Monday, March 17, 2008

Hi, My name is Jacob, and I don't like men.

The other night Gab and I were talking, and I just happened to mention my dislike of men, and, after laughing hysterically, she encouraged me to expound upon it further.

Throughout my life I have had only a hand full of male friends, tending to be drawn more towards the personalities of women. The few male friends that I have had were either one of two types. The first, what might be termed peripheral friendships, never close friends, our relationships remained perpetually shallow, and socializing was better left to group situations. Second, the gay male friend, or "frenemy," whose relationships, while often extremely close, were always necessarily adversarial.

Like Bentley, I just don't like men. At all.

Well, that isn't entirely fair. More accurately, I don't like masculine people, or, really, personalities. Male or female. My discord here is absolutely based more in gender than in sex, and to say otherwise would just be grossly disingenuous, given my educational background. That being said, however, remaining disharmonious with masculine females does not pose the same sort of problem in my life that it does with their male counterparts, as I am not typically inclined to want to be sexually intimate with them.

Granted, undeniably, a large part of the discontinuity that I feel with men stems from my own childhood abuse, a subsequent complete lack of trust, and, to whatever degree, fear, and a feeling of never being entirely safe while in their company.

I guess, however inappropriately, I associate masculinity with being both unpredictable and volatile, qualities not prized in the early formation and cultivation of friendships and/or relationships. In my mind, too, I further distort the image of masculine people as being universally arrogant and misogynistic. Prideful to a fault, I see these men rely too heavily on, for lack of a better word, machismo, to steer their actions. Moreover, it is their stoicism, and lack of emotion that leaves me waiting for the other shoe to drop.

At the core, too, I feel like we often simply have nothing in common, no common ground upon which to stand. We typically lead vastly different lives, care about vastly different things, and share not even a common language, or vocabulary, with which to speak.

I realize how ridiculous this all sounds, and how remarkably unfair it is to make such broad sweeping generalizations, I do, but it really is genuinely how I feel, based on twenty-seven years of experience interacting with men. This isn't to say that I am not intellectually open to the possibility of my mind being changed on an individual, or possibly even group, basis.

Now gay men, they're a whole other can of worms.

A contributing columnist to OUT magazine once said that, "Gay men are men first, and [let's face it] men are pigs." No community is more judgmental than that of gay men. So shallow, so catty, so superficial, so self centered, driven entirely by sex, gay men wield the social weapons traditionally associated with women with the vindictive disposition classically attributed to men. But I will rant in more detail about that some other time.

So where does that leave me?
A twenty-seven year old gay man who dislikes the company of men?
Uh, screwed.

But realistically the gay men that I am inevitably attracted to are neither distinctly masculine nor feminine, they are, rather, both. And, while some might vehemently disagree (and to hell with all of you), I would also include myself in this category. Androgyny is both revolution and evolution, living life in the gray, the blur between the lines, skimming the best of both, "To combine the idealized strength of a man, and the idealized grace of a woman." (Sexual Outlaw)

And, strangely enough, this is what inevitably makes me less relateable to said masculine men. And the cycle continues.


Cheyenne said...

bravo jacob, seriously.

to be so candid, sharp as a razor's edge, and funny enough to make me choke on my coffee, well, i wish i could be half the man you are. :)

B Kinch said...

Beautifully written! I enjoy the company of men and women equally (keeping this g rated here). I spend most of my time socializing with women and find men to be refreshingly straightforward on occasion. You, however, are in a league of your own...quick, funny, humble, GRACEFUL and powerful both face to face and in text.