I’ve been thinking about this one for a while. Here goes.
I am a gay dude. I am also a gamer (or gaymer, if you’d like), an occasional TV fanboy, and lover of comics and literature. I enjoy a lot of things, like many of you. As a writer, I am compelled look for realism, for believability, as I consume my fanboy materials. One area that I never really buy in any media is that of human sexuality, specifically male sexuality.
As a lover of men, I do not want to see women being constantly evocative for no reason at all. Mind you, I think women are absolutely lovely, and they have every right to sexual portrayal, because lots of women have sexual sides, and for those to be unrepresented would be unrealistic. Problem is, we live in a straight-cisgender-male-oriented world and the women in our media are given overly sexual portrayals, to the point that sexuality becomes the sole defining trait of some female characters. Not only is this completely shitty for women, and a definite example of patriarchy, but it is also a definite problem for me. I don’t want to be looking at women doing sexy things in settings that in no way call for it. Of course, my opinion matters little to the people who are generally in charge.
The other half of this problem is that patriarchy hurts men, too. The issues are in no way the same, but the idea that certain behaviors are “masculine” or “feminine,” and that “feminine” behaviors are generally bad, hurts everyone. I would bet you a large sum of cookies that sexuality is something in these industries that is appropriate only for women, and that having sexually evocative behavior is somehow weak, which is part of why only the ladies are given sexual traits. Once again, this is a shitty deal for everyone. Women are reduced to being sexy playthings sometimes, while men are often not sexual at all: they are controlled, powerful action heroes who only express sexuality when a woman is directly involved. I personally feel that it is unfair and unrealistic that men are not given a sense of general sexuality, because that teaches dudes in the real world that being sexual is a bad thing, or even a feminine thing. Both of those ideas are untrue.
I’m not calling for gratuitous male sexuality, either. Men do not all need to be dressed in tight or skimpy clothing; cameras do not need to constantly pan on chest muscles and crotch bulges; men do not need to resolve their differences by wrestling playfully in mud and then showering together. That’s ridiculous, and if you think so, too, remember that women are often depicted that way! Maybe not all of them, and maybe not to such extremes as I have described, but since the consensus is probably that men shouldn’t behave this way, why must women?
No, what I’m asking for is some balance. Take the blatant sexual filter off of women and share it with the men a while. Have some women display very little or no casual sexiness, and have men walk around confident in their sexuality and masculinity. And the women who are sexual are just fine, but let them be lovers, fighters, teachers, and other things, too! And while we’re here, let some of the menfolk take interest in other men, and the ladies in other ladies, and some people in no one at all, or in everyone. The way we portray sexuality right now is all wrong.