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Monday, December 12, 2011

Gay Roommate

Posted by on Mon, Dec 12, 2011 at 8:30 AM

I didn't think this was very funny...

...but it reminded me of a definition of homophobia that was flying around Twitter this weekend:

Homophobia: The fear that gay men will treat you the same way you treat women.


Comments (40) RSS

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Awww bummer. It's not playing -- got a better link maybe?
Posted by MameSnidely on December 12, 2011 at 8:40 AM · Report this
ryanayr 2
"Findings suggest that homophobia is related to heightened levels of masculinity and may develop in men who feel threatened by individuals whom they perceive to have feminine characteristics (e.g. women, gay men). Consequently, it is possible that such a threat-driven homophobic constitution may explain the increased likelihood of anti-gay and anti-women aggression."

Long story short, if you are a lady, be fearful of a homophobic boyfriend. Well, I guess be fearful of a homophobic boyfriend if you're a guy too...…
Posted by ryanayr on December 12, 2011 at 8:43 AM · Report this
For years, I've told my straight male friends that not every gay man wants to fuck them. Usually the most homophobic among them have absolutely no reason for concern, no one male or female is interested in their bigoted ass.

Kind of like that guy.
Posted by catballou on December 12, 2011 at 8:51 AM · Report this
Posted by EricaP on December 12, 2011 at 8:58 AM · Report this
Posted by Laurence Ballard on December 12, 2011 at 8:58 AM · Report this
@5 re your second link -- how did they find 35 homophobic men willing to let them test their arousal rates in this way? Amazing...
Posted by EricaP on December 12, 2011 at 9:00 AM · Report this
debug 7
Only kinda funny was the last line: "I'm in".
Posted by debug on December 12, 2011 at 9:05 AM · Report this
seandr 8
Whatever, I thought it was a cute "tables are turned" scenario. It's a comedy sketch, not a treatise on homosexuality.

And, um, douche-bag predatory gay men do exist. I vividly recall Nic Sheff's account of being tag-team raped by a beefy sadistic gay couple when he was a tweaker street kid on the streets of San Francisco.
Posted by seandr on December 12, 2011 at 9:15 AM · Report this
Allyn 9
@2 “heightened levels of masculinity" as in testosterone?

I want to draw a connection to the study that found that men who were involved with child-rearing generally had lower levels of testosterone than men who did not. I wonder - if we lived the way we evolved, small committed groups of people working together and viewing each child as his and her own to raise and teach, would we find fewer instances of homophobia and misogyny?
Posted by Allyn on December 12, 2011 at 9:15 AM · Report this
Laurence Ballard 10
@6 They used classic misdirection--college males were told they'd be viewing 'porn'--once attached to the plethysmograph, they had no control over the viewed images.
Posted by Laurence Ballard on December 12, 2011 at 9:19 AM · Report this
Roma 11
2/ryanayr: Findings suggest that homophobia . . . may develop in men who feel threatened by individuals whom they perceive to have feminine characteristics (e.g. women, gay men).,

I've always felt that my fellow straights who are homophobic also have a lot of disdain for any kind of femininity in straight men. It's interesting that they may have a similar disdain for women.

Posted by Roma on December 12, 2011 at 9:21 AM · Report this
ryanayr 12
@6 - pizza

@9 - Masculinity in this and other cases is not defined as biological, but rather a self-determined attitude using a simple survey. Some more light reading on that front:…
I don't think too much can be said in the causal relationship of testosterone and homophobia - a gay man can have just as much testosterone as a straight man. It's all about attitude. And I don't think there's a definitive form child rearing was originally "evolved". Some more light reading on that front:…

@11 - Definitely! Personally, I see a lot of homophobes as nothing more than misogynists. There is I think a homophobic view that a gay man chooses to degrade themselves to the role of a female, which to them is inferior. It's like apostasy. To me, I think that's one reason why "homosexuality is a choice" is so important to homophobes.
Posted by ryanayr on December 12, 2011 at 9:38 AM · Report this
BEG 13
I have always been wary of homophobic men, as there does seem a correlation between that & the way they treat women. However, I have come across misogynistic gay men, as well, so there is that.
Posted by BEG!/browneyedgirl65 on December 12, 2011 at 9:51 AM · Report this
Fortunate 14
@13 "However, I have come across misogynistic gay men, as well, so there is that."

Yeah, but they tend to also be homophobic. Being openly gay doesn't mean you can't be a big ol homophobe.

Find a gay guy who is misogynistic and chances are you also found a gay guy who has utter disdain for any other gay guy who exhibits any stereotypical gay or feminine behaviors, and constantly puts down other gays.

Typically the same guys who are always advertising themselves on dating and hook-up sites as "straight acting".

Posted by Fortunate on December 12, 2011 at 9:59 AM · Report this
Roma 15
11/ryan, I'm intrigued by the idea that homophobic guys may also have a disdain for women but I'm not entirely convinced. It makes sense to me that they'd dislike feminine-seeming straight men -- since, to them, men are supposed to be manly -- but, since they wouldn't expect women to be manly, I don't quite see why they'd be hostile to femininity in women.

Posted by Roma on December 12, 2011 at 10:00 AM · Report this

I thought that it was making fun of the oblivious roommate, personally. If you modified the story and made it about an oblivious Christian living with an out-and-out pagan, it's clear that the general humor comes from the fact the first roommate is totally in denial, not that the other roommate is gay.
Posted by MameSnidely on December 12, 2011 at 10:23 AM · Report this
ryanayr 17
@15 - I could theorize, that it's all about those who feel superior, becoming threatened by those groups who are perceived as inferior gaining any kind of equality. You could apply that to feminism, racism, homophobia, whatever. So, those who maintain a "threat-driven homophobic constitution" would, I guess, be susceptible to any kind of superiority/inferiority complex. Think about any of the virulently homophobic people you know... what are their attitudes about other races, the other gender? Really, I think it's more the view that woman aren't the same as men, therefore, the hostility is from woman playing roles that are, in their view, exclusive to men. So, it's not hostility to femininity in women, rather hostility to the belief that women are equal to men.
Posted by ryanayr on December 12, 2011 at 10:38 AM · Report this
Anonymous Artichoke 18
@17 - I have to say, from the literature I've read, as well as personal experience, that I agree with your assessment. Misogynistic/Homophobic men tend to be deeply insecure about themselves, or as you say have an "inferiority complex". However, rather than being angry with women for filling "male" roles, I believe it is a deep-seated fear of facing the things that they are confused/frightened/unhappy with in themselves. They focus all that emotional turmoil outward and onto individuals/groups with the characteristics they are unsure of/fear in themselves.
Posted by Anonymous Artichoke on December 12, 2011 at 10:55 AM · Report this
joe_perez 19
Thanks for the video, Dan. There were a couple of scenes that I thought were hysterical. Did you not think it was funny because it suggested that gay men were capable of treating straight men as sex objects, or for purely non-political reasons?
Posted by joe_perez on December 12, 2011 at 10:57 AM · Report this
Hey everyone, I'm really enjoying the comments about the video. As the writer/director of the vid, I just wanted to point out that the video is actually about homophobia and how ridiculous people are about their fears of gay people. I wanted to take the sketch to the absurd and actually make fun of the people who are fearful of gay people.

As a reader of this site, I enjoy reading the intelligent comments and back-and-forth, which, unfortunately, you don't get too often on YouTube. Thank you, Dan, for posting our sketch and hopefully people will see it in a different light. And thanks to everyone for watching our sketch and supporting our little artistic endeavors. Sincerely, Travis Kurtz, Zeke Mahogany Comedy
Posted by Travis Kurtz on December 12, 2011 at 11:30 AM · Report this
Ophian 21
I can see how mysogyny and homophobia are linked in men for whom a rigid heteronormative role is necessary.

Firstly, because things feminine are understood to be inherently inferior, gay men [or any sissy straight boys] are to be despised as "degrading" themselves when they trade down from masculine to feminine.

Secondly, gay men are to be feared and destroyed because they automatically put other men in the female role of "object of desire". I think homophobic men are totally freaked out by teh gaiz, because they feel feminized by homosexuality [think of all the barracks rape scenarios bandied about regarding DADT].

To the kind of guy that'll smack a girl's ass unbidden, gay men--even and especially the butch ones--are seen as dangerous predators from whom one must vigilantly guard one's fanny, lest one's masculinity be stolen.

Posted by Ophian on December 12, 2011 at 11:39 AM · Report this
MarkDallas 22
@20, if you are genuinely Travis...sorry, it just ain't funny.

I'm old enough (Dan's age!) to remember when LGBT folks -- myself included -- were so starved of media portrayals of ourselves that we'd embrace any comedy or drama that featured us.

Thank God we've moved on.
Posted by MarkDallas on December 12, 2011 at 12:02 PM · Report this
venomlash 23
@20: I can dig it. As a straight guy, I see it as a ludicrous satire of the panicky imaginings of a fellow who wonders if his roommate might be gay.
Posted by venomlash on December 12, 2011 at 12:46 PM · Report this
Confluence 24

You say that, but in practice, gay dudes (like all dudes) will shove it in anything, so you're not convincing.

Love Dan's definition of homophobia. It's exactly right.
Posted by Confluence on December 12, 2011 at 12:55 PM · Report this
shurenka 25
@8 But the "douche-bag predatory gay men" you so mention are not the norm, at least no more so than the heterosexual rapist, and this video insinuates that your average gay person is going to try to sexually exploit and molest you in various ways. The video's very clearly meant to convey that the roommate is a great guy but, because of his sexual orientation, he repeatedly tries to take advantage of his roommate. It is not a video of a sexual pervert; if it were just that it wouldn't be funny.

I love the definition of homophobia. It's a shame more people don't know the connection between homophobia and sexism. Both are based on the idea that each sex must conform to rigid gender roles, and free women and LGBT folk overtly challenge this. (True, some straight people can be gender bending, but of course they don't transgress the gendered idea that sex is only appropriate when heterosexual.)

I once had an acquaintance who was virulently misogynistic and, to a lesser extent, homophobic (hey there, H. B. H!). It was a shame; it caused me to lose most of my friends because they defended him and his put-downs. He turned out to be gay and is not out to his family. I hope he one day faces reality and steps out of the closet and leaves behind his primitive defense mechanisms.

Or, a more sadistic part hopes someone pushes him out of the closet! Would serve the asshole right. ;)
Posted by shurenka on December 12, 2011 at 1:08 PM · Report this
Roma 26
17 & 18, thanks for your comments. You may be right. Perhaps men who are homophobic do tend to have a greater dislike of women.


24: You say that, but in practice, gay dudes (like all dudes) will shove it in anything,

Confluence, over the years I've had numerous opportunities to sleep with women but declined because I wasn't attracted to them (I slept with a woman I wasn't attracted to once and it was awful.) And, in that, I really don't think I'm a member of some tiny minority of men.

Posted by Roma on December 12, 2011 at 1:13 PM · Report this
It was kind of funny. The jokes were just as much about the oblivious straight dude as about the blatantly gay dude. But if you didn't find it funny, so be it.

Siskel and Ebert did the Playboy interview 20 years ago or so and were asked about review-proof movies. Both agreed that comedies and porn were good examples: if it makes someone laugh, or arouses someone, a negative review won't matter, and if it doesn't make a person laugh, or turns a person off, a positive review won't matter.
Posted by Functional Atheist on December 12, 2011 at 1:19 PM · Report this
this guy I know in Spokane 28

The men who actually worry about "what will happen if I ever find myself alone with a gay guy in an elevator / in a locker room / in Basic Plumbing -- no, that's not what I meant to say, I don't even know what Basic Plumbing is" are the ones who can't imagine that anyone else's approach would be different than their own -- i.e. force, restrained only by threats of punishment.
Posted by this guy I know in Spokane on December 12, 2011 at 1:48 PM · Report this
You DIDN'T think it was funny?

What the hell is wrong with you?
Posted by codairem on December 12, 2011 at 2:42 PM · Report this
Ophian 30
@24, you are sooo right about men!

And also women who enjoy sex are dirty sluts, amirite!?

Posted by Ophian on December 12, 2011 at 3:30 PM · Report this
@15, it's not about being hostile towards "femininity" per se, it's about being hostile to powerful femininity. One of my DH's coworkers is a homophobic, misogynistic douche-canoe who loves feminine women - who know their place. He has outright called me everything from a bull dyke to a slut before when I have had the displeasure of keeping his company at workplace events (apparently he's worse to spouses/girlfriends of co-workers/friends than in the office because he won't get fired for picking on me and others who don't work with him, and makes it out as a "joke"...a la "hey, you guys finally make it legal, or are you still shacking up? Why buy the cow, amirite, Rick?" :::attempted fist jabs all around:::), and I'm pretty feminine, but I have a job and a brain and opinions and etc. His wife is this meek-as-shit baby-making, dinner-serving, housewife type. Put us next to each other in a picture, and you'd be hard-pressed to tell much of a difference between us (except I might be slightly intoxicated and she's allowed exactly one glass of wine in public - maybe also in private - because it's not lady-like to imbibe), but ask us a question and the differences are glaring. Her opinion on everything is pretty much so "whatever the men think," except when it comes to traditional gender roles and house/kid stuff (and even on some of that she defers to her husband's opinion)...that is, if you can get her to do anything but smile politely and say that her opinions aren't very interesting. In the grand scheme of things, if she made the choice to live like that with full knowledge of her alternatives, then she's totally entitled to live like that. I get the feeling she was just raised that way, so I don't respect it so much, but I also don't know her that well and hate her husband, so my opinion is probably not totally free from information deficiencies and bias.

Guys like him see strong women and gay men as a threat to the "natural order" of things, and, thus, a threat to them. Most of these guys aren't very bright, and the more people they have to compete against on their merits, the worse their chances of being successful are. He's unfortunately got some "old boys club" connections from his family and college, so he's become pretty successful, which only feeds his superiority complex. The holidays are a real pleasure dealing with all the people you wish would just fall of the face of the earth...

But I do love the idea of being afraid of being treated like they treat women. I am openly humiliated at least weekly around these parts for having a vagina, and I can't imagine most "bros" growing a skin thick enough to deal with that. After all, I was roundly cursed as a frigid bitch by a group of bros this weekend when one of them tried to cut in on me and the DH dancing at a concert. If they're so thin-skinned that they can't take a woman saying she's just going to dance with her husband, thanks, I can't imagine them surviving being smacked on the ass, groped, catcalled, and called a bitch and worse when they rebuff those actions.
Posted by Ms. D on December 12, 2011 at 4:30 PM · Report this
@24, I must know a differnt assortment of gay men than you. Straight men too, for that matter.

Posted by catballou on December 12, 2011 at 7:05 PM · Report this
@24 Making broad generalizations about "all" men is no better than making broad generalizations about "all" women. It's also extremely lazy comedy.
Posted by Lmlk813 on December 12, 2011 at 10:08 PM · Report this
John Horstman 34
Hehe, I like that definition.

@33: because of the greater social power ascribed to men, it actually IS different in the way it plays out. I still don't think unqualified generalizations are a good idea, but because of the functioning of social privilege, there is a difference in impact when one does something with a marginalized group versus a privileged group, and difference in impact is the most important (only important?) sort of difference.
Posted by John Horstman on December 13, 2011 at 9:43 AM · Report this
BrotherBob 35
@31, I think the word "hostile" is the problem. Most of the homophobes I know think of their mates as "the little woman" who is just not capable of balancing the checkbook, or who have a real problem when they find out the better half is earning more than they are. It is not hostility but a deep belief of women being the inferior of an unequal pair. The fear comes from what would happen to all their relationships, past present and future if they were proved wrong in that attitude.
Posted by BrotherBob on December 13, 2011 at 10:34 AM · Report this
Bah. I came out with that definition of homophobia on my own when I was in fucking *high school* 20 years ago. It was so blatantly obvious to me that the homophobic were also misogynistic and pretty much hated anyone who was weaker than they were.
Posted by gromm on December 13, 2011 at 1:00 PM · Report this
@35, sure, most of it is fear for the non-casual misogynist/homophobe, but how they react to it is hostile towards the source of their fear. Like I said, most of these guys aren't very bright, and don't do well competing on their merits. The greater the pool of potential competitors, the less their chances of success. If the women they would want to have in their lives are capable of holding their own, what use do they have for a not-too-bright man? So, they become hostile towards the "other." Living in a smart, well-educated city, I see this all the time. These virulent misogynists/homophobes don't just hate on women and gay men, they hate on anyone smarter than them. Casual misogynists/homophobes are a different breed, and can often be snapped out of it with a good "smacking" (not physical...verbal, intellectual, etc.). They just don't recognize that the culture they were raised in is wrong, discriminatory, and hateful.
Posted by Ms. D on December 13, 2011 at 4:47 PM · Report this
"Find a gay guy who is misogynistic and chances are you also found a gay guy who has utter disdain for any other gay guy who exhibits any stereotypical gay or feminine behaviors, and constantly puts down other gays.

Typically the same guys who are always advertising themselves on dating and hook-up sites as 'straight acting.'"

Yeah, I had a friend once like this. He wasn't ashamed of being gay - not at all, in fact, he was constantly talking about how many men he'd screwed and would even hit on men he knew were straight - but he was really hateful toward femmey gay guys, saying there were an embarrassment to "masculine" gay guys like himself. He also had an obsession with fitting in with straight guys, particularly the creepiest and douchiest of them. And yep, he was a misogynist. He started joking around about violence against women, playing it off as "just trollin'" and then would call me a "feminazi" when I didn't find those jokes funny - among many other things. I think that's when I didn't really want to be friends with him anymore.

I mean, honestly, it shouldn't be that surprising that gays who don't like femininity in men probably have a problem with femininity in general.
Posted by Whoop Di Doo on December 14, 2011 at 1:52 PM · Report this
Actually, in thinking about my former friend, it's funny how he was so quick to condemn other gay men for being stereotypical in terms of being effeminate, but he fulfilled a much more harmful stereotype, that of the "predatory gay." (And no, it wasn't just because he was hitting on straight guys - I don't really want to go into it.)
Posted by Whoop Di Doo on December 14, 2011 at 1:57 PM · Report this
tiburon666 40
Lighten up Dan, I'm gay, and I actually think it's pretty funny. I think it pokes some good fun at the homophobia we all carry around as cultural baggage.
Posted by tiburon666 on May 11, 2012 at 7:35 AM · Report this

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