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Construction Of Difference Within The Homosexual Population.

1156 words - 5 pages

From celebrating an ethnic holiday such as St. Patrick's Day to watching a woman compete against a man in sports, American culture seems to pride itself on the various forms of difference that exist within the superstructure. Yet historical events and cultural studies have depicted that this notion of difference is not always accepted. It is not the difference that promotes a sense of superiority; rather it is the effects of the differences that create a harmful and oppressive environment, which creates dominance and the perception of an inferior group's status. A prime example would be the treatment of homosexuals, whom have long been criticized for displaying "deviant" behavior. Whether it is religious realms that are the skeptics or a political institution that prohibits homosexuals certain human rights, the dominant (heterosexuals) group conveys a message that the subordinate group (homosexuals) is second-rate. But how exactly did this dominant group gain its false concept of superiority? Luckily, research has provided many answers to what seems to be an enigmatic puzzle.In recent years, gays and lesbians have pursued acceptance and equality through various forms of movements; yet, more times than none, they have not emerged victorious. Many societal institutions have prohibited homosexual groups any form of basic equality by passing laws and heavily relying on religious documents to convey that the homosexual lifestyle is morally wrong. For example, the denial of gay marriages across the nation further facilitates systems of inequality. Heterosexual marriage grants exclusive rights, such as joint bank accounts and hospital visitation, whereas due to the denial of gay marriages, homosexuals are not granted the opportunity to obtain these resources that are associated with marriage. It is similar to the Marxist perspective in that the dominant group (heterosexuals) exploits the subordinate group (homosexuals) for a feeling of superiority. These techniques have impacted the superstructure of American culture by duplicitously weaving these fallacious aspects into the social mindset. Scholars examine many theories as to why this hegemonic belief exists. Their main claim is that these beliefs have been socially constructed. A prime example in the construction of difference among homosexual men is found in chapter 12; Michael Kimmler's article in Tracy Ore's book. In the article he addresses the aspect of masculinity and how it has become extensively constructed in society. "We are afraid of other men" (Ore 127) is a direct quote from this chapter. This can be interpreted to mean that masculine men suppress the less masculine, the minorities, so they could feel superior. A common notion is that homosexual men are feminine. Because of this thought, they are constantly made to feel inferior because of the feminine stereotype that integrates into their status; this falls back to the conflict between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat within the...

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