Homophobia, Sexism and Vulnerable Masculinity

Post 2 by Zhengzhi Chen

 

‘Undoing Exclusions: Footballer Sexuality, Homosexuality, Homophobia and Homoeroticism’, from Vulnerability and Exposure: Footballer Scandals, Masculine Identity and Ethics by Rob Cover

Vulnerability and Exposure: Footballer Scandals, Masculine Identity and Ethics (Cover 2015) was written for The University of Western Australia, where Rob Cover actually works as an Associate Professor in Communication Studies (The University of Western Australia Publishing 2015). Cover finished his PhD in media theory and queer theory at Monash University, he used to provide consultation to Queensland State Government, and he published another book about LGBTIQ issues called ‘Queer Youth Suicide, Culture & Identity: Unliveable Lives?’ in 2012. These various facts show that Cover is an expert in LGBTIQ issues and media studies.

Chapter 5 of this book, i.e. Undoing Exclusions: Footballer Sexuality, Homosexuality, Homophobia and Homoeroticism, starts with an anti-homophobia campaign that the Australian Football League (AFL) has participated in since 2010 and footballer Jason Akermains’s scandalous article for the Herald Sun suggesting that queer players stay in the closet for the protection of themselves and the team (Cover 2015, p. 195). To break down the reason of Akermains’s suggestion, Cover points out that masculine-orientated institutions like the AFL are founded on homosociality (Cover 2015, p. 196). This male-to-male bonding, even sometimes occurring as homoerotic behaviour (Cover 2015, p. 214), is the base of all the masculine-orientated and male-exclusive institutions, and thus the existence of any actual homosexuality might shake the base. To solve the dilemma between homosociality and inclusion of diverse sexuality, Cover (2015 p. 228) recommends the footballers to ask and articulate ‘the question: what is normal for normative masculinity’? I agree with Cover and reckons that the deconstruction of binary sexual identity and the analysis of vulnerable masculinity is the vital first step to destroy homophobia.

To Be Male: Homophobia, Sexism, and the Production of ‘Masculine’ Boys by Clifford J. Rosky

This article (Rosky 2016) was written for Gender in Law, Culture, and Society: Exploring Masculinities: Feminist Legal Theory Reflections, a book comprised of a variety of scholarly articles exploring feminism and masculinity from different approaches including law, location, education, work and family. Clifford J. Rosky is a professor at College of Law in University of Utah (The University of Utah 2012). Rosky graduated from Yale Law School, and he used to conduct research for the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law & Public Policy at the UCLA School of Law. Sexuality, gender and law is not only part of the content that Rosky teaches at University of Utah, but also a research area at which Rosky excels. Rosky has written quite a few articles regarding sexuality and gender and has also paid a decent amount of contribution to support LGBTIQ rights.

In this article, Rosky argues that sexism and homophobia root deeply in the stereotypes accused of the children of lesbian and gay parents. He points out that litigants, experts and judges are more concerned about the preservation of the masculinity and heterosexuality of boys than the sexuality and gender development of daughters. He reckons that using the argument of no difference between the children raised by homosexual parents and heterosexual parents to validate the rights of homosexual parents to have children serves the logic of sexism and homophobia. There is nothing wrong with the fact that the children raised by homosexual parents are more tolerant towards the diversity of gender identity and sexuality than those raised by heterosexual parents. In fact, that is a positive difference as Rosky (2016) thinks ‘children should be free to love who they love, be who they are, and become the kind of adults who they want to become’. I agree with Rosky and one thing that has to be mentioned in this article is Rosky’s agreement with the existence of the relations between homophobia and sexism, which was also approved by several other researchers according to Rosky.

 

 

References

Cover, R. 2012, Queer Youth Suicide, Culture & Identity: Unliveable Lives?, Routledge, London.

Cover, R. 2015, Vulnerability and Exposure: Footballer Scandals, Masculine Identity and Ethics, UWA Publishing, Crawley, Western Australia.

Rosky, C. J. 2016, ‘To Be Male: Homophobia, Sexism, and the Production of “Masculine” Boys’, in M. A. Fineman & M. Thomson (eds.), Gender in Law, Culture, and Society: Exploring Masculinities: Feminist Legal Theory Reflections, Routledge, Farnham, GB, viewed 3 August 2016, <http://site.ebrary.com/lib/utslibrary/detail.action?docID=10768060 >, pp. 285-310.

The University of Utah 2012, Clifford J. Rosky, viewed 6 August 2016, <https://faculty.utah.edu/u0625806-CLIFFORD_J._ROSKY/biography/index.hml >.

The University of Western Australia Publishing 2015, Rob Cover, viewed 5 August 2016, <http://uwap.uwa.edu.au/collections/rob-cover >.

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