Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Were the Village People really lesbians?

The Village People were always meant as a joke, right?  It must have been camp, all in good fun. The group could not have been saying that ordinary gay men are cops, cowboys, and construction workers; that they actually resemble "village people." (Brokeback Mountain, on the other hand, cannot escape mockery.)

Looking at the General Social Survey, I see that 0 out of 121 police officers, security guards, and fire fighters are gay.  On the other hand, 15 percent of females with these jobs say they are lesbians (while less than 2 percent of the general female population is). 

Only one percent of male construction workers are homosexual, but 21 percent of women in this field are (sample size = 739). 

It looks like the Village People were pretending to be lesbians.


Deckin said...

Hellllooo! It wasn't that cops, constructions workers, etc., were gay, it's that those are the kinds of straight guys that gay men desire.

Anonymous said...

Through their costumes/uniforms, the VP were portraying the masculine males they weren't. The cop, the fireman, the Indian chief, etc. are the guys that gays are attracted to as masculine ideals.

During what for most gays was probably a hard time going through childhood and adolescence, these masculine icons were the males that these gay boys knew they weren't but wished they could be.

Talk intimately to enough gay guys (it's easier for women, obviously), and no matter how much they have accepted themselves, when they let their guard down in talking, one can identify a wistfulness in them that suggests of a measure of envy of " just regular, straight guys," particularly because the regular guys take their masculinity for granted, something the gay boy could never do.

It's the same thing as a homely girl-- no matter how well-adjusted, she can't help being envious, at least a bit (and probably much, much more) of the pretty girls who take their beauty (and what it gets them) for granted.

There is, among non-gays, no envy of gays. No straight guy says or thinks, "I want to be gay" just as no pretty woman says, "I want to be homely." In this way, the gay man, even in today's less oppressive and discriminatory society, is still on the bottom rung of the male ladder no matter if he works out to the point of having 6 pack abs or not, no matter his career, no matter his disposable income--he's still on the bottom rung of the masculinity ladder... and always will be.

The homely girl can be the brightest in the class, she can break the glass ceiling, but...she would still like to be pretty in a world that prizes beauty and which always will prize beauty.

I am sure the VP would claim that they were simply making fun of gender roles, but it obviously is much, much more than that.

agnostic said...

The whole culture was more masculine back then, so even if the group tended not to be very macho, they had to choose the few masculine ones they had in order to successfully market themselves to the masses.

Aside from the Village People, there was Freddie Mercury. You don't really see these kind of gay entertainers anymore -- now most are flamers.

Same with females. Even they had to have balls in the late '70s -- Debbie Harry, Joan Jett, Chrissie Hynde, Pat Benatar, Rachel Sweet, etc.

Anonymous said...

I meant to add that the VP, for those to young to have watched them perform, were always viewed as gay camp--and gay camp always pokes fun at gender stereotypes.

I've always thought gay camp to be sad, for while it professes to scorn straight society and its mores and gender roles, in actuality it does the opposite by revealing envy: the performers mock those which they wish to possess but can't get (masculine straight males) and those whom they wish they could be more like but aren't.

Anonymous said...

"The death-match between the de-sexualized Matrix and the hyper-sexualized Bennett is fascinating once we see the violence as a stand-in for sex. Matrix tells Bennett to throw away the "chickenshit gun" and come at him with a knife. He taunts that he knows Bennett wants to stick it in him and look into his eyes while he twists it. Bennett goggles at the promise of finally killing Matrix and falls for the bait. They struggle and Matrix ends up impaling Bennett on a giant steel pipe. As Bennett's body relaxes and water vapour hisses through the pipe's opening, Matrix wisecracks, "Let off some steam, Bennett." Matrix wound up on top and Bennett was the one penetrated. Adding insult to injury, Bennett is the only one who comes. The superior--indeed, superhuman--Matrix has moved beyond the material need for orgasm. In other words, he has defeated Bennett and is too evolved to actually enjoy it."

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