Lately, I have been thinking about all the ways the patriarchy sinks its claws into our lives, invades our bodies, taints our minds, and generally wreaks havoc. As a feminist, I believe it’s my duty to question, call out, and dismantle the patriarchy; especially since I am both a beneficiary and victim of it.
The specific brand of patriarchy that will be discussed is patriarchal dominance that is intertwined with homoerocticism and homophobia.
This form of patriarchal dominance is often overlooked or misunderstood. I myself never pondered it until recently. As I watched Xavier Dolan’s “Tom at the Farm,” I couldn’t help but see the allegory between Queer men and the patriarchy.
Queer bodies are never truly ours in the eyes of the patriarchy. Our Queerness is policed and restricted within confines that we, ourselves, did not create or consent to. To kiss a man out of love and passion is forbidden and met with violent words and actions.
Queer intimacy is only sanctioned within the confines of mimicry and homoeroticism when performed by straight men as jokes/pranks, for fun or bonding. Homophobia protects their bodily autonomy and its relation to gendered intimacy, while confining Queer bodies to passing glances, shadowy kisses, and hidden carreses.
Our bodies become default objects of their Queer mimicry in absence of camaradierie. Gropes and perpetual unease are mere jokes, sexual harassment should be welcomed, and complaints gaslitghted into submission. In both public and private spheres of life, bearers of patriarchal dominance entrench rituals and values that restricts Queer bodily autonomy.
This intersectional force on Queer lives perpetuates second class living conditions and cultural practices, while strengthening rhetoric which further harms and restricts our lives. Strolling along the sidewalk, soaking in the sun, while holding hands with my partner could get me killed.
But if I was doing it with my bro for shits and giggles? I’m hilarious, a viral sensation, just another lad having some fun. Jack and Jake are allowed a relationship built on trust, respect and love so long as it’s branded as “bromance”
Meanwhile, a relationship built on the same principles that just so happens to be romantic leads to barren desks at work, switched pronouns in conversations, refusal into a hospital room, state suppression, and whispered I love you’s on a night out in case of intolerant ears.
Acts of endearment and affection I wish to share with my partners are paraded around in front of us, mocking us, tabooed for Queer bodies and normalized for the hetereosexual.
Despite gaining legal equality in the Pacific Northwest and favorable attitudes towards Queerness, patriarchal dominance still permeates our lives. Regardless of legality and societal views, until the patriarchy has been dismantled and its harms undone only then will Queer bodies be liberated and autonomy be held in our hands.
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