Forum:Gay men and feminism

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I want to ask some questions about the relationship between gay men and feminism. Note that I explicitly don't want to have some pro/anti-feminist debate here, or some pro/anti-MRA debate, or anything else like that. I'd like to here people's personal perspectives, especially those of any gay men who may respond. So, one thing I have definitely noticed, is that gay men tend to be more likely to be pro-feminist than straight men (which is not to say that all gay men identify as pro-feminist, nor that no straight men do.) One question I have is why this is the case. Some feminists would argue that men who oppose feminism do so out of male self-interest, out of defending their power and privileges - but, if that is true for straight men, why is not also true for gay men? If male privilege benefits men in general, surely it must also benefit gay men, which would give gay men potentially as much reason to defend it as straight men have?

Conversely, one can talk about the patriarchy as a source of homophobia, and also its oppression of non-gender conforming people (of course not all gay men are gender non-conforming, but many are), which gives gay men a self-interested (as opposed to merely altruistic) reason to support feminism. One can also talk about the reality of political alliances, in which gay right activists and feminist activists work together for mutual goals, and support each other in their political objectives, and also the reality that the "enemy of my enemy is my friend" (the most vocal opponents of feminism, on the political right, have a strong overlap with the most vocal opponents of gay rights.)

This brings me to the next question - what does the future hold? Will this alliance continue indefinitely, or will it break down over time? It seems to me that in the last couple of decades, the gay rights movement has made great strides in gaining public acceptance and political victories in many countries, whereas I don't think the feminist movement has seen anywhere near as many successes. I think it is highly likely that the gay rights movement will see continued success (at least in the Americas, Western Europe, Australia/New Zealand - its prospects in much of Asia are uncertain to negative, and in Russia, the Middle East and Africa quite negative). The political future of feminism is much more up in the air - what major successes can feminism point to in recent years at all comparable to the great strides in marriage equality? If, in the future, the political/self-interested payoffs for gay men to support feminism decrease, will gay male support for feminism remain the same or will it undergo a concomitant decline? (((Zack Martin))) 00:38, 1 November 2015 (UTC)

Well according to this video: (Check his sources in description) there are already a lot of homosexual men against feminism (and feminism has been agonizing over their leaving).
For certain here in NZ the opinions towards homosexuality are highly inclusive. Here, the entire right-wing youth party was in favor of voting for gay marriage, so the next generation is quite tolerant. It is perhaps less inclined to like feminism, many of the boys I knew in high school were leery of it and that was a couple years ago, I bet there's more against it now. So I imagine the homosexual men of the future will be less inclined to identify as feminists. CaptainCaptain (talk) 05:34, 1 November 2015 (UTC)
@Mara, because groups who are fighting battles for equality tend to find solidarity in oneanother. What incentive do gay men have to also not be pro-feminism besides the supposed ability to maintain male privilege? --"Paravant" Talk & Contribs 05:40, 1 November 2015 (UTC)
Thanks Paravant for responding. Oh I certainly agree, I think I said more or less as much in my original posting. However, it still leads us to the question of what the future holds. In much of the Western world, the gay rights movement has already got most of it what it wanted, and those things which it still hasn't achieved, the odds are very much in its favour. So, if we get to the point (we are not quite there yet) that the battle for gay rights is more or less won (not globally, but in a number of countries), what will happen to the alliance with feminism? Part of the difference between gay rights movement and feminist movement, is the latter at times asks for things which have a potentially significant economic impact - e.g. do something about the wage gap - whereas the former's requests have much more limited economic impact - marriage equality has no significant impact on the current distribution of wealth in society, and even in countries where there are marriage-specific tax or social security benefits, the small percentage of the population involved makes the overall fiscal impact quite modest. As such, feminism represents a larger threat to the current capitalist economic system than gay rights ever could, which I think is part of why gay rights has recently seen much more successes than feminism. (((Zack Martin))) 07:24, 1 November 2015 (UTC)
Except the wage gap doesn't exist. Feminism isn't getting what it wants because the common people don't like the idea of giving liars power.CaptainCaptain (talk) 07:43, 1 November 2015 (UTC)
And yet most politicians are still in power, oddly enough :v | I see groups pushing the idea that the wage gap is a myth, but rarely if ever do they include a source besides "I said so", does the esteemed Captain have any proof to their claim it doesn't exist, cause i'd actually like to see one saying so for once.--"Paravant" Talk & Contribs 07:45, 1 November 2015 (UTC)
@CaptainCaptain: I don't want to turn this page into yet another debate about whether major claims of feminism are true or false. Rather than debating whether it exists or not, we can ask the question of, whether the claim is right or wrong, what kind of impact it might have on gay men? Considering Paravant's question, "What incentive do gay men have to also not be pro-feminism" - well, given the existence of feminist claims about there being a pay gap between the genders (and irrespective of whether those claims are true or false), then some proposals to remedy this might put gay men at a financial disadvantage compared to the scenario in which those proposals were not implemented. So, this might not be an incentive to oppose feminism as a whole, but there may well be a financial incentive for gay men to resist certain feminist proposals. (((Zack Martin))) 07:46, 1 November 2015 (UTC)
The "wage gap" is an average of the earnings of men and women, and because there are more men in higher-paying jobs (and often high risk jobs i.e. mercenary or oil rig worker) the average says that men earn more. In actual positions women earn the same as men because nearly all countries have equal pay legislation (which is responsible for the fact black people get paid the same as white people) and here are a couple sources. Try not to delete them. Link 1 Link 2 Link 3
So if the wage gap is a myth, how the heck could homosexual men want to not side with feminism based on financial gain reasons? The ones who are against feminism also know there's no wage gap, so financial drive is not their purpose. CaptainCaptain (talk) 07:54, 1 November 2015 (UTC)
EC while I don't believe there is any inherent incentive to support feminism, I dont see any especial reason why gay folk would not support feminism. What you are suggesting seems a little conspiratorial to my eye. I think it bares repeating that the love of cock is no indicator of your political views. I know plenty of gay Tories, there is a small but problematic issue with racism, and there is a certain amount of sexists and transphobic gays. I suspect the more mainstream of gay groups would be on the pro feminist side. In answer to your previous statement that gay rights are currently make strides but feminist progress has slowed, I feel that it is inevitable. Its easy to push forward when you have big landmark and tangible goals like marriage equality which have clear signs of their success, ie legislation. Feminism has been around longer, with the big land mark goals such as the vote generally gained some time ago. I don't think the wage gap such a land mark, with no triumphant indicators for success. It is more a gradual process. Gay rights will also appear to slow in this regard.AMassiveGay (talk) 08:18, 1 November 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for responding, AMassiveGay. I agree that gay men come in many different political stripes. At the same time, I think the distribution of political views among gay men is likely to be somewhat different than the distribution for straight men, or the distribution for lesbian women. If I am right in that belief, then it makes sense to ask what might be the causes of those differences in the distribution of political views along the lines of gender and sexual orientation, and also how those differences in distribution may evolve in the future (will they remain as now, or will they alter in some way?). And what I am doing here, is asking those questions specifically about feminism. (((Zack Martin))) 09:10, 1 November 2015 (UTC)

Adding to some of what I said above, I can see an argument that attempts to remedy the (perceived or actual) male-female pay gap might have a disparate impact on gay male couples as opposed to straight couples. For the most obvious way to increase the growth rate of female pay is to pay for it by reducing the growth rate of male pay, thus redistributing pay growth from men to women. Now, such a redistribution, for a male-female couple, might make them overall no worse off - the man might be paid less than he would have been without this policy, but the woman being paid more might make up for it. Indeed, in some scenarios, such a policy could even make a straight couple better off - if the man is paid signficantly more than the woman, then in an income tax system (like Australia's) that does not permit joint filing, redirecting pay increases to the woman may increase post-tax family income overall, since she pays a lower marginal tax rate. Conversely, for gay male couples, there will be no increase in female pay growth to make up for the reduction in male pay growth. So such a policy could even be argued to effectively discriminate against gay men. (((Zack Martin))) 08:00, 1 November 2015 (UTC)

There's also the teeny problem that if I take your 'solution' and change words we get this: "For the most obvious way to increase the growth rate of Aryan pay is to pay for it by reducing the growth rate of Jewish pay." Yeah, that sounds kind of fascist, doesn't it? CaptainCaptain (talk) 08:03, 1 November 2015 (UTC)
CaptainCaptain, I understand your point of view. My motivation in creating this forum was to engage in dialogue with gay men who are sympathetic to feminism. What you are saying, whether you are right or wrong, doesn't address my objectives in opening this forum. (((Zack Martin))) 08:18, 1 November 2015 (UTC)

For me, a lot of it has to do with the fact that a lot of the things that impact women negatively (toxic masculinity, etc) also impact gay men. In particular, we're often seen as less than or that we're not really men. This is something that is particularly true for men who bottom. There's actually a really interesting sociology book titled "Dude, You're a Fag" about homosexuality and masculinity in high schools. And you see this in gay men on apps. "No fems" is a very common statement on Grindr profile. Gay men are so focused on being "masculine" and "straight-acting" because being "feminine" or not passing makes you less of a man. For me, these are rather absurd.

I don't see feminism as anything to fight against, but part-in-parcel with the gay rights movement. Frankly, I think the two have benefited greatly from each other. AyzmoCheers 14:53, 4 November 2015 (UTC)