Confusing Society

Haris Kuljancic

One thing I love about Sociology and many of the readings we have done so far is that almost everything is connected. Kimmel’s “Guyland” showed us how guys behave a certain way in order to gain approval from other guys in their social group. “DreamWorld” then showed how far guys would go in terms of objectifying girls in order to gain that masculine approval from other men. Now Froyum talks about how being gay is frowned upon in a poor Black teen culture. I thought she made a very interesting point on page 605 when she talked about how powerful white people view the lower-status males as inferior. The only thing that the lower class Black men can do to portray their power is display their strength in the street, through their objectification of women, or at least by not being gay. I am a supporter of Eminem because of his ability to make things like the word orange rhyme. I appreciate that skill and ability, however I also understand that he constantly uses words like gay, fag, and queer in order to take away someone’s masculinity. Growing up in a poor neighborhood in Hartford, I was surrounded by situations that these Black teens are in. The worst thing that anyone could accuse you of is being gay. In order to prove them wrong, fights were started and girls were taken advantage of. I always wondered where this idea of gay being a bad thing came from. I didn’t realize how central it was even in my life until I started to study religions more. The idea that god created a man and women in order to reproduce is taken advantage of and preached as a central theme in many religions. I also wanted to include an article that disturbed me that was in the news recently.

The second reading reminded me of the discussion we had in class about sex and the many classifications there are of sex. As we mentioned, some countries and cultures believe that there are dozens of ways to classify oneself in terms of sex, however we feel like there should be two definite answers when asked such questions. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard guys say something like, “let me know when you actually want dick” or “tell me when you really want to be pleased” (16). Guys say such things assuming lesbians never are pleased by their partners. I think there is a lot of grey area In between straight and gay or lesbian that we have yet to explore and educate people of. It’s just crazy that guys enjoy watching two girls make out but then look down on them if there is an actual relationship in place.


5 thoughts on “Confusing Society

  1. Sophie Furman

    I liked when you mentioned that you always wondered where the idea of being gay became a “bad” thing because it is interesting that we put blame on things like “tradition” or “religion” and use them as an excuse. In a world where the only thing that stays the same is change I think it’s very important to religion and traditions not change their core values but be accepting of the people around them and the change that the world is facing as time goes on, and adapt to the change in time period. If more religions were on board with people being gay, more people would be too and the problem gay people face wouldn’t be as severe.

  2. I think that religion has done much more than just posture families as units solely for procreation–this is actually a modern conception of marriage. It wasn’t until the 19th century that religion had that focus–previously it was an institution for the wealthy as a means to stay wealthy. Patriarchs would trade daughters to bring wealth with them–the purpose of the dowry. (This was not necessarily the case in America, but was a very strong tradition in Europe). It was only once the dowry was abolished and arranged marriages went out of vogue that religion started stepping into marriages–a place where it generally had previously not stuck its nasty little fingers, at least in Christian traditions. It then created roles for men and women based on textual examples of people in relationships, left out the parts about polygamy (except in Islamic traditions), and left parts about how women are supposed to be subservient to their husbands. In both of these cases, women are treated like property–as scripture confirms to be the proper place for women. A good way, the church decided, for women to take their place as servants to their husbands was to make them be good by having children and telling them that they should take care of them (see how revered Jesus’ MOM is?) while men are doing their thing–bringing home the bacon.

    Patrick Gallagher Landes

  3. Gina Pol

    I think it is very difficult for many boys to grow up in a poor neighborhood and have to deal with being part of the heterosexual norm in order to protect themselves from the negative remarks that comes with being considered gay. In some of these neighborhoods, the only way one can prevent themselves from being a target is too conform to these heterosexual norms. I agree with you and find it very upsetting to know that a term to identify one’s sexuality is used in negative manners or to describe someone as being too feminine. I think this also has to do a lot with the knowledge we are given on these terms that describe an individual’s sexuality. As students who are taking classes in Sociology, we understand that saying “you’re so gay” to someone who is acting too feminine is extremely controversial and should not be said. Yet there may be people who are young or who may not be taking classes on sexuality and see that statement as a joke.

  4. Olivia Rabbitt

    I think that religion as a traditional source for heteronormativity in this situation may be more of a justification than a cause. When needing a frame by which to pass on homophobia (especially when homosexuality is seen as an individual’s choice to deviate from the norm) quoting religious sources is an easy way to pass on these ideals. I argue that religion’s role in sexuality in communities like UYN might be less of a source and more of a justification since actual religious sanctions are not being observed in the heterosexual relationships. Women are taught to be promiscuous and passive to be feminine while men are taught to take advantage of women to be masculine — not actually in line with religious teachings. I personally found it interesting that the one girl who mentioned her brother’s homosexuality as wrong also recognized her responsibility to love everyone for who they are and was actually taking the much more inclusive/universal role which can also be tied to religious teaching.

  5. Sarah Wills

    Just as Haris stated, and from his own experience, it is a common theme that the worst thing a black man could be accused of being is gay. Since poor black men are at an extreme disadvantage in our society, they have even more of a need to assert their sexuality. If society already looks down upon these men, then being accused of being gay just strips them of their sexuality. In order to compensate for their inferiority, these men overly exert their sexuality which ultimately leads to unwanted pregnancies and violence. In the other article, just as Haris stated, I also found it interesting how guys don’t consider girls who are making out to actually be lesbians. They just assume that these girls would be down for a threesome or are just doing it for show and are actually interested in men. Although this may be the case some of the time, it is also possible that these girls have no interest in men

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