about engaging with other people that don’t fall inside of their idea of physical appearance. I think about this a lot and appreciate you bringing it up.

  101. I have only read the first 10 comments, but I am shocked! I hear that these guys take offense at being put into a stereotype with the gay men who DO do this stuff, but I want to report that the two places on FB where I read this article, the thread contained women who ALL had been nonconsensually groped in gay clubs by strange gay men – and there were plenty of them. They felt it was a regular occurrence.

    You may not be one of these men, but please be aware that it happens more often than you would like. I was the only woman on these threads to whom this had not happened.

    • @Lilithe: Your comment about men not suffering from having their bodies used, unwillingly to them, by society for the public good in nonsense. A cursory stroll through histopry tells a much diffrent story.

      I know of youngman, the anchor in his family, who was living his dream of being a major league baseball player. He told me that he would only go to war in Vietnam if the US government made him go. He, contrary to the current feminists wisdumb of the time, didn’t like war because he was a man. He loved his family and his life as it was. Sure enough he discovered that he could only ignore his draft papers for so long until a knock found his door. He was now government property,and he was carted off to war;one can’t get much more PUBLIC than that.
      There are milions of men, who only crime they commited did harm was to themselves in our prisons being used to make things, cheaply, for the public good.
      What about the histiory of Asian men in America? For much of their existance, along with Native Americans, and too many others too list, weren’t even considered human beings. Summaruly strip of all vestiges of humanity they fair game to be used for all kids of “public good” as public property. In the overall scheme,the average white guy faired little better than his melanine brethen in the plan for American caste system. The Constitution is about class distinctions as the ultimate measure of a persons worth not race or gender.

      The founders had little respect for or interests in protecting the rights of the average whiy te man in America.

      • Freddy Lee says:

        I think the point of this discourse is to highlight cisgender male privilege, particularly in gay men’s intimate relationships with women. The intent is not to discredit queer men’s experiences, it is to highlight a bigger issue around gender and gendered bodies.

        • @Freddy Lee: From what I can tell, these issues are related, one is not bigger than the other.Clearly, women and gay men within this club context take liberties with each other based upon whatever boundaries they have or haven’t established.
          Add to this mix the mind altering affects of booze and other substances on judgement being ingested and it is impossible for you or anyone else to know exactly whether this behavior happens equally or whether the persons involved were acting on what impulses.
          Whether the intent was to minimize the experiences of men means little if that is the outcome anyway. The mantra offers the same ole tired, inaccurate, subtext; what affects certain women comes first, is more important and defines the discussion for everyone.

      • Just want to point out that Lillithe didn’t say men have not dealt with having their bodies used. She merely said that while some of the comments here were left by offended men who had never groped a women in the fashion described in the article, that this practice does happen; also, that the men who are taking offense to this article may want to accept the reality of this cultural situation instead of denying it’s existence.

        • Is it in clubs? I think there is a culture surrounding alcohol where some men grope women, some women grope men and both feel privilege in doing it. You can get accounts of women being groped at gay bars, and also gay men reporting women groping them at the gay bar so is it a unique thing to gay men or is it more to do with the bar itself? Is it an overly unique thing from gay men or is it just some assholes in bars grope, and I’m guessing much of it involves alcohol?

    • @Lilithe;The idea that because someone is a man that precludes them having their bodies used for the public good as property is not true, at all.
      The “only women really get abused or used trope” is easily disproven by taking just a cursory stroll through American history. Men, all men, have never been a part of some collective, accidental or intentional, to disenfranchse women. The elites, the founders,that disenfranchised most of us did so primarily because of class dfistinctions.
      This is easliy foundout by reading the Federalist Papers,which the Constiotution is based upon. In particular, Madisons Theories on Factions defines how to control and how best to keep the eltie classes, those in power, safe from the yearnings of the poorer classes, women included.
      Where is the inclusive voice intersectionality when you need it?

      • Ogwriter, where are you pulling these pieces out of Lilithe’s comment? I’m just wondering, because I don’t see her saying that men’s bodies never get used and only women’s do, and yet that’s the piece you pick up on most vehemently. Were you maybe responding to a different commenter?

        • @KKZ: In another post i on this thread, Lilithe wrote that men don’t ever experience having their bodies used as public property. And I don’t find any vehemence in my response at all. I thought my response stuck to the point(s) being discussed and weren’t personal in any way. Part of what you are feeling from me is probably frustration that once again we are discussing, absent of the context of woman’s behavior, something that men do that is sexist and wrong.

          There doesn’t seem to be any macro behavior that has chronic negative consequences for society caused specifically by women! And when something of that type is brought up, it must be endlessly vetted for legitimacy

        • @KKZ:I am curious, what exactly about my comments did you find to be vehement?

    • Mr Supertypo says:

      ” I have only read the first 10 comments, but I am shocked! I hear that these guys take offense at being put into a stereotype with the gay men who DO do this stuff..”

      And with good reason, nobody wants to be associated with asses. Frankly, not for negate the experiences of other women, because thise situations happens, but this piece to me seems more written by ant-gay activist’s than somebody who is interested in a serious dialogue.
      The events describet in the article, is not universal, and trying to pass it as such is nothing more than a dirthy lie. And I find repulsive the people who join in screaming its trueee. Please stop propaganding lies, not everybody want to touch your boobs and just because somebody does, its not a excuse to offend a entire categoty of humans.

      Shame on the one who behave in such manner, but its by far everybody, and shame on the ones who spread this hype.

  102. I’m finding the discussion really interesting here, but I’m going to stop reading for a while. The defensive and naysaying reactions are really invalidating and offensive. Clearly the article struck a nerve with a lot of people. It seems like the majority of people are defending gay men and often in the same breath accusing straight women of bad behavior. As a woman who doesn’t touch my friends in a sexual/groping way and who has been groped in a really unpleasant way by a gay man, these comments make me, personally, feel kinda awful. And to the woman who said she’d punch anyone in the nose, and she thinks this has never happened, well, I was in shock and I didn’t. But it still happened. And no it doesn’t mean I love my gay male friends, who are mature, awesome, respectful, and whatever else, any less, because one gay man acted out of line. One was too many, in my opinion, and in my ideal world people would agree with that.

    To those women reading this who have experienced the behavior this article talks about–I’m sorry. And to those men who have experienced it from women–I’m sorry too. The one doesn’t negate the other–I don’t accept that relationship.

  103. While I understand some of the “I call BS” in the comments (when it comes to ALL gay men raising their hand on this one), I’m also surprised by the number of gay men who are coming across as defensive, appear to be denying the existence of this behavior, or turning the focus around to “wait! what about when straight women use ME?”

    This has happened to me and it nearly ruined my night (two gay men continually groped me at a concert. A Robyn concern no less. Shakes fist in air.). This is I have experienced rarely, but experienced nonetheless Though the thesis of this article is presented in a non-scientific way, the author raises several valid points, including a prevailing feeling that this behavior is simply “diva worship” or “female celebration” instead of objectification and assault. And that it’s always worth it to ask questions, as the author suggests. Of ourselves, of each other, and of society.

  104. I was very uncomfortable reading this article on my timeline on my social media page. I believe you did nothing to enforce a positive values or ethics with this article. It sounds like you are the person with the issue if you ask me. To put out something like this is very nonconstructive. Most gay men do what they do in fashion because they love working with women. Most designers give credit to all the models they ever worked with and vice versa. Unless you are an authority on fashion you should not put stuff like this out there. Gay- straight relations are strained enough without articles like this full of self loathing. Honestly, if you cannot construct articles to favor our community in a positive light you are really doing a disservice to our community. Our group is already one of the most hated people who exist. To propagate this same kind of hatred and division internally is shameful. You talk about gay men touching women in clubs. Maybe those relationships have been established and you are just an outsider looking in. The way a gay man touches a women or for that fact another woman touches a woman is none of your concern. If these people have all consented to be touched the way they are touching one another that is not your concern. It is one thing to talk about a subject but to put your ideal on an entire community is wrong. Now people on my timeline are looking at me suspect because of what you wrote. The fashion community is a very fragile industry when it comes to ethics and your article did not add anything positive to the situation. The issue is not about gay men touching women or respecting women. I honestly feel the issue is about your projections of women and gay men who relate to these women in ways you personally do not like. The key word being you.

    • Most hated people who exist? Really? Not in North America. Get out from under your rock. The author doesn’t have to promote anything positive about an obvious issue. No it’s not “oh all gay people do this and should be frowned upon for being users of women”. I don’t believe that’s how the gay men who do this even think. The fact remains this happens WAY more often than it ever should, and it never should. And the issue is when these women have NOT consented, did you not freaking read anything? Or were you too busy grazing over it in fear of one of your gay friends looking over your back? Point blank, no one should fucking touch someone’s breasts/genitalia let alone touch them at all without consent. And I’m sorry but the gay community having a tragic past and a hard time getting on equal ground in the world does not excuse them from acting like decent human beings, it doesn’t absolve them or make them innocent. And no I am not straight. What’s more, is you are doing your OWN community a disservice. There’s nothing worse than denying an issue that’s affected many people, does that mean you think this is okay? Or that it just has to be ignored or any negative aspect of gays will cause all the progress we’ve made to come undone so easily?

    • Freddy Lee says:

      Sorry dude, do some reading on women’s studies and you will change your tune. The issue is not about gay men loving women or not, it’s about cisgender male privilege on women’s bodies. It’s about men having expectation about what women’s bodies should look like, how they should dress, how they should act, how they should behave.

      • @Freedy Lee: It is a natural process for the sexes to have expectations of each other. It is one way how we define what is male and is female behavior. We may debate who gets the better of it but both sides do it constantly. Unfortunately, these definitions can be narrow and too often are too rigid, for both.

        This reciprocal event happens beyond politics and policy. When one reads these various threads it becomes clear that men are not happy with the confusing array of contradictory messages about what is masculine and what is not from women.
        Discussing one set of expectations as preeminent or as superior or in absent of the other is counterproductive and only creates more anxiety inspired confusion over what role does one is expected to play in society. One cannot unilaterally change the rules of the game without creating one big mess.
        Role is just another word for expectations. I am an emerging historian and I have learned that the road of history has many trails. Women’s history, black history, Asian American, Native American history all occurred at the same time, in the same country and share the Constitution as the document that defined the rules of engagement.

        One cannot have serious conversation about any aspect of their “individual stories” without talking about the other. For instance, the end of slavery was related the rise of colonialism connecting the hopes and aspirations of blacks to that of Filipinos,Asians and others.The increased employment of women during WW1 and WW2 was directly related to the lack of employment opportunities for men returning from the war.

  105. It seems everyone has dibs on women’s bodies, except women. They can’t touch or have a say.

    I create work that address the miscommunication between women and men, caused by social messages. I think that any way that we create dialogue about these issues and are able to discuss them in a manner that helps and heals moves us forward.

    It is important for women to recognize these actions, by these men for what they are, assault and objectification. Women can not be complacent in how they are perceived by society.

    I would have liked to have heard the perspectives of the lesbian and queer identified women as they listened to the tales of these women.

    • nichole says:

      i’m queer, & many of my lesbian or queer women friends, both trans and cis, have experienced misogyny from gay men, including groping – & not just at bars.

  106. Indiana Stone says:

    This article is not about the fashion industry, it is about women feeling objectified and assaulted by unconscious gay men and vice versa. It’s about gender equality in all it’s forms. There are some who have obviously misread the article to be a “grab your pitchforks and torches” lynch mob against the gay community and it honestly is not that. If you read the fact that there are women raising their hands to the question “has a gay man touched you inappropriately without your consent, and has this made you uncomfortable?” should be enough to know this article is about the continued objectification of women’s bodies, not the fashion industry. In this article there have also been stories of the reverse, straight women touching gay men inappropriately without consent and this is also not ok without an established relationship parameter. People please read the article thoroughly before you go jumping on the defensive bandwagon. If we hope to reach full gender equality in the world then there needs to be open communication from ALL parties involved. This means listening and understanding before posing a counter-argument.

  107. One more (and probably last) thought.

    I think some of the agitation has to do with not what the writer of the post is pointing out but the language that the writer uses. How would the reaction had been if the writer had spoken about this issue without the usual triggering terms like sexism, misogyny, and of course male privilege.

    Sure we can argue back and forth over whether or not these terms are being properly used (personally I don’t but think the writer is talking about a real problem but trying to force it into the usual language) but ultimately it’s a waste.

    • I agree that it’s more of a – “when you’re a hammer everything is a nail: phenomenon.

      If I say “Italians are cheap” then I need to bring my best game to the ball. Sure, it’s inevitable that some Italians are cheap, but I need a real tipping point to say “Italians are cheap”.

      The rigorous tipping point is lacking in this article and it comes across as just fodder for a bigger, more important cause.

    • The problem I have with the article is the claim that all hands went up. That makes it sound like all gay men do this. I feel the defensiveness seen here is related to that claim. Maybe it was a very small, unrepresentative sample? Or maybe club culture is a world in itself and all the sample came from there?

      I’m not denying the fact that some gay men evidently do this, just the universality of the claim — at least among the sample mentioned.

      When I saw the title of the article, I thought it would be about so many gay men having a visceral revulsion about women’s bodies — I’ve seen/heard that much more than of gay men wanting their hands on them.

      • and btw, I’m not claiming that revulsion is a healthy response, either…

      • I think something that might be missing or is not clear is that this type of handling isn’t just restricted to drunken club-goers. I think it also has a place of “a little to friendly.” I feel as if it has a lot to do with the “gal pal”(for severe lack of a better term) relationship that often develops between gay men and straight women. For example, I distinctly remember in high school talking to one of my gay friends. When he said goodbye, he slapped my ass and walked away. Now, I don’t know about you, but this is not something that I normally allow my straight male friends to do. It’s also something I don’t allow my straight female friends to do. I’m not really sure why this was an acceptable thing for him to do simply because he is not interested in me, because I certainly have male friends who are straight but similarly not attracted to me that I wouldn’t have allowed this from. This happened quite a few years ago, and I didn’t say anything, but it has bothered me since then and that fact alone makes it worth talking about.

        I’m just saying, it doesn’t need to be something as outright as a drunken grope from somebody you don’t know. I think people do this without realizing it.

  108. If a heterosexual man did something like this to a woman, he would likely be spending the night in jail. I am seeing a lot of self-entitled defensiveness coming from a lot of people who more than likely have done similar things but don’t want to acknowledge that they could have hurt the people they were touching. It is frightening, but based on my own experience not at all surprising.

  109. The claim in this article is that gay men feel entitled to access women’s bodies with impunity because they do not desire women’s bodies sexually. Yet the gay men in the stories all seem stereotypical. One is situated in a gay night club and the others all have an orientation toward fashion. This sample hardly entitles the author to generalize about “gay men.” The churlish behavior of these guys are just that. Sorority girls give unsolicited fashion advise to each other all the time and even use body image as a criteria for admittance into the “sisterhood.” What narrative does this tell about commodifying the female body? It therefore seems wrong to lay the bad acts of these boorish gay guys at the door of “gay men.” Sometimes bad behavior is just plain bad behavior.

  110. Can’t believe there are so many comments to,this article! Look, whether you are straight or gay, male or female, don’t be a jerk, don’t touch people without their consent — especially not their breasts/butts/crotches. Just — don’t. Some people do this (gay, straight, male, female) and if you are one of those people who has done those things, you should stop doing it. People of all stripes tend to act like idiots in clubs because they are drunk.

  111. Freddy Lee says:

    For me this story is much broader than the “do gay men touch women’s breasts” conversation. It’s about how sexism and msyogyny show up in each of our lives. It’s about how society raises cisgendered men to expect certain privileges to define womanhood and femininity, gender in general (including masculinity). The writer prompts us with the following questions, which are made to make us reflect:

    “How is your sexism and misogyny showing up in your own life, and in your relationships with your female friends, trans, lesbian, queer or heterosexual? How is it showing up in your relationship to your mothers, aunts and sisters? Is it showing up in your expectations of how they should treat you? How you talk to them? What steps can you take to address the inequitable representation of gay cisgender men in your community as leaders? How do you see that privilege showing up in your organizations and policy, and what can you do to circumvent it? How will you talk to other gay men in your community about their choices and interactions with women, and how will you work to hold them and yourself accountable?”

    • @Freddy, it’s good to weed out sexism in men but do articles ever exist asking women to weed out their sexism against men and watch their privilege towards men? It does happen yet I can’t seem to find any articles on it?

      • nichole says:

        straight women have straight privilege. that is true, & should be addressed.
        but women, as a class, are NOT privileged over men. it’s called patriarchy. it is systemic, it is ubiquitous, & it is insidious. can women be shitty people? yes. but that is not systemic; it is not backed by the majority of institutional power & thus is not the same thing.

    • Beyond cis- says:

      You keep adding the modifier “cis” to every comment you make. This isn’t only about cisgender male privilege. It is about male privilege, period.

  112. @Freddy Lee: I think the “real conversation” should be about about how all of us, men and women, contribute to a system/culture of bias.This idea that women, because of their nature, have some kind of moral advantage over men when it comes to expressions of racism, homophobia, sexism, class-ism and or many other kinds of power plays is without substance or historical foundation.

    • MediaHound says:

      Og – I am shocked! Are you saying that Sugar,Spice and All Things Nice is not the actual recipe and that Girls can get dirty when out playing? P^)

      … but then again, whey would a group who have an advantage willingly give up said advantage whilst claiming to be systematically and systemically disadvantaged? We can’t be oppressive because we are the oppressed is a well known battle cry of the Politically Illiterate.

  113. MiddleOfEurope says:

    I think the experience that most impacted me was a gay guy friend telling me how, really, women’s bodies are gross and disgusting in design, how vaginas and breasts are in no way attractive etc, and that only men can be attractive at all. When becoming angered and annoyed, he basically told me “I’m gay so I can say what I want about women and their looks.” It bothered me to a point where I simply had to walk away as if not to escalate the argument.

    • I’ve heard at least a somewhat less sensationalist response to female bodies from some of my gay friends. It seems to stem from having been told time and again that we should desire female bodies and find male bodies repulsive. Not all gay men are like this and, indeed, scratch not a few gay men’s history and you’ll find — to varying degrees of success — stories of a fairly active straight sex life preceding their coming out. I’m one of those stories.

      I love women, I loved making love to the woman I loved, but the electricity for me is in loving men and men’s bodies. I wouldn’t think of inappropriately touching one of my many woman friends.

  114. collegestudent says:

    This is an excellent, well argued piece and I think it truly does speak to an extant issue in the dynamics of gay-straight-queer culture. I would really like more discussion and discourse into the causality of this issue – is it solely as a result of feeling “comfortable” with straight women’s bodies and having “entitlement” to touching, feeling, them etc.? Or does it have to do with other issues? Also, what about the other side of the story, that straight women often feel compelled to have a token “GAY BESTIE” that will talk to them about fashion and listen to boy troubles and do nails and all these “fun things” as a moment’s notice? The issue at hand is really complex, and addresses problems with stereotyping and the performance of queerness/straightness at large.

  115. I would never go to up to a random woman that I don’t know and touch her.

  116. It’s so strange to hear this is common from gay men against women. The most common theme I’ve heard about gay bars is there is no shortage of women who will grope the gay men there. Is groping just some uncontrolled habit there? Men grabbing women, women grabbing men?

    People need to keep their hands off n respect each other, regardless of gender, orientation, etc.

  117. Oh my god… you folks on the defensive need to chill. SOME gay men, not all, are raging misogynists who sit around critiquing women’s bodies via fashion and other crap. Some gay men touch and grope women. This is reality whether or not you want it to be. In some gay subcultures, this kind of disregard for women and turning them into objects is the norm. If you don’t see that, you are living under a rock. If you haven’t experienced or seen it, fine– good for you. You are still being offensive by denying that it happens when women say it does and egotistical by denying that it happens just because it’s not YOUR experience. You don’t get to say it doesn’t happen or that it doesn’t matter just because you haven’t done it or because your intentions were different from a straight man’s. You don’t get to say it’s not misogyny just because the perpetrator is a gay man. He’s still a man messing with a woman. Get over yourselves, stop derailing the conversation with other topics like your own oppression and experiences. Your oppression matters but this article isn’t about you and your suffering. This article is about the suffering of others, of women. Shut up and listen. You don’t get a free ride to act like an a-hole just because you, yourself, have been oppressed. The fact that you won’t listen just betrays your raging unchecked male privilege that much more.

    • Aren’t they mostly just saying it’s not ALL gay men that do this, and that the author implied it was? The majority of defensive comments I see are like that and are annoyed at the tone of the article which seems to be painting with a broad brush in their eyes vs being only about some gay men.

    • @ Mary – I do love (Rolls Eyes) the military and warfare language. The misinterpretations are equally amusing and off the mark. You may also need a dictionary and do a bit of reading, because you keep misusing language. You may also (it’s optional but highly advised) want to look at how you use language to engender gender when the language is not gendered.

      You say: “You don’t get a free ride to act like an a-hole just because you, yourself, have been oppressed.”

      Great advice. But do you follow your own advice or just dish it out like some half baked army rations marinated with brutality to reality and language served contorted with a twist?

      I aint seen anyone denying reality – but I have seen many questioning the false reality presented – the StereoTropes being dropped around – and yet, if others do not agree with you and the author, they have to have been living under a rock?

      I hope it’s a dessert rock and you are not involved in some back of the hand slight about rocks with slimy things under them aimed at men in what would be a negative way? You do not deconstruct SteroTropes by adding more to the Bonfire Of The Vanities. P^)

      Living under a rock – entomology from religious hermits who lived under rocks. Modern usage to imply isolation and lack of knowledge especially social experience. So I have to wonder where you as a woman get the authority to tell so many gay men that when they don’t agree with you that they are lacking social exposure – isolated etc. It’s bad enough for the author to use bad stats to make implications about a mass group – but you are so sure in your own authority you don’t even rely upon bad stats.

      I also have to point out that many are living under rocks in earth shelter Eco-friendly housing, and seeking to get away from a wasteful and squandering existence. Using the idea of people living under rocks as a abusive debating punctuation mark is very old hat – and in the case anti-ecology and environment and even has racial and social overtones which are unwelcome. You really should have a look under a few rocks before you go throwing stones in your own house of glass.

      There are those who are inculcated into a culturally limited style of architecture where they build edifices upon tiny foundations and believe that being at the top of such an edifice provides status, power and authority. It’s odd too how these same people keep making reference to hierarchies and how they are bad, and yet fail to grasp how their own language gets built up with constructs in an attempt to raise them up.

      Taking a single event – a few raised hands and some badly chosen language is some peeps idea of good architecture and design. If it’ what floats your boat and you have to support it …. well it’s your bag. Stereotypical Architecture is not for everyone – even if it’s seen as the cheapest form of construction and ever so simple – a little like lego. You have a few brightly coloured blocks what can you construct? – Oh Look Everyone They’ve have built a false edifice of Privilege and Stereotype and it says 3+ on the box.

      I love your idea that all that is required is being a man and reported to be messing with a woman for the misogyny card to be played and a supposed jackpot claimed. It’s not really a very valid way to asses dynamics and comment. It’s also a very poor tool ( though one that is all too often abused) to call all men and even anything male misogyny – misogynism – misogynistic – take “mis” and add tail, preferably cat of nine tails, and lash about with impunity.P^)

      If your views and ideas are to be taken as valid, and lacking hilarity, then any form or perceived form of messing with a man by a women is Misandry – and falsely spreading stereotypes about men ( gay or otherwise ) is messing – QED Misandry. It’s funny how the Privilage wielders are so ignorant of what follows when a construct is overextended and suffers inguinal rupture under it’s own straining.

      You profess and imply you want allies but it not clear in which war and with which weapons. Some love to claim they wage war for truth, and they love to see themselves as ever so righteous – and then you see the weapons they are using and it becomes clear they are just a street punk gang in a regional dispute mistakenly referred to as a turf war – a grass cutting dispute!

      As I said earlier – You may also want to look at how you use language to engender gender when the language is not necessarily gendered. Misogyny is the hatred or dislike of women or girls – it does not say who is doing the hating. It does not say that it is a masculine noun and only to be applied to men. I do hate to have to break this to you but it is quite possible for women to be Misogynistic – have Misogyny – and even display it, use it and make it public. Being female does not magically inoculate against meanings in language or being antisocial. There is no Such Privilege, even if some wish to deludedly believe so and induce inguinal hernia as they strain to make it reality.

      When you automatically make it about men – all men – any man ……. well maybe you have some issues there and need to use language with a tad more accuracy and less of a blunderbuss and StereoTrope architectural feel! The way you use Misogyny in an indiscriminate manner indiactes you have highly developed Misanthropy and not just Misandry.

      You may need to look at the dictionary to understand the not at all subtle boundaries that you lack the capacity to deal with and keep both Transgressing and it may reduce the tendency towards Panegyrics too.

      You may need to check some war related metaphors and language there Mary – and maybe there won’t be such an irate and misplace sense of privilege and entitlement when you next write, and you may find the process less straining – and if you manage to address your limited view of the world due to architecture it may allow you to use language in a more constructive fashion – and even in an environmentally positive way. P^)

  118. And another thing I want to add is THANK GOD for the male feminist allies I know, whether straight or gay, such as the person who wrote this article. Thank god for all of you.

    • “Male feminist allies” has to be the most insulting description possible. Why aren’t they just called feminists?

      • “Male feminist allies” has to be the most insulting description possible. Why aren’t they just called feminists?

        Interesting question there Archy – which raises issues about how you define not just Feminists or Feminism but Feminist Language.

        Omne Trium Perfectum – everything In threes Is perfect. Why do you never see “Female Feminist Allie”?

        There is also an interesting Linguistic pattern of threes – The Rule Of Three – or tripling. You get it in such phrases as “Rape Loving Scum” or “Happy Little Girl” or even “Bad Little Boy” and one of me favourite “Big Boned Gal” (Don’t you just love K D Lange). The Triples are often more powerful when used in alliterative ways – where this can be from sound or even just syllable lengths.

        Tripling is also often seen as positive – and so mentioning a group of linking them to a triple is seen as making the group positive. “Male Feminist Allies”. …. it’s a rhetorical pat on the head for being good pets – like “Good Little Boy!” or as I call it “Petronising”sic…. yes that is a letter “e”.

        It’s also rather patronising to women who disagree with anyone who says the “Big Feminist Banner Waver” * is wrong, because it automatically, means that the woman is not a feminist and is reduced as a female – and of course the opposite of allie is enemy…. and so strays into areas of oppressive language too. You are friend or foe – good or bad – Buried in Binary or sent to hell for eternity.

        I find it odd how “Male Feminist Allie” makes it clear that men can’t be feminist and so reduces men to only allie. It’s the same as saying Only people of color can be against racism and some nice white folks is just allies – or maybe them hetros are not able to be against Homophobia just on the side lines and being a bit supportive. It’s all about maintaining, supporting and utilising a Binary as was power control measure. “Male Feminist Allie” flip it around equals “Male Feminist Enemy”.

        Why do you not see “Female Feminist Allie”? Because there is an Automatic flip side which is “Female Feminist Enemy” – and that just shows how being a feminist is NOT gendered … and that it is possible for a woman to not be a Feminist. Hiding the negative and opposites in plain sight can be an art form.

        “Male Feminist Allie” is just part of the Oppression Olympics where you have to be in an oppressed minority to get a meddle – and it don’t matter how high you can jump. It also runs the risk of the Pet wanting to please the masters, and so the pet does as it’s told and as it’s trained to do. That does go into areas of psychology that are best only dealt with professionally. It can become extreme and result in manipulation of behaviours, information received and used, thinking and rational processing and emotional states and reactions.

        Of course many women would be objecting to tripling and job titles or reductions in status that may be applied by the unnecessary and even petronising (sic) addition of sex/gender – female flight attendant – female science teacher – female gender expert.

        Petronising (sic) through misuse of gender words has been an issue for some time, but some aint able to avoid the Pitfall of history as the triple it all up for affect! They may grow out of it one day.

        *The banner is the object to which the adjective big is attached and not the waver of the banner – clarified for those who wish to seek an attack vector and who will get it wrong. P^)

      • They are feminists and should be called that, I agree. I was just trying to point out that I was really thankful for the specific subset of them who are male. I think of “allies” as a really wonderful term meaning friends, or people who understand another person or group in a very particular way, or whatever, but it doesn’t have to be used. I did consider it a compliment and wasn’t meaning it to be a distraction.

        • I just find it weird to use, it sounds like men are othered, they’re separate from normal feminists.

        • They are feminists and should be called that, I agree. I was just trying to point out that I was really thankful for the specific subset of them who are male.

          @Mary – So glad that you have admitted that you use language in ways that are misleading and divisive. You can retreat and retrench, but that is not the same as addressing the chasms created by your own use of language.

          … and your really thankful for a subset? NO Division there then! … and way to go, making it clear that you are less thankful for Female Feminists!

          I still can not understand your ongoing exceptionist ideas. You now agree that being feminist is independent of sex/gender and yet you are still separating out Male Feminists – and praising them as if they are performing Seals or Wayward Children who have finally peed in the pot!

          Why do you keep dividing people along gender sex lines? Why do you keep defining feminist along such lines – whilst acknowledging that the diving lines are not valid and being imposed?

          It is odd how language keeps showing the problems of how people think – and how they keep using words to make distinctions without looking at the what they create with the dividing lines. … and it’s funny to see the retreats – and redefining after the chasms have been highlighted.

          “I wasn’t othering, just treating like performing seals” ….. is not a good excuse!

    • @Mary – well if you wish to be grateful for allies who relay upon, engender and propagate gross stereotypes you are welcome to them! If you wish to thank god for them please do – and I have to wonder why you believe god is not one of them?

      I do find the militaristic language such as allies very odd – but then again those who are embattled, entrenched and unable to advance do need to find and use language which supports their lack of progress. P^)

      • Listen, a lot of what you are saying is really just too much to respond to and not worth my energy, but I have to say the whole “militaristic language” kick you’re on is really weird. “Allies” is a word that goes far beyond war, it means “friends”, essentially. Social justice movements have always used this word, not just governments. If we’re going to get technically, etymologically it’s oldest meaning is “to join in marriage”, interestingly enough. And I have no idea what you’re talking about with the god thing, you obviously have issues-in-general with people using colloquial language to get their points across.

        • But aren’t feminist allies simply just called feminists? The term allies makes it sound like they aren’t of the same group? Are masculists the feminist allies?

        • My problem with saying men can only be feminist allies (and not feminist themselves) is that it implies feminism is not for equality, but for women only. And men can only be in it out of some altruism, not a desire to see equality.

          Unless you seriously think that working only one side of issues, totally ignoring the other, heck not even looking at the other side, is going to reach equality one day…

          If things keep going the same way, women will be able to do anything they want at any time, without prejudice, never stereotyped, never pushed into a role, while still being more protected from any and all dangers (to health, body integrity, from being conscripted, from being financially ruined by divorce, from not having custody of children, from being sent to prison for a crime she committed and more)…while men’s role is the same as it’s always been, with its strict limited stereotypes that merit sanction whenever they are not followed to the letter (can’t dress to express sexuality, or “just because”, you have to dress like every other man: blandly, or suffer the consequences (being beaten up, fired, not hired)), having to sacrifice for others, the good of society and women.

          In the end, being a man is going to be like being a slave. You have to do it to merit your right to continue existing, your existence has no value beyond what you do or can do and you have no right to be appreciated and found attractive physically, because the media has deemed the male form as ugly.

          Who in their right mind be proud of being a man when it has no advantage at all, only problems?

          Women “are worth it”, so half the TV ads say, funny they never say that a man should buy Chunky soup, some skin cream, or a Chevy Truck “because you’re worth it”. Men are not worth anything inherently.

        • @Mary – LOL – LOL – LOL – It’s the first time I’ve been told I’m Anti-Colloquial! I don’t know if I should just laugh, shit or get off the pot! Maybe it will have to be all three, I’m laughing that hard! P^)

          You will have to forgive me merriment as a Loud Proud Pouf – Cripple – and Unapologetic None Binary, Un-Binary type who hates the boy and girl scout reef knot attitudes that so many have!

          Allies – Allies – Allies – used by Social justice movements. Odd: but I keep looking for the Binary in them Social Justice Movements such as White Equality Allie, or White Anti Racism Allie – or how about Straight Female Lesbian Allie. It’s odd how so many of them descriptions are just like straining gnat shit looking for gold nuggets. Why is it that so many under the Feminist Banner have to make allies gendered as a control measure?

          Allies – I look for the word in the language of those great none binary speakers, orators and writers such as Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Harvey Milk, Mandella ( to name just a few very well know ) and I wonder why they were no inclined to be lackadaisical, lazy and stupid and falling for as false shorthand?

          As a Queer Crip and Diverse type (on so many levels) who has been licking butt for over 30 years – I find it funny when someone tells me about allies – and they do that to avoid how they keep on using the term and always linking it to a binary in what seems a power play!

          As for God – I do hopes you has been reading your bible, cos if that is the word of God and you aint noticed the binary issues, you really do need to do your homework. I know some have issues with Leviticus, but frankly If I was you I’d be starting with Ruth and some issues Around Rape, Murdering Mothers and even Slavery.

          Some have allies and even Petronise(sic) people with the label – some of us just have friends and even equals.

          I wonder if you could handle being G.A.Y. – no sex required, no sexuality required, no gender required, throw away race and ethnicity and you can drop any religious Dogma too … just throw away any binary and limiting attitudes and philosophies you have … and you can come out and be Ever So. G.A.Y.

          I wonder if you could say it – I’m G.A.Y. and mean it 100% no limits no Binaries?

          Still trapped in the word Binary are you? Still being Trapped by your grasp of words and how you use them?

          G.A.Y. = Good As You and comes from Respect – not poorly constructed binaries and limits. If people can’t even respect the language they use to define others they do have issues. And the biggest issue in defining others is the language you use to define yourself. If you look only for allies you are in a War Binary, and that is how you end up seeing yourself – embattled.

          Are you able to be G.A.Y.? …. and If I’s get formal, ridged and even buttoned up in me language and anti-colloquial I will let you know! P^)

  119. Oh my God has the time for this article come. I am a straight black woman gay white men hit on ALL. THE. TIME.

    I am also an employer. I wrote up two homosexual males for sexually harassing me and asked them professionally to please stop physically touching me. I was considerate in wording and did not punish or terminate either.

    The response?

    The first quit and began sending hate emails about me and the company to all the other contractors on payroll, huffing that he “no longer trusts” me or the company. The second claimed it was all in my mind and he “doesn’t want” me, so continuing to touch me is AOK and I’d better put up with it.

    Print this article on Mount Rushmore.

  120. Yolo, this piece shows insight and maturity. It’s great that you’ve paid specific attention to something most of us (even me as a woman) have over looked. Relationships between gay men and women can be really great. But you really have highlighted just how deeply the objectifiction of women’s bodies go. I was personally never a fan of media (Tv and film) where they would show relationships between gay men and straight women with the gay man always having a biting word to say about her body or fashion that would be met with smiles and laughs. But I never thought about it on the scale you presented here. So thanks for making me more self aware!

  121. Granville Rice says:

    I never touch anyone without asking first. I don’t touch people I don’t know very, very well other than to shake hands. I am free with fashion advise when asked and frequently go shopping with female friends. If a friend asks: “Do I look fat/good in this?” I will give my opinion. Everyone deserves respect. When I was going to bars as a young man I didn’t appreciate being groped or touched without it being invited. Respect the personal space of everyone and if you want to touch someone ask first.

  122. Thank you so much for the piece. Some of my closest friends are gay men, and for years I have been trying to wrap my head around how they assert their masculinity over me. From a fascination with/assault of my body (mainly breasts, hair and weight), to the dismissal of my opinions and feelings — their sexuality does indeed seem to void the possibility/existence of their sexism. These instances do not occur often – or else I would not be friends with these men – but when they do, they hurt like a thorn in my side. I have not yet found the way to approach them about this, and it would be great to discover the language to use to have meaningful effective conversations about these issues.

    • @Sydnie – email this article to them and tell them you think it would be of interest to them. Hopefully, this will open up a space for questions and a dialogue? I already have.

    • Why should these men even waste there time being friends with a women who thinks they as gay men are out to dominate females? You have adopted the inherent bigotry of today’s feminist and used it as an excuse to assume the worst about these men simply because they are men. If they were women they would be free to be just the way they are, but since they are men you expect them to fit into some standard male model feminist have taught you to hate.

      Instead of questioning the gay men around you try asking yourself why on earth you need to resent them for simply being who they are. They already exist outside their defined gender role in strong contradiction to traditional masculinity and only a shallow and only a idiot of a feminist would assume simply being male means you are out to dominate women to achieve some masculine ideal. Who stands to benefit from your resentment of men in general? We don’t need to hate each other. If someone is telling you to see these men as some how being against you I suggest you challenge the source of that advice and not the gay men you’ve had a friendship with over the years.

      The real sexism is in the words of these feminist, they can’t see past resenting one gender no matter what they do or who they are.

      • It’s remarkable to me that you sit there and devalue an experience you’ve never had. Having your body groped by men who think they can do that because they’re gay is a very uncomfortable situation, happens far more than it should, and shouldn’t be excused because they’re just “being who they are”. Nobody’s sense of self should be based on the objectification of another.

        • Yeah + 1 to that

          It’s NEVER ok to get physical with someone without consent. If you’re not sure if they’re ok with it, then they’re not. This is also true within groups whether there is a sexual component or not, for example two straight men or a straight and lesbian woman.

        • If the women had been asked similar questions: “Who has touched a man in the past week without their expressed consent?” or “Who has given a man unsolicited advice on his appearance or social approach, or directly insulted him with respect to same?” You’d have most of the women’s hands up as well, I suspect.

          The difference being that female touch somehow magically lacks whatever “evil” property makes male touch without expressed consent so vile. Ditto for “advice.”

          Then again, it might just be a local thing that so many women like to treat people’s appearances as though they are open season and sometimes get a bit too touchy.

          • i’m sorry, i have never walked up to a man and grabbed his genitalia then commented on the size and quality. Why do I not receive the same treatment?

          • I have never, ever touched a man without his consent or made unsolicited negative remarks about anyone’s appearance.

            Whether men or women are guilty of that kind of conduct, it’s offensive and wrong. As I said in an earlier comment, I think a lot of stupid behavior happens in clubs because people are drunk (or high). I used to live in San Francisco, so I’m familiar with the kind of stereotypical gay behavior I think the author is talking about, but I also think it only describes a minority of gay men in certain contexts. I’ve seen plenty of stupid behavior by straight people in straight clubs in my day.

        • “It’s remarkable to me that you sit there and devalue an experience you’ve never had. ”

          How much value do we need to put on a unwanted nonsexual touch? I can understand if you were punched in the face or sexually molested but these stories are nothing like that. It’s wrong and rude to grab someones breast which is a universally accepted cultural norm but to a single example to malign gay men as a group because is bigoted and WRONG! These so called advocates for equality seem more interested in spreading negative stereotypes than treating people as equal individuals.

          What it sounds like to me is this particular feminist is angry that she can’t lord over gay men with her non stop male shaming routine so she tries to frame as just another male oppressor when in fact being a gay male in our society is a hell of a lot harder than being female, or lesbian when it comes to cultural acceptance. If you are looking for an oppressor it’s writers like these who spread anti gay bigotry using anecdotes like these to formulate stereotypes.

      • Hey Ed. I’m not gonna lie, I too had a really strong initial reaction to this piece. I felt really defensive around my gay-ness, and I thought, “Hey, y’all, I don’t do that crap. Why would you assume that I do?” Then I felt a need to assert this to all the women I know and hang out with.

        Then I realized, of course, that Yolo Akili wasn’t talking necessarily about just ME, but about “many gay men.” It was hard to do, because I feel like my reputation is at stake, but I have to trust the women in this essay who felt violated by gay men. If they were assaulted (or whatever the word is for when someone gets touched in the breasts and doesn’t want to be), then it’s my job as a member of a larger gay male culture to minimize that. To remind my gay friends to be kind and respectful because it’s the right thing to do. Part of that kindness and respect, I think, is about listening to folks and helping them when I can.

        So yes, I hear you, but I think that recognizing someone’s pain or discomfort and doing what we can to stop it is not just noble but necessary. And I hope that you and I can recognize these actions in the future and make sure everyone feels safe around us.

        • Then I realized, of course, that Yolo Akili wasn’t talking necessarily about just ME, but about “many gay men.”

          This constant self-justifying of the word many is almost comical. If someone said many gay men are drug users who committed assault under the influence there would be mayhem – but make the issue about women and it’s kid gloves all round!

          I do find that use of many so interesting. I’m a nosey type who likes to get facts straight and explore issues, especially social issues and how they interface with the media – how they get represented. Dictionaries don’t invent words, they just record words and how they are used socially – and it’s interesting that dictionaries define many as “a large or considerable number of persons or things”.

          So lets be clear – many is a four letter word, but the meaning here is a large or considerable number of gay men grope women and are misogynist. Period. Some may like to make smoke and says it’s only a four letter word, but it has a far bigger meaning, and it seems some are being dishonest and disingenuous.

          I’ve been looking for evidence of this Boob Grabbing – general Misogeny towards all women from a gay angle. I’m still looking. It is interesting that all media references are comedic – and of course comedy is linked to exaggeration and stereotyping.

          I have found two references (Discussed Here) – so it does get interesting to contrast how the media, that bastion of Political Correctness and none exploitation of opportunity, have missed the issues and under represented it?

          I wonder too at how some think on how some women objectify men’s bodies, even treating them as a comedy issue, so they can be mentally, socially and supposedly ethically excused from their own conduct?

      • Dude, I am friends with mostly men, always have been. I do not tolerate anyone- even another woman- randomly grabbing & groping me me. I don’t know any men who are cool with people just randomly grabbing & groping them, either. It’s not cool. Sensible, sensitive people are generally smart enough to respect people’s bodies & personal boundaries. It’s kinda that simple.

    • Sydnie, if your friends (of any gender/sexuality) are grabbing you inappropriately – then get new friends. That is never okay. And do not blame it on their gender/sexuality. I am gay and have many other gay friends and absolutely none of them would ever be okay with grabbing a woman without her consent. If I saw that happen, I would punch the guy – I don’t care what their sexuality is – you do not touch ANYONE in a sexual way without consent.

  123. Just a minor note, I don’t think the word “assault” is appropriate to describe groping. It undermines what the term really means- violence. As much as I dislike being grabbed by random people (I don’t care if it’s a female or a gay man, it’s rude), I wouldn’t conflate that with the more severe violence- causing pain, putting someone in danger- which the word “assault” brings to mind.

    • Hi hlfk – “assault” often does bring to mind violence – and perhaps groping is not a violent act. But that does not make it any less emotionally or psychologically harmful, or less dangerous. Groping is more than rude — it is invasive, and violating and should not be dismissed — as it often is the gateway to violent assault.

      • “Groping is more than rude — it is invasive, and violating and should not be dismissed — as it often is the gateway to violent assault.”

        So you think a gay man touching a boob is a gateway to assault? I think the fragile flower routine is ridiculous in this scenario. The gay man has no sexual interest in you and we need treat this no differently than we would another women touching another women with neither being a lesbian. This is asexual contact, and the threat matrix is non existent.

        • Well Ed you do raise an interesting point about the matrix and if an assault is sexual or not – but it does end up becoming Multidimensional with Sex – Sexuality – Language definition of assault along three axes. Many can handle a flat matrix – but unfortunately many can’t get anywhere near dealing with multidimensional issues. The result is that many will focus upon only a single 2 dimensional element of reality and then demand that everyone has top agree – sort of Flat Earther style.

          Sexual assault is an assault of a sexual nature on another person, or any sexual act committed without consent. – so if the action being labelled as assault can’t be sexual due to the sexuality of the supposed assailant – then it can be assault but not Sexual Assault.

          Of course you also have to deal with the ongoing social and legal issues of how assault and even sexual are being defined. If a child is assaulted in a sexual way does it make it sexual assault – or is the language used to define events what makes it sexual or none sexual?

          Some are just not able to deal with the subtleties and complexity there so they make it simple and highly simplistic – it’s either All Sexual Assault or not Sexual Assault. … and don’t forget just how wedded to binaries some are demanding the whole universe is either Black Or White.

          So if a Straight women assaults a gay man by grabbing his junk – well that goes well into the realms of sexual assault – but of course some will exploit the Social Tropes And Memes that any assault upon a women has a sexual element – and any man who is assaulted ( especially in a sexual way ) is a woosey!

          It’s odd how Black and White gets demanded and when It’s black and wanted to be white suddenly Grey in all it’s shades comes out and gets spread about.

          I do find how some keep manipulating language and worse still allowing themselves to be manipulated by the language they use. Some really need to think and find some balance because their language is so unbalanced along with their views.

        • @Ed – the contact is not asexual. I have felt just as violated when women have groped me as well – straight or lesbian. One’s sexuality does not negate the violation of another’s person’s body.

        • “So you think a gay man touching a boob is a gateway to assault? I think the fragile flower routine is ridiculous in this scenario. The gay man has no sexual interest in you and we need treat this no differently than we would another women touching another women with neither being a lesbian. This is asexual contact, and the threat matrix is non existent.”

          If you were in prison and a fellow, male inmate grabbed your crotch would you feel threatened? What if he assured you he’s only attracted to women and actually has a girlfriend while he casually massaged your sack? If he explicitly told you he had no sexual interest in you? Even if he LOOKED really straight. Would you feel safe because there’s obviously no threat? Or would you realise that people assault others for the thrill that comes from power, not because they think that person is really sexy?

          • How Interesting Kay. You do have some interesting debating and even netiquette tactics there.

            So you invoke the the right to use triggers? You invoke the right to make false comparisons – comparisons which compare two matters which whilst linked are at opposite ends of spectra? It seems that you are unfamiliar with some factors of what is called “Rape Culture”.

            One of those factors is the trivialising of rape and sexual assault. Using an unbalance argument in the way you have done it trivialising on the issue of Prison Rape. I think is is rather sickening – insulting – generally abusive and open sexism, but then again I am also known to be reticent in the words I use and also that I pull my punches. P^)

            I do wonder at the tactics that some use around certain subjects and the Polarising of issues through language that follows. Evidently some have the view that winning at all costs is the rule – and yet they are even happy to play games and make that a supposed man trait. Well – some are easily fooled and gulled whilst others are able to grasp patterns and question them – and when necessary call them what they are – Abusive!

            If you wish to have rational and balanced dialogue that is possible, but you may have to start ramping down the rhetoric and being less extreme and sensationalist.

            • Ok I’m going to ignore your patronising tone and random insults and just take on the part about trivialising rape. I didn’t mention rape at all. I described inappropriate touching while a man is in a vulnerable position and you assumed he was about to be raped. But yet that’s not a good way for me to illustrate that women can feel threatened by inappropriate touching, even from gay men?
              I think you don’t want to accept the truth so you’re hiding behind internet jargon and ham-fisted insults. I wasn’t using hyperbole, I was using a true comparison, changing the gender of the victim. Men should accept that they can make women feel intimidated with these behaviours. Not because we’re fragile flowers but because we’re told since infancy that men are strong and we must be ever vigilant to avoid their assaults. And also because touching my breasts without consent is wrong.

            • Oh and triggers? In a discussion about non-consensual, sexual touching I describe a non-consensual act of touching and that’s not warranted? I disagree.

          • Lesbian feminist says:

            Women lesbian or straight do not usually grab one another’s breasts. It is an act that is about power control and ownership. To say that men in general and gay men as a subset of the group called men are misogynistic is correct. Ed you are off the hook if you think that grabbing women is not a big deal or not an act of violation.

            • “To say that men in general and gay men as a subset of the group called men are misogynistic is correct.”
              Is it also correct that lesbian feminists hate men? Do you honestly think men in general are misogynist? Would you say women in general are misandrist too?

            • Mr Supertypo says:

              @Lesian eeeh I dont know, touching another person body without consent is more rudeness, but depend of the context, because it can easely be sexual assault, if you are in a enviroment eveybody grab each other, then hardly, if a person jump out of the blue and grab you, then yes. I played also music gay party and women only parties, and I have seen women behave in this manner also. Do they also claim ownership of male/women body’s? or is just something men exclusively do?

            • What is it then when a woman touches a gay Nan’s body inappropriately and without consent?

              If the action from gay men to women is misogyny, do we have a word to explain a woman’s behavior when she does the same to a gay man? Since this entire discussion has all rested on anecdotes, I can tell you that this does happen and quite frequently. As a bartender for many years, I’ve been groped, grabbed, and been on the receiving end if some very lewd behaviors and comments. And this is not an atypical experience for gay men in gay clubs. In fact, it’s one of the reasons why many gay establishments will no longer host bachelorette parties.

              So what language do we have to describe such an experience?

      • Groping is more than rude — it is invasive, and violating and should not be dismissed — as it often is the gateway to violent assault.

        Aint That The Truth! Rudeness gets violating and dismissive and acts as a gateway to worse.

        Just as using presenting stereotypes as valid or having validity is Rude and Dismissive and acts as a Gateway for so many people’s internal Bigot to escape.

      • I have been physically assaulted. I have been groped. They are drastically different things.

        • I have been physically assaulted. I have been groped. They are not different. One is a subset of the other.
          It’s like saying I’ve eaten desserts, I’ve eaten chocolate cake; They are drastically different.

          • There’s a significant different between somebody punching you in the face and slappin’ your butt. Equating the two by using the same word to refer to each is just not using precise language, at the least.

            • Legally speaking, any unwanted physical contact from one person to another is assault. That could be punching someone in the face, slapping their butt, or even just reaching out and brushing lint off of their shoulder. In the U.S. legal system, any of those situations could result in litigation.

              Everyone is getting caught up in the black and white of it, but most things dealing with human beings aren’t black and white. In the examples above, I have presented a spectrum of physical contact which could be litigated. These instances vary significantly in severity and would be handled differently, but the same label would be applied: Assault. Whether we agree with this label or not, that is how the courts handle it. I don’t know any judges who would take a case where someone brushed lint off of someone else’s shoulder, so if it were successful it would be in a smaller court system. However, I know plenty who would have no qualms about taking the other examples and going to the maximum.

              The bottom line is this: No matter who you are, where you’re from, who you love, etc, have respect for your fellow human beings. Don’t touch people unless you have consent, and expect the same from others with regards to you. No one should be touched in ANY way that they do not want to be by ANY other person. If you cannot exercise that simple philosophy, then be aware that you can be charged for assault, regardless of the severity of the act.

          • um … you are confusing two different concepts. You were BATTERED (which is a subset of assault, and yes, is more violent in the legal and colloquial usage). As noted below, the definition of ASSAULT is simply “intentional contact without consent”. Groping that is not wanted is contact without consent – pretty simple.

            Many states have Battery and Assault as distinct legal categories of crime either to differentiate the elements of the act (resulting in injury versus had the possibility to result in injury) or severity (felony versus misdemeanor, legally applicable minimum sentencing), or to provide manuvering in legal settings (charges, reduced sentencing, related crimes). However; because the distinction itself is on a continuum, and states have different criminal systems, some states have simplified their codes to only ASSAULT, the larger category, and the common usage of the term is applied to all manner of contact based legal areas from sexual assault (both inclusive and exclusive of rape), ROBBERY (which an element is assault – or contact – versus larceny, which is just theft), etc.

            So basically, everyone here is talking about contact without consent, the definition of assault, and is correct. I am sorry you experienced a severe assault, but that does not change the definition of the word that everyone is using correctly in both common and legal applications.

    • Even when the groping or touching of someone’s body is done with affection in mind, if it is forced, it IS assault! This is a close cousin of domestic violence.

      Let us also not make the mistake of disregarding the physical pain or minimize the emotional pain or mental pain, which can/does occur when groping or pulling. There is an element of shock when one’s private space is invaded. It is unpleasant. I have experienced it with male friends pulling my arm or body while on the dance floor. No one should have to endure that. Of course, I also feel that the victim should talk about it with the offending party so it doesn’t happen again. There can be no change without communication.

      • Should gay men who have engaged in the activities described above be classified as sex offenders and/or get jail time/be prosecuted? Or is a simple convo in order?

        • Okay, so no one is going to answer this?

          • I think it has been answered else where on the thread – but it seems that the supposedly “curious” person asking the question is more interested in prompting and promoting their own agenda rather than seek a legitimate answer.

            So many have made it clear that the sex – gender – sexuality of a criminal or victim is irrelevant, so one has to wonder why the “curious” one is so focused upon Gay And Men? It is criminal how juvenile some are in promoting their own bias. P^)

            It’s that, or reading capacity and comprehension ability just aint what it used to be!

            • I disagree. There is NO WAY that a gay man would be convicted for sexual assault on a woman. No prosecutor is going to go for that.

            • Curious – Well? – No, such a fascinating progression in identity.

              It is interesting that you have such a Negative and Jaundiced View of so many on a very minority subject and issue – and changing name all the time does not make it appear that more people support a position – proposition or world view. It just looks kind of Kooky and Odd Ball though unwittingly amusing in a progressive way.P^)

              Whilst you doubt and have problems with identity of self and issues, others deal in that thing called reality – I have seen people charged and going the guilty route – and in the very scenario being peddled. I’ve also seen gender – sex – sexuality ignored and Justice made the issue.

              But then again am in the UK and deal with issues in a none American way where the solution has been to NOT create new Ideas, legislation and offence – or even offences, but to make sure the existing one’s are utilised. Maybe you would benefit from building contacts and experience from other places were work has been done and issues addressed – unless of course the issue is reinventing the wheel and making in fit a some folks War Chariots in land social land grab warfare.

            • By that logic, I suppose that you’d be fine with straight women groping gay men and not being held accountable for it as well, then? I’d really love an answer to this question, because I think this is a very interesting branch of the overall discussion.

            • Although I suppose a better example would be a lesbian groping a straight man, or a straight man groping a gay man.

            • I try not to care or think about the emotions of women, so it doesn’t really matter.

        • If a person gropes me, I generally push ’em back really hard & yell at them. I’ve hit dudes for it.

    • Clearly, most of the people here speculating on what is or isn’t assault or sexual assault have no experience in law.

      No, a gay man groping a woman’s breasts would not legally be sexual assault, because sexual assault has an element requiring the assault to be “done with the intent of sexual gratification” (the exact wording varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction). Since a gay man touching a woman has no such intent, his behavior would not meet the definition of sexual assault.

      However, a gay man groping a woman’s breasts WOULD be simple assault. The legal definition of simple assault includes all intentional, non-consensual touching of another person’s body, regardless of whether that touching causes pain or injury. It’s a crime, plain and simple. Don’t do it.

  124. @Mediahound: Bro,if I may presume the liberty, I just don’t get un one dimensional progressivism.

  125. @Mediahound: Bro,if I may presume the liberty, I just don’t get one dimensional progressivism.

  126. Normal Guy Rob says:

    I’m a closeted college guy, and this is one of the reasons I may never be truly open about it. So many gay guys unthinkingly abuse women like this, and I never want to be associated with that. I’m ashamed that people feel that their sexuality gives them the right to act in a harmful and disrespectful way to others. I almost wish I could stop a gay guy when I see him acting like that (and I often do in college), and say “YOU are the reason I’m closeted! Why can’t you fathom how much your actions hurt not only women, but indirectly torture me, too?!”

    • Sorry, no way, calling BS on this one. Don’t blame other gay men for your own self-hatred and internalized oppressions.

      • Feminism has been selling men in self hatred for a long long time and it’s time men stop embracing it. Kudos for calling him on doing just that!

        • Actually, feminism is frequently misunderstood. One of the key issues of feminism is fighting gender stereotypes and the strict adherence to gender roles that our society enforces on all of us. One of the leading factors for the earlier deaths of men as opposed to women in the U.S. and other “Western” cultures is the stereotype that men aren’t in touch with their feelings. They’re not allowed to cry, they can’t talk about the things that are bothering them, and admitting to any kind of hurt feelings or internal struggle is akin to committing social suicide. Why? Because it’s not “manly.” Because if you do anything “feminine” like that, you’re somehow less of a man.
          No one is safe from gender stereotypes and the social enforcement of gender roles. Feminism probably shouldn’t be named as such because it is only in extreme cases that proponents of feminism ignore men altogether or fight only for women’s rights and freedoms. However, feminism does fight for men’s rights and freedoms as well, through the struggle of abolishing social standards via gender roles which are literally killing men. Just some food for thought.

          • Ah, forgot to clarify. Bottling up emotions and such has been found to correlate strongly with heart disease and high blood pressure, two factors which contribute greatly to the earlier average age of death in men in the U.S. as compared to women.

          • Since when has feminism fought for male rights regarding financial abortion/ability to opt out of parenthood?? I’ve never seen any major feminist action on behalf of men, at best men got the side dish of better rape protection as a result of women’s rape advocacy, and in some countries domestic violence protection although there have been some anti-male implications from gendered DV laws.

            I keep hearing feminist fights for men’s rights but I don’t see it happen much, people try to suggest it’s the egalitarian movement quite often but where are the large-scale groups that advocate in an egalitarian fashion instead of a gynocentric one?

            Some parts of feminism are as you say but there are other parts who do seem to want to have men have self-loathing qualities.

            • You don’t need to fight for the ability to opt out of parenthood. You have it. It’s called a condom.

            • Simply wearing a condom is enough for a man to opt out of parenthood? There must be some new statistics regarding the failure rates of condom use most people are not aware of. What’s more, you must know of a father being granted relief from financial responsibilities by the courts due to the fact he was wearing a condom? If you could provide citations to where that information can be fond, I’m sure everyone would appreciate it.

            • Women don’t need abortion, it’s called a female condom, birth control, etc. Does that sound right?

          • Feminism is not misunderstood, it’s falsely marketed and you are continuing to do so in your comment. It is described as one thing when in reality the actions of it’s proponents prove it to be something else entirely. The sentiment expressed by vocal feminist seems to be one of male hatred or resentment along with virulent female chauvinism. We see plenty of that in this article.

            Feminism itself is dependent on the existence of gender stereotypes to remain relevant which perhaps is why they spend so much time spreading them. They so often insist that men do this and women do that, and these paths rarely cross. The truth is we are equal, and if you relied on the words of most feminist you could never form that conclusion after listening to a litany of negative gender stereotypes about males followed alongside glowing praise of everything female.

            “They’re not allowed to cry, they can’t talk about the things that are bothering them, and admitting to any kind of hurt feelings or internal struggle is akin to committing social suicide. Why? Because it’s not “manly.” Because if you do anything “feminine” like that, you’re somehow less of a man.”

            Do you notice that you have done exactly what I say feminist tend to do? You took the feminine trait and presented it as superior while deriding males for not embracing it. THIS IS NOT EQUALITY! It’s female chauvinism plain and simple. Perhaps men have other valid reasons for concealing their emotions like concealing their vulnerability in a hostile environment. By the way feminism contributes to that hostile environment by acting as thought police. Men are thus only permitted to express certain feelings that feminist find acceptable or risk being shamed as sexist or misogynist.

            When will feminism become humanism so we can all participate in this human project as equals? I find it fascinating that those who demanded we drop gender pronouns from words like “fireman” kept the one on their movement, all while claiming to advocate for both genders. It’s just another thing they fail miserably at doing EQUALLY!

    • I’m a closeted college guy, and this is one of the reasons I may never be truly open about it. So many gay guys unthinkingly abuse women like this, and I never want to be associated with that.

      Oh boy – What excuses – Oppression everywhere and one has to wonder who is oppressing who and with what. This is bizarre and in the 21st century either a hoax or extremely troubling, showing that Gay Oppression Is Alive And Kicking, along with the social attitudes and absorbed attitudes that promote self oppression. Since you are by your own admission in the closet and have been watching others through the crack in the door, you evidently have a limited field of vision. Your Choice – else you are not being honest and are intentionally blind.

      I am Closeted = Choice. To claim the reason is how Other People behave is illogical – unless they have a gun to your head or someone else faces massive physical injury risk and possible death …. it’s not a rational claim. It may be highly emotive and even get people being emotional when they read the claim – but it is not valid. AS an old war horse in the Pink Lane I aint denying closets – but I have to say that the size, nature and even need for excessive closet space has been reduced massively ion the last 30 or so years.

      Being openly Gay does not require you to wear a uniform – march in lock step with others – portray yourself or allow yourself to be portrayed in certain ways and you are colluding with your own oppression. To say ” I never want to be associated with that.” and use it as an excuse for your own oppression is BS. IN fact being you without label of gay – straight – and so many other labels is about you not colluding. Who and what you associate with and are associated with is your choice – it’s your landscape and your mental view – outlook

      One has to also point out – if you are of the view that all Gay men are involved in such sexist and oppressive behaviour to all women – staying in the closet and not speaking out is you colluding with the oppression of these women. Nice Guilt Trip and even a motivation to stay closeted – the gilded guilt closest.

      On the other hand – as it’s not All gay men and not All Women, the whole thing is a great excuse to stay in the closet and find excuses to stay there – blame others – claim external oppression that does not exist. It’s their fault and they are to blame – The false they are holding em against my will defence and I can’t come out until all negativity on a Universal scale is ended.

      Other people’s attitude and conduct belongs to them – your conduct and attitudes belong to you – blaming them for you not acting on multiple fronts is so old hat and silly – unless of course you are acting rationally due to death risk and imminent physical danger to you and others. If not – you are just making pansy ass excuses for not being yourself and disrespecting so many by playing a rigged blame game so you always win and don’t loose what you prize most – A Closet. Most people place value on what is in the closet – so it’s a pity that you don’t value yourself, valuing the closet more. .

  127. Heriberto Vizcarra says:

    It’s good that this article was written and published. Still, I feel it portrays a very specific behavior as “gay men” in general. There are nosy, overconfident, touchy-handed people in all sorts of places, identities, ages. I, living as a heterosexual man, had a coworker I had to report because she was always (always, not exaggerating) leaning her breasts on men (coworkers and clients), touching our faces, sitting body-to-body next to us, and however pretty, young and attractive she is, it was inappropriate, uncalled-for, and distracting.
    No, I don’t think “gay men” feel they are entitled to touch women’s bodies, and most don’t feel entitled to touch men’s bodies either, and this article refers to a specific behavior, however widespread it may be, as a general trait, and thus, has to be read with caution and should have a warning at the beginning: “Over- generalization and typification have been used in this text, proceed with care”.

  128. gay men are harmless as they dont want sex with us heterosexual women. We know they are not perverts, not aroused by touching us. We are sure they dont find us hot and desirable.
    Women love to feel that chaste comfort with men.

  129. It is NOT OK to touch people without their permission. Please don’t blame feminists for addressing male privileges. It’s never been an attack on men; it’s been attack on men’s assumptions of ownership and rights.

  130. What an insightful article. I am a gay male, and a majority of my closest friends are straight females. Affectionate touching is ubiquitous and reciprocal in our relationships, but it rarely is overtly sexual. That being said, after reading this article, I recognize that I have never really given thought to my unsolicited touching of their bodies, or concerned myself with whether or not it is always welcomed. I’ve also seen gay men groping women they don’t know at clubs, and I never even questioned if it was appropriate! I will definitely remember this article next time I go out. Liked.

  131. @Hank: Hey man, check this out, you might find this interesting. A beautiful woman who I’ve seen before, I saw again today. I got a rush that was totally sexual and visceral from seein her, again.I A, LMOST IMMEDIATELY began to attribute, based upon those initial reactions, all kinds of great characteritics about her.
    Being a mature man I was able to get outside of myself long enough to examine what was going on. I walked myself back from this cliff, realizing that I was chassing an emotional high. The feelings I had were a strong chemical reaction designed to make me overcome any fear or reluctance I may have about approaching her and being rejected. Affter taking a moment to reflect, the feeling passed but not completely. The chemical rush is related to chasing and being with her. What do you think?

  132. Once again, I am out of step with my gay brothers. Happily so this time.

  133. I’ve experienced that kind of unsolicited groping and touching by gay men and transsexual women, but it’s difficult to talk about because it’s often dismissed as harmless. This kind of behaviour towards women is linked to the idea that women’s bodies are public property and that men can touch us or comment on our bodies with impunity.

    • I’ve experienced that kind of unsolicited groping and touching by gay men and transsexual women,….

      Wow – where did the transsexual women come from, or is it that chromosomes is the only issue for some – and it just keep on being spun out by any means?

      Transphobia is alive and well.

      • Skull Bearer says:

        Maybe they’ve just seen some transexual women doing unsolicited groping. Not sure how it’s transphobic.

      • indeed media a repulsive post.
        so these trans women (who Alexandra sees as really being men), just happen to grope Alexandra too – cos after all, they are really ‘male invaders of the sacred feminine space’.
        Alexandra’s claim is of the most questionable veracity

        [where the bl.oody hell is my first post]

  134. gay men all hate their bodies and try to make straight people feel the same way

    • Whoa there Jimmy where did that little comment come from? Some sociological study, or your own biased opinion? Its true there is noticable shallowness in the gay community (full disclosure, this is from my own perspective of outside looking in) but such youth obsession and standards of appearance are not exclusive to them. There are plenty of straight people (perhaps yourself) who are uncomfortable in their own bodies. I for one love my body, no matter what other people say about it.

    • And we move from the gross generalisations about gay men and women’s bodies (Cis-Heterosexual – Women’s Bodies) and now all gay men either hate their own bodies – or is it that gay men’s bodies are hated?

      The Body Politic with diaper rash?

      • Mr Supertypo says:

        OUT with the stereotypes! some gay men may hate their own bodies, but surely not everybody does. And some people may hate gay people bodies but its far from all. C’mon people wake up do some brain work…..

        • It’s hard for anyone – man or woman, gay or straight – not to have body issues with the frequent presentation of what we should all look like in magazines, movies, advertisements, etc. Women as a whole are more likely to develop Body Dismorphic Disorder or eating disorders, but more and more men are developing these things, too, which means that there’s a huge trend towards universal self-hatred of our bodies. I would argue that in light of that, the “blah person hates their body” argument is invalid.

          • Men die sooner because they are busy working and taking on stress. The same thing is now happening to poor white women who are now dying even sooner than poor black women. This is not about bottled up EMOTIONS! People are grinding themselves to the bone trying to make it in America.

            “White female high school drop-outs lived to 78.5 years in 1990, 73.5 years in 2008
            Females who finished college lived for 83.9 years, males for 80.4
            White males who didn’t finish high school reached 70.5 years in 1990 and 67.5 2008
            Black and Latino life expectancy rose, regardless of education
            The average Latin American life expectancy rose 45 years from 29 in 1900, to 74 in 2010
            American women are now 41st in the world life expectancy league table
            They were 14th in 1985”

            Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2206708/Life-expectancy-poor-white-Americans-drops-sharply-increases-blacks-Latinos.html#ixzz2C4wScgmv

  135. The author of this article probably had good intentions in writing this piece. Unfortunately, I think he fails miserably in prosecuting the case. It is pointless to deny that gay men can be as prone to misogyny, sexism, and female-body commodification as much as their heterosexual peers. So, there is certainly a discussion to be had on the issue. However, this article is not that discussion. The most this piece shows is a subculture of ghetto-ized gay boys, who have internalized all the wrong messages about being gay and externalize those messages into terrorizing the female body. This pieces says very little about the wider gay male population.

    • Mr Supertypo says:

      Agree I see this article as missed opportunity, with little value, exactly because it fails to underline that its not about all gay men, but just some (and this should be written clearly in the piece, not something that is understood or I have to google) rather than force them all into a stereotype. Frankly I have the impression that the article is written by anti-gay activists; I was even expecting this to be a commercial for ‘chick fil A’ .
      I wonder how the fanboys and girl did they miss this? are they also antigay activists or are they easely fooled into buy anything so long they read the words ‘male privilege’ and ‘patriachy’ and ‘female opression’? That would make any charlatan rich and famous if they new this….maybe they do?

      • Mr Supertypo – I can see how some may get the idea that the piece was written by anti-gay activists – but One has to consider that Yolo Akili is an out gay man. P^)

        That does tend to reduce the likelihood of his being an anti-gay activist, though of course it does not inoculate against internalising negative views and ideas propagated by others and society in general.

        When I’m looking and reading I see more of how language and words have been focused and even rose tinted by learned language and ideas. The author does hold a B.A. in Women’s and African American Studies from Georgia State University. (It’s not surprising then that the author would have difficulty in restraining themselves from injecting racial issues – even if it’s claimed that they held back and they should not be gotten started on “That” subject).

        It is no secret that Homophobia is a marked issue with a racial twist for African American men – just as many cultural/racial groups have their own internal sex- sexuality-gender dynamics. It’s not possible to address an issue such as sexism without looking at a Whole Pollution.

        Maybe the author needs to be as rigorously academic in dealing with the intersection of Sexuality – Sex/Gender – Race which his recognised academic background does not address fully. Two out of Three for effort – but it’s F for not addressing the issues in a balanced fashion. P^)

  136. I have never been groped by a gay man; however, there have been several times in the past when a gay male stranger, acquaintance, or coworker has made shockingly rude remarks about my appearance. I had not been spoken to so openly rudely since my days of being bullied in elementary school, and I certainly had NEVER expected such behavior from an adult. Let me be clear: most of the gay men I have known have been wonderfully nice people, and I hate generalizations; unfortunately in my experience, this kind of behavior has only been exhibited by gay men. I wouldn’t normally say that this behavior is rooted in sexism, but the truth is that the comments being made have mostly been related to my display of femininity (or what they see as a lack thereof). This may not be an issue of male entitlement, but it seems to be at the very least gender essentialism, not to mention a flagrant disregard for the basic rules of common courtesy. There definitely seems to be a real streak of mean-spiritedness and shallowness in some social circles, possibly stemming from insecurity. Which is sad and it sucks, but it’s no excuse to be vicious to other people.

    • I wonder if the stereotype of gay men being somehow more stylish than others (queer eye for the straight guy, anyone?) that leads some gay men to think, “hey, that’s my role. Women want me to take on the role of their stylist. whether they asked me to or not.” This doesn’t excuse the behaviour but I do wonder where it comes from? I am female with a lot of gay male friends. My best friend is gay, and we are very touchy feely with each other, however.. we have known each other for over a decade. I know I can trust him, and his touchiness developed over time as we got to know each other. Some gay men and straight women have that kind of relationship, the important thing for gay men to know is not to assume these things are okay until you know the woman very well. Some may very well want advice from their gay friend, but not unsolicited advice from people they don’t know.
      I have been inappropriately touched by gay men in clubs before, not very often, but it’s happened. I can’t recall ever being inappropriately touched by women I don’t know, or being told how to dress by them. In my experience it is something that happens in the gay scene, it’s not rampant, but it happens. If straight women were doing it to each other as often, I’d say there was no sexism involved in it, but because I don’t see that happened, I have to think the minority of gay men acting this way are being sexism to some extent.

    • Are you claiming that no straight man has ever said rude remarks about your appearance? Just wondering why you are singling out an entire group of people (gay men) when it is more likely just a few bad apples. Not all gay men are flamboyant “Queer Eye” types – I would argue that most aren’t. Maybe you should single out the people who are actually doing the rude remarks instead of grouping together an entire sexuality.

  137. @mediahound: I am a muliti ethnic studies major—though– I don’t appreciate the obvious limitations inherent in that definition. I have studied so called “Women’s Studies” enough to know that the discovery of intersectionality can’t, won’t save it from it’s own hubris historical mistakes.I saw a film on suffrage featuring feminist icon Susan Sarandon. All of one sentence was devoted to discussing the racism of white feminists and how they sold out blackwomen.Only someone abysmally ill informed could believe that American history isn’t bound together by the interconnected threads of the stories of all of us. Intersectionality didn’t invent this concept,it already existed?!

  138. a few thoughts: 1) how would we feel if an article is titled “black men’s sexism and women’s bodies” with a similarly disgusting picture; 2) there is something to be said about the other side of things — the fact that many straight girls feel it’s ok to reduce gay men to their personal stylists and free fashion gurus…not to mention, emotional crutches….the concept of straight women having a “gay boyfriend” or calling someone “my gay husband” etc. …i can go on, but i’ll stop here.

  139. As a queer women who spends the majority of her time with gay men I can say this definitely is a thing. I have had my breast and butt “jokingly” grabbed, various comments where men have discussed my body as though they had any right to have an opinion on my hips, my hair, what bra I was wearing, or my skin. I suffer a lot less bullshit then the straight girls they hang out with who they refer to as their “fag hags” instead of friends, like women exist only in relation to themselves. Gay men are some of the worst offenders of calling women “sluts” or “ugly”. This is an important thing to discuss. We have more then enough gay men congratulating themselves on how much women love them and all the girlfriends they have. There are two sides to every coin and this one needs to be looked at so these men who consider themselves great friends to women can see that they still have plenty of room for improvement.

  140. It’s an interesting op-Ed but I’m not convinced it’s entirely grounded. Anecdotal polling in a class is hardly compelling data.

    I find the idea that the behavior and attitude is “common” in gay men to be rather baseless and something he more or less pulled out of his ass.

    Are there sexist and misogynistic gay men? Absolutely. Are “many gay men” misogynistic and sexist and is it common? I’d say that contrary to this piece which seems to want to paint those things as more common in gay culture than in the population at large, I’d suggest it’s the same.

    By the way, if we’re relying on anecdotes, I’ve been invasively touched and groped as well as had some really inappropriate things said to me by more straight women than I have by other gay men. I’ve had girls grab my junk, put their hands down my shirt, and make crass comments about my sex life (or what they think my sex life is like) all with the justification that it’s okay because I’m gay and just “one of the girls”.

    • I think that’s a fair point.

      But at the same time, what I took away from this was that one is too many. One woman being treated this way by a gay man who feels entitled to treat her that way because he isn’t “attracted to her” is one too many. And seeing that it happens to a number of women, I have to say I’m glad this experience/pattern has been brought to my attention. I’ve experienced something similar, though not as harsh as the experiences described here. It’s nice to feel validated by this article and to know that I’m not alone in having experienced this.

    • The heart of this argument is about *people* disrespecting *other people*.

      The Mean Girls premise definitely rings familiar here. Those memorable few gay men (everyone’s encountered at least one) are behaviourally aligned with Regina George. They specialize in ‘girl-type’ violence and prefer to target women, but anyone can be a target. Aggressively-sassy gay men are awful people to *everyone*.

      Female academics could do a lot less cutting up of one another during faulty meetings, and I also *anyone* in a club should only be groping someone who’s given enthusiastic consent. Also more door-holding, please. That would be nice.

  141. Heriberto Vizcarra says:

    Even after careful consideration as to what the Law defines as assault, and sexual assault, I believe that the issue here is inappropriate touching, more than lawful prosecution; are we not talking about a trespassing kind of behavior that makes others uncomfortable, that is unsolicited and, even if solicited, is denied?
    Theoretical scenario: if a man, whatever the sexual orientation, touches a woman, whatever the sexual orientation, in a way that she feels is intrusive, obscene, indecent, and a prosecutor as well as a judge considers that the act was not lascivious enough to warrant any kind of punishment, it still is inappropriate.

  142. I find this article extremely offensive. I am a gay guy and I have NEVER touched a woman without her consent or given her fashion/body tips. Actually, I don’t know of any gay guys that would touch a woman in a sexual way without consent or give fashion/body tips (with or without consent). Maybe it has more to do with the type of people you are surrounding yourself with and not gays as a whole. There are bad people of all types, and sure, maybe you have had some bad experiences, but do not make blanket claims about gay guys as a whole group and stereotype the rest of us like that. I have never felt “entitled” to a woman’s body and yes, it does make you a bad person that you apparently have felt that way. It sounds like you surround yourself with extremely stereotypical gay guys who might be more likely to do these types of disgusting things. Frankly, I am sick of those types of gays – since they are the loudest and most obvious about their sexuality, people think we are all like that. In my experience, the flamboyant ones are few and far between. Most gay guys are just your typical guy who happen to be attracted to men.

    • I think you’ve gone and missed the point here. In fact, you’ve made it all about you, and entirely derailed an article that covers a valid point about respecting women. An article about respecting women and their bodies, offends you? If you haven’t done the sort of behaviour as mentionned in the article, its not directly aimed at you, is it? If you are promoting respect and equality, its not aimed at you, is it? So how about instead of trying to derail the comments with some random self centred rant that may even suggest you didn’t read the article that well (such as the fact it was very clear this guy wasn’t just talking about his own experiences and that of friends), that instead, you move on to the next article, or maybe explain your support for respecting other people’s bodies?

      Also, btw, you complain about blanketing gay guys, but than you try to say gay guy’s mostly ‘your typical guy who happen to like men’…. your sentiments suggest you are unaware that there are a lot of effeminant guy men, and it also seems implied that you prejudice against such men, to assume they are the ones who are acting inappropriately, and painting them as basically not ‘typical guys’ (stupid term for the record), is enforcing sexist ideals 😉 BTW, there’s nothing wrong with being loud about your sexuality, straight people certainly aren’t quiet about it…..

    • You’re not offended so much as don’t think the article applies to you.

      • @Joanna Lee – It is funny. I love it when people attempt to spin language and misrepresent others.

        I wonder how you take this – “There are bad people of all types, and sure, maybe you have had some bad experiences, but do not make blanket claims about gay guys as a whole group and stereotype the rest of us like that.?

        You read a rebuke about misuse of stereotypes as only about the self? It seems clear that the writer is unhappy about others wielding false stereotypes to attempt to make a point. Why would you attempt to try and reduce what has been said to some form of narcissism?

        I do hope you are not attempting to imply that all gay men are narcissistic, and denying one persons STATED concern over stereotypes, with you using an IMPLIED stereotype slipped in by the back door?

        Sorry to have to ask awkward questions, but given that some seem to have issues with reading and comprehension, it is necessary to check clearly what people think and believe and how they manage to miss so many words that have been written by others. .

        PS sorry for the use of scary caps, but as I have concerns about the ability to read it seems both rational and courteous to assist those who need to improve focus in reading and comprehension. P^)

  143. Chris Valentine says:

    I think this article abuses an incredibly stereotypical image of gay men in our culture. However, I have witnessed men behave as unconscionably as some of these cited scenarios… and it’s absolutely heinous.

  144. Sally Strange says:

    This exact thing happened to me at a friend’s birthday party. Now, it was a gay guy’s birthday party, so there were MANY gay men there, but only this one guy grabbed my boobs and then told me it was okay because he was gay. So this tells me that gay men are subject to misogyny just as straight men are, just like women can be homophobic and black women can be transphobic and so on and so forth.

    Gay men and straight men who grope like this are communicating that they believe the story that says that women belong to men, and can never belong to themselves.

    • Guess I know a few women who think men belong to women. :S
      I’ve been groped by both genders, by straight men even. Does that communicate those men think men belong to men?

      • No, but it does imply that they think gay men aren’t “real” men. A straight man would never grope another straight man, because that would reduce the gropee to the level of a woman, whose body is public property. That a straight man would grope a gay man indicates that he thinks a gay man is at the same level as a woman, and therefore the gay man’s body is public property, as well.

        • @Effie. I’ve been groped my straight MEN, not man, but men. I am a straight man. Your argument is null n void. Hell at highschool men groped men FAR FAR more than they groped women, infact groping a woman would probably get you an ass kicking. Women are no more public property than men, in fact men are more likely to suffer violence publically so wouldn’t men be the public property?

          I sure love when people assert something like a straight man would never grope another straight man, they sure show their ignorance. Straight men RAPE other men, it’s a power thing, not always a sexual thing.

    • Mr Supertypo says:

      @Sally, so between xxx number of gays only one touched you inapropriately? so this practically dismiss the entire article, since it is clear that the unwanted rude groping, is not generaliced between gays.

      ‘ Gay men and straight men who grope like this are communicating that they believe the story that says that women belong to men, and can never belong to themselves. ‘

      and where did you get this? did you ask the man or are you just making this up?

    • “So this tells me that gay men are subject to misogyny just as straight men are, just like women can be homophobic and black women can be transphobic and so on and so forth.

      Gay men and straight men who grope like this are communicating that they believe the story that says that women belong to men, and can never belong to themselves.”

      So you report that you see one person do one thing and you then extrapolate that single action to apply to all men – and that all men believe they own women?

      I wonder how I should interpret your experience, analysis and resulting views? Lets see – you have a jaundiced view of all men so if you see negative behaviour by one person you immediately extrapolate it to be about all men? That shows prejudice – but as women are not allowed to have prejudice that can’t be a valid explanation, can it? More importantly, Prejudice based upon sex is Sexism, and the ladies are definitely not allowed to have that one.

      Of course I could just conclude that you are Bad at Maths and Statistics and you are walking proof that all women can’t balance a cheque book? Of course that would be seen as proof of total Sexism – Misogeny, and it’s seen as improper to raise issues of lack of mathematical ability as the lack could because by something such as Dyslexia … and that leads to being abusive about the disabled …. and no one wants to be accused of that one do they. So that explanation gets closed off.

      Or maybe you have constant ear pain? Yup – That has to be the explanation.

      It’s hard being fashionable and finding garments to hide prejudice. The big P is such a Bloater. But here them Real Big Chips on both shoulders are the issue, and getting earrings big enough to cover them up must be a real pain! P^)

      The diagnosis of ear pain is not proof that all men, especially gay men, are good at First Aide – but it can be used as proof that Gay men do grasp fashion issues for women, and that even the best Gay Fashion Guru can’t deal with some of the body issues that some gals just love to have covered up – or worse still, pull out in public and make the centre of attention.

  145. Ever heard the saying “its not the intent behind the message that matters but how the message was received”?

    Ever heard the one about the messenger?

  146. Im going to call this like it is. Supertypo and Mediahound, you are both bullying Sally and dressing it up as righteous intellectuallism. You are in fact reinforcing the authors findings; all Sally was pointing out is that there are gay men who use the cop out of their orientation to excuse their mistreatment of women. Sally did not say ALL gay men do this, or ALL straight men think they own women. She was simply pointing out that anyone, regardless of gender, orientation, or intellectual level can be sexist, rude, degrade orthers self worth or act superior. All you two are doing is showing how you like to read into other peoples stories your need to be offended. I doubt either of you really care about the victims of assault, just getting attention. Get off this thread and leave the discussion to people with hearts.

    • @Jean B – Throwing labels about can confuse the fashion concious, but you seem to be mistaking many for fashion victims and afflicted by that issue! Sorry if we aint obliging with the label oppression. P^)

      There is a large issue of genderisation within language – and some think they can exploit it and no-one will notice. It’s funny how if you link a word with a gender (express or implied) it can be used to direct people’s thinking and communication. It’s one of those areas of communication that so many attempt to exploit.

      I even have to laugh at the throwing of mud in the hope that it sticks. have you been reading other pages here on GMP such as “A World of Rumors”, which went up this morning, before your posted? It’s not clear if you are making original comment or plagiarising others.

      You seem to like to exploit that dynamic of label+gender. Which is seen as most inflammatory – to use the bully label and stick it on a male – or use it and stick it on a female?

      If you consider dynamics – which is more bullying, for a woman to falsely apply the label to a man, or for a man to falsely apply it to a woman?

      Lets take the label issue further – which is harder to get people to acknowledge as valid “That a the bully label is Incorrectly applied to a male” or “that the bully label is Correctly applied to a woman” ?

      I wonder exactly what label should be applied to you? How about Mistaken? P^)

      I would use “confused” but one has to be so careful about label+gender, even if gender is not mentioned but simply taken as implied – so many will see offence and take it – they also have issues with Irony, only hear the first four letters and use the iron to fashion weapons which they make so many people’s lives a misery with.

      Give um Irony and yo always can spot those who have come armed and ready for warfare – they take the irony and use it to forge yet more weapons.

      Now I have to go shopping – I’ve run out of Earl Grey Tea, and as anyone who appreciates E. G. Tea knows the best label to buy Is Fortnam And Mason. The label is irrelevant – the quality of the Tea is all that counts – Delicious.

    • Mr Supertypo says:

      @Jean, I dont know were you get your idea of bullying, or why we should leave the thread. Do we makes you uncomfortable? I pretty sure you are more in place in a nod club, just like a church where people scream amen and hallelujah and jesus love you. A place where you only find like minded, you know, the famous hive minded clone army.
      Now, about Sally, I was actually agreeing with her, an using her experience to disprove the babble from the author. You see she was in a birthday with many others gays, and ONLY one acted unethical. What does that say to you? I tell you, the author is dead wrong. because its not a standart behaviour of gay men. But just SOME homosexual who behave in this way. And it is important to make that distinction; something that the articulist fails in doing. The specification, that this article lacks, is a sign of lack of intellectual honestly from the author. And perhaps it can also imply some degree of malevolence, like getting popular between the women, so he can get a cheap audience. Who knows? but the question is open.

      My disagreement is Sally conclusion, like ‘men believe women’s body belong to us’ yeah maybe if we were sexually disturbed teenagers. But most here are grown up people (I think so) and trust me, you know wery well that we dont own women’s body. Actually that’s a weird thinking. Academic perhaps, but a in reality a bit to close to twilight zone. Think again, unless you are a pimp (and even then you dont own nothing) or own a harem, you own only yourself. And this belive or not, is well known around.

      Now I like you to explain to me, using your own words jean, how is that bullying? disagreement is not bullying in my dictionary, maybe in yours, so show me. Tell me the reason for calling me and other for bullys.

      Thank you

      • All I can say to this silly story is that mental and emotional ill people attract the same, I am a gay man and never tounch any one unless it is my partner ,nor have I seen this in my life time, and I am 53, and have many straight female friends. Maybe you need to give a look at your self and ask what kind of person am I that attracts such sick individuals in to my life.

    • Jean B says:

      “She was simply pointing out that anyone, regardless of gender, orientation, or intellectual level can be sexist, rude, degrade orthers self worth or act superior”

      Actually the author absolutely did not state REGARDLESS OF GENDER. In fact, the whole point of the article was that even GAY men can be misogynistic. The idea of women as sexist wasn’t covered in the article.

      The simple fact is that we don’t have to look very far to see evidence of women who feel very entitled ESPECIALLY sexually:
      ht tp://goodmenproject.com/noseriouslywhatabouttehmenz/uh-crunk-feminist-collective-we-need-to-have-a-chat/

      Look to this article by crunk feminist in which she gets denied sex and rails and rails about her entitlement to have sex much like the (derisive) coined term Niceguy(TM).

      Here is an article of an ex gf so angered at a turn down for sex she ripped the mans testicles off w/her bare hands:
      ht tp://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/101006/Ex-rips-off-mans-testicle.html

      And lastly here is a reverse-the-genders article on genderratic.
      ht tp://www.genderratic.com/p/1899/this-is-what-sexual-entitlement-looks-like/
      In the original article a woman tells how she can’t resist the idea that her bf has an erection in his sleep without taking action, and despite having expressed a desire to be left alone in his sleep (and she even mentions he sleeps with his hands over his crotch). In the genderratic reverse-the-genders article it is shown how creepy and rapey this feeling of entitlement would look if a man decided he had a right to touch his gf’s vagina in her sleep when she has expressed a desire not to have it done and slept WITH HER HANDS COVERING HER VAGINA.

      Please stop falsely planting an egalitarian skew upon the authors article where none exists.

      Entitlement and treating people as property is the domain of assholes of all colors and genders, not the domain of only men.

      • @H Jean B: What mediahound wrote was not, in my opinion, even remotely bullying behavior. Unfortunately, it seems that male feminists think that the only way to promote equality and fairness is to ferret out every last molecule of perceived sexism against women while ignoring all instances of female biases. They pretend that by saying that they are for men rights too but not actually doing anything about men rights, like challenging some of feminism mistakes, is enough to placate men. It isn’t.

  147. That the author believes that every gay man in the room had engaged in inappropriate and unwelcome touching and advice directed toward women raise manyf questions:
    Was the presentation to a representative sample of gay men, or was this a presentation to a specific group of gay men? Were there non-gay men in the room, and how did the author distinguish between them? Did the author attempt to actually count those with hands up and those without, or did he or she just estimate a consensus?

    A number of other readers have expressed their objections to the generalizations drawn out in the article. Those generalizations are unfortunate because they undermine an important point that gay men need to consider: that non being attracted to women does automatically free one from misogyny or make inappropriate touching and commentary okay.

    The article also contributes to stereotypes that keep gay men in the closet (see Mediahound’s comments) and undermines the great progress to show that gay men come in all stripes.
    Some (too many) gay men have their own histories of abuse, discrimination, and sexual exploitation. While some gay men act out, others are acutely aware of and sensitive to the experiences of women and are very mindful of their own actions.

    In promoting generalizations, the author may aim to create a sense of urgency and impress the scale of the problem, but the in generalizing the article overreaches and blunts its most important point. It would be far more effective without the suggestion that all gay men engage in these actions during any given week.

  148. @Jean B: Sally’s extrapolation, is at the very least,sweeping, and at worse a gateway to bias.Certainly,some men and women who do this are prompted from the aegis of their OWN ignorance.There is no way for Sally or anyone else to know this.Thus his thesis is suspect and reads like the same ole malebashing junk that passes for progressive enlightenment.

  149. I think this article make a lot of valid points as do many of the comments.

    I personally don’t know many gay men who act like the ones that you’ve described in the article. I have never had the urge to grab a women’s breast, give her unwarranted fashion or body tips, but clearly there are gay/queer men out there who do.

    I wonder if the stereotype of “it’s okay because I’m gay” has more to do with how gay men are often depicted (although this is changing now) as stylists/hairdresser/make-over artists in popular culture. Most major depictions of gay men in popular culture from the 70-mid 00’s were exactly people in these roles, especially if you tend towards more “feminine” presentation. It is excepted that as a “feminine” gay man you give fashion advice, comment on women’s bodies, and be generally “sassy”. Women also see these depictions and that why some feel that is acceptable way for their gay friends to act. The stereotypical “gay best friend” from movie like Mean Girls comes to mind.

    This isn’t to say the behavior is excusable or justified. I have often gotten drunk and made out with women as a lark or a joke, but this article has made me think about checking my privileged in these situations. Asking if it’s okay, or better yet just not doing it at all may be the right choice.

    It’s an important article to have written, although I think an even futhur in depth analysis of how the “gay best friend” trope became such an ingrained idea in gay male- female hetero relationships has become part of our society.

    – A queer cis white male

    • I just wanted to say that I appreciate your consideration of this article and the way you recognize both its value and faults. I tend to read comments more than engage directly, and it’s nice to come across such a rational and polite contribution.

  150. So as a gay man lacking 1700 state and federal rights and am the most beaten , killed and discriminated minority I have white male privilege ? Wow, Prisoners have more rights than I do and I never knew I had this much power

    • Clem,

      I’m not sure I’m buying your statement that gay males are the most mistreated.
      Black men have 13 times the homicide rate of white women, and 7 times the rate of white men.

      Additionally, a black person can’t “act white” as a gay person can pass for straight. Having the ability to blend in at will is a game changer.

      • You do realize that comparing white n gay doesn’t really work since not all white people are gay right? What are the stats on homicide, suicide etc of gay people vs straight or vs black?

      • Clem Burke says:

        According to my law firm “LAMBDA” and The Southern Povertly Law Center Gay men are the most beaten, killed ,and discriminated minority in America and as for black being the most killed is simply not discrimination because blacks almost are always the victim;s of black violence. Making a blog on women being mistreated by gay men is on the same level as me making a post on me being mistreated by straight women, and actiuallyI have been slapped by two women and I never laid a hand on them.

    • nichole says:

      yes, you do have white male privilege. because one can be oppressed in one way but privileged in another. it’s called intersectionality.

      btw, queer women are denied all the same rights as you are… plus they are subject to misogyny. just in the US alone, 600 women are raped every single day. that doesn’t include assault, harassment, emotional or physical abuse, nor job or housing discrimination. so queer women face all the same shit as you PLUS all of that on top of it.

      but at the end of the day, turning this into a competition is stupid. it’s not about oppression olympics. it’s about recognizing that we ALL carry both oppression & privilege, & being careful not to enact our privilege without thinking.

  151. Tom, your intelligent response, delivered in humility, makes me respect you. I think its importamt to look at the issue from both points of view, women and gay men, because it can occur in both directions. I think we agree nobody should get a free pass for groping, whatever their gender or orientation is. What we need is healing dialogue, not defensiveness and finger pointing and playing the “whos more oppressed ” victim attitude. Everyone suffers when individual rights and dignity are ingnored (i include our animal brothers and sisters in this.
    Peace,
    An italian bisexual man living temporarily on Earth

  152. Clem Burke says:

    Yes and The America that caused the most issues for gay Americans was a woman ,,,Anita Bryant. Please stop playing the victim card feminist of America, we are all tired of it by this point. A women in my home town of Titusville Florida Outed many gay males and two took thier lives , but this will never be called misandry. or women hating gay men., now will it ? Hmmmm?

    • It would be called homophobia, as it should be. As well, if you believe Anita Bryant is the american that caused the most issues for gay Americans you should perhaps examine all of the men who have been fighting against you and murdering you for quite some time. Who heads the churches that oppose you? Who runs NOM?

      If you would like to say that as a white, gay male you are somehow the most oppressed minority in the US, you may try and do so. However, as you play the victim card, do not forget that many of the murder victims you will hold up as an example of how oppressed you are are people of color. In fact, 70% of victims murdered because of being LGBT are people of color. 44% of them were trans women, in fact. If you are looking to play oppression olympics here, you’ve lost on that count.

      If you feel you are a victim, perhaps you should speak up rather than getting angry and attempting to shout down when other people point out an issue. Like other female commenters here, I have had gay men grope my tits on multiple occasions, including right after we were introduced at a function in college to see “if they were real”. Nobody else has ever done this to me. No women, no straight men. You and others seem to say this does not happen simply because you happen to not be the ones committing it. You seem almost offended that someone would discuss this issue, and that is strange to me. It happens, it exists, and it should be dealt with, just like homophobia in the US. What you are saying is akin to stating that just because I have never seen anyone slap a gay man or call him a faggot that it does not happen anymore. Also, Just because there are other issues that are out there does not mean that we cannot address this one as well.

      • “44% of them were trans women, in fact.”
        How many were gay? Would their deaths be because of homophobia or transphobia? I’d suspect they’re killed mostly for being trans vs being homosexual?

  153. I think women feel a lot more comfortable with gay men. We know straight men might cast lustful glances on us and look at us as sexual objects. If they touch us, we know it will give them sexual pleasure. It makes us very uncomfortable. Gay men are just like out brothers. We know they wont be getting an erection if we sit in their lap even. Our dignities are safe when we are with gay men.

    • Touch a penis, gay or straight and it’ll probably become erect. Hell we get erect at the doctors when being examined at times. Straight men aren’t attracted to all women. How is your dignity safe when there are countless comments of women groped by gay men pretty much saying their dignity wasn’t safe?

  154. Clem Burke says:

    Right now I am in Cancun so I don’t have a lot of time, but according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, gay men are the most beaten, killed, and discriminated minority in America. Someone in here stated that black men were. They are not, they are the largest killed by their own race so therefore it does not count as a hate crime. I have been slapped by women, I have been called names by women, and I have been beaten up by a male at his girlfriend’s request. One night I was at a straight bar talking to a married woman all night long. I thought she knew I was gay, so when she suggested to get a hotel room together, I said no. She slapped me until I fell off the bar stool. I was even groped by a female in Orlando at a gay bar. Do you see me making a blog on this shit???

    • Graham Clark says:

      _’So as a gay man lacking 1700 state and federal rights and am the most beaten , killed and discriminated minority I have white male privilege.’_

      _’Right now I am in Cancun so I don’t have a lot of time, but according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, gay men are the most beaten, killed, and discriminated minority in America. Someone in here stated that black men were. They are not, they are the largest killed by their own race so therefore it does not count as a hate crime.’_

      “I’m gay so I don’t have white privilege.”

      “Of those black people who are killed every year, most are killed by other black people. That means I have it worse than black people.” (And of course not a word about wealth disparity, incarceration rates for the same crime, etc.)

      Be aware that you are a despicable person.

      • Clem Burke says:

        Why would you call me that for stating facts ? Obviously you have nothing to come back with such as facts and stats.

      • Clem Burke says:

        You must prove that people are jailed due to racism etc, so please give me stats and facts from a reliable well respected source

  155. Yolo:
    It sounds like you have been teaching a fashion class or a particularly . The gay men I have known my whole life (including myself) have never been known to grab strange woman or offer unsolicited fashion/body critiques. BUT I have been grabbed, and seen grabbing, from straight women toward gay men in gay dance clubs. Also, I know some gay men whgo don’t like to be grabbed by otrher gay men they don’t know- especially at Bear gathering where touch and grabbign is a given.

    The sexism I have encountered widely among gay men tends to be of the “I don’t eat fish” variety- derogatory remarks about female body parts and the such. It’s both sexist and mundane and I’ve never tolerated it.

  156. Not your beeswax says:

    I know a lot of gay people, I am bi and I have spent most of my teenage years in gay clubs. My best friend is gay. And …I have to agree with every single word in this article. May I add to it even? Gay men often feel, that women are less then human, not to be bothered with and since they are not good for anything, they should be treated as something disgusting and foul. The felt superior to them in every single sense and women to them were simply gross and leaking mess of humanity. And I am not even kidding. I have met more gay guys with this opinion that I would like to admit to my self. Some of these guys are so hateful towards women it’ s really sad. It used to make me so angry and powerless… Now I just think that a lot of them feel so rejected by people, that they simply take their hate out on anyone. And it’ s still sad.

  157. Why does the Picture on the top of this page keep changing?

    The present one gives such a different idea to the other two, with men actually grabbing tits – even if it was supposed to be comical or ironic!

    It’s fascinating how that top picture can affect how the overall subject and comments get read!

    • Mr Supertypo says:

      “Why does the Picture on the top of this page keep changing?

      LoL so true 😀

      • invasion of privacy says:

        Yeah because the original image was disgusting, invasive, and exploitative. Shame on “Yolo” and this blog for doing that.

        • “because the original image was disgusting, invasive, and exploitative”??????

          I keep seeing the images being regurgitated across Tumblr and to me recollection the first one (This One) Wasn’t what I would call Disgusting – Invasive – Exploitative.

          Naff yes – but not that much. It did imply that men (In Particular) GAY men were/are to be found on the ground seeking some upward grope – which I’m afraid was likely to raise some visual alarms over where hands were able to reach with the wearing of skirts.

          The second image (Tumbled Here) was I have to say disgusting and exploitative – but it was the attempt to visually re-brand matters as a jokey idea that failed to address the level of offence already created.

          Boobisexuals – just look up Boobisexuals.

  158. As I said nearly a Month Ago “I’d love to find the source of the originating Boob Grab issue to see if it is being represented authentically – or if it has not lead to a storm in a tea cup and media hype by those who have reality issues.”

    I have said that there was a rather large Whiff of Media Trope hanging in the air!

    So now for many there will be proof that as a Meddling Rational Archivist ( Or anally retentive scholar as one debunked individual called me when a rather large bobble was popped) – a few sources, references and comments – Well it just proves that reading and looking pays dividends!

    Boobiesexual anyone?

    cunningminx wrote:
    Dec. 19th, 2005 09:16 pm (UTC)
    “Boobiesexual,” a term I coined in an early podcast, refers to women who are only-sorta-bisexual in this way: they are primarly into men and cocks but also fascinated by women’s breasts BUT without any particular interest in women below the waist. – Source

    The Media Trope On A Rope that this whole article hangs upon emerges out of the Swamp at the Bottom of the Internet – “Meet the Boobiesexuals”.

    Meet the Boobiesexuals
    Gay men and straight women lust after bulging breasts too
    Rachel Kramer Bussel Tuesday, Mar 21 2006

    Ogling breasts isn’t just for straight men and lesbians anymore. Moving beyond traditional labels, gay men and straight women are outing themselves as “boobiesexuals.” The term was coined by podcaster Cunning Minx (polyweekly.libsyn.com) to stand for “women who are mostly straight but who are really, really into women’s breasts.” I’ve expanded it to include gay men. This new breed is committed to their sexual orientation, but acknowledges that, like the horniest of frat boys or Hooters customers, they’re turned on by tits.

    So Blame Rachel Kramer Bussel – she’s the one who dragged GAY men in and even gave some Ditzes the idea that it was fine to grab boobs! Gay Men’s Sexism or Media Trope On A Rope?

    I kept finding so many references like the one in Happy Endings Season 1 Episode 2 ( It seems the Will and Grace find was just visual comedy and not about Boobiesexuals) … and of course If you Rifle that Hay stack for long enough out pops a metallic object that has a tendency to prick!

    So the meme is not about GAY men grabbing boobs – it’s about People, Mainly Women with a none Heteronormative Paraphilia for Boobs and It was first memed and netified by Blogger Cunning Minx as she discussed that well known Polyamarous issue of Women Groping Women – explicitly boobs (Something Minx makes reference to her own interests in – October 26th, 2005 – Being Boobiesexual – and also outing herself not only as BI but Booby in fixation) … and only afterwards did to get extended to GAY men who shared the same paraphilia.

    Constructing a Construct of sexism by Gay men on top if an already recorded and named issue is not the way to go – well not if you want to be taken seriously and show maturity.

    So take a none sexist meme mix it up with a gross sterotype about that awful fag fag and gay husband Trope of the Fashionable Queer (who like Emmett Honeycutt in Series 5 Episode 2 of Queer as Folk USA can save the bride from disaster with nothing but two bottles of Burgundy, A Soup Pot, Hair drier and fable about Boysenberry Cobbler Watch It here If you refuse to believe the magical fashion fairy ) and give it an acid twist to bring out the more subtle flavours of sexism and serve Flambéed as you dive back to the kitchen in desperate search for yet another half baked recipe to get you past the rapidly cooling and tasteless Entrée!

    Of course – some research and reading also explains exactly why all the GAY men who responded went “What The F###?” – cos they are not party to the Boobisexual meme and just hated being made party to a whole Trope On A Rope that someone came up with for a little Notoriety and Without Due care or ANY attention …. especially as they drove down the Internet Communication Super High Way – In the fast lane – and going the wrong way!

    It also helps to illuminate why so many also found it so offensive concerning the crass gross generalisations and immature implications that all Gay Men are Paraphilic Boob Grabbers – and fashion obsessed fag hag draped shopping machines!

    Oh the joys of being so Anally Retentive and 100% MRA – Meddling Rational Archivist! …. and It’s a good job I’m in a good mood today. P^)

  159. Boobisexuals – just look up Boobisexuals.

  160. How interesting – guess who is on huffy post live and gossiping about the whole boob grab meme?

    How odd that all those details tracing the media trope back to 2005 are still in mod land!

    Boobisexuals – just look up Boobisexuals.

  161. Thank you for this article, it is very educational and enlightening. I recently called a long time gay best friend out on a misogynistic post he made on Facebook. Articles like these help women realise when they are being assaulted or mistreated.

  162. I hate it when a lesbian grabs my crotch and then tells me that my pants are too loose around the waist. Really burns my beans. Hey, does everyone remember when Isaac Mizrahi groped Scarlett Johansson on the E! channel a few years ago? Same thing.

  163. In my experience, gay men have said just as many creepy/inapropriate/graphic things to me as straight men. Some gay men seem to think that because they are gay they can be “bitchy,” because that’s what being “fabulous” is. Last I checked, a person’s sexual preferences do not excuse them from the basic courtesy and consideration that we should all strive for as a minimum. I’d say about a quarter of gay men I’ve known have been too “fabulous” for my liking.

    • Shane Murphy says:

      I think I detect a little homophobia disguised as a cry for avoidance of misogyny. Let’s be clear straight women really should be careful about fingering another oppressed sexual grouping as your hands are not clean either. Sadly a group that is oppressed often has members who behave badly because of the mistreatment. However most do not and learn more empathy, something that you from your statements seem to lack.

      • Clem Burke says:

        Its not your imagination, there is some homophobia going on here and trust me as a mgay man working for an LGBT law firm I know the inside scoop. Gay men are waving “bye bye” to the feminist movement in huge number’s.

        • Mr Supertypo says:

          @Clem Burke: Its not your imagination, there is some homophobia going on here and trust me as a mgay man working for an LGBT law firm I know the inside scoop. Gay men are waving “bye bye” to the feminist movement in huge number’s.”

          For real or are you joking?

          • Clem Burke says:

            No, I am not joking, I find women much more insulting to gay and straight men, than the other way around. Feminist have run out of bullies in the straight male community so they are coming after us. I can not tell you how many gay men are exhausted from this round of feminism. LGBT’s have taken center stage all over the globe with the civil rights movement, and when straight women are not getting the attention , well lets just say, ” When Momma aint happy, aint nobody gonna be happy”!

            • @ Clem: Interesting comment there Clem.

              I have seen aspects of that play out in the UK, and in-particular in the Gay Scene/Village Manchester. The same occured in New Castle too, but that was not my stomping ground at the time, so I can’t realy talk about it with authority.

              I DO fully support the use of the word Bullying. It got very nasty, but due to close co-operation between the Gay community (All Flavours and all Colours of Lollipop), the Police and Local Government it was rolled back and brought back under control. It’s funny how people co-operate when they are dealing with a Tourist and Financial asset worth a lot more than some people’s nickel and dime ideas.

              There was about a year of Hiatus with Straight Women having to be trained and educated as to how they would behave, and a rather massive push-back with them literally demanding that they had freedom to do as they wished. The sexist entitlement was amusing and comical to watch, except when it manifested as attempted drug rape against gay men and false accusations of such things as sexual asault by gay men against hetro women. The 4000% incidence was bizzare and related to cetain publications which apprently told young ladies how to control men in public – ie Harass and Abuse.

              It was amazing to see Hetro Women commit assault and more and then expect the police to accept their sex and sexuality as a defence. Well trained Police and Security guards showed many that they were wrong – and we even trained the magistrates and judges too. It was even funny to see the tie-ins with the Spice Girls and chants of Girl-Power – the Binge Drinking and “Ladette Culture”. It was basically a social and media phenomenon.

              It was comical when Hen Night/Bachelorette parties were banned. I remember one group being very unhappy and deciding to stage an impromptu protest on Canal Street – and screaming (I mean that quite Literally) that they were being subjected to Human Rights Abuse as women.

              UK human rights law applies to the actions of statutory authority and not private businesses. But when you have a drunken hen leading 20 other well sozzled boiling fowl(sic), reason and law just don’t apply. They were advised by police to move on – they refused – they were advised to move or face arrest – they refused – they werre arrested and charges with 1) Breach Of The Peace, 2) Blocking the Public Highway 3) Being Drunk And Disorderly – some also faced assualt charges for the things they did to Police Officers. … and that one was not an isioalted incident there were soooooooo many.

              A few thought they were safe too when Uniformed Police were out of sight. Silly – Silly – Silly, because when you train police correctly in areas such as harassment and the way abusers think – well the police go “Hey We need Plain Clothes Officers” and they end up in places so people don’t realise they are being watched – and It is comical seeing a whole bunch of Ladettes tell a Guy to “F### Of You F###ing Queer” or tell a lady to “Shut Up You F###ing Bull Dyke – You Just Need A Good C##k To Sort You Out” – well when a warrent card and police badge get produced, it’s amazing how they don’t work like magic because the idiots are not able to enguage brain as thier mouths run away unconrolled, and so they then get introduced to Bondage In the Gay Village and taken away in Police Handcuffs.

              Not so muck S&M as Law & Order: Special Idiots Unit.

              It was odd how the women demanded that they had to be accepted in the Gay Village for gender safety reasons and then accused the people they relied upon of so many sexually motivated assaults! Even the police were shcked by the stistical abberation of how gay men in a gay safe space were apprently sexually assualting so many women that you have in excess of a 4000% chance of being assualted there than the whole of the rest of Greater Manchester. When the girls had stats like those pointed out and it was recomended that tehy avoide the crime hot spots they still insisted they would “Feel” safer if the were in the Gay Village.

              The ladies did get quite a shock too when they discovered that the owners of gay venues are not dizzy queens and even have insurers who do black and white – having full functional and manned CCTV is often required and it’s shocking when it shows that NO assaults took place and that having the young lady escorted from the premises by police was quite the right thing to do!

              I even saw one event that will stay with me for many years. One person upon removal made so many peopel happy that the lights were turned up full – the music was tuned off – and the Police were given a Standing Ovation for such an excellent public performance.

              Some were very unhappy when they got served with None Harrament and None Molestation orders which stated thay were excluded from the Gay Village period. So many were shocked and amazed at just how much protection was out there and when used in equality just how many Big Bubbles got popped and party dresses left hanging on the rack!

              It was interesting too, just how many of those liberated and supposdly empowered young women abused lesbians at every opportunity. Hell at one point we were wondering what was in the water cos the Testosterone levels were off the scale and it was them Hetro Girls who seemed to be mainlining it before they went out in packs!

              I love academic commentary about what was going on “The Presence of the hen night severly disrupts the intended concept of the space. ” – talk about polite and understated.

              … So that use of the big B word and highlighting Bullying is in my Personal (née Professional) Experience rather justified. In fact In have used it so many times on Police Reports, Court Papers and even Media Reports.

              So I do wonder at the experiences of some writers and the behaviour they report and also gloss over. Maybe they need to spread their wings and visit a few more places before labelling so many with bad language and from a position of personal ignornace.

              Hell you can even get flight’s to Manchester UK from NY, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Orlando, Chicago and even Las Vegas. Those are the none stop ones too – and post Christmas the prices will drop like fairy dust, It’s such a magical time of the year to explore other worlds and see how other people live and the wars they have fought and lived beyond.

              You never know they may even find something positive to write about and how structural and even social change can be achieved by those who can think and write straight cos they have their eyes open!

              You never know – they could come and see what happens if they grab a boob and bitch about a dress in places with a Zero Tollernace Stance of sexual violence in an equality framework – cos them lasses in Manchester take no priosners – and that’s just the friendly well behaved one’s, and not the ones who are still banned and kept well away from descent folks! Better have the number for the US Embassy London handy so when the police say you can make a call …… It should only take a day of so for the cavalry to arrive – and the cells at Bootle Street Police station are so comfy! I know cos The Girls Told Me!

      • Mr Supertypo says:

        @Shane: I agree, beside the fact that there always few individual who behaves badly. They are far from everybody and they dont represent the gay community. I call BS on who claims this is a generalized gay behavior. Somebody act like this, yes they but everybody no. There is no way somebody can convince me that this is true.

        That said, I think the author is trying to build up a career targeting the female audience, since women love reading this kind of articles, he surely tough that appealing to them, is the easiest way to gain some notoriety. Yes that is my hypothesis. Unless he is a gay hater, and yes you can be gay, and still hate your identity. Otherwise its hard to me to explain why somebody try hard to ruin the reputation of billion of gay men all over the world.

        • Well the Huffington Live is very interesting. He still was not able to account at ALL gay men at his lectures being sexists his way. Sounds like a fan club gone wrong to me! It’s fascinating when he starts on how people need to be careful with expressing “Authority”. It’s even odder when he has to justify himself whilst reporting that reported events could not be linked to gay men – assume = making ass of u+me.

          It’s well worth watching to see just how ALL (5) commentators had to all dance around handbags to keep the whole mess going and not say the Author was barking up the wrong tree! They are worried about the degree of generalisation.

          Boobie Sexuals – and I do wonder who is the biggest booby of all?

        • I agree on calling BS on generalizing bad behavior to an entire population. Go to a nightclub any day of the week, any city in America. You can find a straight woman, a straight man, a person of color, virtually anyone, behaving as abominably as the anecdotal in this story. They are not representing their demographics. They are just idiots. Every group has them.

          Gay men are as varied as any groups, they are as varied in class, income, education, geography as anyone. Painting every gay man with this broad brush is just bad science.

      • Hi Shane,

        You may think you’re detecting homphobia. I do not like to have unsolicited critiques of my body or clothing selection from anyone. I do not like being groped by strangers. I should not have to listen to unsolicited graphic sexual comments from strangers and aquaintances. The sexuality and sex of individuals is irrelevant in my preferences. What you’re actually detecting is asshole-phobia. Most of the gay men I have met seem to understand the basic courtesy our society has agreed upon, to keep rude comments and behaviours to ourselves. About 25% do not. There is significant overlap in that 25%, and the portion who have wedged themselves into the narrow stereotype of “bitchy and fabulous.”

        • Clem Burke says:

          Please give me stats from a reliable well respected source over this “25% of gay men” are abuusive to women.

        • FABULOUS STATS -FABULOUS – how diamanté can you get! P^)

          I have to take exception with the 25% cos Honey I have seen it as a function of environment. You really do need to read “The Boys Guide to Fabulosity” (Available from Amazon)!

          1) When 2 or more Bitchy Queens are in the same place they shall be Fabulous. (Note 100% Obligation)

          2) At all other times and when there are less than 2 there shall be a 100% reduction in all public displays of Fabulosity and Bitching!

          Now do you need the ISBN for “The Real Man’s Guide To Being Queer”?

        • Most gay men I know pass as straight. Unless they told you, you wouldn’t know that they are gay.

          • Clem Burke says:

            I agree most gay men I know will walk right by you and you would neve know they were gay its that tiny percent that stick out that every one see’s

        • Well, it seems to me that when a man in general starts telling you things or touching you inappropriately you tell them to stop, and move on with your life, not make a giant deal out of assholes.

        • You ARE homophobic. Just admit it.

  164. Touching without consent and offering unsolicited advice on one’s body is hardly a gay male thing. My entire life women of all stripes have critiqued my fashion choices. And way more women than men have groped me without invitation. Groping without invitation is being a jerk, regardless of who you are. To focus on one group is not useful. This article is plain misandry.

    • I think this article was trying to point out that it happens to everyone. Sexual harassment can occur throughout sexualities. I think some of the points were fairly accurate, or in my experience they are at least. I have noticed that the gay guys I’ve known have been a lot more touchy-feely with me to levels that I have been uncomfortable with it, but I think it’s important to point out typically girls are pretty touchy-feely with other girls as well, and no one usually calls them out on sexual harassment. Same with the fashion stuff. My gay friends will try to give me advice (sometimes unwarranted) but so do my girl friends. There are bitches regardless of gender, who will go a bit too far.

  165. I _beg_ your pardon!

    I agree with the basic thesis here—guys, gay or straight, keep your uninvited hands and advice to yourself. But I see a large structural problem with this essay: author Akili repeatedly misattributes thoughtless misbehavior on the part of *some* gay men to “many” gay men, describing but blithely disregarding that the misbehavior has been observed among subsets of subcultures. To put it in simpler terms, Akili is tarring with a brush much too wide. It’s convenient for the production of an essay such as this, but it’s disingenuous, unwarranted, unsupportable, thoughtless and rude.

    Did akili observe this behavior (or see raised hands from) “many gay men”? Perhaps, but they all belonged to definable, self-selected groups: those interested and/or situated to hear Akili talk about gay men’s relationship to American fashion and women’s bodies, for example, and perhaps those who dance at gay clubs. That by no means encompasses the whole of gay maledom, and it is erroneous to suppose that it does.

    As for Akili’s unsupported—I would go even further and say unsupportable—claims that “gay men in the United States are often hailed as the experts of (…) women’s bodies” and “there is a dominant logic that suggests that because gay men have no conscious desire to be sexually intimate with women, our uninvited touching and groping (physical assault) is benign”, this appears to be nothing more substantial than Akili’s narrow-view opinion, so…[Citation Needed]. For every gay man Akili thinks he’s observed to believe and/or behave inappropriately like this, I can find at least one who does not—starting with myself and my husband.

    Fact is, badly-behaved people are stubbornly present no matter how thinly or at what angle we slice up society. That unfortunate reality does not warrant generalized aspersions cast on entire groups at large; guilt by association doesn’t fly. You keep your flimsy theories off me, Akili.

    • Daniel the Author does not care – they found an old idea “Boobiesexual” – reinvented with a bitter twist as if it was there own – went public and got outcry for being bigoted – got picked up by Huffington. Modern media and Journalism in a nutshell. Self promotion by bigotry.

  166. I’m lucky that none of my gay (male) friends have ever acted like this. has this kind of thing been noticed primarily when talking to/with straight women or femme lesbians?

  167. For a moment, consider if these acts or behaviors had been perpetrated by another heterosexual, cisgender woman. Would we consider it transgressive and sexist to the same degree? Or would our thinking about it be different, still obviously transgressive, but less loaded with ideas of sexism, misogyny, etc.?

    Consider for a moment the relationships between heterosexual women and gay cisgender men. For good or for ill, gay men are often treated like “one of the girls” and are socialized thus. Many cultural barriers between the sexes are already upended in this type of socialization. There are many interactions between gay men and heterosexual women that mirror the interactions between heterosexual women.

    I don’t disagree that the behavior is inappropriate and transgressive; however, I question the idea that this is generally an act of unconscious sexism and white male privilege. While there are many instances of misogyny and sexism by gay men, I wonder if this is a little more akin to the “mean girl”. It’s not uncommon for heterosexual women to treat each other in the ways described in this article, and that’s well documented in popular culture.

  168. Richard Jackman says:

    It’s pretty simple. I don’t want other people — gay, straight or other, male, female or other — touching me or criticizing my clothes without my invitation. So I should extend the same courtesy to others. Is that so hard to figure out? As for straight women’s behavior, there is definitely some heterosexism in loud and out-of-control bachelorette parties in gay bars, and that needs to be discussed and dealt with too. But that doesn’t justify bad behavior on the part of gay men, and needs to be discussed separately.

  169. The Huffpost is proof that biased journalism isn’t the sole province of FOX NEWS.And that politics,the media and morality,though not mutually exclusive,do from time to time suffer allergic reactions from exposure.

  170. I’m a homosexual male and the vast majority of my friends are homosexual males. I don’t know anybody who acts like this (except some females). So according to my anecdotal research, 100% of gay men do not grope women inappropriately nor critique their attire.

    Research is fun!

    • Well Frank – research shows that those seeking fame and fortune will do anything to get on Huffy TV – they dig up an old idea “Boobisexuals” give it a new twist by claiming supposed research with three friends in the audience putting their hands up. The old tricks are the best ones – and it sure beats doing fraud at someone else’s expense.

  171. As a woman first let me say that I won’t discount anyone else’s reality. If someone says that they have been assaulted by gay men more than straight men, I believe them. If someone says that they have experience body shaming from gay men, I have no reason not to believe them. And I would like to add my story to the mix, I have gone to gay clubs throughout my 20-30s, never ever ever has a gay/bisexual/transgender/questioning or otherwise grabbed my fantastic booty or chi-chies. I have gotten “advice” on what to wear but no more so than that annoying “friend of a friend” who doesn’t know what is socially appropriates. Sometimes people, all people are just lame.

    • Certainly it’s good to believe your friend they’ve been assaulted by gay men.

      I’d caution you not to agree with the conclusion that all gay men are sexist predators based on your friends experience. If it was a black man who assaulted your friend, you’d certainly understand it would be wrong to generalize that incident as representative of all black men.

  172. Sex Addict Radar says:

    These horny pervs would grab donkey nads if they were within reach. Doesn’t matter to them. All these narcissists can think about is flesh, flesh, flesh. Why is that so hard to understand. The root of the problem is their entire preoccupation with baudiness. Isn’t this completely obvious to anyone who wants to objectively observe, or are you all to Darwinized to admit to the reality of sex addiction.

  173. I’ve experienced many a gay-club-tit-grab myself and I have always wondered, “Why is it okay because he’s gay? How do I know he’s gay? How do I know he’s not just some creep going out to gay clubs so that he can grope women at will?”

    Yet…never have I once even heard of a lesbian groping a dude….or a woman pretending to be a lesbian in order to grope dudes.

    In any case, if you’re out in public and you get groped by someone, punch the fuck! I guarantee he won’t do it again.

    • I’ve heard plenty of gay men tell of women groping them, could be that there is this view that groping each other is seen as ok for some gay men and women. I haven’t heard of lesbians being groped by men though at gay bars so maybe the dynamic is different. Unwanted groping is wrong either way, people need to quit that shit.

    • so if gay men groped by straight women ( there are many of them ) they can punch her ( her = the fuck ) …. no? because its a woman right?

  174. Oh please, I’m a gay man and I’ve had women squeeze my pecs, abs, stroked my abs and even my crotch. Is anyone going to write an article on how women own gay male bodies then?

  175. This has to be a generational thing. As a gay man in his forties I know I would never and none of my friends would ever touch a woman this way, probably even with her consent! It has a lot to do with different concepts of being ‘out’ ; to men who grew up watching Will and Grace, being gay and out is an all encompassing social identity, like being a hippie or a biker. Everyone should immediately recognize you as one. To gay men raised in the seventies and earlier, this type of a person was stigmatized as a ‘queen.’ The rest of us wanted to believe we were just like everyone else, aside from being gay, and being out meant that we would unashamedly TELL you we were gay if it was in any way relevant to you. I don’t assume people know I’m gay on sight and maybe I’m delusional for not knowing they do, but regardless, I don’t assume it gives me any license to take liberties not available to hetero men. If this were truly an accepted social norm, I think that a lot of today’s more gay-accepting hetero youth would willingly pretend to be gay in order to get in on the action.

  176. Great article.

  177. so, responders, because you can reference other published examples of gay male molestation of women’s breasts, that somehow proves that this article is invalid or stealing a headline for attention? as a gay male, i’ve witnessed this problem MANY times. misogyny abounds in gay male culture. many of us are sexist, racist and extremely judgmental of people’s bodies and fashion. instead of responding so defensively to this very accurate assessment, why not reflect on how you benefit from and contribute to heteronormative patriarchy (that’s basically straight male societal privelege). because as a gay male, you likely do to one degree or another (i sure do). let’s work together to be better allies to the women and trans folks in our communities…

    • Mr Supertypo says:

      because, this article makes clear that this is a general behavior from gay males, witch is not true. Some act like this? sure no one is denying this. But claiming that the majority is participating in this behavior is basically a lie. And this article also fails to shed some light in the molestation gay men receive from women. Its a two way street not one way. Therefore the entire points of this, is invalid.

      • sexism is learned. it can be unlearned. let’s reflect on our privilege and listen more…

        • Mr Supertypo says:

          “and listen more…”

          on this point I do agree with you…

        • Bashing people over the head with “privilege” is not listening, it’s pretty much demanding the privileged shut up and listen only to the oppressed. That’s not how you listen, you take turns listening, and get ALL sides of the story.

          I find it interesting though that a privileged group (straight women) are coming into a space of someone more oppressed (gay men). Plenty of commenters are saying how some of these women grope the men, is there an article telling those women to stop that?

          • nichole says:

            yes, gay men do have male privilege. certainly we should be addressing straight women feeling entitled to gay/queer bars & spaces; that’s definitely heterosexism/homophobia. but that’s not what this article is about. but actually, i have, in fact, read many articles telling straight women to stop going in to GLBT spaces.

            but not every woman is a straight woman. i, for instance, am a queer woman. & many of my queer women friends, as well as trans friends, actively avoid a lot of mainstream GLBT “community” because of gay male misogyny & transphobia.

            the point is that misogyny is misogyny, & no one should get a pass simply because of their orientation. period.

            & while i agree that no one should be touching another person inappropriately without consent, it is very clear that many of the men here do not actually understand patriarchy & power.

  178. Thank you so much for writing this. It’s a subject I’ve never really thought much about although I frequent gay clubs quite often.

  179. “Gay men” are no more monolithic than any other group. They do not all have monolithically the same attitudes toward women than all black men do, or all Asian men do, or all Latino men do.

    Just saying. The road to better awareness is not through stereotyping base on your personal anecdotal experiences. It’s possible there are entire circle and subcultures of gay men who don’t go to the same night clubs as the author. Or, imagine this, don’t go to any night club.

    • I agree with your comment up to the point that we are indeed all affected by group dynamics. There are actual psychological disorders representing in our culture as a whole that are concentrated in the gay community. Guys on the pedophile spectrum don’t have to use the priesthood or marriage for social cover anymore. They can hide out as “gay”.

      A social/cultural lens is a helpful tool for looking at interpersonal phenomena. I am happy that the author has spurred some sorely needed conversation around the anti-social characteristics of the “gay community” It’s time we as a whole grow up and take care of each other.

      • “That dialogue included recognizing that gay men in the United States are often hailed as the experts of women’s fashion and by proxy women’s bodies.”

        Who hails us as experts on women’s fashion and by proxy women’s body? Kindly point me to citations where we are often so hailed. This reminds me of the technique used by Fox News [sic] to source opinion as news using devices such as “many people say,” or “it is widely held” that make the case by nothing more than the waving of the hands.

        But this idea that gay men other than the gay men who would touch or issue fashion advice all touch or issue fashion advice is prejudicial, just like dismissing all women as hysterical was. We now know that only some women are hysterical.

        • Amaagatam Hanak says:

          Thank you Marco. Well said. Clearly there are different types of gays as well as different types of women… or men for that matter.

        • Do we really have to counter every single article meant to raise awareness with the “we aren’t all like that” argument? Of course you aren’t. Within any group there will be a wide range of diversity, experience and validity. But when looking at an actual issue that does exist, to only respond with that argument basically says, “Your real issue doesn’t matter because of my equally real issues.” I truly don’t believe this article was intended to single out and victimize every single gay man, I would hope that it’s intent was to shine light on something that some people may be doing without realization and that others would never have realized was an issue because they’ve never done it and never would. Yes it is totally valid if you take issue with the generalization aspect of the verbiage, because blanket statements are usually hurtful, but raising awareness of an issue is very important. Please, please, don’t shoot this idea down simply because it doesn’t apply to you, and don’t downplay those who have been hurt simply because you aren’t the aggressor. If that is all you have to say, then how can any progress be made?

          • This piece cast a pretty wide, indiscriminate net. The fact is that when a straight man gropes a straight woman that carries different semantics than when a gay man touches a straight woman. Whether any given woman takes those semantics as sexual or non has no bearing on the fact that the intent of the act is not sexual when a gay man touches a woman. Some people are touchy some are not. The way to deal with this is to confront the offending conduct when it happens and to ask for support if there is no favorable response. It is not like gay men corner straight women in back alleys to cop a feel, these contacts take place in a much more social setting where support is available.

            • But regardless of the gay man’s intent not to put his penis in her vagina, he has STILL sexually assaulted her. At the end of the day, that part is no different.

              Why are you trying to suggest that it’s somehow less malevolent when a gay man does it because he doesn’t want to have sex with her when he has still done the same thing as a straight man would?

            • Sexual assault has to be sexual in nature. The “rape culture” fetishists devalue the currency of nonconsensual sex and rape when they equate any touching to rape.

              The problem here is that a small number of gay men are indiscriminate touchers and a small number of women are more sensitive to casual touching than most. People don’t get to work through the entirety of their issues by demanding that everyone change their conduct so as to not offend the most easily offended.

              There are two people involved here, the one with intent and the recipient. In order to evaluate the interaction one must consider both intent and interpretation. If the intent is nonsexual, then if the interpretation is is if it were sexual, then the interpretation is mistaken. A healthy person would say “please, do not touch me like that again” as that is how healthy people negotiate conflict.

              If one is overly sensitive to this, then the place to deal with that is with professional help to aid one in getting over whatever trauma left one so sensitive.

              While I agree that for a women who has been raped, for instance, that rape is a crime of violence. But I also believe that for many men who date rape, the crime is one of miscommunication at trying to have sex, that the intent is not to be violent. I don’t excuse this conduct, but we need to understand the intent if we are going to be able to craft effective interventions to stop date rape, the most prevalent form. In watching gay men cruise for 30 years, I’ve seen the kernel of the rape gene, the preemption of feedback where men can or do not see rejection as real, do not know what ‘no’ means. I’ve had to slap men down who haven’t taken a series of escalating hints that their sexual approaches are unwanted. Many women do not have the power to do that.

              Seeing things this way would involve putting one’s own experience aside for a moment, putting oneself in the shoes of the perp, seeing the world from his perspective so that one can understand how to disarm the date rape bomb. The other solution is to lash out and blame everyone without doing much of anything to change behavior. Yes it can be difficult for a woman who has been date raped to do this. That is why we have academics who are supposed to study these phenomenon more objectively. But they too are imbued in the group think culture.

              Thus, academic feminism has largely been reduced from a very useful body of theory on power and objectification and change to a pity party coffee klatch designed to provide comfort to those on the high end of the sensitivity bell curve. There are times that the rape culture fetishists want to see rape everywhere and to do nothing to end rape lest they slay the dragon and weaken if not lose their opponent.

            • “The problem here is that a small number of gay men are indiscriminate touchers and a small number of women are more sensitive to casual touching than most.”

              To me “indiscriminate touchers” would apply to someone who touched my arm or shoulder or hand within a conversation or to get my attention. An “indiscriminate toucher” is not someone who, gay or straight, feels it’s his right to grab my boobs or butt and make comments about my body. Also, I do not know if it’s a “small” group of gay men who are “indiscriminate touchers” and a “small” group of women who are “sensitive” to it. Of the women I know, most of them would *not* be cool with either a gay or straight guy fully grabbing our bodies as if they owned them, not us.

              Lastly, it does not matter to me if the intent is sexual or not, it is still a physical violation toward that person. And it also shouldn’t matter if it happens in some back alley or full view in Macy’s department store.

    • This is totally anecdotal. It’s about Project Runway type gays. I don’t think I’ve patted a woman’s shoulder without her consent in a decade.

      Now, by the numbers, we can account for the number of women who have voted against gay marriage, or spoken out about equal rights etc. This are quantifiable numbers.

      I’m tired of hearing about gay male misogyny and not hearing about female homophobia. Women definitely outrank gay men on life’s chess board. The only avoidance of this is the gay man who pretends to be straight. I suppose by the same token a woman might pretend to be male in order to cancel male privilege.

      • “I’m tired of hearing about gay male misogyny and not hearing about female homophobia. Women definitely outrank gay men on life’s chess board”

        I take issue with this. Have you seen all the anti abortion stuff going on in the States recently? Women don’t even get to control our own bodies. We’re also blamed when we’re raped, and we’re more likely to be raped. Furthermore, queer women and trans*women are most likely to be victims of sexual or physical violence from males. Equality is intersectional.

        Being gay means you don’t have straight privilege. It doesn’t refute your male privilege. They’re different things and work in different ways. I’ve not met a single female feminist who doesn’t care about gay men’s rights (probably because feminism is often a safe space for queer women like me).

        How about instead of arguing about who has it worst, we work together? Homophobia comes from a fear of being seen as gay, which is often linked to being emasculated. This means that actually homophobic slurs are attacks on women by proxy.

        “He walks like a gay” = “He has a feminine walk”. From this we learn that feminine = bad, and therefore gay is bad. We internalize these things and it reinforces our insecurities, either because we can’t help being one gender, or we don’t conform enough to the other.

        This article is misplaced, I think. Women, LGBTPIQ and POC should be encouraged to work together and educate, to end oppression for all.

        • “Have you seen all the anti abortion stuff going on in the States recently? Women don’t even get to control our own bodies.”

          Just wanted to point out that there being a lot of “anti-abortion stuff going on” does not equal women not getting to control their own bodies. There are people who think women shouldn’t be allowed to have abortions – yet women are allowed to have abortions until the law says otherwise. Please don’t blow things out of proportion. Women are no longer as oppressed as some would like to believe.

          • Under Bill Clinton and Janet Reno, “pro-choice” Democrats both and the first woman Attorney General of the US, access to abortion for women in 2/3 of US counties vanished due to legal and terror attacks.

        • Amaagatam Hanak says:

          I agree. This article is clearly misplaced. I’m feeling “restlessness of the homophobe” type feeling. The creating of something that isn’t really there. I’m a straight native female who’s had numerous trustworthy gay male friends. I feel I know them well enough to “feel” that this isn’t true of ‘MANY” gay men. “IF” this is true of “some” gay men, I suggest recanting the story. My deepest fear is that this story might start something new against gays…

  180. Chris Duncan says:

    As a gay man, I don’t relate to this problem because I don’t think it’s right to touch anybody coercively. But I see this problem happen often, and I simply don’t identify with it as a gay problem but as a problem for men who need to rely on false ways of relating to women, flat roles that have been prescribed in the media. In other words, the problem is not sexual assault or sexism per se, but the development of a weak sense of self in many gay men.

    However, I was attracted to this headline for a different but related issue: gay (and straight) men’s disgust with female genitalia. It’s sort of an odd problem. On the one hand, denigrating female form without reason but with appeals to emotions like disgust strikes me as idiotic. After admitting disgust, a gay man will justify his disgust on the grounds that it is a natural emotional response. On the other hand, worshipping body parts or focusing on particular body parts strikes me as equally problematic and fetishizing. How can gay men learn to appreciate female form beyond affective responses that they believe require no rational justification?

    • I’m guessing you’ve never heard lesbians talking about penises, then.

      Handy hint: whenever you feel a feminist thought crawling into your brain, always flip the genders and see if there’s a male equivalent before sharing.

      • Chris Duncan says:

        Actually, I have. What I find some lesbians emphasizing is the size of the male phallus, that large penises are good. I think that merely reiterates a broad social obsession with the penis.

        But if you’re suggesting lesbians do associate the penis with disgust, as surely many men and women of any sexual orientation do, we’re still in the same problematic space of resorting to faulty emotional responses that actually create distance between humans. My question holds in reverse too: how can lesbians come to appreciate male form beyond prescribed emotional responses (whether it be a utilitarian appreciation of size qua size or disgust)?

    • Glad someone else noticed the violent and disproportionately repulsed attitude a lot of gay men seem to have towards female genitalia! I have overheard several of my gay male friends say really misogynistic things about how repulsive and disgusting and smelly they are (how would they know?)–really vulgar attacks!! It was awhile ago and I just thought it was really weird and that maybe they felt entitled because they had experienced prejudice from straight men who enjoy female genitalia?

      • Clem Burke says:

        So you never noticed Antia Brtyant or feminist and atheist leader of Australlia Julia Gillard, and many other women and feminist attacking and trying to remove rights from gays. Oh, I see its all about you, and what happend on one saturday night with a drunk friend. Straight women from Maggie Gallagher to Jan Brewer, and so many I do not have time to list the distruction straight women have done to gay men and especially targeting gay men and you want to whine about a nasty comment with a trashy friend, You are a professional victim that needs to get a life, you are pathetic.Llay off the booze and get around some educated nice men and women and leave the bar scene.

        • What a mature and thoughtful response that in no way created a strawman fallacy nor resulted to insulting remarks. Not childish at all.

          No… no, wait. I mean the exact opposite of that.

      • @Rachel – sorry to have to point this out to you, but there are quite a few women of any sexuality who make very unpleasant comments about the smell of male genitals – and then they advocate mutilation called Circumcision on the grounds of smell. I admit it seems to be a US centric issue, but it is disgusting and sexists globally.

      • You complained about gay men saying female genitalia are repulsive and disgusting. And us? We, men, also heard how male genitalia are disgusting and repulsive all the time. Who said that? STRAIGHT WOMEN. Again, I tell this again, STRAIGHT WOMEN. See? You heard “misogynist” thing about female genitalia from gay men, who dont have any sexual interest in you, while we heard it from straight women, who supossedly find us attractive physically, not just emotionally. I really dont mind with lesbians saying male bodies and genitalias are ugly, but hearing it from females who claims they are straight is make me sad. Not just any women, even my own mother said male body and male genitalia are ugly and repulsive and disgusting. And you complained about gay men saying female genitalia are disgusting and repulsive???? Every time you heard it from your gay friends joking how repulsive and disgusting female genitalias are, remember how many times you said how male bodies and genitalia are disgusting and ugly.

        • I don’t really understand why comments like this get such vitriolic responses. The original commenter felt bad that gay men had called her genitals disgusting. The responders felt bad when women, straight or otherwise, called their genitals disgusting. Acknowledging that it is a shitty thing that happens across the board, by listening to peoples’ stories, is a far more helpful approach than “this happened to me,” “YEAH WELL WOMEN ARE MEAN TOO” (and, of course, the reverse).

        • I’m not sure how one excuses the other. But if you want to go down that road, while I’ve never heard straight women talking smack about penises, straight men saying how disgusting and smelly vagina are seems to be even much more common, to the point where there are songs about it, and even jokes about it on things like Family Guy.

          But it’s pretty crappy to talk about a person’s genitalia that way no matter the case.

      • xwobziz says:

        Rachel , a lot of gay men have been with a woman before they even reealised they were gay , and why is it part of this misogyni/patriarchy when a gay or even a straight person say they find the womens genitalia unpleasant? is that not just their opinion ?

      • @rachel this never comes up with women discussing circumcision? does it?

        • As has already been stated, circumcision is US centric. I’m British and I’ve never met a straight woman who doesn’t like penis, but I’ve come across men (gay and straight) who think vaginas are grim, to the point where straight men have said “I’d rather suck a dick” (I find this strange to be honest, because body parts don’t really phase me, but I don’t worship them either). I don’t know if it’s different social attitudes from country to country?

      • Michael Rowe says:

        Rachel, I’ll tell you what is “repulsive.” What is “repulsive” is the privilege and entitlement with which some lesbian women feel free to engage in the sort of full-on misandry and vulgarity with regard to men and their bodies that, were it reversed as misogyny would earn any gay man a punch in the head—from other gay men.

  181. Norman Gaffar says:

    Thanks so much for this article. I have recently been frightened of the thought that I might be inappropriately touching women, and wondered whether I have been ignorant of the oppression women face, thinking that, as a gay cis man, it doesn’t concern me. To clarify, by inappropriate touching, I certainly don’t mean anything as extreme as grabbing a woman’s breasts without consent. But I would do things like rest my head on the shoulders of my friends, or touch their hair lightly, or hug them. These are things which I feel are out of love for them, but also, on introspection, I feel like there are undertones of (1) me wanting to do things to them that gain me social ‘points’, which I think are given to men by signs of their ownership of women (so I would want to give others the impression that I own the women, and could have them, in some way (which sounds awful, right?), and (2) me not knowing how to act around them, and wanting to fulfil a heterosexual male role which I don’t know how to do appropriately, and out of fear and embarrassment of not being able to fill this role, I act inappropriately and possibly over-affectionately. These issues seem slightly different to the ones given above, and I stress that I’ve never touched a woman in an outrageously inappropriate and sexual way, but I have, for example, patted women on the head before, and put their hair behind their ears, in an awkward way, when I don’t really know them! So I need to stop that!

  182. OhPlease says:

    Okay, as a straight, middle aged woman, I NEED advice about what looks good on me. If you know me and you see me wearing something that is not flattering, please tell me. You can tell me nicely, but definitely tell me. And tell me in a not-nice way rather than not tell me at all.
    I’ve gotten what I felt was sound fashion advice from straight women, gay men, and a few straight men. Maybe even from some gay women that I didn’t realize were gay. Your sexual orientation or gender doesn’t matter to me when giving me that type of advice; how much effort you put into your own appearance (and my opinion of your results) is what matters to me.
    Other people can draw their own boundaries, but for me, I don’t put up barriers against conversations that can help me look and feel my best. In no way whatsoever would I feel that you are trying to assert your ownership over my body by telling me that a tunic with a colorful scarf would look great on my middle-aged body versus the croptop I happened to choose. Oh, please!
    And if you know of a new denim store that carries some really great products and see that my jeans look like I brought them with me from the 1980s, give me a gentle hint. Or a non-gentle one. Something should come between me and my Calvins!
    Consider it a rescue or an intervention. An act of kindness. Because, believe me, that is how I will view it.

    • OhPlease says:

      Oh, Norman Gaffer! No one in society is going to give you points for touching a woman. Women are more than half the population. People touch us all the time. Hugging your friends, touching our hair, resting your head on our shoulders, depending on the particular woman’s POV can be endearing. Some people aren’t touchers, just like some people aren’t shoppers. Or readers. Or runners. I’m a toucher. For goodness sakes, don’t do it at work, but if outside work my male buddies, gay or straight, touch my shoulder or my hair or my arm, I am in no way whatsoever slighted. On the contrary, I usually enjoy the intimacy of a friendship close enough for that. Same for female friends.
      Goodness! Some days I feel that I am the only person in the world who doesn’t get hung up on the silliest little things! This doesn’t even qualify as First World Problems, people. Oh, please.

      • Thank You! Americans seem to be sooooo adverse to touching. Ever notice how the Europeans are shown on film? They are MUCH more demonstrative and affectionate thru touch. Though I am gay, I appreciate touching and being touched by my lady friends. Plus, often it’s not even done consciously. I find myself touching total strangers when helping someone in public (into/out of an elevator/car or thru a door). It comes with the territory. Many women want men to take an active roll as protector but freak out over being touched (like on the small of the back, where one can guide a lady w/o bumping her boob or grasping her in a restraining manner) in an innocent manner. WTF people!?

        • Clark i as a straight men totaly agree, i am from holland, and don’t mind being touched by people when they want me help for something or on the train when i dont hear them that they tap me on the shoulder to get past me ( i am a tall person). Those are also non-consensual touches.

        • I disagree that “many women want men to take an active roll as protector ” but that’s beside the point. Casual touching among friends is not the same as going up to a stranger and grabbing his/her ass. Touching an arm as you help someone is not the same as sexual fondling and groping — which is what this article was about.

    • OhPlease, you are middle aged and still need outside critique on how you should dress? Who has the power to know what is “not flattering” for you? Why do you not know by now how your inner spirit wants to adorn your body? As a straight man, I am mystified by the level of “fashion rape” that women subject themselves to! Who, other than yourself or your intimate partner, are you trying to impress with your adornment? Why are you not self-confident enough to know what feels right for you at this moment in your life? Please realize all this fou-fou stuff is for other women and gays not straight guys who appreciate normal women quite simply as they are. Fashion is female insecurity with their own bodies and preyed upon by gays who have their own fetishes about female bodies. Straight guys are not really that complicated and don’t understand or appreciate all the fuss and bother. There is both a psychological and physical violation by gays that feeds into the insecurities of women. This is a brave article to point is out.

  183. WOW!!! i would never approve of that behavior you described and i think it’s bad to say all gay men do that. i don’t my friends don’t and nor do we approve of it.

  184. Frank7092 says:

    Wow. That’s interesting. I’m a gay man and totally do not relate to anything here at all. I think this article is about some sub-culture of gay men, I don’t know, maybe fashion industry, or barflies. I don’t know any gay men who treat women like this.

  185. wellokaythen says:

    A lot of people have rightly noted that there are obnoxious people in every subgroup, regardless of sexual orientation and gender, and the gay men mentioned in this article are not a great representative sample of gay men in general, probably not even gay men who frequent bars.

    That being said, there is a particular part here that’s kind of distinct to gay men. (Maybe) It’s not the inappropriate touching that’s so specific but the disclaimer. It’s the statement afterwards saying “it’s okay, I’m gay.” There’s nothing like that used by anyone in any other identity, is there? I can’t imagine anyone groping a stranger and then saying, “it’s okay, I’m ____” and filling the blank with: straight, white, Hispanic, dyslexic, a college graduate, a Pisces, extraverted, Presbyterian, etc.

    It seems like this is a very special detail not shared by the other cases of universal rudeness. And it’s obviously not a “gay community” thing. I can’t imagine there are nearly as many cases of a lesbian groping a man and then saying, “relax, dude, I’m a lesbian.”

    If you think about it logically, then if this disclaimer is acceptable, then it should be appropriate for me as a straight guy to grope a stranger’s breasts and say, “don’t worry, I don’t find you remotely attractive.” I mean, if not being attracted to someone gives full license, then hetero men would have license to fondle women they aren’t attracted to. That doesn’t seem right, does it?

    • That being said, there is a particular part here that’s kind of distinct to gay men. … It’s the statement afterwards saying “it’s okay, I’m gay.” There’s nothing like that used by anyone in any other identity, is there?

      Oh Boy! Well that one’s wrong! As has already been pointed out here by SO many gay men, Hetero women have terrible habits when let out in public and so many use the excuse of “Don’t Worry You’re Queer and I’m Straight” to commit sexual assault. Once is anecdote, twice alarming and the third identifies a pattern of social behaviour which warrants close study, if you can get the funding and ethics approval. It is odd how hard that can be when it’s looking at female as aggressor and not male.

      And it’s not even limited to supposed GAY Venues/Environments. It’s been done to me personally in many environments – and the hand slapping has been equally loud in all of them… as has the bitching and name calling after me for not welcoming being sexual assaulted under the guise of Faulty Female Privilege. Having had Vocal training my Operatic Responses, verging on the Wagnerian do tend to drown them out… and get people looking! Never underestimate the power of peers and public embarrassment. P^)

      White Female Sexism … or Female Sexism of any colour is unwelcome by any recipient, and it’s strange when the aggressors just don’t get it, and worse when people start to excuse it. Sorry but it looks like your White Knighting and coming up with a distorted view. … and as for lesbians making excuses … hate to break the news to you, but they do naughty and antisocial things too, and also make excuses for wandering hands.

      Humanity has just gone to hell in a hand basket – so please turn out the lights when the last one leaves.

      • wellokaythen says:

        Yeah, I should have known better than to have asked a question with the word “nothing” in it. Ask a question about whether there’s anything like X out there, and you’re bound to get an answer. In this case, I missed a really big example.

      • ogwriter says:

        @Media Hound: Where have you been!? I have a sister who is lesbian-except for that time a few years ago when she fell in love with and lived with a straight guy. According to her, she has been groped, fondled and otherwise inappropriately touched by… GAY WOMEN. I say if one belongs to a group that hasn’t mastered the self control it expects of others they should keep their mouths. Confronting this self righteousness is exhausting! Dear lord is it not clear, by now, that some people of every group behave in less than appropriate ways?

  186. Caitlin Fuchs-Rosner says:

    This is absolutely true. I am so glad SOMEONE is finally talking about this horrible problem. Gay men who behave this way hide behind a politically correct shroud, crying “homophobia!” whenever anyone tries to criticize their behavior.

    Yolo, GOOD FOR YOU!! for being brave, speaking the truth despite the backlash you will inevitably encounter, and for making an important generalization/statement.

    Of course not every gay man criticizes women. But MANY, MANY do. So many, in fact, that this problem is now characteristic of the male, gay community, whether gay men like it or not.

    SO MUCH LOVE for this article!

    • Angelique Pacheco says:

      This happens more than gay men want to admit to. I am a Transwomen and I have experienced having my top pulled down and told “it’s no big deal we are both gay”????? I slapped his face as he persisted to try and grab my crotch. He was not trying to pick me up, he was just being rude and thought he had the right to do it just because he was in a gay bar. I realize that all gay men are not of this horrible nature, but this cannot be denied that it does happen. When I complained to the bartender I was asked to leave! I never ever go to gay bars any longer as a result. I have lots of gays male friends who were completely in shock when they found out what happened. I socialize now at church groups and in private homes as a result.

  187. When I hear about women’s oppression I think about women who are stoned to death or whipped after being raped, and I think that is horrendous and the world needs to grow a lot to make that never happen again. I think about girls who are refused sex education by idiot Christian and end up with kids and an abusive husband. One thing women in the US need to realize is gay men, for me anyway and those I know, do not think very much about women at all. If we did we’d be straight. Also, many women are not oppressed. Hillary Clinton is not oppressed. Her fucked up comment about Bradley Manning… that was oppression.

    And all of the hands went up? I find that odd. Gay men walk around touching women and offering fashion advice? Where? On television? I don’t know t