Sunday, August 13, 2006

What are real men made of?

On Remarkably Mark #16 I spoke about Wanda's “LBR#322: Manly Men Love Torture!”, and her critique of Johnny Diaz' article about the "Menaissance", real men being real men. This has really got me thinking. While senor Diaz is super cute and gay himself, it's so disturbing to see how much internalized homophobia we have coursing thorugh our veins here in America. He claims that "The focus of the story was a tongue-and-cheek[sic] look at how popculture is embracing the manly man again." I'm sure that he meant for it to be light-hearted, but it really is disturbing what it reveals. Here's some of what I wrote in the comments section of Wanda's site:

"On a serious note, though, Juanito mi guapo, the ominous sign that your aticle indicates is that, as happens every few cycles, both the media and the popular culture is feeling a need to scapegoat and villify anything that calls into question the DESPERATE need of American men to feel like real men. It’s Psych 101: those who feel the need to overcompensate are those who have low self esteem and insecurity about their sexuality.

On a large scale, this country has a serious problem with who we are as men. it’s why we have ended up with a “hyper masculine” administration. Of course, the reality is that both the administration and the country at large really are not secure with their masculinity at all, which is why we have American men and leaders running around picking fights to prove just how manly men we are. Notice how it falls to the most base and broadly characterized stereotypes?

How can we have ANY moral standing in the world when we run around enforcing “rules” while at the same time flouting them? This Jack Ryan mentality reminds us of the old paternal rationalization of “Do as I say and not as I do”. People may FEAR that, but no one respects it, and it sows the seeds for hatred.

As for the commercials/ads/movies that are jumping on the bandwagon, let’s not forget who produces this stuff: It’s mostly creative gay men, and it’s either out of self-hatred, or servitude to the suits who are reactionary. As a nation, we REALLY need to figure out who we are, and why we are so insecure about our masculinity."

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At 12:48 AM, Anonymous DaveinVA said...


I think we are seeing this shift to ultra-masculinity because many Americans are disenchanted right now with the War in Iraq, war on terror, and the middle east conflict and political wrangling here at home. Perhaps they think that if we look back in time to when things were perceived as easier, masculinty appeared to play a greater role in American culture. However that is not why things were easier. We are a nation of people that are used to immediate results, fast food, fast news, entertainment on demand etc. We want everthing delivered right to us as we want it. It will be difficult to define who we are as a nation because we are so diverse and I don't think we really know who we are as a nation. We are the remaining superpower and that causes us to have more conflict with the world. These are not easy times. I personally have a high stress job that is complicated by the war and I have had to just tune the news out. I need more alone time (with my doggie) than ever before to recharge. I am looking to change jobs after 10 years because I want to enjoy my work day!

At 8:38 PM, Blogger ReMARKable Palate said...

God points, Dave. Check out the show I recorded with Archer for Archer Radio for Tuesday, where we speak about this topic at length.


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