A lot of men perform for a group mentality: both in honoring their shared ideals and maintaining them.
I stated this earlier this week, went viral and I stand by the statement (despite the slurs I've invited because of it. Who knew people felt so passionately?).
Not far from any fraternity is the threat of a broken bond. After all, fragile men live in panic of the idea that their brotherhood will be eventually ruined. Not by death or loss, but by women.
Jealousy is normal. What isn’t normal is how straight men disregard their jealousy or feelings of potential loss, and set their friends upon sabotage. It’s their group encouragement to lie, to ignore, to cheat while in relationships despite their apparent codes against it; conscious, or unconscious: men contribute to the actions their friends make in harming their romances, but pretend otherwise.
To be fair: this act is not at all gender-specific or connected to simply the straight archetypes; Women act negatively in a bid for territorial claim for their friends, too. Gay men and women can attest to jealous friends ruining a relationship; however, it’s a problem among straight men because only straight men are afraid to admit such intense yearning or vulnerability for another man, despite their clear and expressed sexual interests in the opposite sex.
Why? Because gay, that’s why.
As such: you cannot see and assuage the jealousy in a friend, or dedicate yourself to making room for the changes in your dynamics with them if you are unwilling to admit you have an intense dynamic to begin with.
In a world of “no homo,” “pause” and the hot take memes on “spicy” male behavior found at the root of … I don’t know, any sub-niche of Black Twitter: men are incapable of calling attention to any level of expression or intense affection for one another. The idea that a platonic relationship is cherished is not explored, and the feelings you may have for another man — though not sexual or romantic — are hidden by a socially cultivated aversion to female energy and thus, homosexuality.
We can look at our celebrity news for this: Drake and Odell Beckham Jr. have an intense relationship and support for one another that they are not afraid to share. OBJ was one of the first doing the IN MY FEELINGS Challenge — he ain't need any hype, he just felt it in his spirit because: DRAKE! And even I found myself making the same joke: that OBJ is just waiting for Drake to act right and leave those side hoes for their eternal love.
It’s a display of mis-developed masculinity and aversion to same-sex intimacy. Which is weird, because I’ve been to a funeral when someone’s friend has passed: you cared a lot. Why is it so bad to embrace that when they’re alive? Why let them die thinking they’re alone?
In our society, you cannot say “I love you,” or express the necessary love that is required for humans to sustain themselves mentally and emotionally. You cannot hug without patting one another or reinforcing strength as the core of such a tender moment. You cannot admit to a friend that you’re afraid of being replaced in their lives while you need them to be there, so the only course of action is to destroy the relationship in a way that reinforces the fact you are like, totally, not gay or anything.
But, at the same time, you cannot live without that other person; deny it, but most straight men spend more time with their friends than with their own kids. Further, you cannot sustain your current relationship if the finite amount of time they have is devoted to something else: a lover, perchance.
Something’s gotta give. Bros before hoes dictates that it will never be the male bond.
Whether the man introduces the woman with whom the affair must happen, or the friend places their "partna" into a scenario where infidelity is highly likely, they are participating in a form of sabotage that will eventually weaken the overall bond between their friends and their lovers. However, this is the most evident of examples in which straight men can screw up each other’s romances. But, it’s not the worse.
Some examples of men sabotaging another’s romance can be seen in how men offer advice or criticism of one another. In a romantic disagreement, rationality would dictate a friend would make a suggestion of cherishing, compassion or surrender to the person they’ve wronged — or at least communicate your vulnerability to your partner and discuss peacefully until the situation is rectified.
Instead, many straight men will offer advice of neglect, apathy, dominance or straight-out emotional and mental abuse. This is a fallacy many straight men have used to make women seem as if they’re insane, when in fact they are quite valid. Many Twitter threads amongst men are filled with this terrible advice. I don’t have the time to post them all, just search “Women Shouldn’t…” and see what comes up. I hope you aren’t surprised, because if you are, you’re blind to how bad masculinity has gotten.
You cannot expect any relationship to maintain its strength in a situation where abuse and harm is perpetuated cyclically. No matter how many times the pendulum swings, it wobbles just a bit different when it returns. A lot of straight men depend on that unconsciously, so they’ll hide an affair, or encourage a midnight fling, or antagonize and lie. They’ll feed into a friend’s ability to harm himself, and won’t intervene until it’s too late to change.
Some may argue this is not the prerogative of a friend, but if a friend was about to leap off a cliff, a man would tell them to step down; If a friend was having a go with Russian roulette, a man would stop them. It doesn’t change the friend’s choice, but it offers a healthy option for the betterment of that friend.
But you do nothing to save a love life? You’ll chalk it up to, “If my boy is going to cheat, I ain’t gone stop him! Let him get some!” As if there was nothing but gain from the dissolving of that relationship.
I believe that brings up the next most important point. If platonic male friendships are so challenged by romance, why do they encourage sexuality or romance at all? After all, virility is a cornerstone of fraternity, right?
Back up first.
In theory, this is all a discussion of “homosociality,” which is oddly similar to homosexuality, except it’s not gay because your penises never touch. It’s the idea of platonic same-sex relationships or the “bromance” as explored by Nils Hammarén and Thomas Jenkins. You see a lot of this in Arthurian legend, or sports, if you’re a bit too modern to read Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. It’s in any subject where two or more men have a need for one another in a non-romantic/sexual manner.
Homosociality reveals that how male relationships display themselves are actually not at all different than how romance is displayed. In fact, homosocial bonds are often more affectionate and necessary than romance to most men simply because of how masculinity has derived itself in competition, or in conversation with one another. Despite this, the bond requires a female presence to compare how each of these individuals displays themselves romantically so their gestures are never misconstrued as sexual or romantic.
After all, a dick measuring contest is nothing without a ruler.
So, there it is: you cannot exist without a woman, and you cannot allow a woman to hold power greater than your own over a friend. A logical alternative would be to integrate the female agent into the fraternity.
However, our society is just a more expensive chapter of the He-Man Woman Hater’s Club. They’d sooner die than admit a woman could serve a role in their bond.