Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Promiscuity is gay

Ann Coulter has been ridiculed for suggesting that Bill Clinton is gay. As Jay Leno said, Clinton sure has a great way is hiding it. Here's what she said specifically:
Ms. COULTER: I think that sort of rampant promiscuity does show some level of latent homosexuality.

DEUTSCH: OK, I think you need to say that again. That Bill Clinton, you think on some level, has — is a latent homosexual, is that what you’re saying?

Ms. COULTER: Yeah.
The easiest way to manipulate a young man is by challenging his masculinity. This method has been used by the military and by a certain type of woman for thousands of years, at least. So if society wanted to encourage young heterosexual men to self-restrain their appetite for sexual variety, a brilliant way of doing so is by saying, "promiscuity is gay."

This turns an idea of masculinity on its head. The Ladies Man is no longer the height of masculinity, but its opposite -- the Lacanian "Other".

It also raises a somewhat rational, if unstated, reason to keep homosexuals at the margins of society.

In the military, if gay men are understood to be as good soldiers as anybody, it is hard to keep heterosexual soldiers in line with the threat of calling them gay. How can bad soldiering or cowardice be gay if everyone knows gay men who are good soldiers?

Perhaps it is the same with marriage. If gay men are understood to be promiscuous loners, then monogamy can be part of the heterosexual male's self-identity. But if the gay-promiscuity idea is taken away, then perhaps it will feel a bit less masculine to be pushing baby carriages, driving minivans, and changing diapers.