I remember a story my friend Chuck told me that happened in Facebook. He saw a former classmate from high school, and like any decent person who wanted to catch up, decided to add the guy as a friend. A few days later, Chuck received a message.
The message said that the classmate couldn’t add Chuck because the former had developed a. Chuck was first shocked, then angry, then mortified. He couldn’t believe that he went out on a limb to give this guy an opportunity to be Facebook and the guy gave him the electronic equivalent of a slap in the face. So, like any other person addicted to Facebook in the Philippines, he decided to update his status.
A wave of sympathetic comments flew in from the to the type. I even threw in an insult or two. Besides, what is a homophobia?
(It reminded me of this piece a spoken word poet once performed, lamenting this generation’s lack of conviction when speaking. He said that every idea we posit is really an invitation towards a shared disbelief, and that every sentence we speak is really a question. I thought if the classmate was going to homophobia, he might as well have the balls to admit that it is definitely more than a one considering that he just insulted a decent gay man who tried to be polite.)
The number of sympathetic comments wasn’t a surprise, but it got me to thinking (as Carrie Bradshaw would have said): Is our generation moving away from and is in fact consciously rejecting traditional macho culture?
This reminded me of another conversation with my friend Mike. Now, Mike is a gay man, but outside of the fact that he likes Mariah Carey and having sex with his boyfriend, no one can tell he’s gay. That’s because he is a complete slob. (In case he’s reading this, he’s also very very intelligent. Love you Mike! We’re still friends right?) He confessed that he doesn’t take a bath everyday because he thinks it’s a waste of time. His longest run was two weeks, and he was only forced to take one because his roommates could no longer stand how he smelled. In fairness to him, he was suffering from depression then, but the not-taking-a-bath-regularly-thing kind of stuck.
I remember telling him that I used to think he had a gray pallor every time we went out. At first I thought it was a skin condition. I didn’t realize it was a thin coating of dust. I received a rather painful punch on the shoulder for my mouth.
I also told him that we’re already being marginalized for wanting to sleep with men. Why would you want to be gay, and then keep that aspect of traditional macho culture that makes straight men, well, ? In case people haven’t realized it yet, straight men have been trying to look gay for the past several years (under the guise of the politically-correct term ). Why be marginalized on both fronts: one, for wanting to sleep with men, and two, for looking like a dirty straight man?
I asked if he was insane. I got another punch in the shoulder.
There was this guy (whose name escapes me at the moment) who decided to jumpstart a movement that was a response to the feminist philosophy. He wanted men to re-take their manhood because he believed that the current cultural and social landscape has emasculated them.
. What a joke. (The first time I read about it, I thought the writer was being satirical.) The whole movement was an ironic WTF blip in the whole of human history. No one could take it seriously. The very concept of a real macho man is isolated, silent, unmoving: a lone wolf. How can they possibly do that as a group? By sharing their stuff? How does that work?of emasculation? Isn’t that what they were trying to stop in the first place; all this
In the (admittedly upscale) school I used to go to, a guy can get teased by his other guy friends because he keeps on wearing pleated slacks. My older brother (who, it may be argued, is straight, considering the number of girlfriends he had) is even more brand-conscious than I am. I know another guy, not gay, who will kill you if you touch his hair. These all used to be very characteristics. (In fact, you would have gotten beaten up and bullied for exhibiting them not too long ago.) The former macho men are now encroaching on what used to be regarded as territory; so much so, that it has actually become unfashionable to look like, well, what we used to call a guy’s guy, a man. Acting tough is now a : in all probability, people will laugh at you rather than applaud you.
And this general encroachment has had a ripple effect, and is starting to impact other aspects of our culture, particularly where the heteronormative and homosexual perspectives collide/intersect. There are examples now, like that of Chuck’s classmate, where straight men are publicly skewered for declaring homophobic beliefs. It’s still okay to be homophobic, our society says, you just can’t admit it.
(I mean, just look at and how Filipinos have embraced the ideas it espoused and the themes it has embraced. That’s one huge effing leap for mankind.)
This made me realize that the homophobes, ironically, are now in the closet gay men used to occupy. And the idea is the very soul of karmic retribution. The world is moving towards a new direction, and if more gay men bravely step out of the closet, then we’ll have more space to stuff the homophobes in.