Posts Tagged ‘macho fags’

What makes a man a man?

It is a question that sounds simple but is actually not at all.

And the more I ask it the more I come to the conclusion that ‘a man’, like ‘a woman’ is really only a way of thinking about gender.

Those people I have met and loved or hated or felt indifferent to, who call themselves ‘men’, have no more in common with each other than any other form of human being.

But in our culture ‘being a man’ is a very important concept, that we are very hung up about.

I had a bit of a discussion about this  subject of ‘manliness’ over at Mark Simpson’s blog. It all started with a seemingly innocent essay about how America sells fast food as ‘manly’ in a very macho way, and then got rather more involved as you will see if you look at the comments.

The main problem I had with Mark’s argument was that although he was critiquing the concept of ‘manliness’ as an ideal for men to aspire to, whether by consuming loads of burgers and/or by being grizzly, manly, masculine ‘Bears’,  he also resorted to the idea that there is such a thing as a ‘natural’, ‘manly’ man. In this paragraph he states:

‘Of course, supersizing yourself actually diminishes your virility.  Obesity lowers your levels of testosterone, as well as causing you to lose sight of your John Thomas, while growing man-boobs.

The epidemic of obesity amongst pre-pubescent young boys on both sides of the Atlantic means that many of them never really experience puberty. Oh, their voices break, they get furrier and their genitals mature, but their body won’t really change shape.  It will be ovoid and lipid – and ‘momsy’ – forever. Until they’re put in a super-sized casket. Possessing a masculine body will always be just a dream.’

The term ‘virility’, is defined in  a number of ways including:

Virility refers to any of a wide range of masculine characteristics viewed positively. It is not applicable to women or to negative characteristics. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED1) says virile is “marked by strength or force.” Virility is commonly associated with vigour, health, sturdiness, and constitution, especially in the fathering of children. In this last sense, virility is to men as fertility is to women.

  1. The quality or state of being virile; manly character.
  2. Masculine vigor; potency.

So basically, ‘virility’ is the equivalent of ‘manliness’ and Mr Simpson was at the end of his article, merely replacing one version of manliness with another. In his ‘masculine body’ ideal, manliness or ‘virility’ relates to the ‘healthy’ production of testosterone and the physique of a man which shows off and allows him to view his own cock.

Apart from that being a bit macho faggish, it made me wonder about trans men, many of whom have testosterone injected, in order that they become ‘manly’, but many of whom also don’t have a cock at all. Are these men not men then? Or are they just not very manly?

I am only using the ‘virility’ discussion as a starting off point because it helps me show how confused we all are about masculinity, and gender, even us self-appointed ‘experts’. I am as confused as the rest of you I assure you.

In the comments following this article about gay men and trans men in New York, some trans men also showed they are hung up about, and confused by, concepts of ‘manliness’ and masculinity, with an arguing developing about when a trans man is a ‘real man’ and when he isn’t…

By GayTransMan on 05/20/2010 at 4:12pm

“Ex-girls”??? How offensive. Transmen are NOT all the same and this article does not represent transmen. The title implies that it does, which makes this irresponsible journalism. MANY transmen are men and identify as such. Many transmen are gay. Many of us like the gender binary.

The labels transmen and FTM have been appropriated by many who would be better defined by the label gender queer, gender anarchist, gender-free, or something along those lines. TransMEN used to refer to MEN who were born female-bodied who had surgery and take hormones in order to live in society as fully male. Unfortunately, we are pushed out of view by those in the younger generation who are not transsexuals. That they appropriated our labels confuses the whole trans issue for non-trans folks, who have enough difficulty understanding us as it is.

I applaud young gender queers for being so active and paving new ground. But get your own labels, please, so that those of us who were calling ourselves transmen before you can go on being accepted as men. 

By MAM449 on 06/10/2010 at 1:04pm

@ gaytransman – I beg to differ, dude. The way I see it, a female-bodied-born man who has had surgery, takes hormones, lives in society as male and embraces the gender binary, is simply a MAN, not a Transman.

The term Transman seems more accurate for those of us who still have any connection (physical, mental or social) to our former female socialization, for those who are not 100% male, and/or for those who don’t choose the stealth path and instead are “out” about our transmale status.

SO, what makes a man a man?

I think the answer is… I don’t know.

And that it really shouldn’t matter. But somehow it does.

Sexuality plays quite a big part in this question. If I wasn’t a ‘heterosexual’ woman, predominantly, I might not be quite so hung up as masculinity as I am. I might be, but if I didn’t find men attractive, and I didn’t want to sleep with them, I wouldnt look over my life and realise I rate men on how ‘manly’ I think they are, according to my own sexual tastes, and society’s norms.

I like men with some muscle definition. I like men who are taller than me. I like men who I think could pick me up and throw me over their shoulder if they felt like it.

But I have also dated some men who, no matter how strong they appear on the outside, no matter how high their testosterone levels, emotionally are actually just sissy boys.

So what makes a man a man? Maybe the same as what makes a woman a woman, a person a person.

Strength of character?

Whatever that is.


I am in danger of turning the name of this blog into Dan Savage Is Annoying !

I am barely joking.

There is something about his particular unique melange of machismo, uber-masculinism, GAY fundamentalism, American middle class liberal imperialist superiority, a hint, a subliminal hint of hatred of men (men who are not Dan Savage that is-even in his sex advice columns), the inevitable, pernicious, underlying misogyny that goes with all those characteristics, that makes me want to RIOT!

Here is an excerpt from a letter to Dan’s ‘Savage Love’ sex advice column in The Seattle Stranger:

‘Is it considered “going down” on someone if they don’t have an orgasm? For instance, one night, right before my girlfriend and I have sex, she sucks my penis for five minutes, then we switch to traditional penis-in-vagina sex. Would she be able to tell her friends the next day (hypothetically) that last night, she went down on her boyfriend and then we had sex? Or do I have to have cum while she was sucking my penis for her to have “gone down” on me?’

Here is an excerpt from Dan’s response to his reader:

‘let’s say I come over to your place, bend you over the sofa, and fuck your ass for, let’s say, an entire episode Judge Judy. But after 30 minutes in Judith Sheindlin’s courtroom—and your ass—I pull my dick out of your ass and get myself off with my hand.Did I masturbate? Or did I fuck your ass? … Similarly, if your girlfriend sucks your dick, Brock, then you have to concede that she went down on you even if you didn’t orgasm in her mouth, same as I fucked your ass during a whole episode of Judge Judy even if I didn’t orgasm in your butt. So when she sucks you and then you fuck her, Brock, you and the girlfriend are having oral sex first as foreplay, then vaginal intercourse for the main event.’

To quote my lovely online friend, Olga, ‘Holy Hell!’

Firstly Dan rolls out the very retrosexual idea of ‘oral sex as foreplay and PIV intercourse as ‘the main event’ ‘. This old fashioned view of sex has been refuted by respondents to a recent American  Sex Survey who value a range of activities and consider them to be part of their sexual repetoire, not hors d’oeuvres before the main juicy cock steak that Savage seems hooked up on.

Also, Savage uses this question about what constitutes a sexual act, to tell us all how easy it would be for him to come round and fuck some straight dude’s ass for a full thirty minutes. I will ignore the fact he doesn’t mention consent, as that is probably nitpicking.  As an agony uncle, isn’t it a bit um, egotistical to say the least, to put yourself in the story told by the person writing to you, to use the image of you, buggering that individual, to illustrate a reductive point about what sex is? Yes Dan it is.

I love men. I love cocks. But I do not respect cocks any more than I respect cunts, or arms, or rectums, or knees, or spleens, or eyeballs, or elbows. I respect people.  But I don’t respect people who wave their cocks in my face, demanding my respect. My worship. My acqiuescence. This cunt will not be tamed.

 What Dan needs, what we all need at some point in our lives, is a little bit of cunt love

Following my announcement to the world that Dan Savage Is Annoying :

I have one more thing to add. Dan Savage Is Really Annoying

After his outburst at Garrison Keillor for his comments on The Gays,  Garrison was bullied into an apology and Savage responded to it with these immortal lines:

‘Excuse me… what? I’m pretty familiar with gay people, seeing as how gay people have been sucking my cock for close to 25 years now. But somehow I didn’t get it—and neither did Andrew Sullivan, John Aravosis, or Andy over at Towleroad. It wasn’t a lack of familiarity with the gays that lead to those angry responses, Garrison’…

Let me reiterate Dan’s point. Gay people have been sucking Dan Savage’s cock for nigh on a quarter of a century, but it is important to note that in all that time, Dan has not been sucking gay people’s cocks. Because he is not a cock-sucker.  Dan Savage may be  professionally Gay, and very well-connected to some important, professionally Gay friends.  But he’s not gay. Get it, bitches?

And I am not going to say another word about Dan Savage’s cock. Ever.

P.S. If you read this Dan, maybe you could try and seek some Advice from a fellow ‘sexpert’, who writes:

‘The one thing that absolutely bugs me in the gay world isn’t a question of “Are you a top or a bottom?” it’s “How masculine are you?” I don’t believe in identifying yourself through a sexual position…when gay people make a distinction between top and bottom, what they are really making a distinction between is men and women, and they have absorbed the societal prejudice that men are strong/women are weak. From an intellectual standpoint, I rebel against it’.

And so do I.

P.P.S. I am going to put this bitch fest against poor Mr Savage in context, very soon. Machismo and fundamentalism are two things which get my goat the most. And Savage and friends encapsulate both quite alarmingly.

P.P.P.S My question, posed a while ago, still stands. Is it physiologically possible, in the world of Middle Class Enlightened Gays, to be a ‘bottom’, and an intellectual, a writer, a leader?  I don’t ask this question to point the finger at gay men in particular, but to try and understand more about gender, sex and power. For deep, deep down, I still have some feminist blood pumping round my queer heart.

Ah, machismo. It is such a pretty word, for such an ugly thing. Imagine it, spoken softly in a lilting Italian brogue, with a sigh, by a devestatingly beautiful, pensive woman. Look at her sat, frowning on the steps of her villa, surrounded by the most picturesque countryside in the world, pondering the sadness of her life. Consider all the men that have come and gone through her body, that have looked in her eyes and not seen her, that have fucked her, over and over and over, but never fucked her, not really. That have drunk all her wine, talked and talked and talked at her, sometimes rasing their hands to her perfect porcelain face. And then fucked off into the Tuscan night. Ah, machismo mi amore.

I have been seduced by macho men before. Not the stereotypical ones, the giveaways with builders bums and stella burps. The ones that call me ‘darlin’ and shout about ‘that bitch’ the wife. And not the suave ones either, the ones that know how to make their moves on women, that wear thick silver watches and talk about business in loud voices. Who spend their evenings on the prowl looking for whores. Or worse. They are too obvious. But I have been seduced all the same.

And I never realise till it is too late.

Once he said it was like ‘fucking a corpse’.

Once or more than once, the ego of a man nearly toppled me over flat onto my face.

Once, once when his foot was in my back and I was on the floor, that’s when I got it, finally.

Once, once I was sucking his cock and he was calling me his whore and for a moment I didn’t know if it was real or a game.

Once, or more than once, a man has looked at me with such contempt that I have wanted  to kill him.

Once, sat in my parents’ living room, the policeman taking the statement asked, ‘how do you spell misogyny?’

Once, or more than once, a man has groped me right in the cunt, hard. And laughed.

Once, the room went black. I had to go to hospital.

And I never realise till it is too late.

So maybe I have turned to gay men as a way of escaping machismo. Especially those aesthetic, philosophical, sensitive gay types.   Think of a gay intellectual and what kind of picture springs to mind? Even now, knowing what I know, I imagine  a beautiful, slightly effete man, tall and svelte, well dressed, a relaxed but fragile air. I think of Isherwood, strolling round Berlin, or E.M. Forster sat in his study. Or Foucault, gesticulating frantically that electric wildness lighting up his eyes. (Though sometimes I can’t help but imagine someone like this) There are some beautiful, bright, sensitive queer thinkers, still, hiding in the shadows. But there are also macho fags. You don’t think of gay men as macho do you, not even the big, butch, hunks of manlove. Especially not them really, for butch is nearly always drag, or an over-compensation for a lack. Macho fags exist. I have felt their hatred.

Academia is full of machismo (and, in some corridors, gay men). The peer review process is a form of  macho posturing, the cockerels, the bulls  in the ring, fighting for glory. Have you ever been to an academic conference? It’s not unlike a boxing match. But without the sex and violence, just the stale smell of alcohol, tired cliches and heavyweight egos, fighting it out in front of a dozing crowd. Deleuze calls his appropriation and interpretation of other philosophers’ work ‘buggery: enculage’. He fucks his heroes up the arse. Just to make a point, to overpower them. Poor Derrida, Poor Baudrillard, they don’t look like they want to be taken from behind so mercilessly by this young upstart. He’s sat there in his ivory tower, waving his French, rhizomatic gay cock in our faces.

And I never realise till it is too late.

That bastard, that fucker who buggered my boy and his friends, he was an academic and an intellectual. He wouldn’t let anyone call him ‘fag’ (or turn him into one, you know how). He didn’t identify as gay. But he made sure he was surrounded by young, handsome, adoring acolytes, that he could impress with his archaeology of knowledge, as he dug and dug and plundered their arses for his pleasure and his power.

I used to look up to Mr Fuck Theory. He is another gay man of letters. Why do I always fall for them? An American college lecturer, he uses a blog to deconstruct philosophy with a wave of his magic wand, producing post-modern aphorisms on sex and gender: a Foucault for the internet generation. History of Sexuality, Dude. I couldn’t get enough. But he was just one more macho fag, waving his cock around, ‘philosophising with a hammer’ as he calls it, hammering home the metaphor. He took every opportunity to remind everyone he was a ‘top’, and he didn’t enjoy being challenged by a little woman.  He likes to fuck theory, you see, not to get fucked intellectually (is it, according to these gay thinkers, physiologically impossible to be a bottom (or a girl) and to have a brain?). It’s his way of dominating, a form of control.

And I never realise till it is too late.

Men have always had trouble accepting homosexuality, especially their own. The  historical perception was that men who buggered other men were free from accusations of being homosexual, whilst those who got buggered were branded as queer, homo, fags. This macho myth is shown to persist, not just among many straight people, but also in ‘other places’, such as within Latino culture  or the Balkan States as depicted in Suck My Nation . But here in the New Gay World where gay men are free to be who they are, to drink in their own bars, to shop at Waitrose, to get hitched, they are all supposed to be equal, no matter whose ass is getting pounded.  But I have a hunch that the hierarchical gendered dichotomy between top and bottom, fucker and sucker, Man and Bitch, is also still alive and well, even in the condos of Canal Street, the bistros of Williamsburgh, the Oyster stalls of Borough Market. Some of my Gay brothers are starting to look worryingly straight round the edges.

We all play power games in sex. Everyone needs something to push against. Sexual inequality is as inevitable and reassuring as Newton’s Third Law.  But standing here, facing forwards, my back to the wall, I want to take these fuckers on. (Are you with me, bitches?) I don’t like these hard men who, no matter how ‘gay’ they may admit to being,  think, deep down, even when their dick is in your mouth,or you are bending over like a good piece of fuckmeat,  that the worst thing a person could be in this world is a cock sucker, an arse-giver, or, even worse than that, a woman.  They are the macho fags of this world.

And I never realise till it is too late.

I am the matador, brandishing the red rag to the bull, and then trying to duck at the last minute; I am the nail that thinks it will be the one clever enough to avoid the hammer’s blow; I am that senorita, sitting, sighing on the steps of her villa.  Ah, machismo, mi amore. I want you dead.