Intro to Women's Studies 2010

etsu: 2011-2014

Homophobia: A Weapon of Sexism; Suzanne Pharr

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Homophobia: A Weapon of Sexism by Suzanne Pharr is an essay from 1997 about how two of America’s biggest problems, homophobia and sexism, are extremely connected. Basically, Homophobia exists because of sexists and their view of how gender should be. The paper talks about how men are supposed to be viewed as manly typical men, which includes being attracted to women. If a man is attracted to other men then he is considered out of his place. He will be tormented, looked down upon, and have his basic right to marriage taken away due to sexists’ believe of typical gender roles. Sexists’ tend to believe that one of women’s main purposes is to please men. Which means when women are attracted to other women they’re going against sexists’ view of nature. If people didn’t have such typical, outdated, irrelevant views on what each gender should be there wouldn’t opposition to homosexuality.

Something Pharr discussed that I really enjoyed was the feminist fear of being called a lesbian. She states, “We were fierce when we set out, but when threatened with the loss of heterosexual privilege, we began putting on the brakes.” She believes the entire feminist movement was set back when women started fearing being called a lesbian. Women have been called all kinds of insults for fighting for their rights, but when faced with the fear of seeming like a lesbian they hushed up a little. If women want to truly make progress they need to stop making words into insults when they’re not insults.

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