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 Post subject: Gay men and masculinity
PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 11:36 pm 
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Are homosexual men as masculine as heterosexual men, more masculine, less masculine or not at all masculine because they are homosexual?

Straight men, and women, like to put gay men and women into boxes so that we can easily be identified and so dealt with. While it is normal to categorise because it helps us to identify and agree that we are all talking about the same thing, perhaps homosexuality is not that simply defined as some people would like and perhaps gay men and women are not that easily put into boxes.

Sure, homosexuality means having sex with the same gender as yourself, but that is only the sexual aspect. In most of society the line is drawn quite clearly when it comes to how men and women should behave and what their role in society should be or is. But this is not a global agreement. In fact, it differs tremendously across human cultures. What is considered a male role in some is considered a traditionally female role in others and vice versa.

So can we really and totally define masculinity as an aspect of heterosexuality? Is it not possible for homosexual men or women to have masculine attributes? Or is masculinity primarily the base aspect of males regardless of their sexual orientation? And how would that explain female masculinity, or is that a contradiction in terms?

And how much do trends affect masculinity or femininity? Because they do. What was considered masculine or feminine in Roman times or during the Renaissance or even a few years ago is not so today. Fashion especially tends to have a big impact on how we perceive ourselves.

What do you think?

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 11:07 pm 
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I don't see why homosexual men cannot be masculine. I think they are often more masculine than many hetero men I've met and certainly much more aware of their masculinity and sexuality.

Yes, there are many gay men who are feminine but that goes with the territory, but they are not all like that.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 8:02 pm 
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Of course gay men can be very masculine! I have a few, how you say, hand movements that are very typically gay probably but usually I am not seen as a gay man or a feminine man so this must mean I am at least masculine enough. I do not think about it too much myself. I am myself and I have heard people whisper about me and call me 'maricon' and it is not nice to hear that, but i am a maricon so why should I care what they say?

What is masculine anyway? To be a cowboy? A killer? A soldier? A gay man can be all of those things and be very good at them, as good as anyone else, so I think the question a little strange.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 10:20 pm 
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Masculinity isn't all it is expected to be. If you call fat, beer guzzling rude blokes that grab and yell at women masculine I don't think I want my husband to be like that!


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 2:27 pm 
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Sheila wrote:
Masculinity isn't all it is expected to be. If you call fat, beer guzzling rude blokes that grab and yell at women masculine I don't think I want my husband to be like that!


I agree, Sheila, although some women I know would say that that is exactly what masculinity is about. IMO, I think they mistake typical male behaviour with masculinity. Masculinity is an inner strength the way I see it, not some boisterous brawling behaviour typical of beer drinking fatsos and louts. That is just being crude and if crude is a masculine aspect then a lot women would be masculine as well.

I think the "idea" of masculinity is changing too. Homosexuality was identified by its more obvious components, namely feminine gay men. Nowadays it is a well known fact that "regular" and "straight-looking" guys are also gay and that homosexuality is not exclusively feminine gay territory. So it stands to reason, at least in my mind, that it is also accepted that gay men are just as masculine as heterosexual men and perhaps even more so on occasion.

Masculinity is not an automatic and exclusive attribute of heterosexuality. I think this is where the coin is finally beginning to drop. Masculinity and homosexuality are two separate things. You can be masculine and gay and feminine and gay, just as you can be masculine and hetero and feminine and hetero regardless of gender.

It is a liberation of sexual stereotyping and I think that is a good thing.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 10:24 pm 
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victor wrote:
It is a liberation of sexual stereotyping and I think that is a good thing.


:amen:

have i told you already how much i love you, vic ? :-P


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 10:31 pm 
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desertrat wrote:
victor wrote:
It is a liberation of sexual stereotyping and I think that is a good thing.


:amen:

have i told you already how much i love you, vic ? :-P


You are giving me a major blush here, Martina! Good thing I'm alone at the moment.

:oops: :cry:

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 10:35 pm 
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It is a good thing, and, when I look about when I'm on the street, or when I watch television, I see things that would not have been possible just ten years or so ago.

Especially among the young adults and teenagers is sexuality becoming less obvious. I see guys that are straight wearing pinks, purples, bright colours and flower patterns. When I was their age I would have been branded a fag immediately and it would have been a daring thing to do then. Many young men have 1, 2 or more earrings. Girls have tattoos everywhere, which also would have been seen as a "dyke" thing to do, so overall, yes, I think some big steps have been taken forward in accepting sexuality for what it is - diverse!

:woohoo:

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 10:41 pm 
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desertrat wrote:
victor wrote:
It is a liberation of sexual stereotyping and I think that is a good thing.


:amen:

have i told you already how much i love you, vic ? :-P


Isn't he an absolute dear? I have known him for many years and he has always had great observational talent.
:P

The ideas of what sexuality is or should be are changing and it is a very good thing, indeed. And I hope it is a long lasting one. The world really needs to lighten up on sexual issues. We need to educate our young about sex, we can't stop them from having it just like our parents couldn't stop us. So let's show them what it is all about, what the consequences are if you don't take care (like diseases and unexpected pregnancy) and let's teach them to be responsible in their enjoyment of it.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 9:37 pm 
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I do not know Victor personally but I think he has good thoughts about many things. It certainly sounds like liberation of sexual stereotyping would be good but I see it here in Spain how many people are not very happy with the new pro-gay laws and it is possible that changes again with the next government.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 1:14 am 
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Marcelo wrote:
I do not know Victor personally but I think he has good thoughts about many things. It certainly sounds like liberation of sexual stereotyping would be good but I see it here in Spain how many people are not very happy with the new pro-gay laws and it is possible that changes again with the next government.


I don't even know why they're making such a big deal out of this gay "liberation" if it wasn't for pressure of the church first and foremost. Even in secular countries the main religion is still heavily imbued into the moral fibre of society. Governments may try to separate themselves from the church but I have yet to see an out of the closet atheist being elected as Prime Minister or President.

While America claims freedom of religion it wasn't that long ago that Bush proclaimed himself on the right of his god. And as long as that god is against homosexuality, abortion and single mothers, so will he be. So much for governmental secularity.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 7:41 pm 
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victor wrote:
While America claims freedom of religion it wasn't that long ago that Bush proclaimed himself on the right of his god. And as long as that god is against homosexuality, abortion and single mothers, so will he be. So much for governmental secularity.


Government is only secular on paper. Government is made up of men and women and everyone has prejudices coming forth from their personal lives. Sometimes this is not a problem if the upbringing was reasonably liberal but I see many politicians that are extremely closeminded and narrow-minded. President Bush certainly doesn't strike me as an intelligent man, more like a puppet from those around him, which is probably how he got into power in the first place - they needed a front man.

American friends tell me that America is currently divided into the cities and countryside where the big cities are liberal and modern and the countryside, especially the "Bible Belt" is becoming increasingly homophobic. So, in view of that, how are gay men "forced" to act? Are they more masculine acting in a homophobic society like the countryside or doesn't that make any difference? I think it does. Acting more "man-like" would surely make them more invisible as gay men in homophobic surroundings, so how much does environment influence gay masculinity?


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 9:32 pm 
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MikeZ wrote:
American friends tell me that America is currently divided into the cities and countryside where the big cities are liberal and modern and the countryside, especially the "Bible Belt" is becoming increasingly homophobic. So, in view of that, how are gay men "forced" to act? Are they more masculine acting in a homophobic society like the countryside or doesn't that make any difference? I think it does. Acting more "man-like" would surely make them more invisible as gay men in homophobic surroundings, so how much does environment influence gay masculinity?


Good point, MikeZ. I think gay men tend to be more masculine (acting) in the countryside than the city too. That doesnt mean though that gay men aren't masculine without putting up an act! I've met many a man whom I thought to be totally hetero and masculine that came on to me like a bee to honey!

But people will try to fit in to their surroundings, that is only natural. And if men are generally "straighter" in the countryside than in the cities, I think men, not only gay men but all men, tend to be more rugged or butch or whatever. It's a different society.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2007 6:10 am 
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JimSonna wrote:
But people will try to fit in to their surroundings, that is only natural. And if men are generally "straighter" in the countryside than in the cities, I think men, not only gay men but all men, tend to be more rugged or butch or whatever. It's a different society.


Good point, Jim. I tend to agree with you there. Outside of cities, where life generally is more "decadent" anyway, attitudes and society is different. The country life puts a whole different set of demands on people. A farmer tends to be much more close-minded than the average city office worker because his human interaction with different people is severely limited to farm hands and those he meets in the local town and surroundings. His peers tend to be much more similar to him and have a similar life style than city people would have with their peers. The farmer's schedule is very tight, dictated by his crop or livestock, up early in the morning, out to the land or barns and back home at the end of the day, etc. and so his social interaction is also much less varied than city folk would have.

It's only logical then, given this restricted scope, that his outlook on life would be different than that of "metropolites". His is a simpler life style and possibly only through television, and now the internet, does he even get an inkling of how the end users of his labours live. And the further out you go into the country the more simpler it gets. Farm people are in no way less intelligent or anything like that but I can well understand that within a farmer's life such "nonsense" as gay liberation simply holds no ground. No time for sensitivities like that! Gay or not, if you live on a farm you got to work!

So then it is also not surprising that when he does go into town, and the church is generally the main location for social events, that if this religious organisation would preach against things like homosexuality, abortion and pre-marital sex, that these attitudes become firmly ingrained into the local population as well. And so his definition of what is masculine would also differ especially when it comes to men and women that do not exhibit "traditional" behaviour.

Perhaps the fight against homophobia should be more focusing on the smaller communities' social networks rather than the cities?

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 7:29 pm 
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That certainly is true in some of the country places I;ve been, Victor, but I'm happy to say that in the larger towns there is definitely a gay culture going on. Countless places to meet outdoors and certain bars have the reputation of being gay cruising areas too. Maybe it's the internet or national television or whatever, but it certainly has improved over the past decade. I love those horny farmboys, it's like a porn movie come true! And yeah, they're damn masculine too.


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