Last Sunday’s News of The World carried a ‘JORDAN’S LOVER BOMBSHELL’ expose on Jordan’s ‘hunky cage fighter boyfriend’ Alex Reid. What was the bombshell? He’s sexually open-minded.
‘”I’M TRY-SEXUAL: JORDAN’S MAN SAYS “I’LL TRY ANYTHING ONCE!'”’ was the shocking headline for the two page spread. The piece, cobbled together from interviews with ex-friends, and some snaps of him in drag with his mates – obviously for a lad’s night out – did its best to keep the (now old) tranny story going, further undermine his masculinity and suggest that he’s even worse than a tranny – he’s probably a poof! After all, any bloke who says he’s a ‘try-sexual’, even one who doesn’t wear women’s clothes, is obviously a bender….
So far, so NOTW. It is, after all, a famously narrow-minded newspaper catering to people who don’t get much.
But rather confusingly, the front of the NOTW glossy magazine inside the very same edition that mocked and ridiculed Reid for his cross-dressing and daring to step outside prescribed gender roles featured TV celeb Myleene Klaas shaving her face on the front page, the with the come-on coverline: ‘MYLEENE MANS UP! – Tough talking and too feisty even for Cowell. Yes, this girls got balls.’ Inside she poses for a glamorous photo shoot in a suit and a side-parting.
Klaas doesn’t describe herself as ‘try-sexual’ in the interview (though she does talk about comparing ‘boob sizes’ with female friends in toilet cubicles), but if she did it would probably have been presented in the same yay! good on ya! girl power!! fashion as her ballsiness. ‘Try-sexuality’ when undertaken by women now seems, even in the NOTW, to be both a measure of both female empowerment and also their new assertive sexuality. It tends to enhance their femininity rather than bringing it into (fatal) question.
But when men try to join in the experimentation and step outside gendered sex roles themselves, by for instance cross-dressing or expressing an interest in same-sex fantasy, the opposite appears to be true, at least in the public sphere. They are merely deviant, ‘gay’ or ‘sad’ – and instantly shorn of their masculinity. A joke. Even cage fighters. Attitudes towards male bi-curiousness show that for men being ‘half gay’ is tantamount to being ‘half-pregnant’.
This new double standard for male and female sexual behaviour which in contrast to the old ‘stud/slut’ one, penalises men rather than women was documented earlier this year by Canadian sociologists, who found that men were expected to be up for sex all the time – but only very straight sex. Women were allowed much more latitude in both whether they actually wanted to have sex – and what kind of sex they wanted to have.
This double standard is endemic in the UK, as is painfully evident in the recent case of the barmy woman boxer (also Canadian) found guilty of a violent and unprovoked attack on a couple of drunken squaddies at a disco for kissing and dancing with one another and ‘pretending to be gay’ screaming ‘THIS SHOULDN’T BE ALLOWED IN THE BRITISH ARMY!’.
Despite being a violent foreign criminal on the run from the law for assaulting British soldiers (from behind) – and moreover a woman who stepped outside of gender stereotypes herself – she was feted by the British popular press as some kind of have-a-go a heroine.
Why? Well, partly because she was quite ‘tasty’ (in the sense of ‘not looking like a dyke’), but mostly because she was punishing men for daring to break the gender rules themselves.
Twenty-First Century trysexuality is, you see, just for girls.