Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Brokeback India

In the Delhi Times section of the Times of India paper last Sunday, I read through the article titled “Is your husband in the closet?” and was at once mortified by the gross inaccuracies presented as tell-tale signs that someone is gay. I decided to write the article here and then comment at the end. I have left the grammatical errors intact.

Sightseeing on Honeymoon
The honeymoon is meant for lots of frolicking indoors. However, if your hubby is obsessing about sight-seeing more than exploring you, it could either mean that he has a low libido or he’s… gay. Ignore this if your hubby’s into photography or film, though.

He spends more time in the bathroom getting ready
The metrosexual revolution might have already happened, but please remember that men and women traditionally have different methods of grooming. As in women take hours. So if he’s taking too long, then he’s taking to long… to come out as well.

Instead of the usual World Cup party, your husband throws an Academy Award party
Men like sports. So if he’s throwing a World Cup party, you shouldn’t be that concerned. But if it’s going to an Academy Award party that is driving him dizzy with excitement… then honey, you’ve got male. Male rivals, that is. Then again, he needn’t be into sports to be straight. That’s too literal.

He picks out the clothes he wants you to wear so you remain in style
There are only two options for this. He’s pulling off a James Steward from Alred Hitchcock’s ‘Vetrtigo’ or else he’s a queen. There are no in-betweens, if he’s obsessing about what you are wearing. This though only applies to dainty pretty dresses he likes to see on you. Don’t mistake this for the ‘the dress is too revealing, so don’t wear it’.

You are the one begging to cosy up all the time
Once again, let’s get back to traditions and norms. Men have testosterone, something that makes them yearn for sex more than women. If you’ve the one who’s beggin for sex, he’s either having an affair with another woman, or he’s having an affair with another man. Or he’s just not into women, and he’s married you.

He has an underwear fetish
Only that it’s not for you. If your husband is collecting a range of funky looking underwear, they better be for you. Or else, someone else is having a blast at your expense. Other accessories to watch for are lubricants, two cell phones and the occasional thong.

He wants to do a three-some…But with another guy…
Men like porn flicks and lesbians in them. But they wouldn’t trade this fetish for sex with another man. Unless he’s bisexual of course. And if it’s him making the request, it’s just not good old fashioned experimenting. It’s sexperimenting… for his hunger. More importantly, threesomes are a tell-tale sign that something is amiss in a relationship – period – whether he’s straight or pink. Romping with mirrors for enjoyment is great fun. That way there’s always more of you. But if he’s looking into the mirror he’s into himself… and his own kind.

Now, I originally meant for this to be somewhat funny, but as I was typing this out, I realized just how sad, pathetic and irresponsible this entire article is. To make such stereotypical claims based on nothing more than an obvious and complete lack of understanding of gay men, their behavior or even their own local culture which basically forces gay men to stay in the closet and get married rather than face ostracism and excommunication from their family and friends is, in my opinion completely and absolutely insulting and narrow minded and can bring about nothing positive. These types of flippant remarks can do real damage in someone’s marriage, or perhaps among someone’s friends. Do we really need people to be more suspicious of each other? To label someone gay because he is excited about an Academy Award party or spends “too much time” getting ready? Or that they pick out what they want their wives to wear? Maybe they just want her to look hot and want to make all the other guys jealous that she is with him. And the underwear fetish? No self respecting gay man would have a thong in his closet. It’s a bigger ‘NO’ than the color orange.

Given the fact that many gay married men in India go for secret relationships outside their marriage, often having unsafe sex or the fact that many gay teenagers kill themselves simply because they feel isolated, alone, depressed and have nobody to talk too, I think the Times of India had a great opportunity to play a very key part in helping to direct people, married or otherwise to someone who can actually help them sort things out and answer their questions in a safe and on-threatening environment. Instead of creating suspicion, intolerance and feeding the inaccurate stereotypes, they might have been able to make a difference in someone’s life. How many parents might now look at their sport hating, Bollywood loving son that spends “too much time in the bathroom” and jump to all the wrong conclusions? I am all for making light of and fun of a situation, but not for something where lives are at stake. It completely disgusts me.

1 comment:

  1. me too. some of the activist type friends have already taken up cudgels about the article with the editor.