A reader hipped me to a video recently. I watched it. I can see the appeal, since it’s a video all about being awesomer to people. Something about it didn’t sit right with me, though. Here, you watch and then we’ll get back together after the jump and compare notes.

Okay, so, yes, it’s not nice to call people homophobic names. It also doesn’t make you more straight to do so. (I think the only thing that makes men straight – or at least bisexual – is cunnilingus. True story.) I have two problems with the video that won’t let me endorse it completely:

  1. A “real man” is anyone who calls themselves a man. Seriously. Lets stop with the gender contests. There’s nothing super awesome about being a man, real or otherwise. I’m comfortable being male, sure. But it doesn’t give me superpowers.
  2. The message seems to be “Don’t act like such a homophobe because girls don’t like it!” In other words, it’s selling access to vaginas in exchange for not being a homophobic mess.

I have, recently even, made the mistake of trying to coddle guys who don’t quite get it yet by saying “Look, there are sexual benefits to not being horrible.” Despite the fact that I was trying to help, as were the makers of this video, I (and they) were wrong to do so.  Our goal shouldn’t be to get men to act nicely because if they do they will be rewarded with sex from these handy women we have sitting around. Our goal should be, and I think is, to change how people with privilege (straight men in both cases) think about and view others.

You shouldn’t say homophobic things because you’d be a terrible person if you did. You shouldn’t get angry at women just for not being interested in dating you because, hey, you’re a grown up and that shit just happens. Also, some of my favorite people in the whole wide world, that I don’t have sex with ever, are queer people and women. You’re missing out on some great folks when you decide to be horrible.

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BiodorkFebruary 13, 2012 9:30 pm

You make really great points. I get what you’re saying about the “defining what a man is” problem that the video has. And I’m really embarrassed that I didn’t notice the second point. I’m so used to seeing this damn ploy, and I still fall for it. There was a superbowl commercial that did a very similar thing (buy her flowers and she’ll totes have sex with you) and I was all over it. But I missed it in this one. Thanks for your analysis.

Sasha February 13 2012 21:38 pm

I was recently reminded of my own blindness to that sort of thing so it was fresh in my mind. Thanks again for the tip!

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