Whether it involves sexist frat house humor at the Oscars or participating in an unjust war, being accepted by the standard male archetypes—no matter how entrenched in masculine insecurity those archetypes may be—is all that really matters to many gay men. It would demand, at minimum, surpassing the confines of sexual identity politics and arriving at an open discussion on what constitutes fair, loving, nurturing, and humane manhood. Yet what is unmistakable at this point in is that, notwithstanding some substantive dissent, a consensus among most American gay men seems to have emerged: Gym tunnel vision sets in. The most ridiculous thing about the gay-shower scare tactic is that it paints straight guys as helpless sheep when in fact—in the locker room and in life—they have most of the power. Only time will tell.
In principle, this seems like a reasonable conclusion—until you take into account our current gender and power dynamics. I don't want that. But one can understand how the idea generates mild discomfort even among guys who are pretty accepting. Gym tunnel vision sets in. What is needed is not an assimilation of gay men into the traditional structures of heterosexual masculinity, but a challenge to our conceptions of masculinity itself. It is a positive thing that Jason Collins and other professional athletes are achieving greater acceptance for themselves. Whether it involves sexist frat house humor at the Oscars or participating in an unjust war, being accepted by the standard male archetypes—no matter how entrenched in masculine insecurity those archetypes may be—is all that really matters to many gay men. But what was at stake in the Jason Collins event was neither a question of racial integration, nor even of tolerance for gays, but of masculine identity itself: Dodgers in the s. Yet I can empathize with Morrissey. The gay ghetto is not a physical ghetto so much as a social construct: At gay pride parades that take place across the country each summer, there are bound to be some soldiers and veterans who have shot dead other men in the streets and fields of Iraq and Afghanistan. No doubt some of those Iraqi and Afghan men were gay themselves. Allowing gays and straights to share locker rooms begs the question of whether we should stop segregating these spaces by sex altogether. So long as our culture puts up with and encourages such behavior, women should be able to keep the boys out of the locker room. I do not want some guy, a teammate, eyeballing me in the shower. Manning is not only transgender, she is also a military-industrial-complex repudiator. Gym tunnel vision sets in. I look at the depressed faces of so many men in ordinary life, dutifully abiding by the dictates of shallow, tin-man, macho masculinity and getting nothing in return for their submission, save another day of sorrow. Rethinking Gay and Straight Masculinity Nowadays guns are the preferred chicken soup for the wounded straight male soul. The most ridiculous thing about the gay-shower scare tactic is that it paints straight guys as helpless sheep when in fact—in the locker room and in life—they have most of the power. Straight guys, you have nothing to worry about. If a man really loves other men, how could he shoot them in war? That Manning, at all of twenty-two years old, managed to essentially put a foot down on a grotesque war machine that celebrated bloodlust, is a sign of hope that gay culture has not been thoroughly reduced to extravagent political galas with former presidents and getting on the A-lists of said galas. In principle, this seems like a reasonable conclusion—until you take into account our current gender and power dynamics. I too was once an idealistic teenager who believed that homosexuality was, if not a panacea, then something approximating a proto-panacea.
Video about gay men having sex in locker room:
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