Friday, March 27, 2009

ABC show explores homophobia  

Both Feministing and Womanist Musings posted this, and I thought it was really fascinating. An episode of the ABC show What Would You Do? explored how various people reacted when the producers hired a same-sex couple to go into a sports bar in New Jersey and act affectionately. To "stir the pot," they placed another actor in the bar to make homophobic remarks.

While some people were undoubtedly ignorant assholes, I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of people who defended the gay couple. I think another interesting experiment would be to place a gay couple and a lesbian couple in similar environments and examine how people react differently to each couple depending on their gender. The same homophobe who said, "That disgusts me" while seeing the gay couple probably would've remarked, "Wow, that's hot" when faced with a lesbian couple.

What next?

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1 comments: to “ ABC show explores homophobia

  • April 2, 2009 at 9:56 AM  

    I'm glad they did the experiment with a gay male couple rather than females because of what you said about fetishizing lesbians. Since people are generally more uncomfortable with gay men, its a volatile setting for the experiment.

    I love the tough guy during lunch who stood up for them. I think he's the last one you'd expect to say "You didn't do anything wrong."

    The fact is, if any couple was all over each other in public, I'd get really put off. But I'd never tell them to stop just because I don't like it. But I don't think the hugging and kissing that they showed was nowhere near what would be considered "over doing it" if they were a hetero couple.

    The thing is, as that one woman said, since tolerance is becoming the norm, hateful people are forced to pretend that they are tolerant. The bad news is that it doesn't solve the problem of hate. I mean, as long as they don't act on their hate, that's technically all tolerance is. It's just putting up with whatever you don't like. So we can probably make people act with tolerance by social pressure, but I wish there was a way to make the hate go away as well. (Not by force, but by education and compassion.)