When I looked at HUFFPOST yesterday morning it was impossible to miss this article on the main page one down from the Nancy Pelosi story. The editors decided it was relevant enough to keep it in that position all day, even as the top story changed. It was by one of my favorite talk radio hosts and the subject was intriguing because I’d never heard the term homosocial. It is a sociological rather than a psychological concept.
The article was written by progressive talk show host, journalist, and author of five books Michelangelo Signorile.
Michelangelo Signorile (/ˌsiːnjəˈrɪlə/; born December 19, 1960) is an American journalist, author and talk radio host. His radio program is aired each weekday across the United States and Canada on Sirius XM Radio and globally online. Signorile is editor-at-large for HuffPost, where he writes regularly. He is a political liberal, and covers a wide variety of political and cultural issues.
Signorile is noted for his various books and articles on gay and lesbian politics, and is an outspoken supporter of gay rights. Signorile's seminal 1993 book Queer in America: Sex, The Media, and the Closets of Power explored the negative effects of the LGBT closet, and provided one of the first intellectual justifications for the practice of outing public officials, influencing the debate and treatment of the issue among journalists from that point on. In 1992 Newsweek listed him as one of America's "100 Cultural Elite," and he is included as #100 in the 2002 book, The Gay 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Gay Men and Lesbians, Past and Present.
In August 2011, Signorile was inducted into the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association LGBT Journalist Hall of Fame.
In November 2012, Signorile was included in the Out magazine annual Out 100.
In April 2015, Signorile's fifth book, It's Not Over: Getting Beyond Tolerance, Defeating Homophobia and Winning True Equality, was published. Wikipedia
For those endeavoring to understand all elements of Trump’s seemingly inexplicable fawning over Vladimir Putin “Donald Trump Is Not Homosexual, But He Is Definitely Homosocial” is must reading.
Trump is, however, staunchly homosocial. That is, he appears to almost exclusively prefer men for intimate, meaningful (nonsexual) relationships, while he thinks of women as pretty much just for sex, as decorative accessories, or in traditional roles that do not put them on equal footing.
Trump shows a consistent pattern of viewing women as far beneath him, which makes him incapable of the kind of relationship in which he and a woman are intellectual equals. Whenever a woman rises to challenge him as an equal, he appears threatened and tries to slap her down ― from Hillary Clinton (who Trump said doesn’t have “stamina” or a presidential “look”) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (whom he demeans with a racial slur) to Rep. Maxine Waters (whom he’s attacked as a “low IQ person”) and, pathetically, grieving gold star mothers who’ve had the courage to criticize him.
Sociologists and psychologists have long discussed homosociality as distinct from homosexuality. One can be homosexual, for example, but heterosocial or bisocial ― having intimate, nonsexual relationships only with the opposite gender or people of both genders, respectively. And there are definitely homosexuals who are mostly homosocial ― only hanging out with other gay (or even straight) dudes, period. The world of gay men has its share of misogyny, too.
Signorile is, like I wrote in my other diary, very critical of “protest art or jokes by comedians, posing President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin as gay lovers. I agree with Signorile that making a “joke at the expense of an oppressed minority ― and tapping into overt or latent homophobia in their audience” is wrong.
Why is Trump being homosocial risky? Why does this imperil our democracy? It is because this characteristic colors his relationships with other world leaders. This is how Signorile put it:
Trump doesn’t only experience discomfort and conflict with women who are regarded as his equals on the world stage. He seems to be completely thrown ― both attracted to and threatened by ― men like Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and French President Emmanuel Macron: virile, young heterosexual men who appear to be avidly bisocial. While Trump has policy differences with them, again, like May and Merkel, his bizarre, on-again, off-again demeanor toward both men suggests something else is going on as well.
As Signorile succinctly puts it, Trump is insecure about his masculinity. “This is what inspires his misogyny, and it’s what drives him ― sadly, and dangerously for all of us ― to connect with men who are just like him.”
This brought a smile to my face.