The Word Rabbit

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This article was written on 30 Jul 2015, and is filled under Uncategorized.

Rant

‘Dude!’

‘Dude!’

There then follows a chest bump in which neither man manages to do anything which looks like touching genitals, some things with hands and then both men walk away slightly like monkeys. This, in all its doubtful glory is performative masculinity in the twenty first century and, gentle reader, it’s an absolutely blazing wall of arsetrumpet.

This is of interest if someone you know is, in fact, male and you faintly like and tolerate them, because they’re mired in these situations like a horse inexplicably in a swimming pool and trying to get to the shallow end.

You’re required to do certain things in a hugely blokish, solid way. Shaking hands is no longer a given. The other man might want to do that strange, vertical hand clasp thing and you’ll look like a tit for trying to shake his hand. He might hug you, in which case, for pity’s sakes, don’t let your cock brush his, otherwise you might as well give out cards which say I AM A BLAZINGLY OUT GAY and seduce his dad.

Where this gets grimmer, as if trying not to brush genitals with someone you might not like isn’t grim enough, is in their attitudes to women. You might expect that men who hug are slightly more enlightened, but no. This is where a certain type of masculinity retreated to and it isn’t going back any bloody further.

I’ve seen a dudeman share intimate pictures of his girlfriend, unknown to her, with some smirking lizardboys in a pub. I’ve had a friend talk gleefully about masturbating over an unconscious woman’s breasts and heard enough rape jokes to make Joan ‘Miss Marple’ Hickson come back from the dead and forcibly castrate any passers by.

The point is that these are men who don’t, helpfully, come with horns, a tail and a faint whiff of saltpetre. Most of them are married. Some of them are fathers to daughters, which makes as much sense as asking Fred West if he’d like to babysit the kiddies. They’re all huggers and dudepeople.

What you have here is a masculinity that thinks it’s changed but that has just re-skinned itself and carried on as though it was still wearing a hat, smoking a pipe and stealing someone else’s country. For all the performative arsing about, these are attitudes that should not just be argued with but blown up with explosives and strewn around the Home Counties.

This behaviour needs hauling out into the light and ridiculing because while the people who instigate it are morons for whom there aren’t enough circles of hell, hapless imbeciles who find themselves caught up in it feel like this may be the way to behave or are so spineless that they won’t challenge some bubble-headed dimblebrain when he talks about violating women, still less report him to the police.

Feminism has started the conversation about what being a woman means and there a million different narratives, but we, that’s men and friends, badly need to pick it up and use it as a lens to look at ourselves, because if we carry on like this, we’re voting either to be kept in a reservation for idiots or forcibly eliminated.

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