The Dawn Chorus

Fresh Australian Feminism

Do Only Women Care About The Gays Now?

Posted by Clem Bastow on July 25, 2008

Skimming the online papers and blogs today, I was sad to see that legendary London nightclub/night G-A-Y is closing down after fifteen years (more like 32 if you count its original incarnation, Bang!). But I was also a little surprised to see how The Times Online had categorised the opinion piece mourning the club’s passing:

Now, this has nothing to do with my not wanting to know about this particular piece of news (as the old t-shirt slogan goes, I don’t like gays, I LOVE THEM!), and Tim Teeman’s article is affectionate and witty. But I question the Times‘ choice of news ‘genre’ for the piece – or, for that matter, any of the pieces in the ‘The Way We Live’ section.

G-A-Y is an institution – everybody knows about it, particularly since Madonna, both Minogues, Mariah Carey and countless other stars have appeared there, and “doing G-A-Y” is now a glittering jewel in many pop artists’ career crowns – so why is this not in ‘opinion’, or ‘news’? Or is it not “real news” since it’s about gay men, and thus it gets to go with all the other fluffy journalism in the women’s department (you know, where they put the stuff that men don’t care about, like relationships and health advice)?

It may seem like semantics, but I can’t help but feel the placement of this article says a lot – though exactly what, I’m not sure. Why not just stop at ‘Life & Style’ rather than forging on into ‘Women’? Did they think women would be more receptive to news that had to do with gay men? Are they lumping gays and women in together in a kind of universal ‘see how the other half live’ section?

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