Monday, October 6, 2008

I Don't Know How To Love Him

I was recently reading the former Pat, now Patrick Califia’s comment about joining the male species; he states he never much liked men. That’s not true for me - I like men a lot. It has taken some work on my part, however, to get there. Interestingly (or not) I occasionally get accused of not liking men, of in fact hating men. It’s always men I don’t like who accuse me of that. It’s as if they cannot bear to be disliked personally, and so must displace my very specific disgust to the rather more inclusive shoulders of menkind. A less agreeable piece of my personality is that I don’t suffer fools gladly, and I do feel that men who call adult women “girls” are fools. Especially do not call me a girl: I will despise you for it.

A fair proportion of the transguys I hang with were man-bivilant, or even separatists as lesbians. It’s a peculiar stance, to feel this compulsion to become this thing that challenges you at every turn, that nearly insists on making itself look…well…stupid and ugly. The better of us will do this thoughtfully, will examine and question the meaning of masculinity both within our own framework and globally. It’s mortifying to do so, though, because time after time, under this scrutiny, I expose myself as one of those despicable fools. Who wants to know that about themselves? F’rinstance:

During my women’s studies class today we were challenged to find a piece of magazine advertising that denigrated woman, and then one that empowered. My unwitting classmates exposed a Victoria’s Secret-type campaign as sexist and demoralizing because it showed only the torso (sans cabeza) of a seriously slender young woman in a (frankly fantastic) bra and thong, inviting the reader to conjecture something about this apparel mitigating “bad hair days.” Clearly not about “bad hair,” this campaign, with its unsubtle appeal to both the erotic and the insecure. So I’m looking at this ad, nodding in accord with the rest of my classmates, but here’s what’s going on inside my brain:

“I’d like to tap that just about…NOW. That shit is ON FIRE.”

To my credit, this torso could’ve had forty more pounds on it. It could’ve had pubic hair curling upwards from all seams. It could’ve displayed mammoth mams or none a’tall. I’m an equal-opportunity scumbag.

My most recent male love affair was with my friend David Clay. He did not suffer fools gladly either, male or female, and his outspokenness did not leave him popular. I remember David trying to explain to an acquaintance that not all cultures place quite the value on the bosom that ours does. I watched as steam curled from the ears of the man David was attempting to school that breast fetishism is cultural, learned behavior, and that other countries find little or nothing sexual at all about a woman’s breasts. It is hard to believe, in the context of our boobicentric inculcation, that other people find American titty-hankerin’ downright infantile. Something burst, neurochemically, in our acquaintance’s brain as he tried to assimilate this information. How could a world without big booby love exist, and more importantly, would you want it to?

I tell myself I can align myself with masculinity because I do so with eyes open. I allow myself my fetishes (non-boobular, but perhaps equivalently un-feminist) because I’ve explored the meaning of them, and I appreciate their purpose in the material hegemony. Oh, yawn. I suppose that’s true. But at the end of the day, I really just want a fantastic ass at the end of two glorious stems like every other man-jerk in America.

My Women Studies friend Vanessa and I were mildly exasperated today by our oft-appointed role as Homo-Queer Diplomat. I mean, I guess we choose to be Queer Ambassadors, Lezzie Liaisons…one can either be kind and take the opportunity to educate, or one can be a big gayhomosexual snarkhole. Most time we opt for the highest. But it does get tiresome, because people are at where they’re at, and on occasion we’d like to be met where we are, instead of having to slide our queer ass down the mountainside to pull you out of your stank morass of stupendous simple-mindedness. I’m sorry, what I meant to say was: Jesus God, what is homosexuality threatening, exactly!? Dear me, I do digress. In the context of this class, my own frustration is with people’s often willful, nearly obstreperous insistence that all life should resemble theirs, as if they were God itself contemplating their own rib - but these youngsters will always opt for the barbecue sauce.

It is sentiments like these that get me the “angry man-hating dyke” moniker. I promise promise PROMISE you I don’t hate men. My intolerance, my anger is for stupid humans in general. I’m old, and I’ve had to be nice to people A LOT. As Philo of Alexandria said “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.” It’s really true, we all are. And we’re wherever we’re at, with whatever. Nonetheless, I’m not going to cut too many people slack anymore, especially with the man-hating/women-hating stuff. I’ve yet to be tagged a man-hater by a man I wasn’t convinced didn’t hate women. Some men mistake multiple marriages for “loving women.” I always want to say to guys like that “if you really loved women, you’d stop marrying them!” but what are you going to do?

I’ve been spoiled and coddled somewhat when it comes to men. My closest male friends and mentors understand their privilege, don’t need to posture; they are also capable of calling me out on my own. So if I seem a little testy (ha! Little testes!) today, it’s because I am. I didn’t come to this man-thing chock-a-block full of studly unicorns and butch rainbows – I’m not sure I ordered this, but it is what’s on my plate. Sometimes it smells really delicious and fragrant, but sometimes it’s stinky socks and toe-cheese. That’s the human stew, y’all. Love it, leave it, but you gotta eat it. And no-one says you got to be nice when we’re all at the table, but it does make dinner go more smoothly.

1 comment:

  1. Is it human nature that if the person you encounter does not fit whatever your definition of a righteous person might be, it is assumed that that person must be the leader of a movement that is intent on eradicating all righteous people? "Why do they hate us so? What have we done?"
    No person wants to be cast aside for being part of a group, but there is also comfort in that. S/he hates me because I'm (whatever) not because I am despicable in my own right, for the actions I have taken in the presence of and/or on the person of this "terrorist leader" who hates me simply because I exist. There's room for everybody, y'all! (And more than enough to go around. )