Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Maybe the Gay Bears Just Like Cocksucking

I fucking hate I fucking love science.

How do you handle a fun story about two male bears (caniforms, not big hairy dudes) in a Polish zoo who regularly like to have oral sex with one another? If you're I fucking love science (or a number of other sites), you use it as an opportunity to make heterosexist jokes and promote outdated views on homosexuality.

First sentence: “
Two captive brown bears have been spotted enjoying oral sex, and researchers wonder if it’s because the two males were deprived of maternal suckling too soon.

first fucking sentence posits that the gay oral bear sex is a deviant behavior brought on by improper parenting. This breaks my queer little heart. There was so much opportunity here to celebrate what is apparently a consensual gay relationship between two non-human mammals, thus rebuking the fading-but-still-very-there conservative voices that call queer sex “unnatural.” Instead I feel like I'm reading the DSM-I for bears.

Seriously, just looking at the facts, the actual acts that happen, there are so many other directions the writer could have taken this. 

One was always the giver and the other was always the receiver; the larger one never reciprocated. The smaller, giver bear would initiate contact by approaching the receiver while he was resting on his side with part of his abdomen exposed. Sometimes the giver bear would push his head into the nether regions or use his paws to separate the legs before settling into a more comfortable position.”

THERE IS A DADDY BEAR. A fucking daddy bear and you choose to clip on the Irving Bieber gels and view this male homosexual behavior as the bear product of bear mommy issues.

“Oh, but it's what the researchers thought!” I don't give a fuck. Whenever human beings assume to understand an animal's "motivations," we project our own motivations and values onto them.

These scientists are experts in bears. They are likely not also gender theory scholars. They are combining an obsessional level of knowledge about bear biology and behavior with what is likely a cursory, outdated, European-society-imbued, human understanding of sexuality to explain a bear behavior they've never witnessed before.

They are placing their own societal constructs of sexuality onto these bear Bjs just as much as I am when I say these two bears are obviously in love and have a whole kinky top/bottom thing worked out for mutual physical pleasure and emotional fulfillment.

Your job as a science writer is to translate what these anorakish scientists say to the plebes who read things like I fucking love science. Like any writer, you have a responsibility to be aware of the worldview your words promote. Writing an article like this without even calling out the scientists' problematic statements is damaging. This story was not only an opportunity wasted, it was an actual blow (pun possibly intended) to social progress.

Oh, and just in case I fucking love science was worried I hadn't completely broken down into tears because of the handling of this story, their Facebook post announcing the bear BJ article read “Silly bears! That's not how you make cubs!”

Because sex is obviously only for straights and making babies even for bears and also it's Adam and Eve not Adam and Yogi Bear.

Fuck everything. I'm going to go have gay sex.