Watching the Superbowl this year, several of the people I was with commented on the number of commercials that seemed to be aimed at stereotypes about being manly. Such ads basically stating that the products advertised would help you to claim, or reclaim, your manhood. (As a disclaimer, I am currently listening to “Single Ladies.”)
Now, I could go on a long tirade about how this image of manhood is imperfect, degrading, limiting, damaging, worse than Global Warming, and the ONLY reason we don’t know how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie pop. Instead, I shall use this opening point to delve some deeper points about mainstream attitudes toward sexuality. (Oh nice. Classical Essay Structure! Classy.)
Through my reflections on gender perceptions, led in part by the Superbowl, it has occurred to me that perhaps our perceptions of homosexuality (Yes, the H-word. More offensive then the f-word, scarier than the c-word, and makes debates about the economy look like a Kindergarten tea party.) are very simply based on our basic cultural perceptions of each gender’s sexuality.
“Bit the first, dealing with our perception of the sexual feelings themselves.”
Consider the female. When I think of female sexuality, I think of something needed and desirable, but also wild and untameable, something like playing with fire. We can’t ignore it, but tread carefully, because she might get her period. I see the perception of lesbianism as very similar. We all know that culturally, two girls kissing is just sooooooo hot. However, it seems that every time that the unwitting straight male approaches two buxom babe loving beauties, he invariably gets hit or humiliated.
Now, looking at male sexuality, it seems to me that particular beast is viewed, as well, a monster. It is seen as a wild untameable beast that is out to rape, pillage, and fuck just about whatever it can lay its little head upon. (I have it on a very reliable source that in the Victorian era, piano legs were covered so men would not lust after them.) We can very much see that in the perception of male homosexuality, which revolves around the idea that gay men are horny unfaithful glory holes who are ready, willing, and able to seduce every straight man in a five-mile radius.
In both cases, it appears that the perception of gay sexuality is just a reflection and multiplication of the perception of each respective gender’s sexuality.
Bit the second, dealing with our perception of how acceptable the people are.
It is interesting to note that lesbians are, in general, more socially accepted than gay men. The reason for this I think is two-fold.
1. As I stated earlier, stereotypically, straight men find two girls kissing to be sexually appealing, therefore they have a reason/excuse to accept them. There is no such analogy for gay men.
2. Due to the extensive work of the women’s liberation movement, the idea of woman in non-traditional gender roles is much more accepted than it used to be. Alternatively, because men have always had all the money and all the power, there has never been a strong enough need or desire for a movement toward a cultural shift that would allow men to express themselves in a nontraditional way, let alone have their sexual polarity be completely reversed.
Here again, it appears that the views towards homosexuality are very much defined by how we view that gender.
Thus ends my brief Trieste, I don’t doubt that there will be more on this subject in the future,