Thursday, April 14, 2005

Hugs and Kisses

A few days ago there was yet another article in the NY Times that was discussed to death on the Z100 morning show, and in a few of the blogs I read. The topic of this article was “man dates”. Basically, the article was about the inadequacy men feel when hanging out alone with another man in a setting that involves neither alcohol nor sports.

I wasn’t going to say anything about it because I thought that the only thing that article did was prove, yet again, that the value system in this side of the world is completely warped and that rather than live in a progressive society, we live in a homophobic culture that breeds these silly ideas; however, last night I witnessed something totally beautiful and completely related that I thought I would share.

Last night I was hanging out with my friend Phillip. For the record, he comes from a Dutch family but was raised in Santo Domingo. At one point throughout the night, he decided to call our friend Michel, who is German but was raised between America and Europe. They are both heterosexual.

After a lovely conversation between the three of us full of laughter and fun, the time came for us to say our good byes. At the end of the conversation I said “kiss kiss” in response to Michel's “kiss kiss”. Then while Phillip and Michel were saying goodbye, I heard them say to each other “muchos besos” (translation: lots of kisses).

The friendship they share is very deep and meaningful, so for me to be able to witness that was priceless. I also thought it was very cool that they were secure enough with their own sexualities to be able to express such love.

This reminded me of an incident that happened during the time that we lived in Germany when my brother Gus and I went to visit our family in Santo Domingo. While we were all in the car driving somewhere some radio show was having a discussion on displays of affection among men. My step father, who is a very traditional Dominican, thought that men kissing was equated with “mariconerias” (gay behavior), to which my brother, who is straight, said that it was non-sense and that it is okay to kiss good friends-even if they are male friends.

I thought that the fact that he said that was awesome because in previous months my step father had look in horror as I kissed a dear girlfriend on the lips and it took many cultural sensitivity discussions to explain that though said behavior was frowned upon in Dominican Republic, it wasn’t in other places.

In any case, I don’t know what the big deal about men spending time with each other is. Personally, I think that spending time with people of our own gender is good for us. Showing affection to the people we care about should be standard practice and not something for us to be ashamed of. I think that by teaching our boys that it’s bad or shameful to spend one-on-one time with their friends, and that you can’t show them affection, we are not teaching them the basics of fraternization and openness, and what’s more, we are promoting intolerance.


12 comments:

Robert_M said...

I read that article, and yeah it's silly and homophobic for us to think twice about it. I hang with one guy friend all the time and think nothing of it.

mrsmogul said...

I read that article too! Most of the men in my life are feminine and not at all macho so they are comfortable with hanging out with men etc.

Gabemaster said...

I've been just to the movies with my friends and no alcohol and that's never been an issue. So much so that this is the first time I think of this. We are not into sports, but we go out drinking toguether and hit strip joints from time to time but at the same time we don't need any of that to hang out or spend time. We could be talking about women, politics, computers or any other thing that doesnt involve alcohol or sports.

Now, I do have a problem with the pussification of the American Male. Im not homophobic and I've known a good number of gay guys either as co-workers or at school and never had a problem at all with it. I've never hung out with a gay guy mainly for lack of common interests just as it would be with any other straight guy I don't hang out with. But this movement or whatever you want to call it of trying to make us more "sensitive" and plain old pussy whiped along with the whole Metrosexual concept... is just ridiculous.
If a guy has to dress up for work or a date that's perfectly fine but if he is worrying about his looks every five minutes and needs to wear a gay shirt on sale at Christopher street just to show girls he knows about fashion that is just disgusting. And yes a guy should be sensitive with his girl because he should take care of her but if he is crying with any Meg Ryan movie then he needs a kick in the ass. That's what I refer to with the pussification, that not only we have to show sensitivity but it seems that we must over do it and "feel good about it" just for the sake of the girl or because you must be politically correct. F*** that. Your friends saying muchos besos I don't have a problem with it but if they would have actually kissed then definetely it would have been a another example of how the American male is being pushed into being a pussy. A man is man and thats it. Homophobia is very bad but to go to the extreme opposite for being afraid of being labeled a homophobe is not good either.

If women want a guy who is all sensitive in touch with his feelings who knows everything about fashion designers, and can help you with your make up and has no problem kissing other guys then I suggest they get a French guy. Just good luck if walking down the sreet any idiot disrespects you in front him or tries to do something to you, he will be the first one to get sensitive, start crying and running away. That's what you'll get for going out with a pussy.

annush said...

No offense Gabe, but you just contradicted yourself repeatedly, proved that you didn't read the posting well, and what's more illustrated what I was talking about.
Postings like that make you sound like a real bonehead!

Edwin R. said...

el diablo.. que amor platonico hay por aqui... haha...

Gabemaster said...

No offense taken ny dear Annush, I'm sure you have thought of calling me worse things hehehe ;) Now tell me where I contradict myself because I don't see it. I haven't read the NY Times article I'm not registered with them and yes I know you don't mention at all the Metrosexual thing but I did because is related. Maybe I came out too strong calling guys who kiss eachother pussies, but at least they are what Arnold would call: Girlie Men.

annush said...

I think I'm just going to ignore you until my next posting. I am not going to get an aneurism because of you. But one last thing: Better a girlie man than a stupid man.

Gabemaster said...

A man is stupid for not wanting to kiss other guys and take up certain behaviors that in our culture are mostly femenine? I'm I missing something here? What is wrong with just a normal regular guy who is not machista or a homophobe but doesn't go that femenine way either. Whats wrong with that? Call me stupid if you want, but I really do not get the purpose of wanting to push us towards behaving in that way. I don't agree with that... (Again, I cant think of any other word) Pussification of men.

3000SEMILLAS said...

Le tuve que manal eto a mi amigo Boruga pa que lo tradujera tu sabe.
Eso de tar besando hombre en lo cachete dique pa no aparentar homofobico no esta.
De donde tu ere criatura como eso que tu no tiene amore con hombre hispano
Tu ere dominicana?

Chokomokolatura said...

Metrosexualism has much to teach to the ultra "hetero" who are so deep inside their own closets they are finding christmas presents..=)

Chelle said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Chelle said...

I couldn't read the full post, pero there are tons of guy friends who hang out, aki and everywhere else. Y ese super deal dike NY times? Me dio risa eso.

I think balance is best. It's great to build bridges and get to know the sexes better, but knowing that women don't have to become men or men women.

I'll read it later, at work.