Thursday, November 20, 2008

I GET IT!!!

Last night while watching the documentary I had an epiphany. There's a concept in women's studies that we've talked about several times in class now and it took this movie to clear things up.

The concept is that homophobia really springs from misogyny - that is to say, it's the hatred of women that is the root of homophobia.

Something about that just never clicked and, though I could see the relation of the two, it was hard to imagine that hatred of gays and lesbians really came from the hatred of women in general.

But think about it - what causes fear or hatred from some heterosexual men toward gay men specifically? It is the thought that gay men are somehow taking on "women's roles" or "giving up their male privilege." This scares the hell out of many men.

For some men there is nothing scarier than the thought of losing power and "becoming a woman." But it is often these same men that deny or refuse to accept the fact that simply for being a male, they have privilege.

It is not about being monetarily privileged, but about the privilege to do things (i.e. walk alone in the dark without fear of being attacked, serve in a combat position in the military, etc) that may seem insignificant, but force women into a position of second-class-citizenship.

It all goes back to that white supremacist capitalist patriarchy that is so rampant in our country and threatens and often succeeds at undermining and oppressing anyone outside of the power group.

Oh men...

6 comments:

Katie Colip said...

What's the worst thing you can call a man?
A woman.
What's the worst thing you can call a woman?
A woman.

It took me a while to get this concept too, but once it clicked, it clicked for good. Hopefully all of the work being done for both women's and glbt rights will have crossover effects...

Thought Criminal said...

Thanks for posting this. I really want to watch that documentary now. :]

Carmen said...

I haven't seen the documentary, but whatever it was that helped you make the connection makes the film worthwhile.

Think of all the derogatory words boys call each other. How many of them involve either insulting the boy's mother or insinuating the boy is, in fact, not a boy at all?

Garfieldbkwrm said...

Okay, I think I understand, and it does make sense for where the fear of homosexuality comes from, but hate? Well, if one fears something, one usually hates it too. I had not heard of this concept. The one I'm familiar with basically states that being homosexual means one is not reproducing which equates to not contributing to the survival of the species.
Now to play devil's advocate, don't forget how much the female population contributes to the derogatory name calling of boys and men. Granted there are men who need their egos deflated, but women can be just as bad as the men if not worse in some cases.

Carmen said...

Garfieldbkwrm wrote: Now to play devil's advocate, don't forget how much the female population contributes to the derogatory name calling of boys and men. Granted there are men who need their egos deflated, but women can be just as bad as the men if not worse in some cases.

We have to remember that women can be homophobic and misogynistic as much as men. They frequently are. Women, too, have a stake in keeping things the way they are. Many women want things to stay in their comfy, heteronormative patterns. So they perpetuate homophobia through gay-baiting as much or more than men do.

Nothing makes a man more "manly" than to question his manhood. And many women love to rile up a guy by doing just that.

We have to keep reminding people that while a feminist might be a woman, a woman isn't necessarily a feminist. Many woman are pretty happy going along with the current hegemonic order, and if it takes a little name-calling to keep things in line, so be it.

Dusty said...

The film also does a great job of identifying many different ways that Christians have learned to embrace gay and lesbian family members. Some did so in amazing ways, and other stories were heartbreaking. Thoroughly enjoyed this movie and think it should be viewed by the greater public!