Category Archives: masculinity

Princely Tails

By Sexual Correspondent Andrea (AJ) Plaid

(WARNING:  Totally NSFW)

Reader Grace nearly caused a pearl-clutching moment amongst us Special Correspondents with a link to these, ahem, enhanced drawings:

David Lilio and StitchAladdin

I look at these images as I do hentai and plushies:  some people getting off on the frisson of (hyper)sexualized ideals of taboo images and items connoted to belong to the kiddie world, like Disney cartoons and stuffed animals.   So, I do understand the squick with seeing these resemblances of lust-inspiring Calvin Klein and Armani underwear images because it’s like fucking with someone’s childhood.  And childhood, regardless of quite a few people’s realities about their early years on this earth, is held as sacrosanct in its idyllic innocence—especially sexual innocence– in US culture. Continue reading

Protecting the Circle: Aboriginal Men Ending Violence Against Women

By Deputy Editor Thea Lim

Another great project from Racialicious special correspondent Jessica Yee and her organisation, the Native Youth Sexual Health Network: Protecting the Circle: Aboriginal Men Ending Violence Against Women is a short collection of writings by Aboriginal men on how they can work to stop violence against women in their communities and beyond.

Jessica writes:

Along with the support of our partners, we have produced a short written collection of submitted works by Aboriginal men from across Canada. We would like to acknowledge them for all their remarkable contributions and commitment to ending violence against women, but also of recognizing the full spectrum of gender identity and self determination when violence is committed against all persons.

We invite you to download, read, share, and print this inspiring collection of Aboriginal men’s voices.

Below is an excerpt from Protecting the Circle by DJ Danforth, Oneida Nation:

Today in far too many of our Aboriginal communities across Canada and the United States,  families are being affected by the increasingly higher rates of violence and abuse against women perpetrated by men, leaving people to wonder why men could do such things. Colonization has certainly done its damage to our people, which is not to say that men don’t have the ultimate responsibility to make change. When you think about the time that our ancestors had suffered through colonization, it may feel like an eternity ago, but the fact is that colonization still exists to this day.

Colonization comes in many different forms – and one of the clearest examples came in the shape of residential, mission, and boarding schools. Although they were eventually closed (albeit not that long ago), the impact of colonization still remained in the minds of our ancestors, which has had long lasting intergenerational effects. This has lead to various types of culture shock when people eventually returned to their home communities because in essence, they were returning to a place that might have still practiced the same traditional way of life they were forced to forget. Coping mechanisms with drugs and alcohol ensued in many instances to try and block out the pain of residential school, but more often than not the drinking and drugging made the memories even more intense. Simultaneously, it led men to use violence, abuse and molestation in the family, just as they had learned in the schools. And the years that followed the closing of residential schools have not been much better for our communities, what with the sixties scoop and the continual removal of First Nations children into state care, land claims not being resolved, and extreme conditions of poverty both on and off reserve.

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When Racefail Meets Playboy: The John Mayer Interview

By Sexual Correspondent Andrea (AJ) Plaid

My gut-honest reaction to finding out singer John Mayer admits that he doesn’t romantically or sexually like Black women is like finding out Tom Cruise saying doesn’t dig us sistahs: I’m not shocked because I didn’t get that vibe from him.  Douchey John Mayers

Mayer’s highlighted history of dating the crowning White women of Hollywood, like yeah-folks-think-she’s-doornail-dumb-but-00000-her-blonde-hair-and-big-tits Jessica Simpson and always-wronged-Golden-Girl-by-Golden-Boy-Brad-Pitt-on-the-sexual-strength-of-coded-as-“colored”-superfreak-temptress-Angelina-Jolie Jennifer Aniston—along with Jennifer Love Hewitt and Friday Night Lights’ Minka Kelly, and gets-coded-as-White Cameron Diaz–just tipped me to his preference. And, no matter what I feel about/think about/hold a moral stance on racial preferences in dating, the unpleasantly hard reality is people seem to have them. Mayer, being human, really isn’t that different. That’s not a justification, mind y’all; that’s just my facing the facts about folks. I mean, I get it. I may not agree with it—I’m definitely more of the rainbow-dating-and-fucking kind–but I get it.

But did Mayer have go into full racefail about his preferences—and in Playboy no less? (Warning: this and the very next link are NSFW.)

Hold that thought.

Mr. Wonderland goes into all sorts of fail in this interview. And, being human in an ism-filled world—which, as quite a few of us know here at Racialicious, no one is exempt from them due to the kind of music they like or like to play, with whom they collaborate, at whose funeral they performed, or which school they attended–Mayer has them….and decides to vent to them. As an ex-friend once said, -isms and -phobias tend to come in bundles.

There’s the ageism, in that “too old to get it” sense:

MAYER: If Jennifer Aniston knows how to use BitTorrent I’ll eat my fucking shoe. One of the most significant differences between us was that I was tweeting. There was a rumor that I had been dumped because I was tweeting too much. That wasn’t it, but that was a big difference. The brunt of her success came before TMZ and Twitter. I think she’s still hoping it goes back to 1998. She saw my involvement in technology as courting distraction. And I always said, “These are the new rules.”

The slut-shaming:

MAYER: I feel like women are getting their comeuppance against men now. I hear about man-whores more than I hear about whores. When women are whorish, they’re owning their sexuality. When men are whorish, they’re disgusting beasts. I think they’re paying us back for a double standard that’s lasted for a hundred years.

And misandry:

MAYER: Because I want to show her I’m not like every other guy. Because I hate other men. When I’m fucking you, I’m trying to fuck every man who’s ever fucked you, but in his ass, so you’ll say “No one’s ever done that to me in bed.”

Followed by some full-on homophobia:

MAYER: The only man I’ve kissed is Perez Hilton. It was New Year’s Eve and I decided to go out and destroy myself. I was dating Jessica at the time, and I remember seeing Perez Hilton flitting about this club and acting as though he had just invented homosexuality. All of a sudden I thought, I can outgay this guy right now. I grabbed him and gave him the dirtiest, tongue-iest kiss I have ever put on anybody—almost as if I hated fags. I don’t think my mouth was even touching when I was tongue kissing him, that’s how disgusting this kiss was. I’m a little ashamed. I think it lasted about half a minute. I really think it went on too long.

Circling back to the racefail, there’s some offhanded anti-Semitism:

MAYER: I’m half Jewish. People say, “Well, which side of your family is Jewish?” I say, “My dad’s.” And they always say it doesn’t count. But I will say I keep my pool at 92 degrees, so you do the math. [Emphasis mine.] I find myself relating to Judaism. One of my best friends is Jewish beyond all Jews—I went to my first Passover seder at his house—and I train in Krav Maga with a lot of Israelis.

With a side of “how-do-these-two-things-even-go-together?” East Asian stereotypes:

I want to get on an airplane and be like a ninja.

Some gawd-awful inverted-shoutout to us Negroes:

MAYER: …I am a very…I’m just very. V-E-R-Y. And if you can’t handle very, then I’m a douche bag. But I think the world needs a little very. That’s why black people love me. [Emphasis mine] Continue reading

Race, Disability and Denial

by Guest Contributor A. Rahman Ford


Although I have been both black and disabled my entire life, for years I lied to myself about being disabled. I could appreciate the pride that accompanied the black experience, the historic and perpetual triumphs and tragedies that inspire the progress of a people. But disability was different. Disability was a curse much worse than the curse of Ham, and instead of accepting it I fled into a lie of being someone I could never be and should have never wanted to be. I became a victim of an able-bodied orthodoxy, one memorialized into my memory, derived from the seeds of my lived experiences and the veil of myths through which those experiences are strained. I believe we all succumb to societal orthodoxies in some way, because the procurement of favor demands it and it allows us to live without troublesome confusion. But for many of us, orthodoxies become a memorial, a shine at which we pray and to which we cling, all the while privately acknowledging that the shrine is not of our making, not to our liking and that it segregates and kills us very casually, very privately and very slowly. This photo helped free me from my denial.

Feeling starved, sunken, gaunt and untouchable, I long held certain conceptions of who or what I had and wanted to be, but could not, and thus did my best to hide it from others and myself. For me, poverty is fundamentally about not only the absence of choices, the impossibility of choices and the consequences of that impossibility. I decided to take this photo as a challenge to myself to confront the poverty of my own body and to better understand the costs of my negotiations with my own public and private identities. Many of us fear how easily we parade and perpetuate our public selves, while at the same time fearing the vulnerable, deviant and shameful self we can only be in private. When I saw the photo for the first time I was both shocked and surprised because even though I had lived with that person my entire life, I could never before accept how spent he was. Nothing had ever frightened me more than having to face the nakedness of my own indigence.
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Whatever Happened to Rufio?: The Non-Asian Ideal of Masculinity

by Guest Contributor CVT


Here’s one of my first Portland (Oregon) memories:

I’m at a bar with two white male friends.  Well, actually, I’m at a Chinese restaurant and bar . . . at a karaoke night. (*1)  With two white male friends.

Anyway.

My friends, in looking for a larger table for us, chat up these three cute(ish) white girls and get them to let us join them.  The inevitable stupid conversations and “the game” ensue.

While this is all going down, I remember thinking to myself – so vividly – “these girls could give a sh– about me here, the Chinese dude.  All the attention is on (name of one of my friends), and they have hardly looked at me.  This sucks.” (*2)  I don’t know if it was reality, or me having a few too many drinks, but I ended up falling deeper and deeper into this little self-pity fest, as the evening progressed.

The thing is,  I’m actually not a bad-looking guy. (*3)  The friends with me were not exactly blessed with movie-star looks.  So what was my problem?

Well, my problem was that I’m Asian.  And male.  An Asian male.  And let’s just say that Asian males don’t have a lot of noticeable role-models in the “known-for-their-looks” department anywhere outside of the Asian continent.

No – instead, for our entire lives, we are bombarded with images and messaging about the “ideal” man – and he sure as Hell has never had Asian features.  He’s probably white.  But he may be black.  Or even Latino or Arab.  But he isn’t Asian. Continue reading

Deez Nuts: Black Men in DC Dish on Life and Relationships

by Latoya Peterson

Anticipation buzzed around the debut of Deez Nuts, a five-man independent show billed as “the “all male spin to the Vagina Monologues,” since it was announced back in December. Amanda Hess of the Sexist blog was so excited that she reached out to creator/writer John Johnson to get the inside scoop:

City Paper: Deez Nuts. What does the title of the piece mean?

John Johnson: “Deez Nuts” is just like, D.C. . . . I’m sure everywhere people say “Deez Nuts,” but when I was in high school, it was like a refrain. “Guess what? Deeeeez nuuuuuts!” It was more of a chant or a cadence. People are familiar with it, you know what I mean? And it refers to a dude’s testicles. So it’s a witty title for a show that talks about men’s experiences.

CP: Was Deez Nuts inspired by the Vagina Monologues?

JJ: The show was inspired by talking to men in the community, but the Vagina Monologues is a good reference point for the audience. . . . The world is familiar with the Vagina Monologues, so we used the name to make people understand what it is. This is an all-male spin on that concept, with a real local D.C. flavor. It’s a perspective on everything from love to war to having children, being fathers. But unlike the Vagina Monologues, where the women talk a lot about their parts—you know, about hair on the vagina and having periods—Deez Nuts doesn’t focus on the male parts so much. It definitely talks about sex and relationships, but it’s more about all the things that affect these nuts, instead of the actual nuts.

Intriguing stuff.  In the name of supporting local theater and the narrative voices of black men, my friends and I trudged out into the brutal 20 degree weather and froze all the way to Dance Place on Saturday night.  It was well worth the trip.
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More White Men Behaving Badly: A ‘Brain-On’ Look At The Hangover

By Special Correspondent Arturo R. García

hangover1

For perspective’s sake, let me start with a confession: Tropic Thunder made me laugh aloud several times, even after the misgivings I had about Kirk Lazarus. The Alpa Chino twist in the village was brilliant, even if the villagers were written like something out of an Oliver Stone wet dream. And I regularly laugh as much as I grimace at South Park and Family Guy, neither of which is exactly friendly to … well, anybody. So I’m not opposed to “lowbrow” humor.

What I cannot abide is brainless humor. And so, when I tell you that The Hangover is celluloid excrement, I don’t say it lightly. I refuse to believe that it’s “just me.” But I’m telling you, R readers: this isn’t a comedy, or even a film. I’m now halfway convinced it’s proof those cheeky Hulu “alien plot” commercials are really taunting messages of truth from our secret alien overlords. Sure, you might say, “just turn your brain off, it’s a movie,” but don’t you need a working brain to enjoy any movie?

SPOILERS AHOY!

Ostensibly a Las Vegas travel ad masquerading as a bro-mantic comedy, the root of the problem is one common to a lot of modern comedies: we’re dealing not with characters, but anthropomorphic third-rate comedic tropes – Phil the Player (Bradley Cooper), Alan the Weirdo (Zack Galifanakis) and Stuart the Wuss (Ed Helms). Coding them as such is believable when you start a film, but there’s barely a hint of personal development, let alone the “growing up” moments that usually permeate these types of films. Continue reading

Lil Wayne, Sexual Violation, and The “Acceptable” Black Male Discourse

By Sexual Correspondent Andrea Plaid

I give mad kudos to Cara for her smartly written analysis about Lil’ Wayne having his rape exploited as talk-show fodder on Jimmy Kimmel’s show. She said a lot of what I was thinking when I saw the clip. She felt her thoughts were “long and wandering”, but she sorted through several pieces of baggage packed in that 2 ½ minute clip and, sometimes, the usual short-n-snappy post writing style just doesn’t cut it. But we can further unpack this conversation around race, men, and sexual violation.

The final consideration in analyzing the reaction to this story is the question of race. Again, Sociological Images asserts that the reason people do not see this as rape is because Lil’ is not only male, but a black male.

It’s certainly true that black men are hyper-sexualized, and that anyone who is hyper-sexualized is instantly construed as unrapeable, all other considerations becoming irrelevant. But at the same time, while Lil’ Wayne’s race surely plays a part not only in the failure to interpret his “virginity loss” as rape but also the prodding by the while males for him to brag about the assault he endured, I’m unsure that this would necessarily be interpreted as rape if a white male was the victim. For an example of why, you can again see above.

Then again, Anthony Kiedis is also interpreted as hyper-sexual both due to the image that he has created for himself and by virtue of being a rock star. Take that away and leave his situation with clearly older predators in tact, and you may have a situation where a white male would be seen as a victim, but a black male (or perhaps other male of color) would not be. It’s not easy to say. While we can say with certainty that racism plays a role in the reactions we see to the story that Lil’ Wayne recounts, we can’t say how exactly the reactions would be different when racism is taken out of the picture.

Unpacking the Kiedis/Wayne Comparison

Though both are famous male musicians whom were raped by older women in their lives (Kiedis’ father’s girlfriend; Wayne’s babysitter), the analysis can’t just rest on “these guys survived sexual violation.” It’s the same mushed notion that all female victims suffer rape and other sexual violence without consideration of other factors, like race. Rock stars, especially white ones, are given more latitude to discuss and display a gamut of emotions and experiences, including physical, emotional and sexual violations, from classic rock to emo and beyond. Lil’ Wayne, being a Black male–and a hip-hop artist at that, in an industry that says Black male voices are profitable and, therefore, listenable only in R&B and hip-hop–simply isn’t allowed that same space to talk about such issues.

Unpacking the Statistical Silence
The National Center for Victims of Crime runs down some of the latest numbers :

  • About 3% of American men – a total of 2.78 million men – have experienced a rape at some point in their lifetime.
  • In 2003, one in every ten rape victims was male. While there are no reliable annual surveys of sexual assaults on children, the Justice Department has estimated that one of six victims are under age 12.
  • 71% of male victims were first raped before their 18th birthday; 16.6% were 18-24 years old, and 12.3% were 25 or older.
  • Males are the least likely to report a sexual assault, though it is estimated that they make up 10% of all victims. Continue reading