Was casual homophobia so standard throughout the '80s?
So I finally got around to seeing two of the John Hughes teen film classics that '80s teens always rave about (Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles), and while entertaining, I was surprised at the strain of casual homophobia prevalent throughout the films. Use of words fag, queer or gay by the main characters are supposed to be funny har-har gags..
I guess that must have been a sign of the times. Mean-spirited homophobic humor definitely was not so common or tolerated in teen movies in the 00s and 10s.
Was it your experience in the '80s that anti-gay attitudes and humor was the norm? Did you go to high school in that era and was this attitude common?
The '80s seemed like a mean-spirited time for gay people, or really anybody who was "different." It seems like it wasn't until the late '90s that attitudes about gay people (amongst teens at least) started to change.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 176||05/30/2015|
[quote]Was it your experience in the '80s that anti-gay attitudes and humor was the norm? Did you go to high school in that era and was this attitude common? The '80s seemed like a mean-spirited time for gay people
Yes, yes and yes.
BC and 16 Candles were actually relatively mild in terms of the level of homophobia, and both films feature themes about being an outsider, not fitting in, etc which made them stand apart as more interesting and 'progressive' (if that's the right word) than other pop culture products of the time period.
I think there's a scene in the Celluloid Closet where they string together all the homophobic epithets and punchlines from 80s movies. It's revealing to see them all together. The era really was like a cultural war.
It was an era of casual homophobia, and the right was thrilled that gays were dying. Things are still shitty today, but kids growing up now are fortunate that things have improved as much as they have.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 3||09/15/2014|
Casual homophobia was standard before and during the 80's. AIDS certainly ramped up the hostility as there was so much paranoia about how HIV could be spread, particularly early on in the crisis.
Frankly, casual homophobia will never completely go away, but the AIDS crisis did compel more and more people to come out of the closet to start the more positive trend toward increasing acceptance.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 4||09/15/2014|
BC and 16 Candles simply reflected prevailing attitudes among teenagers at the time. I was an 80s kid and gay jokes were *quite* common.
And according to what I see and read online, it's not like things have evolved THAT much. Especially given that kids are coming out a lot younger now. I mean, just look at that recent video of that boy coming pout to his religious family. Absolutely horrifying.
It's just become politically incorrect to be an outright phobe in the media it seems. (unless you're Fox News)
|by Curious millennial ||reply 5||09/15/2014|
Casual homophobia is standard today.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 6||09/15/2014|
It really started with John Ritter and Three's Company. he even later apologized.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 7||09/15/2014|
You really think casual homophobia common today, R6? In what way?
I feel like I never run into homophobia at all. In fact being gay is mostly an advantage in life.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 8||09/15/2014|
[quote]I feel like I never run into homophobia at all.
Yes, your life if my life.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 9||09/15/2014|
Absolutely OP,I was born in 1964 and I can definitely relate; it was very homophobic. Between that and the emerging aids crisis I did not even have sex until 28.
People may forget, but the opening of Splash was revelatory in its day, simply because the windows had glass that was not painted black. Instead of being all furtive-looking and dirty; it was "unapologetic" fun.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 11||09/15/2014|
Things were tougher in the 80s for sure but anyone who thinks homophobia isn't around anymore lives in a fucking dreamworld.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 12||09/15/2014|
R12 is 100% accurate - believe me those homophobic feelings they DEEPLY resent having to suppress are what fuel half the male viewers of Fox News.
By the way, almost all of my educated male bosses, now in their mid-to-late fifties, in the NY financial world, can barely contain their homophobia....and they are not thrilled with the emergence of women as a competitive force either.
Think Roger Goodell.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 13||09/15/2014|
And, there was the homophobia of 2004 - 2007:
Openly expressed even by the likes of Victim by proxy and pushiness, Dianne Feinstein.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 14||09/15/2014|
OP, homophobia reached toxic levels during the 80s. It also is still very much in existance today.
You might want to read up on the early days of the AIDS crisis.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 15||09/15/2014|
Scott Howard: Styles, I got something to tell you. It's kind of hard, but... Stiles: Look, are you gonna tell me you're a fag because if you're gonna tell me you're a fag, I don't think I can handle it. Scott Howard: I'm not a fag. I'm... a werewolf.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 16||09/15/2014|
Enough fucking 80s threads!
|by Curious millennial ||reply 17||09/15/2014|
You know, I was watching old comedians the other night on You Tube. Eddie Murphy's Delirious. And it was unbelievable. You had to fast forward through the first 20 minutes it was so offensive.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 18||09/15/2014|
R12, nobody said that homophobia isn't around anymore, just that casual homophobia interjected in popular films and everyday conversations is not as common now as it seems to have been back then. Nowadays, you can't really get away with making fag jokes at school or at work without possible backlash and repercussions. For all of my generation's various deficiencies, gay acceptance is not one of them.
Yes, anti-gay bullying still exists but it is a lot less accepted now because all millennials know somebody who is gay (a friend, a relative, etc.) and being gay is just not as big of a deal.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 19||09/15/2014|
Graduated in 1987; yes, anti-gay comments were casually delivered all around and just as casually accepted. I'm a huge movie buff, but going to the movies in the 80s was an often unpleasant event, as most Hollywood films trafficked in anti-gay "humor," with "fag," "queer," "homo," etc., littering practically every screenplay.
It baffles me that people now have raised the John Hughes movies to some kind of masterpiece status, since they were some of the most prominant perpetrators of the anti-gay commentary, and not all that great to begin with.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 20||09/15/2014|
Thanks R18, you beat me to it.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 21||09/15/2014|
That "thing" at R22's link is the most physically repulsive man I've ever seen.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 23||09/15/2014|
John Hughes was a right wing douche. See every scene where the white bread teens ended up on the "wrong side" of St Louis or Chicago.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 24||09/15/2014|
[quote]'progressive' (if that's the right word)
NOT EVEN FUCKING CLOSE.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 25||09/15/2014|
Homophobia is alive and well in the USA. It's less blatant, it's gone more subversive, more vindictive, more self-loathing-aggrandizing.
Just look at the phobic trolls here on DL.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 26||09/15/2014|
Oh, well, r25. Sometimes we find the right word at the right time, sometimes we don't.
Right now, I'm in luck because I've found the one that fits you perfectly:
|by Curious millennial ||reply 28||09/15/2014|
Oh r28 , how tiresome you are. You can't defend an obviously clueless statement you've made so you result to homophobic name calling.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 29||09/15/2014|
I had Eddie Murphy's "Comedian" when I was in high school and I loved it. When I bought myself a CD of it a few years ago, I was petrified. I couldn't believe how much homophobia I apparently just shrugged off in the 1980s, like it was nothing.
Sam Kinison was BELOVED in the 1980s and 1990s. When he died, there was much wailing and gnashing of the teeth. Today, you never even hear about him, it's like he existed a century ago, not just over 20 years ago.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 30||09/15/2014|
Eddie Murphy renounced the gay jokes in his routine. The shitty kids' movies he's been doing ever since are karma.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 31||09/15/2014|
[quote]It baffles me that people now have raised the John Hughes movies to some kind of masterpiece status...
I am always so shocked people find his work so revelatory, when all it is to me is mostly teen "time consumption" fare.
The one great story is "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles", but the offensive "Sixteen Candles" and the ubiquitous and unfunny Reagan-era postcard "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" continue to enchant the mindless!
I was shocked at the homophobia, and casual racism in his films at the time, but there were no DataLounge shriekers then to join me, I guess.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 33||09/15/2014|
Oh please. They were teen films that felt somewhat real at the time. Prior to political correctness. I have no problems admitting that I liked the Hughes stuff as a kid and still feel a bit of nostalgic affection for them as an adult, in spite of their casual racism and homophobia. Besides, if you were in high school at the time you heard a lot of worse shit every day.
And I'm willing to bet r33 wasn't a kid in the 80s.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 34||09/15/2014|
[quote]Scott Howard: Styles, I got something to tell you. It's kind of hard, but... Stiles: Look, are you gonna tell me you're a fag because if you're gonna tell me you're a fag, I don't think I can handle it. Scott Howard: I'm not a fag. I'm... a werewolf.
God I had somehow forgot. These lines in a teen comedy in 2014 would NEVER be acceptable. Society has made some real progress.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 35||09/15/2014|
The Hughes moves simply reflected real life. I was in high school at the time and that is exactly how it was for gays.
I have zero problems with it at all.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 36||09/15/2014|
r36 Okay. Now defend "Triumph of the Will" and "Birth of a Nation". See where I'm going?
|by Curious millennial ||reply 37||09/15/2014|
[quote]You can't defend an obviously clueless statement you've made so you result to homophobic name calling.
Huh? I'm quite willing to stand by and defend anything I say.
Although the films had homophobic insults and jokes in them, they were ultimately about outsiders and misfits bonding and/or even triumphing. This makes them stand apart from many other 80s films, which were, in addition to being peppered with homophobic jokes, usually about the macho hero saving the day from an outside force.
You're the only one who had a huge problem with this because you're a bitter cunt with a stick up her ass. And "cunt" is not even a homophobic insult: this is an anonymous site so I don't even know or care if you're gay, straight, male, female. I only know you're dumb and bitter. And a cunt.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 38||09/15/2014|
No R36 is right, it isn't "good" but it is an accurate reflection of the reality of the time. You should see it through that lense.
To me it is as silly as people who can't tolerate characters being bigoted in period pieces.
Sorry, but misogyny, racism, antisemiticism and homphobia were all pretty standard viewpoints at one time. It is laughable how often characters in Downton Abbey/Boardwalk Empire/Masters of Sex/Mad Men have 21st century attitudes.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 39||09/15/2014|
[quote]See where I'm going?
Yes, you're embodying "Godwin's Law", which makes you epically stupid.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 40||09/15/2014|
[quote]an accurate reflection of the reality of the time
There's a big difference between accurately reflecting the times and playing to people's prejudices in order to get an easy laugh.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 41||09/15/2014|
what r40 said. fucking imbecile.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 42||09/15/2014|
[quote]Although the films had homophobic insults and jokes in them, they were ultimately about outsiders and misfits bonding and/or even triumphing
So John Hughes films taught gay kids that even the outsiders and misfits were looking down on them.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 43||09/15/2014|
[quote]Although the films had homophobic insults and jokes in them, they were ultimately about outsiders and misfits bonding and/or even triumphing. This makes them stand apart from many other 80s films, which were, in addition to being peppered with homophobic jokes, usually about the macho hero saving the day from an outside force.
No, these movies take a female character that you claim is an "outsider" (how? because she dresses funny? because she shows a modicum of wit?) and put her square in the status quo center of an idealized heterosexual relationship, usually with "the popular guy".
|by Curious millennial ||reply 44||09/15/2014|
"In Living Color", Men on Film.
The most destructive anti-gay comedy show ever on TV
|by Curious millennial ||reply 45||09/15/2014|
"There's a big difference between accurately reflecting the times and playing to people's prejudices in order to get an easy laugh."
Well, that was "the times" no? Gays were the butt of a ton of jokes, like everyone on this thread is acknowledging.
Its not like Hughes had a gay character that was pilloried as part of the storyline. You had kids saying "faggot" here and there. Which, yes, more than accurately reflected the times.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 46||09/15/2014|
Well, yes, r43, I suppose so.
But that's still something distinct from the many other 80s films in which homophobia ruled the day, and outsiders and misfits existed as a foil for or to be crushed by the hero.
And comparing "16 Candles" to "Triumph of the Will"? Over-dramatic much, hon?
I'm sorry if you had bad experiences in the 80s. No offense, but maybe you should work them out with a therapist?
|by Curious millennial ||reply 47||09/15/2014|
Godwin's Law is an internet meme, not an actual philosophical argument. Who's an idiot?
You can't show false equivalence in my statement. You are defending movies that are homophobic. I want to know if you will also defend movies that are racist or anti-semitic.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 48||09/15/2014|
Well, r44. Both Breakfast Club and 16 Candles feature an array of characters that many observers would uncontroversially describe as 'outsiders' in any number of contexts. You're just nitpicking because this is DL.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 49||09/15/2014|
49 Upper middle class white kid = the ultimate outside.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 50||09/15/2014|
[quote]Although the films had homophobic insults and jokes in them, they were ultimately about outsiders and misfits bonding and/or even triumphing.
Here's the thing, honey: They weren't really outsiders.
In a lot of ways, it was appropriation. Studios wanted outsider angsty teen stories to bring in the audiences, but they didn't want to use characters representing real outsiders, so they portrayed pretty white hetero people with maybe one or two "odd" opinions or a wardrobe that wasn't trendy as being outsiders.
These pretty white hetero fake "outsiders" were [italic]explicitly[/italic] paired with funny-talking Asian guys or gays or black girls to establish the kind of "outsider" that was acceptable in the culture at the time.
White and cute but awkward? Fine! Asian? No, sorry, you're weird so we have to turn you into a freak.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 51||09/15/2014|
[quote]Its not like Hughes had a gay character
I don't think he had any gay characters at all. Though his characters existed in a mode of nearly constant paranoia about homosexuality, actual gay people are close to non-existant.
Sorry, but it's a weak defense. Hughes was going for an easy laugh at the expense of a disfavored minority, not aiming for high realism, hon.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 52||09/15/2014|
r48 is being willfully obtuse and quarrelsome to prove that someone's wrong on the internet. don't feed her.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 53||09/15/2014|
R26 I think it's just as or even more blatant. The term "that's so gay" is so widespread today among tweens and in the same vein as calling someone a fag, fairy or dyke. It's hate speech through and through.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 54||09/15/2014|
r51. Don't call me honey, cunt.
And I don't disagree with anything from your post, not sure what makes you think I do.
However, as I said before to another poster: Both Breakfast Club and 16 Candles feature an array of characters that most observers would uncontroversially describe as 'outsiders' in any number of contexts. You're just nitpicking and turning it into an argument because this is DL.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 55||09/15/2014|
I was born in 1965. My Junior High years (1977-1979) were rampant with homophobic insults. My high school years (1979-1983) were even worse. When AIDS hit the mainstream media (1983-ish) it became the worst I have ever seen. My college years (1983-1987) were horrific. The homophobia was beyond a nightmare. So, yes, it was quite casual.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 56||09/15/2014|
r55 You're just calling it nitpicking because you can't defend your position.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 57||09/15/2014|
Saying I'm not defending my position doesn't make it true, hon. It's precisely what I've done and rather well. Thnx, cnt.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 58||09/15/2014|
Yeah R51 You are a freak calling people you don't know, Honey. Push off, you clown.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 59||09/15/2014|
[quote]When AIDS hit the mainstream media (1983-ish) it became the worst I have ever seen.
Bingo. For sure.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 60||09/15/2014|
[quote]Godwin's Law is an internet meme, not an actual philosophical argument. Who's an idiot?
After typing that sentence apparently in earnest, you. Definitely you.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 61||09/15/2014|
[quote]Godwin has stated that he introduced Godwin's law in 1990 as an experiment in memetics.
From Wikipedia, as attributed to Godwin in an interview in Wired magazine.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 62||09/15/2014|
The saddest part of all of it is that those of us who are from that generation (graduated college in '85) is that we, ourselves (well, me, anyway), were so indoctrinated with homophobia and self-loathing (I know, overused word), that we (well, okay I) laughed at those John Hughes movies and just sort of accepted that homophobic language as part of the culture. I was so indoctrinated with it, that the dialogue, the "fag jokes" were hurtful, sure, but I did not stand up in outrage. The anti-gay stuff was not glaringly socially unacceptable because it was acceptable. It was such an awful time. We were dying in droves and yet we were supposed to laugh at anti-gay humor. We were punchlines. Yes, there was SOME progress, sure. We were farther along than at the start of Stonewall but it was still not okay for most people to be out. Closeted lives. Laughing at the fag jokes on the outside and not even realizing we were dying on the inside. A clusterfuck of monolithic proportion. I remember Eddie Murphy's Delirious riff about "What if Fred and Ricky had been gay or Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton?" Jokes about them asking each other (in the character's voices) if they wanted to be "fucked up the butt." The audience roared. So many things were so hurtful and damaging but were culturally accepted. Different time. Things now are MUCH better compared to then but only people who lived through those times would know how much. Gay marriage? Please. Not even a pipe dream for most of us back then. I went to some "commitment ceremonies" back then and always rolled my eyes. I could not take it seriously. No one taught me that it was okay to love myself as a gay man. I used to say stuff like "I bet at the end they have doves fly out of their asses as Over the Rainbow plays over the loudspeaker." I did not even realize that I had internalized the load of horseshit that society had dumped on me as a gay man.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 63||09/15/2014|
Wait, did you bitch about me calling you "honey" in R55, then call someone else "hon" three minutes later at R58?
You haven't done ANYTHING "rather well," you insipid cunt. You can't even troll right, and trolling is about the easiest thing in the world.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 64||09/15/2014|
"Though his characters existed in a mode of nearly constant paranoia about homosexuality"
really? his characters existed in a mode of near constant paranoia about homosexuality? heavens to betsy!
|by Curious millennial ||reply 65||09/15/2014|
In 1972 homosexuality was considered a mental disease. Compared to "Cruising" and "Partners", John Hughes is nothing, and his films do capture the zeitgeist.
AIDS aside, you weren't gay in high school. Period. It's only after a political campaign that this generation isn't directly homophobic. It just was different then. There wasn't a Facebook/Twitter information sphere then. Ryan White was young and had AIDS. Merritt Buttrick, from "Square Pegs", died of AIDS. You cannot compare now to then. As others have said, the political activism born as a response to AIDS became the campaign that has seen homosexuality destigmatized.
Don't be such delicate flowers. The Hughes teen films are treasures.
If you want to see gay stereotypes, watch Latin media, today. Take note of Islamic fundamentalism. If you don't like Hughes films, don't watch them. But this critique is asinine.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 67||09/15/2014|
So, because Hughes films were homophobic than radical Islam they get a walk. Got it.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 68||09/15/2014|
You are basically missing the point, r67. You are EXPLAINING the changes in casual homophobia, not DISPUTING them.
In fact, the entire question comes from a generation post-AIDS that cannot believe that this was once acceptable.
It is a wonderful thing that the casual homophobia of the 80s is surprising to millennials.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 69||09/15/2014|
Men working in high-finance seem to be the most anti-gay of all. I'm 100% ok with that, I never liked those shallow bores anyway.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 70||09/15/2014|
r70 They just never outgrew their closet case frat boy reflexes.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 72||09/15/2014|
R67, not cool to tell anyone to not be delicate flowers. It's like saying "Lighten up," which is always offensive and has about a .0001 chance of working. Your thing about John Hughes movies is just your opinion. And opinions are like assholes. Everybody's got one. Those movies have some funny moments but they are not "treasures" for everyone like they are, apparently, for you. I'll make you a deal. I'll stop being a delicate flower when you stop being a bossy douchewad. People who profess to "Tell me how it is" really make me want to tell them to shove it up their ass.
Right on, R69.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 73||09/15/2014|
I think we're overlooking the most salient point about the John Hughes' films, they're bad movies.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 74||09/15/2014|
It was the cultural norm then, the same way calling women "c@nts", or non-leftists "rethuglicans", or Christians "Jeebus trailer trash" is acceptable here. Or calling women "bitches" and "hos" was/is standard in hip hop.
Check your owm prejudices and biasrs before applying Cultural Revolution dialectics to "Sixteen Candles"
|by Curious millennial ||reply 75||09/15/2014|
And they're libertarians, R72, which makes it even more absurd since they supposedly believe in freedom.
We had openly gay people in high school (Class of '79), but that was unusual back in the day. Oh, but to have college roommates who thought they were equivalent to rape victims because they had a gay roommate...that was very common.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 76||09/15/2014|
Except their weren't true and ours are!
|by Curious millennial ||reply 77||09/15/2014|
It's not a bias if it's true R75
|by Curious millennial ||reply 78||09/15/2014|
R75 is a moral relativist: all biases are equally bad! No they aren't.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 79||09/15/2014|
Amen, r73. I saddened to see all these defenses of Hughes' homophobia and racism.
Like I mentioned above, I graduated in 1987, so I was the ideal target age for Hughes' films; but even then I was appalled by how he portrayed REAL outsiders in culture: as freaks deserving of ridicule. I'd argue his films were more insidious than, say, the mindless action films because people "treasured" them while glossing over their repulsive qualities.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 80||09/15/2014|
Hughes was all about portraying the 'outsider' without alienating the mainstream. They were movies for white suburban kids.
As far as being gay in the 80s goes. At the time I thought we were highly evolved. We had gender bending pop stars and an emerging 'bisexual chic' and yes, if you pushed it too far, you'd get called 'Fag' but the guys I knew who grew up in the 1970s would actually gt the shit kicked out of them (that never happened at my school in the 80s)
And as evolved as we think we are now (and kudos to today's youth because the progress IS very real) kids still use 'faggot' as an all encompassing insult and 'gay' to mean lame.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 81||09/15/2014|
I know this is the wrong place to ask, but will someone tell me why the Toenail thread, allegedly started by Umpy, has been closed with only 30 posts? Does Webby carry a grudge that long?
Umpy says he's a better person now, and I think he was one of those characters that brought some color to these boards. There's lots of cool characters that don't post here any more. Umpy was never cool, and he could be offensive, but he was a character. Why couldn't Webmaster give him the benefit of the doubt. Sheeesh.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 82||09/15/2014|
Nothing has changed. They still hate us.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 83||09/15/2014|
I agree R83. BUT,that being said,like blacks and the "n' word,Ive never understood how an adult would let some stupid words bother them ! So what if you think Im a fag ? So what if you called me a queer? Ive never let words bother me,I left kindergarden decades ago.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 84||09/15/2014|
[quote]Use of words fag, queer or gay by the main characters are supposed to be funny har-har gags..
They do that on WILL & GRACE, too, and that was fairly recent (1998-2006). I recently started watching and the way Karen and Grace call Will and Jack every derogatory gay name in the book, including fag or faggot, is quite offensive. Do people's straight friends or hags do this to them? Mine don't.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 85||09/15/2014|
Dropped dead after two decades or so of nursing rage and longing over Molly Ringwald?
Dropped dead after two decades or so of nursing rage and longing over Molly Ringwald.
Dropped dead after two decades or so of nursing rage and longing over Molly Ringwald.
Dropped dead after two decades or so of nursing rage and longing over Molly Ringwald.
Who's fucked up sexually, dead John?
|by Curious millennial ||reply 86||09/15/2014|
I don't remember anyone saying fag or faggot on Will & Grace. Fairy or nancy, yes.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 87||09/15/2014|
R87, I'm currently going through the seasons, and they do, namely Grace and Karen at Will and Jack.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 88||09/15/2014|
I'd have to see proof, r88. I don't know you well enough to take your word for it.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 89||09/15/2014|
Interesting. Not one of us is able to see the long stretch of gay history experienced by the straights. By the 80's they had discovered homosexuality was all around them, not just in the bushes and hair salons. They could say it, make fun of it, be curious about it.
Gay jokes were OUT and PROUD. Believe it or not, this was a step forward.
True homophobia, i.e., HATRED, was always there; it just became more focused, not more prevalent.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 90||09/15/2014|
Yep, a lot less casual homophobic comments these days... and we exchanged it for COMPLETE INVISIBILITY on the big screen (sure, we're still on TV but as laughable StepN Fetchi types still, post W&G and Queer Eye, like the chubby nelly on "Modern Family", etc. The butch gay is apparently done). The downside of PC: rather than offend, we just won't include them.
I don't even know how gay festivals stay in biz these days. Are there enough films to fill a few days? Even indies? (Yeah, yeah, we all thought "Brokeback Mountain" would break ground and instead... that was our tossed bone, apparently).
|by Curious millennial ||reply 91||09/15/2014|
Sorry R90 but that's not true. It's always been all around them. They may not have experienced it that way, but that is standard lifecycle stuff. People were just as obsessed with gays in the 50s and 60s.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 92||09/15/2014|
So essentially, it's not John Hughes' fault that his movies contained blatant homophobia, it's just that the '80s were overall a shitty, homophobic decade?
Well then, if the '80s were so anti-gay, then why do many here wax nostalgic over how great that decade was and how much they miss it?
R91, was there really such great, positive gay visibility back then versus now? I feel like there is much better and diverse gay representation on TV now than vs. even the '90s..
|by Curious millennial ||reply 93||09/15/2014|
[quote]So I finally got around to seeing two of the John Hughes teen film classics that '80s teens always rave about (Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles)
This sentence is the most shocking thing about all of this, OP. To say that you're late to the party is an understatement.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 94||09/15/2014|
[quote]It really started with John Ritter and Three's Company. he even later apologized.
I saw some of Three's Company over the weekend on TV Land, and I had forgotten how many fruit/fairy and gay panic jokes there were.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 95||09/15/2014|
Culturally and politically, the '80s were a time of contraction and repression. The populace was freaked by the media representation of the counterculture of the '60s and the supposed hedonism and loosening sexual mores of the '70s.
Reagan, Wall St., MSM all sensed this and tried to exploit a vision of 1950s innocence: one that was largely a fiction.
They swung the pendulum back towards a "traditional", "conservative" vision of America, HARD. Blacks were demonized with crack, the gays were marginalized with AIDS. It was a dark shitty time.
The real "outsiders" and "misfits" of this time would NEVER be included in something as puerile and tepid as a fucking John Hughes movie.
That anybody on this, a presumably gay board, would claim that the nasty bigotry in these movies and many others of the period is dishonest and ignorant.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 96||09/15/2014|
R89 just off the top of my head, Will uses the "f" word in an episode from the first season, where Will is ashamed of Jack being at his gym. He says something to Grace like "sometimes I wish he weren't such a ....fag" obviously having trouble saying the word.
And queer and homo were used all the time. But often in very funny ways - a lot of clever word play on that show in general.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 97||09/15/2014|
Is was casual throughout the 90's as well.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 98||09/15/2014|
You are right, r97. But the show didn't toss it off casually. They made a point of how hurtful that was to Jack.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 99||09/15/2014|
To me, the late '90s seemed like the pivotal transition period between a prevalent anti-gay attitude and mainstream gay acceptance (at least amongst my peers). When I entered middle school in 1996, anti-gay attitudes still prevailed. By the time I graduated high school in 2002, acceptance of gay people was much more common. Of course, in between then, the Matthew Shepard hate crime shocked the nation, AIDS was tapering off, Ellen came out and Will & Grace was one of the more popular sitcoms on TV.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 100||09/15/2014|
There was an episode of W&G called "Fagmalion."
|by Curious millennial ||reply 101||09/15/2014|
Actually the 80s media sucked for women as well. We were portrayed as vixens or innocents in the late nite soaps like Dynasty or Dallas. The only positive role models for women were the day time soaps were the characters were doctors, and business ladies.
In the late 80s, at the college I attended, college women had fluffy hair and large bows. yes large bows. I hated myself back then. My hair was never styled and I wore glasses. and I was smart.
When I saw Breakfast Club and 16 Candles - it was sort of a relief to see a "female role model"-and I say this loosely- who was not an overly feminized fashion model. So desperate for any version of a female that was not Joan Collins or Christie Brinkley- I fell in love w/Mollie Ringwold.
I also winced at the Asian and gay jokes- back then and more so now-- but for the time that were made- certainly it was a small direction, and a tiny relief from the macho 80s culture at the time.
The other movies that were popular at the time: Rambo, Arnold Schwarzennager, Friday the 13th, and the worse of the worse: Porky's. Yuck- remember that teen fare- everyone running around naked chasing girls...
Compared to that 16 Candles is a masterpiece.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 102||09/15/2014|
R101, it was a four-parter.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 103||09/15/2014|
R102, the '80s were great for their gratuitous nudity in teen comedies!
|by Curious millennial ||reply 104||09/15/2014|
Did episode titles appear on the air on W&G?
|by Curious millennial ||reply 105||09/15/2014|
Like all sit-coms, Will and Grace was mostly Jewish writers whose mothers raised them to believe they know best, and everything they write is not only correct but wonderful.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 106||09/15/2014|
So casual antisemitism is OK, but casual homophobia is not? And so far the homophobia consists of one use of the f-word in the context of teaching how offensive it is and a episode title that never appeared on screen.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 107||09/15/2014|
R106 they had plenty of stereotypical Jewish jokes on there too. I'm Jewish (well, half - the better half) and I've never been offended. Whatever.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 108||09/15/2014|
Glad I experienced the 80s, and can call bullshit on R96's textbook propaganda.
OP is a moron. In the 80s, people didn't produce PSA warning boys about the "degenerate homosexual menace", as they did in the 40s or 50s. Homosexual sex between men was only decriminalized in the UK in 1967, and in Scotland in 1980.
So, the Eighties are in a continuum between the revulsion towards gays in the 50s, and the mainstreaming today.
The Hughes films are what they are. They are a product of their times. Kids said "Fuck" and "fucking" in "Sixteen Candles". A hot chick showers naked in the locker room, observed by the gaze plainer girls. The were in some ways less "enlightened" times, in other ways freer.
But it's best that this is your time, so you can vent on your Social Justice Warrior Tumblr. You couldn't handle the 80s.
Try watching Bronski Beat's "Small Time Boy", and the films "Parting Glances", "Longtime Companion", and "An Early Frost".
Thirty years from now some snotty punk will be judging your culture, this moment in time, and will find it as faulty as you find the films we loved in the 80s.
You fuckers really don't -get- "The Breakfast Club". At all.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 109||09/15/2014|
I was offended by the jokes on W&G because they just weren't funny.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 110||09/15/2014|
R107, no, Karen and Grace also casually call Will and Jack "fag" "faggot," among other things. I'm just trying to remember the episodes. It was a couple times. I currently started Season 7.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 111||09/15/2014|
Please don't sing Anna Kendrick's line, R109.
PS. Those sailor pants with the side buttons? Bad on her and worse on you.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 112||09/15/2014|
I'm still waiting on the evidence of that, r111.
But what I was really most recently talking about was how easily someone could be antisemitic while complaining about homophobia. Seems kinda douchey.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 113||09/15/2014|
[quote]But what I was really most recently talking about was how easily someone could be antisemitic while complaining about homophobia. Seems kinda douchey.
So is any attempt to fight bigotry with a different kind of bigotry.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 114||09/15/2014|
R109, it's too bad a generation of talented gay men were claimed by AIDS and yet your wannabe tough-talking self is still here to pollute the world with your lovely self. I bet R109 thinks he's badass because he got to use the phrase "snot-nosed punk." Out to pasture with you soon, hopefully.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 115||09/15/2014|
[quote]There was an episode of W&G called "Fagmalion."
There was also another one called "Fagel Attraction" (which guest starred Michael Douglas).
Also, there was an episode where an old lady who has been clubbing and hanging out with Will & Jack didn't realize they were gay and then screams, "You're a fag?! Get me out of here!"
The 90's was definitely still homophobic (believe me, I remember those years clearly).
|by Curious millennial ||reply 116||09/15/2014|
R102 must have missed Sarah Jessica Parker as the plain, smart-girl hero of "Square Pegs" in 1982.
Women in pop culture included Annie Lennox, Madonna, Cindy Lauper and her paean to female masturbation, Tracy Chapman, Suzanne Vega. Tama Janowitz. Mary Lou Retton and Flo Jo.
That's off the too of my head.
It was more than glitzy bitches and sorority girls.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 117||09/15/2014|
R103, I think it was a Six Season-parter.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 119||09/15/2014|
[quote]Actually the 80s media sucked for women as well. We were portrayed as vixens or innocents in the late nite soaps like Dynasty or Dallas. The only positive role models for women were the day time soaps were the characters were doctors, and business ladies.
What about Christine Cagney and Mary Beth Lacey?
|by Curious millennial ||reply 120||09/15/2014|
But if you mention the Holocaust to the guys in the linked article, they will cry and turn you into the authorities, jut like Anne Frank was turned in:
|by Curious millennial ||reply 121||09/15/2014|
R113 well to be fair that's pretty much the theme of datalounge.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 122||09/15/2014|
[quote]Also, there was an episode where an old lady who has been clubbing and hanging out with Will & Jack didn't realize they were gay and then screams, "You're a fag?! Get me out of here!"
And the audience howls with laughter. There was no lesson to be taught, either. Just a throw-away line at the expense of the gay guys.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 123||09/15/2014|
"Also, there was an episode where an old lady who has been clubbing and hanging out with Will & Jack didn't realize they were gay and then screams, "You're a fag?! Get me out of here!""
But in the context of the show that character wasn't being approved of. The ageism of that episode is hugely more offensive than that character's homophobia.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 124||09/15/2014|
R123 she was clearly supposed to be an undesirable character. How clear do "lessons" have to be taught to you? The Brady Bunch? Or do we have to bump it up to Afterschool Specials?
|by Curious millennial ||reply 125||09/15/2014|
Some of you are being disingenuous about Will and Grace. In my opinion (and it is just an opinion) the derogatory terms thrown around were meant to show contemporary EMPOWERMENT, as in Will and Jack were comfortable enough with themselves to use those words in a mocking way. Much like blacks can use the "N" word but no one else can. And, hey, even Will and Jack were not completely self-confident and self-loving (hence much of the comedy) so perhaps the words showed a bit of THEIR own evolution from self-hate to self-love. Karen and Grace used the terms, as well, because they were the "hags," or closest friends, as it were, of the gay men. That old woman who said "You are fags? Get me out of here" was being shown as an Archie Bunker type of bigot, ancient, ignorant and out of touch. Situational. These phrases might not have worked for everyone and some viewers might not have gotten the jokes or thought they were funny but none of the "fag" lines were meant to be derogatory, per se. In fact, quite the opposite. With Will and Grace, the issue was whether some gays out there in America were able to poke fun at themselves at that time (late 90's through mid 2000's) and finally have a bit of fun with gay subculture, gay imagery and their own image or whether they were still going to be uptight, ACT UP, QUEER AMERICA types who would not stand for anything that even sniffed of homophobia cloaked in humor or that was one iota unPC. Most people thought Will and Grace was a bit more cleverly written and delivered. I think that most gays knew (or were!) someone as flamboyant and flaming as Jack, only not as ramped up and constantly clever, or as "regular" as Will, with all his bitchy insults. At least I knew those kinds of people, toned down a bit. They were stereotypes, of a sort, but not fully. Gay people GOT Will and Grace much more than straights because of the inside humor and references that inure to gay culture. That was a good thing.
The problem I have had with the Cam character on Modern Family is that, although the writing has shown some depth and insight into the character, he IS so flaming, so over the top that he makes Jack McFarland seem downright butch. And America has taken to him but why? Is it because he is "easy to digest" as a flaming homo? A clown (hell, he PLAYS a clown on the show!)? A caricature? A freak? There is something different about the gays on Modern Family than Will and Grace and I cannot quite articulate it or put my finger on it.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 126||09/15/2014|
I never liked the John Hughes movies, though my big sister did. I remember loving Lost Boys at age 10 and the original John Water's Hairspray, both signalling the end of the Hughes era, perhaps.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 127||09/15/2014|
Amazing. That someone on this thread is wishing someone death (shove off), such is her hatred from all things John Hughes.
Talk about displaced anger. Get a therapist and some meds stat, "hon." Otherwise I fear you might try to hurt yourself at some point.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 128||09/15/2014|
Really good post r126, and I agree with all of it. I'm glad someone on here finally had the time to articulate what are basically my exact thoughts on the matter! Kind of the same way all blacks didn't have to be like Sidney Poitier. The Jewish jokes on W&G were in the same vein, which is I suppose why I wasn't offended - as opposed to much of the anti- Semitism you see on here.
I happen to be a straight female but I am about a half a step away from being a hag (why else would I come on here, natch) so I'd say I GOT it about 98 percent as much. And yes those characters were definitely "types" that I know.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 129||09/15/2014|
Wow, bitter Mary, party of one at R109, if not being "able to handle the '80s" means not having to put up with psychotic, hostile people like you, I guess I'm happy that I didn't live through that decade.
I'll be the first to criticize my own generation for being overly-coddled and pampered, but I'll take the over-the-top PC-ness of this generation over a culture where getting called a fag or queer or getting gay-bashed is just something you have to grin and bear.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 130||09/15/2014|
Matthew Shepard didn't shock anyone. It was a daily event across the land, but one case managed to catch a spotlight.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 132||09/15/2014|
R102 here--yes the nudity was fun..but gawd...did a single lady ever actually have an orgasm? The sex shown catered to boys' needs - penetration only.
Fast Times At Ridgemont High had a great scene were Jennifer Jason Leigh was losing her virginity and she was staring at the ceiling hoping it would end....No pleasure for the ladies.
Now, fast forward to 2000s...Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist- the movie's sex scene showed the female lead, Kat Demmings, getting an orgasm-and her boyfriend delayed his pleasure.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 133||09/15/2014|
"I'll be the first to criticize my own generation for being overly-coddled and pampered, but I'll take the over-the-top PC-ness of this generation over a culture where getting called a fag or queer or getting gay-bashed is just something you have to grin and bear."
who on this thread said anything about grinning and bearing it in the face of a gay bashing?
weird. you're really having your own little conversation on this thread, irrespective of reality or what people are actually discussing or saying.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 134||09/15/2014|
R115 R130 I wouldn't trade being young in the Eighties -complete with the company of great people who might have used language then that they wouldn't today- for being young around wretched, miserable, insufferable turds like you two for anything.
Gay culture is well and truly dead, if odious little Cunanans like you are its future.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 135||09/15/2014|
R134, see R5, R34, R46, R67 and R109 for confirmation that gay slurs in Hughes' films were simply a reflection of the anti-gay attitude prevalent during those times. What I meant is that I'm happier being a gay man now (in 2014) than I probably ever would've been back then. I am grateful I did not have to live through the eighties if that was something that was common then!
|by Curious millennial ||reply 136||09/15/2014|
Well I lived during the 80s and I didn't like John Hughes... except for Ferris Bueller and Home Alone (the first one).
|by Curious millennial ||reply 137||09/15/2014|
Yet another legacy of the Boomer generation. It was big back then, I was just out of college, first real job. My boss's husband came up to here one day and said "I dont want to go after that client, everyone there are fags". That was perfectly acceptable to say out in the open of an office space type setting.
Once I came out, that same guy (who used to pat me on the back) stood about 10 feet away at all times.
That boomer couple is probably in their late 50's by now. I would say anyone 55 and up still thinks that way. They just hide it now because they also invented the whole PC concept. But they still thought it and said it when they though no one was around.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 138||09/15/2014|
It was weird because when I was young I thought Chicago relatively good for gays. But when I came back to the city after 25 years, my friend dated a lot of 40+ guys and all of them had formerly been married to women. I was amazed at how closety and damaged they all were. It was a disconnect because I remember some wild times at the Belmont Rocks in the olden days.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 140||09/15/2014|
Some disgusting heterophobia on this thread...
|by Curious millennial ||reply 141||09/15/2014|
Frankly, I find it bizarre how protective you are of the 1980s decade - as if somebody very personally wounded a family member or punctured your soul's core. I could care less if somebody, 20 years down the line, said that they're happy they didn't grow up in the '90s or '00s (when I came of age). In fact, I hope that gay acceptance progresses to a level where homophobia in 2014 is seen as archaic and appalling.
The fact that you are so viscerally offended seems to imply a lack of maturity or stunted growth on your part.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 143||09/15/2014|
For the uninformed, ignorant, clueless-but-adamant gailings, from back in the day
|by Curious millennial ||reply 144||09/15/2014|
Uh wrong R143, you are looking the world through jaded lenses and thick skinned bitterness. It is not about the OP maturity level.
The younger OP did not have to experience homophobia like that so it would be shocking to see it just like it would be shocking for a black person in today's age to see a cross burning on their front lawn.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 145||09/15/2014|
R145 Homophobia like what?? John Hughes film are now hotbeds of homophobia?
|by Curious millennial ||reply 146||09/15/2014|
R147 Yeah, the Pointer Sisters and Van Halen were also great in the 80s.
Just like John Hughes.
Is OP Terry Sweeney, still bitter after all these decades?
|by Curious millennial ||reply 148||09/15/2014|
It's funny .. boomers from the 60s used to get upset by 80s kids criticizing them for their hippy idealism.. now its full cycle with today's youth criticizing the 80s decade. Same old story repeating itself.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 149||09/15/2014|
No. We're criticizing DL talking about no other decade other than the 80s incessantly.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 150||09/15/2014|
And btw, you 80s schmucks (those over 50) ruined the world with your capitalist selfishness.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 151||09/15/2014|
People who were teens in the 2000s hate that decade already.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 152||09/15/2014|
[quote]Gay culture is well and truly dead,
Yes, all the gay rights achieved, general acceptance, a sitting U.S. president coming out in support of gay marriage...
|by Curious millennial ||reply 154||09/15/2014|
plus a lesbian president in 2016!!!
|by Curious millennial ||reply 155||09/15/2014|
[quote]The Hughes moves simply reflected real life. I was in high school at the time and that is exactly how it was for gays. I have zero problems with it at all.
So, I guess you are one of the people who FAINTS DEAD AWAY when you see "Babes on Broadway" with Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland, and they do a Minstrel number?
I mean, it reflected what was popular and accepted in their day, and I have no problem with it?!
|by Curious millennial ||reply 156||09/15/2014|
I just watched the WILL & GRACE "Christmas Break" episode from Season 7, and his mother (played by Blythe Danner) has learned some yiddish and calls Will her "little fagala."
|by Curious millennial ||reply 157||09/15/2014|
It was the Reagan years, OP. What do you think?
|by Curious millennial ||reply 158||09/15/2014|
So what was the homophobic humor in BC exactly? Bender called people fags, I assume?
Bender was not a middle class kid btw. He was white trash.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 159||09/17/2014|
In the 70's we were invisible or the 'other', something most americans deeply feared and a group of people most 'average' folks thought had no connection to them and their lives. In the 80's and with AIDs we became real.. and people woke up to the fact that gay was all around them.
Humor is about raising anxiety then bursting that bubble. You make fun until you understand. Laugh at us rather than kill us is actually progress. sad but this is who we are as humans.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 160||09/17/2014|
Interestingly, the only mainstream 1980s film I can think of where same-sex touching is present and treated without judgement is [italic]Annie[/italic]. There must be others.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 161||05/30/2015|
Comedians like Eddie Murphy and Andrew Dice Clay built routines around homophobic jokes. A lot of them. I remember watching one of Murphy's with my family when I was 13 or 14. It was pretty uncomfortable for me at the time.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 162||05/30/2015|
Most people in the 80s were very much anti-racism, but almost nobody had trouble with gay slurs or gay bashing, even so-called progressive people.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 163||05/30/2015|
Who cares about homophobia? If a man is nervous, let him sweat. He can go jerk his evil demons out, at home. Backbone, my pretties.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 164||05/30/2015|
[quote] Most people in the 80s were very much anti-racism, but almost nobody had trouble with gay slurs or gay bashing, even so-called progressive people.
This is but one of many reasons why breeders are inferior to gay people in every conceivable way: their hypocrisy and double standards. Chief Kanisky from [italic]Gimme A Break![/italic] told Samantha never to use the N-word but didn't mind telling a gay "joke" to a cop on the Glenlawn Police Department who turned out to be gay, and shot back with a bunch of "dumb Polack" jokes as retaliation. Good. Bigoted breeders deserve to have their bigotry thrown back at them.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 165||05/30/2015|
Yes as well as in the early to mid-90s.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 166||05/30/2015|
At the time, my friends and I used to laugh about how ridiculous the "outsider" characters were: she has a side pony and mismatched nail polish etc etc.
Those types of movies were designed for rich white girls - they are fun to eatch for nostaligia, but no means quality viewing and the homophobia is present but given the other movies around at the time (mostly macho or frat boy) it was mild in comparison.
It's just how things were back then. It sucked, but you had to get on with life, no matter how unfair it was.
Things are a lot better now, thankfully.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 167||05/30/2015|
[quote]Things are a lot better now, thankfully.
Not if Kevin Hart and Alec Baldwin still have careers.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 168||05/30/2015|
Ah, the 80's. When sissies would be put in their place.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 169||05/30/2015|
But Suzanne Vega's song "Left of Center" really caught the true outsider experience.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 171||05/30/2015|
It was pretty freaking bad back then. People could no longer openly act racist and tell racist jokes, so we were the new group to look down upon. Homophobia was cool back then.
Where I lived, it was and is legal to fire people simply for being gay. The bigots used AIDS as a means to try and make us a public health hazard. Groups like ACT-UP bullied the assholes back, actually did some good. Getting caught performing sodomy was a $5,000 fine and/or hard labor sentence here.
The amazing thing was that gay bars actually took off. There were some hot ones back then. The rumor was that the mob opened them and were making money off of them, so the police and the homophobes knew better than to bother the bars or the patrons.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 172||05/30/2015|
IMHO as a "community" there was more camaraderie back then. That I miss...
|by Curious millennial ||reply 173||05/30/2015|
It wasn't just the 80's; homophobia was well and alive through most of the 90's as well. It wasn't until probably 1998 that people started becoming SLIGHTLY more tolerant.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 174||05/30/2015|
Video game arcades were big in the 80s... and a common thing you heard from people playing them was "DIE YOU HOMOSEXUAL!" as they were trying to shoot thing.
Seriously. Not making it up.
Homophobia was not only casual, it was prevalent, and violent.
I was beat up and fucked-with constantly in high school because I was in band, but not on a team sport, so that made me a "fag". I'm convinced that if they had known I was actually gay, they would have killed me (and gotten away with it, because who cares about killing a fag?)
It was awful, and traumatic. I'm glad most people didn't have to grow up with that shit, and that most don't even have a clue about it today.
|by Curious millennial ||reply 175||05/30/2015|