Originally Published on The Daily Kos on June 25th, 2016
David Ortiz, and Peter LaBarbera released an article and a video of the two of them discussing the threat of homosexuality to masculinity.
LaBarbera founded Americans For Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH) in 1996, and reestablished it in 2006. LaBarbera and his organization defines themselves as “a non-partisan, non-profit group dedicated to exposing the homosexual-bisexual-transgender activist agendas”
Now, LaBarbera and his group have attacked homosexuality on many fronts, and has compared homosexuals to pedophiles and believed that no one is born gay; however, LaBarbera and his group never uses any scientific information, but only subjective religious beliefs to justify their attacks on homosexuality and gay rights.
LaBarbera and Ortiz has stated that men cannot be masculine or “real men” if they have sex with other men. LaBarbera has stated that “homosexuality is a masculinity crisis.” and that we are “seeing the death of the American male.”
LaBarbera has an odd interests in homosexuality especially in males which can be even called an obsession.
Labarbera, like many right-wing conservatives, often speak of “traditional family values” as their defense of their hatred against the LGBTQ community. To “traditional” conservatives like LaBarbera and Ortiz, masculinity tied in with traditional family values means patriarchy in which men are dominate to women. It is not a coincidence that groups like LaBarbera also call themselves “pro-life” as they strongly have a religious belief that women are inferior to men.
Masculinity is not the only one under attack from homosexual men according to LaBarbera, but femininity is as well. He, once again, is using the stereotype that queer men are feminine, and that queer women are masculine. To LaBarbera, femininity is a submissive relinquish of power, and that any men that portrays any femininity is weak.
This is why the feminist and the gay rights movement often work together, because homophobia is an attack on women as much as it is an attack on gays and lesbians. Because to homophobes, femininity and feminism is what they are really threatened by; this is the exact reason why many of these right-wing groups with use words like “tradition” and “family” to set up a stage where they can reference a time where men were in charge of the households, and where women were left out of positions of power.
LaBarbera and Ortiz go on to suggest that “America can not be a masculine country if we support homosexuality” which only shows that their mission is to not only limit the rights of queers, but women as well.
The only threat to masculinity advocates like Ortiz and LaBarbera is the end of patriarchy that still exists in our society. Even today, women are paid 77 cents for every dollar that a man makes, women are the ones who have to worry about being raped, women are the ones that have a harder time moving up in to higher positions in the workplace, and women are the ones who are pressured to look their best to be attractive to men.
LaBarbera and Ortiz later in the interview go on to talk about the “gay agenda” push for “sexual freedoms.” Like always, conservatives often exaggerate their claims and insist that the gay rights movement and the feminist movement want it so pedophiles can be free to do what they want, and that people are free to have sex in public.
The real “sexual freedoms” that the two movements push for is the right for women to make their own health decisions, the right to marry, the right to have the resources to practice safe-sex.
Masculinity and femininity are not under attack, they are simply becoming less important values in our society which has allowed people to express their true selves more, and not feel like they have to fit in with the traditional gender roles that people like LaBarbera and Ortiz advocate for. With the decline of gender roles and limitations has come opportunities for our society to advance elsewhere by opening career doors for women and safer schools, hospitals, and communities for those who identify has queer or transgender.
So I say to you Peter Labarbera, realize that you’re need to defend masculinity is the real harm to our society.
You can read LaBarbera’s article here.