Acceptable femininity? Gay male misogyny and the policing of queer femininities

Sadie E Hale, Tomás Ojeda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While it represents a common form of gender-based violence, misogyny is an often-overlooked concept within academia and the queer community. Drawing on queer and feminist scholarship on gay male misogyny, this article presents a theoretical challenge to the myth that the oppressed cannot oppress, arguing that specific forms of gay male subjectivities can be proponents of misogyny in ways that are unrecognised because of their sexually marginalised status. The authors’ interest in the doing of misogyny, and its effects on specific bodies and subjectivities, leads them to discuss the extent to which white gay male misogyny can function to reinforce a particular gender and racial hierarchy that continually confines queer femininities to the status of the abject other, for failing to exhibit their feminine credentials and for making gender trouble. The study also addresses how specific markers of femininity are depoliticised through the workings of this misogyny, exploring what femininity does when it is conceptualised outside a heteronormative framework. To address these ideas, the authors firstly propose a theoretical account of misogyny in order to understand its analytical status as a cultural mechanism within the psychic economy of patriarchy. Secondly, they use queer approaches to effeminacy and subject formation for making the case for gay male misogyny and its connections to femininity within white gay cultures, asking how misogyny might become an essential component of the performance of hegemonic masculinity. The article concludes with a discussion of the ways in which gay male misogyny reinforces white male dominance over women and queer femininities specifically, advocating for resistance to the reproduction of such patriarchal arrangements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)310–324
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Journal of Women's Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2018


  • Effeminacy
  • Misogyny
  • Hegemonic masculinity
  • Queer femininity
  • Queer theory
  • White gay culture


Dive into the research topics of 'Acceptable femininity? Gay male misogyny and the policing of queer femininities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this