Oct 10, 2015

Every Man's Fantasy

Entertainment journalists like to pretend that no gay people exist, usually with the rhetoric of "everybody's fantasy," that this or that male actor draws the interest of every woman in the world, or female actress draws the attention of every man in the world.  Sometimes with "fade out kiss," the presumption that every story contains a boy and a girl.  Just pick up any issue of People, Entertainment Weekly, and TV Guide.  An issue of TV Guide picked up at random reveals:

An episode of the sitcom Just Shoot Me is about a straight guy who is mistakenly identified as gay.  So obviously the cast is aware that gay people exist.  Nevertheless, guest star Pamela Anderson proclaims, "I'm every man's fantasy!"  Every man fantasizes about her, therefore every man is heterosexual.

Eric Mabius may have won accolades as the metrosexual fashion magazine editor on Ugly Betty, but “discerning women have been swooning over him since he made his feature-film debut.”  All women, no men.

When John Stamos, former Full House heartthrob, joins the cast of the medical series ER, he was displayed naked in every episode. TV Guide got the words right: he was “soaking up new viewers for the show,” not “new female viewers.”  But this inclusivity was buried amid endless speculation about what ladies on the show the hunky doctor might be hooking up with next, not to mention four photos of male-female characters being in love.

Then there's the full-page ad on the back cover.  It tells us of Chris, a man who has recently been diagnosed with diabetes.  He checks his blood sugar frequently. His reason for wanting to live a long time: “Maya, my 4 ½ year old daughter.  I will dance at her wedding.”

This was before the U.S. Supreme Court validated same-sex marriage.  Chris undoubtedly means a heterosexual wedding.

But how can he be so sure that Maya is heterosexual?  She is not even in kindergarten, so surely she has not expressed any desire, she has engaged in no sexual practices, and she has not fallen in love with anyone.

Yet Chris can be certain, because he knows that no gay people exist.  He will therefore raise Maya to believe that she is heterosexual, and more, to accept heterosexual desire, practice, and romance as ordinary, as everyday.   She will learn about same-sex desire, practice, and romance much later, if at all, as something bizarre and unknowable, something that intrudes upon her from outside.  If she happens to be a lesbian, she will feel herself bizarre and unknowable, an intrusion into the real world, the only true world, where all fathers dance at their daughters’ weddings.

See also: Gay People Absolutely Do Not Exist.