Man, I love how you love you a man
February 8, 2010
At the pre-Berlin cast and crew screening of THE OWLS Friday night, I was talking with my friend, fellow filmmaker and Pitzer professor, Silas Howard, who has recently transitioned, and reports that he often now successfully passes. I asked him for some secrets he has learned as a newly-male among men, and his most interesting find was that they are all really gay together when women are not around. Glad to have this confirmed, but it was something I already knew: a founding principle of both my early queer and feminist educations. Eve Sedgwick was my professor of women and gender studies in a college that proved the very cradle of male-homosociality (Amherst—just gone co-ed—boo-yah!) teaching us co-eds about the ways that men used women to legitimize their more abiding desire to see and love each other.
Hey, I’ve always loved men, too—straight, gay, no matter—and I’m as open to stories of men-loving-men as the next gal…I’ve written elsewhere about Fight Club and South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut as feminist films (in their radical willingness to unmoor sex from gender), but I reasoned that the misogyny (and homophobia) underwriting their dystopic worlds-of-men under-cut any feminist gains allowed. I’d say that in our current cinema, for instance, I Love You Man, feminist-influenced gender play continues (for men, who can work on their “feminine” sides: Chocolat anyone?) and the hatred even seems softer (for women who are so dull, listless, boring, and benign how could you feel anything at all for them, least of all an emotion with political chops) but is ultimately of no less concern. I actually like many of the current spate of juvenile male homosocial bonding orgies as much as any person who likes men might: their boy-men-leads prove to be hot, funny, and complexly gendered humans on sophisticated quests for sex, comraderie, family, love, and identity; too bad this is best satisfied in a movie world where men greedily colonize for themselves all that is best in women, leaving females as unnecessary, unfunny, uninteresting half-humans any sane person would choose to disregard, at least in relation to loving a man.