I think the personal is political in my relationships, because I do not follow the stereotypical patterns in a relationship. Instead of being “girly” (as we discussed in previous modules – putting on pretty outfits, make-up, etc) and getting all dressed up to go out to dinner and expecting the guy to pay, I would be okay with playing video games for a couple of hours and both of us paying for the meal, or taking turns paying for meals on different dates.
I think socialization into gender affects intimacy in relationships because socialization tends to favor the man as being the dominant, heroic type. Girls are supposed to be “swept off their feet” because of the romance of the guy. Girls, in return, are expected to act cute or sexy in order to appear pleasing to the man. However, recently, I think that a lot of this has changed. Now days, some guys spend just as much time trying to look good for their significant other and try to act ‘sexy’. Girls also pay for their significant other’s meals more often now days as well.
I think homophobia discourages intimacy because it can be seen as ‘arrogant’ by other people, and it turns them away from that person. A lot more people encourage acceptance of all people, than others think. So when homophobia is acted out negatively, a lot of people are offended by this and their feelings for the homophobe are affected negatively. Also I think in general, people have a hard time being friends with someone of the same sex who is gay. For some reason, I believe that they fear that that person will hit on them or flirt with them, which is actually not true at all. If a gay person knows that you are straight, then they wont make any move to become intimate with you. That does NOT mean that you cannot be friends with that person.
Before college, I was definitely afraid to become friends with a lesbian because of some of the fears I listed above. Going into college, however, there were three lesbians that lived on my hall. When you live with three lesbians in your hall for a year, you start to realize that gay people are just people, and even more importantly they are people you can become good friends with. There’s no point in trying to discourage friendship with another person just because they are interested in members of the same sex as you are. Like I stated before, if they know you are straight, they won’t try and hit on you and it won’t make you gay by hanging out with people that are gay.