Author Topic: Question.. Gay v Lesbian - is one more 'socially acceptable' than the other?  (Read 6418 times)

Offline YaadPyar

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I agree Celeste, but I think it's that really specific sexual context that makes us think lesbianism is accepted when really it isn't.  With two beautiful women in a movie or porn flick, lesbianism is fine.  But if it's two real looking women going at it and wanting nothing to do with men, that's when our society tends to find it offensive.  How many times does a lesbian hear something like, "you just need a real man"... there is a really fine line, I think, when it comes to lesbianism about what will turn a man on and what will offend him.  And, concerning women, I think gay men tend to me more accepted by women than lesbians.  Obviously that isn't always the case, but it seems to be true a lot of the time.


Oh yeah - that's totally my point.  As long as it's confined to an idea of some fantasy, it's fine, but the reality is very different.  We're just going to have to agree to agree here!
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Offline littleguitar

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Oh yeah - that's totally my point.  As long as it's confined to an idea of some fantasy, it's fine, but the reality is very different.  We're just going to have to agree to agree here!

LOL, yep! I was agreeing with you! sorry, I think I used the word "but" instead of "and", made it seem like I was arguing!  ;D
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Offline YaadPyar

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yeah - even the little bit I ever saw of "The L Word" just seemed so lame to me.  These were not women I wanted to spend time with, and it wasn't just about their sexuality.
"Vice, Virtue. It's best not to be too moral. You cheat yourself out of too much life. Aim above morality. If you apply that to life, then you're bound to live life fully." (Harold & Maude - 1971)

Offline starboardlight

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yeah - even the little bit I ever saw of "The L Word" just seemed so lame to me.  These were not women I wanted to spend time with, and it wasn't just about their sexuality.


i thought the same thing about Queer As Folk.
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Offline starboardlight

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Starboard, I would even say that gay men are accepted by straight women more than gay women are by the same, and even more than lesbians are accepted by gay men (my experience). Gay men seem to resent the often "militant" side of lesbians, even when it is not offensive.

in terms of in real life, i think that might be true. the girl friends that I have, i do talk to them about everything. and I don't know very many lesbians that have that kind of relationships with men. but I don't know if that comes from men not accepting lesbians, or lesbians feeling no particular need to have that kind of relationship with men.

as for gay men resenting the "militant" side of lesbians, i think that's too general a statement. While at college, the community of gay and lesbians was very tight knit. In terms of activism, both communities realize that they need each other. And both community are happy to support one another in media representation. One of the most militant lesbian comic, Lea Delaria has a very strong gay male following.

yes, there are some gay men who are intimidated by the "militant" lesbians, but then again there are just as many lesbians who resent queeny gay men.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2006, 02:14:51 pm by starboardlight »
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Offline isabelle

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I agree with the last bit starboard (lesbians not accepting some gay men).
Just my experience (what I said earlier) in one group in my home city in France. Maybe too general a statement indeed.

And even when I was a lesbian (thought I was only that for a while), I absolutely sought the company of men (gay, preferably). I cannot bear hanging around with only one part of humanity!
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Offline delalluvia

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Pretty much what little said with the caveat that most men don't believe beautiful/attractive women can really be lesbians.  They feel these women just have had bad experiences with men and just need a good bang to 'turn them around'. 

Yeah, I know. :P

Historically, lesbianism has been invisible because for the majority of history, women haven't had a choice in getting married or not.  She was/is property and the men in her life didn't really care what her wants/needs/desires were so any relationship she had with another women, no matter how intimate, didn't matter because women's relationships with other women weren't what counted socially speaking and were going to be done away with as soon as she was given away/sold in marriage.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2006, 07:07:40 pm by delalluvia »

Offline Kelda

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Thanks for the responses guys... really interesting thoughts and points of view.  ;D

I think what Celleste says rings true though.. lesbian is accepted as staright male fantasy, but in real life? Where they do couplely things and have an ordinary relationship - no, I don't think so.

So, the image of women kissing or touching each other sexually is considered titillating, whereas the general perception of men doing the same is that it's offensive.

and Star.. I guess I should admit to yes, having the fashionable accessory..and enjoying that! But I would hope that I'm more than just a 'Grace'!

Gay men are accepted by mainstream society as fashionable accessories. Every woman must have a gay best friend who will advise her on the best color for the season and will tell her if that latest hairdo will make her face look trimmer.

Mandy, on the nail.. woman as a whole generally try and make out we're more liberal than straight men..but you're right.  Unfortunately.
IAnd, concerning women, I think gay men tend to me more accepted by women than lesbians.  Obviously that isn't always the case, but it seems to be true a lot of the time.
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Offline starboardlight

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and Star.. I guess I should admit to yes, having the fashionable accessory..and enjoying that! But I would hope that I'm more than just a 'Grace'!

I imagine that "Grace" sees her "Will" for all that he is. Though I don't know. I have met plenty of "fag hags" who refuse to see Will's sexuality. I don't object to the Grace/Will dynamic, but rather I'm frustrated that the media limits them to caricatures. I don't know if it's the fault of mainstream America not wanting to accept gay men as fully human or if Hollywood think that's the case. I'll tell ya, better baby steps than no steps at all. I'm glad "Will" is there at all.
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My feeling on this issue is that lesbians are much more accepted in society than gay men as they are non-threatening to the heterosexual male and not that unlike heterosexual women in many of their relationship pursuits and nurturing habits.  When was the last time you saw a lesbian gay bashed?  Of course, we can't really refer to the Brandon Teena story which is not a lesbian story at all, rather a transgendered example and exists on its own terms, meaning it had as much to do with other churning factors in that little peer group as it did with her sexuality. 

In the city where I reside, I see female couples holding hands everywhere, and no one bats an eye.  If you are a gay male couple, try doing that outside of a certain gay mecca neighborhood and see the eyebrows--and other things--that will be raised.  There's something about what gay men "do" that doesn't sit right with society.  Lesbian proclivities are less threatening and don't seem as transgressive in the eyes of most.   

What's interesting is how little gay men and lesbians really seem to have in common beyond the orientation issue.  Gay men are raised and socialized as straight men are, and I would assume that the same is true for lesbians and straight women.  This is why I have many straight male friends--we see eye to eye on many things and ways of expressing ourselves.  They are sensitive and more in touch straight guys, but in many ways we are the same.  On the other hand, I have much less in common with lesbians it seems.  I'm making some generalizations I suppose but they are my perceptions of my own experience. 

rt
« Last Edit: May 11, 2006, 02:13:30 pm by rtprod »