So the other night I caught the documentary by Dr Christian Jenson: Cure Me I’m Gay. For anyone who didn’t catch it, he decided as a gay doctor to investigate the so called gay cures that people perpetuate out there in the big wide world. He undertook some of those therapies to see if and how they affected his sexuality. It was very interesting and strangely informative. I’ve watched many of these documentaries lately: Stephen Fry’s Out There, Scott Mills The worst places to be gay, Channel 4’s documentary Hunted on Gay Russia. Just to name a few.
I also read last year Bryan Christopher’s, Hiding from Myself. Which I highly recommend to everyone!
Now all these have one thing in common, they’re all written or hosted (aside from the Russian documentary) by men, and so obviously focussed on Gay men and their treatment in the world. I made this comment on twitter, not meaning to really create much, I placed it as a question as I was genuinely asking a question:
Why do they always focus on men? Very rarely hear them mention lesbians?
Dr Christian replied: Female sexuality much more fluid.
What then occurred was a large many responses to my question and his response; much more than I expected really.
I read through all the comments, and aside from the ones that found the use of his word fluid hilarious, opinions varied greatly and got me thinking into it a lot more. So much so that as I and my wife sat eating our Sunday dinner in the pub we went over it and over it and over it.
So really my question was, although it’s hard to say it all in 140 characters: was it simply that obviously Dr Christian is a gay man and that’s why the programme focussed on the cures aimed at gay men? Or is it that there simply aren’t as many aimed at lesbians?
He said that female sexuality is more fluid and I pondered this, and I’m not sure it’s as clear cut as that, although I do agree that women tend to be much more open and experimental in their sexuality whatever their orientation tends to be, I’m not sure if that’s a modern thing or if people are just more honest about it these days.
Others noted is it because there’s much more homophobia towards to men. Others suggested it was because the bigoted are generally straight men who probably watch lesbian porn, many did say they didn’t believe female sexuality was actually broached the same way as male sexuality, for a wide variety of reasons.
Of course we know there is a call for curing lesbianism, as it’s seen horrifically around the world when men, usually family members, take it upon themselves to ‘correct’ the woman’s behaviour with rape. It’s been reported as a practice that is rife in South Africa with some terrifying and heart breaking consequences. It’s disgusting and despicable. But from this we see that there is as much homophobia aimed at lesbians as there is aimed at gay men around the world.
I was thinking though that from these examples and from what was stated in the documentary, that many of the cures and want of cures deems from religion, the example of course Dr Christian saw was Christian religions. I wonder if it is this, that in itself is the reason that the cures are aimed at men.
The bible has a lot to say on two men engaging in sexual activity, or at least it is interpreted to. There is only one passage however, found in Romans, and voiced by Paul and not as I read from God, about lesbianism. Is this about Gods view or simply the culture at the time (I guess that really depends on your faith and interpretations.)
Quite frankly though, the bible doesn’t say much about women except that they do as their told, they are owned by the men who can basically do what they want with them, they are second class! This in itself has dictated culture for centuries and the constant oppression of women.
Is this why the many ‘cures’ that seem to be perpetuated to cure homosexuality are aimed at men much more than women, as this is the reason that homophobia is much more aimed at men than women? That can then pose the question are these imposed on culture by the religion, or is this belief in the religion derived from the culture at the time? Is it simply a continuous cycle? Is it seen that men are much more deserving of actual ‘cures’ and the women must simply be controlled and have their behavior corrected by the men?
Also from the cultures of old, that were around at the time of the scribing of the bible, men had many wives and would sometimes take more than one to bed at a time and so women were most likely indulging in lesbian activity at the bequest of their husband, much as men get off on lesbian porn today. So is it just not seen as much of a ‘problem’ in the cultures that derive from religion that was birthed from these cultures? (Got a headache yet? I have!)
This is really just one thought and consideration that I found myself pondering as to why homosexuality is viewed differently in the genders, and as Dr Christian said that female sexuality is more fluid, maybe why it is simply different in each gender. Of course there are always blurred lines, bisexuality is one and to say the differences are simply applied to gender as then we have the point of Hermaphrodites, gender dysphoric and many other gender/cross gender issues.
However this is a blog and not a thesis, dissertation or research paper, be it genetics, biology, psychology or sociology. I expect all of those and more could and probably are doing somewhere in the world, many many research papers on the subject.
It is something as a writer, a scientist and most obviously as a lesbian, I am intrigued and interested in and would actually like to research further. (I have a feeling I’ve set myself a lifetimes task there!)
I think it does show though the complexity of the issue and of how people view it. It’s not something you can wave a wand at and ‘fix’ it’s not something you can ‘pray away’ (Trust me I tried for the first 27 years of my life!). It’s not something you can ‘correct’ with sex or rape or torture or discipline! ( I find it interesting the one thing they think will fix women is what they want to take away from the men: A penis!) It’s not something you can avert with therapy (they do so much harm!). It’s not a choice and it’s not an illusion!
I would say it’s not that simple, but to an extent it is simple: it’s simply who people are!
These thoughts and ponderings have left me with many many many more thoughts and ponderings: hmmmm……………………………….. I’ll come back to you on them!