Thursday, April 15, 2010
What Constitutes "Gay Kissing?" A Response to Sloop's Article
I found both Professor Sloop's lecture on Semenya and his article on queer kissing to be well-researched and thought out. I would like to take a closer look at the latter, particularly the ways in which "gay kissing" is almost exclusively considered abominable when it involves two men. Reading the article, I could not help but think that when he referred to gays kissing, he was referring only to men. Perhaps this is because the term "lesbian" is often used in conjunction with the romantic relationship of two women. Nevertheless, I find it interesting that the primary concern of society is the portrayal of men kissing. Television and the media are incredibly keen on censoring male kissing. This display of affection is considered to be borderline pornographic. What is shown on television, however, is overly sexualized woman on woman kissing. This scenes have become a sort of Holy Grail for male viewers, who consider the shallow displays of affection to be fulfillments of their every desire. On two separate occasions, my favorite TV show, Scrubs, depicts two females kissing. Both of these instances, which are shown on cable TV, are highly sexualized. My concern, then, is that the allowance of the display of lesbian affection demonstrates an inherent sexual bias proliferated not only by the heteronormative hegemony, but also the patriarchal structure of society. As Sloop says in his article: "Representations of man-on-man kissing suffer stigma more severely and are perceived as a greater threat to heteronormativity" (Sloop, 9). The patriarchy allows for the sexualized display of female kissing because it is pleasing to most men. Gay kissing, being that between two men, threatens this patriarchy because it deviates from what the commonplace idea of manhood is purported to be. Gay kissing will continue to be a threat to the foundations of society as long as society continues to be inherently heteronormative and patriarchal.