Straight Expectations Paperback – 26 Jun 2014
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In Straight Expectations, journalist and political activist Julie Bindel explores what it means to be gay in today's world.
About the Author
Julie Bindel is a freelance journalist and feminist activist. She is the co-founder of Justice for Women and tweets under@bindelj
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Top Customer Reviews
The author's main targets for criticism are patriarchy, marriage and commercialism along with the disappearance of radical feminism. As a gay man I can't comment with any certainty about feminism, though I thoroughly deplore patriarchy.
Julie had a great deal to say that is worthwhile about the negative aspects of patriarchy, but criticises just about everything about modern gay life without effectively setting out the alternatives.
Julie frequently draws an obscure link between some positive development and some vaguely related lack of progress in a way that suggests the positive development is in fact holding us back and contributing to the maintenance of patriarchy.
For example, on p.151 she says, " ... how depressing it is that there are still barely any positive lesbian role models in the media and arts, yet there we are in a bank commercial."
I think it's great that lesbians and gay men are appearing in adverts and hopefully this will encourage a greater representation in the media and arts, though we are not actually doing too badly in these areas.
After complaining about the lack of positive lesbian role models, Julie then makes a contradictory statement on p.177, "Another change we have seen in recent years is the idea of gay role models, who many gay people seem to believe will magically rid us of all bigotry."
I believe that gay role models are there mainly for young people who need to know that they can be gay, happy and successful and to encourage them to defy the bullies and not be driven to despair and suicide.
Julie then proceeds on several pages to criticise various "role models" presumably because they are not her kind of role model.Read more ›
I might have some sympathy, except that her definitions are wrong to begin with and her expectations were unrealistic at best. Most gays and lesbians, like most straight people, want to belong and to be left to enjoy their lives. They are not intrinsically better or worse people. The idea that this form of sexuality necessarily goes with radicalism is and always was daft. And often Bindel comes across as a nasty, bitter old trout, stripping anything down to its lowest common denominator: marriage becomes the wedding followed by the right to a weekly argument in Ikea, parenthood 'wiping childrens' arses'. Yeah, well it wasn't my favourite part of the job, Julie, but even so, there's more to it than that. And since when has being happily married stopped anyone from being politically committed who was committed before?
There is some cogent analysis here, especially where she marshals the argument against the existence of a gay gene, arguing that this actually plays into the hands of homophobic bigots. (The jury is indeed out on that one, but the trouble with Bindel is that politics will trump science no matter what.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A brilliant and recent book packed full of insight. Brilliant readPublished 17 months ago by whataboutjacob
Straight Expectations is a good attempt to describe the development of how lesbians and gay men are viewed in the last few decades. Read morePublished 18 months ago by dapper
Refreshing update on contemporary issues around gay experiences, including a short but indepth modern history and legal developments over the past 40 years. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Nuffin
Gays (and bis) can be bigots too. Gays can also be against equal marriage. Gays can also be against trans people (which was also one of the attributes of the militant feminist... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Seth
I read Straight Expectations with great interest and appreciation.
1. Read more
Loved the book and found myself shouting at nearly every page "I say that too". She is hilariously disrespectful towards the "Establishment LGBT" and it's... Read morePublished on 9 July 2014 by rita hudson