Nov 12, 2011

Pity party for straight dudes

Via Sullivan, check out this Dan Savage interview:
...heterosexual male identity — and in America I don’t want to get too pointy-headed about it, but it’s really this package of negatives. You know, to be a straight guy is not to be a woman and not to be a faggot and so it doesn’t really leave you much room to maneuver. If there’s anything about your interests or personality that can be remotely perceived as feminine or faggoty, you have to kill it or people won’t believe you’re straight or you’ll be tormented — you know, questions for the rest of your life. And it’s kind of sad to watch how hemmed-in straight guys are.
That is surely true, but there's another aspect to this as well. Growing up as a straight boy, especially in a liberal environment, you are constantly bombarded by the ways men have treated and continue to treat women like shit. They are all absolutely true. Just the other day I read the most horrifying piece on the daily violent abuse to which female bloggers are subjected.

Especially if you self-identify as a thoughtful type, it's quite easy to get into the habit of bending way, way, backwards in a desperate attempt to avoid being a sexist asshole, which can quickly turn into (as most of my ex-girlfriends can tell you) abject cowardice. We still have a (thankfully decaying fast) cultural expectation that guys are supposed to make the first move. I am really almost incapable of this, and thus end up spending a lot of time alone. I admit it, if I'm single and an interaction with a woman turns even slightly romantic, I usually freeze up like I've been doused with liquid helium:



I think this should be obvious, but just to be clear, I am in no way trying to minimize the ongoing oppression of women, or compare the situation of straight males as being somehow just as bad. I'll take my discomfort over specific, detailed threats to come and rape me with a screwdriver. Rather I'm saying that our history of patriarchy and sexism has done men no real favors. Like Southern whites during Jim Crow, or Apartheid-era Afrikaners, men could only achieve subjugation by doing serious damage to ourselves at the same time.

1 comment:

  1. I pity str8 guys for another reason: I believe woman equality in capabilities and potential is never debatable. They are humans with every bit of mental strength and creativity just like men. But...in a society that sexualizes the female, it is easier to construct a feminine culture around the fact that women offer sex, and therefore this is their primary quality. Woman are culturally trained to dumb it down, to be weak and fake helplessness - They live in constant fear that if they show some character or strength the guy might lose his boner. It is dehumanizing for them, and it states a lamented state in the state of fragile masculinity, constructed so that men in modern society can get it up. If women were the same as in the days of early human history (they were the same complete woman mind you), few men would still be "men" today.
    How the hell can you feel complete with your other significant half, if that half is a helpless dumb bimbo (even though there is no such thing in a natural reality, it's all a construction), and she expects a man to help her traverse the pedestrian crossing by holding her hand (metaphor for life) ? With such a sex/beauty object in their home,trained to be weak and incomplete in matters of life, no wonder str8 guys need guy time with their friends - their half is an incomplete human (cultural Chinese feet binding, this time applied to the brain).
    As a gay guy, I meet another gay guy - some people wold say that we are half c**ts, and only together we finally make a man. But if we are half c**ts, that means we make a complete man and a complete woman, but the weight is equally spread around. I do not have to indirectly pay or beg for sex, I do not "have to treat him differently and special", and if I do it I chose to, than he appreciates it more, seeing how all other guys around him have to suffer and endure their own constructed gender role, and the loneliness and hardship deriving from this. And all so that all str8 men indiscriminately (even those who in a natural world would be considered ß), may get a boner and cope with women. It is unfair for the men who are strong, and are as much a blessing for women, as women are for them.

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