Bromosexual Tendencies

Overall, I would say that Becker’s quote is accurate, but there are a few cases where her claim that excluding “gay men from the privileges of hegemonic masculinity by reinscribing certain rigid gender norms” can be challenged. Although the examples that I can think of are not necessarily explicitly stated, they are strongly suggested and implied. At the very least, just like the Volleyball scene in Top Gun can be looked at through a correct queer lens, these examples can be looked at through an accurately queer interpretation.  The first example from the screenings that comes to mind is when Mac tells Frank in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia  that he cleaned out the close so there was enough room to put in a mattress. This meant that Frank and Charlie didn’t have to sleep together anymore, which to Rob (who completely embodies the stereotypical and “proper” bromance partner) seemed like a good thing. However, Frank looks disappointed and complains that both he and Charlie “like the arrangement” of sleeping together; something that visibly strikes Mac as odd or maybe even wrong. Becker alludes to the stereotype that male solidarity is not sought-after, but rather there is a stereotype that men need homosocial bonding with other men and how  “Intimate relationships with other men are highly desirable, promising access to patriarchal privileges. At the same time, such intimacy can draw men’s heterosexuality into question, threatening their access to those privileges” (3). We see a more accepted form of bromance with Mac and  Dennis and they even make jokes about how they are disappointed with seeing eac hother at dinner after being promised a big breasted woman. Charlie and Frank on the other hand, never mention anyone other than each other, and blur the bromance line for Mac when it is revealed that they like to sleep together.

Another example is in Workaholics with the boner scene. It is obvious that touching each other makes them turned on and horny even though they don’t think of it as gay. Becker would argue that because they don’t see it as gay that it isn’t, because they acknowledge the situation and clarify that it is only because of what they are talking about and their bodies that are turning them on, but it’s not a conscious decision, which in a way reinforces “certain rigid gender norms” like the masculinity of being straight-forward. Yet, the fact remains that whether they wanted to or not, they were turned on by each other, and therefore broke some implicit Bromance codes, which is why their scuffle kept having to be broken up until neither was turned on by the other. I will admit that, as Becker States, gay men would be excluded from this particular situation as the three bromosexual friends are obvious homophobic to each other and don’t want to come to terms with the fact that they might be homo or bisexual.

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3 thoughts on “Bromosexual Tendencies

  1. I would like to figure out how transferable this is to the real life situation. More importantly however, I’d like to call attention to why Frank and Charlie like the living arrangement. Is their reaction “yeah thats queer, and we don’t care,” or is it “What? Thats not gay! Is that gay?”

  2. I agree with you that in Workaholics the reason the scene is funny rather than sexual is because the characters are assumed heterosexual—and clearly consider themselves to be heterosexual, as is evidenced by Blake’s comment about drama girls having huge boobs, Anders comments about the older woman along with his rapping about “bangin yo bitch,” and Adam’s temporary infatuation with the leather-clad older woman. However, getting a boner, as far as I’ve heard, is never a conscious decision, so I wonder whether or not the “straight-forward[ness]” of dealing with the situation really reinforces rigid gender norms—I’m not sure what the other option would be, especially given the Speedo. In the second boner scene the guys are especially straightforward in dealing with their boners, as there is no explanation for the arousal, and any hope of explaining the situation is basically abandoned as all 3 guys head in opposite directions with a very slight “I have a boner”, “me too”, and “yeah.” I’m also not sure if we can this homophobic, as I think there is a difference between having an extreme aversion to homosexuality in general and feeling awkward about being aroused by a hug, nonetheless a hug from your two closest friends. If I hugged my closest straight guy friends and they wound up with boners, I’d hope they would feel just as awkward about it as if they had hugged another straight man. But, all this being said, I’m not very experienced in dealing with awkward boners.

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