Thursday, August 12, 2004

My Very First Rant

OK, it's not as curmudgeonly a rant as I hoped for, but it's my rookie effort. I'm probably going to torque off as many of my friends on the right as I will people on the left with this, but here goes.

I hereby move that the following three words be forever struck from the modern Lexicon: Homophobe, Metrosexual, and the newly touted "Retrosexual."

First, I'm not going to recycle the stale joke about "No, I'm not afraid of Homosexuals, how can I be a Homophobe? Hyuck hyuck hyuck!" I understand the actual meaning that is implied and even often stated when that term is used. I get that what it really implies is that a "Homophobe" is actually a latent homosexual who is afraid to face his own sexuality, so he compensates with belligerence towards "out" gays.

I have a couple of problems with this. The first is philosophical. It smacks of the old "does your wife know you're gay?" joke, or the idea anyone who says they're not an alchoholic is in denial, proving they're an alchoholic. You can't win. The more you protest your innocence, the stronger the proof of your guilt it's viewed. And furthermore, it's used as a cudgel to stifle dissent -- if you disagree with homosexuality, or any agenda adopted by the "Gay Community", well, you must be a homophobe, and your view is dismissed out of hand.

The second problem I have with this argument is the fact that I am morally opposed to homosexuality, and I know for certain I'm not gay. How can I be sure? As proof I offer all of the personality traits I sometimes display which most people associate with gays. What? Wait a minute, Brian, if you act gay, maybe you are gay. I didn't say I act gay, I said I sometimes act in a way people think of as gay. I drink wine almost as often as beer. I drink cocktails as well as Single Malt, and mix a mean Cosmo. I actually find those shows like Queer Eye and Trading Spaces entertaining, and full of great ideas. I can cook in the kitchen as well as at the grill. Yes, dammit, Hallmark commercials make me cry! I wanted a baby as much as my wife did. I'm actively involved in picking the name, as I was in planning our wedding. My wife, an esthetician, works at a spa, and I let her buy "products" which I use on my skin and hair. Some of them smell nice. We own a small, fluffy dog -- a Lhasa Apso. If I could, I'd wear nothing but kilts and sarongs all the time -- not because they make me feel "Feminine," but because they're comfortable (in the absence of any cultural context, I think kilts for men and pants for women makes more sense, really). When I lived in San Diego, my boss was gay -- he made Graham Norton seem straight. I envied him his class and taste, in cuisine and clothes and architecture and art and decorating. I wish I was that tasteful. Given that these are all things usually associated with being gay, you'd think I'd just get it over with and be gay. But the whole sex with men thing gets in the way. I mean, I even asked myself if it was possible. Even I had to admit that the things I have described calls my straightness into question. But when I thought about it, the response was, "Nah. I'm straight." Heck, back when I was not practicing my Christian faith as devoutly as I should, and was watching pornography, I'd only watch the Faux Lesbian Porn, because when I watched regular porn, it was ruined for me the minute the guy got naked. So I was stuck not being homosexual, but definitely seeming gay.

Oh, no, it's ok, sweetie. You don't have to be gay to like that stuff anymore. You can be a Metrosexual.

Thanks, I'll pass. But not for the same reason that most conservatives would. I reject the idea that any man who displays any of the traits attributed to Gays or Metrosexuals must therefore be less of a man (more on that in a bit).

Again, my reasons are both philosophical and personal. Philosophically, the addition of a title, especially the title Metrosexual, strikes me as way too self-important (believe me, the irony of that comment being made by a blogger is not lost on me). Look at the famous men who are supposed to represent the Metrosexual movement: Brad Pitt? David Beckham? I mean hell, these guys may be straight, but they're so damned narcissistic, they probably would turn gay if only they could clone and have sex with themselves! It's just a bit too much for me!

Personally, the problem is that while I have all these traits I've mentioned, I also have some very traditionally straight man traits. I like football. I like baseball. I like to camp and hunt and fish and own guns and eat red meat. I take my hat off at the beginning of the Nation Anthem, and wipe tears from my eyes at the end. I own guns and tools and am not afraid to use either. And if anyone lays a hand on my wife our our child, unborn or born, I will kill them.

Well, hell, son, you're an old-fashioned Retrosexual!

Not quite. I have a philosophical issue with this position too. I've already stated it, but here it is again: I reject the idea that any man who displays any of the traits attributed to Gays or Metrosexuals must therefore be less of a man. I resent the false dilemma that states I have to display only one set of traits or the other. I open the door for ladies, and show respect and protectiveness towards women, the elderly, children, and dogs. I have news for you, that isn't being a "Retrosexual," it's called being a gentleman. Furthermore, I'm less than comfortable with the attempt to tie the more admirable traits of "Retrosexuals" with the less savory ones, eg. a disdain for culture. Why not borrow the best from both?

Personally, I can't be a Retrosexual OR a Metrosexual because in both cases, I have some tastes and traits they reject, just as I have some they embrace. So what am I?

I'm a man, dammit. Isn't that enough?

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