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Cisi Eze: Selective Homophobia Is the Real Homophobia

Cisi Eze

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Menelaos Apostolou in his “ground-breaking” “magnum opus”  declared that female queerness is an evolutionary trait. “A lot of men indicate a desire to have a partner who also experience same-sex attraction,” Apostolou said to IBTimes UK. He went on: “These kinds of sexual traits are more instinctive. It is a mechanism that has been selected to serve a purpose – to make you reproduce. (…) My argument in the paper is this: A considerable proportion of men desire same-sex attractions in women, and this is one possible reason why many women have such attractions.” He carried out this wonderful, brilliant “research” interviewing 1,509 hetero males and zero queer women.

It would seem as though society is more forgiving of lesbians and bisexual women, not of gay and bisexual men. This brand of homophobia, this selective homophobia, came into existence because Average Hetero Men (AHEM) believe that lesbians and bisexual women were created for the pleasure of men. Sadly, certain religions buttress this ludicrous idea via obsolete books written by sexist men, who claim to have been inspired by a deity – their limited idea of the Universe. Other social institutions reinforce the idea of women’s existence being created for men. E.g., a woman is not permitted to be sexual until she is bound to a man through marriage. This explains the irksome insistence on virginity.

On hearing that a woman is queer, AHEM – Average Hetero Men, this breed of men who feel entitled to women – are delighted. Mentally, they are like happy penguins tapping their feet in joy, as the possibility of a ménage à trois looms ahead in the horizon. It is a win-win situation, they think. Sex with one woman is sexy; with two women, it is sexier. They buff their egos by proving their sexual prowess with two women and it would be an utmost delight to watch these women get sexual with themselves. Besides, the concept of “conquering” a woman who is apparently not interested in having anything sexual with them gives a heightened thrill. Conversely, queer men revolt them, anger them, and burn their blood. They would rather hug a venomous snake than fraternise with queer men.

To support their homophobia, heterosexual men say things like,”How would a guy be looking at me like that?” “I don’t want anyone to rape me.” These words tumble from their lips, as though they are not guilty of doing the same to women. Average Hetero Men (AHEM) are scared gay and bisexual men would treat them the exact way they (AHEM) treat women. Underneath the facade of “rugged” masculinity, lies fear.

Entitlement to women’s bodies is one of the unearned privileges “The Patriarchy” has dropped on men’s thighs. Women are wary that men would exercise this privilege. If women were honest, we would admit we are scared of AHEM. We are scared. Yes, we might have “menphobia” (androphobia, if you may). We go ahead to call them out for the same thing that fuels their homophobia and they say we are misandrist. These selective homophobes are scared of eating from the same dish they are serving. They are scared queer men do not understand consent like they do.

The kind of homophobia rife in society is the hate and fear of queer men, not necessarily queer women. Society is homophobic because of Average Hetero Males (AHEM). Were homophobia solely based on morality, society would not be selectively homophobic –we would not fetishisise queer feminine women. A moral code is only valid when it applies to everyone regardless of whatever social category or circumstance.

Fetishisation is not acceptance.

If we can be slightly lenient towards queer women, we should extend the same gesture to queer men. Homophobia is homophobia. It is hypocrisy to be conveniently homophobic. Hetero men should stop being selectively homophobic out of fear of what queer men could do to them. AHEM have posed the same threat to women, yet we date them and marry them. We have cooked their meals, and somehow, we have managed not to poison them out of existence based on the fear of what they could do to us.

One of the core ideas of feminism is getting rid of sex/gender double standards. We must not treat people differently based on body parts they did not choose. The rules must apply to everyone. No one party should be favoured to the disadvantage of the other. If society is comfortable with two women together, it only makes sense that it should be tolerating of two men in love. What is it about love that inspires hate in us? No one was born with ingrained prejudice. “That is how it has always been; it is not our culture,” is not an excuse to espouse toxic values that are detrimental to people who are not hurting us.

P.S. This article does not invalidate that queer women are on the receiving end of homophobia. Queer women are affected by this social problem. Most times, queer women face homophobia from men when they do not play to the sexual fantasies of Average Hetero Men. Do masculine-presenting lesbians get the same pass as feminine-presenting lesbians? In addition, sexual intercourse has been defined around the phallus; ergo, we find people who dismiss sex between women.

Photo Credit: Arne9001 | Dreamstime.com

Cisi Eze is a Lagos-based freelance journalist, writer, comic artist, and graphics designer. A media and justice fellow of the Bisi Alimi Foundation, she feels strongly about LGBT+ rights, feminism, gender issues, and mental health, and this is expressed through her works on Bella Naija and her blog – Shades of Cisi. Aside these, she has works on Kalahari Review, Holaafrica, Mounting the Moon, Gender IT, Outcast Magazine, Rustin Times, 14: An Anthology of Queer Art Volume 1 and 2, and Sweet Deluge (Issue 2). Cisi’s art challenges existing societal norms.

14 Comments

  1. John

    May 31, 2018 at 2:40 pm

    There is some sense in this article
    I wont lie.

    I was whaving a conversation about this the other with some guys .and it was centered around cheating ( bcos of another story like that)… will you forgive your wife if she cheats on you…even though we all agree on that there is no way in hell or in heaven can forgiv or even tolerate a cheating wife…some were even hitting their hand on the table in anger.

    Them some one said ( out of the blue)..what if she cheats on you with a female..immediately their tone and atmosphere changed.

    And I personally …that very moment ..deep down ..I realised that I actually wont mind.
    I even wish my wife will have a lesbian tendacies or swing both ways.

    As far as she still gives me that respect and submission.

    I wonder why that is …bcos I won’t give any gay man a single excuse to come near me.

    Nature I guess…it is what it is..no pretense

    • The Real Oma

      May 31, 2018 at 4:12 pm

      @John, your honesty is commendable, and it proves the author’s point exactly. I do not however think ‘nature’ is enough explanation for this dissonance, and it is a pretty commonplace one. Are you or any other men who agree with John able to dig deeper to find why are tolerant of gay women and not gay men? I’m really curious.

    • Moreni

      May 31, 2018 at 6:52 pm

      @The Real Oma it is not rocket science! Homosexuality and everything that comes with it shatters the whole concept of the macho domineering male. The dynamic of the world we have today is male equates to strong, macho etc while female equates to weakness. However, when two men are involved, it distorts this dynamic. How can a man subdue another man? How can a man allow himself to be dominated sexually by another man? Atrocious!!! That is really why people are against homosexuality. The idea is deeply emasculating and the concept of love between two men should be limited to brotherly/friendly love where equality and partnership is almost always guaranteed as opposed to romantic where right from time somebody has always had to take the lead (usually men). I would continue to say it out loud that true gender equality would never manifest as long as homophobia and transphobia exist.

    • Nier

      June 2, 2018 at 11:13 am

      Cisi you are also firmly propagating that gay men feel entitled to other mens bodies just like your AHEM do in this article. That is also a dangerous narrative to be spending? There is no where you put a declaimer to this narrative.

    • LemmeRant

      May 31, 2018 at 7:07 pm

      @Moreni

      Abeg its not that deep.
      We just don’t see other women as a threat. They don’t have d*ck

  2. Aare farmland

    May 31, 2018 at 3:18 pm

    One of the smarter writers on this site but the queer issue has strong opposition from the public.

  3. BlueEyed

    May 31, 2018 at 5:32 pm

    Men are upheld to serious societal standards, be macho, be a leader, don’t have emotions, don’t cry, don’t be feminine, don’t talk a certain way, don’t walk a certain way, don’t be flouncy, be rigid, be hard, be tough. Gay men present men in a way society has deemed “quite feminine”, Gay men have been presented to be emotional, soft, creative, flouncy, light hearted etc (all of which are just misconceptions as well because in fact Gay men come in all shades but not to digress) women are naturally inclined to be all these things by society standards, because of these reasons homophobia (from both men and women) is harsh towards gay men as they are veering away from what we deem as acceptable make behavior, while lesbians still maintain their feminine identity with just a different sexuality, (another misconception and very foolish ideology)

  4. Udegbunam Chukwudi

    May 31, 2018 at 5:35 pm

    Times like this I wish BN had a comment subscription and notification system in place.

  5. zzzzz

    May 31, 2018 at 6:26 pm

    End time discussion

    • Cocoa

      June 1, 2018 at 7:55 pm

      Real end time discussion.

      Well I’m guessing everyone knows where i stand. Im not biased.
      All sexual perversion are exactly that…PERVERSION.

      There can even be sexual perversion within a heterosexual relationship….

      Sin is sin irrespectiven of gender, place or thing.

  6. Nana

    May 31, 2018 at 7:04 pm

    Great insight, Cisi. Well done and thank you for writing this brilliant article. I don’t have all the answers. I’m still learning every day. However, if anyone out there wants to learn more about LGBTI issues, I recently read an anthology titled She Called Me Woman: Nigeria’s Queer Women Speak, which was recently published by Cassava Republic. It made me laugh, cry, think and love. It’s an eye-opening, fully human experience. I wholeheartedly recommend it.

    • Cassava republic

      May 31, 2018 at 8:34 pm

      Ironic that Cassava republic published the book right?

  7. ***

    May 31, 2018 at 8:39 pm

    How about heterosexual men just like the fact that a woman’s (or womens’) body(ies) is(are) in sexual activity and not this patriarchy dissertation or homophobic bullsh*t you put up there? This over – analytical behaviour now common is disgusting … preference for lesbian sex does not always translate to hatred for gay men sex … Some of these hetero men just find it arousing AF cos female bodies are involved and essentially, they are Inclined to be attracted to female bodies full stop
    Don’t get me wrong homophobia (against men) exits among hetero men and hetero women (which you failed to emphasise on) but it is not as deep as you portrayed it

  8. Dayo

    May 31, 2018 at 8:59 pm

    @*** thank you! Many male sex fantasies involve 2 or more women, We can be such uncomplicated (some wags would say, shallow) characters. LMAO!

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