Monday, August 28, 2006


This is a very good article (Details magazine, Sept 2006) touching on the issue of 'heterophobia' and how gay people are becoming more and more influential in a lot of aspects in the US of A, especially, hollywood, as oppose to straight men. Are straight men the new square? Opinions are welcome.

Gay men are influencing culture more than ever. Welcome to the age of heterophobia—in which the straight man could become the victim.

It was bound to happen. In July, officials in Provincetown, Massachusetts, had to hold a public meeting to discuss the rise, in their quaint, ultraliberal Cape Cod vacation village, of hate speech. According to news reports, police in the legendarily gay-friendly town got “numerous complaints” during Independence Day weekend of venomous insults shouted on the street. At straight people.

Of course, no one is suggesting that getting called “breeder” is in any way comparable to the very real violence and civil-rights challenges that gay people in this country face every day. But even as educated, enlightened segments of society are more on guard than ever against homophobia, showing how accepting they are with plenty of not-that-there’s-anything-wrong-with-it joshing (as when Lance Armstrong cracks anal-sex jokes on ESPN at the expense of his gay-for-pay friend Jake “Brokeback” Gyllenhaal), there’s a new phenomenon lurking beneath the tranquil surface: heterophobia.

The term heterophobia has actually existed in academia for a decade—it’s used to describe a certain kind of anti-male hyperfeminism. But the more recent usage of the word—meaning disdain for the heterosexual lifestyle—arguably was popularized by Eminem, who responded to accusations that he was anti-gay by rapping, “Homophobic? Nah, you’re just heterophobic,” in his 2000 song “Criminal.” As a real-world phenomenon, however, this particular notion of heterophobia is only now gaining steam, as pop culture increasingly depicts straight men as Neanderthals. Yes, the depictions are jokey, but they underscore a new polarization in which gay men are portrayed as arbiters of taste and straight men are seen as just sort of . . . unfortunate. Clueless. Lumbering.

And what’s remarkable is that this condescending point of view is being internalized by straight guys—they’re being stereotyped not only by gays but also by their own team. (Hello, Adam Ca-rolla!) Straight, in other words, is the new square. Straight guys are subconsciously embracing a kind of vulgar mediocrity—a wobbly drive down Minivan Lane in pleated khakis and a rumpled T-shirt. Call it the media-enabled Straight Guy Inferiority Complex. [ more ... ]

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