sexism in same-sex relationships??

by marzele

You will, generally, overhear quite interesting conversations and viewpoints on the Jammie to Upper Campus. This week, with the strikes and all, the Jammies were jam-packed and the topics of conversation even more astonishing than usual.  One conversation I happened to overhear was about a gay relationship. These two friends were discussing ways in which to determine who is the ‘man’ and who is the ‘woman’ in the relationship.

I always thought that it was quite obvious that there is no woman in a gay relationship and no man in a lesbian one. Is that not the point of homosexuality? Or do they assume gender roles?   It seems quite arrogant to assume that homosexual couples mirror heterosexuals. That implies that heterosexuality, man and woman, is the only way in which you can be in a relationship. This of course is only my personal opinion.

After discussing this with friends and doing very little research I discovered that taking on gender roles in a homosexual relationship is very complex. Males are gendered into domineering and strong while women are gendered into being passive and physically attractive. People in same-sex relationships allegedly assume these types of roles to a certain extent.  For instance, it is said that in lesbian relationships you get the ‘femme’ and the ‘butch.’ The femme obviously being girly and portraying the feminine entity in the relationship and the butch the masculine role of dominance.  This creates a division between the femme and the butch lesbians and similarly between the femme and the bear in gay relationships.

Now, I understand that in certain relationships this will be the case. My problem is that it is generally assumed that all homosexual are like that. It is not to say that the femme exhibits solely feminine and non-masculine behaviour and vice versa. To assume that would be quite ignorant. It seems that gender roles are placed in same-sex relationship because we don’t know another way to analyse relationships. These divisions as a result of gender roles create systemic inequality for partners that are considered feminine in the same way that heterosexual relationships systematically employ principles that support the domesticity of women.

So sexism in same-sex relationships? It seems like an odd concept to grasp, yet it is very real. There is a  possibility that the diminishing of gender roles might change the foundation of relationships. This might be the reason why this topic is met with reluctance and apathy. However, you should ask yourself whether changing the foundation of relationships is really a bad thing.