Wednesday, 5 March 2014

"Gay Men Will Marry Your Girlfriends" Gay Marriage campaign video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-YCdcnf_P8
When looking for a video promoting gay or lesbian identity in the USA, it was difficult to find one that expressed a clear idea of identity as well as the issues the community faces. At first the video Gay Men will Marry Your Girlfriends didn’t seem like an appropriate source to analyse, but when looking at it further, it is an openly pro-gay marriage campaign video that uses humour to get this message across.
The video satirically threatens straight men that if they do not approve of same sex marriages then gay men will get revenge by stealing their girlfriends from them. This is based on an old idea that gay men have far more in common with women and would make better partners than straight men, consigning to the stereotype that was introduced by the TV show Will & Grace. Although it is light-hearted and shows hugely clich├ęd representations of not just gay men, but heterosexual relationships, the issue raised of same-sex marriage resonates throughout the video. Compared to more serious campaigns, this video is a more memorable and more popular source. Just looking at the YouTube page it is on, shows over 8 million views, with a largely positive reception on the comments and approval section. This I find surprising to come out of a country where the issue is fiercely debated; yet because the video plays to the sitcom style stereotype that we have become used to, we can laugh along with it and spread it over social media, therefore spreading awareness.

It is clear that this is the major issue that the gay community are fighting for today and this is something that is important to their identity. However the video unfortunately goes against another issue of identity that is apparent in modern America, of consigning to a stereotype. The video has aggravated gay men as portraying them as this way and also women too. For a start there is no mention of lesbian marriage, only gay men are included in this campaign. To create this light-hearted humour, they have actually given into using fairly masculine and sexist portrayals of women, pandering to the straight male market and not the female market. If this were a video of straight men talking about how their girlfriends always want to go to the theatre and talk about their ‘problems’, then it would be slated as anti-feminist. It is difficult to find a modern American video that objectifies women more than this, making them out to be gullible and easy to get into bed. It never occurred to them that women might want to “marry – or don’t marry — whomever the fuck we want?” (feminspire). When you consider that the feminist movement was one of the most important allies to the gay rights movement in the 60s and 70s, this video is quite a hypocritical remark on their own struggle.

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