For Whom Are You Pitching That Tent?

I thought that the Workaholics episode was at times in support of and at other times challenging the exclusivity of gay men from the privileges of hegemonic masculinity. Although the point of the three friends getting boners every time they touched each other was to make the silly/awkward suggestion that they were sexually attracted to one another, the point would not have been humorous had the men been gay. However, because they are explicitly displayed as heterosexual in their pursuit of “boning that lady” it is more funny than it is actually sexual. I found the jacuzzi situation pretty coincidental as well, as Becker references the elimination scene of Bromance being uncomfortable for the straight men sitting so close together but uncomfortable in a way that is different from the awkwardness that might ensue should one or both of them be gay. In Workaholics, that same discomfort is immediately recognized.

However, the last scene of Workaholics stood out to be as contradictory humor of to the pool-wrestling scene and almost challenges Becker’s claim about rigid gender norms. Right after Adam turns down the sexy older lady for his long-term bromantic relationships, the group hug results in widespread tent-pitching. This differs from the Always Sunny episode where it is not until the end that the men are lured to each other with the promise of “giant breasts”, which ultimately concludes the episode with the fact that the men are in fact heterosexual. In this way, I think that Workaholics actually leaves room for someone who doesn’t watch on a regular basis to wonder if the two men who didn’t have sexual relationships in this episode (Anders and Blake) are in fact straight or not. Because really none of these three boyish characters display “rigid gender norms”, it’s also hard to say whether or not they support Becker’s claim. Always Sunny, on the other hand, explicitly underlines things like male independence and obsession with large breasts to clarify intermittently that the men are engaged in an absolutely heterosexual “bromance”.

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3 thoughts on “For Whom Are You Pitching That Tent?

  1. Do you think the guys were *actually* fighting to “bone that lady?” She becomes such a non-entity — and plus, as we see, no one is actually “boning” her; just pleasing her but not with his own penis. Great analysis of a complicated set of scenes.

  2. Interesting points- I hadn’t thought of the last scene in this light. It is definitely true that it leaves the viewer with a warm and fuzzy homosocial message, but does the fact that the viewer is supposed to find this scene humorous change the dynamic? Are we supposed to find this scene funny because the bro’s unacknowledged gayness is essentially humorous, or because three dudes who try so hard to be straight are failing to acknowledge their gayness?

  3. I think the only purpose of the woman is to assert heterosexuality, which therefore allows them to joke about the possibilities of homosexuality. I don’t think the guys were actually fighting for this woman, but they were fighting to be the most “manly” of the group. Social status is not just for girls, and this is a prime example of the stereotypical way men present themselves in a group setting.

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