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Vortex
01-03-2004, 06:23 PM
...gay? Well, perhaps we can't jump to that conclusion. Maybe effeminate is a better word. Let's be conservative and assume that 10% of the general population is homosexual (a number that I would dispute, but that's for a different thread). Is it my imagination, or does there seem to be a disproportionately high percentage of effeminate male flight attendants? If so, why?

Tripler
01-03-2004, 06:41 PM
Originally posted by Vortex
...gay? Well, perhaps we can't jump to that conclusion. Maybe effeminate is a better word. Let's be conservative and assume that 10% of the general population is homosexual (a number that I would dispute, but that's for a different thread). Is it my imagination, or does there seem to be a disproportionately high percentage of effeminate male flight attendants? If so, why?

I've never seen this. . .

I fly on a minimum once every two months on the average, and all of the male flight attendants seem pretty on-the-level. Maybe it's the airline you're flying?

Tripler
Who cares anyway? They all charge $4 for a single can of beer. :mad:

sleeping
01-03-2004, 06:59 PM
Originally posted by Vortex
Is it my imagination, or does there seem to be a disproportionately high percentage of effeminate male flight attendants?

I think it's the former. You might just be making a subconscious connection with a stereotype. Also, I wouldn't be surprised if flight attendants are required to smile at all times. That, too, might be a factor in creating an impression of femininity.

LeeG
01-03-2004, 07:06 PM
I don't get the sense that they're gay as much as they're in a service industry where manners and care are paramount. Can you be very specific in what constitutes effeminate? I couldn't imagine an airline attendant tossing magazines to people and yelling "si'down" as being a selling point.

Vortex
01-03-2004, 07:07 PM
Just to be clear, I don't care who is gay and who isn't. I was just curious why.

Headcoat
01-03-2004, 07:40 PM
yeah, and most plumbers and carpenters I meet are straight..whats UP with that???

elucidator
01-03-2004, 07:51 PM
Well, sure, plumbers and carpenters are straight, but electricans...

[MontyPython]..."Now, of course, if interior design is what you want, you're talking about the 101st Lancashire Fussiliers...."[/MP]

Priam
01-03-2004, 08:12 PM
Assuming (which is not necessarily correct) the OP is valid, the possibility remains that gay men might do it because its a job that suits those with fewer family commitments better. You see the world, but the cost would be time away from possible kiddies which might be a not-insignificant burden for a decent segment of the straight male population past their mid-twenties. After all, thats why the travel industry is really starting to niche market towards the gay population: the SINK/DINK factor.

(SINK = Single Income No Kids/DINK = Double Income No Kids)

jayjay
01-03-2004, 08:46 PM
Because gay travelers have to have somewhat realistic mile-high fantasy possibilities, too?

threemae
01-03-2004, 09:20 PM
If I may interupt this wonderful, serious, well respected debate for a moment, what exactly are the perks of being a flight attemdant?

What is the, ahem, financial renumeration like?

What are the schedules like?

Do you always stay in a hotel or do they work out your schedule that you return to a certain city?

What are the flight benefits like?

What are the other perks?

How long does training take?

Is it hard?

Is it fun?

Do they look kindly upon college kids doing it for a summer, or is it really more of a long term profession?

Thanks,
Threemae

FTR: Not gay. There, now I've contributed something to the thread.

laigle
01-03-2004, 09:48 PM
My guess is that it's a mental thing. First, you'ce got a guy in a subservient role. Plus he has to act extremely polite at all times. And he has to wear the dorky flight attendant uniform, and a lot of airlines have just masculinized the old stweardess outfits. All told, it puts the guy into a stereotypical position that may have no correlation with his real-world personality.

Then again, you're talking about a position for mature guys who have to travel all the time, which isn't conducive to a married family lifestyle. That could shift the statistics on representation a smidgen. But I'd still bet on the mental aspect of it.

Priam
01-03-2004, 10:01 PM
Originally posted by laigle
My guess is that it's a mental thing. First, you'ce got a guy in a subservient role. Plus he has to act extremely polite at all times. And he has to wear the dorky flight attendant uniform, and a lot of airlines have just masculinized the old stweardess outfits. All told, it puts the guy into a stereotypical position that may have no correlation with his real-world personality.

...

Uhm... are you saying that the OP perceives these men as being gay because of these factors or that the gay percentage in the field is high because of these factors? If the latter, allow me to laugh right now.

Roches
01-03-2004, 10:17 PM
I think Priam's answer is getting there. First, I would agree that a disproportionately high number of male flight attendants are gay. I've encountered a few on planes, and known a few, and, though I haven't flown very much, it's certainly disproportionate.

The basic reason has to do with the travel. Straight men, even in their mid-20s, are fairly likely to be married, so being away from home for prolonged periods of time is difficult for them and their spouse, if not their children. Even more, travelling around the world isn't as appealing because there's not much to do when they're in another city -- they can always find a bar or something, maybe get drunk, and maybe try to meet someone (if they aren't already in a relationship, or so it would be hoped).

Gay men, on the other hand, aren't as likely to have social obligations to remain in the same place as much as straight men might. Further, there's a lot more of a reason to travel. There are gay districts in most large cities in the world, and being a flight attendant would allow a person to go to many of them. Also, the gay culture is rather uniform worldwide, so overseas travelers aren't likely to face the cultural disadvantages a heterosexual traveler might encounter. For some, it might even be better to start fresh in a new city every few weeks rather than continually visit the same place. In gay culture it's not always a good thing to go somewhere where everybody knows your name and who you've slept with.

laigle
01-03-2004, 10:46 PM
Originally posted by Priam
...

Uhm... are you saying that the OP perceives these men as being gay because of these factors or that the gay percentage in the field is high because of these factors? If the latter, allow me to laugh right now.

No, I mean people think that they're gay because many parts of their job aren't especially macho.

And while I'm at it, I forgot to add that part of the job is cleaning up, which tends to throw stereotype switches. Plus I'm sure airlines try to get thin people to save fuel. And I imagine the standards are pretty strict for grooming. So what we've got is a bunch of thin, well trimmed, overly neat guys going around being sickeningly nice at all times. That's pretty far into stereotype land. But it's part of the job description, so even aside from the normal sillyness of stereotypes, it's silly to try and equate the job description with someone's personality.

Me, I don't get it. Most of the male flight attendants seem more like frat guys to me. Then again, I don't like frat guys, and flight attendants are always cutting me off at five drinks and trying to take my chainsaw away. So it's probably just projection.

RotorHead
01-03-2004, 11:30 PM
I can anecdotally confirm the OP's belief that many male flight attendants are gay. My first student when I was flight instructing was a flight attendant herself with AA. Her claim is that of the male FA's with whom she had worked, about 80% were gay. (Not suspected to be, but actually).

I don't know what her sample size was, but this was from 5 years on the job.

Priam
01-04-2004, 12:20 AM
I maintain that the ratio is certainly (anecdotal as well here) out of whack with the average population and for some of the similar reasons seen in other stereotypically "gay" fields (interior decorating, theater, etc.)

For many years, and even today, many of those fields were seen as jobs for women. They were assigned the value "effeminate". Thus, you have a two-fold effect of pushing away those men who most fear being assigned that label and being pre-inclined to view any men in those fields as more effeminate than they probably already are. From that base, one creates a self-perpetuating safe haven for those who are in fact gay or perceived as gay due to mannerisms where they can be safe in numerical majority. So to my mind its a complex interaction of multiple factors which create these stereotypical safe niches including airplane steward.

Also for the steward, there are factors mentioned above in both my previous post and at least one other poster.

dropzone
01-04-2004, 12:40 AM
Originally posted by threemae
What is the, ahem, financial renumeration like? It is my understanding that the pay really sucks, which could explain the job's appeal to gay guys. (rimshot)

Grrr!
01-04-2004, 06:15 AM
Well, if you hand out with females all the time some of their feminine traits are bound to rub off on you; gay or not.


oh and this quote from threemae

Is it hard?

I had to bite a hole in my bottom lip from making juvenile joke..


Yes I know. I need to grow up.

Susanann
01-04-2004, 07:06 AM
Originally posted by Priam
[B
For many years, and even today, many of those fields were seen as jobs for women. They were assigned the value "effeminate". [/B]

If that were true, then there are going to be lots of fields for gay men to go into, since most people in college are women, females now even outnumber the number of men who apply to medical school. The entire medical field will soon be considered effeminate.

In the future(with no end in sight given that comparatively few men go to college now), most/any carreers that require college or post college study will be considered "female", and assigned as "effeminite".

Also, if it was true, then is it also true that most female attendents are lesbian? What kinds of jobs would lesbians be attracted to/predominate in ?

Finally, if gay men like, admire, and are attracted to the masculine/male, why would they want anything to do with femininity? Most gay men that I have heard of are macho, masculine(e.g. Rock Hudson) not feminine.

GuanoLad
01-04-2004, 07:47 AM
For the same reason a lot of male theatre actors are gay, a lot of male hairdressers are gay, and a lot of male fashion designers are gay.

I don't know what that reason is, but it seems to be fairly consistent.

Kimstu
01-04-2004, 07:55 AM
Susanann: The entire medical field will soon be considered effeminate.

In the future(with no end in sight given that comparatively few men go to college now), most/any carreers that require college or post college study will be considered "female", and assigned as "effeminite".

Hmm, that sounds a bit overstated. AFAIK, the overall gender ratio among college students nowadays is only at most about 60% female/40% male. And that, I believe, is taking into account all recipients of bachelor's degrees, which includes not just the usual 18--22-year old "college kids" but the older adult education crowd. (Many more adult-ed degree candidates are female, partly because the most profitable career paths for people without higher ed still tend to be mostly male-oriented---auto repair, etc.---so going back to school to get your degree has a bigger payoff for women, on average.)

So I don't think you can plausibly deduce that the trend of growing female/male ratios in higher ed is going to continue "with no end in sight", to the point where "most/any careers that require college or post college study" will be stereotyped as "feminine". I seriously doubt that women will ever make up more than around two-thirds of all higher ed students. There are still plenty of reasons for men to go to college, and still plenty of men who want to. (And male students are still a significant majority in fields like science and engineering.)

Priam
01-04-2004, 09:24 AM
Susanann, there's a fundamental difference between number of women in a field and lingering perception of gender roles in the work force. Just because women are now entering this field or that in large numbers does not mean we perceive that role as a "feminine" one. Indeed, these day the effectiveness of those stereotypes are breaking down but they yet have some force in society.

You ask what fields we often stereotype lesbians as working in? Well the stereotypes are less, but construction worker, mechanic, etc. still carry a bit of that being too "masculine" for "normal" women.

Paul in Qatar
01-04-2004, 09:31 AM
Sorry to support the stereotype, but the only male cabin attendant I personally know is gayer that Christmas.

Still, I suspect the OP is not correct.

Priam
01-04-2004, 09:34 AM
Originally posted by Susanann
Finally, if gay men like, admire, and are attracted to the masculine/male, why would they want anything to do with femininity? Most gay men that I have heard of are macho, masculine(e.g. Rock Hudson) not feminine.

Because, in my experience, a lot of gay men are indeed effeminate. The majority? I dunno. About half of the openly gay men I've met in college would qualify as such to one degree or another. The simple fact is every gay male, whether butch or femme, has to cope with the "pansy" label in their own way. For some, they are able to defang it to a degree and remove the fear of being viewed as such. This is especially vital for those who are in fact sissy-boys. Also, not all gay men are attracted to the hyper-masculine guys. I myself find the gym bunny image rather annoying and not very attractive at all. As with any other community, different strokes for different folks.

In short, however, attraction towards another and what you yourself are actually can be two wildly different things.

SiXSwordS
01-04-2004, 09:35 AM
Originally posted by Roches:
The basic reason has to do with the travel. Straight men, even in their mid-20s, are fairly likely to be married, so being away from home for prolonged periods of time is difficult for them and their spouse, if not their children.

Gay men, on the other hand, aren't as likely to have social obligations to remain in the same place as much as straight men might. Further, there's a lot more of a reason to travel. There are gay districts in most large cities in the world, and being a flight attendant would allow a person to go to many of them. Also, the gay culture is rather uniform worldwide, so overseas travelers aren't likely to face the cultural disadvantages a heterosexual traveler might encounter. For some, it might even be better to start fresh in a new city every few weeks rather than continually visit the same place.

I guess that's why there are so many gay pilots. Not to mention all the lesbian flight attendents. Pretty much the whole aviation industry. [toungue-in-cheek]And, of course, as we all know, the Air Force. [/toungue-in-cheek]

Liberal
01-04-2004, 09:50 AM
I'm going to go out on a limb here and posit that there is a gay mindset. Not always applicable, necessarily. And not necessarily an attribute of every gay man. But I believe that the minds of gay men are superior in many respects to the minds of straight men.

It seems to me that having a compelling attraction toward men requires a certain tendency to nurture because men, frankly, are beasts. Gay men seem to appreciate the beauty in things, whereas straight men seem to appreciate nothing more than the utility. Even when lusting over women, straight men (generally, yes I know I'm generalizing a lot here) are not really thinking about how beautiful women are in the sense of a beautiful painting. It's more about how well they're put together how useful they are.

So a gay man might be more attracted to the nurturing roles of flight attendant, nursing, and so forth. Not necessarily, and not always, of course. Just a rule of thumb. And a straight man might be more intersted in being a pilot or a doctor. His interest is in using the tools of the trade. That isn't to say that gay men don't want to be pilots and doctors, but if they do go for those jobs, they bring the advantage of their nurturing mindsets with them. They would care deeply for the well-being of their passengers and patients.

don't ask
01-04-2004, 09:58 AM
Well now that Libertarian has thrown nurses into the mix I can confidently say that there were many more gay nurses where I was nursing than there are gay office workers where I am now. My brother knows two flight attendants and both are gay. Yes they were able to have careers because they didn't have family considerations but that isn't why they chose the job. If it wasn't something along the lines of Libertarian's "mindset" why don't we get jokes about the disproportionate number of gay offshore oil platform workers - they don't spend lots of time at home either.

Priam
01-04-2004, 10:42 AM
People are saying things like "why don't we get jokes about the disproportionate number of gay offshore oil platform workers" as though they couldn't possibly be true. There are plenty of gay athletes, but they can't exactly be openly gay in that field. So who knows? Oil rigs could be overflowing with gay men for all we can tell, they're just afraid to come out surrounded by such homophobia.

Oh and Libertarian, I wouldn't call that a gay mindset whatever its prevalance in gay men v.s. straight. I know many quite happily married straight aesthetes who can certainly appreciate the beauty of a painting.

Susanann
01-04-2004, 10:50 AM
Originally posted by Kimstu
AFAIK, the overall gender ratio among college students nowadays is only at most about 60% female/40% male.

"Only" 60%?

That is a statistical landslide, esp when compared to just a few decades ago( Its like saying that its meaningless that "only" 70% of divorces are initiated by women).

Anyways, how does anybody know how many male flight attendants are gay? Who does the statistics on the sexual activities of airline personnel?

Maybe the males who choose to become flight attendants just prefer to travel and get paid to do it instead of being a cog in the wheel of a giant corporation?

Maybe they would rather have a high paying factory job but that job was moved to china.

Maybe they cant get another better job since much fewer men today dont go to college anymore. With women outnumbering men in college by 60-40, you better get used to seeing a lot of men in the future in low paying jobs, and women in powerful and high paying jobs.

Yes, I agree that male flight attendants probably are not as as economically competitive nor as interested in making a lot of money as other males(and females).

Seems to me, that you could make this same claim of any male who has a low paying job - telephone operator, waitress/waiter, massage therapist, retail clerk, gas station attendant, etc.

Priam
01-04-2004, 11:02 AM
Just like most any specific statistic on sexual orientation, Susanann, a lot of the "facts" are going to be anecdotal. In my experience, for example, a lot of nurses (both male and female) are gay. I was raised in nurse lounges during the summer while my mom worked, so I do have a fairly wide pool to draw on here.

Kimstu
01-04-2004, 12:08 PM
Susanann: "Only" 60%?

That is a statistical landslide, esp when compared to just a few decades ago

Yes, I know. But it doesn't necessarily imply that the ratio is going to keep sliding "with no end in sight" to the point where, as you claimed, "most/any carreers that require college or post college study will be considered 'female'". You seem to be suggesting that women will end up dominating all the professions and careers that require higher education, and I see no reason to believe that.

For one thing, as high-paying jobs for men without college degrees dwindle, more men are going to start going to college, just as more women started going to college when they realized that they had few good career options otherwise.

Libertarian: But I believe that the minds of gay men are superior in many respects to the minds of straight men.

It seems to me that having a compelling attraction toward men requires a certain tendency to nurture because men, frankly, are beasts. Gay men seem to appreciate the beauty in things, whereas straight men seem to appreciate nothing more than the utility.

Lib, speaking as a heterosexual female who knows and likes many non-beastly, aesthetically-appreciative straight men, I think these generalizations are inane and bigoted to the point of downright male-bashing. If a woman said this to me I'd call her on it, and I'm calling you on it too.

(And speaking as a forty-year-old who remembers some of the turmoil of Women's Liberation in the seventies, and the struggle that so many women went through to transcend nasty bigoted stereotypes about women, I'm appalled at the nonchalance with which so many men slap nasty bigoted stereotypes on themselves. (Even if they're just copying what some male-bashing women say, that doesn't make it right.) Brothers, I tell you that you are gonna regret this someday. As gender inequality diminishes in society and male privilege becomes less automatic, these labels will stop sounding like cute gestures of self-deprecation, and will start serving as excuses for serious sexist discrimination. Don't think it can't happen to you, and please don't encourage it.)

Back to the thread topic, about male flight attendants: haven't males always been stewards on ships? Was that perceived as an "effeminate" role? I don't think so. In fact, it seems to have been considered rather experimental when nurse and pilot Ellen Church originated the all-female "nurse/stewardess" airline team back in 1930 (http://www.tecsoc.org/pubs/history/2001/may15.htm).

The airline stewardess caught on, and then got marketed as some kind of alluring hybrid of barmaid, waitress, and Playboy bunny, mostly to appeal to the business travelers who tended to be airlines' best customers. Maybe that's one of the reasons it's perceived as a "feminine" job and the men who perform it as "effeminate": because one of the implied duties was being physically attractive to male customers.

As for whether male flight attendants really are disproportionately gay, I have no reason to disbelieve the anecdotal evidence that they are, but I'd still like to see some actual statistics.

Liberal
01-04-2004, 12:19 PM
Oh and Libertarian, I wouldn't call that a gay mindset whatever its prevalance in gay men v.s. straight. I know many quite happily married straight aesthetes who can certainly appreciate the beauty of a painting.Sure. I appreciate beautiful paintings myself. But I didn't say that straight men don't appreciate the beauty of a painting. I said that they don't appreciate the beauty of women the way they do the beauty of paintings. Women are beautiful conceptually because they have all the right parts in all the right places. To consider a man beautiful in that same way, I believe that I would need to be more empathetic and nurturing than I am.

Lib, speaking as a heterosexual female who knows and likes many non-beastly, aesthetically-appreciative straight men, I think these generalizations are inane and bigoted to the point of downright male-bashing. If a woman said this to me I'd call her on it, and I'm calling you on it too.Well, okay. But I still think that gay men are more nurturing than straight men. In general.

KidCharlemagne
01-04-2004, 12:32 PM
Anyone who doesn't believe that male flight attendants are disproportionately gay relative to the male population is out of their mind. As Priam and Libertarian have said, the role is:

1. Traditionally thought of as feminine
2. Is a nurturing one which attracts feminized males
3. Has/had the self-perpetuating cycle of stereotype to reality.

Hey I appreciate an open, unbiased mind as much as the next person but let's not kid ourselves. In many cases--but not all--sterotypes have developed for good reason: Because they're true.

Shagnasty
01-04-2004, 12:38 PM
I find it weird that so many people here are scoffing at the notion that many if not most male flight attendants are gay. That is the stereotype. Stereotypes don't apply to everyone but they are rarely just made up out of thin air. I fly a lot and I can confirm antecdotally, that many are, in fact, gay.

Priam
01-04-2004, 01:06 PM
Originally posted by Libertarian
Women are beautiful conceptually because they have all the right parts in all the right places. To consider a man beautiful in that same way, I believe that I would need to be more empathetic and nurturing than I am.

Umm... no not really. You'd just have to be gay, y'see, because then men would have all the right parts in all the right places. That's kinda the point. For straight men, women have the right bits in the right places (mostly) and for gay men other men have the right bits in the right places (again, mostly). Its no more or less aesthetic than any other form of sexual attraction. This is not to say that sexual attraction can't be aesthetic as well, just that one is not necessarily reliant on the other. I have seen many aesthetically beautiful, even literally stunning, women in my time as a post-pubescent person. However, parts of my brain (and lower regions) don't stand up and say "Yowza" quite the same way as I would assume your's do. For a while I was trained not to find male bodies aesthetically beautiful due to conditioning in what a "straight" man should and should not be, but despite that I still found men very intriguing sexually and romantically. The aesthetic appreciation of the male body has developed since acknowledging that I could find it beautiful without shame.

Susanann
01-04-2004, 01:08 PM
Originally posted by Kimstu
Susanann: "Only" 60%?

That is a statistical landslide, esp when compared to just a few decades ago

1. Yes, I know. But it doesn't necessarily imply that the ratio is going to keep sliding "with no end in sight" to the point where, as you claimed, "most/any carreers that require college or post college study will be considered 'female'". You seem to be suggesting that women will end up dominating all the professions and careers that require higher education, and I see no reason to believe that.

For one thing, as high-paying jobs for men without college degrees dwindle, more men are going to start going to college, just as more women started going to college when they realized that they had few good career options otherwise.


2. Back to the thread topic, about male flight attendants: haven't males always been stewards on ships? Was that perceived as an "effeminate" role? I don't think so. In fact, it seems to have been considered rather experimental when nurse and pilot Ellen Church originated the all-female "nurse/stewardess" airline team back in 1930 (http://www.tecsoc.org/pubs/history/2001/may15.htm).

The airline stewardess caught on, and then got marketed as some kind of alluring hybrid of barmaid, waitress, and Playboy bunny, mostly to appeal to the business travelers who tended to be airlines' best customers. Maybe that's one of the reasons it's perceived as a "feminine" job and the men who perform it as "effeminate": because one of the implied duties was being physically attractive to male customers.



1. Women will end up dominating all the professions and careers that require higher education because this is a long term, so far, unchanging, trend. Women have been steadily increasing their participation in college since 1970, and its not going to change until men do actually start returning to college, and there is nothing/no reason to believe that they will, since they havent as the most recent data as of this year continues to report.

Your idea of men returning to college has no bases at all in fact, and is nothing more than a wish.

2. You are right though about men being the first flight attendants, and it wanst until 1930 that the first 8 females were hired by United, 1931 Eastern, 1933 American Airways, 1935 TWA hired its first females, etc. according the my book: Footsteps in the Sky" by Helen McLaughlin

Furthermore, it was also required before ww2 that all female stewardesses be registered nurses until the war started and nurse shortages came about.

(As you all well know, originally most nurses were men, as well as most telephone operators were male)

This thread reminds me of the Candid Camera show, which recently replayed an old segment(from the 1960's) when the spoof/gag was that passengers were informed that their pilot was a woman(Fannie Flag?).

The only thing you people are proving is the inherrent insecurity, prejudice, and weakness of males, who think that any men who take jobs that females currently/historically predominate in, must be either gay or whimps.

This does not bode well for those kinds of prejudiced folks after our college educated women soon become the majority of our attorneys, our doctors, our vetinarians, our dentists, our business leaders, our politicians, etc.

kniz
01-04-2004, 04:44 PM
My wife is a flight attendant and she has many times remarked on the number of her male counter-parts who are gay. She is number 10 on the seniority list and number 3 is a gay male. The two of them are very good friends and she often goes to him on matters concerning their job. She has also talked about flight attendants that were straight males, who had to quit because they were not able to support their families on what they were making. I'm not so sure that flight benefits have that much to do with someone being a flight attendant. In my wifes case, we do take advantage, but many do not. There is the fact though that once someone has built up seniority, they have a good choice of schedules each month. That makes their work very flexible, which is the main requirement for being a flight attendant; being able to be flexible and enjoying that type of life style. I don't know but perhaps that fits into the "gay life style" (whatever that means).

Tigers2B1
01-04-2004, 11:05 PM
Originally posted by Libertarian
[B]...Gay men seem to appreciate the beauty in things, whereas straight men seem to appreciate nothing more than the utility. Even when lusting over women, straight men (generally, yes I know I'm generalizing a lot here) are not really thinking about how beautiful women are in the sense of a beautiful painting. It's more about how well they're put together how useful they are.[B]

Maybe it's my prejudice - but I have always suspected that guys who linger outside of bathrooms and smile at you as you go in ----- are gay --------- of course they could just be smiling straight guys standing outside the wrong bathrooms.

Priam
01-04-2004, 11:13 PM
Originally posted by Tigers2B1
Maybe it's my prejudice - but I have always suspected that guys who linger outside of bathrooms and smile at you as you go in ----- are gay --------- of course they could just be smiling straight guys standing outside the wrong bathrooms.

I'm thinking this is either the best ZING! I've seen all day or a very sad piece of naivete. I'm thinking the former.

Ludovic
01-04-2004, 11:19 PM
Libertarian wrote:Well, okay. But I still think that gay men are more nurturing than straight men. In general.Maybe it's just that I do not know many gay people (About 7 or 8 that I can think of), but I would say that all of your statements are true, AND false, in general. Partially because the statistical base is so high, examples of straight men are both the MOST and the LEAST sensitive people I know, aesthetically and emotionally. Whereas the gay men I know do not tend to be absolute clods (well one or two are :)), but do come across as a bit self-centered, which precludes both extremities on the "nurturing" scale. Of course, this could be due to my lack of exposure, so to say.

Kimstu
01-05-2004, 06:30 AM
Lib: Well, okay. But I still think that gay men are more nurturing than straight men. In general.

Thanks Lib, I think that's a much nicer and fairer way of putting it. :) Still don't know that I agree with you, but that's a side issue.

Susanann: 1. Women will end up dominating all the professions and careers that require higher education because this is a long term, so far, unchanging, trend. Women have been steadily increasing their participation in college since 1970, and its not going to change until men do actually start returning to college, and there is nothing/no reason to believe that they will, since they havent as the most recent data as of this year continues to report.

Now I can't figure out if you're trying to argue that women will continue to be an ever-increasing majority in such professions and careers until there are practically no men in them at all, which I think is highly unlikely, or just that women will stabilize at some slight-to-medium majority---say, 60%---of such careers, which I think is less unlikely.

There is simply no reason to think that higher education, and by extension the careers that require higher education, will continue indefinitely becoming more and more female-dominated. That would imply that men would essentially stop going to college in significant numbers, and that seems extremely improbable. Just because women have gone from, say, 30% to 60% of college students over the last few decades doesn't imply that they'll go from 60% to 90% over the next few; you can't just extrapolate the trend that way.

Even the more moderate claim, i.e., that women will end up being a stable majority of maybe 60% or two-thirds of all the educated careers, sounds pretty overstated to me. Remember, women are still significantly in the minority in scientific and technical fields, and there are still a lot of pressures on women to be less career-oriented than men (glass ceilings, mommy tracks, family responsibilities, etc.).

Mind you, I don't think there'd be anything wrong with all the more highly-educated professions and careers ending up about two-thirds female (as long as men aren't being discriminated against). I just think it sounds very improbable, at least for the next two centuries or so.

The only thing you people are proving is the inherrent insecurity, prejudice, and weakness of males, who think that any men who take jobs that females currently/historically predominate in, must be either gay or whimps.

Yikes, what is with the gratuitous male-bashing in this thread? (And why was I dumb enough to appoint myself hall monitor to police it?) Look, I haven't seen anybody here saying that "males who take a typically-female job must be either gay or wimps", or anything of the sort. All that they seem to be asking is, are male flight attendants disproportionately gay, and if not, what is the source of the popular perception that they are? These seem like perfectly fair questions to me, and your attempting to answer them by invoking the alleged "inherent insecurity, prejudice, and weakness of males" seems like pure sexist bigotry. That is no way to fight ignorance.

don't ask
01-05-2004, 07:16 AM
Originally posted by Kimstu
Even the more moderate claim, i.e., that women will end up being a stable majority of maybe 60% or two-thirds of all the educated careers, sounds pretty overstated to me. Remember, women are still significantly in the minority in scientific and technical fields, and there are still a lot of pressures on women to be less career-oriented than men (glass ceilings, mommy tracks, family responsibilities, etc.).

Thet is certainly true in Australia. Although the 60% figure for female graduates is roughly correct women dominate in areas such as the humanities, nursing, teaching, psychology and social work. 32% of male graduates in Australia in 2000 were involved in the 6 highest ranked fields in terms of post graduate salary (dentistry, optometry, medicine, mathematics, engineering and computer science). Only 7.4% of female graduates came from these fields.

gradlink (http://www.gradlink.edu.au/content/view/full/24) has data on Australian graduates.

Mangetout
01-05-2004, 07:49 AM
Don't forget the important factor that the job has its own culture - this is true of many jobs where one or more of the following factors is present:
-The staff have to work in close quarters.
-The staff have to work together for extended periods.
-The circumstances of the job results in the staff being somewhat isolated from normal life.

When a culture exists, it tends to select those that are suited to working in it - anyone who joins and does not assimilate well into the culture, even though there may be no actual shunning occurring at all, is more likely to find another job and move on than someone who takes to it like a fish to water.

If, purely by chance, the prevailing culture started to work better for gay people than straight, it might tend more in that direction by its own dynamics.

Another, quite similar situation is the staff on board cruise ships - it is my perception (having worked aboard them on and off for several years) that the percentage of gays onboard is higher than the norm, but it could just be that the environment makes them feel less pressure to 'hide' and that the perception of greater numbers is in fact nothing more than the perception of less introvert behaviour.

CrankyAsAnOldMan
01-05-2004, 12:38 PM
Frankly, I think Roche made some excellent points.

To add some more data for those of you who want to know more about the job:

I have a straight male friend (actually, an ex-boyfriend) who is a flight attendant. After college, he was thinking about law school, but couldn't commit, and thought this might be an interesting diversion while he figured out what to do with his life. He got accepted, went through the training, and then was a flight attendant. With little seniority, the job isn't great (you don't get a lot of choice in routes or schedules) and he got tired of thanking people for handing their trash over to him, but it was otherwise a good job for a new college graduate. He roomed with two other flight attendants (one male, also straight), enjoyed the travel perks when he could, got a lot out of the camaraderie among the other F/As. It was also not a bad position to be in, for social life--he was always one a few men among many women. Our relationship ended (we stayed friends).

When the time came for him to do something more, I dunno, "professional," he found it was hard to leave the life. You get nice stretches of days off, and great (cheap) travel opportunities, and you're not doing the 9-5 grind. He was used to it, and liked the perks. So he's still a flight attendant 15 years after college.

I'm unclear about how their uniforms are "feminine." It's a white shirt with navy pants, and a suit jacket (which they rarely wear on the plane). That's feminine? They look like pilots without stripes or epaulets.

Spectre of Pithecanthropus
01-05-2004, 01:21 PM
Maybe another factor to consider is that, up until perhaps 1970, F/A's were almost all female, and what's more, good looks were an important factor in their recruitment. Along the same lines, some airlines were actually putting them in miniskirts and other revealing attire. One airline even went so far as to put them in hotpants (http://www.badfads.com/pages/fashion/hotpants.html) for a time. Obviously the objective was to appeal to the male passengers who looked on as they walked up and down the aisle of that 707 or DC-8.

Times change, and I think it's safe to say that by 1975 female F/A's were not being recruited for looks anymore, nor were they being exploited for their looks in any special way. But the memory of the earlier state of things was still strong in travellers' minds, and so the job of walking up and down an airplane aisle continued to be associated with being ogled. Given how it takes so very little for a stereotype to be started and then perpetuated, maybe that was how it happened.

Susanann
01-05-2004, 02:09 PM
Originally posted by Spectre of Pithecanthropus
Maybe another factor to consider is that, up until perhaps 1970, F/A's were almost all female, and what's more, good looks were an important factor in their recruitment. Along the same lines, some airlines were actually putting them in miniskirts and other revealing attire. One airline even went so far as to put them in hotpants (http://www.badfads.com/pages/fashion/hotpants.html) for a time. Obviously the objective was to appeal to the male passengers who looked on as they walked up and down the aisle of that 707 or DC-8.

Times change, and I think it's safe to say that by 1975 female F/A's were not being recruited for looks anymore, nor were they being exploited for their looks in any special way. But the memory of the earlier state of things was still strong in travellers' minds, and so the job of walking up and down an airplane aisle continued to be associated with being ogled. Given how it takes so very little for a stereotype to be started and then perpetuated, maybe that was how it happened.

No, I disagree almost entirely with what you are saying.

The intention wasnt to be "oogled", or to have stewardesses to be "revealing", nor for them to be sexy(with very very few exceptions. In fact, except for a very short time on just a very few airlines only in the middle 1970's, the airlines always made a very big clear effort for the stewardess especially not to appear "sexy" at all, but rather to be very conservative and proper in her appearance and manners.

Up thru the 1960's, stewardesses went to stewardess school, which was really a charm school, teaching all the women how to use make up, do/cut their hair, personal hygene, and how to carry themselves, how to pour coffee, and how to be a curteous hostess/waitress.

There were very strict rules(under penalty of being fired) for the wearing of lipstick, hair length and style, use of makeup, rouge, eye shadow, colored nail polish, the not wearing gloves and a jacket(which actually covered up - not revealed), strict lengths on hemlines, rules on the wearing of the hat, hose, shoes(usu black pumps - no open toed shoes allowed!- dont even think about it), also rules on weight, height, age, and no marraiges or pregancies allowed,etc.

If you wore the wrong nail polish, you were written up, if you wore the wrong stockings you were written up, 2 or more write ups in a year got you fired. If you gained a few pounds between mandatory monthly weigh-ins, you had 30 days to bring your weight down, else you got fired.

If you got married or pregnant or older, you were fired.

As far as males, there were different rules.

There were always a lot of male stewards on Pan Am flights, thru all decades, and I dont know what their training program was - but it was very obviously definitely not the sameat all as the one for the women, and none of the rules were the same for men as it was for women.

Loopydude
01-05-2004, 02:21 PM
(He) don't wear no dress, (he) don't wear no tie
Always on the ball, (he)'s always on strike
Struttin' down the aisle
Big deal, you get to fly

You ain't nothin' but a waitress in the sky
You ain't nothin' but a waitress in the sky

Paid my fare, don't wanna complain
You get to me, you're always outta champagne
Treat me like a bum
You don't wear no tie

Cause you ain't nothing but a waitress in the sky
You ain't nothing but a waitress in the sky

And the sign says "Thank you very much for not smokin'"
My own sign says "I'm sorry I'm smokin'"
Don't treat me special, oh don't kiss my ass
Just treat like me like the way you treat 'em
Up in first class

Sanitation expert and a maintainance engineer
Garbabe man, a janitor,
And you, my dear
A real union flight attendant, my-oh-my

You ain't nothin' but a waitress in the sky
You ani't nothin' but a waitress in the sky

Oh-ho-ohhh

the first supraliminal
01-05-2004, 02:59 PM
The ones I've noticed, I haven't noticed. That is, if there's such a thing as "gaydar", mine is broken. Even openly gay guys at work seem indistinguishable to me until I'm told.
What makes you suppose them gay, anyhow, do they wear scarves instead of ties?

Cervaise
01-05-2004, 06:02 PM
The prevalence of gay male flight attendants is probably just a matter of karmic balance. You know, of course, that Hooters Air makes a point of signing up all the pneumatic lesbians they can find. Bow chicka bow bow...

SmackFu
01-07-2004, 11:07 AM
Because it's not a homophobic environment. Why wouldn't you want to work in a place where you aren't discriminated against?