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I'm going to count to five and we're going to fuckin' *kiss* and we're just going to do it. Alright.
four, three, two, one.
[...] See more »
Great for those who need it, but not for people like me
I came here after watching it yesterday to write a review of Humpday, but when I found a few excellent reviews already here I changed my mind. Now I've changed my mind again. Although existing reviews express many of my problems with this movie, they do not adequately cover the most important issue.
Although reviewers who liked this movie have correctly noted that it is not about being gay--not even about "going" gay--this movie does present a vivid and disturbing picture of most straight men's attitude toward male homosexuality. To them, sex between two men is deeply repugnant, grossly unnatural and disgusting. The prospect of themselves touching another man sexually is so disturbing that they pee in their pants and act like terrified babies. Is that funny? Not to me. Is seeing it enacted brilliantly on screen enlightening and liberating? Not to me. I've seen it all my life.
I'm going to assume (because it's almost surely true) that the vast majority of Humpday's ardent fans are women, both straight and lesbian, and probably some straight men who consider themselves liberated and enlightened enough to laugh at the foibles of their less enlightened brothers or even at themselves in their own pre-liberation pasts. I suppose I have to allow also for a few self-loathing gay men, because I know they're out there. I'm going to address this review to those women and straight men; the self-loathing gays I'll pray for.
The fact that at least one of the men in Humpday is himself relatively enlightened does not make the movie's offenses any less offensive; it makes them worse, because it also shows how shallow and unreliable that enlightenment actually is. Those straight men who under ideal conditions are wonderfully tolerant of male homosexuality run away in disgust if it gets too close to them personally. It's not unlike the old liberal hypocrisy of advocating racial integration as long as they don't try to move in next door or marry our daughter.
It's never wrong to expose hypocrisy or shallow virtue. It's never wrong to shine the light of truth into the dark, nasty recesses of fear and hatred in all our lives. Humpday does that brilliantly. For the billions of men who are like the two in this move, watching it could be a blessing of incalculable value. And I would never want to deprive the long-suffering and universally abused female majority of any opportunity to see how fundamentally flawed and foolish men can be. I just don't enjoy watching it myself, and here's why:
I am a gay man. Having sex with another man is as natural and healthy to me as breathing. The prospect of sex with a woman is as unnatural and repugnant to me as sex with each other is to the guys in Humpday. But I would never want a woman to have to sit through a movie that shows her brutally and graphically how very disgusting she is to me sexually. However well-adjusted she may be, being told that she disgusts me could hurt her, unnecessarily, and I wouldn't want to do that.
That's exactly how Humpday makes me feel. It reminds me that the world is full of very powerful and likable men who find me disgusting, who would rather die than have to be like me or even risk seeming to be like me, and who would rather have ME die than get too close to them. What I AM disgusts and repels them.
It doesn't matter that the movie is not advocating that attitude. By simply reminding me how prevalent that attitude is, it digs into old wounds and causes me pain that does not add anything good to me.
I don't NEED to be reminded how much straight men despise me underneath whatever civilized veneer they may have put on, any more than African Americans need to be reminded how most in the white majority REALLY feel about them inside. It's painful, and although it IS important information, I'm not one of the ones who needs to see it.
So I appreciate Humpday's artistic excellence. It is one of the most powerful and well-realized movies I've ever seen. But it's not for me or for anyone like me, any more than a beautifully executed movie about rape would entertain or enlighten a victim of rape.
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