Hi Free, I‘m curious as to why a small percentage of folks reduce my article to making a case for normalizing homosexuality. The comment about normalizing gay marriage is a single paragraph in what is arguable a very long article.
I am not “making the case that normalizing homosexuality is THE solution”. The theory I support, that the threat of being called out as gay or girly is used to police heterosexual boys’ masculinity is universally understood to be a significant issue, not just in our own experience as men growing up in America, but in decades of research and interviews by leading researchers in this field. Niobe Way, for one. Michael Kimmel for another. Homophobia is not the only mechanism at play, but it is a very important one. In large part because traditional masculinity wrongly defines emotional expression, empathy and caregiving as feminine capacities. Traditional masculinity devalues the expression of these capacities in men. Furthermore, traditional masculinity also misaligns being gay with being feminine. So there is your through line. Emotionality — — -> the feminine — — → gay. A tragically short sighted and damaging framework for what it means to be able to expression emotionally and operate relationally.
It’s interesting to note that Micheal Kimmel would agree with you that most men are far more accepting of homosexuality. But the put down “that’s so gay” remains in common use between men. In Kimmel’s opinion it isn’t about sex any more, its about policing any compassion, empathy, or emotional expression by men.