Who’s the Sub?

I’m sure you have all seen this photo by now:

Now, I want you to read the following text that accompanied it in a blog post I just found:

Perhaps the most provocative aspect of the photo, however, is the fact that it’s the guy in uniform who presents as the more submissive [Clarissa's emphasis], or what many would equate as the more “feminine” role.

As hard as I’ve tried, I’m failing to see what is so submissive about jumping on your lover and enveloping him with your legs. If you look at the body language, the uniformed guy is anything but passive in this situation.

It is really curious how people insist on analyzing gay relationships in terms of active versus submissive and how feminine immediately translated into submissive. Even when people have photographic evidence right in front of them, they still are incapable of analyzing what they are seeing and, instead, reproduce completely idiotic stereotypes that have nothing whatsoever to do with the situation they are observing.

The author of this post doesn’t even begin to realize that there are romantic relationships (whether they involve women or not) where nobody is the sub.

About these ads

17 comments on “Who’s the Sub?

  1. I wonder if the tendency to equate “submissive” with “feminine” and “dominant” with “masculine” (dominant includes being a breadwinner and the main decision maker) provides, in the context of misogyny, a (partial) explanation for wingnut opposition to marriage equality. In an SSM between two lesbians, it is (to account for all possible cases) a partnership of equals, which means no one is dominant or submissive, or else one woman is dominant and the other submissive. Likewise, the same happens, mutatis mutandis in a marriage between gay men. In either case, it subverts the wingnut masculine-dominant feminine-submissive view, as either no one is submissive or dominant, or else a male is submissive and a female dominant, therefore adopting the (to call it something) “relationship role” of “the other”.

  2. I’m failing to see what is so submissive about jumping on your lover and enveloping him with your legs.

    Because women usually lean on men, sit on their legs or even shoulders (on a concert f.e.).

  3. It is pretty obvious that some people view dominant/submissive from a strength perspective. Obviously in this picture it *seems* the man holding the other is stronger.

    • Yes, I do have a feeling that the author’s command of the English language is quite poor: “the fact these two men illustrate a position”. In the very next sentence: “is the fact that”. Then, “or what many would equate as the more “feminine” role” = completely incomprehensible. After that: “who is literally swept off his by the gay civilian”.

      This is just a very shoddy, miserable piece of writing.

  4. Yeah this is just another guy whose conceptualization gizmos brick “female/feminine/woman” and “excessive display of affection” and “submissive/bottom” into the same idea. Fella leaps onto his lover and this dude applies that sort of thinking to come up with “open legs to receive penis”. Dumbass.

    • Yes, the open legs equals female equals submission is a logical chain that escapes me completely.

      The post’s author is obviously trying to be supportive of gay rights but it doesn’t even occur to him that trying to fit a gay relationship into a hetero mold (and a very reductive one, at that) is not extremely helpful. Why can’t it just be a photo of two guys, kissing, in love, with no hetero equivalents attached to them?

      It’s like those people who ask a lesbian couple, ‘So who’s in charge?’

      • Yes, the open legs equals female equals submission is a logical chain that escapes me completely.(Clarissa)

        Yes I know that feeling. I get the same sense when someone suggests that I should be concerned about what the woman is feeling when I approach her on a dark street, when no one says the same for a man. ;)
        Victim/victimizer,,,,,,,,,hmmm

      • ” I get the same sense when someone suggests that I should be concerned about what the woman is feeling when I approach her on a dark street, when no one says the same for a man.”

        - The good news is that you are not going to hear anything like that on this blog. :-)

  5. Queer couples get this all the time! “So, who wears the pants in your family?”, “Who’s the bottom?”, “Who’s the bitch and who’s the butch?” “Who’s the pitcher and who’s the catcher?” are a few of the ones I’ve heard asked either to me or my friends.
    Sheesh. On top of it being nobody’s business, I don’t see how someone’s sex life translates at all to their out-of-bedroom interactions. Also, haven’t these people ever heard of switchers?

    • Yes, it’s like you need to fit a familiar pattern or people start experiencing existential anxieties. But instead of dealing with their own anxieties like adults, they dump them on others.

  6. - The good news is that you are not going to hear anything like that on this blog. (Clarissa)

    I think im in love with a feminist. Well, sort of, kind of……..you know what I mean. :) :) :)

  7. Being shorter = being more like a girl = being submissive? I dunno. Not that one can “present” one’s height, since most people have little or no control over such a thing, but it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve seen the trope.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s