Homophobia

My “Glee” post will have to be late this week. We’re not watching tonight and Wednesdays are my crazy days. I know this is enormously disappointing to absolutely no one and a relief to my sister because she doesn’t have to keep up.

But in the meantime, and I guess in honor of National Coming Out Day, I want to write about Bill O’Reilly’s reaction to Jon Stewart’s joke that Jon found Bill’s use of Spanish “arousing.” (Start watching at around minute 5:45 if you just want to see that.) (Yeah, I’m ignoring the rest of the interview, especially the nonsense bullshit about the goddamn $16 muffin.) Anyone else would have laughed. Everyone knows Jon Stewart’s patter. But Bill O’Reilly glared at him and then backed way up. He backed up so far the camera couldn’t see him anymore, which I would think would produce some sort of allergy in Bill O’Reilly, being that far away from a camera lens. (I kid because I love! I love kidding, I mean. Not Bill O’Reilly.)

And this reminded me of a thing I always think. If you are a straight guy, you know how you react to being attracted to a woman. And if your reaction, upon hearing that a man might be attracted to you, is to treat that man like a threat to your person, well, that tells me a lot about how you treat the women to whom you’re attracted.

“Oh, that’s not it, you don’t get it, see, when I hit on a girl, she’s straight, whereas I am NOT GAY NOT GAY NOT FOR ONE SECOND GAY so it’s different.”

Okay. But . . . you know that just because she’s a straight girl and you’re a straight guy, it doesn’t mean she’s attracted to you, right? Just because you’re attracted to a given gender doesn’t mean you’re attracted to every member of that gender.

“Well, heh heh, guys are. We totally are.”

Um, believe me, you aren’t. You just only see as “female” the women you’re attracted to. Ever see that episode of “Coupling” where we’re seeing a flashback of how Patrick and Sally met and we see that, in reality, he was talking to Susan, Sally, and a heavier-set, less skankily dressed, more ordinary woman (and it’s British TV, so the woman actually looks fairly ordinary, not just as gorgeous as the other two but a brunette with glasses), but in his memory, he was talking to Susan, Sally, and a dude? (No? Then go watch.) That’s how men like you operate.

“It’s still totally different. Because I’m NOT GAY.”

It’s not different. If you react to a man expressing (even joking) attraction to you by treating him as a threat, it tells me that you treat the women to whom you attracted in a threatening manner. And, in Bill O’Reilly’s case, I already know that to be true.

Nothing makes me happier than to have the suspicions I hold confirmed.

Not being gay doesn’t mean you react like that to a man expressing attraction to you. Know how I know? My husband didn’t. When Jason and I got engaged, a friend of mine, who is male and gay, said something to the effect of, “Wow, congratulations. He’s really good-looking.” (I should mention that this man was a nice Jewish boy from nice Southern Savannah and had manners that would make Emily Post feel inferior. ‘Good-looking’ is as vulgar as he was ever going to get.) I told him I would pass on his compliment. He got nervous. “Oh, no, then he’ll act weird around me; he’ll be mad; all straight boys are.” I said, “No, seriously,” and then predicted how Jason would react, which was exactly how he did react: He made this cocky motion with his head and gave a smirk with which those of you who know him are very familiar and said, “See? I’m a catch. You are lucky to get me.” And I got to be extraordinarily pleased to have my choice of spouse validated like that. And, of course, to have my prediction confirmed.

Sophia would like a word:

I must agree entirely with my twin here, darlings. I could never be sexually compelled by a man who could not handle the attraction of other men – or of anyone to whom he was not attracted – with grace and aplomb. Such behavior as this Bill person displayed is the mark of an immature ape and it makes my insides positively arid.

 

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