In browsing The Onion, one of the recent news blurbs caught my eye as an interesting commentary on how little our society seems to have changed since the days of Gay New York.
Gay Marriage Passes In 9 States After Area Homosexual Dunks On Regulation Rim
MONTGOMERY, AL—A two-handed slam dunk by an openly homosexual man set off a chain of events this week that culminated in the legalization of gay marriage in nine states, including Mississippi and Alabama. “When I saw that dunk, I was like, ‘Whoa!'” said Alabama state Sen. Hinton Mitchem, adding that his office was flooded with calls and e-mails from constituents demanding legal recognition of same-sex marriages following the slam. “A guy with nasty moves like that should be entitled to the same fundamental rights as the rest of us.” On Thursday, the New York State Senate passed a resolution declaring that it would take a pretty sweet roundhouse kick from a gay mixed martial arts champion before it would allow homosexuals to marry.
Okay, okay, so I know it’s satire. But it makes me wonder…why is it an athletic, physical feat that convinces lawmakers to grant gays “the same fundamental rights as the rest of us”? Was this a conscious choice on the part of the writer? I’d be interested to know. Despite the supposed movement away from strict gender roles, there are still a lot of (conscious or unconscious) expectations of both sexes regarding physical appearance and mannerisms. If, in real life, gay men were stereotyped a little less like Johnny Weir and a little more like Johnny Damon–that is, adhering to the traditional “macho” male gender norms–would mainstream society be more willing to accept them and/or enact more equitable social legislation?