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All things Bi, Dance and random musings for our edification

The male gaze and phallocentrism: Two sides of the only coin in the realm?

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Went to an engagement party last night at a boutique hotel downtown and there seemed to be a ton of beautiful women there, all decked out in lovely outfits.  Wow!
It was a very well heeled, prosperous crowd of early  30s to late 40s something or other. About 150 people in attendance, wonderful food, music (live-later), and the obligatory vapid banal trite speeches. Think Alec Baldwin’s persona  in the film  “Glengarry Glen Ross”. Yes that obnoxious but not that entertaining. NO memorable line such as “Always Be Closing”. The host of the party is family that are real estate tycoons on the West coast.  Big bucks. The F Scott Fitzgerald crowd almost one century later. One thing that struck me again is how money is the greatest aphrodisiac known to humans.  Because all the males were successful hotshots, bigshots, the real pezzonovantes (the ‘. 90 calibers’ that Mario Puzo references in the Godfather)  they  had all manner of eye candy  with them.   OK, it is true I noticed one woman under 40 who was not thin, which perhaps was the exception proving the rule.
Shiri Eisner uses the term “male gaze” in her book as short hand for the sexual-objectification of women for the pleasure of men.  It is not her original phrase though.
Phallocentrism is short hand for how males are the indispensable sine qua non in society.
There were lots of new, cutting edge, radical terms I did not  know in her book “Bi notes for a bisexual revolution” but these 2 imprinted themselves upon me.
I do not exactly know why or understand how but to my mind, they are linked. Specifically, linked in terms of bisexuality.  That sex sells is not news.  That society is organized around Males, that it is still   patriarchal is not shocking.
That women can be legitimately bi is  often rejected, glossed over, NOT accepted. If for example, 2 women are kissing at a straight bar, it’s assumed that they are doing it to attract the attention of men. Attention they get! Do you want to form a mob pronto on the verge of rioting?  Do that! And some women do exactly that as a ploy for wanted fussing over by ridiculous men. If it is 2 women kissing at a dyke march, then that is fine, they are categorized away as lesbians, and not a threat to the male heterosexual world. There is no way a ‘straight looking, straight acting, attractive women’ could possibly reject the male phallus (hence phallocentrism).  That’s the argument (specious but accepted in society) .  My feeling is that bi women are thought of as really straight, just publicity seekers.  Cheaper and more effective than some useless press agent.
Whereas bi males are thought of as truly gay, they just have not arrived there yet. They are on that express train to gay-ville only this is not Switzerland with punctual schedules but rather chaotic (but fun!) Italia in the 1960/1970s with their public sector unions striking. Especially wildcat ones!  (aside; One of my all time favourite quotes is from Orson Wells that goes something like; “For five centuries Switzerland had peace, order, good governance and what did it produce? The cuckoo clock.  Italy under the Borgias had   plunder, pillage, scandals and what did it produce? The Renaissance.”  ouch!).
Bi men are a threat to straight men because it de facto questions their sexuality.  If a man is comfortable in his own skin he can question and answer his sexual identity and not freak out.  Gay men by not being sexually attracted to women can easily be sloughed off as “the other”.   But a man who likes women AND men. Omg! What am I to do with that?  Answer; Have a psychological  hissy fit.
The quote below is a nice bookend,  antidote to the beautiful people I mentioned at the start of this post.   Wasn’t there a tag line to the movie “Reds” (Warren Beatty 1980?) that went  “They were young beautiful, in love and communists!”  Last night we had the young beautiful capitalist phalanx.  Love is not screwing the pants off your hot partner in bed, it’s doing something totally unglamourous, that needs to be done, without accolades or the he applause from the rabble.
The Dolly Parton quote above is something I have felt for a long time now.  Love is a rare and precious thing in a relationship so savour it, treasure it, rejoice and go for it!
Top o the page photo of the 2 “straight looking” women in bed is from some Eastern European newspaper that had an article (in some language found in the Balkans I believe) on bisexuality, that has today’s word of the day:   Biseksualnost.  No doubt a gentle blog reader “from the East” will recognize the language instantly.

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