Why Masculinity Needs A Rebrand

Discussion in 'Group Discussions' started by BlackguyExecutive, Oct 16, 2019.

  1. BlackguyExecutive

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    I came across this article today. Would love to know your thoughts.


    Jaboukie Young-White on Why Masculinity Needs a Rebrand
    At 25, Jaboukie Young-White is the millennial correspondent for The Daily Show—or, as the chyron once read, an “actual young person.” His pathbreaking comedy, informed by his identity as a queer person of color, uses jokes to find what he calls “freedom” and “lightness” in the heaviest parts of the zeitgeist.

    BY
    NORA CAPLAN-BRICKER
    October 15, 2019
    [​IMG]
    Photograph by Matt Martin

    Welcome to GQ's New Masculinity issue, an exploration of the ways that traditional notions of masculinity are being challenged, overturned, and evolved. Read more about the issue from GQ editor-in-chief Will Welch here and hear Pharrell's take on the matter here.


    GQ: Your stand-up includes jokes about being perceived as “masc”—which you have defined as “basically just gay for ‘I'm not like other girls.’ ” Is that part of how you see yourself?
    Jaboukie Young-White: I would say it's more something I've been made to be aware of. My dad is a barber, and I grew up spending most of my days after school in a barbershop. I remember there being so much casual homophobia. That environment is where a lot of my behaviors that are coded as “masc” come from. It was a survival technique. Growing up in so many of these hypermasculine, super-homophobic environments, I think that just naturally became an extension of who I am.


    I always find it weird, especially in the queer community, when people fetishize “mascness” or masculinity. Because for so many people, those are actually scars, you know. They're battle scars on your personality. Which is tragic in a certain way.


    Do you see any positive sides of masculinity?
    The positive aspect of masculinity, to me, is just being sure of yourself. Getting to a point where you can take care of yourself so well that you can also be of service to others. That's always been so tied up with masculinity, for me. Even though I was around a lot of people who were homophobic or exhibiting these toxic mannerisms, there was also this high level of chivalry, where if a woman walked into the barbershop, you would make sure she had a seat, or if someone differently abled walked in, you would make sure they had a seat. There is a code of ethics that I think is noble and good and doesn't need to only be practiced by men. There are aspects of masculinity that we all exhibit.

    It almost feels strange to say that, because masculinity has been so demonized. It almost feels like you have to come up with a different word or rebrand it.

    Are there advantages in the comedy world to being perceived as masculine? Are there disadvantages?
    There are pros and cons. Audiences will let me talk about things other than my sexuality.

    On the flip side, when I do start talking about gay stuff, sometimes I think people want more of an explanation. I did one super-small house show in St. Louis back in 2016, and I mentioned I had a boyfriend. Afterward, one person in the audience was like, “Look, man, a little advice: That really caught me off guard.” As much as people complain about identitarian comedy, it's necessary up until people stop having normative views of everything.

    Much of your comedy touches on aspects of identity that are charged. Does humor change how people hear these things?
    A lot of the things I joke about are things that at one moment really felt like existential questions I was grappling with. I started doing comedy when I was 19. I was coming into who I was as a human being, just figuring out all these different aspects of me. And every time I would write a joke and it would hit, it would feel like a lock had turned. All of these disparate or chaotic or brooding thoughts had all just coalesced into a really tight joke. Into something that I could show to people and then hear laughter and be like, “Okay, I'm not crazy to be thinking these things.” Not to say that the shit I was doing when I was 19 was cutting-edge. [laughs] But to me, those realizations meant a lot.


    Jaboukie Young-White on Why Masculinity Needs a Rebrand
     
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  2. Jai

    Jai I'm honing in on my inner freak.
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    I like masculine men because I like be thrown around the room and handled with power! Of course is that to say, I look down on feminine men? I'm not hyper masculine for sure and I know hyper-masculine look down on me because I am more of a soft masculine type.

    This might not be right to say but I like the whole dominance aspect when I'm with a much more powerful alpha. By Alpha, I don't mean an outright asshole but I loke the assertion of dominance and I like to resist my bf's dominance only to be overtaken by his much more masculine power.

    Like I once went into a barber shop and you know me...I'm small, I'll wear fitted jeans and my shape is slightly curvy. So I had on fitted clothes and one of the dudes was so uncomfortable. It was strange that I thought I appeared normal and some of the hood dudes thought differently.

    Soft masculine is metrosexual to me and gay to them. I like the idea of gay barbershops tho. Them getting uncomfortable and acting like baboons makes me uncomfortable.

    I used to be very ashamed of being soft masculine or having a slightly feminine body shape...

    I had it on my mind that even if I was gay, that doesn't mean I want any of you at all so why are you uncomfortable?

    Also, I watched a comedy skit with Marlon Waynans and and he has some of the most gayest moments I have ever seen. I know it's not right to judge in that sense but I at least think he is bisexual.
     
  3. BlackguyExecutive

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    The Barbershop use to be a real place of fear for me, particularly growing up. I would always silence myself in the shop or just try not to be noticed. I've always had a proper vernacular, dressed urban preppy, I just signaled outsider to the men in my shop. When I came out though they seemed to be shocked but not surprised. For a while it was strange, I felt weird but then one day the main barber just said, you know we don't care that you are gay right? After that, the place that caused me so much fear became one of my most sacred places.

    I love the black barbershop now as a grown man and I really don't give a shit about the nervous nellys who are freaked out by the gays.
     
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  4. Winston Smith

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    the best thing about getting older is not-give-a-shitness

    Plus I would point out that some of the best entrepreneurship among black men these days is coming out of barber shops, so we need brothers like @BlackguyExecutive to be there with our inputs (well, at least those of y’all that still have hair unlike us bald-before-30 Jordan types lol)

    About Us – Barbershop Books

    https://psmag.com/social-justice/ca...icine-address-long-ignored-racial-disparities

    Travel Noire
     
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  5. JohnDoe

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    I'm not sure if this directly relates to the article above but homophobia usually entails labeling a guy as exhibiting feminine attribute (the s, b or f words). And yet these are the same attributes these guys find attractive in the opposite sex...confused
     
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