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

Premium Membership, The Good Men Project

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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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?

  5. 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?

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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 :-D

      • 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.

  10. 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^)

  11. Boobisexuals – just look up Boobisexuals.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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?

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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?

  26. 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?

  27. 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.

  28. Great article.

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

Trackbacks

    Speak Your Mind