Sunday, 31 October 2010

Stephen Fry and the Media's Sense of Humour Fail.

Picture reproduced under Creative Commons. From James UK on Flickr

So, Stephen Fry is at the centre of another debate today - and has, again, decided to switch off from the Twitterverse for the time being. While it could be read as a strop (and I'm sure some will read it that way), it could also be seen in the context of being tired of constant battering as soon as someone has something to say - and in the case of an article such as this - many do, and have. 

The article, based off an interview given to Attitude magazine, is at the core of the issue. Fry is quoted as saying that he "feels sorry for straight men" as "The only reason women will have sex with them is that sex is the price they are willing to pay for a relationship with a man, which is what they want. They want a boyfriend and then they want commitment."

It should be noted that, on twitter, he has pointed out that the interview was given in a humourous manner (see above), and that has now been misquoted twice over. For that, I feel pretty sorry for him. Attitude, being a gay lifestyle magazine, would likely feel like a place of some security, to be able to joke comfortably about sexuality and gender differences, without being crucified for it. Apparently not. 

Don't get me wrong here. I disagree with Stephen's comments, presuming they're meant somewhat seriously, which I don't believe them to be. So in that respect I find it hard to get annoyed. 

I disagree emphatically with the comment:
“Of course a lot of women will deny this and say, ‘Oh, no, but I love sex, I love it!’ But do they go around having it the way that gay men do?"

I don't see a great deal of difference between my gay, straight, bi and pan friends in their sexual behaviours. None of my friends use cruising areas, regardless of their sexuality. I also don't honestly see a particular difference in sex drive down to sexuality either. For example, a gay friend of mine likes sex, but he's not that bothered. For him, it's very much the relationship that matters - in that he'd rather have a sexless long term relationship than flings or one night stands with amazing sex. 

I'm a bisexual woman, and my partner is a straight man. My sex drive is much higher. No, I don't go cruising. We don't swing, or go dogging. None of that means I have any less of a sex drive or more. 

On average though, men do think about sex more than women. Or, rather, men are willing to state that they think of sex more often than women are willing to state they do. The Kinsey Institute found that 54% of men said they thought of sex at least once a day, comparing to 19% of women. I know I fit within that 19% but I recognise that it's a trait linked more to males than females, and that's okay. 

I don't believe that diminishes female sexuality or suggests that men have 'more' sexuality than women, nor does it imply anything else about an individual's sexuality or sexual identity. It works in broad numbers, as does Mr Fry's comments. Add that to the intended humour of the situation, and I'm left feeling far more for him, in that as a well known celebrity, you really can't get away with a joke. 

I'm not offended, and I hope he gets a break soon! 

NK x

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