Odd Couples: Friendships at the Intersection of Gender and by Anna Muraco

By Anna Muraco

Odd Couples examines friendships among homosexual males and instantly girls, and likewise among lesbians and directly males, and exhibits how those "intersectional" friendships function a barometer for transferring social norms, fairly relating to gender and sexual orientation. in response to writer Anna Muraco's interviews, the paintings demanding situations common assumptions: that women and men are essentially diversified and that women and men can basically forge major bonds inside of romantic relationships. Intersectional friendships problem quite a few social norms, Muraco says, together with the restricted roles that women and men are anticipated to play in a single another's lives. every one bankruptcy makes use of those boundary-crossing relationships to spotlight how key social constructs comparable to family members, politics, gender, and sexuality form daily interactions. Friendship itself—whether intersectional or not—becomes the heart of the research, taking its position as a huge impact at the social habit of adults.

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Extra info for Odd Couples: Friendships at the Intersection of Gender and Sexual Orientation

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Prior research shows that cross-sex friendships satisfy unmet needs of samesex friendships and provide a unique perspective about the other sex (Rubin 1985; Werking 1997). Many cross-sex friendships provide a space where gender norms can be relaxed. For instance, both members of a cross-sex friendship often share interests and activities (Werking 1997). Such friendships permit displays of androgynous behavior, where men report feeling less competitive and women can speak in a less sensitive and more direct manner (Reeder 1996).

Of particular significance to both friends was Emily’s marriage/ commitment ceremony to Stacy. Patrick felt honored when Emily and Stacy took him and his wife, Joanne, to dinner to announce their engagement, and Emily was impressed that Patrick and his family attended the entire weekend wedding celebration. The occasion allowed the friends to show how much esteem they had for each other and to introduce Emily’s biological brother to her chosen brother, Patrick. Thus, the bond between Emily and Patrick also illustrates how intersectional friendships often serve as chosen family members, celebrating birthdays and holidays together, a topic that is discussed at greater length in chapter 3.

Bridging friendships can reduce the social distance between groups to facilitate understanding and forge alliance, despite di√erence. Yet friendships exist in a social structure that is shaped by gender, race, class, and sexuality; these social categories provide people with di√erent access to power, resources, and opportunity. In understanding close friendships across di√erences, we understand the potential of friendship to challenge inequality or reproduce it. The next chapter provides an opportunity to see intersectional friendships in action and illustrates the ways that gender race, class, and sexuality influence these relationships.

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