Politics Magazine

What Does the Word Effeminate Mean?

Posted on the 07 February 2015 by Calvinthedog

From the Net:

I don’t believe truly effeminate straight men exist. Yes, there are straight men who are meek, submissive, sensitive, artistic, or who like to do “domestic” activities like cook, entertain or shop, but none of these traits are truly and exclusively “effeminate”. Lots of very masculine men have traits associated with women, like being nurturing, gossipy, or prone to easy excitement/emotions. Doesn’t make them effeminate at all though.

For me, effeminate means acting and speaking like a woman, and only (some) gay men or latent transsexuals actually do like this. A guy who doesn’t act stereotypically butch is not automatically effeminate, just like an aggressive and outgoing woman is not necessarily “butch”/lesbian/secretly wishing to be a man. Some people just don’t adhere to traditional gender roles in every aspect of their lives. A soft-spoken man who likes to sew can still have a low-level, easy-going masculine vibe, even if he’s not slapping you on the back while screaming at the game on TV.

Like said, the only “effeminate straight men” I’ve known have all been closet cases in the end. Lived next door to a HUGE flamer with a wife and kids for years, then they moved away, heard they divorced, yadda yadda yadda five years later, I see the husband drunk in a gay bar. Not shocked at all. Everyone else just thought he was “colorful” and eccentric. PLEASE…

…Along the lines of discussion—it matters how you’re defining ‘effeminate’. Some seem to only define it as extreme queeniness – everything short of Richard Simmons doesn’t qualify. Others cast the net too broadly and label everything short of a grunting meathead alpha persona as ‘effeminate’…

…So my question is, is a man who wears makeup considered effeminate even if he otherwise sounds and acts basically masculine?…

…Effeminancy to me is a guy who is hung up on little details/anal, passive-aggressive/ manipulative, dramatic and over-the-top in his emotions, narcissistic/conceited … all deal-breakers with me…

…Truly femme straight guys don’t exist. There is no heterosexual male on this planet who acts like the Figure Skater Johnny Weir…

…No such thing. There is difference between a straight man with feminine tendencies and someone who is overtly effeminate and obviously gay…

…As has been discussed elsewhere, men of certain ethnicities register as gay to Americans because we have this John Wayne-Clint Eastwood ideal of the perfect man being this quasi-psychopathic, uncivilized, violence-prone loner. Any man who’s well-groomed, has good social skills, is empathetic or prone to feelings other than rage and sadistic joy at someone else’s suffering is regarded as a possible gay…

Any comments on this? I agree with these sentiments in general, except for this one:

…Effeminancy to me is a guy who is hung up on little details/anal, passive-aggressive/ manipulative, dramatic and over-the-top in his emotions, narcissistic/conceited … all deal-breakers with me…

Ridiculous. None of that is effeminate to me. To me, effeminate is femme as in a stereotypical male homosexual – a man who overtly acts like a woman. You know what I mean – that campy, bitchy, faggoty, swishy, limp-wristed, lisping, fluttery style so many gay man have to one degree or another.

However, I would disagree with the men above. I have indeed mat some pretty faggoty straight guys. I am 100% certain that they were completely straight as I knew them pretty well, and I can figure out these things pretty quickly after talking to a man only a few times. That said, they seemed to be able to turn the faggoty thing on or off at will, unlike a lot of gay men who are on all the time.

I have also noticed that some men who are normally passive, meek, soft and withdrawn can, in times of high stress when they feel particularly defeated by life, act very faggoty. I actually have some relatives who I have seen act this way. The one I am thinking of is in no way gay at all as I knew him well growing up and he had a vast collection of girlie mags. No young gay man would ever collect such magazines.

In this case, the femme, effeminate, faggoty behavior is a temporary mode that this passive, meek, not particularly masculine man went into from time to time. It probably signified that at that moment, he felt particularly defeated and negated as a man and his response from this was to totally withdraw from the male role altogether into this faggoty stuff.

Another time I was over at friend’s house. The friend was a bit of an asshole, but he was completely straight nonetheless. He had a roommate who seemed like a regular guy except he could get pretty faggoty in his behavior. I am sure that if he were gay, Randy would have told me this important fact. So one night we were sitting around downing beers and taking bong hits with Randy and his roommate and we got to talking.

The roommate was faggoty as all Hell but he wouldn’t stop talking about women. This guy apparently had pussy on the brain 24-7. Also I got no gay vibe of attraction off of him, and I almost always do from a gay man. I have met many gay men and I have never in my life seen a gay man rant and rave about women and pussy like that. I assume it simply doesn’t happen.

So I would say that campy, femme, faggoty straight men do indeed exist, but often this is simply a mode that they go into from time to time and not a regular habit, but in some cases, they may be on most or all of the time.

On the other hand, most straight men who are accused of being effeminate are nothing of the sort in that they are not femme in that faggoty way that gay men are. They simply not living up to the macho roles of masculinity that society lays down for us.

Also some straight men speak with a lisp. My understanding is that a lisp is often a speech impediment and is not always indicative of homosexuality.

And I would say that straight men can surely wear makeup. I knew some guys in a band recently who wore makeup all the time. Apparently it’s the thing to do nowadays. They were also into “kissing guys” which I thought was pretty weird but was told that this along with the makeup was some sort of hip, Hollywood, glam thing to do nowadays. All of these young men were completely straight and they were all quite masculine. In fact, they gave off such masculine vibes that one might peg them as street gang members. They all had totally hot girlfriends or wives and I think some had little kids. That combined with the makeup and the kissing guys thing made for a pretty bizarre mix.

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