Tag Archives: toxic masculinity

What If Elliot Rodger Was A Gay Dude? #MRAKills

30 May

Amongst the more outlandish of ideas going around about yet another mass killing (at least the second one of it’s type in the past five years, with at least one similar within the next 24 hours), Fox News decided to bring one of their psychological experts that blamed it on gay people. Because that seems to be the only thing Fox News psychological experts are able to blame for anything.

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In an unsurprising show of solidarity, masculinist anti-trans hate site Gender Identity Watch (run by a failed writer for A Voice For Men), was tweeting all day about the killer possibly being/resembling a trans women. Because to a special kind of person, seeing a blatantly obvious racial/misogynist inspired tragedy is a perfect time to direct more vitriol towards a completely unrelated minority.

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It was their only related original content the day of the tragedy, other than some half-hearted reblogs that seemed to glorify the violence, and/or help distribute his videos/blogs messages. You’ll note I won’t be posting that asshole’s picture or linking to his blog, his “My Twisted World” manifesto, or his Youtube channel because fuck him.

This is all only slightly less absurd than claiming it was a conspiracy to discredit the Men’s Rights Movements or gun rights or whatever, but of course MRA assholes , washed up punk rockers and other assorted clowns are doing exactly that as well. But if you think about it, how much difference *does* it make if he had been gay? Unless you buy FOXNews/Gender Identity Watch’s archaic and long ago discredited notions that being gay or trans is rooted in deep-seated misogyny, not much actually. It’s not like gay men and gender-non-conforming folk don’t find themselves under the crushing pressure of toxic hegemonic masculinity and coercive heteronormativity. The shit certainly manifests in gay male relationships, I’ve seen it firsthand.

And it’s like, it’s no secret dude hated women. Like, loathed and resented them through the lens of his sad impotent desire. Better writers than I have spelled that shit out in detail. And it’s not like online echo chambers of mewling racist/misogynistic/homophobic shitheads hadn’t already driven creeps to commit mass killing just a month ago. I’ve mentioned on my blog a couple times already the similarities between far-right wing ideology, the Men’s Rights Movement, and white supremacy, and fuck I’m just getting started. But yeah, shithead creep finds similarly minded shithead creeps that warp his perception with their creepy viewpoints and terrible Matrix references (seriously, wtf is the deal with imagery from Wachowski sibling movies getting co-opted by the worst humanity has to offer?).

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Even flecks of human garbage that have the audacity to identify themselves as “incel” (involuntarily celibate) feel the need to simultaneously laud and distance themselves from Rodger’s particular brand of narcissistic entitlement. So like, there’s literally no question there was/is a culture out there willing to nurture this troubled kid into eventually acting out their collective hateful fantasies. I mean, by no means was he mentally stable, but keep in mind this was a kid from an impossibly rich family, who claimed he was seeing multiple therapists. I think it’s more about how society and psychology treats hypermasculine performativity, even hugely overcompensating, as synonymous with “high-functioning” in cases of mental illness than any ridiculous notion of him not getting the help he needed. If someone like that can’t “get the help they need”, we’re all fucking doomed.

But I have to wonder if there isn’t something even deeper than that, this sort of fundamental malfunction in the way society builds those designated at birth. Like, toxic masculinity is a great term for the result, but what particular limb of that great octopus of the patriarchy can we cut off so we’re not breeding more of people like this? These “artless, empathy-devoid, posturing obelisk in trousers and sensible shoes” I lamented the possibility of even so-called-“radical” society turning us all into. Alienated from self, alienated from romantic and sexual partners, barely present in their mule of a body, compulsively pursuing signifiers of achievement and pleasure without the capacity to enjoy or even recognize them. People who, at best, have to spend most of their adult lives unraveling the messages literally beat into them since childhood.

“You buy furniture. You tell yourself, this is the last sofa I will ever need in my life. Buy the sofa, then for a couple years you’re satisfied that no matter what goes wrong, at least you’ve got your sofa issue handled. Then the right set of dishes. Then the perfect bed. The drapes. The rug. Then you’re trapped in your lovely nest, and the things you used to own, now they own you.” – Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

Just this stony, but fragile thing, a statue of Ozymandius unto oneself. Unable to confide, unable to care, so puzzled by the idea of approaching others not as conquests or on the basis of what you can gain from them, but as just actually people.

Fuck that, and fuck the Red Pill. Hell, fuck the Blue Pill too, unless it contains at least 2 milligrams of estrogen.

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No Homo: On Jared Leto And Destroying A Beautiful Creature.

16 Jan

A lesson I’m learning over and over in life is that pretty boys can’t be trusted. They’ll break your heart as soon as they open their big stupid mouths.

So remember that part in Fight Club where Edward Norton sees Brad Pitt and Jared Leto embrace tenderly and gives them both this look of utter jealousy and betrayal? Remember how the scene immediately shifts to Norton cheap-shotting Leto and pounding him into hamburger meat and later admitting to Pitt that he did so simply because he was beautiful? Remember how technically (spoiler) Edward Norton and Brad Pitt are the same person?

Have you ever *really* thought about that scene? No homo.

nohomo1In case you forgot this part, I’m totally not joking here.

Anyway…

I haven’t seen Dallas Buyer’s Club, but I intend to. I have a soft spot in my heart for what Julia Serano would call “sad trans” movies. So let’s get that out of the way.

And I’m not gonna get into the “should cis actors play trans women” argument in this article because that conversation has been done to death. Smarter people than I have tackled the subject better than I ever will. I am, however, eternally frustrated by how said actors spend their interviews screwing up and misrepresenting our lives even as they try to broadcast us into mainstream visibility out of the supposed goodness of their cis ally hearts. I mused about this frustration on my Facebook page while on the train a couple days ago:

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This post inspired my friend Diana Tourjee to do an expanded write-up for Original Plumbing magazine on the subject. She says it with far more nuance than I am willing to.

Cause really, it’s not even the terrible sexualized jokes which are honestly more boring and sadly predictable than offensive. What gets under my skin is Leto not only rhetorically separating himself from the character of Rayon, but also divorcing this character he brought to life from having any sypmathetic reality or social consequence. Referring to her as a “creature” and an “impossible person” at a time when the lives and experiences of actual trans  women are still considered up for debate, for instance.

I think we really get to the root of the problem, however, by noting how neither him or costar McConaughey mention AIDS once regarding their roles in a movie whose entire plot focuses on the AIDS crisis.

See, male privilege is a funny thing, and a lot more nuanced than people allow by simply equating penises with institutional social power. I swear, to hear some people talk you’d think you could post a dick pic on your resume or whatever. So much of it is conditional and hinged on gearing not only your presentation but your narrative towards patriarchal heteronormativity. And it’s not only among cishet dudebros like Leto and McConaughey. See also: LGBT assimilation movements, “straight acting” gay people (whatever the fuck those are), and femmephobia.

Considering how even certain feminists present the idea of masculine presentation as a social default and femininity as this socially constructed demeaning performance, it’s amazing how society treats masculinity as this fragile, breakable thing. Seriously, how many times are people gonna spout that tired idea that allowing boys to enjoy feminine things will “ruin” them with no irony? Yet the idea persists. Think back again to that scene in Fight Club, that paean to toxic masculinity, where the only time a man can tell another man (or really anyone) that they are beautiful is after they’ve destroyed them. Remember that whole story was written by a hypermasculine heavily-closeted gym bunny that frequently looked like he could grace the cover of a 50s gay muscle magazine before he finally got over it and was ok with being out.

nohomo3Totally wasn’t joking about that either.

Tell me again how masculinity isn’t performative.

So really,  it’s transparently obvious why a guylinered prissy metrosexual like Jared Leto would be so prone to blatant overcompensation after playing one of us Super Saiyan transfairy gaymosexuals on the big screen. He’s trying to bounce back, prove he wasn’t ruined by the experience. While Dustin Hoffman could realize women were people, realizing trans women are people is apparently way too much to ask for Leto.

I get it.

So why don’t you just shut the fuck up pretty boy and just admit you’re using us for Oscar bait. No homo.

I’ll go on living my beautiful impossible life and making better music then you ever will. *hair flip*