Looking at American mass culture from an outside view, it seems to flaunt all kinds of sexuality.
Surely a non-bigoted argument would be that ALL sexuality should carry on behind closed doors, and not to single out one group. But then again putting
a special onus on gays to be more moral than the moralists (without any context of gay history) isn't really non-bigoted.
"Masculinity" is hyper hetero-sexualized with programs like Manswers and The Man Show, or shows on Spring Break (hetero guys like "chicks" with
thin tummies, big boobs and lots of alcohol). The Kardashians and shows on the Playboy Mansion are virtually straight soft-porn; all of them linking
superficiality and aggressive straight sexuality with money, power and success. Even religion has a focus on garish femininity and sexual topics.
Seemingly sex sells.
In South Africa, US film and music is often partly blamed for growing social ills, like violent gangsterism and an epidemic of teen (and pre-teen)
Before 1994 we had very conservative attitudes to sexuality.
Since then HIV spread rapidly through the heterosexual majority, with the opening of our borders.
This forced us to confront sexual practices in public discourse, with issues like concurrent relationships, condom use, transactional sex, men who
have sex with men, rape, sex in prisons, sex amongst minors and many other formally taboo topics. In our context sexuality cannot remain behind closed
doors. That is deadly.
Dangerous behaviors are covered by closed doors, like adultery, marital rape, men who have unprotected sex with prostitutes and also sometimes men who
have sex with men (without a gay identity) who lead double-lives and spread HIV to their wives. I saw an Oprah program on US men who secretly sleep
with other men and give HIV to their wives - so it is not only an issue here. These men saw themselves as doing the right thing, exactly by not
flaunting or even admitting their homosexuality or bisexuality.
So we get these mixed messages from US culture: a very sexualized mass culture on the one hand, and these sanctimonious attitudes of the so-called
"benefits" of privatized sexuality (as if sexuality had no communal consequences, or homophobic and misogynistic attitudes had no impact on
I''m not sure what "flaunting" entails exactly???
Is it just saying you're gay?
Is it mannerisms, even non-deliberate movements and accents?
In that case just commenting on this thread as a gay person is a paradox, because I've just "flaunted" it.
Is it an annual gay march? Not all gays attend these events and many heterosexuals do.
One gets the impression that gays in the US are having orgies in the street with all this dreadful "flaunting".
We don't see this in SA, only straight flaunting from US media.
The only gays we see are Ellen and Will and Grace, and poor Ricky Martin who was hounded out the closet.
I prefer not to disclose my sexuality (makes the guys less shy around me).
But when I'm asked I will be honest, so where I socialize everyone knows.
Most straight society is interested in sexuality, and they do want to know, and regard being closeted as being dishonest.
Strangely, many older gays preferred the homophobic days in some respects. Although they hated the police entrapments, beatings and blackmail, there
was a lot more hanky-panky going on with "straight men" because there wasn't an issue about gay identity, it was just a quickie.
In SA we now have gay marriage, and only specific causes - like the corrective rape of lesbians in the townships - still require mass activism.
Now we have cyber-sex, so we can truly stay behind closed doors, and the problem of finding a partner in the big bad world is resolved.