Chauvinism in The Castro (San Francisco)

El 30 de mayo de 2014. Hola. Below is an article written by a local Castro resident.

A Guest Opinion

My wife and I (we’re heterosexual) have lived in the Castro for decades. We chose to live here because as long as we’ve known each other we realized we felt more comfortable living around gay men. In the Castro, my wife has never had to worry about cat calls or getting heavily cruised while waiting for Muni or some guy trying to feel up her boobs or touch her butt when we would go out to one of the local watering holes on a special night, all of which happened too often where we lived when we first met.

You have written thousands of words about life in the Castro today and some of it very critical of heterosexuals as they overrun the Castro, and we looked at each other and said, “Finally, somebody is saying it! It’s about time somebody said it.”

When we moved here we tried to fit in, we kept a low profile, we acted more as guests in the neighborhood for awhile, we didn’t try to change the neighborhood to the way we wanted it because we liked it the way it was which is why we moved here. This new crowd of people coming to this city and to the Castro most commonly known as the techies have the opposite approach. They are a very different kind of people than what my wife and I have felt accustomed to and comfortable around. This new crowd comes with this sense of elitism, entitlement and arrogance. A lot of big heads and so typical of tech. The big head disease seems to be very contagious now around City Hall. As you know, during this Castro Street sidewalk expansion work there is a very narrow path to walk along beside the stores. Intelligent people walk single-file to be courteous and respectful to others. Last night on our walk, two heterosexual couples one behind the other could not find the courtesy or politeness to come out of their side-by-side embrace and making it clear they were a heterosexual couple so that people could get by them. The guy seemed adamant about holding the female he was with with both arms around her as if she must remain by his side, instead of her walking in front or in back of him so people could get by them. I came so close to saying to them, A-holes! This behavior from these new heterosexual residents is a common sight today in the Castro with the guy demonstrating very chauvinistic behavior towards “his girl” that he’s locked to. My wife and I are increasingly disgusted by their chauvinistic behavior we see. One of the learned heterosexual behaviors is for a guy to open the car door for the female he’s with. My wife told me when we first met, “If a female can’t open her own damn door then she can park her butt on the sidewalk until she’s able to open the door herself, excluding medical conditions of course!” My wife has no patience for a female that has been taught to feel subservient and less-equal to her male partner and needs all of this special attention just because of her gender. The other day on our walk together we saw another heterosexual scene. The guy was cradling the female he was with as they were walking across the street as if she needed to be super-protected or was flat-out incapable of walking across any street by herself. My wife said when she saw them, “If he didn’t need his feet for walking his feet would most assuredly be wrapped around her too.” We see that type of behavior all the time with these new arrival heterosexual guys who are wrapped completely around the female they’re with….she’s in there somewhere. As you’ve written, it looks more like insecurity than genuine affection. Indeed, we agree. Does the guy think she’s going to escape and run away is that the reason for this display for attention they put on for everyone to see? I mean you can’t miss them; they make it as obvious as they can especially walking across Market Street. My wife says that the age bracket of this new crowd appears to be mostly late 20s and early 30s. She says that most of the behavior she sees with these new arrivals is learned or taught behavior, as you wrote: where the female has to look way up at her guy with limpid eyes and this ‘please give me attention’ look as if he’s her daddy and he looks way down at her as if she’s his little girl.


My wife and I have been very happy living in the Castro but like many longtime residents we’re thinking of leaving too. This town and neighborhood have certainly changed and that really depresses us. As you’ve said, the Castro has become a shadow museum of its former self.

My response:
Hola y Muchas gracias. Oh yes, I’ve seen all of that chauvinistic stuff too from the “straights,” as well as their—what appears to be—mandatory hand-holding, especially when crossing the streets. It seems absolutely impossible around here for a heterosexual female to cross the street without tightly clutching/holding “daddy’s” hand (the hand of the muchacho she’s with). Yes, that’s learned behaviour too. Is that so that “daddy” will keep his little girl safe and secure for those few moments she’s crossing that street? I thought that was only for childhood and that as adults one grew out of that, no? It really is as if we’re going backwards in time in many ways, with this “straight” chauvinism from the techie trash being one of the ways. As I wrote here, Feminism is out, it’s gone today. As for the late 20s and early 30s age group that you mentioned, that’s also the same age group as the closeted gay guys that I’ve written about who have personal sex ads on (what I call) ClosetList. I was talking with mi amiga about this: What happened during the 1980s (which is when these chauvinistic techie people and closeted gay guys were born) in that era of conception that has made them today to be such fucked-up people (closet cases, as well as chauvinistic, rude, inconsiderate heterosexual assholes with this attitude that they seem to have: “We’re the only two people who live in this city and we’re not moving out of the way for anybody. We are self-entitled assholes and entitled to block any sidewalk we choose and we don’t care who we inconvenience. We, as a “straight” mandatory hand-holding couple, are entitled to be major assholes and proud of it!” And as mi amiga said, “well they’re mostly white heterosexual assholes, as the city continues to lose its wonderful ethnic diversity and it’s gay community.” Gracias for writing me. Chau.—rosa barrio


For your DuckDuckGo search engine:
(There’s no shortage of information on both topics):

sexism in the tech industry
chauvinism in the tech industry

The Techie Trash

The Techie-Asses in San Francisco

———- COMMENTS (Manually posted from e-mails) ———-

06.12.14 Saw this guy yesterday wearing cargo shorts walking down the sidewalk with a female. He was maxed out. He was holding his bike with his left hand guiding it and his right arm was around the female. I kept waiting for his bike pedal to hit his bare legs since the bike was unstable and I’ve had that happen to me. I thought that might make him put both hands on his bike. He’s been taught that he must have his arm around the female at all times while walking.
My response: Hola, well if it were me, I would have told him that for now I think both hands are required on your bike for safety reasons and so you don’t hurt your legs. It’s all right to not hold me while you have your bike. I don’t need all of that attention. The pedals hitting my legs while walking the bike has happened to me too. That’s why I started wearing jeans when riding. Chau.—rosa barrio

06.12.14 I was married to a woman for many years. Divorced now. Females are so high-maintenance and require much attention. Never known one that didn’t.