One Equal World

Posts Tagged ‘gay men

A photo of a mosque in Chechnya.

A mosque in Chechnya.
Photo credit: Shutterstock

Russia is known for having regressive views towards homosexuality, but the republic of Chechnya (which is part of the Russian Federation) is taking things to another level.

Police there are suspected of having rounded up over 100 men “in connection with their nontraditional sexual orientation, or suspicion of such.” At least three have been killed, though specific details remain unclear.

The round-up began after a gay rights group in Russia applied for permits to march in a different part of the country. Although authorities aren’t releasing much information on the case yet, it’s very clear that Chechnya is not LGBT-friendly.

To give you a little background, Chechnya is a small region in Russia that has long been a thorn in the side to Russian leadership ever since Stalin. The region’s current leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, is known for human rights violations, although until now, gay men were not targeted in large numbers.

Kadyrov’s spokesman, Ali Karimov, denied reports of the action, stating that there are no gay men in Chechnya, and that “it’s impossible to persecute those who are not in the republic.” But he went on to say that if there were gay men in Chechnya, “law enforcement would not have to worry about them, as their own relatives would have sent them to where they could never return.”

It’s clear that the government of Chechnya is hiding something, and certainly has no love for its gay citizens. Outright denying these claims, which have been substantiated by several sources (including Russian federal law enforcement) is a weak smokescreen at best.

But claiming that there aren’t even any gay people to oppress, while dismissing them as some kind of pests who would have been killed by their own families, shows a complete lack of conscience on the part of Kadyrov. Unfortunately, the only thing that this proves is that it is still very, very dangerous to be gay in certain part of the world.

attractive man

Gay men are feeling more and more pressure to look and be “perfect.”
Image: Shutterstock

Think only girls and women worry about their own appearance?  Think again.  The stereotypical Barbie doll image has been around for a long time.  Yet, Ken is just as unrealistic.  Guys, ever wonder if you are “hot enough?”

These days, images of male models in “tighty whitey” underwear are prominently displayed on billboards in Times Square.  These kinds of guys are turning up on TV shows as the “boyfriend” or “husband.”  These men don’t just look cute or sweet anymore.  They look almost superhuman.

They have sculpted abs you could cut diamonds on.  They have perfectly sun-kissed full heads of hair.  These men have legs that look like all they do all day long is play tennis.  Yes, they are cut.  Their muscles have muscles.

Unfortunately, gay men seem to feel the pressure more than straight men. There seems to be more pressure to look perfect to attract a partner.  This can even lead to a disorder called “body dysmorphia” in which a normal-looking person feels unattractive despite not being so.

Is being a regular guy enough anymore?  The media would like to tell you heck no.  Just like women, you now need to have whiter teeth, more toned muscles, be tanner and, to top it all off, you’d better be rich!  How else are you supposed to pay for all the cosmetic surgery, veneers and tanning?

Does it seem like this is a fair turn of events?  Women have been scrutinized about their looks for centuries.  Cleopatra took baths in tubs full of milk to ensure perfect skin.  Women have long used makeup with dangerous, toxic chemicals including mercury and lead.  Isn’t it time men understand what this kind of pressure feels like?

No!  This is not tit-for-tat.  It is all about unrealistic expectations created by the media.  It’s bad for anyone.  It doesn’t matter if you are male or female.  We all need to stand up and demand an end to airbrushing and falsifying people’s looks.  Even those models you see are not perfect.  They just airbrush them so they look ultra-tan, sculpted and un-blotchy.  Stand up for “real” people.