No More "Man-Cave," "Manswers," or "Man-love"...

Seriously.  What's with the "man" prefixes?  Is it just because it's so darn funny?  Because men are somehow NOT represented in dominant culture, and need to compensate?  Or is it just latent homophobia? "It's man-time!"  So let's play some "man-games!"  Then we'll drink some "man-drinks!"

But be careful: men can't "love" each other or show affection, unless they call it "man-love."  Then it somehow connotes cavemen hitting each other affectionately with wooden clubs before dragging their females into the "man-cave" for heterosexual mating.


10 comments:

Eruesso said...

Don't forget about "Guy Love"!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lL4L4Uv5rf0

tmamone said...

Hope this doesn't sound offensive, but nothing could be gayer than the phrase "man love."

Peter J Walker said...

Ha! True Trav, but I hear straight guys use it all the time with the explicit intention of validating heterosexual masculine affection. Ironic, aye? Sort of like Hamlet's mother: they "doth protest too much!" Suspicious?

Euresso, I totally forgot about that Scrubs clip! It's just too good - I've got to embed it here. Thanks bro,
Peter

Eruesso said...

Zen

J. E. Porter said...

This is so sad to me. One of my favorite things about being female is that few people in our culture will give me a hard time for telling all my female friends that I love them and then kissing them.

I think guys call it "Man love" because they're insecure about being judged, and that sucks. No one likes that, especially when being perceived as being "feminine" comes with negative connotations.

Ted said...

We should also include the man-bag, the man-crush, the bromance, and metrosexuality.

This is something I've been pondering for awhile. Some of it -- and especially the things you point out -- really does seem like too much protesting, born of insecurities.


But the impetus for those insecurities might be the changing landscape of sexuality in general, wherein we find we need language for homosocial bonding, and this might be a step on the way to delegitimizing heteronormativity.

Bryan said...

Totally with you here. When I lead retreats with groups of young male leaders, I always start by banning such terms and getting them to a place of saying 'I love you' without adding 'no homo' as a suffix!

Peter J Walker said...

J.E. - yes, "negative connotations." That's what's problematic.

Ted, can't believe I forgot about "bromance" and "man-bag."

I hope you're right - I hope we're seeing a process of re-identification: evolving social norms.

Bryan, good for you. Keep doing good work.
Peter

Existential Punk said...

i am sorry Travis but i do find your comment to be offensive. Wish you were going to be at OP 10 to hear my talk.

Peter J Walker said...

Adele, I wish I was going to be there too!! Thanks for the reminder, I know exactly what you're saying.

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