Monday, March 19, 2012
The Boys Club Evolves? Wait, No Homo.
On the surface the Bromance appears to be a step forward in the cultural construction of masculinity. Men are allowed to show emotions that are typically relegated to the feminine half of our social binary. Men can cry, hug, and have deep conversations with their fellow "bros" and not be socially ridiculed for it, but only if they label it. These non normative behaviors seem to only be socially okay and accepted if the men partaking in them label it as a bromance or state, "no homo." Otherwise, they run the risk of being considered homosexual. This is the problem with the bromance. On the one hand it allows for men to engage in feminine behaviors without consequence, on the other hand it continues to relegate gay men as somehow "wrong." As other students have pointed out in their blogs there is a long history of men being close friends and comrades with other men most significantly its seems in ancient Sparta. However, how much do want to bet that before going into battle they didn't hug each other and then feel the need to proclaim, "No Homo?" This lends me to believe that there is something very specific to our current cultural context that requires us to announce what our sexuality is or face social consequences. Not to my knowledge has there every been a depiction in modern media of a bromance that was mistaken for a gay relationship and the men have responded with an, "Oh okay...whatever." While it is okay for men to have friends who are men, it is really only acceptable if they are both heterosexual. While "Happy Endings" seems to be attempting to fight against this, it still plays into traditional depictions of masculinity. The bromance seems to be trapped within our cultural fixation on fixed sexuality that is concrete rather than fluid. We are either heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual, but never anything that fits in between those categories. Freud states that our sexuality is more or less a scale and most people fit between categories rather than in a specific one. However, society refuses to see it this way. We want people in specific categories that are easy to understand and even easier to control. The Bromance seems to be an attempt to break through these concrete barriers of sexuality, however until not just men but all genders gets over this severe need to proclaim a certain specific sexuality and continually fear being mistaken for something else, the bromance and other relationships that threaten the male female sexual binary will continue to be controlled and dictated by hegemonic forces.