On body image, identities and masculinities

Here are three great articles on body image, identity and masculinities, which beautifully, and crucially, bring to light how forms of discrimination are multiple, overlapping, and cross-cutting.

  • Firstly, an excellent piece by my friend, Matt, about prejudice against effeminacy amongst gay communities. Matt writes, “Buffness seems to have become the order of the day for mainstream (white Western) gayness…what really strikes me is how the rise in ‘buff culture’ seems to go hand in hand with the rise in anti-femininity and anti-effeminacy…Ultimately it’s about recognising and remembering that privilege is relative, and that oppression and discrimination are still oppression and discrimination.” Check out the whole article here.
  • Next, a post from a few months ago by Louis Peitzman about being accepted for his sexuality but discriminated against for his weight. “As an openly gay writer, one of the questions I’m asked most often is, “Were you bullied growing up?” And the answer is yes, but it’s never the answer they’re looking for…I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been called a “faggot” to my face, but I couldn’t tell you how often someone has made a dig about my weight.” Read more here.
  • And, finally, an article by David Hudson of The Independent on his reflections on homophobia after meeting a heterosexual man who cut off his finger so that people wouldn’t think he was gay. “To be revealed as gay, or thought of as gay, still elicits a fearful response in far too many people. It’s a fear that we pass on to the next generation when we tell our children what toys they can or can’t play with, or what colour possessions they can own. When little boys are told to ‘be a man’… there is only one type of man that the rebutter has in mind.” The article is thought-provoking but it’s the homophobic comments at the end of the article that really drive home the very point of Hudson’s article. See it here

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