I find the cultural infatuation with “man-crushes” intensely amusing and fascinating. Watching straight males squirm when they try to express their feelings for another guy is intensely satisfying for me, in a twisted point-at-the-uncomfortable-guy kind of way. A blog post over at men.style.com on the topic has me asking some questions, though.
The article talks about how pop culture’s homo-ization has paved the way for straight men to feel more comfortable with the concept of emotional bonds with other men. This seems paradoxical to me: the fact that gay culture is now more mainstream has made it easier for “bro-mance” to flourish, yet it hasn’t led to an increased acceptance of homosexuality. It’s made it easier to imitate homosexuals, but no easier to see their behavior as normal. This is evidenced by the last line of the article, in which the man still feels the need to emphasize that his feelings are platonic and heterosexual, so as not to paint himself as one of those dirty fags. It’s now becoming cool to have faux-homo relationships, but legitimate ones are still out of bounds. ::raises eyebrow:: Some sense that makes.
But the kicker comes at the beginning of the third paragraph: “Homosexuality, of course, used to be known as the love that dare not speak its name—until, thanks to the gayification of pop culture, it became the love that wouldn’t shut the hell up.” This article is celebrating an achievement of gay culture, yet simultaneously deriding homosexuals as a group that won’t “shut the hell up?” And, excuse me, but I’m sorry if our demanding equal rights under the law is annoying you and you’d rather we just sit in the corner and decorate your fancy houses purchased with Republican oil money, but no, I’m not going to shut the hell up.
We’re doing a good thing by letting straight men open up about their feelings for other guys, but we aren’t allowed to have feelings for other guys ourselves. It’s wonderful that we exist because we facilitate straight male camaraderie, but when it comes to our own needs, we’re just a bunch of glittered loudmouths.
I am rather sickened.