How do you react to these experiences? You don’t have to answer. Just think about it.
Watch this. Consider these situations.
1. Hands brush.
2. Guy standing in shower staring into nothing.
3. Guy sits in the next seat in the movie theater.
4. Guys takes next urinal in the gents.
5. Inseam measurement.
(We’re skipping the jar, the speedo, the dong, and the prostate exam. Unless you want to go there.)
What’s the common denominator that generally makes guys uncomfortable about these?
Someone might think they’re gay (when they’re not). Someone might try to sneak a peek at their junk. Someone might try to hit on them.
What’s the cardinal rule?
Protect the jewels. Protect the hetero.
Now, I’ll grant that there are a number of guys – and I’m not going to derail this into an argument over statistics and reports – but there are guys who are survivors of sexual abuse or violence that may be very uncomfortable in these situations because they are triggering.
I’m talking about the guys who reflexively tense up at the possibility that another guy might “look” at them, and that if someone else sees that and the guy lets it go, well, what are they going to think? We’ve been around plenty of those conversations where a guy starts calling their buddy a f-g or h— because of a slip from heteromale social norms.
And even if no one sees it, if a man’s been conditioned to believe that only f-gs like that (and if you let it happen, well, you must have liked it), he’s probably going to be a little twitchy, even if the guys standing up next to him is only interested in getting the heck out…especially when he realizes that he has violated the most sacred of Bro Bathroom Rules.
Now, you may have gotten beyond this. Maybe you watched this and are dying to comment, “Why is this such a big deal? No one gets upset by this stuff! Stereotypes, old tired tropes, stop reinforcing this. Men don’t do this.”
Then ask yourself: if you consciously don’t take the next urinal or the next seat, if you wonder what the deal is with the guy who does these, if you consciously move away from your friend if your hands brush, if you look everywhere but down when your inseam is being done, why?
Find this BuzzFeed video and more here.
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