Politics Magazine

Masculinity As Performance Art

Posted on the 19 March 2018 by Calvinthedog

I think if gay men acted masculine, a lot more of us straight guys would like them, but on the other hand, it would be very hard to tell us from them, and I’m not sure that’s a good thing. I think a lot of what we don’t like about gay men is the non-masculine behavior. I would think that a hypermasculine gay man, even around these parts, might even be accepted as long as he shut up about his sexual orientation. He’d be “one of the boys,” albeit with some weird sex stuff going on, but I think a lot might forgive him.

Masculinity in the US is mostly about performance art anyway. It’s about walking the walk and talking the talk. You do that and you’re masculine, pretty much. If you are not masculine in some other way(s), they will blow it off as long as you do the display properly. Anyway, most men who go through the trouble of acting overtly masculine usually think of themselves as masculine and try to act that way in quite a few other ways too.

And in a sense, if you think you’re masculine, you’re masculine. I said that to my father once and he got very angry. I had another friend who derided guys who were “trying to be men.” But the whole concept is stupid. If you’re trying to be a man/masculine, then you are a man/masculine. That’s because masculinity is performance and if you are attempting the performance, you are no doubt performing it.

That’s because any man who thinks he’s masculine is going to act masculine, de facto. No one thinks they are masculine and then acts unmasculine. I’ve known quite a few unmasculine straight guys (some of whom were notorious womanizers) and they openly admitted that they were not masculine men. It tended to cause problems with their girlfriends too, of course.


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