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I am writing this, largely, in response to Tracy Clark-Flory's recent article at Salon.com on men and "slut-shaming." She defines slut-shaming as "any behavior meant to punish someone for their sexual appearance, behavior or reputation." The views expressed in her article, for the most part, rejects the notion that men can be slut-shamed in the same disempowering fashion that women can be, and that slut-shaming men doesn't come with the permissiveness towards violence against men as it does against women.

Mostly, I agree with her take, and with the views of the experts she quotes. But I think those views are only 92% correct in that they are only true for the 92% of men who are heterosexual. For the 8 % of men who are gay and bisexual the view that slut-shaming doesn't have a similar impact on men as on women doesn't hold true. Slut-shaming has been the number one weapon used against gay men in the sphere of politics as we seek our equality, and in the realm of criminal justice as we seek justice against those who commit hate crimes against us. And there's another area where slut-shaming hurts gay men: among other gay men.

Follow me below the great orange squiggly for a discussion on slut-shaming used against gay men by our homophobic adversaries, and by other gay men.

Gay men may desire the same advantages of manhood as heterosexual men, but gay men simply do not occupy the same social status and same social space as straight men. I always cringe when I see a write-up about male power and advantage because as a gay man, I simply am not privileged to those things. It doesn't matter if I am as butch as Clint Eastwood talking about "Halftime in America" or if I am as flitty as Chris Colfer in the role of Kurt Hummel on Glee, I simply cannot be grouped with heterosexual men. Even if we passed every gay rights law imaginable at this instant, it may be decades, if ever, that I would be afforded the cultural advantages of manliness. In a sense, this diary is asking for a qualification when pundits and intellectuals comment on male power and privilege: make sure you say "straight male power and privilege."

I may not have always been able to articulate it, but since I was a child, I've always noticed that when it comes to being a sexual minority the females have it best. My sister was often complimented for being a tomboy, whereas I was always belittled for taking any interest at all in feminine things. This isn't just the case in the heterosexual world, mind you, this is the case in the gay world as well. Sissyphobia is rampant among gay males, even, at times, among effeminate males in some sort of internalized sissyphobia. Gay men have no problem, for example, urging other men to conform to gender constructs. Complaints against this pressure are mocked with comments like "people are just asking you to butch up a little, they aren't hurting you."

And that sissyphobia in the gay community also leads to slut-shaming gay men who are perceived as feminine, or who are reputed as sexual bottoms (who are often perceived as closet sissies if the reputed bottoms take on a masculine appearance). A gay man who is perceived as masculine or reputed to be a top can, pretty much, have all the sex he wants without worry over slut-shaming by other gay males.

Ultimately, though, gay men who slut-shame other gay men or express any degree of sissyphobia only do so because they learned from the masters of slut-shaming and sissyphobia: the heterosexual men and boys they grew up with. While every gay man will tell you that the old story of some gay men "playing the man" and other gay men "playing the woman" isn't true, too many gay men adopt the sexism of the larger community and apply it to the gay male community. The persistence of sissyphobia and slut-shaming among gay males is the greatest proof that within the gay male unconscious lies a perception of gay male sexuality that is agreeable with the idea that some of us are playing roles consistent with the dichotomy of men and women. This is probably the result of being so degraded by heterosexual homophobia and bullying as we grow up that we've internalized their memes about us.

But here's the point: lesbians have it better in the gay world than gay men. When a lesbian wishes to discard the vestiges of sexist gender constructs she is hailed as a bold feminist, but a gay man who does the same -- no, he's a silly queen who needs to "butch up." But it's not just the gay world, these things are dictated to the gay world by heterosexuals. ABC News has done several experiments on the show "What Would You Do?" comparing and contrasting how gay men and lesbians would be treated in similar situations. Lesbian mothers who are treated homophobically in a restaurant find more defenders than gay dads. Lesbians who show affection in public generally go unnoticed. Gay men who do the same risk upsetting bystanders, or worse, violence.

And research into homophobic hate crimes shows that gay men are significantly  more likely to be victims of hate crimes than lesbians, and those hate crimes tend to be particularly brutal and, researchers observe, tend to involve overkill. None of this is meant to diminish the struggles of lesbians, but to point out this: if gay men had any of the advantages of manhood, this script would be flipped. We don't, and that's why lumping all men together when talking about male power and privilege has unfortunate consequences in the effort to tear down anti-gay oppression. We need a qualifier when discussing male privilege and power: what is really being discussed is straight male power and privilege.

Straight men have the advantage of avoiding the full force and fury of slut-shaming. Gay men, on the other hand, do not.

In every move upwards in our struggle for LGBT equality, gay men's sex lives are scrutinized. Look at just about any press release from anti-gay groups, whether the American Family Association, the Family Research Council, or the National Organization for Marriage, anytime we near a gain for gay rights, and you'll see slut-shaming used to deprive not only gay men but lesbians, bisexuals and the transgendered people of their rights as well. In this sense, slut-shaming of gay men is more powerful than slut-shaming of women because when gay men are "slut-shamed" it not only has a disempowering impact on gay men, but on the whole of the LGBT community whereas the slut-shaming of women only has a disempowering impact on women.

One anti-gay press release will tell you the fabulous claim that gay men have 500 sex partners in their lifetimes. Or how about that bizarre twitter feed ironically called LGBTFacts that claimed gay men had so much anal sex that we couldn't control our bowels and have to wear a diaper! Then there is the idea that gay men are such out of control sex sluts that we are going to rape soldiers in the shower. Further, anti-gay activists take the mythology they create around gay men's lives to propose even darker things, like the widely discredited claim that we are going to sexually abuse your children.

Gay men have their sex lives on trial all the time. For example, in the courthouse. Any time a gay male has been victim of a crime his very gay maleness will be used against him, along with the well sowed sexual mythology of gay men's sex lives. Most of us know it as the Gay Panic Defense. A murderer will admit doing the deed, but claim that we were sexually aggressive in some manner requiring him to do the only thing reasonable at the time, for example, stab a gay man sixty-one times. And because the slut-shaming of gay men has been so successful, juries buy this story hook, line, and sinker. This is nearly the same exact slut-shaming used to persecute women who are victims of rape.

Where the hell is the male power and advantage that leaves us free of the awful consequences of slut-shaming that women face? Well, clearly it doesn't exist. So, I would ask those analyzing male power and advantage to qualify when you speak of such things. What you are really talking about is heterosexual male power and advantage.

 

8:34 AM PT: I'd like to thank Angry Gays and Milkmen and Women for the re-publish!

11:34 AM PT: Thanks to Community Spotlight for the rescue.

11:35 AM PT: Also, thanks to LGBT Kos Community for the republish.

8:23 PM PT: Apparently, while I was away this made the Rec List, so let me give my thanks to everyone for that.


Originally posted to RfrancisR on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 07:50 AM PST.

Also republished by Angry Gays, Milk Men And Women, LGBT Kos Community, and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Interesting diary. I tend to agree. (26+ / 0-)

    Not to mention that very "masculine" gay men can "pass" for straight and take advantage of what would be otherwise heterosexual male privilege--as long as they are not "out". The mere act of being out opens even the butchest guy to discrimination and second-class status.

    By the way, some of the biggest "bottoms" I know are really, really butch.

    Santorum: Man on Dog; Romney: Dog on Car. equalitymaine.org

    by commonmass on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 07:59:44 AM PST

  •  Effeminate men are bottoms? (9+ / 0-)

    That is news to me.

    Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

    by Horace Boothroyd III on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 08:00:44 AM PST

  •  By the way, I just want to say that (30+ / 0-)

    of all the blogs where this kind of thing is regularly discussed, including the best queer blogs, I am consistently impressed with the level of writing and dialogue on queer and gender issues here at Daily Kos both in the diaries and in the comments.

    We are some pretty sophisticated LGBTQ folks here. Sometimes, I wish we all lived in the same gayborhood. Can you imagine the conversations that would go on at the coffee house or the bar? I'm hoping lots of us will come to NN, I would love to see ALL of us in the same room.

    Santorum: Man on Dog; Romney: Dog on Car. equalitymaine.org

    by commonmass on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 08:17:39 AM PST

  •  Well, in the hierarchy of the patriarchy*, gay men (21+ / 0-)

    are giving up their privilege and must be punished for it. Gay women are lower ranking and therefore less important.

    *Let it be known that I have been bitterly ranting against the patriarchy since I was 6. Yes, I was an irritating kid with very few friends.

    Poverty = politics.

    by Renee on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 08:58:20 AM PST

  •  two very interesting (8+ / 0-)

    diaries the last couple of days - thank you!

  •  The thing is (23+ / 0-)

    that in our culture (and probably just about any other) the female and femaleness are considered inherently inferior and unworthy of respect and regard.

    In a study of schoolchildren who were asked to complete the paragraph beginning "If I were born a [person of the opposite sex]", the girls would write about how they could play sports, study whatever they wanted, aim to have whatever career they wanted when they grew up. And the boys would simply finish it with "I would kill myself."

    So it is considered on some level a noble thing for a woman to want to emulate a man, so long as she does not actually succeed. But it is the worst thing a man could do to emulate a woman. It is considered a direct challenge to The Way Things Should Be™ that a man, even an inferior one, would consider in any way doing something womanly.

  •  Fired for homosexuality (11+ / 0-)

    I was fired for not treating females as if I were sexually attracted to them.

    In each instance, the female was another attorney.  In each instance, the female attorney had done something unethical in court and I had asked the court to sanction her.  One of them broke into tears in court.  I was later criticized by one of her male associates for "making a girl cry".  This "girl" was in her mid-30's.

    In each instance, the females were Deputy District Attorneys.  In one instance, a lesbian judge told me I was being sexist in asking for sanctions against a Deputy DA who had spoken to my client, knowing that my client was represented.  (This is one of the biggest no-no's in the legal profession.)

    In each instance, these female prosecutors were sporting big hair and lots of cleavage, a common occurrence in Los Angeles that I have not seen elsewhere in the country.  (I have also practiced in Philadelphia and New Jersey.)

    It amazes me that when one holds women to the same ethical standards, one is considered sexist.  I am gay and I do not want to have sex with these women, nor do I find them sexually attractive.  Sad to say, lots of straight male attorneys slobber all over them.  It's rather pathetic.

    •  There's definitely a point where (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, kyril, Matt Z

      people will use the existence of prejudice and discrimination as a get-out-of-jail-free card. The fact that you've been maltreated doesn't give you a right to maltreat others. After all, saying "all men are sexist pigs" is not very different than saying "all women are bad drivers," with only the general power differences between men and women making a difference.

      In this particular case, the lesbian judge had the power, and you didn't, and she overstepped her bounds by presuming that your intentions were sexist when you and your client had clearly been violated.

      •  But... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        commonmass, kyril

        None of that changes the general power disparity between men and women, nor the dynamics of slut-shaming.

      •  Speaking of women drivers (6+ / 0-)

        There was a time many years ago when comedians routinely did jokes about women drivers.  The odd thing was that the insurance industry actuaries knew that women had more accidents than men.  There was a reason for this.

        Consider when a couple goes somewhere together.  The man usually drove.  When women did drive, they usually went on shorter trips and did not drive on high speed roads.

        This has slowly changed, though.  In some states, such as New Jersey (where I went to high school), driver education was a required course in order to graduate.  Driver education makes for better drivers.

        I also have a personal story from my family.  When my mother came of age to get her license, World War II was raging and there was gasoline rationing.  Her father had a ration sticker that permitted him unlimited purchases (for defense reasons) but he thought it would be improper to use that gasoline to teach his daughter to drive.

        In Summer, 1945, just before her junior year in college, her father decided to accompany her to get her learners permit.  He then parked the car outside their garage and taught her how to change a tire.  After that, he got under the hood with her and taught her how to check and clean spark plugs, how to check the points and the distributor, how to clean the air filter, how to jump start the car, etc., etc., etc.  The first time my mother complained, he told her that she would probably be driving out into the country to see her aunts or her grandfather and he didn't want her stuck.

        When the lessons continued and she complained again, he told her that, after all, Princess Elizabeth knew how to do all this stuff and she had a chauffeur.  (The reference is to now-Queen Elizabeth II, who was a mechanic during World War II.)  Mother quieted down.

        I will say that my mother was one of the best drivers I have ever encountered, male or female.  A little learning goes a long way.

        •  I hear a great story from a listener of CBC's (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          worldlotus, kyril, KenBee, jabney, Matt Z

          "Vinyl Cafe" with Steward McLean about a Quebecois soldier in WWII stationed in England who came across a broken down army vehicle on the road. Under the hood was Princess Elizabeth while the man who was driving seemed helpless. He was impressed at her flawless French, her knowledge of what was under the hood. He helped her get the jeep going again.

          So I guess your father is right: the Queen of England can change a spark plug, and has!

          Santorum: Man on Dog; Romney: Dog on Car. equalitymaine.org

          by commonmass on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 06:48:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  This might be a judge/DDA thing also. (5+ / 0-)

      They're very tight, since a lot of DDAs end up on the bench, moreso than defense attorneys.  At least that I've seen over the years.

  •  I was a linguistics major in a department (9+ / 0-)

    that was naturally mostly women. The guys were always feeling persecuted because they were not being treated with the deference they thought they deserved by their lesbian professor, males being accustomed to being treated better than females in class, especially by a female teacher. They were outraged that she wore clothing that wasn't sexy, that she had long hair. The bizarre complaints never ended.

    Gender issues will never end.

  •  I never looked at it like this (6+ / 0-)

    but it's true.

    "Feminine gay men" are perceived as being more "promiscuous" and are far more likely to be subjected to slut shaming than "butcher" ("straight-acting" MGBA!) men...

  •  I am glad to see a gender and queer theory (8+ / 0-)

    diary rescued. This diary deserves to be there.

    Santorum: Man on Dog; Romney: Dog on Car. equalitymaine.org

    by commonmass on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 11:53:48 AM PST

  •  I tend to disagree in regards to male privilege (8+ / 0-)

    As a gay man, I still hold male privileges over women.  I don't have to worry about being harassed or cat called, I tend to be seen as more serious and straight forward than a woman by virtue of being male, and I don't have to worry that some random man is going to try and rape me in order to turn me straight.  Maybe it's simply that slut shaming isn't something that's strictly a male/female privilege issue (the issue of promiscuity in other races, usually of women of color, highlights that).  The tools used to oppress one people may easily be used to oppress another.

    "In this sense, slut-shaming of gay men is more powerful than slut-shaming of women because when gay men are "slut-shamed" it not only has a disempowering impact on gay men, but on the whole of the LGBT community whereas the slut-shaming of women only has a disempowering impact on women."

    The slut-shaming of women has impact on the whole LGBT community as well.  The shaming of women for "barsexuality" (same-sex flirting in the presence of the opposite sex) hurts the community as a whole.  Shaming women for this gives undue power to the "homosexuality is a choice" rhetoric, paints the community as horny and confused, and creates divides within the community with the animosity sometimes shown towards those who aren't a full 6 on the Kinsey scale.

    But as to the rest of this, and the way that slut shaming of gay men hurts us all, I definitely agree.

    •  Really? (5+ / 0-)
      I don't have to worry about being harassed or cat called, I tend to be seen as more serious and straight forward than a woman by virtue of being male, and I don't have to worry that some random man is going to try and rape me in order to turn me straight.
      If you haven't been harassed  (I'm presuming you mean sexually) and cat-called, then you haven't worked in a male dominated workplace where you were suspected of being gay, or you haven't been in a gay bar as a 20-something twink with a bubble-ass, and groped by strange men you've never seen before in your life. If as a gay man you haven't had to deal with sex-based harassment and catcalls, I feel pretty safe in saying, you lived a charmed life.
      and I don't have to worry that some random man is going to try and rape me in order to turn me straight.
      Gay men are often victims of homophobic rapes meant to demean and humiliate them and teach them a "lesson" for "acting like a woman." Rape of gay males as part of gay bashings are not unusual at all.
      •  But to the same extent a woman does? (5+ / 0-)

        Or especially a lesbian woman?

        Walking out on the street, I won't get catcalled.  And in a workplace or gay bar, a woman will still get sexually harassed.  And as a man, in the workplace scenario I get the choice of going along with the harassment of the female and become "one of the guys" and reduce the harassment I get, by making myself the masculine ideal.  Should there be no women there, well there's nothing to compare to.  Maybe a woman can do the same, but I've never seen or heard of that happening.  And in a gay bar, women get groped with even more bravado "cause I'm gay so it doesn't mean anything and it doesn't count!"

        I'm not trying to say I've never experienced sexual harassment at all, but even straight men get sexually harassed, it's not like it magically goes away from being a man.  It's that the simple fact that one is a woman means they will get harassed far far more than a man, even a gay man.

        I don't have to worry about being out on the street and being cat called, then followed for not responding, then being called a lesbian and then subsequently raped.  I don't have to worry about a man trying to hit on me in a bar and then shooting him down or telling him I'm a lesbian and then the same thing happens.  The only time that can happen to me is if it's assumed I'm gay.  For a woman, it happens because they're a woman.

        My issue is in the idea that a gay man has no male privilege over a woman (especially lesbians) not that gay men don't experience similar harassment for being gay men.

        •  I can't say I agree with you (5+ / 0-)

          Maybe, and just maybe, if you have a masculine enough appearance you won't get cat-called and harassed on the street, and maybe then you benefit from male privilege. Maybe.

          But many gay men are harassed in those situations specifically. And straight men do publicly harass  and demean gay men. And we don't even have to discuss the homophobic bullying that gay youth face at schools --- the harassment there is relentless. Upwards of 80% of gay youth report being bullied. As we know, an unfortunate high number of them attempt or complete suicide as a result.

          Closeted gay males may in fact avoid this harassment (it's one of the reasons so many of them stay in the closet), but then we have to talk about how disempowering the closet is.

          I can go on and on and point out examples all the time. Not only do gay men get harassed, for many, it's a routine part of their lives. And gay men, as pointed out in the diary, are particularly vulnerable to gay bashings. I think you overestimate the power of your male-security blanket.

          •  I wish I could write a "closet" diary (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gizmo59, paxpdx, jabney, Matt Z

            but the only closet I was ever in was my mother's, trying on her heels. ;)

            I would really like to see a good closet diary as a kind of follow-up to this diary on gender and orientation roles and society. If you have the experience to write such a diary, I really wish you would.

            Unfortunately, being gay bashed is something I CAN (and have written about) but the closet: not so much.

            Santorum: Man on Dog; Romney: Dog on Car. equalitymaine.org

            by commonmass on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 01:33:41 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I am lucky (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            commonmass, raincrow, worldlotus, Matt Z

            I am lucky enough to have not experienced a good amount of the most severe first hand.  I just wanted to emphasize that women face this stuff too, and that certain points felt like it was downplaying what women have to deal with and the benefits of male privilege.  Either way, it hurts us all, and the fight against sissyphobia and rigid gender constructs is a good fight.

          •  These issues ae more complex (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            commonmass, Matt Z, kamilumin

            than we often consider.  There are a number of factors that come into play in how each person experiences hostility:  size, appearance, location (eg, living in NYC as a gay man is a very different experience than  a small town/rural experience), demeanor (eg, more outgoing people tend to attract more attention) to name just a few off the top of my head.  

            I also believe that the increased acceptance of homosexuality has increased the tendency for conformity.  When I came out, that act was much more political than it is today.  Indeed, I find younger gay men are more inclined to reject the political component (being gay doesn't define me).  There is an increased tendency societally- and in the gay community- to want to differentiate the "acceptable" man from the queen.  It was not by accident that gays in the military became the battleground in the age of AIDS.

            I think experience is more variegated than binary notions of privilege can support.

            •  You make an intersting point. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Matt Z

              When I came out in the 80's it was both personal andpolitical.

              I have lived in many big cities, and a few small ones, and in rural areas. I remain "out", however, in all of those circumstances. I would never try to "pass" and I would say "yes, I'm gay" if asked.

              I think that in an age where we are winning on marriage equality, younger LGBT folks should be more in tune with the political side of it but sadly, it seems many of them are not.

              Santorum: Man on Dog; Romney: Dog on Car. equalitymaine.org

              by commonmass on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 08:49:45 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Hmm, one other thing (also, commonmass, read this) (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          commonmass, raincrow

          If they only way you can enjoy any of this male privilege is to assume roles that violate your own sense of right and wrong, for example, piling on the harassment of a woman even though you know it is wrong, then I'd have to say that is a very alienating thing. In that situation you aren't acting on your own agency.

          If you have to "butch up" and prove yourself as macho as the straight men around you, even though that isn't your natural inclination, then that is alienating, it is acting on the agency of others, and not at all empowering. If you feel any need to hide your sexual orientation to have access to this male privilege, then you aren't privileged at all, you are only pretending to be privileged, and that is alienating and you are acting on the agency of others and not your own agency.

          And ultimately wouldn't this not be any privilege you are gaining when you join in on sexual harassment of a female co-worker but mere momentary safety from the abuse of others? Because if we know if you acted on your own agency, the situation would be different and you would act to empower the woman being harassed. So, when you cede your own power to help someone in need of your assistance because you don't want to be outed as a fag, you are disempowered, not empowered or privileged.

          And to commonmass, if I were to write that closet diary you requested, these are some of the points I would touch upon.  

          •  I agree with you. I try to be myself all the time: (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RfrancisR, raincrow

            even on-line where it is easy to hide. "Acting Straight" is, indeed, not only dishonest (if that's not who you are) but is self-oppressing.

            Santorum: Man on Dog; Romney: Dog on Car. equalitymaine.org

            by commonmass on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 02:11:22 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Good point (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            commonmass

            I personally don't define privilege as something empowering (like in terms of one's self worth), just something that gives one power over another.

            Safety from abuse is still something better than abuse, though it may bring stress and self-hate with it.  I think that as long as someone isn't all of straight, white, rich, male, able-bodied, cis, and etc, their power and privilege over others is only what others grant them.  It's not really a matter of choosing to be empowered, though how one uses it plays into one's feeling of being empowered.

            But of course that does mean that one who engages in belittling others in order to save their own self encourages that dynamic of lessening power for both parties.

          •  I think you are wrong (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            commonmass, KenBee, kamilumin

            Your comment presumes that all straight men participate willingly in sexist behavior.  The same peer pressure, unwillingness to stand up, etc. occur for straight men.  If we accept your frame, then there really is no male privilege- except for the boorish.  I do not agree with the privilege framing of differences (frankly, I find it too simplistic a frame for assessing human behavior), but if you do, I don't think you can carve out this kind of exception.  One of the fatal flaws of the privilege framing is that it cannot allow for personal agency because on the personal level, privilege is much more nuanced.

        •  Some years back (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          commonmass

          I was in a crowded bar sitting at the bar with a guy. A woman reached past him to take a drink from the bartender. I didn't even give her a first look. But I was shocked to see he was ready to slug her, because she was wearing a suit and he figured she was a lesbian, which means... sheesh.

  •  Gay men, like women, who have numerous (11+ / 0-)

    sex partners, are sluts. Straight men whoa re popular with women are "players."  One of my friends overheard her daughter and pals talking about one of their acquaintances who had a lot of one-night stands and tended to have several guys she was sleeping with at the same time. They called her  a "slut". They then went on to discuss a guy they knew whose pattern was pretty  much the same, and just laughed about it without invoking an insulting name.

    My friend looked at the college age women and siad, "Why isn't he a slut too? He has just as many partners."

    "But he's a player."

    No, if she's a slut, he's a man slut."

    And they thought about it and agreed with her. At which point she said, "Maybe neither are sluts but just like sex and variety. What's wrong with that? So long, of course, as they're having safe, responsible sex using condoms and birth control."

    And left them confused as hell.

    George Clooney can screw as many women as he likes, and men admire him for it. But if Neil Patrick Harris did the same thing, he;'d be a slut.  One reason I liked +Gray's Anatomy in its earlier years was that the female doctors, quite correctly, called Mark the plastic surgeon a "man whore." FIrst time I
    d ever heard a  promiscuous man get called the equoivalent of a slut.

    DOuble standards SUCK, whatever your sex or sexual orientation.

    The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

    by irishwitch on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 12:14:03 PM PST

    •  In my limited experience among straight people (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass

      (I moved to East Tennessee shortly after undergrad school, and have lived here for >30 years), straight men and straight women who've had lots of sex partners are viewed with more reservation than admiration, especially as they age. It's considered far more acceptable for college-age people of both sexes than for people 30 and older; and the older the sexually active person, the greater the disapproval and presumption of emotional pathology. But I can safely bet the mortgage that if their "sex partner count" were known by a prospective employer, women would be penalized heavily and perhaps exclusively compared to men.

      I found it wasn't uncommon to hear the term 'slut' or 'whore' applied to a man (often by the man himself) among white-collar barflies. In blue-collar bars, until recently, those pejoratives were reserved for women, unless a sexually active man labeled himself (at which point, all his buddies would agree, with loud embarrassment).  

      •  I'm 62. My friend range from my age to late (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        commonmass

        twenties, and I've never heard a man referred to as a slut. It's the George Clooney thing--he could sleep  with every NFL and NBA cheerleader and he'd be regarded by most men with admiration. A woman who did the equivalent is promiscuous.  When men call themselves sluts, it's with a certain amount of pride because it means they CAN get laid.

        My husband's P3 squadron had a lot of young women (P3s are land-based aircraft and before women could go to sea, this is where they often ended up for "sea duty" ebcause the squadrons deploy). You'd see the married guys making dates with the single girls even before they elft. My hsuband who takes his vows seriously didn't--there were rumors that he was gay because he wasn't sleeping around. Didn't hurt that he had a lot of the young women hanging out with him--mainly because I'd send monthly care packages in which I used second-hand PB romances  to pad the cookies I was mailing; id id this because the Exchange carried male-oriented reading material only. ANd the cookies helped too.

        Think of how Madonna is viewed as opposed to Clooney. It's the same thign with having younger sex partners--men can marry women 1/3 their age and it's okay, but the tabloids desperately longed to break up Demi Moore and Ashton Cooper. DOuble standards.

        The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

        by irishwitch on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 09:59:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Agreed on all points. (9+ / 0-)

    These arguments are coming out in the marriage debates, too: because gays are incapable of being monogamous (doubly problematic, because not everyone chooses monogamy to begin with) and so opening up the institution means that it'll encourage bad habits, promiscuity, the wrong lessons for children, etc.  That's the external stuff.

    Internally, we do a pretty good job of beating each other up over perceived gender issues, too, so I'm glad you pointed that out.  I wish I could say I popped out of the closet as one of the enlightened, but back in my late teens I had the same phobias about being perceived as feminine, etc.  It took one fabulously feminine friend to knock the sense into me.  

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 12:17:35 PM PST

    •  I think virtually all gay men (9+ / 0-)

      have some kind of sissyphobia when they first come out because of the bullying they received as kids for being perceived as femme/gay. And that includes me.

      •  I used to see that all the time at PRIDE marches (6+ / 0-)

        In fact I distinctly remember the gay march on Washington when I ready the Advocate and one of the editors was saying please don't come in drag or leather, "we want to look like normal tax payers."

        I got angry about that for a long time.  We shouldn't have to white wash ourselves to be accepted, and we certainly shouldn't face that kind of crappy attitude from our own community.

        However, we seem to have come a long way since then.  Amazingly, drag queens, leather queens, and sissys didn't keep our rights from expanding since the 90's and I see that attitude expressed less and less.  The current MO seems to be more and more "own who you are."  

        What senses do we lack that we cannot see another world all around us?

        by fearisthemindkiller on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 01:07:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Mattachine Society (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          commonmass

          (a long time ago, the 1950s, way before the Stonewall riots), was fighting for civil rights in the dark ages of LGBT civil rights. They were mostly male and they encouraged their members to dress in traditional suits and ties. Butch/closeted, and definitely not sissy. Certainly no transvestites or cross-dressers. One of these days I might write about the Mattachine Society on DKos. Harry Hay was an interesting guy.

          But the angle said to them, "Do not be Alfred. A sailor has been born to you"

          by Dbug on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 08:49:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Many have the opposite experience (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        commonmass

        the act of coming out allows them to be more comfortable expressing themselves.  The need to monitor their behavior diminishes, tehy meet more people like them, etc.

    •  Long term monogamy is problematic for all of us. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, pico, PBnJ, melo

      I'm not sure is preferable either - at least not to me.  I mean I have a really great relationship and we are not exclusive (mostly, but not entirely)  I just don't mind, as long as he is honest about it and there is no lying.   I would mind if it were happening all the time, but it doesn't.  Here and there sex can be just sex, it can be fun, pleasurable, and casual.

      I think concept of marriage would actually be strengthened by loosening the demands for monogamy.   People should be able to set the rules of their commitment.  I've never found a love-based relationship to be really threatened by a passing sexual fancy.

      What senses do we lack that we cannot see another world all around us?

      by fearisthemindkiller on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 12:45:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The problem with monogamy is that (5+ / 0-)

      I'm not convinced that the human animal--male or female--is intended to be monogamous. I think we are programmed to reproduce: men, with as many partners as possible, and women to be the ones that pick and choose which one of those men is the best partner. Which is why we see in other animals the same kind of "rutting behavior" seen--more subtly--in humans.

      Sometimes I think we are trying to deny our biology for our ideology.

      Santorum: Man on Dog; Romney: Dog on Car. equalitymaine.org

      by commonmass on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 12:58:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not sure I agree, at least (5+ / 0-)

        in the conclusion: we deny ourselves things all the time, don't we?  I really want a donut after work, but I know it'll ruin my dinner, etc.  

        Just because I'm married doesn't mean I'm not sexually attracted to other people.  It's just that the attraction is usually fleeting and superficial for me, and given the choice I'd much rather be hanging out with my husband.   Am I denying myself some biological imperative?  Maybe.  It doesn't bother me.  I'm obeying a different imperative, and I'm happy to be doing so.

        But as I said above, if other people weigh things differently, far be it for me to judge.  We have to find arrangements that make us happy.  Maybe your metabolism is better and you really love donuts.  It's all good.

        Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

        by pico on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 01:04:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I have had both monogamist and "open" (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pico, PBnJ, raincrow, jessical

          relationships. Both have their benefits. Right now, I'm single, and intend to stay that way as I enter middle age. I'll be honest with you: I look good enough right now to actually HAVE lots of sex and it's my last shot at it. But if the right man comes along...

          My last relationship, by the way, lasted 10 years.

          Santorum: Man on Dog; Romney: Dog on Car. equalitymaine.org

          by commonmass on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 01:11:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Some thoughts: (5+ / 0-)

    I've been a slut for a long time, though in my recent "old age" (30's) and being in a LTR I'm much less so.  In my circle of friends and in the gay community of NYC I have not felt much grief over this.  I've always embraced it and ever tried to run from it.

    I've definitely been called really nasty things, especially for being openly Poz in my online profiles on hook up sites.   But these things don't upset me anymore.  Its not my problem that other people are stupid, that's their problem.

    Lots of Gay Men are attracted to sluts, sissys, and femmes more than Butch guys.  The idea that Butch = more attractive doesn't always hold true.  Sometimes it just = boring and repressed. Sure, white boys with athletic builds in their 20's are probably going to be the most mainstream of tastes, but the gay community is more diverse then that and celebrates a lot of different kinds of attractions and sexual likes.

    What I have learned in my 16 years of being an out and sexually active gay men is that its generally better to stay out of the mainstream.  There is lots and lots of fun to be had in the niches, and as long as I don't care so much about what's popular and am confident in who I am the bad stuff doesn't really get me down.  

    What senses do we lack that we cannot see another world all around us?

    by fearisthemindkiller on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 12:23:40 PM PST

  •  So many interesting dynamics (7+ / 0-)

    Another one to consider, though, is how gay culture (I'm using that term in particular, yes) sometimes exhibits some of the worst misogyny. I suspect that plays out against more femme men, and sometimes it is directed at women, straight, bi, or lesbian, in the form of "humor". The worst, most degrading comments I've ever heard about women have been from gay men, honestly.

    I have friends now who are gay men "of a certain age" (late 50s-60s) who, when being gossipy or critical of other gay men, refer to them as "she". That was common decades ago; it doesn't seem to stop. "She just doesn't know how stupid she looks in that shirt" - about another gay man.

    In college, a gay male housemate reacted in mock horror to seeing a box of tampons in a drawer in our shared bathroom. "Can't you keep those somewhere else?" And then there was the lovely joke from a law school classmate about how one should never trust a creature that bleeds profusely once a month but doesn't die.

    I've walked away from friendships as a result of this crap; I don't participate in the local chapter of a LGBT group to which I'd otherwise belong because the shaming of their fellow gay men by gay men who use derogatory references related to women seems to be the common mode of dialog. I know other men who hate it, but they don't speak up. And of course, whenever any women do, the reaction becomes the joke about how lesbians don't have a sense of humor.

    Really? I have a great sense of humor. I just don't find misogyny or shaming other people to be all that funny.

    "I like to go into Marshall Field's in Chicago just to see all the things there are in the world that I do not want." M. Madeleva, C.S.C.

    by paxpdx on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 12:39:50 PM PST

    •  I very much agree, however: (7+ / 0-)

      Gay men who refer to one another as "she" or "Mary" or "Blanche" are not necessarily referring to another "femme" gay man. Unfortunately, this is long and deep in Gay male culture. Same with "Miss Thing".

      Part of the problem of Gay male culture is that for a long time it existed underground, and at much greater risk of persecution than today. Some of that has survived as "lingo" and I don't think that a gay man who says "Oh, Blanche, give it up!" to another Gay man is necessarily intending to be misogynist.

      That being said, some of the worst sorts of sexist things I, too, have heard come out of the mouths of gay men. I, for one, do not tolerate real sexist stuff from my gay acquaintances and friends. But I, myself, have been known to say "Oh, look at HER!" about another butch guy.

      One of the things that I appreciate about living in a smaller city now is the fact that there is one Gay pub and one Gay dance club (which I have not been to in years). If I go out to the bar, I find a mix of people, including Lesbian and Transgender folks, and even some straight people. I rarely saw that when I lived in Boston (where LGBT social life tends to be VERY segregated by gender) and I appreciate the diversity in our small but vocal community.

      Santorum: Man on Dog; Romney: Dog on Car. equalitymaine.org

      by commonmass on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 12:48:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, definitely (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        commonmass, RJDixon74135, raincrow

        In fact, the friend who does it most persistently is himself somewhat effeminate, but uses "she" when he's being critical of another gay man, regardless of the other man's gender presentation. It's invariably used critically, and it's really annoying.

        But yes, I do get the underground nature of gay culture during the era in which he grew up and came out. I also know full well how many of his friends and contemporaries died due to AIDS. I cut him a ton of slack, because he's a pretty amazing person, very social-justice oriented, and honestly, it'd probably devastate him if he thought that I was insulted by anything he ever said.

        But still. It's annoying. And as I now live just south of the Gay Mecca, it's sort of unavoidable. Maybe once the kid's off at college I'll move somewhere like Turlock or Fresno. ;)

        "I like to go into Marshall Field's in Chicago just to see all the things there are in the world that I do not want." M. Madeleva, C.S.C.

        by paxpdx on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 12:59:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Agree with you. (4+ / 0-)

        Subcultures adopt their own languages and terms.  An "oh gurl, please" is not necessarily anything other than bonding.   Context and tonality matter.   The performative elements of gay male gossipy banter are not necessarily indicative of a deep seated hatred of women.

        What senses do we lack that we cannot see another world all around us?

        by fearisthemindkiller on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 01:00:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, no doubt. (3+ / 0-)

          And in most cases, I'm pretty sure it's unconscious. If I were to mention this to my friend - "Hey, how come you only use 'she' when you're talking critically about someone? What's up with that?" I'm pretty sure he'd say it's entirely unconscious. There's no deep-seated hatred of women in that guy - not a shred. If anything, in his professional life he tends to take heat for being more supportive of the women with whom he works.

          If the gossipy banter were more balanced - if this particular cohort (it's not just him) used "she" affirmatively about those who they weren't dissing or critical of otherwise, that'd be one thing. They don't. It's purely used in the negative. And I'm almost entirely sure that they don't even realize it. It's a normative pattern, something that may've carried meaning before but doesn't necessarily do so for them now.

          BUT - it's also indicative of how linguistic patterns carry meaning other than what's necessarily intended by their speaker, but reflect larger trends in social perception. Our colloquial language is filled with these things. Hell, even though I identify as queer, it's not a word I use around this guy and his friends. They're 12-20 years older than me, and it meant something very different to them than it does to me. I definitely see that.

          "I like to go into Marshall Field's in Chicago just to see all the things there are in the world that I do not want." M. Madeleva, C.S.C.

          by paxpdx on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 03:12:32 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Of course you are correct. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            paxpdx, commonmass

            Language is just symbols and the meaning of those symbols is not fixed but learned by cultural assimilation.  Thus a word can have one meaning in one context and another meaning in another context and meaning can change over time, or based on who's speaking, etc. etc.  

            And we have not even touched how slur words are used erotically in sex play.  This language stuff is just way too complicated to fully grasp, and you're right it's loaded with tons of unconscious baggage.  

            As far as the subject of this diary and thread, which has been really interesting, I would say I am generally pretty forgiving of people's unconscious assumptions (as I hope others are of mine).   But one thing I can grasp, quite well, is when someone intends to make me feel bad.  

            What senses do we lack that we cannot see another world all around us?

            by fearisthemindkiller on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 03:59:23 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, and... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              commonmass, fearisthemindkiller

              Context really matters. The friend I mentioned above would step in front of a bus for me. Oh, he'd probably do it for anyone, but I KNOW he'd do damn near anything he could if I needed help. I also know that the fact that I am around in casual contexts where he's using 'she' in a critical tense is an indicator that he's not censoring.

              Slur words used erotically, BDSM - when is it safe, sane, consensual, and when is it not, and how can triggers send it from one side of that line to another - hugely complicated stuff indeed. Language is messy stuff.

              But yeah - I'm way more forgiving of others' unconscious assumptions. (I tend to kick myself repeatedly and berate myself mercilessly when I'm confronted by or see my own. <sigh>) There's a vast difference between language used among insiders in a subculture and degrading jokes about women's bodies. Oddly enough, I know no straight men who'd dream of getting away with the latter, but hear it from gay men way too often. Reclaiming their manliness by attacking women's womanliness just makes them look like idiots. There's gotta be a better way.

              "I like to go into Marshall Field's in Chicago just to see all the things there are in the world that I do not want." M. Madeleva, C.S.C.

              by paxpdx on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 06:26:52 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  I guess because we're all deconstructionists now, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            paxpdx

            in that any of us about 40 and under probably had lit professors who followed that theory--the relevant part being that words themselves have no intrinsic meaning to be very simplistic about it--context is everything.

            For instance, my references to "Queer theory" in the comments in this diary (upthread) are academic references. "Queer Studies" can be found even as a major in some sociology and history departments. Queer is used by some academics because it is inclusive not just of LGBT persons but other persons who's sexual and gender identities are "other". It is used by some outside the Academy for the same reason. It is also used by some younger LGBTQ people to take back the slur that so offended people much older than myself (in fact, I find it offensive unless used by a Queer person or for Queer political purposes by the Academy).

            So I can understand, paxpdx, why you are careful when and where and in front of whom you use the word "Queer". I am too.

            One word that is used by some Gay men which I think should never be used by anyone is "Faggot". I know the rationale is also "taking it back" in the same way that some African Americans use the "N" word, but I think it would be best if neither group used either of those terms.

            This would be off-topic and a complete other diary, this comment, if I went into where that naturally leads: racism and classism among gay men. A diary perhaps I'll write at some point.

            Santorum: Man on Dog; Romney: Dog on Car. equalitymaine.org

            by commonmass on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 07:05:24 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I hope you do write it... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              commonmass

              I'd love to read it. I'm sure it's a lot more complex than might meet the eye.

              I was in Queer Nation in the late '80s/early '90s, and have never really liked the word "lesbian". Now that I've plunged myself back into the academy after being away for, oh, a generation, I'm seeing queer studies, queer theology, queer semiotics - and I admit, it's a little odd, as if we're the academic flavor of the month or something.

              But then again, I'm also an adherent to Michael Stipe's philosophy - "Labels are for food. Canned food."

              I'd really love to read that diary when you get around to writing it, though. Seriously. And thanks in advance for considering doing it.

              "I like to go into Marshall Field's in Chicago just to see all the things there are in the world that I do not want." M. Madeleva, C.S.C.

              by paxpdx on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 10:07:55 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Excellent post. I agree wholeheartedly. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, RJDixon74135, paxpdx, raincrow

      I think that for a lot of gay men who act misogynistic that it is a result of being emasculated by homophobic bullies while growing up and attempting to reclaim their manliness by impersonating the misogyny and homophobia of their tormenters.

      •  That a very good point, and fearisthemindkiller (5+ / 0-)

        also brings up a good point: some of that gay male subculture (and it still IS a subculture) lingo is a way to identify with other gay men. There's more subtle stuff, too. Often called "gaydar".

        Here's a story. There is a young clerk at my local convenience store. The first time I walked in and he was working, by the time my transaction was over, we both "knew" the other was gay. The time we joked around and I said, "Ms. Thing, you crack me up" we KNEW the other was Gay. I had just come off The Rock and was dressed like a fisherman (I'm not, but anyone who runs their own boat on and off a Maine island wears these clothes for practical purposes) and was coming back to the city for the weekend. For that to come out of my mouth, dressed as I was, got a real laugh from him.

        Santorum: Man on Dog; Romney: Dog on Car. equalitymaine.org

        by commonmass on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 01:08:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  as an evolving retrosexual, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass

    I'm constantly coming face to face with this.

    saying 'that's just the way I am/was brought up' and leaving it at that halts self reflection. recognition of responsibility of choices leads to making new choices and new directions.

    while I maintain my sexual preferences (not to be confused with my sexual orientation), now I  hold the door open for literally everybody, and figuratively, their ideas.

    "wake up! your brain is star craving!" -Dance Party Boys

    by Xavior Breff on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 12:47:29 PM PST

  •  True dat. (3+ / 0-)

    The way some tops - NB: I'm not one - run around, you'd think they deserve a medal or something. Precious little darlings.

    Wherever this flag's flown We take care of our Own - Bruce Springsteen

    by MBNYC on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 01:12:38 PM PST

  •  On appearances: (6+ / 0-)

    Gay or Straight?

    Gay or Straight?

    Gay or Straight?

    Gay or Straight?

    What can you assume from context, from dress,from activity?

    If you saw those pictures on my FB or Photobucket page, would you assume I was gay from those pictures?

    See my point?

    Santorum: Man on Dog; Romney: Dog on Car. equalitymaine.org

    by commonmass on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 01:27:26 PM PST

    •  It just goes to show you how incredibly bad (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, worldlotus

      our imaginations are at depicting the people we chat with online. I imagined you looking a bit more youthful mid-30ish, though scruffy, skinny, maybe a hip degree of geekiness, and being well-disposed to wearing a Che Guevarra tee-shirt. This guy you show me here looks a lot more like a Republican. :D

      •  Well, you obviously missed (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        worldlotus, RfrancisR

        the fact that in one of the pics I am wearing the Netroots Nation T-shirt from Team DFH. Hardly a Republican thing to wear! (It was a New England meet-up last summer).

        The reason I posted these pictures is because looks can be deceiving, and I thought it went well with the diary.

        Nope. I'm 43 in April, not fat but not skinny, and am starting to look middle-aged (though in person, everyone tells me I look a lot younger than I do in my pictures).

        Then you're probably thinking about the activities. A BBQ. Golf. Sailing. Golf shirts. (I couldn't find the one I really wanted to post which is one of me doing outdoor stuff at the Rock looking like a lumberjack!). I can see where you'd think "Republican". But don't forget, Teddy Kennedy loved to sail, and Bill Clinton loved to golf. ;)

        I'll admit: though I am a major leftist, a supporter of the Occupy movement and a former Communist, I have a few bourgeois hobbies. It's hard to find a middle-class New Englander who grew up on the water who doesn't love to sail. (It's my friend's boat, not mine, btw.)

        PS: I like your imagination. I very much like how you imagined me. It's very much how I actually looked when I was in my late 20's and early 30's. ;) Though not scruffy in this one:

        I was about 29 in that photo. Getting older sucks. ;)

        Santorum: Man on Dog; Romney: Dog on Car. equalitymaine.org

        by commonmass on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 07:30:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeh, the very bourgeois activities overshadowed (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          commonmass

          the netroots nation t-shirt. For the record, I'll be 43 this May, so we are close in age.

          And, yeh, getting older sucks. I was such a pretty boy in my twenties but now I am just another older guy.

          Also, sorry for the most unkindest cut of all by comparing you to a Republican. That was completely out of line!

          •  No, it's not. And it was part of the point (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RfrancisR

            and ON point for why I posted the pics I did. You can never tell.

            I grew up in a privileged family with serious leftist leanings. The money is gone, but the tendencies remain. I constantly fight between my bourgeois lifestyle upbringing, my politics, and my current poverty. What goes down doesn't always go up, if you see what I mean.

            I'm just who I am. I will remain that way.

            Santorum: Man on Dog; Romney: Dog on Car. equalitymaine.org

            by commonmass on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 10:04:13 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  There's something about a guy (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          commonmass, susanala

          who clearly loves a tortie.

    •  Appearance: good lookin' (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RfrancisR, commonmass, worldlotus

      Fwiw, my first take on these pix was 'married.' :D

      My straight-girl radar doesn't blip one way or the other. You look, to me, emotionally well settled.

  •  Thanks (4+ / 0-)

    For talking about gay male economic discrimination.  You just touched on it briefly, but I think it's important to dispel the myth that gay men are rich, get promoted more frequently at work, etc. etc.  I think being male gets you further in your career when you're just perceived as "young and single", but if you don't marry at some point you hit the heterosexual ceiling in your career.  And G-d forbid you're openly gay in the corporate world from day one.  You aren't going anywhere in that corporation unless they desperately need you and you have some pretty steely cojones.
    A Human Resources professional recently wrote an article for an HR magazine that said in her surveys, she found nearly half of college-educated LGBT are not out at work and made steps to hide their sexuality.  I'm guessing the other half were under 30.

    Ezra Klein is my "freebie"

    by Skylarking on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 04:44:26 PM PST

    •  Actually, I meant to touch that too (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass

      because it is more proof of the idea that gay men do not have what is generally discussed as "male privilege." Jonathan Capehart at the Washington Post went into this really well the other day. He went with more generic census information, but there are studies that break these things down by education and occupation, and you still find gay men making less than straight men, and are more likely to live in poverty. The problem I have with the census data is that it can only measure couples because there is no "gay" question on the census. I had a diary on this topic here.

      •  SOME Male Privilege (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        commonmass, RfrancisR

        I won't deny we have some privilege as males, do say we have none would be to minimize the discrimination females face.  However once you are perceived as gay you better be prepared to fight harder to move ahead than your heterosexual counterparts.  Before discrimination was illegal in my state (2006 in Washington State!) I was denied a promotion even though my VP and manager recommended it.  I was told to my face "this role would have you meeting with clients, and we don't want a gay person representing our company".  Why they thought my sexuality would come up during a business meeting, I don't know.  I was out at that company but learned my lesson quickly.  I've only ever been 'out' at one other company in my working life.

        Ezra Klein is my "freebie"

        by Skylarking on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 10:25:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  nicely done (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, RfrancisR

    I don't know about the "women privileged minority" thing, exactly -- anything so context driven is hard to generalize, and deciding that some other group fits here or there takes away from the rest of the essay, which is from the heart and doesn't contain such judgements.  Mileage of course varies.

    I think many of these issues apply across the board to those with out, queer sexualities.  It is the first thing they stamp on us when we go to participate in the commonweal.  

    ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

    by jessical on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 06:21:27 PM PST

  •  Does Anyone Remember Jack Ryan (Man-Slut)? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass

    Sometimes straight men who are Republicans can be accused of being sluts. In 2004, Jack Ryan won the primary, so he became the Republican Party candidate to run for the U.S. Senate seat of (retiring) Senator Peter Fitzgerald (also a Republican) in Illinois. But it became known that Ryan had taken his wife to sex clubs in New York and asked her to have sex with other men. And he was having sex with women in those sex clubs. It was a big scandal so he quit the race and resigned as the nominee. (By the way, Ryan’s ex-wife was the actress Jeri Ryan, who played “Seven of Nine” on Star Trek.)

    In the meantime, Barack Obama had won the Democratic Primary for Senate. He had no sex scandals whatsoever.

    But then the Illinois Republicans needed a candidate for Senate, so they imported Alan Keyes from Maryland. Who was one of the very few nationally-known African-American Republicans. Like they were saying, “We have a black guy, too!” Obama beat Keyes by a ton in the election, 70% to 27%. Plus, Obama gave a great speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, which put him into the national eye.

    Sometimes Republicans (collectively and individually) are such fucking idiots. Just my opinion.

    But the angle said to them, "Do not be Alfred. A sailor has been born to you"

    by Dbug on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 09:51:02 PM PST

  •  This diary is intelligent, well-written, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RfrancisR, Matt Z, commonmass

    and deserves a ton of recs.  The comment thread is among the most thoughtful I have read in some time.  

    Speak softly and carry a big can of tuna.

    by Cat Whisperer on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 05:00:49 AM PST

  •  You are mixing two things (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass

    You are mixing up two things--sissy shaming and gayness.  Sissy shaming is as you say, very prevalent in our society, but the majority of sissies are straight, not gay.

    •  ... (0+ / 0-)
      sissies are straight, not gay.
      There's absolutely no evidence of that. People who research this the most will tell you that virtually every gender non-conforming male is gay.
      Are all effeminate men gay or bisexual? Green refers to a 1986 study of one group of “extremely effeminate” young boys – basically, guys who put the “fab” in fabulous – and how, by adulthood, 75% of them identified as gay or bisexual.

      “I’m sure there are thousands, if not millions of effeminate straight guys,” Bergling says. “But I couldn’t find any. When I talked to some, it quickly became clear they were gay, but in denial.”

      Link

      It might feel nice to presume that most effeminate males are straight, but it's simply not true.
      •  that's ridiculous (0+ / 0-)

        then how come the majority of crossdressers are straight?

        •  Crossdressing isn't the same (0+ / 0-)

          as effeminacy.

          There are men who have fetishes involving cross dressing but are very outwardly masculine when they aren't cross dressing. I am more effeminate but I don't cross dress. I don't do drag, either.

          I know a lot of gay men are very uncomfortable with this, but the reality is that a disproportionate number of us don't conform to gender constructs. That doesn't mean that all gay men are femme. There are plenty of masculine men who are gay out there. There's a broad diversity of gender expression among gay men.  

          •  splitting hairs (0+ / 0-)

            yes, straight crossdressers often overcompensate by becoming hypermasculine in their daily lives.  Most are able to hide their crossdresser tendencies, although there are exceptions.  But that doesn't mean that society's hatred of sissies doesn't affect them.  I think we would have a lot less Republicans, for example, if sissies were not punished so severely by prejudice.  And alcoholics, too.

            Knowing that someone would beat the tar out of you for something so core to yourself as your sexuality, and it's more than just sexuality for most crossdressers, causes psychological damage.  The fact that most can hide it doesn't mean the hiding has no cost.

            You are debating from a gay perspective; I am debating from a queer perspective.

  •  Has anyone mentioned yet... (0+ / 0-)

    I read through a good amount of this comment thread -- not the whole thread though. So far, I haven't seen anyone address the fact that gay men are harassed for being like women.

    So is it worse to be shamed for being like a woman, or to actually be a woman?

    Either way, the humiliation, shaming, and victimizing is connected with being female. Being female = bad. Being like a female = bad. Even the term used here, slut-shaming, arose (as most other such terms do) to shame women. In many cases the term is used to shame women just for being women, but I digress.

    Gay men are shamed for being like women; woman actually are women. All this harassment is wrong.

    If being gay were considered manly rather than feminine, I believe the single most potent weapon of harassment would be gone -- the comparison to women. Because to many people, nothing is lower than being female. To them, then, no insult is worse than an accusation of female - ness (literally, "like a female").

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