Thursday, September 6, 2012

On the Real, To The Devil With This Gay Test Nonsense

(This is an edited version of a post that I submitted to Good Men Project. Actually it's more like the one at GMP is an edited version of this one seeing as I made this one first.)

(In case you can't see the above image it is a drawing of Brooke Burke wearing a bikini holding a double edged lightsaber. Underneath is the following text: "Gay Test: If your first thought was 'I wonder what those crystal are' Bad news dude...")

I'm betting that more than likely you have seen some variation of the "Gay Test". The basic premise of it is to take some sort of image of an attractive woman, point out something that is considered to be of less importance than attractive women (and apparently EVERYTHING ELSE is less important than an attractive woman) and declare that if a guy notices that other thing before noticing the attractive woman then it's a sign that he is gay, which is apparently bad news.

Yea I'm sure you can see how this is jacked up on so many levels right? Don't worry I'm going to go over them.

For the most part these "tests" depict women that fit the bill of being conventionally attractive. White, thin, young, blond, large breasts and butts, revealing clothing, possibly in a sexually suggestive position (of a notable exception are the ones that are based on anime where the women change from white to Asian, the hair can be any color under the sun, and the laws of probability, physics, and reasonable comfort are suspended when it comes to breasts).

I can't speak for everyone but having been in conversation with other guys about what they find attractive (versus just watching guys on tv and movies) I know that there is quite the range on what is "attractive". There is plenty more than what I listed above that guys find attractive in women (hell to fit my own tastes I'd have to change almost every item in that range I listed above).

However it's hard to see that because as guys we are raised to believe that that narrow band of traits is what makes a woman attractive and a lot of us eat it up with no question (it took me a while to question it and decide my tastes for myself), so I can understand why other folks may think that we are all about that short list of "hot" traits, to an extent.

With that in mind I think the idea of not finding one specific set of traits attractive meaning that you are gay is pretty ridiculous. Are we really supposed to believe that such women represent all of male sexuality that includes attraction to women (because it's not like all male sexuality can be tossed into one of the camps of "gay" or "straight")?

Speaking of different types of male sexuality that brings me to my next problem. Let's take a moment to move away from guys that are attracted to women not represented in those pictures and look at guys whose attractions are not firmly set in leaning towards women or not leaning towards women.

Based on the image presented one passes if they notice the woman first, affirming their heterosexuality, or one fails if they do not notice the woman first, affirming their homosexuality. I think in this day and age most people can see that there is a lot more going on in the realm of sexuality than same gender and opposite gender attraction. Such guys are being pushed into either the gay or straight box, with no mind to how they really get down.

And then of course there is the way gay men are regarded.

When it comes to these tests gay guys are not being simply erased but are being cast as "failures" at male sexuality. According to this test a guy is gay if they don't notice the woman first. Let's be clear that "notice" is coated in sexual overtone where it means they notice her and want to have sex with her. Well a gay guy (more than likely) won't be interested in having sex with a woman even if he notices her, first or otherwise. And supposedly that means it's time to pull out the red pen and give those guys a failing grade and some "bad news" about their homosexuality?

Which of course leads me to asking, what exactly is so "bad" about being gay that it means one has failed at male sexuality?

So to sum things up:

Noticing the woman in such pictures first? Cool.

Finding said woman sexually attractive? Cool.

Propping a limited variety of women up as the standard of what is straight and what is gay? Not cool.

Making homosexuality out to be bad? Not cool.

And to the people creating and administering these "tests" I have to say something. Let me be clear that I'm not necessarily pointing these things out in some effort to make you out to be attackers of male sexuality that doesn't fit into the small subset you seem to suggest be required for a "passing grade". I just want to let you know what your tests say about guys that may "fail".