Tuesday, December 17, 2013


I defy anyone who has ever loved -- or who has ever wanted to love or be loved -- not to be profoundly moved by this young man's story:

This simple heartfelt video upload on Youtube inspired the documentary Bridegroom, which has been shortlisted as one of the best of 2013.  It makes an emotionally powerful case for giving gay couples the right to marry.

Of course, if there is one group that the New Misogynists fear and loathe more than "feminists", it's teh gayz.  (And teh tranz. And anyone else who is not hetero-normative according to Old Testament standards.)

It makes sense, in a way.  Variances in gender identity and orientation really mess with their most cherished core delusions about their rightful position in the world, about the very nature of human nature.  It's not surprising, either, that they have come up with various flimsy theories to explain male homosexuality which lay the blame on modern women (their unseemly bids for dominance, their nasty hypergamous ways).  Roosh, predictably, has posited that American men turn gay because of a lack of attractive, available female partners.  

It seems at first a stunningly weak theory given the scores of historical heart-throbs who had to hide their homosexuality lest they disappoint their legions of female fans (Richard the Lion-Hearted, Rock Hudson, Rudolf Nureyev, and Dirk Bogarde spring immediately to this female mind).  
Dirk Bogarde (sigh!)
However, while I was living in the middle east, I talked to a number of men who cited the strict sexual segregation of those societies to "explain" the undeniable existence of homosexuality.  And certainly people (and other animals) that would otherwise seek heterosexual pair bondings will make certain... accommodations... in captivity.  Still, it's hard to make the case that 21st century western societies, with their slutty, liberated women, are driving men into each other's arms.
In a conversation Roosh reports, he asks a gay man whether he "pitches" or "catches."  For a guy with Roosh's cultural baggage heritage, this is a crucial distinction, because in Iran and Turkey, the one who penetrates is perceived as "less gay" than the one who is penetrated, and that is because he is assuming the dominant, "masculine" role.  In other words, it's not the sexual act that defines one's sexuality, but the role one performs in said sexual act.  The "active" player maintains his masculinity, whereas the "passive" one forfeits his, and is thereby degraded ("feminized").  (This dogged insistence on gender-determined roles also helps explain why the Iranian government offers gay males the option of sexual reassignment surgery as an alternative to hanging.)  One of the lessons I learned from spending twenty years in the near and middle east was how culture shapes our very definition of what "homosexuality" means.

Lately, it seems that Roosh has been ramping up his anti-gay rhetoric, lauding the homophobic policies of Putin and the promotion of horrific anti-gay thuggery in the former Soviet Union.  This is just one way that the New Misogynists are oblivious to the way the global winds are blowing in favor of increased tolerance.

It's only been one year since Washington passed marriage equity, yet it's already hard for me to remember when gay colleagues were chary of mentioning their partners at work.  Watching the documentary Bridegroom this afternoon reminded me there's still a road to travel, but all the squawking and flailing of the "manosphere" or other far right reactionary groups will not stop the acceptance of gay civil rights.  And in that small way, at least, the world is becoming a better place.

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