Straight Priviledge?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 05, 2008 8:14 PM GMT
    As we've been discussing different sorts of biases (race, gender, mannerisms, etc.) on this board, I'd like to discuss something I call "Straight Priviledge." I define "SP" as advertisements depicting a man and a woman on vacation; the way straight people hold hands and kiss in public without so much as thinking twice about it; the way having a partner of the opposite sex is assumed to be the norm; the way gyms are supposed to be "straight" unless marketed otherwise; and the way in general heterosexism influences the lives, careers, and options that we gay men and women have.

    Perhaps its a small thing but I find the assumption that I'm straight sometimes to be more offensive than anything, as if why should gay people be the exception to the rule or some deviation from the "norm"? Further, it's as if (IMHO) not we, but society who builds closets all around us and we have to continually "come out"...somthing which could be ended if we addressed this "assumption of straightness until proven otherwise."

    This is part rant, of course, but I'm genuinely curious if any of you guys have thought about SP and if/how its affected your lives. Any feedback appreciated.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 05, 2008 8:39 PM GMT
    there can be many reasons, but at the end of the day, we, the gay community, are a minority.. society caters to the majority..

    but it doesn't really have much play in my life, if people want to make the assumption I'm straight, then I could care less, if I deem it worth while, I'll correct them, otherwise, I let them find out other ways, such as when I call a guy hot, this usually clears everything right up.

    The guys at the gym assuming I'm straight, well, if they do, there blind as a fucking bat, I can't even begin to think how many times I've accidentally started shaking my arse to music I'm listening too, but, I couldn't care any less and I don't think any of them give a damn either.

    hmm I suppose I'm one of the lucky ones, in general day to day life, I don't meet people who think anything less about me because I'm gay and I don't think any less of society for assuming I'm straight either.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 05, 2008 9:26 PM GMT
    Jackal69 saidAs we've been discussing different sorts of biases (race, gender, mannerisms, etc.) on this board, I'd like to discuss something I call "Straight Priviledge." I define "SP" as advertisements depicting a man and a woman on vacation; the way straight people hold hands and kiss in public without so much as thinking twice about it; the way having a partner of the opposite sex is assumed to be the norm; the way gyms are supposed to be "straight" unless marketed otherwise; and the way in general heterosexism influences the lives, careers, and options that we gay men and women have.

    Perhaps its a small thing but I find the assumption that I'm straight sometimes to be more offensive than anything, as if why should gay people be the exception to the rule or some deviation from the "norm"? Further, it's as if (IMHO) not we, but society who builds closets all around us and we have to continually "come out"...somthing which could be ended if we addressed this "assumption of straightness until proven otherwise."


    I think you are dead right on this and I think in fact straight privilege is far more rampant than white privilege or male privilege. Straight couples are grossly overly advertised across all forms of media, except in pockets of gay meccas or special interest magazines. Gay movies are rarely released in main-stream media. When I complain about it (which I do half-jokingly) I get laughed at like I'm crazy. Watch as gay media seeps into mainstream media people will complain that gays are trying to force their lifestyle down everyone's throat.

    When I see black straight couples being portrayed in commercials I don't think to myself "oh gross, I don't understand the intent of this commercial because I can't take a straight black couple's case scenario and apply it to my sexual orientation and race." But the opposite will happen due to straight privilege. I really wish that when some conservative finds a gay commercial offensive and calls to complain, that the receptionist on the other line responds with, "I'm sorry bitch do you wanna fucking watch TV or not? We pride ourselves at displaying diversity and if you can't deal with it then we wholeheartedly suggest you open up a nice bag of kill yourself."

    The are some media exceptions that portray homosexuals, like reality TV shows, and increasingly on some comedy shows geared toward young adults. On American Dad, the news anchors are openly gay. On South Park, gay topics are being brought up as the main plot, and on more so today than earlier episodes. On Drawn Together, one of the main characters are gay, and obviously many episodes are have gay themes as a result. And on the Sarah Silverman program, two of the main characters are not only in a gay relationship, but comically shatter the stereotype of gay males.
  • swimbikerun

    Posts: 2835

    Oct 05, 2008 9:52 PM GMT
    Weeds also had a character that was incidentally gay. I thought it was great to see it so subtlety done.
    I must admit, I sometimes enjoy messing with people and their presumed assumptions that I'm straight.

    I wouldn't say it's really affected me. I recently went out with a guy, I liked him, so of course I felt like being affectionate. We were at a regular, non-gay place, I rubbed his leg and shoulders and even stole a couple of little kisses. No one batted an eye and, in fact, he was more uncomfortable than anyone who might've been watching. I pretty much do I as I please.

    It works in reverse too. For example, if I see two guys on a motorcycle, often the passenger will not put his hands on the driver's hips. This basically saying: "I'd rather risk my life than be thought of as queer by total strangers".

    Silly breeders
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 05, 2008 11:29 PM GMT
    swimbikerun saidI wouldn't say it's really affected me. I recently went out with a guy, I liked him, so of course I felt like being affectionate. We were at a regular, non-gay place, I rubbed his leg and shoulders and even stole a couple of little kisses. No one batted an eye and, in fact, he was more uncomfortable than anyone who might've been watching. I pretty much do I as I please.
    Silly breeders


    I wanna take you out on a date!!!!

    I know a few places where we cold have so much fun messing with straights icon_twisted.gif
  • Delivis

    Posts: 2332

    Oct 05, 2008 11:34 PM GMT
    I do not find it offensive that most advertising isnt specifically targeted at gay people. The vast majority of people are straight and you can't expect every single ad out there to have a perfect demographic cross-section representation of every kind of minority out there.

    What about even more minor sexual minorities? Think about the transvestites, the transexuals, the drag queens, the executive male-lesbians (go go Eddie Izzard!), the leather fetishists, and so on. Could they all argue the same thing or is there, in reality, a point where pragmatism and economics trumps political correctness?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 05, 2008 11:38 PM GMT
    This is something that has bothered me since coming out too. I would wonder why it is acceptable for straight couples to hold hands in public but not gay along with all the other open signs of affection that we see every day. So when I did finally have a partner that really was a partner, I decided that I wasn't going to let anything stop me from showing my mate (appropriate) affection, regardless of where we are. I have no problem holding my partners hand, or stealing a quick kiss in public. And for some reason, I have not had even one challenge from anyone on it.

    Of course, we aren't groping each other which is inappropriate with any couple in public. But just showing correct loving touches.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 05, 2008 11:40 PM GMT
    So heteronormativity? Is that what this thread is about?

  • MuslDrew

    Posts: 463

    Oct 05, 2008 11:51 PM GMT
    Recently I noticed an ad in a few mainstream magazines at work. I think it was for Paris hotel & casino in Vegas. It showed the clothes of two men arranged on a hotel room floor. It took me a moment to realize what I was looking at. I was glad to see they went out on a limb by not just placing it in gay pulications.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 06, 2008 12:04 AM GMT
    Come on! It is only normal to cater to the majority, wherever you do business. If I am a shop owner in Castro or Boystown, it would be silly not to market it to gays. However, outside gay enclaves, str8s are the majority. I'm sure you would rant, if you were caught on the opposite end!

    SP is when str8s are allowed to marry, but gays are not allowed even civil-partnerships. SP is when str8 fellatio is not a felony, but homosexual fellatio is punishable by law. SP is when str8 couples can buy public subsidised housing from the government, but gay couples cannot. SP is when the wife of a str8 couple can claim an income tax rebate for engaging a fulltime maid, but there is no provision for gays.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 06, 2008 2:12 AM GMT
    Delivis saidI do not find it offensive that most advertising isnt specifically targeted at gay people. The vast majority of people are straight and you can't expect every single ad out there to have a perfect demographic cross-section representation of every kind of minority out there.


    Ok, the vast majority are white. So let's not target black people either. And especially not Asians because they are only 1/3 the population of the black population.icon_rolleyes.gif

    Ghen saidSo heteronormativity? Is that what this thread is about?


    Hmmmm do you have eyes?

    outofthegrey saidCome on! It is only normal to cater to the majority, wherever you do business. If I am a shop owner in Castro or Boystown, it would be silly not to market it to gays. However, outside gay enclaves, str8s are the majority. I'm sure you would rant, if you were caught on the opposite end!


    Sorry but almost anyone who is under 40 doesn't want to live in a gay mecca where everything is exclusively gay and wants to see their homosexual lifestyle represented as a part of mainstream media.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 06, 2008 3:41 AM GMT
    jakebenson said
    Sorry but almost anyone who is under 40 doesn't want to live in a gay mecca where everything is exclusively gay and wants to see their homosexual lifestyle represented as a part of mainstream media.


    I am aware that most of us don't want to live in a gay mecca, just like most would agree that being gay is not the sum total of who they are as individuals. However, if you think about someone running a business, who has one shot at an advert, would he choose to run it using minorities, if he is hoping for mainstream business? You would choose the majority and safe choices, unless you are catering to the fringes. Don't moan about it, it is just economics at work.