For The Love Of Men

Posted: September 1, 2011 in Blogging, Letters From An Alien, Masculinities
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It seemed very ‘fresh’ even in 2011. That’s to your credit- I mean History of Sexuality still seems ‘fresh’. But part of the reason both books do is that really, the ideas in them have not been taken on board or developed by anyone, despite the endless Foucault fetishing or the endless ‘queer readings’ of films etc. I felt angry that there is this void where people are not actually considering masculinity and taking it seriously. Instead we have the Daily Mail filling that void with anxious articles about  men’s ‘addiction’ to hair straighteners and being ‘primped’. Or The Graun laying into a man who just wanted to lose weight and look good. Or Catherine Hakim writing bullshit about men’s ‘sex defecit’ in relation to women, as if all men are heterosexual. Or Gayist academics going on about ‘softening masculinties’ and ignoring the hard truth.

This is the comment I didn’t post on your blog:

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‘…AND Matthew’s points illuminate what I have been thinking, that men being ‘denied a voice’ about their bodies/feelings/sexuality, is partly entwined with the fact that to express that ‘voice’ would mean expressing something ‘queer’. And men on the whole, refuse to speak about themselves and each other in a queer manner.

Obviously, in that refusal they just end up sounding like a bunch of homos anyway (er- Face Lube?), but they seem to prefer that to actually speaking honestly.

GET IT IN THERE MY SON!

I really enjoy the discussions I have with the very bright sparks on my blog, but it is not the same as how I am able to clarify my thoughts at

It is a unique space. And my interaction with it is also unique. But I am not going to hog the floor. As Mr Str8 bro said – ‘why do you insist on demanding representation on a blog that is about MEN?’

Because I love men? Is it ok in this world to *really* love men? For anyone? I don’t know’.

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Comments
  1. paul says:

    QRG, I really think the main culprit at this point lies with the Binary, which functions as a pre-emptive strike on any progress we might make in understanding sexuality better. It just strains absolutely everything through its mesh, crushes the life out of its subject. We’re trapped in categories functioning truly metaphysically. We insist on two fundamentally different kinds of human being, mapping onto the even more foundational Binary of Gender, and there really isn’t much room to breathe. Part of the brilliance of queer theory and Mark’s approach is to catch this regime off-guard by coming it at from all different sides rather than head-on. But it is fiendishly powerful due to how it neatly allays everyone’s anxieties about the complexities and depths of our libidinal lives. “I’m simply This, this one-pointed thing, end of story–everything else follows.”

    You asked on another thread what we do in resistance, and one of the main things for me is simply refusing to use the language of the Binary. It doesn’t exactly make for an easy life … but I don’t feel I have any choice. Even if we intend subtler things when using the words, the words themselves are thoroughly corrupted to my mind because they have become unquestioningly metaphysical. So … it takes me longer to answer certain questions, and sometimes people don’t quite get what I’m trying to say, but…

    I wish I could emulate the lighter tone you and Mark and others can call on, see more humor in the situation. I just end up seeing all the harm it all causes, in so many forms, and feel utterly frustrated way too often. And yes, in your title you nailed the reason why we care–those of us who do.

    • Matthew says:

      I really want another language for sexuality as well. “Bisexual” only reinforces the stupidity. I do think however there are some possible post modern models. Robert J Lifton described a psychological Protean Self one that is mutable and not fixed, and Deleuze theorized of Conciousness without a self. Identity politics has very little to do with reality just the need to create delusion rather than suffer the anxiety, overwhelment and dispair and passion of living closer to the real.

      • yes but Deleuze seemed to deny his own corporeal existence! Like he didn’t have a body.

        • Matthew says:

          I agree it is why I have always gone for psychology vs. Post modern theory. “a self” may be a construct but it also is a utility. And if we take the liberty to create our “selves” and remain open knowing it is not exactly real we may find more liberty in doing so. The problem of course so many forces act upon a man today that this liberty is terribly difficult especially in the realm of gender and sexuality. In this sense a postmodern man is essentially schizophrenic. Which brings it back to Deleuze. I am searching for something that has not been found yet.

    • I agree with all you say Paul.

      as for humour – sometimes it is a kind of gallows humour I think.

      I do refuse the language of the binary wherever possible. But sometimes it is unavoidable, especially when these people we call ‘men’ sometimes get lost in the discussions about ‘gender’.

  2. Elise says:

    I’m so confused about how you were ever a Feminist at all with your ardent love of men (whether heterosexual or “homosocial,” since you’ve given both accounts in passing). I don’t think I know what that experience is like. Although primarily heterosexual *and* female-oriented (I know *that* confuses *you* about me), I don’t think I even experience fan love of men or women differently (or experience male and female beauty differently… about the only practical effect my open-mindedness towards bisexuality has produced). To me it seems like the sort of man-love you’re talking about *is* homosocial, which would make you one of the few people to talk about it openly, other than gay men. (And some lesbians.)

    I also can’t think of many men who talk about their ardent love of women (not just sexual attraction). Although it may be moderately more acceptable nowadays to be a man who loves women than a woman who loves men. Because there’s still the perception that to be pro-man is to be anti-woman, and vice versa. And feminism made it *acceptable* to be anti-male as a man, but nothing has come along to make it acceptable to be anti-female as a woman.

    Such are my thoughts… as long as your post!

    • I was a feminist because I was born into and out of the belly of the women’s liberation movement in 1970. It is like wondering why Julian Lennon was ever a musician…

      Your heterosexual female-oriented stance doesn’t confuse me as most women are like that. I don’t *understand* it logically, but I understand it culturally. Being a woman is all about being woman-centric whilst retaining a kind of awe for this ‘other’ called ‘Man’ – sometimes a hateful awe. eg – rape culture discourse.

      I know you don’t buy into rape culture discourse btw.

  3. feminism makes it *necessary* to be anti-male, as a man or woman. I don’t know if I can spell out this fact any more than I have.

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