(What I’m about to say might be totally wrong. Plus, I’m really privileged as a cis-male in a heterosexual relationship headed for marriage. So I appreciate your input.. Also a content note: heterosexist/ableist slurs are mentioned in this text.)
Apparently homophobia is disappearing in the UK, claims sociologist Mark McCormack in an interview with Salon. To be more specific,the usage of “that’s gay” as an insult is declining among the British teenagers that were part of his study. He also admits that the US is far behind in this development - and claims that suicide by gay teens is less of a problem than it is currently portrayed.
I wish it were true.
I wonder how the statistics are in Germany. Anecdotal evidence would suggest that “gay” (schwul) as insult is still in full swing, only rivaled by the ableist “behindert” (retarded) among people my age or younger.
In addition, societies might be less homophobic/heterosexist, but they are still are too heterosexist. It is also telling that his study/his result only focused on homosexual men (probably not with an asterisk.) It’s probably different for lesbians - the type of heterosexism is different and you have to add, well, sexism - and bisexual people. And the situation for trans* people is … horrible.
I cautiously agree with him that some battles are being won - but the thing is, those are the issues that should more or less be no-brainers in the 21st century. Take same-sex marriage - it’s wonderful that things are getting better in this field. I don’t want to diminish the importance of same-sex marriage for people who want to be same-sex married, I fully support marriage equality, and there still is a lot to be improved. But same-sex marriage is a comparatively (really can’t find the right word) easy issue. Many people can understand and get behind it - after all, it is just transferring a well-established institution to more people. To people who are “just like us” except that they are gay/lesbian. This is a victory that is over-due.
It’s a shame that universal marriage equality isn’t achieved yet - because there are so much more shameful (for the society!) things that have to be fought for/against. Like the acceptance of non-marriage-relationship models. Like queer ways of life. Like rape culture. Like the many, many horrible things transgender people still have to deal with. Like erasure. For me, the thought of having your identity negated is magnitudes worse than not being able to marry. But apparently the small battles have to be won before we can tackle those issues. Heterosexism might be in decline - but cissexism isn’t.
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