What’s so wrong with being masc, mate?

I’ve often been accused of having an agenda to push only one kind of “gay” expression: the stereotypically effeminate, “queen” expression of non-heterosexual male culture. It might come as a surprise to some, then, when I tell you that I identify, at least on the physical level, through both my appearance and activities, as a cis-male. Psychologically, I would consider myself to be far more pangendered than anything else, however in a lot of people’s minds, pangenderism often gives rise to images of androgyny, whereas to me, it covers the extremes of both the masculine and the feminine, from extreme masculine aggression to extreme feminine passivity and the entire range between them. We are all unique when it comes to gender, something I realise more consciously every day, upon meeting every new person, in the non-heterosexual and in the heterosexual environments.

It’s not surprising I get this sort of criticism, considering my obvious attacks on the mandatory immitation of heterosexual ideas of masculinity that I believe have infected the non-heterosexual male community over the last decade or so. But I am not attacking masculinity, nor am I attacking non-heterosexual men who express themselves primarily through a traditionally masculine lens. I express myself through the same lens, most of the time. I’ve been conditioned to do so, after all.

No, I’m not attacking masculinity, nor am I attempting to force femininity onto anyone. If anything, I use the expression of blatant stereotyped faggotry to challenge those who are criticised on my blog.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with expressing yourself in a masculine way. I love masculinity! I love femininity too, and if we were living in an alternate universe where femininity was regarded in such high esteem like masculinity is here, and we were bombarded with profiles proclaiming “no mascs”, then my blog would still exist, and so would the same criticisms of it, albeit inverted.

So what’s my problem then? I will tell you (was there ever any doubt!).

My problem is that a majority (a very large, massive, huge, throbbing … majority) of men who repetitively chant the word “masc” like a mantra in their profiles have very little concept of what the word actually means.

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve drilled a guy about his use of the word “masc” only to be told, time and again that to “be masc” is to be “not femme/not gay-acting/not a woman/not girly” etc.

I shouldn’t have to explain to you that a thing is not defined by what IT ISN’T! A cat is not a “not dog”, the colour yellow is not “not blue”, a car is not a “not train” and a man is not a “not woman”! How confusing would it be if we all started talking in “not things”?

Hi there, how are you feeling today? Would you like to go for a walk with me?

would become

Not goodbye, how are not-me feeling not-tomorrow? Would not-someone-else not-dislike to not-stay for a not-swim not-without not-you?

Kill me now! But you get the point (I hope).

In every definition of the word “masculine” I could find, not one of them said “not feminine”. So how can non-heterosexual men claim the right to use the word “masc” to describe themselves when most of them don’t even know what it means?

Furthermore, the answer “not femme” really exposes the essence of what’s going on here, and that essence is the uncomfortableness these men feel expressing themselves in a society that has taught them that “gay = feminine man who gets fucked in the arse = bad”. Their entire focus isn’t actually on masculinity at all, it is 100% on femininity. They are thinking about their perceived internal femininity every single time they write the word “masculine”, and to me that’s a classic example of overcompensation.

If these guys were able to disconnect from their ideas of the not-feminine for just a few moments, they could focus on WHO THEY ACTUALLY ARE, AND WHAT THEY ACTUALLY LIKE! For just a second, these men could forget what society says is a not-woman, and investigate just what exactly it is that makes them a man.

They might enjoy watching football, riding dirt bikes, drinking with their mates down the local pub, working out, driving utes, and other aspects traditionally associated by society as masculine (not that women can’t enjoy these things too, but that’s not the point here). They might also discover they like to dance, read, paint, talk about their feelings, have coffee with their female friends, shop for clothes, cook, decorate, and other aspects traditionally associated by society as feminine. And when they put all of these things together they will be able to see how much more diverse and interesting they are than just a “not-woman”.

Some of these men may have absolutely no interest in anything traditionally associated with femininity, others may be the opposite. But how things are standing right now, a lot of these men are not even looking at themselves and who they actually are, or what they actually like to do, so hamstrung are they in their attempts to prove somehow that they are “real men”. If you have to keep clubbing people over the head with terms like “straight acting” and “masc” and “no queens no femmes” then you are just presenting yourself to the world as someone who really is too frightened to look inwards and discover who you actually are. You are trying too hard to convince the world of something, and this effort is belying the truth: that you are insecure with the essence of who you are as a male.

There’s nothing wrong with loving all the traditionally masculine activities, but make sure you’re loving them because you love them. In my moments of insecurity in the past I tried to force myself to love rugby league. I mean, I was brought up on the game, I played it (well), and it IS the pinnacle of masculinity in our society, and I am attracted very much so to the masculine traits in men, so it’s only natural I love that game, right? But no, when I was honest with myself I realized I found the game intensely boring. What I liked about the game was the extremely hot men! And that’s ok! But I’m not going to write in my profile that I love footy just to project a sense of the hyper-masculinised me. No way! It’s not me! And here we come to the nitty-gritty of it all – we are on Grindr and other mediums to find other guys we like, whether that be for a 10 minute encounter or a 10 year relationship. We need to start being honest with who we are, so we can attract men who match us. So unless footy is a real passion, don’t put it on your profile! Put your passions on there, put what you love on there, and please STOP putting all the not-loves up, just to prove to the world that you are not something you fear you really are.

All humans, no matter what sexuality, are complex. They are not black and white. You may only have 120 characters on a Grindr profile to express yourself, but it is possible to do just that. Every single word you devote to proving you are something you hope you are not, is a word wasted, and a word that will ultimately attract guys you really don’t want.

Be yourself and you will meet men who complement you. Keep up the charade and you won’t. I’ve already made my choice here, and I’m getting frustrated waiting for all the not-women (many of whom would be extremely sexy if they could just learn to be REAL) to wake up and smell the roses-slash-jockstraps!!!!

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