Here’s a bit of inside information for those who may not know: when you’re a male, you learn from a very early age that terms like fag, poof and homo are insults. These days most people don’t see “gay” slurs as particularly strong insults but they remain insults due to homophobia. From my experience, the driver for people’s homophobia falls into one of the following camps (or it might cross a few of them):
- Religious or cultural indoctrination
- Thinking gay sex is gross
- A fear that a gay guy is going to come on to them and violate their precious heterosexual butthole (this fear is unique to men and is usually totally unfounded – the men most paranoid about this tend to be completely unattractive to gay men)
- A fear (in men again) that they will be seen as gay if they aren’t homophobic
- Repression of actual gay feelings (seriously, look up the studies – most aggressively homophobic men are closet cases)
Homophobia can have funny effects on men’s behaviour. The dominant stereotype is that gay=effeminate so to distance themselves from any potential gayness, many men get obsessive about being “manly”. It seems like a good theory but the insistence on surrounding yourself with other many men and performing acts of physical prowess can’t help but, well, seem a little gay. I find it funny how often homophobia and homoeroticism cross paths. In Australia particularly this can get extreme. One of my favourite jokes is “An Australian male’s definition of a poofter is anyone who likes women more than beer”.
I’m continually being called gay on YouTube for example because, by mainstream standards for men, I’m expressive (particularly with my hands) as well as articulate and well-spoken. People (usually males) tend to say it because they think, according to the stereotype, it might be true and/or they think it’s an insult. I fail to see how the topic can be of any relevance to anyone, male or female, straight or gay, unless they want to suck my dick. People interested in sucking my dick may feel free to contact me privately.
There are many good jokes about the boundaries between male camaraderie and homosexuality, a favourite of mine can be found online – the trailer for a fictional film that combines sequences from “Back to the Future” with the themes of “Brokeback Mountain”. In “Brokeback to the Future” we learn the truth of the relationship between Doc and Marty. It’s a beautiful story. What I find really funny is that they could create the gay mood just by using images and dialogue that already existed in the original movie.
More recently, someone tried to do the same thing with the movie “300” with far less success. It fails for two main reasons (1) it simply isn’t as well-done as “Brokeback to the Future” (although some of the editing is good) and (2) you’re trying to find “hidden” homoerotic subtext in a film about near-nude Spartans? Ummm, guys, how good is your knowledge of history?
What I found far funnier than the video was some of the comments it inspired. 300 has been very popular with young men. And many young men are desperate to assert that they are not gay. Homophobic reasoning often follows this path: “if I like something gay or admire someone who’s gay, that might mean I’m gay. Therefore I don’t like anyone who’s gay and nothing I like is gay.” This train of thought came out pretty strongly in some of the comments like:
“show some repect to the spartans you idiot … the Athenians were into sodomization with their pages, not Spartans … Too hard to make spartans look gay … Dumbb video. you CANNOT make 300 seems gay (grammatical errors are in the original) … actually spartans looked down upon homosexuality … spartans were straight, athenians were gay … just doesn’t work with this movie … i dont think that 300 guys that have KIDS and like to kill people are going to be gay.”
Boys, boys, boys. I think all homophobia is stupid. If you’re going to try and justify your homophobia, you might want to avoid making yourself even more stupid by making idiotic assertions that fly in the face of all current historical that I’m aware of. When you thrash around like this, tying yourself in knots saying “NOTGAYNOTGAYNOTGAYNOTGAY”, honestly, it just looks like you’re trying to hide something.
22 responses to “Homophobia and Homoeroticism”
“hidden” homoerotic subtext in a film about near-nude Spartans
Heheh. Whether it’s intentional or not, every clip that I’ve seen from the movie positively screams “homoerotic content here!!” Jeez, the banter and the touching going on between these muscle-bound, half-naked Spartans…
…the Athenians were into sodomization with their pages, not Spartans…
That’s right kids!! The “inventors” of democracy, science and philosophy were all a bunch of arse-buggering queers!! Heehee!!
Heh, seriously, I did an MA in Classics (doesn’t make me an expert, but I know a thing or two), and there’s some serious exaggeration going on about both sides of this. There’s no doubt that a segment of Athenian society idealized the relation between younger and older men (see Plato, especially his Symposium). It’s quite complex, but it should be pointed out that these men were (or would be) married, had kids, etc. It should also be pointed out that when this eros was “consummated” there was *no* anal penetration involved (although certainly we can assume that there were also plenty of “regular” gay folk). It should further be pointed out that there was also a “conservative” element of Athenian society that were very vocally against this type of relationship/behaviour (see, for example, some of the comedies of Aristophanes).
Sorry for hogging your comments section!
Makes me laugh as I remembered a friend of mine who was fiercely homophobic at school. Naturally we teased him that most homophobic people were actually gay, causing him to get rather wound up. He couldn’t stand the idea of gay sex at all, and screamed the whole affair was gross, so we teased him some more about being a closet gay.
Several years later he went to University and we found out… I don’t even need to fill in the blank do I?
Needless to say I wish him and his partner well.
Poor little homophobes, it’s so hard to strike that perfect balance between being just manly enough and being just wee bit too manly.. it’s tough being a real man in these confused times, they need to go and cry and whine a bit more about how persecuted they are..
“they need to go and cry and whine a bit more about how persecuted they are..”
No no no! That would be akin to getting in touch with their feelings, and we all know where that leads…
Bein’ the country folk that I am, I used to be extremely homophobic. So much so, (and you can ask my ex, if you wish- happy to provide details, as long as you call after 2.00am Australian time…) I walked out of “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert”. No kidding. Not even remotely funny. I was petrified of associating with queer folk; convinced they were going to bend me over a barrel, and insert a humongous peni….you get the idea, I’m sure.
And now, I’m proud to say, I have several gay friends (both sexes) and have never been violated by anyone other than a urologist.
And he had the biggest fucking fingers I have ever seen.
Biggest Fucking Fingers… Freudian slip? Or comedic genius??
Brokeback to the Future is pure genius. Thank you Mr Angry.
I went out with a man once who was perfect in every way, with two notable exceptions. One was that he was viscerally homophobic, though he was more than civilised enough not appreciate that this was not ok and did not let it affect his behaviour. The other was that he had a habit of running girlfriends in parallel rather than in series, but hey.
His homophobia was actually a fear of anal penetrative sex. Of course I pointed out to him that more straights practice anal sex than gay men practice it, but I felt no particular need to offer up my own rear end in the interests of political correctness to see if we could cure his fear of anal sex that way. Maybe I should have done. He buggered me every other way you can think of.
kyklops: thanks for the educated perspective mate.
Massif: I was quite homophobic at school but at a certain point I just got over it. There was this fundamentalist christian bloke in my year who opposed homosexuality because it was against god’s will – I saw him years later at the gay mardi gras where he introduced me to his “husband” and also told me he was now a practicing Wiccan.
Michelle: your empathy is sincere and touching
Gruntski: you’re a fucking genius mate
Aphra: you have an awesome way with words! Series vs parallel is the ultimate geek way of expressing cheating.
>> Series vs parallel is the ultimate geek way of expressing cheating.
Why thank you.
Angry.. I try to be kind to everyone. I’m afraid I have little patience with men who are homophobic because the very existence of gays means that it’s possible (though still not likely) that they’ll get unwanted attention from men. I get it all the time myself.. but of course that doesn’t matter.
I believe that heterosexual males who are homophobic are indeed homosexuals.
I have had straight men come up to me who are comfortable about talking their homoerotic dreams and I’ve told them that they are just bi-curious … is that wrong of me?
Hell, they are probably bi.
“Bi-curious” is just a way of saying it to people who identify as straight in a way that isn’t to threatening to their world-view of themselves.
I wonder if the increasingly homoerotic images in advertising are making bi men more aware of their bi-ness.
I know I am bi-er than I might have been because of the way that images of women were highly eroticised when my hormones first started thrumming and images of men weren’t.
Just a theory.
You are thuch a thavage beasth! 😉
I have my doubts about being a fucking genius, Mr A. I do know I have to stop commenting when I’m pissed.
Then again, maybe I am a “fucking” genius- I managed to beget two of the bestest kids in the whole world with a psychotic nutbag..
Your innuendo is appreciated 🙂
‘Repression of actual gay feelings (seriously, look up the studies – most aggressively homophobic men are closet cases) ‘
I’ve actually confronted people about this in treatment and had them confess that it is true.
genuine pub incident:
our new jug of beer gets knocked over, and the guy responsible apologises.
my friend: s’orright, buy us another, eh?
guy: sure – are you gay?
guy: i thought i was gay once – then i realised i just wanted to hug my mates, look good, and admit i have emotions…
mf: ooh – a real metrosexual! what’s it like?
guy: I’m getting plenty!
…there is hope 🙂
I have learned a new word to use when people ask me:” ya gay?”
“Actually I’m gay to say II’m anthrosexual” that’s my very reply. (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=anthrosexual)
but I think with all the crap they crammed into our teenage heads as sex ed, we all were homophobic in a period of our lives. some could handle it later, some couldn’t.
but I really enjoy the times I’m out at parties introducing my family as:” wife, girl and boy friend”. I can see those guys looking green with envy.
you know it’s so much fun to be gay and still in a straight marriage 🙂
and I dunno why some idiots think being gay only means fukcing butt holes and getting AIDS!
btw thanks for the post, it was something bothering me for a while but I couldn’t find proper words (read didn’t have the talent!) to write.
Anthrosexual eh? I told a friend once that I was having sex which there wasn’t a word for. Sent him mad with prurient speculation for a week. 😀 Better then being a SOFFA, which just looks like an illiterate item of furniture.
I just wish it didn’t sound quite so much like having sex with a biological weapon.
Michelle: I’ve often thought having a gay man come onto them is the best therapy a straight man can get – then you know what it feels like to have someone making moves on you when you’re really, really not interested.
Henry: if everyone got a little more relaxed the labels wouldn’t be important.
Aphra: I think the so-called metrosexual thing probably makes it easier for some men to come to terms with being gay – they can take baby steps before going the whole way.
Gruntski: if those comments came when you were drunk, I say keep it up!
Sandra: if they can’t admit it at the time they usually come to terms with it years later.
Vetti: we live in hope.
alittlegay: anthrosexual probably stops them bothering you anyway
Aphra: sounds like an excellent way to maintain a man’s attention.
Everybody is different. Learn to accept this. That is what the haters haven’t learned and will probably never learn.
I like to picture haters as hicks, though I mean no offense to people who think of themselves as hicks. Just a trick of the brain. Or nazis. Everybody loves to hate nazis. Watching a good old Indiana Jones movies will make you love to hate nazis.
Range: I upset some hippie anti-racists by calling the racists who attack me “crackers”. They probably right but fuck these idiots – I enjoy pissing them off.
In moments like these, we all should look to Mariah Carey for inspiration. To borrow from her song, Hero: “Look inside you and be strong, and you’ll finally see the truth: that a homo lies in you.”