Watch Out! You Don’t Fit into Society’s Rigid Gender Ideals and Therefore are about to be Crushed by an Ironic Symbol of Masculinity! she called only too late…

Here for you now, I present a collection of Milwaukee’s Best Light Beer commercials… Enjoy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGItoKaX0BM

What do all of those commercials have in common? Beer. And also hegemonic masculinity.

Hegemonic masculinity is the term used to explain the criteria for being a “real man”; a model for all men to show how they “should” be. Generally, in American culture, there is only one complete unblushing male: a young, married, white, urban, heterosexual, Protestant, father, college educated, fully employed, handsome, tall, of the appropriate weight, and has a recent record in sports. And anyone who fails to qualify in any one of these ways at any time is likely to see himself as unworthy, incomplete, or inferior. Right? All other men who don’t fit this criteria are not manly at all. 

ImageImageImage

The tagline of the beer is “Men should act like men”, and those who do not act like “men” should be crushed to death by an enormous beer can that falls from the heavens. Of course.

Clearly, this is unfair and sexist towards men. The men deserve to die because they are not acting like men, but are acting like women, and men becoming women is a fate deserving of death?

However, these men are not acting “like women”. They’re just not being stereotypical, hammer-up-the-drywall, macho-macho-masculine dudes.

The man who was showing love, warmth, affection, and sensitivity to a dog instead of working on the car? He definitely needed to die.

The guy who checked in with his wife? Acknowledging that he cares about his relationship? Obviously worthy of death. How dare a man be considerate. That’s just not how we do things here.

The dude with the clothes matching his wife? Whipped! He lost control of his woman. (And if you notice, once the guys reject him, his wife does too. She lets go of his hand and kind of inches away from him. Rejected by everyone.)

The man blotting his pizza, caring about his health, and perhaps even his appearance? Dead. And good riddance. (This is ironic because most older men in America have worse health than their wives. Not to mention this is a Light Beer commercial.)

A lot of this idea of masculinity has to do with the time we live in. If you notice, all of the “real” men are doing manual labor: digging a hole, fixing a car, grilling outdoors…. A hundred years ago, the perfect man would be he who did not have to do any physical labor. He would have slaves or servants to do it for him. Today, that has completely changed. The men were smoking, eating, drinking, working, getting dirty. Their masculinity was about brute strength. And this doesn’t really seem all that odd to us, because it is in fact hegemonic, and we don’t realize it’s there. We’ve integrated it into society so thickly, so deeply, that it only seems natural to us. Of course guys are rough and sweaty. What else would they be?

However, if this idea of “masculinity” was in fact natural, a hundred years ago the manliest men would also be digging holes and greasing up the … horses. If this really was natural, there wouldn’t be such great differences across time and space.

Here in America, two guys holding hands—not cool. Guys don’t generally hold hands, not unless their lovers. But in Africa, across the sea in the Middle East, guys hold hands. It’s a sign of friendship, of comradery. Guys do it all the time there, and it’s normal, it’s natural.

A guy I know, we’ll call him Gerard, served a Mission down in Africa recently. He had a tour guide to help him navigate the town. The tour guide was going to show him where such-and-such was, so he reached down to grab Gerard’s hand and instantly Gerard snatched his hand back, absolutely shocked. His tour guide looked at him strange, he was kind of hurt and confused. The tour guide was just trying to show him the way. Why had he not wanted to hold hands with him? Weren’t they pals?

It was extremely weird for Gerard to hold another man’s hand, and it was weird for the tour guide not to because of these two conflicting ideas of masculinity.

What’s so wrong with two guys holding hands in America? Oh right, because it’s “gay”.  … Oh, sorry, that was my cue: *Gasp!*

But wait, now why is that a bad thing? Oh right, because of this thing called hegemonic masculinity that says all real men are straight men, and real men are hardass Schwarzenegger S.O.B.’s that would never show affection or emotion because truly they’re half robot inside. And any deviancy will be met with the swift and just verdict of a giant beer can falling out of the sky to murder them on the spot. Silly me, how could I forget?

Image

Whoopsi daisy! How did that get there?

Heterosexual Questionnaire

1. What do you think caused your heterosexuality?

2. When and how did you decide you were a heterosexual?

3. Is it possible that your heterosexuality is just a phase you may grow out of?

4. Is it possible that your heterosexuality stems from a neurotic fear of others of the same sex?

5. If you have never slept with a person of the same sex, is it possible that all you need is a good gay lover?

6. Do your parents know that you are straight?
Do your friends and/or roommate(s) know?
How did they react?

7. Why do you insist on flaunting your heterosexuality? Can’t you just be who you are and keep it quiet?

8. Why do heterosexuals place so much emphasis on sex?

9. Why do heterosexuals feel compelled to seduce others into their lifestyle?

10. A disproportionate majority of child molesters are heterosexual. Do you consider it safe to expose children to heterosexual teachers?

11. Just what do men and women do in bed together? How can they truly know how to please each other, being so anatomically different?

12. With all the societal support marriage receives, the divorce rate is spiraling. Why are there so few stable relationships among heterosexuals?

13. Statistics show that lesbians have the lowest incidence of sexually transmitted diseases. Is it really safe for a woman to maintain a heterosexual lifestyle and run the risk of disease and pregnancy?

14. How can you become a whole person if you limit yourself to compulsive, exclusive heterosexuality?

15. Considering the menace of overpopulation, how could the human race survive if everyone were heterosexual?

16. Could you trust a heterosexual therapist to be objective? Don’t you feel s/he might be inclined to influence you in the direction of her/his own leanings?

17. There seem to be very few happy heterosexuals. Techniques have been developed that might enable you to change if you really want to. Have you considered trying aversion therapy?

18. Would you want your child to be heterosexual, knowing the problems that s/he would face?

Debunking Leviticus

In honor of the one year anniversary repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell:

Something I’ve been hearing about a lot recently in the world is gay marriage. Gay this, gay that, it’s wrong, it’s right, I don’t like it, it’s not natural, on and on and on. Gay marriage, or rather, marriage equality (because gay people don’t gay walk their dog or gay grocery shop) is ridiculous. It’s absurd; absolutely ludicrous! There is no reason that everyone shouldn’t be allowed to be married, to publicly show their love, to have tax breaks, to visit their partner in the hospital when their sick, or adopt a child together.

Besides the fact that withholding marriage from a specific category of people is the textbook definition of discrimination, especially in the home of the free and the land of the brave, people try to use the Bible to somehow legitimize their prejudice.

Here for you now, is the Debunking of Leviticus, so you too can stop hate and ignorance it its tracks!

“‘Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.” (Leviticus 18:22)

This is probably the most famous line used against marriage equality. First, Leviticus also said no haircuts, polyester clothes, divorce, tattoos, football, shellfish, fortune telling, and gold jewelry, among other things (like if your wife saves your life by grabbing the attackers genitals, you have to cut off her hand. For shizzle. How bizarrely specific is that?). If you’re going to follow one rule, you have to follow them all. You can’t just pick and choose.

That’s right, no more drunken football games in your poly-cotton blend jersey with your local fortune teller and Cash-4-Gold representative after divorcing your crab-scarfing Barbershop spouse anymore. I know what you’re thinking. What am I going to do with my Tuesday nights now? I’m in the same boat, my friend. Back to Boggle, I suppose.

Second, Leviticus is in the Old Testament, which is specifically meant for Jews, not Christians.

And third, none of it even matters because Jesus invalidated all of it, along with Original Sin, when he died on the cross and instated a new set of rules so we could all go to Heaven. (But I’m sure God cares more about who you decide to marry rather than being a good person or following His teachings.)

I’ve also heard arguments that people of the same sex coming together is somehow against God, or against the Bible. Just in the same way that it doesn’t matter what I think of your relationship, it doesn’t matter what your God thinks of their relationship, because in fact it may not be the same omnipotent deity. And it also doesn’t matter if you don’t like their relationship.

If I don’t like my neighbor’s marriage, can I stop it? No, I can’t. Do I have a say in your marriage because I think blondes and brunettes don’t mix? Because Muggles and Wizards don’t mix? No, I do not. No one should have any say in anyone else’s marriage besides the people in that relationship. (Am I sounding crazy yet?)

Love is not just a right, it’s something unique and beautiful to our species. It’s not only insane to think someone could regulate it, I find it ugly. Love is like breathing. No more can anyone control how many breaths a person takes in their lifetime, can you control the zombie apocalypse, or, you know, the person who they’ll love.

Image

ACCIO Neil Patrick Harris

Have y’all seen the State Farm commercials? You know, the ones that sing? Here, let me try and post one… let’s see if this works… cross your fingers….

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

Ha! It worked! … Sort of.

Well, obviously it isn’t as spectacular for you because you could already see there was a video link, but it was a huge accomplishment for me. Okay, maybe not a huge accomplishment. It’s not like I won the Olympics or defeated a whole legion of dementors. Those would be huge accomplishments. This is more like…. snail sex. (What? Did I really just say snail sex? Why would I write that? I could’ve said it’s like after 20 years finally figuring out how to play hopscotch. That would’ve been much better. Oh well, can’t change it now.) Alright, fine, it’s not an accomplishment at all. Happy?

Anyways, we’ve gotten off point. So you know how the commercial works. You sing the jingle, add something you want like a hot tub or a sandwich, and bippity-boppity-boo, it appears.

I was hanging in the lounge of my building with some friends when this subject came up. We all took turns singing the jingle and then asking for something. When my turn came around, I asked for Neil Patrick Harris (of course).

Another girl, who was also in the lounge, turned to me and said “Yeah, good one. Except he’s gay, so that kind of ruins it.”

Kind of ruins it…. Kind of ruins what? I don’t understand. What was she expecting to do with a magically acquired man that she couldn’t do with a gay one? I wanted Neil so we could hang out and talk… and so he could sing me songs from Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. What if I had said Tom Felton or Johnny Depp? What deplorable, perverted things were you planning on doing to my man, lady??

But let’s be honest, nothing could ruin NPH. Not even snail sex. True story.

You would think that after 20+ years on this Earth, of 20+ years being around people, that would be enough time to stop being shocked or surprised by what came out of people’s mouths. It’s not. We all know it’s not nearly enough time. You could double that number, probably even triple it, maybe even quadruple it, and it still wouldn’t be enough.

Sometimes, and this is only rarely, I wish I was Edward Cullen. Wait, hear me out. Because he was able to read people’s minds. Because behind every statement is the thought that lies beneath. Behind every question is the real question begging to be asked. Sometimes I wish I knew what people were actually thinking. And then I realize that I probably really, really don’t, because how terrifying would that be? I mean, sparkling in the sun? Not my idea of a good time.

Edward discovered that most people were thinking about sex or money. And sometimes cats. Which leads me back to Neil (the sex, not the cats). Why are we always thinking about sex? I’m not just talking about horny teenagers here, I mean throughout human history, dating all the way back to cave drawings and stick figure memes, sex has been an integral part of our lives, and it still is today. Tabloids and gossip magazines are always He cheated on her, or My mother’s having my baby, plus Guess who got caught, not to mention Their breaking up, and every once in a while Their getting back together, married, pregnant, divorced, and now she’s gay! on and on and on.

We, as a species, as a culture, are obsessed. Obsessed I say! Asking for a man with the State Farm song was only valid if I got a heterosexual man.

So here’s my two cents. Sex is not that important, not in the grand scheme of things, and not at the expense of other people. It seems like so much drama, whether real life or television life, stems from this. Don’t look at people as gateways to sex or salvation. Treat them as if they were human beings, because, baring any unforeseen pod people invasions, chances are they are.

Image.