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If a woman was groped or belittled, you wouldn’t expect her to laugh it off, right? Well, many of us expect just that if her assailant is a gay man. But why should our standards be any different?
As Kat Blaque explains, normalizing misogyny (even among gay men) can have some major consequences.
Here’s the unspoken truth of why we need to stop excusing this behavior.
The Editors at Everyday Feminism
Click for the Transcript
Kat Blaque: I really wanted to address something: gay men and misogyny. Now before we get into this video, I want to make it explicitly clear that I know that not all gay men are misogynistic. If anything I say in this video makes you feel a certain type of way, then the chances are I’m talking about you. The problem of gay men and misogyny is something that I feel like needs to be discussed because it very often goes unaddressed.
What is misogyny? Misogyny is the dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women. As a girl who grew up watching things like Queer as Folk and Noah’s Arc, I really, really at a certain point wanted gay friends. However, a lot of the casual misogynistic comments that I hear about women’s bodies from gay men really pushed me away from wanting to have that Will & Grace lifestyle.
In fact, one of the common themes in Will & Grace is that both Jack and Will spend a lot of time tearing apart Grace’s appearance. There’s this major theme in film and television of gay men teaching women how to properly dress. There’s this notion that gay men know more about being a woman than women do. I do not know what women did before gay men came out of their closets. What this creates is a condescending relationship between many women and gay men.
I think that it’s vital to understand that appreciating feminine culture is not the same as appreciating women. I think that’s a nuance that’s often lost in this conversation. Rose McGowan got a lot of flack recently because she said that gay men were more misogynistic than straight men, if not more. We’ve created an environment that is very harsh on straight men when it comes to misogyny.
For example, many straight men now fear sexual harassment complaints being filed against for harassing women in the workplace. How men treat women in the context of a romantic relationship has been a point of discussion that we’ve been having for quite some time now. While there’s still a long way to go, a lot of progress has been made.
Gay men, because they are gay men, are often excused for the misogyny because we’ve made the mistake of believing that misogyny is something that only materializes when men want to sleep with women. In reality, misogyny is a very intrinsic part of our society – and because of that, many of us have lingering internalized misogyny, both men and women. Misogyny in gay men, however, is dangerous because it’s often dismissed as a joke. A recent interview between Andy Cohen and Nicki Minaj was a great example of this. I’ll be discussing that interview in depth in part two.
Misogyny in gay culture manifests in many ways. The popularity of terms like “no femmes” or “straight acting” is a reflection of femmephobia within the gay community. I’m a huge believer in everybody has their own preferences, so I want to make it super clear that I don’t see gay men not being attracted to women as misogyny. However, the way that you’ll hear many men vilify feminine men because they see their femininity as a female moniker is definitely a reflection of misogyny.
Another example of gay misogyny is the flow of rude, unsolicited comments directed at lesbians. Gay men who go out of their way to describe women’s body parts as disgusting is also a reflection of misogyny. I think that a lot of these things are unintentional. I think that mainstream gay culture has made it seem like a lot of these things are not hateful towards women.
A common thing that I hear in these conversations is that it’s impossible for gay men to be oppressive to women because gay men are also oppressed. I think that gay men in this world have seen a lot of oppression, and in some countries especially in recent time, the oppression of gay men is still very real. However, in America, we’re seeing gay men overcome many of the legal and social obstacles that they have and slowly but surely, gay men are becoming part of the mainstream. Historically, as a group becomes less oppressed, their power to oppress follows soon after. Gay men are still men, and historically, being a man in America has come with many privileges. Privileges that don’t exactly go away once you’ve partnered with another man.
Many women who experience misogyny at the hands of gay men don’t speak up because of how swiftly they’re silenced. I’ve heard several stories from women who were groped by gay men while at drag bars, gay functions, school environments, and even the workplace. While discussing this video, I had an overwhelming amount of women and DFAB people on social media approach me and tell me about the numerous times that they were groped or sexually assaulted by gay men.
When women express their disapproval of these actions, they’re often told that they should laugh it off because, after all, they’re gay so no harm, no foul. A man groping a woman is still a man groping a woman. Whether or not there is sexual intent behind it is irrelevant.
Like I said, I know that this does not describe all gay men. I have many gay followers who have messaged me telling me how my videos have helped them see certain things that they didn’t see before, and that’s really the intention behind this video. When discussing this topic on Tumblr, a lot of gay men accused me of homophobia. I am always going to be a huge supporter of gay rights, and I’m always going to fight against homophobia. But I think that people need to understand that many women and DFAB people experience this misogyny in the context of supporting gay men and socializing with them.
Like I said, gay misogyny is specifically dangerous because it goes unchecked. And because it goes unchecked, there are many women whose claims were not taken seriously because their attackers were gay men, and we view gay men as incapable of sexual assault against women. It’s important to note that people who commit sexual assault are not necessarily attracted to the person that they’re sexually assaulting. Sexual assault is about power, not sexual gratification.
Yes, everyone is capable of misogyny, and by no means am I trying to say that gay men are the only people who are misogynistic. I’m simply saying that we need to recognize these things as misogynistic and that we should call them out just as much as we would straight men who do the same thing.
I want people to simply recognize that this is a blind spot that we have in conversations about misogyny. My request to gay men is that you call it out when you see it. A woman should never be told to just laugh it off or to just get over it after she’s been sexually assaulted. Unfortunately, that’s what’s been said to many of the women that have reached out to me through the making of this video. We need to de-normalize misogyny in all contexts.
On that note, I hope that people are hearing what I’m saying. I know that I’m going to get a lot of crap for this video, but I felt like it needed to be said. I’ll have part two up by Thursday, and in part two, I’ll be discussing the gay community’s relationship to black women and hyper-sexualization.
I want to know your opinion about gay misogyny or if you’ve had any experiences with it, so leave me a comment in the comment box below.
Until next time, always remember and never forget that you are beautiful and you are loved. Bye.
Thank you guys so much for watching my YouTube video. If you liked it, don’t forget to give it a good old thumbs up, and if you haven’t already, subscribe for more videos. I get so excited whenever I get a notification that someone subscribed to my YouTube channel, so make my day. Click that red button. Also, don’t forget to check out my store. The link is in the description box below. And also, check out my Patreon page if you’d like to support my YouTube channel.
Kat Blaque is a Contributing Vlogger for Everyday Feminism and is an opinion vlogger, children’s illustrator, and thrift store addict. Check out Kat’s website and YouTube channel and follow Kat on Twitter @kat_blaque.