As a veteran of the Navy and a firefighter in a dominantly male field I’ve been thinking about something different. A software update, a change of perspective, a more chill way of looking at our interactions together.
What’s a Dude? Well, a Dude looks at life less rigidly. As the most famous Dude said, “This aggression will not stand, man.” While Bro Code is dominantly concerned with the preservation of the rigid stereotype of what a man is demanded to be, even to the point of violence, Dude Code accepts many forms of expression. Dudes understand that strength doesn’t exclusively exist in the form of heightened masculinity. It exists in the feminine just as equally, and maybe even more considering that the female gender is the one who deals with the civilization building pain of childbirth, to mention nothing of the monthly task of maintaining that noble role. So when a Dude displays the feminine side, he doesn’t judge, castigate, or loathe himself, a Dude accepts it. A Dude is a feminist because he knows that the feminine is our mode of survival. A Dude is a feminist because he loves and respects our mothers, sisters, wives, and friends as equals.
Behind the scenes, when the Bro’s are in their homogenized groups, they can openly disrespect other groups. Sometimes racist, sexist, and bigoted jokes are allowed because there is no one in the group who will take personal offense to these jokes. A Dude understands that although no one might be present to take personal offence, the acceptance of these jokes at any time perpetuates these mindsets. A Dude doesn’t encourage or accept these ideas because he understands that these ideas are harmful.
Bros might travel, but they might travel in small and safe circles. A Dude is worldly, cultured, and understands what its like to be a minority in a strange land. He therefore does all that he can to support minorities. While at one moment he may be in the majority, a Dude understands that the essence of life is change, and that majorities change with it. Dudes accept this, and instead of fighting back against these changes, Dudes focus on ways to make everyone stronger. Because we are all connected, and what happens to one, might happen to another.
While a Bro can be homophobic, often to the ironic point of displaying the most blatant forms of homoeroticism with the caveat of “no homo” and openly having the privilege of blatant homosexual behavior under the safety of their heterosexual relationship, a Dude understands the need for same-sex bonding. A Dude doesn’t judge or define or place boundaries on the male emotional need for same-sex connection. A Bro isn’t allowed to have emotions, or love for another Bro. A Dude accepts that men need same-sex friendship, same-sex love, and a place for emotional expression. A Dude knows that it doesn’t make you gay to love another person of the same sex, and values love among all people, across all lines. A Bro thinks it’s weak and feminine to cry. A Bro equates femininity with weakness. A Dude understands that everyone cries, and that’s healthy. A Dude knows that homophobia has its roots in sexism, and since he’s a feminist, he’s not a homophobe.
Some Bros think that global warming is hocus pocus, and don’t care about what happens in the forests and villages of the Amazon. But a Dude understands what it means to be a steward, to be responsible for something. A Dude is an environmentalist and is concerned with the consequences of our actions. Are we taking care of our home? Are we taking care of ourselves and others?
A Bro can be anyone. Bro is an insular mindset, ethnocentric, blatantly un-curious about anything that doesn’t directly have to do with themselves.
Just as a Bro can be anyone, so can a Dude. A dude can be a man, or a woman, or someone that doesn’t fall specifically into either of those genders. A Dude can be an American, or Ethiopian, able-bodied or disabled, skinny or overweight. And that’s the strength of a Dude, an accepting, inclusive, open-minded person who draws connection to people instead of dividing lines. Because a dude understands that the preservation and inclusion of all types of people, gives the dude’s own affiliate group the ability to thrive and preserve its own. Dude Code values diversity because Dude Code upholds freedom for all. Maybe we need a little bit more Dude Code in our lives. Maybe the era of Bro Code is coming to an end.
The role of men is changing in the 21st century. Want to keep up?
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