Clearly, men in America have grown up learning to be scared of gayness. But not only for the reasons we typically think—not only, in the end, because of religion, insecurity about their own sexuality, or a visceral aversion to other men’s penises. The truth is, they’re afraid because heterosexuality is so fragile.
This is an intriguing article, but like some who commented on Facebook, I don’t like the title, either.
Here’s the thing: this intense aversion to male-to-male closeness is a twentieth century construct. It comes, in large part, out of Eisenhower era fears — communism, segregation, ‘women’s lib’ — as much as anything. Not that there was no homophobia before the 1950s, God knows, but we became intolerant, intransigently so, during the McCarthy years, and we haven’t veered off of that path very much in the years since.
This goes hand-in-hand with how we make boys stop showing affection to other boys when they reach a certain age. We need to stop that, too.
H/T Steve Grand