Friday, July 10, 2009

Women's Experience and the Humanization of Men

The following journal entry is from April 1990:

The scriptures often seem to use women’s experience as a critical vantage point for viewing social pretensions and power structures. E.g., Psalm 48:4-6 speaks of the haughty kings of the earth (who are male patriarchs), who think themselves impervious, being brought by divine epiphany to feel birth pangs. I don’t think the passage intends to demean women, but to imply that women know via female experience something that men ought to know, in order to be more adequately human.

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What men in this culture can talk about is limited. I listen to the philosophy department down the hall exchanging macho talk re: the latest football game. I’m reminded of that movie with John Candy and Steve Martin. They find themselves in bed together, and, not knowing that they’re in bed with another man, each wakes up affectionate. When they both open their eyes and see the other, they jump out of bed saying things like, “How about those Sox?”

I’m a real man. I talk sport.

Boring. One reason I prefer being with women—and this is true for many gay men, I suspect—is that they talk about so many more, and so many more important, things. Maybe gay men don’t have the crust from the loaf in this arrangement, after all—at least for once. At least we can talk, and talk we do.