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Macho Hegemony Oppresses All Men - Study


The Guardian newspaper reports on a new study that presents two findings that instinctively many gay and bisexual men, particularly those who are non-masculine in their approach and presentation, have known for decades. Firstly, and less surprisingly, heterosexual men discriminate against effeminate men in the workplace, passing them over for promotion in favour of more traditionally masculine presenting individuals. The second finding is that some sections of gay men, particularly those that identify strongly with hetero-masculine norms, can sadly oppress others from their own community, by also discriminating against effeminate colleagues. The Guardian reports that “In the study – published in the journal Sex Roles – researchers asked 256 Australian men (half who are gay, and half who are heterosexual) to select a gay man to represent Sydney in a mock tourism campaign. They were shown videos of six gay, white male actors performing the same short script in two ways: with their body language and voice adjusted to appear more feminine and with their performance delivered in a more traditionally masculine style. Participants were asked to choose the candidate they thought people would most admire and think of as a leader.” The Gaurdian spoke to Doctor Jamie Hakim, based at King’s College London, who has researched queer intimacy in digital communities. He said ““There is a persistence in gay culture of eroticising particular forms of masculinity … It can cause lots of anxiety and a sense of failure for those who don’t feel they match a certain image”. Online, the study prompted many observers to reflect how we as a community must take action to celebrate all types of gay men. Several pointed out that the lessons of the early gay liberation movement were important to remember – the GLF and similar groups celebrated queer identities, effeminate men and noted how “Gay Shows the Way” towards a society in which gender roles are less violent and less segregated.  

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Compulsory Heterosexuality
Internalised Homophobia

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