Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Blowing in the Wind

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Blowing in the Wind

Article excerpt

"I'M SO GLAD TO BE IN NEW YORK AT THE GAY MEN'S HEALTH Crisis instead of in Washington at the Straight Men's Health Crisis." This got a huge laugh when Bette Midler said it a few weeks ago at a benefit for the GMHC. Here was an audience that for almost 15 years has been hearing how promiscuity is a big homosexual problem. All of a sudden the other nine guys in the random sample are having to worry about it--and at the highest level of government. Sex panic, indeed.

True, they're worrying for different reasons, but at least we have temporarily relinquished possession of the scarlet letter. Monica S. Lewinsky, as The New York Times amusingly refers to her each and every time (just in case you get her confused with Monica J. Lewinsky or Monica Q. Lewinsky), has been Monica from heaven for comedy writers. Now we know the identity of Deep Throat. The new national bird is the spread eagle. Monica's dry-cleaning problems give new meaning to the term Whitewater. You've heard 'em. I got paid for some of 'em.

Sexual malfeasance among the governing elite has always been a surefire cash cow for the comedy business. At the same time, Xena's double-edged sword of political correctness has transformed old-fashioned sexual carryings-on into newfangled sexual harassment. The feminist movement almost drained all the humor out of sex (out of life itself there for a few years). Whether you liked her or not, Anita Hill wasn't funny. You knew she represented what was really going on in companies all across America.

But we haven't seen many feminists springing to Lewinsky's defense. It took Kathleen Willey, who charges a man with sexual harassment and then writes him fan letters, to get them into action. I think Monica's poor showing had to do with a lot of people of the boomer generation having enough life experience to realize that (a) everybody lies, (b) it takes two to tango or even to do the horizontal bop, and (c) in a world where truth is so shadowy, performance and the bottom line are what count.

Studies taken before Willey's toxic spill on 60 Minutes, during the early weeks of the Lewinsky hostage crisis (poor thing couldn't leave her apartment; even Madonna gets to go to the park and jog! …

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