I know I’m going to take some heat on this post, particularly from my more-conservative readers, and that’s . . . OK. I’ve given this subject a lot of thought – hell, I’ve been working on this post for about a year now – and after much deliberation I felt it was time to do, partially in response to a comment I got today.
I want to talk about homosexuality.
That’s not an easy thing for a straight man to do, particularly in the Manosphere, but I think it is important, if not vital, that this issue be addressed reasonably, rationally, and cogently, not with a lot of over-the-top hype one way or the other.
For the record I’m proudly straight (and really good at it) but also unashamedly “pro-gay”. I have plenty of gay and lesbian friends, always have, and I’ve supported gay-marriage rights and the protection of gay civil rights pretty consistently. As I am not an adherent of a radical monotheism that proscribes homosexuality, I have no good spiritual reason for objecting to gay marriage or to the existence and prosperous, happiness-pursuing efforts of anyone based on their sexual orientation.
Indeed, for the most part I like gay people. Gay men in particular – not because they are gay, but because they are men.
And that, gentlemen, is the important factor here.
I understand both the squeamishness and the religious prohibition against homosexuality in many faiths; and while I don’t share it, I do understand that in a pluralistic society it is important not just that everyone have the freedom to do what they will, within reasonable social guidelines, but that freedom implies the freedom to dislike, for whatever reason at all, anyone in particular. Just because I don’t agree with your position doesn’t mean that I think you automatically “hate” gay people. That’s an overblown and frequently overplayed position on the Left.
But putting aside such emotional responses to homosexuality for a moment, I invite the Manosphere to consider the current state of gay-straight relations from another perspective. The Lambda Factor is invaluable to the evolution of both the Manosphere and the re-definition of masculinity on our own terms. Allow me to explain.
Before the 1960s, homosexuality was a crime in most jurisdictions. Then the famous Stonewall Riots
happened in 1969. If you aren’t familiar (and not many straight folk are), the Stonewall Riots occurred when a local police department tried to raid an underground gay club . . . and the gay men there fought back. Since that point, gay men have been resolutely fighting the system, both legal and social, that would make their desires and orientation a crime. Lesbians and transgendered folk have joined in, but gay men were the leaders of the early LGBT movement.
Why is that important? Because “Gay Liberation” – the social and legal acceptance of gay men, in particular, as open and functional members of our society was, perhaps, the biggest boon to masculinity during what was the period of its greatest decline.
Now, that’s going to make a lot of fellas shake their heads in confusion. After all, traditional ideas about homosexuality are rooted far more in what sets a gay man apart from a straight man than what binds them together. Yes, there are definitely low-masculine, high-feminine men out there who challenge our ideas of masculine behavior. There is a part of gay culture where the raging, effeminate queen, as embarrassing as he is to more mainstream, masculine-acting gay dudes, will always be the symbol or stereotype of gay men.
But while the stereotype of the highly-effeminate gay man is imprinted indelibly on our culture, the fact of the matter is that overly-effeminate gay men are likely the minority of the homosexual community (but it's hard to get a good metric on that). Most gay men I know – and I know a few – are not swishy, overly-sensitive, and secretly desire to be women. In fact, most gay men I know are, in every other way, just like the straight men I know. They just dress better for dates, have more sex, and prefer Muscle and Fitness to Maxim.
But apart from their predilection for hairy man ass, they’re just . . . dudes. They read all the other masculine publications out there, they just tend to skip over the straight parts. That doesn't make them less masculine, it just places their masculinity in a frame where the slavish devotion to femininity our masculine drive is tuned to is absent. They are men free to be men without the advice or consent of women.
You see the raging metropolitan queen as gay and can spot him across the room. But the bearded dude in the flannel and the pick-up, who spends all of his time camping, hunting, fishing, and going to NASCAR races? He's just as gay, but he hasn't let the stereotype of his orientation define his masculinity. One of the more amusing times I've had at a redneck bar was watching a Duke student come in, get hammered, and start shooting his mouth off about "faggots".
Turns out two of the beefy gentlemen at the bar were gay, on a date, and also half-drunk. About the fourth time the idiot says something degrading the masculinity of all gay men, the gentlemen took exception. Apparently, it doesn't matter how straight you are, if you piss off a 250 pound redneck about where he chooses to put his dick, it doesn't matter if he's gay or straight, it's gonna be your ass. Two rednecks? Who possibly saw the act as a pair-bonding moment?
I'm hoping that getting his ass kicked by two gay rednecks may have encouraged that young man to reconsider his ideas about masculinity that evening. I certainly hope so. If nothing else, it taught him a valuable lesson in discretion and moderation.
Why is this important? Because by legitimizing homosexuality, the Stonewall Riots and the Gay Rights movement allowed a masculinity unfettered by sexual preference to develop. In other words, it allowed openly gay men to express their masculinity without the needs, wants, or desires of women entering into the equation.
It’s a subtle point, but a vital one. Why? From an intellectual perspective gay men allow the rest of us a “control group” of male sexuality, containing within a wide range of masculine expressions, one which refutes or repudiates a lot of the feminist sexual ideology. After all, you can’t say “society makes straight men do this” without checking to see if society (which has mostly ignored gay men, culturally speaking, except as two-dimensional stock characters to be trotted out for laughs) also makes gay men do it, too.
Case in point: the oft-touted feminist maxim that “men only go after hot young girls because our rape-culture tells them that’s the ideal they should be shooting for.” Feminism has always taken issue with the masculine preference for youth – and I think we all know why – but blamed it squarely on “the Patriarchy’s” efforts to take power away from older women. If it wasn’t for our screwed-up youth-worshiping culture, the feminist myth goes, men would get just as hard over saggy tits and cottage cheese thighs as they do perky tits and a tight ass.
But if “the Patriarchy” is the one dictating what men should and shouldn't be attracted to, culturally speaking, then one must also assume that a group like Gay Men, who “the Patriarchy” has traditionally had an antipathy toward, would therefore not be subject to the same “artificial rules” that straight men are.
But it turns out gay dudes like young stuff, too. A lot.
The term “twink” is used to describe the young, vital gay man in the prime of his youthful sexuality. If men in general were not naturally attracted to youth, then this shouldn't be the case. But the fact is dudes like youth and find it sexually attractive, regardless of sexual preference. There is no “evil Patriarchy” telling gay men to lust after young hunks – they just do. As much as the rest of us lust after young babes.
Further, apart from their sexual orientation, gay men share far, far more in common with straight men than they do women of either orientation. Gay men can get drafted, falsely accused of rape, creamed in family court, and accused of sexual harassment, just like straight men can.
(Funny aside: during my long clerical career, one gay man I worked with – not in the closet, but not exactly public about his orientation – got accused of sexually harassing an allegedly batshit nuts female co-worker who was not aware of his orientation. Hilarity ensued. So did a lawsuit – against her. For intentionally "outing" him to his co-workers.)
But that’s not all. Science tells us that around 10-15% of the human population is gay or bisexual in orientation – the exact number shifting depending upon just how you determine whether someone is gay. That means that for centuries closeted gay men have been marrying women to cover their sexuality. In most cases the wives in question were not aware of their husbands’ activities, or if they did learn, they turned a blind eye to them and just started drinking.
But post-Stonewall, men who determine their orientation is gay do not feel the same social pressure or filial compulsion to marry a woman. That means that 10% or so of the "eligible" men – who were often more handsome, dapper, and had bigger dicks than their straight neighbors – are no longer on the straight marriage market, for good or ill. That’s a good thing for everyone . . . except women who want to get married.
Suddenly a healthy chunk of the dudes who looked great on paper (except for their passion for fellatio and anal sex) were no longer available in the hetero-SMP. That forces the straight women out there to contend directly with us straight men, without the hope of finding a sensitive gay husband to fulfill their dreams of a high-status sexless marriage. Gay dudes are marrying other gay dudes now. Straight men are not marrying straight women . . . not nearly as much, anyway.
Feminism has attempted to co-opt the gay rights movement as another victim of “the Patriarchy”, and it can’t be argued that the oppression and rejection gay men have felt in the past (and still struggle against in the present) was motivated in large part by traditional social prejudices. But that doesn’t make them natural allies of feminists, just as it doesn’t make them natural allies of the black civil rights movement. Once you get past the marriage rights issue, most gay men seem to line up on other political issues more or less in line with straight men.
Gay men (who did not realize their orientation until late) get divorced, they lose custody of their kids, they get fired and discriminated against because of their gender, just like straight men. Gay men have lost the same economic power that straight men have. Indeed, the vast majority of their non-gay-oriented interests and issues are identical to those of straight men. If it wasn’t for the current political climate on the Right, I think we’d see a flood of gay men supporting male issues and interests. The very existence of the Log Cabin Republicans bears this out.
And if you think YOU get pissed off about your taxes going to support entitlement programs for single mothers, you should just hear a table full of angry gay men discuss the subject. Ouch.
Apart from political expediency, there’s not much reason why gay men and feminists should find common ground, philosphically. Remember, it was gay men who refuted radical Third Wave feminist Andrea Dworkin’s insistence that deep throating was unnatural and inherently dangerous, and that anal sex was an unhealthy perversion that could not be practiced without imperiling your health.
When a raging queen stood up and offered to demonstrate just how easily it was to deep throat in front of a crowd of other gay men, it pretty much deflated Dworkin’s anti-porn argument. Indeed, the comparatively large amount of gay porn out there belies the argument that “straight men only look at porn because they were taught to”. No one taught my gay friends to look at gay porn. No one pressured them into watching young, muscular, good-looking dudes have sex. They figured that out on their own without any help from the “evil patriarchy”.
Deriding gay men in general for a lack of masculinity is disingenuous and unfair. Some of the most masculine men I know are gay. In fact, I could argue that no one understands masculinity – what it is and what it isn’t – as much as a gay man. They are attracted to it as much as straight men are attracted to femininity. If the definitions of masculinity are restricted to purely heterosexual standards, not only are you being intellectually dishonest about the subject, you are ignoring and alienating some powerful allies in the struggle against feminism. And some damn good caterers.
Gay men see the ugly side of feminism even more frequently than straight men do. While rarely put in the same “evil patriarchy” category with us, gay men suffer the same broad brush feminism uses to paint all men . . . and when they are in groups with women who know they are gay, these women frequently and foolishly decide that being a gay dude is JUST like being a straight woman.
This amuses the gay men to no end.
It’s often been said that the slutathon that is Sex In The City is the attempt by straight urban women to live the fabulous gay lifestyle of gay urban men: easy sex with strangers, focus on interpersonal relationships instead of romantic ones, and an obsession with quality footwear.
The problem is that only gay men can live a fabulous gay lifestyle . . . because they’re men. They don’t have ticking biological clocks, fears of pregnancy or aspirations of the traditional Happily Ever After in the suburbs. They don't care about failing their mother's expectations or what their friends think if they start dating a much younger dude. They just want to get their dicks sucked after a delightful date with an attractive partner – something I think every man can understand.
When women try to adopt the fabulous gay lifestyle, they run into the issues that have always been a factor in heterosexual society, including judgment and social expectation. A gay man who has had three dozen partners in the course of his life isn’t considered particularly promiscuous not because he’s gay, but because he’s a dude. A straight woman who does the same doesn’t have the same excuse.
A gay man who doesn’t marry by the time he’s 35 isn’t in danger of a life of sterility and a lonely dotage surrounded by cats, he’s just entering his prime. He's a silverback, often with a more mature masculinity that attracts younger dudes by the dozen. A gay man who goes from one relationship to another every six months isn’t unusual – a woman who does the same is quickly going to get a reputation for being unable to commit.
And if you every want to hear some truly misogynistic shit, sit around with a bunch of drunk gay dudes and discuss the women in their lives. Only lesbians can be as judgmental . . . but they don’t have the vicious streak of an irate queen.
Nor do gay men universally identify with women before men – quite the contrary. The most effective Black Knight I ever knew was a middle-aged gay black man who just didn’t particularly like working with women. Not because of sexual preference, but because he preferred the quiet efficiency of an all-male team to the chaotic cluck-fest he saw in female-dominated departments. When the female HR director tried to get in his face about it, he was quick to hit back, brutally and viciously, with a deep understanding of the regulations and policies to refute her assertions that he was being sexist in his operations.
When it came down to it, the HR director couldn't come up with anything more concrete than “it seems you have a poor attitude toward your female co-workers, and some people have been saying they’re uncomfortable with it.” While a straight dude might have backed down, this Black Knight went on the offensive:
“Show me a goddamn metric of what I ‘seem’ to be doing, give me one concrete example of me discriminating against a woman, let me hear one employee demonstrate where I have been improper in my conduct in this office, bring me one instance of me violating company policy concerning gender discrimination, or get the fuck out of my office. I’ve got a department to run, and all this ‘seeming’ and ‘feeling’ doesn’t do a goddamn thing to help me do my job.”
HR steered clear of him after that. If he had been straight, it would have been his ass. It was one of the best temp jobs I’ve ever had. Not only did we get our work done without undue interruption, it was a congenial and productive environment. And no, he never hit on me. Even when I look this good.
It is time for the Manosphere to back off the homophobia and start recognizing our legitimate allies in this struggle. Gay men are not the enemy. They don’t want to see every man turn gay. They don’t even want to encourage more men to be gay, necessarily – they just want to ensure that it is safe for men who are gay to be so without undue hardship. (The rest of us could stand to work out more . . . eye candy . . .) Their alliance with the Left is almost solely based around the single issue of gay rights, and once gay marriage and military service is off the table most are happy to get involved in issues of more interest to all men.
This just scratches the surface of what is a deeper and more meaningful subject, but it was time this was discussed in the Manosphere. Pushing away 10-15% of our brothers, just because they get more blowjobs than we do betrays the 21st century goal of defining masculinity as inclusively – and as unabashedly male – as possible. Gay men have powerful perspectives to add to the Manosphere, and have seen the ugliest faces of feminism in ways straight men cannot conceive of.
They have been victim of a double-bigotry, treated with mistrust and hostility from misguided straight men and organized religion, while they have also been co-opted by women often without their consent as “one of the girls” . . . when they are, in fact, decidedly not. The attitudes and perspectives of most straight women toward gay men can be obnoxiously cloying. Fag hags abound, and despite their genuine affection for the gay men in their lives, they rarely accord them the masculine respect they would a straight man. In fact some of the most misandrous shit I’ve ever heard has been from the mouths of stalwart straight female friends of gay men.
As I said, I do understand the general hesitancy of straight men to embrace the idea of gay men being inclusive of masculinity in general, but as uncomfortable as that makes you, approached objectively it’s a net win for masculinity, over-all. It doesn’t make you gay. It doesn’t even make you a tiny bit cuter. But it does give you a position to advance to in discussions with ardent feminists who often conflate masculinity and heterosexuality to our detriment. If they say something rotten about the masculinity of “rape culture”, look for a cognate of the behavior or presentation in gay subculture.
Or, to paraphrase a struggling blue pill friend of mine who’s trying to talk his otherwise-liberal wife into anal sex, who objects on the grounds that it is objectifying, debasing, and degrading, unnatural and a violation of both biology and moral values: “Well be sure to mention that to the millions of gay men who take it in the tailpipe every day, honey. Like all of those gay friends of yours you’re always so supportive of. And by the way? I hear they swallow regularly, with no serious adverse reactions.”
That's my opener. Your perspectives?