Insecure Masculinity Breeds Homophobia

This is always my conundrum: If straight masculinity is so all-powerful, why is it so fragile in the face of two men holding hands? Or a happily single woman? If masculinity were as stable and solid as it is supposed to be then wouldn’t two men in an embrace be even better – amplified masculinity? As long as straight masculinity is defined by 1) violent aggresssion 2) subordination of women and 3) homophobia – it is always going to be a reaction instead of an actual point of view.

Republic of T points us to:

Participants were randomly assigned feedback that indicated their responses were either masculine of feminine. The women had no discernable reaction to either type of feedback in a follow-up survey. But the guys’ reactions were "strongly affected," Willer said today. "I found that if you made men more insecure about their masculinity, they displayed more homophobic attitudes, tended to support the Iraq war more and would be more willing to purchase an SUV over another type of vehicle," said Willer said. "There were no increases [in desire] for other types of cars."

This just reinforces market research that SUV ownership can be hallmarks of insecurity and vanity. Basically – if you drive a fucking tank around town you might be overcompensating.

2 thoughts on “Insecure Masculinity Breeds Homophobia

  1. Michlt

    That’s a great summation of the ironies of ‘masculinity’! The reactions highlighted in the study are childish — immature and irrational and belligerent. Sound like anyone you know in the public arena?

  2. David

    This insecurity comes from uncertainty. As a gay man, I’ve seen many penises and I know how mine compares. Most straight guys never get to see anyone else’s erection (except Ron Jeremy’s) and therefore have no idea whether their members are small, medium or large. So, many (certainly not all) spend a lot of time thinking about penis size, worrying about it, obsessing about it, fretting about it, defending it, etc. This uncertainty and fretting then sublimates itself into all kinds of bluffing, puffing, and violent behaviors.

    I hear gay men talking about penis size, theirs and other’s, but I’ve never seen a fist fight in a gay bar over it.

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