When Masculinity gets offended…

Snow day?  Check.  Shall we talk about sex and gender?  Check.

I had the pleasure of presenting at the 3rd Annual L.O.C.S. Conference at Harvard Law over the weekend and it was wonderful!  Met amazing people and had fabulous conversations about sex and sexuality.  Interestingly enough, the topic that is still on my mind today is that of masculinity.    Specifically, how masculinity is taught and what messages we send to our masculine-identified folks.

Bkln Boihood presented a workshop entitled Un/Doing Masculinity and it really had me feeling some kinda way.  I mean, masculine people of color get the shitty end of the stick in a lot of ways if you ask me. Yes, patriarchy is real. Yes, male/masculine privilege is real.  Yes, there are some real masculine douche-bags in the world.  But, take a second and think about some of the gender education masculine folks get:

1.  Don’t cry

2.  Don’t show emotion unless it’s anger

3. “Man-up”

4.  Ain’t no p*ssy, like new p*ssy

5.  Bros over hoes

6.  If you don’t want sex 37 times a day, something is wrong with you

7.  If you have a micropenis, you are doomed to a sex life filled with blow-up dolls (“better be good at cunnilingus/fellatio,” says the peanut gallery)

I mean let’s be for real, men and masculine-identified folks get very limited options when it comes to gender expression.  And this limitation really had me thinking about how to broaden the parameters around masculinity.  And by broaden I mean just that: you can happily believe in any of the 7 aforementioned concepts, but we could really use a few more for our masculine-identified folks to fully understand who they are.

One way I think we could broaden the way masculine folks express themselves is by making them extremely, unbelievably uncomfortable with their sexuality in broad daylight and see what happens.  Pay particular attention to the dude at 1:44.

What are your thoughts on how our collective community has taught masculinity?  Do you think we have done a piss-poor job?  How do you think we can do better?  Where have we done an amazing job?  And how hilarious was this video?!?!

Court is seriously in session….

7 thoughts on “When Masculinity gets offended…

  1. Funny vid….but not really applicable to me.

    As for the listed concepts of masculinity yeah those are very out dated in may opinion. Im glad those weren’t the guidelines given to me. There needs to be proper context when dealings with this ideas as well.

  2. Jason, tell me 1. why it doesn’t apply to you, and 2. what where the guidelines you were given and by whom?! THIS is the conversation I was hoping to start!

    • In my view It doesnt apply to me because I dont get offended and Im 100% comfy in who I am.

      My man guidelines came from my dad through word and action.
      I was brought that there is a time and place for everything. Tears were/are fine when warranted but not being a cry baby was a lesson too. Meaning that some thing you have manage, deal with and handle.

      My home had my mom, 2 aunts and female cousin in it till I was like 9-10 yrs old. So love, respect and proper treatment for women came from growing up around that and seeing my dad provide.

      Now regarding #4 -#7 the sex themed principles. I had a mixture of influences. I was taught responsibility at home but when I went out and socialized I heard other view points. I was always a guy that did what made sense to me. “Bro over Hoes?” I dont deal with any female that I’d call “Hoes” and ya Bro can play themselves out of position too. I’d rather have one partner when its all said and done although Im presently single and fine with that.Sex 37 times a day? Sounds nice but Ive learned sexual urges and desires need limits.

      And as far as “micropenis” goes…..well whoever is dealing with that I wish you good luck.

  3. Tracie Q Gilbert says:

    *sigh* This is a conversation that could go on FOREVER, and one of the reasons I’m so interested in men’s sex lives & sexual identities. I agree that masculine-presenting folk get the short end of social opportunities because of our (people of all genders)limited imaginations of men…and yet I also feel like these attitudes and behaviors stem from an abhorration of femininity–especially any femininity presumed to eclipse masculinity. The space for a both/and is SOOOOO important, and it begins, IMO, with validating the independent power and worth of femininity. A man willing to embrace the femininity within himself is only half a step away (IMO) from accepting the wholeness of his humanity, which includes masculinity and femininity. This is the same path I feel like women take as well on the path to personhood.

    So enough intellectual…shouts out to dude for being SO BRAVE! He was seriously setting himself for a MAJOR behind-whooping…which is sad & hilarious at the same time.

    • ::even bigger sigh:: You are sooo right on so many things here Tracie. I mean in the video, every time a man was confronted with “what are you doing,” almost every response was, “I thought you were a girl,” as if that is the BETTER answer!!! WTH? We have so much work to do and embracing all parts of our sexual selves is indeed a first step! Thank you for dropping by!

  4. IMO, this video speaks less to what he claimed it would ‘allowing him to experience what objectification and misogyny felt like’ and speak more to further objectification doused in patriarchy.

    One thing that I did notice is the pervasive pattern of violence superimposed atop masculinity. I believe that were it not for the camera, he would have got his ass molleywhopped once those guys realized he was a he. Which begs the larger questions of why is violence the default emotion assigned to masculinity? Why is violence the go-to ‘when masculinity gets offended’? And is it patriarchy that says that any injection of femininity onto masculinity is a diluting force? Why does femininity offend masculinity? Yet on the other hand, we are preaching about how we need to revere and respect femininity.

    IMO, this video did not come close to addressing masculinity in a very constructive way. If anything, it furthered the toxicity often inherent in masculinity.

    • The Ignant Intellectual, I would agree with you on many points here. I don’t think the actor actually felt the pangs of misogyny and patriarchy because he didn’t allow himself to really “sit” in it. But, I do think that all of the men who were looking, save the one who was honest, felt completely “disrespected” that 1. this “girl” was not a girl, and 2. that the actor had the nerve to call them out. And it is that sort of play-play offense that I think men/masculinity/patriarchy need to critically address.

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