My Brokeback dream team
Amanda Pandagon has a good post about the repressed Smurfettes of the world who insist that women don't get turned on by looking at hot guys, especially hot guys together.
Now it's fixed...
It's universally acknowledged at this point that heterosexual men enjoy watching two beautiful women getting it on, so it shouldn't be at all odd that heterosexual women would be aroused by two hot men getting it on. The emphasis is on hot men here. Not just any two schlubs.
I make that point because it's been my experience as a playwright that if your play is given a male heterosexual director, and you've written a part that specifies a really good-looking man, you have to watch straight boy like a hawk. He will happily cast a very average looking man in the role. This is because in a Patriarchy the standards for feminine beauty are very high, but the standards for masculine beauty, in a culture controlled by straight men afraid of the teeniest homosexual urge, are low, if not outright reversed. That is, while it's impossible for a female actor to be too beautiful, it is possible for a male actor because he might give a straight guy a chubber.
So if you allow a straight man to cast a role meant for a beautiful man, he will cast any guy who is sufficiently non-deformed.
The belief that women have frigid eyes is the result of the confluence of my two favorite villians - the Patriarchy, which has traditionally repressed expressions of sexual desire in women, and evolutionary psychology, which claims that said repression is not actually represssion but the result of women's own evolutionarily-endowed sexual timidity. The Patriarchy and evolutionary psychology are a perfect team.
It's amazing that they can make such claims about female disinterest in appearance when there is so much evidence against it. There are magazines, aimed at teenage girls, all about the hotness of young men. The Beatles, for chrissakes, were totally hot. That's why they were a teen fad before they were acknowledged as musical geniuses. Young Elvis? Blue star hot. Young Harrison Ford? The same. Derek Jeter? Owwww!
I'm not that interested in the gay cowboy movie Brokeback Mountain, mainly because I don't think the two guys are hot. But if they could have cast Pete Duel and Ben Murphy of the cowboy-comedy series "Alias Smith and Jones" in that movie, I would have been all over it. I actually had a slash dream about them just last night. And hey, if anecdotal evidence is good enough for intrepid NYTimes girl reporter Maureen Down, it's good enough for the hoi polloi.
Slash fiction is usually written by women about two or more men having sex. But not any men, we're talking about Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock (probably the first slash fiction) or characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Anywhere hot male actors are portraying fictional characters. Although I never really got the attraction for Kirk or Spock myself, but that James Marsters is molten as Spike on Buffy.
I'm not a huge consumer of slash fiction because I prefer to have a female character that I can live through vicariously getting it on with the guys - but there are many women who are very much into it.
UPDATE:I just discovered, via Lis of Riba Rambles that there
is Shakespeare slash!. As she says, How did I not discover this until now?
Slash is under the mainstream cultural radar of course, because the cultural decision-makers don't care about it. It's not exciting to straight men (and possibly even homo-threatening) and it's a literary phenomenon in a picture-based age.
Wolcott has a roundup of conservative expressions of homophobia over Brokeback Mountain.
There's a very interesting article about slash fiction in Bitch Magazine.
I wrote a short play about two friends collaborating on a piece of slash fiction together. The subtext is that they are using their story as a way to deal with disappointments in their real life romances. It's called THE SLASH (links to PDF document), and since it's about two female characters, will never be produced outside of a female plays festival because while male concerns are considered universal, female concerns are only of interest to chicks.
And this is the theatre world, which is notorious for having progressive politics.