News (USA)

Has misogyny in the gay community become an epidemic?

Has misogyny in the gay community become an epidemic?
In an article published today entitled “The Gay Men Who Hate Women,” columnist Seán Faye quotes Victoria Sin, “a queer woman living in London and a female drag queen,” who tells Broadly:

“Some of the worst misogyny I’ve experienced has come from gay men. It can feel almost more gross than it does from straight men. It’s like, you’re not even trying to express sexual interest in me, you’re just asserting your dominance over my body just because you’re a man — you’re just doing it because you can.”

Faye asserts that the most common complaint she hears from women is that gay men often inappropriately touch them: “At times, this can be under the guise of appreciation — drunk gays grabbing women’s breasts or dancing up against them in clubs, and getting angry when challenged.”

Faye describes regularly hearing offhand comments from gay men along the lines of “Vaginas are disgusting, I don’t know how anyone could have sex with one.” Victoria Sin remembers one particularly painful exchange in which a gay man interrupted her at a bar just to say, “Ugh. Sorry, there’s too much estrogen in this conversation.”

Berlin-based writer Josie Thaddeus-Johns tells Faye:

“When I went to G-A-Y [a club in London], I was told, as a femme-presenting woman, that I was ‘not a member’ — whatever that means — while my male friends, all read as gay, were greeted with open arms. This was before I identified as bi, so it’s also sad to think that women who might not be ready for labels have to deal with being gay-policed before even entering a queer space… A male-dominated and run party is basically telling me, a woman, how to present myself in order to ‘fit.'”

Faye also discusses gay men’s expectations of their female icons — particularly pop stars:

“The frequent ‘celebration’ of female pop icons is most in danger of greenlighting a sense of entitlement about ‘critiquing’ women more generally, especially on typically sexist criteria like their weight or physical beauty. While women in the media may not have to be sexually attractive to gay men, there is still a widespread expectation for them to look glamorous, effortless, and “iconic” — an unrealistic and idealized demand for powerful, flawless womanhood.”

To illustrate the point, British writer Ava Vidal says, “I’ve heard white gay men joking about having a ‘strong black woman’ inside of them. It’s a cultural stereotype that implies [black women] have no problems and is reductive about our experience. There’s a lot of this stuff — mimicking Ebonics, joking about their ‘weaves’ — not realizing it dehumanizes us. It’s not flattering. They want all the fun parts of our culture without experiencing any downsides.”

And if she confronts gay men about it, Vidal says, “They turn nasty and almost bully you about it. These white men are not listening to black women. How many times do they have to be told before they listen?”

Faye says that in order for gay men to dodge the insidious clutches of misogyny, it’s essential to listen to the complaints of “women, femme gays, and trans non-binary people.”

Otherwise, she warns that they’ll live in “a world in which a fragile liberation, bought at the expense of others, is in fact a confusing and contradictory world — with no real liberation at all.”

h/t: Broadly

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