Imagine being a homophobe. Aside from the fact that that is the best opening sentence to a blog post I have ever come up with, it is a very relevant thing to do and it can give us answers to the more mind boggling decisions such as the one mentioned in the title.
See, this particular man decided that he could understand why two women would want to get married, but two men… that’s just gross. Myself being a straight male, I have to say, he’s got a point… Why on earth would anyone fancy men?
Of course, the difference between us is that I see just as little reason for women to fancy men, while he decides to make a difference between the two. He would argue that it is fine and natural for women to fancy the hairy and misshaped beings that men are, while it is just strange for men to do so as well. At the same time, it’s acceptable for women to fancy other women, because well… being straight males… me and him can both understand perfectly well why someone would fancy women!
In the end, of course, it comes down to ignorance, but there is also a bit of gender inequality hidden underneath. After all, due to the fact that the majority of policy makers are still male, this will remain an issue that we will be seeing more and more often. Even worse is the fact that, not so surprisingly, the average homophobe is not the most open-minded and progressive person out there, meaning that most of them come from strongly religious backgrounds, and therefore, they are precisely the people who would support gender inequality at the same time.
Due to that, and due to the (generalised) nature of men to be more aggressive, fierce and most likely also more ignorant than women, homophobia in policy makers will become something led primarily by men. Those women who do still oppose gay rights are precisely the ones who believe that the kitchen is the right place for them, and therefore, they will not get involved in politics as much as homophobic men will.
Now, this might not sound very relevant or useful, as knowing the reasoning behind their homophobic views doesn’t sound like something that will help us in any way. However, it might just be more relevant than we’d expect…
It shows that feminism and gay rights are intrinsically related, and that is something we can definitely use. Most women in Europe have already been convinced that their rightful place isn’t in the kitchen (unless, of course, they enjoy cooking), and the same goes for a decent majority of women in the US. However, it is vital both for feminism as for gay rights that those few women who are suppressed and silenced by their immediate environment (friends, family etc), will be given the opportunity to participate in politics as well.
This would lead to more diversity in right-wing politics, and that in turn could lead to more progressive ideals. It requires the kind of feminism that is still so very much needed: the kind in which suppressed women are convinced of their right to choose their own life. It is not the most obvious route towards achieving better gay rights, but sometimes alternative methods are exactly what is needed. By convincing these right-wing women of their rights, we might just be able to get two wins at the same time. And that doesn’t sound so bad.
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