David Hauslaib: What is the biggest issue facing the gay community today?
Question: What is the most pressing issue facing the gay community?
David Hauslaib: I think it comes down to equality, which is I think such a silly thing to say in 2008. But I think it comes down to sort of civil rights – the right to get married; the right to file your taxes together; hospital visitation rights. And I think beyond that is equality including in the military with “don’t ask, don’t tell”, which always seems to be a hot button issue that pops up once a year or so; but especially now with the presidential debate and candidates taking a side on the issue. But I think it comes down to basic civil rights.
Question: Why does the community remain marginalized?
David Hauslaib: Because I think it remains – even among people who claim to support gay rights – I think it remains a taboo subject. In that while . . . If we’re saying that the majority of America has no problem with gay people, I think there’s an asterisk to that position – no problem with gay people so long as you’re not my son; so long as you’re not my sister. And I think the idea of introducing that into one’s personal life, whether people own up to it or not, remains an issue. I think it’s very easy from the bubble of New York or LA to say, you know, this should be a non-issue. But there are so many opinions and views in between those coasts that don’t necessarily agree with that. And I think it’s very clear that evangelical and very conservative religious groups maintain quite a bit of power in this country because there are obviously . . . You know it’s very clear that candidates are leaning one way or the other when it comes to their approach of them. And their viewpoints have to be taken very seriously on the political spectrum, and it’s there that these things are going to change.
Question: How can people’s opinions towards sexuality be changed?
David Hauslaib: I have a very . . . I have a . . . I have a personal issue with the idea that some people can “tolerate” homosexuality. I do not “tolerate” women. I do not “tolerate” Black or Asian people. I embrace them as I would anyone else. And so I think right now we’re sending this message of tolerance. And I think it is a stepping stone toward embracing; or even so much so that it’s a non issue. I think right now the goal needs to be to promote this as a normalized sort of behavior. And I think that if we’re taking these sort of Band-Aid or sideways approaches to get to our final result, we’re going to end up with something that’s still not viewed very well. So I think the message we need to be pitching is this sort of normalized behavior. Gay people are just like straight people; they just sleep with the same sex. That’s really all it comes down to. I think it’s easy for me to say that’s such a simple message – not only because I live in a very urban area, but I’m a gay man. You know on the same token, I don’t think it’s very easy for, you know, other folks in more conservative parts of the country to accept that message.
What is Hollywood’s role in changing public opinion?
David Hauslaib: You know I’m a little bit torn there because Hollywood shouldn’t necessarily be a platform for any message; but then I also believe it’s foolish to imagine that it doesn’t. You know from the very basics of cutting out smoking from movies and what that did to views toward people who smoke, I think we’re moving beyond, I like to think, the token gay character in movies and TV shows. But I don’t think we’re quite there yet, but I think that’s important to show that even in mainstream movies that have gay and lesbian characters who are normalized. They’re not the token gay character. They are another character in that movie. And I like the idea of sort of plot lines within TV and film that deal with gay men and women, but don’t necessarily focus on that as a sole issue. Because then I think it sort of creates a caricature of what this is supposed to be. So I do think to an extent Hollywood does hold some responsibility. But you know homophobia exists in that industry like any other. While your agent or your publicist can be gay, don’t expect to sign onto a movie as an open gay person and expect a big paycheck.
Question: Who is responsible for the continued secrecy about queer people in Hollywood?
David Hauslaib: I think both parties are going to point fingers. It’s very easy for me as a moviegoer to say Hollywood the institution needs to change their ways. But I also think if they put an openly gay character in a major motion picture, I don’t think it would perform as well at the box office. So I think we do need to take small steps to reach that end all goal. It’s not going to happen overnight, and I think it would be foolish to assume so. But I think the American public does still have this cringe mentality when it comes to the idea of gay men and women playing leading roles, or roles where they aren’t the gay character; all the way to Hollywood that is fearful of even opening up that possibility because the investment is so large and no studio wants to make that bet.
Recorded on: Jan 23 2008
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Beards and perceptions of masculinity<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjU5OTg0MC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0NzkxMjM3N30.cH-GqNwP5GVqvstgJWAhBPn1B_lYpVEAI0I7iax7EQw/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C1900%2C0%2C849&height=700" id="caae6" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="cb0a355a4e8e1899789bc45f3f7aef56" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Photo Credit: Wikimedia<p>The study used 919 American (mostly white) women ages 18-70 who rated 30 pictures of men they were shown with various stages of facial hair growth. The photographs depicted men with faces that had been digitally altered to look more feminine or more masculine, with a beard and without a beard. The women rated the men according to perceived attractiveness for long-term and short-term relationships. The study found that the more facial hair the men had, the higher the men were rated on their attractiveness, particularly for their suitability for a long-term relationship.</p><p>Part of this might be attributed to facial masculinity — i.e. protruding brow ridge, wide cheekbones, thick jawline, and deeply set narrow eyes — which conveys information to a woman about a man's underlying health and formidability. Women tend to associate more masculine faces with physical strength and social assertiveness. It can also indicate a man with a superior immune response. The researchers suggested that their findings favoring bearded men could be due to the fact that facial hair enhances the masculine facial features on a man's face, like creating the illusion of a thicker jaw line. This could communicate direct benefits to women like resources and protection that would enhance survival among mothers and their infants. In other words, while a beard doesn't mean superior genetics in and of itself, it might be a primitive, ornamental way of saying, "Hey girl, I'm a testosterone-fueled lean, mean, pathogen fighting machine." <br></p><p>It could also be that a beard becomes its own destiny. The researchers in this study cite prior research that found that by growing a beard, men felt more masculine and had higher levels of serum testosterone, which was linked to a higher level of social dominance. They also tended to subscribe to more old-school beliefs about gender roles in their relationships with women as compared to men with clean-shaven faces.<span></span><br></p>
What does disgust have to do with beard preference?<p>Obviously, not all women dig beards. The researchers were particularly interested in what traits make a women prefer bearded men over clean-shaven faces. They looked into several factors including a woman's disgust levels on various concepts, her desire to become pregnant, and her exposure to facial hair in her personal life. </p><p>According to the study, women who were not into facial hair were turned-off by potential parasites or other critters they imagined could be in the hair or skin. Women ranking high on this "ectoparasite disgust" scale might have viewed beards as a sign of poor grooming habits. However, women who ranked higher in levels of "pathogen" did find the bearded men to be desirable, possibly because they perceived beards as a signal of good health and immune function. An intriguing discovery in the study was links to morality. Women who displayed higher levels of "moral disgust," or feelings of repugnance toward taboo behaviors, were more likely to prefer hairy faces. The authors opined that this could reflect a link between beardedness, politically conservative outlooks, and traditional views regarding performances of masculinity in heterosexual relationships.</p>
Additional findings<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjU5OTg1My9vcmlnaW4uZ2lmIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyNDI1NjUyOX0.P9B8WbmJR0q4nfzYZKbuNSA-2SAigVWJgrQE-_Gxlds/img.gif?width=980" id="49143" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="2ed3b1d6f20fc170bf2974646e565e8d" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />Giphy<p>The correlations that existed between married and single women's rating on the attractiveness of beards were not particularly clear, although the researchers noted that single and married women who wanted children tended to find beards more attractive than the women who didn't want children. They also found that women with bearded husbands found beards to be more attractive, which might indicate that social exposure to beards influences how desirable they are perceived of as being. Or it could be that men with wives who like beards grow beards.</p><p>It's important to note that culture plays a huge role in how attractive women perceive certain male characteristics as being. This study looked at a small, culturally specific group of American women, so no big, universal claims should be made about masculinity, facial hair, and male desirability to women. However, research like this is important in highlighting how human grooming decisions are driven by much more than fashion trends. Sociobiological, economic, and ecological factors all play a part in the way we choose to present ourselves.</p>
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