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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Misogyny in the gay community: Feminist essay No. 1

Misogyny is the hatred or dislike of women or girls. Misogyny can be manifested in numerous ways... sexual discrimination, denigration, violence, and sexual objectification of women.1,2
 Misogyny can also be appear as a blatant disdain or hatred for anything deemed feminine, as femininity is often associated with women who's characteristics are deemed undesirable by men. 3
When a man displays hatred for women, be it overt or covert it can be interpreted to mean that he has misogynist tendencies. However the same can be said for women who display hatred for other women; misogyny as with most forms of discrimination is not restricted to one group, as it is a universal concept. Since misogyny is a universal concept and is not restricted to one group or the other Gay men are just as culpable as women or heterosexual men, despite their precieved orientation.
  Misogyny in the gay community can be categorized into three forms, misogyny and homophobia, misogyny and gender, and misogyny and masculinity; this is a problem because gay men do not see it as such, addressing the issue will cause reflection which will then create change.
 It is often assumed that men who are apart of the gay community are immune to the negative gender roles and socialization that affect Americans as a whole. This is common misconception as gay men, despite being gay are still socialized in pretty much the same way as their heterosexual male counterparts.3
 As such they are taught that femininity is weakness, and that masculinity is power. Often is the case when a gay man first comes into the gay community they often distance themselves from those with gender atypical behavior as well as member of the opposite sex. Only surrounding themselves with those who posses similar masculine ideals. In doing this they are essentially theories pertaining to why misogyny exist in the gay community are quite numerous. It has been speculated by many a feminist that gay men might harbor a deep seated hatred for women. Although this has never been proven there is a general consensus among feminist that gay men do not consider themselves or their struggles equal to that of women. To varying degrees many gay men have not come to terms with their femininity. The primary reason for this is because  of the westernized society we live in, which places masculinity on a pedestal. Western society as a whole devalues women and the femininity they entail.4 Men who chose to embrace their femininity are often ridiculed and forced back into their traditional masculine roles. This is impart due to the fact that masculinity is more fragile than femininity.3 Traditional masculinity has to be nurtured and has to act as a collective ego, whereas femininity is more of a individualistic and interpersonal concept.3
 According to the California Report a California based\LGBTQ census group, the majority of gay/bisexual/queer men find it hard to cope with their own internalized homophobia. This is due to the fact that society places a stigma on those who contract HIV/AIDS through gay sex.To the misogynist gay sex or anal sex in which involves the active penetration of the receptive partner by active partner is the greatest act of emasculation imaginable.

The primary way this issue can be dealt with is by simply talking about it. In talking about misogyny in the gay community one brings about awareness on the issue. Through awareness a means of prevention is formed in order to cope with and eliminate the problem to stop further damage.
 Misogyny is not something entirely unique to men, as it spreads across all spectrums of gender and sexualities. With this in mind, there are women and men of all sexual affiliations who show the varying levels of misogyny and female hatred as society at large. It would be improbable to assume that men of the heterosexual community are the only ones suspect. Women as well as gay men both display varying levels of misogyny.
 There are issue within every community even minority ones. To say that just because someone is a member of a marginalized group that they cannot discriminate and show hatred towards others is a fallacy. Regardless of the minority status men and women off all walks of life are prone to the same prejudices and stereotyping as mainstream society.
It should never be assumed that one is excluded of all prejudice and discrimination merely because thy are a minority.

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1. Code, L. (2000). Encyclopedia of the feminist theories (1st ed.). London: Routledge. p. 346.  ISBN 0-415-13274-6.

2.  Karamarae, C. (2000). Routledge international encyclopedia of women. New York: Routledge. p.1374-1377.  ISBN 0-415-92088-4

3. McNeil, J. "Misogyny and homophobia". Online Journal. 1998-2013. Accessed on August 11, 2013.

4. Cline, A. Homophobia and Misogyny. 2005. guide. Accessed on August 12, 2013.

5. State of Health. Stigma an apparent barrier in achieving AIDS-free generation. 2012.

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