Friday, 27 July 2012

445: Gay Olympics Sex Test

Punch, 11 February 1976

Wup-wup-whooppeee! (Twirls finger in air like a tiny pixie about to throw a lasso.) Thank god my TV’s partly broken and I can only use it to watch DVDs. Don’t know about you, but I’m going to go Robert Altman crazy.


As every child knows the practical test of masculinity is the ability to run about and jump and kick and throw and catch things. People who can’t do these things are either girls (though this has now changed somewhat, as the games started with some women playing football in Wales – make your own jokes here) and poofs. So imagine the hilarity of effete sissy homosexual types trying to play sports. No, go on, imagine.

Much earlier I posted this 1982 Gay Games-inspired two-page cartoon spread by Larry in Punch, so have a look at that for a warm-up (see - I’ve got that athletic patter down).

“Femininity control” is indeed a real thing the Olympics enact, to ensure that women competitors attain the allowed level of women-ness to be able to compete – don’t have the wrong levels of testosterone and oestrogen or any other chromosomal oddities or who knows whatever else. That’s not creepy at all, is it? Or enforcing existing social sexual stereotypes either?

So here’s it’s used as the excuse for a load of jokes which reverse it for the purpose of “masculinity control”. The old third sex bit, with lots of shallow, ditzy, sissy assumptions (hairdresser stereotypes basically), and a little surreptitious sexual appreciation of the male form. The line about “writing to the Leader of the Liberal Party” is to an allusion to Jeremy Thorpe whose gay problems had just been publically revealed in January 1976.

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