Stereotypes: Homosexuality and Pg

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  • Topic: Homosexuality, Poverty, Gay
  • Pages : 5 (1677 words )
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  • Published : December 19, 2007
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Stereotypes developed by the public tend to create a general and sometimes mistaken idea of a particular group in society. These sometimes mistaken ideas towards certain communities in our society are what the authors Barbara Ehrenreich and Bell Hooks are trying to disapprove. In other words, as I see it, they are trying to defend who they are or where they come from by refuting certain thoughts that society has generalized of the group of people they believe they belong to. In the following essay I am going to quote and point out some stereotypes the above authors are trying to invalidate, discussing the reason each author is giving for their point of view, in the essays: Representing the Poor by Hooks and Kiss me, I'm Gay by Ehrenreich. In the essay Kiss me, I'm Gay by Ehrenreich I was able to get hold of three mayor stereotypes that label the Gay community. The first stereotype being, how homosexuals are tagged as pests in society, people with no definition, who don't belong to any race or ethnicity, people who are a threat to civilization. Before the gay rights movement, homosexuality was conceived as a diffuse menace, attached to no particular group and potentially threatening every man, at least in its "latent" form. (pg 304) The author rebuts this idea when she boldly states, that the only reason heterosexuals declare these characteristic about gays is because they want to drown down the fear that heterosexuals have of probably being gay. There's only one problem with the theory of gays – as ethnic – group: It denies the true plasticity of human sexuality and, in so doing, helps heterosexual evade that which they really fear. And what heterosexuals really fear is not that "they" –an alien subgroup with perverse taste in bedfellows -are getting an undue share of power and attention but that "they" might well be us. (pg. 304)

Another stereotype the author is pointing out is the classification of the human race in two: homosexuals and heterosexuals. …the human race consists of two types of people: heterosexuals and –on the other side of a great sexual dividing line –homosexuals. (pg. 304) She disagrees with this stereotype in a very appealing way, presenting a survey study about sexual experiences. But for every study suggesting that homosexuality is innate, there are plenty of others that suggest human sexuality is far more versatile –or capricious, if you like. In his pioneering study, Alfred Kinsey reported that 37 percent of the men and 19 percent of the women he surveyed acknowledged having had at least one orgasm with a partner of the same sex. William Masters and Virginia Johnson found that, among the people they studied, fantasies about sex with same-sex partner were the norm. (pg. 305) The author is clearly stating the impossibility of classifying humans as just homosexuals and heterosexuals, labeling the human race with a more flexible feature rather than what we traditionally considered. Another stereotype worth mentioning out of many, from the essay Kiss me, I'm Gay by Ehrenreich, is one that society particularly articulate and accept with ease. The one that makes us believe that a simple affection act like a hug or a cheek kiss between two men can be established as a homosexual act. All men, for example, would surely be better off in a world where simple acts of affection between men occasioned no great commentary or suspicion. Where a hug would be a hug and not a "statement." (pg.306) I believe this analysis about affection particularly in men has been brought and created by a machismo belief. Men should have the same liberty of affection as women; I believe is a traditionalistic taboo, which should be prevailed over.

Lastly, the most controversial stereotype discussed in Ehrenreich's essay is one regarding the very divisive and spread comment about homosexual joining the army or any other military institution. The problem for the military is not that discipline will be...
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