Feminism: Are Gay Men our Best Allies? (Part II)

Feminism is a cause that fights for equality between men and women. But does our own sexual orientation influence our position on feminism? For example, are gay men more likely to join the feminist cause than straight men?

By Sarah Langot

According to a study carried out by Mary E. Kite and Bernard E. Whitley of Ball State University in 1996, heterosexual men are crueller to gay men than they are to women. Both parties could find a point of agreement in the fight against the discrimination they both suffer at the hands of heterosexual men.

We asked heterosexual and homosexual men in their early 20s, to explain to us their views on the feminist cause. These accounts show a difference of the awareness and the point of view of men as a function of their sexual orientation.

These cases don’t characterize everyone’s opinion.

Chris is a gay man who says he is deeply involved in the feminist struggle. What bothers him the most is that when women live their sexuality freely they are considered “hoars,” whereas a man is acclaimed for the same conduct.

For him, women and gay men are oppressed people mistreated by cisgender men (cisgender means a person who identifies with their birth gender).

He specifies that the risk exists, according to him, of being assaulted just because you’re a woman or a gay man. Moreover, the means of defending these two communities are the same: demonstrations, marches and speaking out, for example.

Loïc is heterosexual and does not consider himself to be a fan of feminism. He doesn’t really seem to be a partisan of any cause at all. He stresses that the feminine condition interests him and he respects it. He says he doesn’t know much about feminism, but he is willing to learn.

What revolts him the most about sexism is the salary disparity between men and women. He doesn’t understand why this wage gap is trivialized, like sexism in politics is.

Killian is a gay man with strong feminist convictions. What grabs him the most in terms of inequality is the “rape culture,” the trivialization of sexism, and harassment on the street. He is most shocked at how firmly anchored the oppression of women is in society.

He explains that most people don’t even recognize sexism when they see it in front of them. That’s how much sexism is integrated and minimized in our society. He mentions ascribing a gender to colors, and sexualizing women’s breasts, among other things.

First seen in: Reflet de Société, Vol. 28 no. 3, été (summer) 2020, pages 22-23

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